Business Musings: Stealing Intellectual Property (Contracts/Dealbreakers)

I just had the most illuminating conversation. I had been consulting with someone about one of the TV deals I’m currently negotiating. I had run into a situation I had never encountered before, and I needed help evaluating it. No one I knew personally could help me. Either my good friends had not done a TV deal in years or they had let their agent […]

Read Me 21 Comments

Business Musings: Rethinking A Title

  I blame Marvel. As I finished my Kris Nelscott/Smokey Dalton novel, Stone Cribs, I realized that the victim in the book, Valentina Wilson, was one amazing woman. And she needed a story arc all her own. I knew how she was going to end up, and who she would be years after the events in Stone Cribs, but I needed to write the story […]

Read Me 13 Comments

Business Musings: Rip Van Winkle Syndrome

I remember how overwhelming it was for me to make the transition to mostly indie. I’m not entirely indie. My short fiction is still hybrid, as is all of my work in translation. But I can’t see any situation where I would ever go back to a traditional publisher for my novels. The contracts are awful, the lack of support profound, and the benefits nearly nonexistent.

The traditionally published writers who are being cut loose or who are being offered terrible deals are just beginning to realize this. And they’re at a complete loss as to what to do.

I feel for them. I really do.

Read Me 13 Comments

Business Musings: Eclipse Expectations

I live in the zone of totality for the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017. The eclipse happened on Monday morning, August 21, 2017. My little town, Lincoln City, Oregon, was where the eclipse hit landfall first in the United States. The eclipse then cut across the entire country, sending a shadow across America. The actual eclipse took about 90 minutes to travel from sea […]

Read Me 2 Comments

Business Musings: Expand Your Target Audience 2: Slow Growth (Branding/Discoverability)

  Writers always believe that they can become a bestseller if they only goose their sales properly. I actually had a brand-new writer scream at me once about this very thing. Back in the early days of Amazon’s Kindle, she had “sold” 50,000 copies of her only novel by giving it away for free. “I’ll take my 50,000 sales over your sales any day,” she […]

Read Me 9 Comments

Business Musings: How To Expand Your Target Audience 1: Choices (Branding/Discoverability)

Most writers—most businesses, in fact—believe that they must actively grow their audience. And that belief is a mistake.

In your writing business, as in all business, there is no one-size-fits-all model. That goes to everything from building a business to building a brand. Even if you’re in the same field as someone else, your business is different. What you do with that business is based entirely on your goals for that business.

Um, what? you might ask.

Yep, expanding an audience fits into your business goals, not just into branding. Change happens all the time in business, but growth happens only when a business actively pursues that growth….

Read Me 6 Comments

Business Musings: How To Build A Brand 2: The Intermediate Stages (Branding/Discoverability)

So when I write these posts, I feel a deep frustration. Because my brand, in almost all of its forms, is extremely messy.

These posts, as I said from the beginning, are for me, writing to myself about all the various things I can do to improve my branding or, in most instances, take control of it.

If I were in the lucky position that most of you indies are in, I could define my Rusch brand from the beginning as something that spans genres, that uses a multitude of styles, that promises quality of a certain type, but never compromises on some things….

Read Me 10 Comments

Business Musings: Define Your Target Audience: The Intermediate Stages (Branding/Discoverability)

In the past eight or so years since indie publishing took off, writers found that the commodity they lack the most is time. Time to write. Time to research. Time to read. Time to market. We get inundated daily with shoulds and have-tos. Someone is always so much more successful than we are, and they’re successful at something we’ve wanted for a long time. Then […]

Read Me 9 Comments

Business Musings: Brand Image (Branding/Discoverability)

The publishing industry has been shifting since 2009. Indie publishing has become a force since 2011 or so. At first, we writers made our work available, but the things that worked six years ago don’t work now. The problem is that the marketing gurus for writers are just other writers with an okay idea. As I’ve said all along, we writers must accept that we’re […]

Read Me 11 Comments

Business Musings: Brand Identity (Branding/Discoverability)

Brand Identity is how you want customers to perceive your brand. Right now, remember, we’re dealing with building the brand. So you get to think about how you want that brand to be perceived. You need to imagine your target as you develop your brand identity. What do you want your target audience to think about your brand?

Let’s start wide with the overall steps to building a brand identity, and then I’ll refine for writers.

Read Me 9 Comments