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

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Writing: Where the money is

Everybody wonders what the next big thing will be in our expanding industry. In other words, “Where’s the money?”

As it relates to writing as an industry, money looks sparse at first glance. I mean, banking, drugs and guns is where the big money is. However, for our industry? The big money in writing is in the beams and braces. Infrastructure. The money will go to people who service our needs as indies. So ask yourself, what do we need?

1. Book apps. We don’t really understand book apps. Programmers do. Book apps with a subscription service could work, especially for certain authors who are in traditional publishing now but will soon make the leap to self-publishing.

2. Author cooperatives. Box sets may already be on the way out, but I think more authors will share resources and trade skills, either in small, structured groups or as part of a time bank organization, or both.

3. Organization provision: Many of us cringe at the idea of a union because it reeks of gatekeepers. I’d say that’s only because the writers unions that have been proposed for indies so far stink of more gatekeeping. Innovators out to advocate instead of control could do better than that, for us and for themselves.

4. An alternative to ACX that’s more generous to creators. ACX was awesome. Technically, it’s still awesome though the creator share is down. Have you noticed that, since ACX lowered the pay rate, we aren’t talking about ACX near so much anymore? We’re still using it because audiobooks are our future. For some, they’re our today! We’d like more choices and we’d like to get back to the bigger cut, though. (The obstacle is effective distribution, so that will have to be bankrolled.)

5. Selling direct from websites will become more popular. You can use Gumroad to sell digital products now. The problem is, no one wants to sideload their kindle with a pdf. Find a way around that problem and we’ll all be doing it to some degree. Fewer buttons, one click. That’s key.

6. Discoverability tools are more important than information. Make more discoverability tools (like you’ll find at Author Marketing Club, for instance.) Information is free everywhere, including here. Ways to help readers find us are harder to come by.

7. Services that promote indie authors will make money. Bookbub is at the top of the heap now, but BookGorilla is cheaper. The Fussy Librarian is very low cost. if I recall correctly, the latter was built partially in response to Bookbub’s fees. Bookbub has big lists of subscribers, sure, but they have competition and it’s growing because Bookbub is so hard to get into and can be so expensive.

8. The company that finds a way to make it easier for books to be printed and distributed (cheaper, faster and easier than it can be done at present) and get it to libraries and bookstores will make a lot of money. Be the new Lightning Source, for instance, but make it as easy to deal with as CreateSpace. (LS has improved in this regard, but I’ve checked it out and it still feels like a hassle.)

9. Translation houses. Everybody knows foreign language publishing is going to be huge. What we don’t know is whom to trust to translate our work and whom to ask to make sure the translations are any good. We’ll also need people (formerly known as agents) whose sole occupation is dealing in foreign rights sales. The markets are waiting, but most of us aren’t ready.

10. The next destination website for our readers. We need a destination website that operates as a cool magazine that curates our work to readers. We need to provide a way for readers to find us and vice versa. We don’t need another Writer’s Digest. We need a Reader’s Digest, if you will, for our work but catering to readers. If there aren’t click to buy and click to explore buttons at the end of each story or sample, it will still miss the mark.

You could, of course, simply write the next big thing.

We are writers, after all. We don’t want to think about all this tech stuff. That’s why someone with the skills to fulfill these needs will eventually appear and get paid.

If you’re still bent on writing to make money, the trouble is that no one knows what the next big thing really will be. No one saw Fifty Shades of Gray coming. It’s not like it was the first book of erotica to go on sale, but it went huge. Its imitators didn’t make near as much dough. Breaking out is not something you can chase, exactly. It happens to you and there are too many variables outside your control.

Just write the best book you can. When your book is ready, I really hope those trusty translation houses will be up and running and ready for business.

What are your ideas for the support structure our industry needs?

~ The good news. I’m now in the Top 100 Horror Authors on Amazon! The book launch bargains continue for This Plague of Days here. See what all the fuss is about, see the video and find the secret.

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

Writers: Two mavericks to follow (plus a surprising original)

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Are you indie? Are you non-indie but want to increase your awareness of what goes on behind the scenes in the publishing industry? Here are two blogs to follow:

Dean Wesley Smith takes the publishing industry’s engine apart, looks through all the pipes and valves and gives you the goods on what you need to know.

And you need to know what Kristine Kathryn Rusch has to say about making your way as a writer.

BONUS:

There is a guy who got into blogging early. You know him. You’ve seen him. He’s cooler than you thought. And he’s showing others they can self-publish, too.

Click here to find out who I’m talking about.

Filed under: authors, blogs & blogging, Books, DIY, ebooks, links, publishing, Rant, rules of writing, self-publishing, Useful writing links, web reviews, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , ,

Since You Asked: Writing Symposium Link

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The Writer’s Union of Canada e-mail follows. (They requested we spread the word. It just occurred to me I should do just that. You know…here…obviously. Silly of me not to do so earlier. Apologies.) 

 

SPREAD THE WORD!

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is offering the Professional Development Symposium “Secure Footing in a Changing Literary Landscape” in Toronto, St. John’s, Montreal, Ottawa, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria, in February and March of 2011. The symposiums take place from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Even if you have attended a Writers’ Union of Canada workshop in the past, you won’t want to miss this exciting new day-long exploration of the changing literary landscape.

Authors Betsy Warland and Ross Laird will illuminate the new landscape of digital literature and publishing and discuss its impact on traditional modes of creation. Kelly Duffin, the Union’s executive director, will discuss authors’ contracts in the digital age.

This full-day event is designed to address the creative and financial questions that arise as writers navigate print-based and digital literary landscapes. The symposium also explores the importance of community and the need for writers to develop their own writing community.

 Most workshops of this calibre charge hundreds of dollars. The price of this symposium is $75.00 and covers costs, including lunch. For registration information on the city and date closest to you please go to www.writersunion.ca/registration.pdf.  Please circulate this information to writers you think might be interested in coming to this event. Space is limited so register today.

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Filed under: authors, publishing, self-publishing, Writers, Writing Conferences, , , , , , ,

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

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