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

See all my books at AllThatChazz.com.

Write. Commit. Do.

Last Saturday night I went for a long walk with She Who Must be Obeyed. We talked about the future.  I’d analyzed the finances. I’d considered my options. Now I have  a plan. I’ve been on both sides of the argument for and against self-publishing (and a lot of those arguments against were good objections when they were true not so long ago.)

It’s time for some grown-up decisions since I’ve been a kid in long pants for some time now. I have a manuscript to publish. Well, several, actually (and plans for more.) What to do with them though?

I’ve read Seth Godin, JA Konrath, Dean Wesley Smith, Barry Eisler and Cory Doctorow. I’ve read multiple defences of the status quo from legacy publishing. In the end, the latter were not convincing. I’ve spoken to Rebecca Senese about her experience with Smashwords and Jeff Bennington blogged in this space about Lightning Source. I kept an open mind as long as I could and decided I have to jump. Now.

Inspired by Kevin Smith, I see where the puck is going and I will not chase after where the puck has been. I’ve decided to pick myself, go big, go indie and publish my books myself. I’ll be using Smashwords and Lightning Source.

What are the main reasons I’m committing to indie? I’m looking forward to having the first book out by November. Traditional publishing would take much, much longer than that even if I struck a deal tomorrow (and the royalty rates are not favorable.)

I have had mainstream interest in the first book. I was concerned that self-publishing is seen by some as cheating the system, an evasion of gatekeepers who ensure quality. As I’ve explained in previous posts, I reject that premise.

JA Konrath ran the numbers. Ross Laird was very persuasive. Barry Eisler really got my attention when he said opting for self-publishing came down to a business decision versus an ego decision. That rang true for me personally.

Self-publishing is not the quick route to publication some people think it is. I won’t be skipping lightly over editing. I’ll be doing most everything a traditional publisher would do. I’m a tad intimidated by the tech side of things, but I’m a smart guy. I can generally figure most things out or ask for help. And I worked inside traditional publishing for five years so I’m not intimidated by a lot of things that would worry others. I’ve written and published a lot already so I’m not going in starry-eyed. But I am optimistic and excited. Much of the time, this is going to be fun!

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go with a New York publisher, a Canadian press, a university press, a small press or a micro press. I am saying this is the right choice for me because it suits my temperament and it suits the material (cross-genre, late YA with humor and sex, drugs and school bullying wrapped up with some literary pretensions.) Books coming later fall into horror (a plague’s coming so buckle up) and two fantasies (one with a vampire cannibal cult, the other is angels in the End of Days). Also, there’s a sexy and occasionally horror-oriented short story collection. Down the road I can see two non-fiction books, as well. Lots to do.

This is my time (before it’s too late…I hope.) I’ve started up several businesses to  employ myself. I haven’t had a “real” job working for someone else since 1991! I’m used to living on the edge of the real world. Self-publishing is for me. It might not be for you. I need choice and independence. I need to be a control freak about some things. (Okay, a lot of things.)

So, thank you to everyone who responded to my Twitter announcement last week with such kind wishes.

And before anybody tries jumping on my head about my decision,

let’s try this:

I’ll be me. You be you.

Filed under: My fiction, self-publishing, short stories, , , , , , , , , ,

The Heart of the Matter: Ebooks and Self-Publishing Part 2 – Another Dialog Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath

The Heart of the Matter: Ebooks and Self-Publishing Part 2 – Another Dialog Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath.


Here’s a conversation all writers should grok. This is a long read, but worth it.

Filed under: authors, Books, DIY, ebooks, publishing, Writers, writing tips, , , , , ,

The Big Authors Begin To Bolt – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

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This will blow you away. $30,000 a year for a short story? And to think I have boxes of short stories around the house to hold the edges of carpets down.

The Big Authors Begin To Bolt – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.

Love the delicious little dig at publishing at the end of Sullivan’s article. Hm. I’ll have to read more from Sullivan on this topic to see precisely what he’s on about.

Filed under: authors, blogs & blogging, DIY, ebooks, links, Media, publishing, Rant, writing tips, , , , ,

Writers: Chazz Law versus Masnick’s Law

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Thanks for all the nice feedback and e-mails about Monday’s blog post on Amanda Hocking. There was so much, in fact, that I need to do a follow-up about the mistakes we make when we compare our potential for success with another’s. Some people see another author’s success as a door slamming shut on their own noses. These are people who believe Masnick’s Law (which comes from the music industry.) The idea is that only a certain band at a certain time had certain advantages that can’t be replicated. They came along at the right time or had just the right choice of sound, or the moon was in alignment with the stars etc.,….

In other words, if they make it, you won’t.


You might make it in a different way (Elvis ≠The Beatles) but if you have a great book, success can be yours. Amanda Hocking isn’t stopping you from succeeding. Not writing your book is keeping you from succeeding. (Not revising or hiring an editor, too.) Hocking took a machete and cut a path into the jungle. JA Konrath, Barry Eisler and many other authors who went the self-published way are forging ahead. When you see others succeed, take it as inspiration. Masnick’s Law isn’t a law. It’s a self-defeating fallacy.


Art inspires more art.

Read it.

Rock it.

Roll it out.

(And don’t be a wuss.)

Filed under: authors, Books, DIY, ebooks, Editing, Editors, getting it done, links, publishing, Rant, Rejection, self-publishing, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Amanda Hocking Effect: She didn’t sell out. Trad publishing bought in.

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Successful e-book author Amanda Hocking has signed a six-figure deal with a traditional publisher, St. Martin’s Press. No sooner was it announced,  some haters emerged in website comments sections. I’m pleased to say that most people were happy for Ms. Hocking—as they should be—but of course there were some trolls, one of whom said she was a sell-out and a traitor to the digital revolution’s cause.

The haters are wrong about that and here’s why: Ms. Hocking got to be a big-time author because of e-books, but she never signed up to lead a revolution. She just signed up to get readers for her books. Good for her! The traditional publishing model is useful to big-time authors and due to her solitary efforts, she is a big-time author. The larger issue is that publishing often falls down when the author’s success does not qualify as stellar.

I don’t see that this deal speaks to the limits of self-publishing at all. The deal must have been sweet because, as I pointed out not more than a week or so ago, with her 70% cut through Amazon, publishers would have to back up a truck full of money and provide an army of logistical support to justify any deal with that author. St. Martin’s is one of the few publishers big enough to provide that scale of mucho macho mojo. Hocking tried to get published the traditional way first and mainstream publishing turned her down. She proved herself worthy doing it her way. Now she can focus more on writing and less on the business side of publishing. Writers love to write first, and most of us only become entrepreneurs by necessity and circumstance.

Look deeper into the implications of this deal. Amanda Hocking didn’t sell out. Traditional publishing did. Hemorrhaging money fuel due to Wall Street’s global economic destruction spree, publishers cut back on editors and squeezed the mid-list authors. They failed to adapt to the changing digital environment to preserve the old media model as long as possible.  Many of those mid-list authors got squeezed right into self-publishing. For those with some experience and an entrepreneurial bent, the water over in digital publishing can be nice and warm.

Another author, Barry Eisler, recently walked away from a $500,000 deal because he decided he could make more on his own. Also, good for him. One of the joys of self-publishing is maintaining control and choice. Whether you choose to stay outside trad publishing or sign a contract, you’re making the best choices for you.

Amanda Hocking didn’t sell out. She made traditional publishing buy in.

(And she’s consistently more gracious about it than I would be. )


Filed under: authors, Books, DIY, ebooks, publishing, Rejection, Useful writing links, Writers, , , , , , , , , , ,

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

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

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

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.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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