Posted on Nov 24th, 2013 | 20 comments
One of the biggest challenges for many writers is being able to separate the artist self from the business self, and figuring out ways to nurture both.
I find this to be an issue for unpublished authors more than those who are published. Once a writer is published, they seem highly motivated to stay published, and therefore more open to considering ways to increase the commercial appeal of their work.
But for some new or unpublished authors, there seems to be a resistance to “commercializing” their art. That’s fine, if you want to write for yourself, your family and your friends. But if the goal is to ask strangers to pay money to read your work, then it deserves a different approach.
It recently occurred to me that writers might benefit by taking a break from reading books on...
Posted on Nov 19th, 2013 | 89 comments
I’ve just finished reading Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. I’m still processing what I learned, and checking other sources for differing perspectives, but my initial reaction is that this is an eye-opening, clarifying, sobering yet illuminating resource for anyone interested in publishing or business in general.
I approached this book the same way I’ve always approached Amazon: (1) as an Amazon customer, and (2) as a person employed by traditional publishing. The two perspectives leave me feeling a little whiplashed at times, since they induce two opposing views of Amazon.
As a customer, I’ve always been extremely happy. I’m a Kindle reader, a Prime member, and I use Amazon almost every day.
Posted on Nov 17th, 2013 | 60 comments
Once you’re a published author, you’re going to have a target on your back. You will offer up your words to strangers, and not everyone will like what you write. You’ll be naked and vulnerable in front of the world. You’ll make mistakes, you may offend people. And you may not feel safe.
They will write things publicly about you, on their blogs, on your blog, on book review sites, or on Amazon. One of my friends recently received this review online: “I couldn’t even finish this book… Confusing and in my humble opinion, pointless.” Ouch.
Everyone has a right to their opinion. In fact, diversity of opinions is something that makes book publishing so dynamic and interesting. But sometimes those opinions hit us like flaming...
Posted on Nov 7th, 2013 | 37 comments
Guest Blogger: Addie Zierman (@addiezierman)
The contract will come in the mail with the publisher’s name on it, and for a few minutes or hours or days, you’ll feel on top of the world.
Here you are, at the beginning of a dream come true, at the precipice of all you’ve been waiting for.
You’ll sit down at the kitchen table. You’ll lift your pen to sign the papers.
You’ll be trying to have a moment, but your kids will be screaming at you from the living room. “Mom! I don’t want this show!” or “Dad! Get me a granola bar!” Because to them, you’re not an author, you’re their parent, and nothing here has really changed.
Although you’ve always been a writer, the book deal will make you feel legitimized in some ways – like someone else...
Posted on Nov 3rd, 2013 | 32 comments
Last month I wrote a post about building a long-term writing career (Are You in this for the Long Haul?). In my list of
things writers can do to develop a long-haul career, I said:
Pay attention to where your passion intersects with the market.
I want to expand on that because it’s so crucial. Most writers start out writing what interests them (obviously) which is the way it should be. But things change once you transition from writing for fun to writing for fun & profit. The profit part requires you think about what you can sell.
I often hear writers debating whether it’s best to write what you love, or try to write to the market. I think this is a false dichotomy. You need both.
As a writer, you’re probably interested in a variety of topics and genres. So if you...