Archive for category The Fiction Writer

Indies, the World, and Anxiety

So, I love independent publishing. When it comes to publishing short works, I find it to be ideal. I like anthologies and magazines, and for any writer they certainly have their value. Both are exposure to a wider market and a way to test the mettle of your work. Will someone else find it worthy?

In the 21st Century, that does not have to be the only avenue of an author wanting to get short works into the hands of readers. It is one of the things I love about independent publishing.

That said … I noticed that the last month or so, I have had modest but steady sales. It has been nice to see and has left me wondering how to turn modest and steady into moderate and steady. Marketing and exposure, obviously, but finding the right way to go about that … affordable, of course, to an indie still coming into her own.

Then the last few days happened and anxiety sets in. The problem with being an indie, I don’t have a marketing arm looking at figures and the market and interpreting what they see so that I understand what is happening.

I can only play guessing games.

UK sales had been strong for me the past month or so. I am wondering with the current events on that side of the pond, if that is affecting my sales at all. I hope not. E-books are not very expensive. I think the highest price book that has been going recently is $1.99. If it is recent happenings in the UK driving sales down – I know how tough things are for me if I am not willing to spend a dollar or two on things.

As anxious as I am about sales, I can’t ignore the news that comes across my feed. Things are turbulent and insecure, maybe more than I had realized.

Everything surrounding Brexit is complex and convoluted. It is also heated and I don’t think it is going to be resolved quickly. In discussing it on this side of the pond, we look at geo-political impacts and lessons we can take as an electorate with our own upcoming election. As with the UK, in the US we have a lot of disillusioned voters. Polls may point one way, but in this environment that is no guarantee of outcome.

In all of that, though, I hope that we don’t forget that for all of the politicians, elections, trades, and regulations, that there is a human element to this. People’s lives are being affected by this in ways we cannot even see.

We can only guess at them through a dashboard.

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Word Count

I started a conversation in a Writer’s Group that I participate in on Facebook. I don’t think, however, that I quite got across the point of what I was asking about.

Here is what I posted to the group:

Why is there a word-count competition?

We talk about word count a lot, as though it is a competition to get books as large as possible.

I have written everything from flash fiction (about 1k) to short stories (anything from 2k – 15k), novellas, and novels (my longest being about 130k words or so).

The storytelling style, the story development, even the enjoyment of the story itself varies between flash-fiction, short stories, novellas, and novels. Even with novels, the style of storytelling is going to vary if your book is 80k, 130k, 180k, the Stand, etc.

So, what do you think happened to the appreciation of both writing and reading the different types of stories?

Is there a way to fix this?

Now, people immediately decided to defend the need for things like:

  • authors monitoring word count
  • word count as a way to differentiate between types of stories
  • complaints against authors who list a 5k story as a “novel”

Read the rest of this entry »

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The perils of being a writer

I keep hearing these voices while I am working. They say things like “I’m hungry,” “meow,” and “spend time with me.”

I turned around today and realized, there are people living in this house. A man, a child, and two cats. They keep looking at me like they expect something from me.

I still haven’t worked out the swollen belly I seem to have acquired. I keep feeling motions inside.

Could be an Alien.

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