Business Musings: How Writers Fail (Part 10): The Problems in Your Writing Are The Problems in Your Life

The first time I ever heard the saying, “The problems in your writing are the problems in your life,” I was having a conversation with Harlan Ellison about editing. Back when I was editing Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine, I was feeling my way around editing fiction. I had run a newsroom and put out a nightly half-hour newscast. Producing a newscast is editing. You assign […]

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Business Musings: Year in Review 2022: The Final Post (A Process Blog)

In some ways, 2020 and 2021 were straightforward years. 2020 was a long scream of a year, one in which we all were trying to survive against a tiny unseen foe. We got vaccines in 2021, and while that eased some of the worry, it didn’t make the worry go away. We were still a group of humans, trying to figure out how to move […]

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Recommended Reading List: December, 2022

I read a lot in December because I switched my schedule around, and prioritized a few other things. (I’ll probably blog about that at some point.) Having effective glasses also helped, more than I expected. I don’t have hardly any holiday stories to recommend because we set our deadlines for next year’s Holiday Spectacular in December. I’ve been reading a lot of great holiday stories, […]

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Business Musings: AI: The Year in Review Part 9

I used to train radio news announcers. I trained them how to read live and on air, a skill I learned myself while still in college. In 2021, I took a voiceover class from an impressive-as-hell studio here in Las Vegas, with the full intention that I would somehow get my books into audio. I had hoped to hire a voice actor or two, or […]

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Business Musings: Direct: The Year in Review Part 8

On January 6, 2023, Michael W. Lucas made a rather important announcement on his blog. He wrote, in all caps: AMAZON IS NO LONGER MY BIGGEST INCOME SOURCE. It’s not that he added a consulting business to his writing income, or started doing in-person speaking gigs. He didn’t get a day job. Instead, he’s been, in his words, disintermediating. He’s been consciously moving his readers […]

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Business Musings: Social Media: The Year in Review Part 7

I’ve been dreading this post, but not for the reason that you think. Somewhere, probably back in November, I had gotten the bright idea that I would do this post and find a social media site to replace Twitter for my promotion and news needs. (As a former journalist, I found Twitter very useful. I followed journalists in real time, as well as old journalist […]

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Business Musings: Advertising: The Year in Review Part 6

2022: The year that advertising stopped working. That’s not true, but it feels true. Conversations at the 20Booksto50K conference were all about the broken ad revenues, and the inability to goose algorithms. BookBub ads don’t seem as effective. Newsletter campaigns aren’t working. And what happened to all the book bloggers? Nothing seemed to get a book traction…except…BookTok, maybe. Social media sites at the beginning of […]

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Recommended Reading List: November 2022

I sat down to add something to this list, and realized I hadn’t started it. I had just set my books aside. Whoops. I thought I’d been keeping up all month. Such a surprise. What I sat down to add was a bit about The Best American Essays 2022. I love these volumes, as you know, but I had to set this year’s aside. It’s […]

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Business Musings: Amazon: Year in Review Part 5

I used to be quite dismissive of the usefulness of the 20Booksto50K conference. Pre-pandemic, 20Books was all about Amazon, Kindle, Kindle Select, and making money on page reads. Great money, for a few folks who learned to manipulate Amazon’s algorithms. Good money, for some who went exclusive to Amazon and manipulated the algorithms. Okay money, for many who did what they could when they were […]

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Business Musings: Tea Leaves: Year in Review 2022 Part 4

I started this year’s Year in Review blogs with traditional publishing partly because that Department of Justice anti-trust case produced such juicy tidbits that I couldn’t ignore them, and partly because I have always started with traditional publishing. Back in the day, I saw all of us (writers, readers, and publishers) as creatures that emerged from traditional publishing. Now, I see a lot of writers […]

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