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

Write and publish with love and fury.

TOP 10 Better Business Systems for Authors: Paradigm Shift

FYI: There’s free stuff for you at the end of this super important post so, y’know, hang in for that.

There’s a lot of talk about “getting your head screwed on straight” to deal with the business challenges of indie publishing. We’re told we have to cultivate the right attitude and mindset before we can do anything effectively. If that’s true, how come so many authors are out on a ledge? Maybe we’re proceeding from a false premise. How about we do what grown-up businesses do and stop talking quite so much about “mindset”? Let’s talk more about getting shit done and done well and on time with less hassle. That will change your mindset.

Let’s turn our prevailing paradigm and some frowns upside down. Let’s talk systems.

You’ll have a better mindset once you set up systems and deal with the mechanics of your business effectively. If you aren’t managing your time, others will impose their schedules on you. A stranger’s top priority is not achieving your goals. They’re trying to achieve their goals. If your mood is dependent on your latest review, the state of your mind and therefore your productivity is being outsourced to more strangers, some of whom are troglodytic wackadoodles.

Here are my suggestions to get in control.

Do this stuff and you won’t have to self-medicate, eat, meditate and worry so much:

1. Record your income and expenses as you go and there’s no tax time suck in April.

2. Defend your writing time and keep it sacred. Not just for you. Others must know you’re at work. Use Google Calendar, for instance, and stick to it. This is Art. It’s also a Job.

3. Let your team know your production schedule so editorial, artwork and marketing decisions are not made in a panic. The last minute is not your friend. More accidents and errors occur in the last minute.

4. Set writing deadlines because you’ll get more done. It’s not arbitrary, it’s essential. You’ll write more books if you stick to deadlines.

5. Email isn’t for all day. Constantly checking email drains energy and time. Stop that and schedule that task, like you’re about to schedule all tasks. (See #2 and act on it.)

6. Social media are for in-between times. It’s fine to stop to make a six second Vine when you take a break. It’s professional suicide to get drawn into endless surfing of funny videos. Vine, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are never done, so you have to set the time limit and stop. Remain in control and stop being such a massive consumer. You’re a producer. You make and sell stuff. 

7. Stop checking your sales stats and do more to change those stats. There is a time to check stats, but there’s no reason to check them often and certainly not several times a day. Writers write and producers produce. Write and produce so you meet your deadlines and send that brilliance out into the world.

8. If reviews drain energy instead of boosting you up, don’t read them more than once. Every group has its culture. If you find the tone of a review site is degrading you, your work and your mood, focus on your work, not the website.

9. Automate what you can so you are not constantly putting out fires. Schedule posts for the future, outline and plot and plan ahead. Use auto-responders and FAQ templates. Save your answers in a template so you can stop starting from scratch every time when someone comes looking for help. Solve each problem and resolve each query once so you don’t have to repeat yourself. Establish SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and record them in a step by step list so you don’t have to relearn how to format with each new book.

10. Outsource what you can so you don’t major in your minor. Some authors use virtual assistants for research, marketing, formatting and minutiae. Admit that you can’t be good at everything and don’t even try to do it all alone. Graphic designers are better at covers than you are because that’s what they do all day. Let them take care of that so you major in your major.

Outsourcing frees time to write, but it also allows others to use their expertise on your books and business. The term independent publisher means you’re the boss. It doesn’t mean you work alone. That’s why I prefer “indie publisher” to “self-publisher.” There’s a mindset change that’s worthwhile.

FREE STUFF

~ Have a new All That Chazz Podcast, free, now and here. Check it out to discover why this podcast is like bad sex.

~ Oh, and have a free thriller on me, too. Grab your complimentary journey into funny, fast and hardboiled action here and sign up for more at AllThatChazz.com.

Filed under: author platform, business, publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

20 on Book Publishing, 1 on Making Money and 1 for a laugh

We’ve all listened to the Rocking Self-publishing Podcast, The Sell More Books Show and Self-publishing Podcast. However, there are more than those three. Here are some more publishing podcasts to look into:

1. The Digital Publishing Podcast (it’s on hiatus but listen to the archives)

2. Dead Robots Society

3. The Kindle Chronicles (Check out the latest Seth Godin interview!)

4. Self-publishing Answers

5. Writers Rebellion

6. Ebook Publishing Podcast

7. Books, Business and Beyond

8. Write 2B Read

9. Buddy’s Writing Show

10. Self-Publishing Questions

11. The Creative Penn Podcast (Listening now to The Story Grid with Joanna Penn’s guest, Shawn Coyne.)

12. Arm Cast Dead Sexy Horror Podcast

13. The Publishing Profits Podcast

14. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast

15. And every Thursday at 10 PM EST, listen to the Self-publishing Roundtable. 

16. The Writing Biz

17. The Author Biz (Check out the latest interview with Kristine Katherine Rusch!)

Overwhelming isn’t it?

