AUTHORPRENEUR: Why It’s No Longer Enough To Be Just a Writer

18 06 2012

Oliver Standard Typewriter

*image from Flickr Creative Commons
With the rise in indie publishing and more options available to a writer, you can no longer tell yourself that it’s okay to just write and release your work into the world and it will find an audience. Even if you go with a legacy publisher, the publicity and marketing you feel your book should get and what it actually gets are two very different things, unless you’re one of their stable of bestselling writers that they feel is a sure bet to make them money.

To survive in the publishing landscape, every writer must become a hybrid between creative and marketer, an authorpreneur that both creates and markets their work.

The romanticized notion of a writer in their creative space, laying text on the page for their readers and sending it off when it’s finished, cueing end credits on the process, is over. That image has now pivoted. Where the end credits would have rolled is now the beginning of the harder work, getting the notice of the reading public. No longer is it enough to be able to write well, you must be able to sell yourself as a writer worth noticing and your book as something worth reading.

As more and more mainstream published writers turn to publishing their own works and the whole indie/self published industry grows out of its reputation of vanity and not being good enough for legacy publishers, the landscape is going to change dramatically, making a writer’s skill at marketing themselves and their work not just a necessary skill, but an invaluable one.

Every writer should be working on honing their skill as a marketer right along with their skill as a writer. In pauses between drafts, read up on social media marketing, start following blogs that review work in your genre and start commenting on posts, start your own blog and document your journey of writing your book, network with other authors on twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Most of all, study a writer that you see working social media like a rock star. Look at what they’re doing, what ratio they’re posting social comments to promotion. Every avenue of social media has ways of tracking how many people are reading what you post, whether they’re sharing it or talking about it and what days and times most people read your posts. Use the tools, they’re free and they’ll help make it more a part of the process of getting your book out there and less of a dreaded chore.

This listing has 50 free tools, there’s something in there for everyone.:

http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2012/03/18/50-mostly-free-social-media-tools-you-cant-live-without-in-2012/

We all have what it takes to be an authorpreneur. Start now, no matter what phase of your writing journey you’re in, it’s never too late.

The article that inspired this post can be found here:
http://jonfmerz.net/2012/06/14/rise-of-the-authorpreneur/





Knee Deep In The Edits

6 02 2012


One thing about editing is that it always takes a bit to talk yourself into starting, but when you get going it turns into a challenge that you give yourself on how much tighter you can make your prose.

I’ve had a good few months away from the intensive writing on the first draft of this and I’m doing an editing pass before doing a second draft. The space away from it has given me a little emotional distance and that makes it easier to find the words that don’t need to be there and the parts that don’t add to the overall story arc. Very few parts are escaping being touched, as you can see from the screenshot below.

I know the font is a little odd, but I find that American Typewriter seems to be easier on my eyes than Helvetica or Times New Roman for long periods of time. The rounded curves and close together letters of them seem to bleed together a lot more the longer I’m staring at the screen.
I also find that I can’t edit if I’ve got music going with words or even a lot of tempo changes. It distracts me from what I’m doing. I’ve found the perfect editing accompaniment for me is….the sound of a spaceship idling. Really. Someone out there on the internet put up a file on you tube of the ambient engine noise off of Star Trek TNG, or as I called it to my friend Shae, a white noise machine for geeks.
I also took part in my first Google+ hangout, with a few other writers, about editing for ourselves and others. It was interesting to see and hear how others do it and I learned a few tips that will help me on my way. If you haven’t already checked out Google+, give it a try. There are a lot of authors, writers and those aspiring to be on there and you can cultivate some great circles on there of people who post great content and take part in some great discussions.




Tempus Fugit

28 01 2012

I had the urge to write and no real desire to work on something already in progress. Instead, I looked at my surroundings and took in the sound of the town clock chiming and this is what came out.

Tempus Fugit

It’s funny how time flies.

Moving back to the city I grew up in is in equal measures familiar and alien. As much as this city changes, its core stays the same. There are reminders on every street of my past, the ghosts of remembered actions and conversations pushing themselves forward in my mind for their short moment in the forefront. Then the next street or building comes into focus and forces the ghosts back as others take their place.

I’m seated in a cafe across the street from the closest thing this city has to a central square. It’s a brick paved open area in front of the local mall, raised planter boxes sporting evergreen bushes trimmed into cotton ball shapes, tufts of wheat coloured grasses ascending with swaying stalks like tentative bursts of agricultural fireworks. Trees rise in the middle of the planters, their limbs bare and weeping towards the ground. The wind rustles them and their tips brush the ground, searching fruitlessly for the leaves they have lost

In them middle of the open, a clock is raised on a brick and concrete platform.  The centennial clock. Green and gold, it echoes the Robert frost poem. Green as the city it is celebrating, a hundred years not even a blink of an eye to the senescent cities of Europe and Asia. Gold like the years this city is heading into, the population ever aging and the city itself hemorrhaging jobs and with it the green that this city needs to renew itself.

