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

Write and publish with love and fury.

The World’s End…and our beginning

TPOD season 1 ecoverFor most, the last milestone of summer just slipped by. Labor Day’s demise means the end of bikinis, bikini dreams and the return to indoctrination centres. But Time’s notches are  artificial milestones, like New year’s resolutions, your anniversary or waiting to start your new diet on Monday morning. If you need to begin again, now is the time whenever now happens to be.

For instance, don’t wait until it’s your anniversary to send flowers. It’ll mean more because it’s not a special day. Any day can be made special, momentous or mundane. Our choices make it so. Let’s take a moment to think about those important choices and a fun Simon Pegg movie.

I saw The World’s End today.

Mostly, I liked it, especially when it didn’t take itself seriously. However, between that and the trailer for Last Vegas, a depressing theme returns. Last Vegas is old guys “getting the band back together” for one last blowout party before making funeral arrangements.

Even the last Bond movie explored mortality’s dark territory. Note to Hollywood: James Bond getting old is something no Bond movie should ever explore. Bond is timeless, cool and indestructible, just like we wish we were. We want a vicarious thrill ride with babes sporting unlikely names, not a vicarious prostate exam.

Comedies that pound on mortality? That’s a hard target. Getting old and worrying about mortality are what doctor’s appointments are for. When I’m guzzling overpriced popcorn, I don’t want a reminder that my time is limited. If the best is behind us, why go forward unless it’s merely out of habit? (Insert Jack Nicholson impression here: “What if this is as good as it gets?”)

So let’s focus on the positive.  

Defy the forces of Time. Ignore Time’s dictates. Do what you want to do. Often, when we aren’t doing what we want to do, we’re forgetting:

  1. our dreams from childhood.
  2. that our time is limited.
  3. who we are.

Reality check: But most of us can’t do all we want to do.

As per my last post, I have to start another business to shore up Ex Parte Press. But I haven’t forgotten childhood dreams, mortality or who I am. Simon Pegg (whom I love, but geez, man!) wouldn’t let me forget, even as I tried escape into a movie to forget my problems for a couple of hours. It’s not Simon’s fault, though. I identified too much with the film’s immature main character crying out, “We want to be free!” and “They told me when to go to bed!” 

I’m still working toward my dreams and freedom. I’m still writing brain tickles and suspense. I hope you’re undeterred and writing madly, too.

If not, don’t wait.

Begin again.

Now.

Live a life full of new beginnings and you can ignore what happens just before the credits roll.

~ Robert Chazz Chute is the author of a bunch of books. His neural net fires into the dark wildly. He does not wear collars. He eschews ties. If you want an easier, happier life, those are bad bets but a jerk’s gotta do what a jerk’s gotta do.

 

 

 

Filed under: getting it done, publishing, Writers, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reminder: To plug your book…

…in two of my upcoming books, all you have to do is give me one happy line about ChazzWrites.com. (See the post below this one.)

In other news, a little post about Joe Rogan, inspiration, change and Here Comes the Boom from AllThatChazz.com.

Strap in! Here come the books!

 

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

Self-publishing: The gold rush is not over. Believe.

Logo of LIFE magazine.

Image via Wikipedia

A couple of indie publishers have expressed concerns about the whole self-publishing venture lately.“Concerns” is too weak a word. They’re talking like the self-publishing revolution is over and already lost, an infant succumbed to Crib Death. It was, they say, a gold rush and only those who got in early with paranormal romance and lame thrillers made it big (or at all.) As I embark on a new career in self-publishing, it’s pretty scary to hear people you respect talk like they might fold their cards and curl up like cute little hedgehogs poked with a stick.

Writing a great book is always the main problem. If you don’t have that, there really is no hope. Then there’s the problem of obscurity. How will people find your great book? The easiest way to be a bestseller is to already be a bestseller, so that’s no use to most of us. What to do? Nobody knows how to make anything “go viral” unless it involves a basket of kittens in danger of being crushed by an anvil. (You wince at that image, but you’d click that link on YouTube, if only to express your outrage.)

Self-publishers must believe in themselves and their work, especially when it is unreasonable to do so. To be heard, to go viral, to get any attention at all, we must engage with others, often individually. Such promotional activity eats up a lot of time, but I don’t know any other solid way to do it. (Actually, I do have some other ideas I’m acting upon, TBA soon.)

If your self-publishing strategy isn’t working, you’re going to have change your strategy. Evaluate what you’re publishing and then evaluate again. Do your covers suck? Are you publishing to your taste without regard to your audience? Do you have an identifiable audience you can reach out to? What do you have to do differently to make this crazy Scooby Gang scheme work? (Hint: It’s not what you have been doing, more and louder.)

If you don’t find that hope you once had, what will you do? Take up selling real estate and self-loathing? No. We write because we must write. It wasn’t really a choice. Giving up and doing something else is a choice, but if you’re here, the writing bug sank its fangs in early and that burning venom never leaves the body.

No whining or blaming. I’m sympathetic to problems in self-publishing, of course. I was in traditional publishing for years, sold a lot of books for others and eventually got fed up with the hierarchy. Now that I’ve switched to self-publishing, it’s all shiny and new and I’m full of foolish missionary zeal and silly hope and I haven’t been worn down by grim reality yet. I get that. But what are the alternatives to getting fatigued by the Sisyphian task of promoting your books in an environment where most people think your babies are ugly and your promotional efforts are spam?

Start with unreasonable hope. Move on from there to taking a refreshing break (possibly with peers over scotch) and some reevaluation time to figure out how you’ll change your game. Don’t put down the slush of ebooks that obscure your precious work. Rise above it by being just that damn good. If what you’re doing isn’t working, find alternative paths to indie success. Retitle your book to something catchier. Get a power endorsement from someone you might now think is inaccessible. Figure out what successful people are doing and model your strategy on theirs.

I haven’t sold a lot of my books yet. I’m maintaining the delusion that I will until I make these lies I tell myself true. Steve Jobs had a Reality Distortion Field to motivate himself and others to believe they could accomplish big things. We need to energize our own Reality Distortion Fields. That’s what gets this crappy reality bent to the reality you want.

Comfort yourself in knowing that the gold rush isn’t over. It’s barely begun. When I go out in the world with my Kindle, people still slow down and say, “What’s that?” Last Christmas, readers got a big boost. There will be another big boost this Christmas in e-reader sales. Buck up. Believe.

Remember when you started self-publishing and were innocent of the struggle? Find that person in the mirror. You’re going to need him or her to face getting that big rock up that big hill. If it be a failure, make it glorious so you’ll know you really tried. The most powerful words I know are, “Begin again.”

If you’re indie, you are not a cute little hedgehog.

You are a lion.

Click here to get your free sample of Self-help for Stoners, Stuff to Read When You’re High

Filed under: DIY, e-reader, ebooks, getting it done, self-publishing, What about Chazz?, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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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