Just remember to write first. Podcasts are for treadmills, washing dishes, driving and down time.

I have two more recommendations. Though it’s not specific to self-publishing, I’d say we all have to listen to Pat Flynn’s podcast, Smart Passive Income.

Then, a palate cleanser. How about a little comedy? Last week’s target was Sarah Palin. This week, zee vorld!

Yes, I changed the format to the All That Chazz Podcast. Check out the latest episode here and have a laugh.

~ Robert Chazz Chute is your friendly lunatic suspense novelist. Find my weird at AllThatChazz.com.

UPDATE:

The first book about my funny assassin trying to get out of the mob is now finally FREE! Click the cover to grab it now!

Bigger_Than_Jesus_Cover_for_Kindle

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dystopian Braingasm: For word nerds and horror readers who love autistic heroes

Click it to grab it free before midnight tomorrow night!

Click it to grab it free before midnight tomorrow night!

It’s time to glimpse your future. The plague is coming. The pandemic will hit us in waves. One strange boy with hidden talents will determine whether this is the end of the world or the just the end of the world as we know it.

Get Episode One of This Plague of Days free until midnight tomorrow night.

Horror lovers have plenty of surprises ahead with this dystopian serial. The infected are not what you expect and the heroes and villains of this zombie apocalypse are like nothing you’ve experienced.

Jaimie Spencer is a selective mute on the autistic spectrum. Read Episode One for free now and find out why parents of autistic children love This Plague of Days.

A savage virus spreads around the globe and society collapses. In Britain, the story has the flavor of the international thriller. In America’s heartland, you’ll see what happens when the Sutr plague comes for a family just like yours.

This serial is two books in one on a collision course.

Five stars from reviewers:

“Not your average Zombie story!”

*

I think this storyline is brilliant. It’s not your cliched, run-of-the-mill zombie apocalypse story. It’s character driven. It’s cerebral. It’s awesome.

The first episode of This Plague of Days is the perfect balance of back story, anecdotes, and the events of the present crisis. Jaimie, the main character, is fantastically written and surprisingly well thought out.

*

Plague of Days Episode 1 takes the reader into a new perspective-the autistic. A different concept, refreshing as well as illustrating the challenges faced in real life as well as in fiction.

*

I’ve read and watched several zombie novels and TV shows. This one is told from a unique perspective and I can’t wait to read the next episode. I think this would translate to a miniseries!

Can't have just one chip? Season One has five episodes. Get each one for 99 cents or get all of Season One at a discount for $3.99. Season Two hits this September.

Can’t have just one chip? Season One has five episodes. Get each one for 99 cents or get all of Season One at a discount for $3.99. Season Two hits this September.

~ Robert Chazz Chute is a former journalist, columnist and podcaster. This Plague of Days is his ninth book. 

Filed under: free ebooks, publishing, Science Fiction, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

#Giveaway: The Free Download Experiment

I’m conducting an experiment with my blogs and Vine account with this giveaway.

I’m giving Murders Among Dead Trees to you for free until midnight May 13th on Amazon (assuming that you might like weird suspense with 57 flavors.)

This gift is coming and going fast (that’s part of the experiment), so please act now and click the pretty cover. Hope you love it.

 

Free until midnight May 13!

Free until midnight May 13!

There’s lot of strangeness in Murders Among Dead Trees.

It’s huge, so if you don’t like the flavor of one story, the next one might appeal to the inner demon you’re pretending isn’t there. (That’s adorable, by the way.)

If you like the book, please review it.

Thanks! Enjoy!

Filed under: book marketing, Books, self-publishing, Vine, , , , , , , , , , , ,

We now interrupt this program with tofu goats and what can be done about the Apocalypse

Free until tonight at midnight! Enjoy the last Christmas giveaway while you can.

Free until Friday at midnight! Enjoy the last Christmas giveaway while you can.

And now, to avoid the Apocalypse, I’m asking for a small sacrifice:

Could you please go to this link for Murders Among Dead Trees and click it to get it?

(In the UK, use this link to drink my hot chocolate stories of Bad versus Evil.)

 This collection of short stories is free

until Friday, December 21st at midnight

and packed with awesome fiction about friction. It’s often paranormal or at least strange. Everything looks normal until you look closer. I revised, edited again, added a sneak peek of a future book and topped it off with lots of behind-the-curtains commentary. 

