C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

The publishing revolution already happened.

#SPRT: Write more, faster (plus, a secret identity is revealed)

Tonight, Thursday January 29th, 2015 on the Self-publishing Roundtable, our guest will be super-author and publisher Mat Morris. He types 100-150 words a minute. He leaps over crazy goals in a single bound. 

He’s the nut who wrote 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo IN A SINGLE DAY.

Then he did it twice more!

It’s time to reveal the truth about Mat Morris.

Mat Morris is The Flash!

Clearly, this is the right guy to talk to about productivity. We’ll also cover cool tech tools, making metrics work for you and how to use your limited writing time most efficiently. Everybody needs to see this one.

Mat’s also doing cool experiments, naked and in public.

When he broke the code on writing NaNoWriMo within 24 hours, he livestreamed it and invited the world to watch. This year, he’s going to be doing the same thing all the time, making his writing life transparent. (Ahem, that’s what I meant by naked.)

Mat Morris really breaks down the process on how you can write more books this year by following his strategies, his tactics and his example.

I’ve been recruited as a guest host this week. My function is to…um…I think I’m supposed to make jokes with author Xavier Granville while Mat glowers at us. Author Michelle Read runs the chat room, fires your questions at the guest and generally looks concerned. This will be a fun one.

See you tonight at 10 PM EST!

~ The last All That Chazz Podcast under the old format is up. It’s over and yet (insert tired metaphor of a phoenix rising from the ashes) it isn’t over.

UPDATE: And now the new fast and fun incarnation of the podcast is up! I’m going back to my roots with the new format.

You can check out the podcast, old and new, at AllThatChazz.com and subscribe while you’re there for updates, ARCs and deals. Don’t forget, there’s also the Cool People Podcast which keeps rolling on at CoolPeoplePodcast.com. Make it a happening day, fellow babies!

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Step One in Book Cover Design: Find a Wonderfully Mad Genius…

Striking covers are more important than seeing the author’s whole name. Your name is with the listing of the book, so don’t sweat that. What’s more important? Choose a cover designer with skill, confidence and experience who is easy to work with. For me, that’s award-winning designer Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com.

Thanks for two great covers, Kit. You’re one of Scotland’s national treasures.

I’ve spoken with some of my mastermind group about my omnibus for This Plague of Days and the Hit Man Series. Readers seem to love binge reads these days more than they love serialization. I know some authors are turning to serialization again with the changes that Kindle Unlimited has wrought, but I think you’ll see more omnibuses and box sets as the writing community adjusts, and possibly writes faster than they have done in the past.

Or read the trilogy all at once for one low price.

Read the trilogy all at once for one low price.

~ For more of my mad genius, please subscribe for updates about new books, podcasts and more at AllThatChazz.com. Thanks!

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Defiance is part of your writer’s toolbox, too.

A short post today. Something needs to be said to writers. I touched on it in the video below but, after reading a book about writing recently, I feel the need to reiterate: Enjoy writing. If you aren’t enjoying it, take a little break and refocus.

Too many rules and prescriptions are paralyzing.

Aside from a few okay tips, the writing instruction book got so far into the rules of writing that the act began to feel like a sterile formula instead of a creative juicefest devoid of life. That book on writing and editing was a buzz kill joydrainer. (Juicefest and joydrainer aren’t words in the dictionary. Suck it up, buttercup. I’m feeling feisty.)

Then, after reading a reviewer say a book “had no new concepts,” I didn’t want to write at all. What a tired slam. There are no new concepts in fiction. If there were something truly unique, most readers would hate the book. It’s about plot and character, dialogue and action. A book’s value is not about whether an idea is repeated from another book, TV show, movie, myth or legend in existence. There are a lot of those. 

I’ve written more than sixteen books. Obviously, I enjoy writing. Today, I got tired. I didn’t want to write anymore. I wanted to stop trying. I need to squeeze the crap and frustration out of my head. I’m going to go read something for pleasure now. 

Later, I will write. I will remember the joy.

~ Find my joys at AllThatChazz.com and subscribe for updates, podcasts, deals and more.

Also, here’s this about writing and happiness from the NYT.

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#SPRT Youtube Video: Why Marketing Doesn’t Matter*

Every Thursday night, the wine is poured and the pants come off. Then the Self-publishing Roundtable goes to work on indies helping indies to the best of their ability. Ours is generally a very nice community of writers willing to share and cheer each other on. I had a great time talking to Michelle and Wade and Xavier. Hope you enjoy it, too.

Tune in every Thursday night.

*Kidding, mostly. Marketing matters plenty. However, the takeaway is that even if every marketing scheme, strategy and tactic fails, we’ll still keep writing. We have the infection. Writing is a happy compulsion. Before the kindle came along, I wrote for free and for myself for years. Don’t forget to enjoy the writing process.

