Business Musings: Writers, Scam Artists, Agents, And More (Sigh)

Just when I thought it was safe to get back into the water… I’m editing a lot these days. I only edit short fiction projects. Anthologies, anthology series (Fiction River), the occasional nonfiction book, and some magazines. I’m also consulting with the fine folks at WMG Publishing, because they’ll be handling the contracts for the revival of Pulphouse next year. Dean’s vision for Pulphouse includes […]

Read Me 25 Comments

Business Musings: Mushroom Publishers And The Tsunami of Crap

So much of the writing advice we get comes from a set of assumptions that are no longer true. I’m not sure if they were ever true. But that’s for another blog post. (Or maybe I’ve written that post already.) Anyway, the assumption is that our culture is monolithic, that we all read the same books, and we’re all influenced by the same writers. Maybe […]

Read Me 15 Comments

Business Musings: Newsletters and Discoverability

I promised in the comments of last week’s blog that I’d write about newsletters. Except for mentions and brief discussion in blogs on other topics, I really haven’t discussed newsletters much. In my book Discoverability, I list newsletters as one of the minimal things a writer should do (in addition to a static website and a book publication list) so that readers can find the […]

Read Me 21 Comments

Business Musings: Bestseller Lists and Other Dreams

In March, Marie Force announced she would no longer chase the bestseller lists when she released her latest book title. She wrote a great, honest, and direct blog about her thinking, and I urge you to read it all. In the blog, she describes a trajectory of obsession and disillusionment that is very familiar to me. I’ve gone through that range of emotions several times […]

Read Me 24 Comments

Business Musings: Data Diving

Writers obsess about how many people they have on their newsletter, whether those names are “good” names, what kind of marketing they should do for those people, what kind of writing they should do because of the newsletter, whether the last marketing campaign brought in “good” names that converted to real dollars, whether five impressions with click-throughs and buys are better than fifty impressions with click-throughs and no buys yet.

If we end up obsessing too much…

Read Me 19 Comments

Business Musings: Writing with Chronic Health Problems

Because dozens of you have asked me, both privately and in comments, how I write with a chronic health condition.

There really is a trick to the writing while chronically ill. But the trick is personal, and it’s tailored to each individual person.

So, more personal stories—and then tips.

Read Me 36 Comments

Business Musings: Writer Finances Versus The Paycheck World

If the indie writers who made a lot of money in 2012-2014 had followed this advice, they’d still be writing and publishing. Sure, their incomes would still be down, along with their sales, but their careers would continue.

What happened to these writers?

Well, they will say that their sales went down to unsustainable levels. Those writers will say there’s no point in continuing now that they can’t make the same kind of money they made in 2013. Those writers will say that writing, as a profession, is impossible.

And it is, if you don’t understand money management.

Read Me 34 Comments

Business Musings: The Indie And The Bestseller

The letter from the indie writer encapsulated a lot of things that are happening in the field right now, and I thought I’d analyze those. I also figured it was timely, considering this indie writer wasn’t the only writer in the past month who had sent me email about recommendations on their prose from other “more successful” writers.

I don’t know what it is about the beginning of the year that brings out these insecurities. Maybe it’s the fact that many of us use the end of the year for reflection and then try to plan the upcoming year.

What struck me about this indie writer, and the reason I’m using her as an example, is that this incident is ramped up from the usual incidents.

Read Me 19 Comments

Business Musings: Writing in Difficult Times

Sometimes, art provides a different perspective, a new way of thinking about important things. And sometimes, we just hang out with a little boy wizard fighting a big powerful evil because it entertains us.

This is not light stuff. It is not unimportant. It is extremely important.

As I said, I wrote about this in October. But I didn’t tell you how to keep practicing your art in difficult times. So let me add that.

So…how do we do our jobs when our world is on fire?

Read Me 28 Comments

Business Musings: 2016 Disappointments

As I write this in early January, fourth quarter numbers for all big businesses are just starting to trickle in. The whining about 2016 has commenced, some of it justified, some of it not.

The numbers aren’t just in for the major publishers; the numbers are in for indie writers as well. And the writers who crunch numbers are having varied reactions, often depending on years of business expertise.

I have a hunch that when all of the numbers arrive toward the end of this month or so, we’ll find out that 2016 was truly a mixed bag….

Read Me 8 Comments