Business Musings: Types of Brands (Branding/Discoverability)

I’ve been talking to myself lately. Actually, I’ve been talking back to podcasts, vlogs, and emails. Ever since I said I would be doing a series on branding, I’ve gotten links to great branding tips. (Please, keep them coming.) Every single link I received that dealt with branding from a writer’s perspective talked about cover branding. Lots of great information in each and every one […]

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Business Musings: The Ideas of A Cold-Fogged Brain (Discoverability Again)

I feel like I’ve been on a particularly grueling business trip, and am slowly recalibrating back into my office. I worked very hard in the front part of April as I prepared for the science fiction writing workshop I ran here on the Oregon Coast. Then the workshop happened. Lots of great discussions, great questions, great stories, and dedicated work later, we finished…and I got […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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…

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Business Musings: Control, Control, Control

I am fully aware of the fact that the problems I’m having are problems I would have traded up for thirty years ago. I’m also fully aware that these problems aren’t really problems at all.

They’re opportunities.

I’m hardwired to jump at opportunities. One of my biggest complaints about my agents, back in the days when I had agents, was how many opportunities those folks failed to jump at. Or screwed up. Or ignored completely.

And yet…

I’m a writer first, and as a writer first, anything that puts me behind on getting to my fictional worlds irritates the hell out of me.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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