~ I have new books coming out frequently, so here’s an idea: hop over to AllThatChazz.com and subscribe for updates, deals, freebies and more. 

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The Ugly Truth About Book Sales

rchazzchute:

Another sobering post on the challenges ahead, but we have to know the course to avoid the dragons.

Originally posted on Leona's Blog of Shadows:

Today I am going to share some eye-opening truths, which might shatter the illusions regarding the book publishing business and crush the dreams of some folk out there. I have recently come across a rather interesting blog post link in the comments section under a post at Suffolk Scribblings blog.

It was a rather grim post by author Kameron Hurley. For those who are not familiar with her, she is an established author who has been a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Locus Award and the BSFA Award for Best Novel. Her short fiction has appeared in prestigious SFF magazines such as Lightspeed, EscapePod, and Strange Horizons. Her fiction has been translated into Romanian, Swedish, Spanish, and Russian. She is also a graduate of Clarion West. Impressive credentials many of us dream about accomplishing some day, if ever.

According to her…

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Filed under: publishing

Publishing: The Next Evolution is…

CORRECTED WAD COVER FINAL

Get a review copy for subscribing! Click this cover, go to AllThatChazz.com and subscribe for updates from Ex Parte Press. Subscribers get a complimentary ebook through Amazon. It’s Holly’s new novella, What Angels Dread, a forboding ghost story about a young actress away at college for the first time. Evil is lurking. It might even be stalking you, too.

One of the myths of independent publishing is that we go it alone. We don’t. Indie authors outsource and trade skills, collaborate, cross-promote and form partnerships. The next evolution is to form collectives and networks.

To expand our reach and range of projects, we need to think about how our varies skill sets can fit together. For instance:

♦ This summer I’ll be in a non-fiction self-help project with multiple writers. That project is headed up by my friend Shermin Kruse, author of Butterfly Stitching. Shermin is an ambitious, connected person determined to make the world a better place by organizing a team. I was shy about working with her, but who could say no to working with such heavy hitters?

♦ I’m writing a new series with a popular author. We both wanted to create another brand that was more focused. Our aspirations fit nicely, 50/50. That series will be under a new pen name for both of us. It’s exciting to experiment, and I’m finding two authors working together multiplies the energy and output. That’s a good thing, too, since we don’t plan to release any books until we have a trilogy.

♦ I just met another author with whom I hope to co-create new podcast episodes as I shift the focus of the All That Chazz podcast. (More on that another time.)

♦ I’m also co-creating the Ghosts and Demons Series with Holly Papandreas, author of Ouija: Based on a True Story.

Check out the Top 100 Kindle Short from my coauthor Holly Pop

Check out the Top 100 Kindle Short from my coauthor Holly Pop.

The first book in that dark fantasy series is The Haunting Lessons. How that partnership came to be is explained at the back of the book, but the short version is, we can all do more by helping each other out, filling holes in each other’s game plan. (Hint: not everyone who writes wants to face all the complexities of publishing, even though they don’t want to find a traditional publisher, either.)

Cool cover, huh? The story is a fast-paced adventure about a girl from Iowa who, following a tragedy, discovers she has supernatural powers that lead her into more and more trouble, like swordplay, dangerous weirdness and inter-dimensional warfare.

NEW THL COVER JAN 2015 COMPLETE

As we face the uncertainties of the book publishing industry, remain calm and carry on. If you’re one of us, you’re going to write no matter what, whether you sell a bunch of books or very few. Relax and enjoy the writing process. There have always been ups and down in writing books and there always will be. You are not alone in your worries and aspirations.

Being a writer can be a lonely business, but it doesn’t have to be. We are not alone. We have each other.

Filed under: author platform, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Self-publishing Roundtable Podcast tonight!

Tonight, January 15th 2015, at 10 PM EST, tune in to the Self-publishing Roundtable. I’m a guest and we’ll be talking about KU, new strategies and what the future holds for us in 2015. It’s interactive so you can chime in in the chat.

Here it is on Google+.

The podcast is all about independent authors helping independent authors. Please do drop in. I’ll be opening up about my approach to the obstacles ahead, what doesn’t work for me and what’s helpful.

Cheers!

~ Chazz

Check out my collaboration with Holly Pop. It's a little This Plague of Days and a little Buffy. Enjoy!

Check out my collaboration with Holly Pop. It’s a little This Plague of Days and a little Buffy. Enjoy!

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5 self-publishing truths few authors talk about

rchazzchute:

Brace yourself. Someone said that, in independent publishing, 2015 will be the Year of the Quitter. I hope it’s the Year of New Solutions. Still, we have to know the challenge before we can meet it, so…

Originally posted on Suffolk Scribblings:

writing-is-hard

One of the hardest thing to watch on social media is an author, usually a debut author, getting excited about their upcoming book launch and knowing they are about to get hit around the head with a hard dose of reality.