Also appreciated:

Click the LIKE button or add it to your wish list. Even if you hate my stinking guts and won’t get it or ever read it, this is a rare situation where wishing helps. Finally, you could even click the “Agree with these tags” button toward the bottom of the page. These things help get Amazon’s attention.

It’s that or the Mayan Apocalypse, people! Or send a virgin goat to appease me…oh. That sounded bad. I should be clear that I intend to eat these goats, so a virgin tofu goat would also do nicely. Thank you.

That’s right. I’m so damn powerful, I can stop the Apocalypse, but to move up the Amazon rankings by giving away stuff for free? Surprisingly difficult. These are some quirky superpowers I’m rocking here.

Okay, look. I don’t want anyone to worry and I’m not going to lie to you. Whether you help out or not, I promise to save the earth from the angry Mayan god, Lex Luthor or Galactus or whatever. I don’t really expect payment for doing the right thing. Like Spider-Man, “Action is his reward” and all that. Sigh…still…well, just so you know I’m not totally douchey, that’s all. Thanks for your help if you so choose. Thanks for your consideration.

PS: Virgin Tofu Goats is the new name for my band. 

PPS: Won’t it be great to get past this? We’ve had a year of talk about the Mayan Apocalypse and after this, we’ll never have to hear a word about the Mayans again. You’re a footnote of a hoax of history and superstition! Take that Mayans! You and your funny plant hats. Ha!

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Author of Cybrgrrl, Maxwell Cynn

“You will laugh your ass off!” ~ Author of Cybrgrrl, Maxwell Cynn

~Robert Chazz Chute is a crime novelist and suspense author who just received two new five-star reviews for the Hit Man Series books, but his bestseller is still Self-help for Stoners. (You don’t have to be a stoner to love it.) He’s still feeling so good about these developments, he’s writing about himself in the third person. Weird. And all that goat talk steered in a disturbing direction for a moment there, didn’t it? Hear his podcasts or learn more about all his books at AllThatChazz.com.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Another Slice of the Writing Life: Everlast is my soundtrack

A quick-moving plot with lots of surprises and a clear-eyed examination of addiction.

A quick-moving plot with lots of surprises and a clear-eyed examination of addiction.

Listening to: Everlast‘s I Get By

Thinking about: My to-do list

Wishing I had: A to-don’t list

Regretting: How much Christmas shopping I had to do at the Dollar Store

Impressed by: How much Christmas shopping I did at the Dollar Store

Believing in: The power of Coffee and what we can do for each other

Daunted by: How many steps I have to take to satisfy the Fitbit‘s demand of 10,000 steps today

Looking forward to: Writing Hollywood Jesus

Feeling bad about: My little boy asked if I would work through Christmas Eve (No. I’ll be with you and the family, son. Promise.)

Grateful for: Readers and listeners

Hoping for: Happy buyers, Likes & getting added to Wish Lists

Waiting for: A mailing address to send off a promo copy of Higher Than Jesus

Scared of: Revising my apocalyptic coming-of-age thriller (It’s ambitious and huge)

Glad of: Completing the last (and maybe the oddest) All That Chazz podcast of 2012

Sad about: Newtown

Happy about: The Masquerade Crew helping to make My Year in Indie Publishing: Lessons learned go viral

Ecstatic about: ChazzWrites.com is a finalist for Best Self-publishing Blog of 2012 (and please consider reading the blogs on this list.)

Getting: Back to work

Murders+Among+Dead+Trees+1121-1~ Robert Chazz Chute is a crime novelist and suspense writer who has eight books for sale, one of which is free until Friday at midnight. Get a detailed rundown on the paranormal suspense and strange contemporary fiction in Murders Among Dead Trees here.

Or take a darn chance and download Murders Among Dead Trees free here. 

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Book Marketing: World Literary Cafe Tweet Teams and how to tweet more effectively

More tips and tricks to steer your authorship. This book is free to you until Saturday! Please click to get it now.

More tips and tricks to steer your authorship. This book is free to you until Saturday! Please click to get it now.

 You can now vote for the funniest and bestest entry in the Seven Words or Less Contest to determine who gets their name in my next thriller, Hollywood Jesus. Just take a look at the comment thread here and email your vote for the best entry to expartepress AT gmail DOT com. Enjoy!

Do you use World Literary Cafe Tweet Teams? It’s a free promotional tool for authors and, with Christmas approaching, I see a lot of new faces over there today. To use the tool, go to the Tweet Teams menu at World Literary Cafe. Each team has ten members, so you’ll tweet nine others through the day and they’ll tweet you in return. Here’s how it works to spread your word:

1. You will input two Twitter-friendly messages, so make sure you stay under 140 characters. (When people don’t, it’s annoying and I feel bad editing the author’s tweet to make it fit.)

2. Your message must begin with RT @yourtwittername and end with #WLCAuthor

3. Tweet all your team members the same day. Use TweetDeck or some other tweet scheduling program so you don’t beat your Twitter following over the head too hard.

4. You must also tweet the WLC daily tweets as a payment and courtesy to the folks at WLC. They provide and maintain this service free, so do that. They do a lot for authors at World Literary Cafe, so check out all their services. They’re useful for lots more besides Tweet Teams.

5. Please read and reread the instructions carefully to make sure you’re compliant with the rules. Daily tweets are randomly audited to make sure everybody plays fair.

Those are the basics, but I’d like to add something more: Add something more to your tweets besides, “Here’s my book + Amazon link.” I understand doing it that way. I’m not saying don’t. I’m saying do something more and different. If that’s all you tweet, it’s not seductive. I see some curmudgeons handwring over how much Christmas book spam clots our Twitter feeds. As I’ve said before, I’m not some tweet narc telling you what to do. However, there’s stuff you can do to tweet more effectively. For instance: 

People like gifts. Do a giveaway so you’re giving them a sample of what you’re about:

RT @rchazzchute FREEBIE! Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire Jedi mind tricks to get it all done + much more http://amzn.to/TuXSxB #WLCAuthor 

RT @rchazzchute Free to download Write Your Book Top 10s so writers become authors, #promotip tools http://amzn.to/TuXSxB #WLCAuthor #inspire

RT @rchazzchute #GIVEAWAY Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire For anyone who wants to #publish http://amzn.to/TuXSxB #WLCAuthor #Amazon #free

Instead of just tweeting “Orangeberry Book Tour”, make it funny or informative: 

RT @rchazzchute Author interview for the #crime thriller Higher Than Jesus  at http://www.ravinaandreakurian.com #WLCAuthor #hardboiled #sex & #violence

 Or send them to a useful link on your blog or a podcast:

 RT @rchazzchute #PODCAST The Death by Ewok Edition #Unicycling is cool http://bit.ly/UQOLYK #WLCAuthor + free book @ #writing & #publishing

 RT @rchazzchute Marketing Your Book: #11 is really harsh. Sorry. http://bit.ly/X2QAzw #WLCAuthor plus a #free book @ #writing & #publishing

Sure, it powers your tweet if you’ve got a podcast or your free Amazon days are on, but you’ve got a blog so bring them back there a bit  instead of just shooting out the sales link without context. Give people a chance to fall in love with you a little. If they like your tone, your information, book covers or even your amazing eyebrows in your author photo, that’s a better shot at a sale.

Some of those curmudgeons I mentioned don’t like quotes from books showing up in tweets. So what? I love quotes. If you love it (and have compelling quotes that nab eyeballs, hearts and minds) then go ahead and do that. And if you don’t love it, don’t do it and unsubscribe. This is the Internet. There aren’t many rules, only guidelines. That’s why I love the Internet. 

Think about what works on you. What compels you to click a link? Then do that.

How about it? Really. What does make you click a link? Does it all come down to the title of the book, area of interest or mentions of sloth genitalia? Today I mentioned that the book that I’m giving away cures bad breath, pigeon toes and athlete’s genitalia. That worked.

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Author of Cybrgrrl, Maxwell Cynn

“You will laugh your ass off!” ~ Author of Cybrgrrl, Maxwell Cynn

~ Robert Chazz Chute is the author of books about writing and publishing, the Hit Man Series, suspense and very quirky self-help. Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire is free until Saturday. Since you’ve endured reading all the way down here, you’ll no doubt grok it. Grab the giveaway here and if you love it, please review it. Cheers!

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Author interview with Robert Chazz Chute

Over at Forgotten Realms, a fun interview awaits, including why the people at Staples were so mean to me last week.

I’d never been asked free association questions before. Tarek asked  “Child?” I thought “Money.” “Ocean?” “My answer was, “South Pacific”, but I meant the musical. My next thought was SpongeBob. Of course I also talk about Higher Than Jesus: bigger, even funnier, more hardboiled, more skip tracer tricks and The Major Chapter of Sex will melt your wallpaper.

By the way, Bigger Than Jesus, the first funny, clever, hardboiled thriller in the Hit Man Series is free this week! That’s right! FREE, until Nov. 9. Click it to grab it. If you love it, please review it. Thanks! 

Filed under: Author profiles, Books, , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

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

See my books, blogs, links and podcasts.

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