Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Changing Gears

I decided 2012 is the year I quit acting like a noob. This doesn't change the fact that I will always feel like one; but there's no reason to reveal to the world at large at any given time that I am indeed nervous as hell.

Wait, I just did it again, didn't I?

With three books under my belt, along with a few published short stories, I decided it was time to do something different with the blog. You might have noticed the title is different; if not, go ahead and look. I'll wait.

See that? No more noobish business. This blog was originally designed as a way to, well... adverstise. I thought if I published a book and had a blog, then I could just market myself that way. And my plan was to document some of the tribulations that I might experience as an indie author. Share my pains and joys, losses and successes.

You know, share all the writerly things that only other writers care about.

There are three problems with that assumption. The first is that nobody likes spam. I wouldn't want some stranger tossing spam all over my site, so why should I be comfortable doing it myself? That's not marketing. It's just annoying.

Secondly, I realized over the course of five or six months that the whole "chronicle your journey as a writer" blog has been done.

To death.

There's not much more I can contribute to the discussion about indie publishing. It's tough, you have to work your ass off to get results, Amanda Hocking's contract with St. Martin's Press is "controversial," and JA Konrath is pretty much the indie publishing version of Yoda - only with more beer.

The third problem with my initial idea of what this blog should be is that a blog about writers and written for writers may definitely attract other writers. That's fine. I've met some awesome people by networking through the blog.

But a writer survives on one thing and one thing only: READERS. Yes, there are writers who also read. However, most indie authors are in the business of promoting themselves. It's not that we are insincere; it's just that have books to sell.

Quick experiment: fill a hotel conference room with dozens of sales people and see how meaningful the conversations become. Watch for the verbal tug of war, the pointless upstaging and outdoing of one another.

This is essentially the same thing that happens when you only surround yourself with other writers. Please don't misread this and think I dislike being amongst other writers. That's definitely not the case. You learn things, you develop ideas, and you get inspired. It's just counter-productive after a certain amount of time; you lose sight of what the goal is supposed to be.

An author's number one goal should be to find and RETAIN readers.

What does this mean for my blog?


I started a feature late last year (before a day job kind of broke my schedule like a battering ram destroys a door) and it was called "This Is Me..." The idea was originally developed as a children's book (and it may still be turned into a book this year). I'll be launching that feature again next week.

And beyond that, I'll just be talking about the stuff that interests me. Fantasy, science fiction, horror, popular culture... I'm a big nerd and it's going to be pretty obvious that I'm a card-carrying Freak. You have been warned.

On a final side note, go check out Chris Hardwick's book The Nerdist Way. I know, I know. He's not an indie and for the price of his ebook, you could buy twelve copies of my novel. I get it. But he has some pretty awesome tips for getting the best out of life. That is, if you're a nerd.

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