They’ve done the right things, built up a twitter or Facebook following, blogged about the book, sent copies out for review, told all their friends about the upcoming launch, pulled together a promo video and graphic, maybe taken out some adverts. The first few days after launch are filled with excited tweets, mentions of early positive reviews and chart rankings. Then, after a few days, maybe a few weeks, the positive tweets stop and an air of desperation sets in as the reality of life as an indie author hits home.

Part of the problem is that the authors most vocal on social media are those that have already seen self-publishing…

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5 Tricks to Keep a Modern Reader Interested

Originally posted on Writing Is Hard Work:

modern readerI can’t count the amount of indie books I’ve started but haven’t finished.  I read everything on Kindle now save a few of my favorites like those in my Tolkien collection (I have all hard-bound editions of those).  If I want to figure out whether I want to read a new book, I download a sample from Amazon and then if I can get interested in the first few pages, I’ll stick with it through the sample, and then if I can read the entire sample and want more, I buy the book.

The thing is, most readers today are reading on phones or Kindles or iPads.  It’s not just the young.  My mother is in her 70’s and reads all of her books on her iPad…and she’s an avid reader.

So how can a modern writer write their novel so that it has that un-put-downable quality that forces the…

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Is blogging dead? To blog or not to blog?

As we move into 2015, I’m reevaluating what works and what doesn’t. In talking with another author, I suggested that blogging is all but dead. I could boost traffic to this blog by posting twice or more each day and pushing hard. However, I’d be luring back many of the same people. Blogging, for me, doesn’t pass the evaluation required by the 80/20 rule. There are ways to blog better and draw more eyeballs, but I don’t think that’s the most efficient use of my time. (Your mileage may vary, as always. I’ve got too many books to create to devote that much writing to blogging.)

It’s not that blogging hasn’t helped me in the past.

If blogging was all I did and if I was working a different business model, it could work. However, the odds against are steep. There is little time and plenty to do and not that many destination blogs. By “destination blogs,” I mean blogs we feel we have to visit every day. The best blogs are those that don’t need to remind you to check them out.

Sure, there are a few blogs that stand out.

I anxiously await the latest from The Passive Voice each day. Seth Godin’s blogs are short, pithy and easily digestible. Copyblogger is a place I should visit. However, the truth is, I only check out a few blogs on a regular basis.

A fellow author challenged my thinking on my stance.

His said blogging isn’t dead. It’s just that too many bloggers do it wrong.

I really took my time thinking about that. If true, that means that most of us are doing a bad job, and by most, I mean a staggering majority. We’re not all that dumb are we? Gee, I hope not. So…

Nope. I don’t buy it. Reading habits have changed from 2006. Those popular blogs are the few outliers. If you don’t have heavy traffic to your blog, don’t feel bad about it. You’re with the vast majority.

What am I doing instead of reading a lot of blogs?

I’m listening to podcasts. We’re listening to Smart Passive Income, the Sell More Books Show and the Rocking Self-publishing Podcast. 

YouTube and podcasts are where the action is. Through podcasts, I’m reaching out to readers on the Cool People Podcast and the All That Chazz Podcast. Blog reading time (and sadly, much book reading time) has been displaced with conversations overheard and videos shared. We’re multitasking, running on treadmills, doing dishes and commuting while listening to conversations from Stitcher and iTunes. Maybe my podcasts aren’t huge, either, but there is less competition there and there are other audiences to reach worldwide.

Besides podcasts, we’re also listening to audiobooks whilst doing the hamster wheel thing at the gym. (So create audiobooks.)

That said, I do continue to blog.

I’ve made a lot of friends through this blog, several of whom I’ve worked with. I came up with two books from this blog. However, my Pareto Principle Assessment stands going forward. I don’t blog every day but, when you subscribe, you’ll get a notice in your inbox when I decide I have something to say. That’s usually 2-3 times a week, not 2-3 times a day.

If you want to build your author platform around your blog, I’m not saying you shouldn’t. I’m saying it’ll take more effort than I’m willing to invest. That’s a project that’s a challenging time management problem and it’s not for me. I do enjoy blogging and, like all my writing, it’s a compulsion and an itch to be scratched.

Going forward, I’ll be creating and co-creating a lot of books this year. The math is, fiction that sells forever has to be the focus.

The choice isn’t really binary, of course, but I’m putting my weight behind more books and podcasts. I’m not alone in this assessment, either. I’ve noticed several more authors who are turning their efforts to video and audio and leaving blogging to trail behind, almost forgotten.

What’s your choice? Have you noticed you are reading blogs and books less and listening more?

Filed under: author platform, blogs & blogging, , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

81 Lessons to help you survive Armageddon.

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

You never know what's real.

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

Write to live

Publish, conquer your fears, inspire others

Build your brand 6 seconds at a time

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

See my books, blogs, links and podcasts.

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