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.
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?
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….
I’m not here to discuss the merits or lack thereof of Booktrope or ARe. I did that in other posts. What I need to discuss here is the future.
You see, these closures were right on time. And several other closures will follow in the next few years.
Some of the upcoming closures will be predictable. And others will catch us all by surprise.
Why am I saying this?
So, given that it will take a huge fight to get paid, assuming that ARe will be forced into bankruptcy, what do I advise? I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.
I am, however, a small business owner who has lost tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of dollars as an unsecured creditor when other companies have gone out of business.
I’ve been there, folks, and I’ve see what it does.
Here’s what I think you should do…
Found lots of great reading in December. Here’s what I really loved.
In talking to hybrid writers, I did miss something. It only concerned a handful of writers, and most of them only wrote one series. These writers would email me after they had indie-released a new book or two in their existing series, and complain that the series wasn’t growing.
When these writers were traditionally published, the series grew well. Each book sold better than the last. Now, even taking into account the year or so of sales, the books sold at the same number of copies or less than the previous volumes had.
I couldn’t figure it out…
A new mystery story, an audio book, and some deals. Take a peek!
Here’s the heartbreaking part of this new world. Many long-time writers, who want to go full indie, are abandoning their series rather than put money into their traditional publishers’ pocket. The first time I heard a writer say he was going to do that, I was shocked.
I realized that all these great things had happened in my career, and some other great things had happened in my life at the very same time, and I hadn’t taken the time to appreciate them. Yes, other outside things brought me down emotionally. While those things (as well as those emotions) are valid, they shouldn’t stop me from living day to day.
I decided I needed an attitude adjustment.
So, I decided to look back at some of the good things in my writing career, in the writing business, and in the craft, as preparation for the day of feasting that I’ll be enjoying while those of you outside of the States will go through your usual Thursday routines.
In no particular order, here’s what comes to mind: