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

Write and publish with love and fury.

Radio Show: Author Earnings Report and self-inflicted burns

Sure, it’s Valentine’s Day, so naturally you’ll want to…oh, right, we’re 21st century writers. There’s no time for that. So cuddle up with your honey and listen to Friday Night Writes with Tim Baker tonight on Surf 1700 AM Flagler Beach Radio, 8 PM EST. (Use the TuneIn Radio App if, like me, you aren’t in Florida). And if you don’t have a honey, Tim will be a fine substitute, I’m sure.

Tonight’s topic (possibly among other things): The Author Earnings Report

Co-host Armand Rosamilia is off tonight because he actually respects his love life. Without Armand, Tim will have to talk doubly loud as he discusses what’s on everyone’s mind, Hugh Howey’s Author Earnings Report. As detailed in my last post, definitely read the report, please.

Also, make time to read Hugh’s latest blog post, Luck and the Lottery, on some well-meaning alarm about self-publishing’s allure. You can be happy about the Author Earnings Report, but some are concerned your joy might be premature and unbridled.

I think most of those worries are like the instructions you get with a new iron. Company lawyers insist customers be warned not to iron their clothes while they’re still wearing them.

We get it. Most of us really aren’t that dim.

I appreciate the caveats about self-publishing, I really do. In truth, I think just about everybody understands that indie does not equal gold rush. The worries are misplaced.

What about the people who really don’t get it?

They’re probably determined not to get it, either because they’re selling you something or they’re hopelessly deluded and blinded by desperation and greed. You can’t save everyone from themselves and they might kill you if you try.

Hugh Howey is a great advocate for self-publishing, but as he says, he’s also been warning people to be realistic about their expectations for years. Surely he doesn’t have to keep warning them forever, does he?

Luck, as well as your meteoric talent, are involved. There are no guarantees of success where luck is a factor and there are too many variables to control.

Granted.

To which I reply, that’s true of traditional publishing, as well. 

And then there’s this quote from the Author Earnings Report: 

“More writers today are paying bills with their craft than at any other time in human history.”

Traditional publishing hasn’t budged much. What changed? Self-publishing is the new variable.

To me? BOOM! That’s the argument. Done!

~ Did you know I interviewed Hugh for the Cool People Podcast? He’s a really good guy. Give it a listen.

Filed under: author platform, publishing, self-publishing, , , , , , , , ,

Radio Show Reminder: What Not to Say to a Writer

You know that radio show I recommended in the last post?

Friday Night Writes is on tonight (Friday February 7, 2014) and every Friday night at 8 p.m. EST. The topic is “Stupid Things People Say to Writers.” There’s a deep, rich well.

The show is on Surf 1700 Flagler Beach Radio (FlaglerBeachRadio.com.) I listen in on the TuneIn Radio app. It’s not a podcast so you can’t listen to it later. 

What’s my favorite Stupid Thing recently?

I have several to choose from, but I bristled when someone said, “I can’t imagine doing all that by oneself.” The implication of the tone and context was it couldn’t be done or be any good.

Answer: I don’t do it alone. I have a lot of help.

Unlike most podcasts, this is live radio with an active forum so you can comment and ask questions in real time. In that way, it’s a social media thing, too. Authors Tim Baker and Armand Rosamilia will answer questions in between busting each other’s — so, hey! See you tonight!

You’ll get a lot out of it, plus laughs. Don’t forget to bring your own Stupid Things suggestions.

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

The attitude (and the radio show) indie authors need to succeed

This week on a podcast I heard a couple of guys who own a small press quibble over what qualifies as “indie” versus what “self-publishing” is and OH MY THOR! WHO CARES? They don’t understand that any serious self-publisher is a publisher. I know of no one who attacks the challenge alone. We have editors and proofreaders and graphic artists. We recruit volunteers and call on experts. The distinction these podcasters were quibbling about is so two to three years ago and I’m sick of it. We don’t go it alone if we’re to have any chance at succeeding. Truly solitary efforts? Those stinkers sink like lead in a helium sea. They can keep talking. We’ll keep moving forward.

Someone else questioned the use of the word “revolution” in our little make-up-stuff context.

The tagline at ChazzWrites used to be “Join the Publishing Revolution.” I wrote that because the ability to publish and sell directly to readers on a large scale, without traditional gatekeepers, was and remains revolutionary. We’re a young industry, but we keep on proving we’re not as stupid as once accused. We pick ourselves rather than wait for anointment, but no, despite the hype and alarm, we really do understand that publishing is not just a button.

Quite a while ago, I changed the tagline for this blog to: “We are the publishing revolution.”

Since I started this blog, the publishing landscape has changed and we’re getting better. There’s a reason for that growing expertise and success and it’s about you and me and the friends we make.

I’ve never been in a business so firmly entrenched in what Joanna Penn calls “Coopetition.” Writing may be solitary, but publishing is still a team sport. Most indies help other indies. I am not threatened by any author. I’m inspired by them. I read their work. I’m often assisted by them. We’re allies. We have so few resources, we have to band together. The organization is loose and the data flow is more horizontal than vertical. We’re less isolated and we sure aren’t corporate, but you know what?

Banding together is better.

Nobody owes anyone else a helping hand. It’s not about owing. I’m talking about the joy of paying it forward. Sure, there are a few authors who don’t have time to help others. They come off a bit me, me, me. Sometimes that’s a pocket full of earned arrogance and sometimes they were born that way. They’re missing out. Suffering, even. 

Have you ever had the opportunity to help somebody out?

The answer is, of course you have. And when you do help somebody, doesn’t it feel fantastic? It’s a great feeling to pay for a stranger’s coffee at the drive-through. Random acts of kindness aren’t so popular because they help somebody who needs a boost. Random acts of kindness are so popular because they feel just as good (maybe better) for the giver.

As Indies, we need each other. We can’t afford to pay for all the expertise and experience we receive from bloggers, podcasters and fellow authors. But the rising tide of kindness paired with knowledge raises the industry’s boats. I have another recommendation, besides helpful blogs and podcasts.

Here’s a radio show for our revolution:

Friday night (and every Friday night) I listened to Friday Night Writes on Surf 17 on Flagler Beach Radio. Last week, authors Tim Baker and Armand Rosamilia talked about editing with Armand’s editor, Jenny Adams. They laugh a lot on that show and the music’s good, too. The show’s Facebook forum is active, the audience laughs along with them and they answer questions about writing and publishing in a fun way. (So see you all there Friday night. I listen in on the TuneIn Radio app.)

That’s the commercial. Here’s the point:

Writing is fun (or else maybe you’re doing it wrong). Publishing is a serious business populated with fun, intelligent and interesting people. Many of the most generous people I know are growing their readership, blowing up and getting better faster. I don’t think the intersection of generosity and success is a coincidence. Generosity not only feels good. It grows support networks, readers and fans. Energy goes out and comes back, drawing attention, interest and resonance.

We are a generous group. We are writers.

Our revolution is based not on conquering but on love of language and stories. Sharing our love of language and telling stories? It’s not frivolous. Fiction is an important way to keep the darkness at bay. It’s a welcome distraction from what ails us. Each novel is an opportunity to escape reality and a less painful way to better understand life.

We learn and share experiences through our stories. We grow and share and laugh together. We help each other. We entertain strangers from a distance for a long time very inexpensively. We’re givers and that feels awesome. Without cooperation, we would not be here. Generosity is the bedrock of our humanity. 

That’s love. 

We are the revolution we need.

 

Filed under: author platform, Media, publishing, self-publishing, 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

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

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