The square’s clock is one of my ghosts. The low and mournful tones of its chimes, ringing out, carrying on the wind, making its reach arc out further than the silent sentinels of schools and theatres and playgrounds. The sound of the clock carries with it pieces of the ghost of my father.

He was involved with community groups and those have seasonal ghosts that come with them, fading as the heritage weekend, or historical re-enactment passes by in the waning days of autumn. The clock remains, a year-round reminder of both him and the time that pushes me forward on my journey and further away from the moment when his journey stopped.

Time does fly and even though the seconds, minutes,  hours, days, months, and years have stayed the same measurement of time that they always were, I’m finding as I collect more of them, the faster they, and the ghosts that live in between one measure of time and the next, come.

The ghosts used to be grudgingly accommodated, but now I find that as i collect more of them, they have lost their potency. The memories the ghosts carry with them no longer pull up regrets of past decisions, friends grown away from, or thoughts of paths not taken. Instead they serve to remind me of the journey that I’ve already travelled down and how those decisions have made me into the person, and more importantly, the writer that I am.

The writer in me is the curator of my collection of ghosts, separating those with stories to tell, from those that only serve as a milestone, remembering that point in my past, but offering nothing towards my future. The ones with stories to tell wait for me to give them away, covered in words and dressed up in names that are not their own. I will call them fiction, but my ghosts and I, we will know the truth.





Wordpres Fail

8 01 2012

I just wrote a long blog post about this week and an update on the writing and hit publish and great, WP ate the damn thing. So, this is subbing as my blog post. Now I know to keep a copy in my clipboard before pressing publish.

Word count on writing: 5,545.

Frustration at WP: 100%

New swear words invented in the last five minutes: 3

Hours until I have to gt up for work: 7

I’ll rewrite the post that was supposed to be, but first-sleep.





New Year, New Goals

1 01 2012

Happy New Year! mine was pretty quiet, being stuck at work until 2 a.m. and all. Today was a quiet day, thinking about the last year and thinking about goals for this new year. I don’t really make resolutions. These are just things I want to accomplish over the course of the year. I figured posting them somewhere public would keep me somewhat accountable to them. Here’s hoping that works. =)

Goals as a writer: 

  1. Do Second Draft and expansion of Homecoming for submission to publisher
  2. Submit Bait to Rebel Ink.
  3. Finish Divergence and get that particular monkey off my back.
  4. Write 5000 words a week of fiction.
  5. Write at least one blog post a week and cross post it to Google plus.

Goals IRL: 

  1. Keep up 4.0 GPA in coursework for Technical Writing.
  2. Get house up for sale in Spring.
  3. Continue paying down debt and get all paid off by end of 2012.
  4. Continue growing clientele for iPad/Mac sessions.

And in case you’re wondering, this does’t count as the blog post for the week. I’m going to start weeks on Monday.

So, here are my goals. Good Luck with yours, if you’ve made any.





A Little Wednesday Whimsy

7 12 2011

I was wandering through some interesting links and stories on the internet this afternoon and came across a delightful little story.

An unknown person had started leaving paper sculptures made from books in several different libraries and museums around Edinburgh like this one.

Image

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisdonia/6076308161/

They all came with notes from the artist conveying support of libraries and the other places that the sculptures were left. They’re all so detailed and so beautiful that, as far as I know, they’re on display for the public to marvel over at each location.

People love a good mystery and there were always a lot of hidden literary references, combined with the fact that no one knew who did them, it was an irresistible combination and captured the imagination of a lot of people. There was even a poll when a person at one of the locations thought they may know who it was on whether the name should be given. The public actually voted on not knowing who it is. Good for them! There is far too little mystery in the world today.

The whole timeline and pictures of the 9 other sculptures are here,

http://community.thisiscentralstation.com/_Mysterious-paper-sculptures/blog/4991767/126249.html

Enjoy a few moments of Whimsy and mystery (one that is still unsolved and may it be forever that way!)





The strangest things come out over lunch.

2 12 2011

I had lunch with two friends who I’ve known for about 15 years or so. Both married, happily so. We’re the type of friends that have such a comfort level with each other that we can say pretty much anything to each other. Topics ranged from a boob job that one had a few years ago, the tummy tuck the other was considering after two c-sections had left pouch in their wake. All pretty normal things.

Then things took a sexual turn and two  happily married people that I never though would be involved in something and, to my surprise, both were. They’d both gotten involved in this scene independent of each other and both of them were shocked that the other was into it and it was very interesting to be witness to disclosures like that. it was a good reminder that you never really know every facet of either a person or a couple. And because I had information on them that no one else knew, I told them something about myself that only one other person in my real life knows. I’m a good friend like that. =)

It was a good real-world lesson in character depth. That you may think you know your character, but there a facets of them that you consciously haven’t thought about and have the ability to surprise you when you work on developing that character more deeply.

And things that you may not think are mainstream are actually a lot more common that you would ever think. To bring it down to a geek level, I call it the Buffy Test myself. Yes, as in the Vampire Slayer. Bring up that show and you’d be truly stunned the people you think would never watch that show that did/do watch it  and love it.

I like it when people and characters surprise me with hidden depths. How about you?