Scalzi says it well. 

addendum: so does Chuck.

I want to make money in my chosen career. I want my books to sell like crazy.

I've made a lot of art over the years; I'm kind of over the "finished product." Not that I don't love seeing Draken in all his hardback print glory. Just, I've been there before. I've seen my art installed in homes. I've seen my books before. When it gets down to the actual art, my heart is in the process.

When the process is finished, then I want some money for my efforts.

It's not a crime, you know.

I also want to be famous, or at least famouser than I am now. Not that I love the adoration (okay, I loves it a little bit) but because the famouser I am the more people who have read my books and the more money I've made.

Funny thing is, the more I read, the more I'm convinced that two things help me become more famouser and make more money: Writing and Appearances, in that order.

My primary job is a writer. I think it's bullshit to spend much time promoting. I have a pretty stringent daily word count goal for myself (and climbing weekly). So far that's going really well. And it's clear to me now that writing new fiction not only makes me money on that new fiction, but it makes me money on my old fiction. Backlist is important and I'm working to build one.

Appearances are important to get me, and keep me, in the book-buyer's mind. They can be online, sure (I plan a little blitzkrieg throughout February) but also public appearances are important. Nothing beats a grin and a handshake (preferably over beers).

Facebook should be called fucking-around-book for all the good it does me. 800 friends but it doesn't scale and never has. Twitter...we'll see. I'm trying to do more there. G+ seems to be gaining some steam but really, while I love writer friends, I need reader friends. Goodreads...meh. Word on the street is Goodreads is mean but I'm not sure about that. I just find it clunky and boring. I will be doing a giveaway starting next week there of EXILE.

But back to writing, my appearances only means a few sales to me right now because I only have two novels of note (the other three novellas are under a different name), and I'm not even sure what the crossover sales would be between my two novels at the moment.

So yeah. I'm off to write. 

Thoughts on all this stuff??


Stephen Parrish said...

I made most of my online friends blogging, but I don't know if I sold any books. Maybe a few. At Facebooger, fewer. At Twitter, none. Twitter kills brain cells.

G+ never got off the ground for me, nor did Tumblr, nor anything else. Goodreads IS mean---the reviews are harsh---but it's a place to pick up readers.

Courtney Schafer said...

I think everything you (and Scalzi) say makes sense. But I also think that hoping for money and fame out of writing is far too often a recipe for stress, depression, and heartbreak. One of the hardest lessons in publishing is that you can write awesome books - have them glowingly reviewed, have readers seem to love them - and yet they may not sell well. When this happens with book after book, I've seen immensely talented authors sink into depression and despair, even abandon the field entirely...all because they'd set their heart on something that was completely out of their control. My own secret to happiness in publishing is to not give a damn about the money. I know, I'm lucky: I've got a great day job, so I can afford to be so cavalier. But man, from what I've seen, it sure makes it more likely I'll survive with soul and happiness intact, no matter what craziness the industry slings my way.

Barbara Lehman Smith said...

Thanks for the candor and the laugh. I agree with you about most sites except for FB but this may be different as I'm a nonfiction writer. I've found info. and people through my book's site there that has led to book-related articles in national and regional magazines. As far at Goodreads, I bought an ad months ago with a budget that is taking FOREVER to run out, and I don't think I will renew as yet. Good luck on your giveaway there though. I've never tried that approach.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Courtney, I think you're absolutely right about not caring about things out of your control. (And I have a husband who will always earn more than me, unless I hit the publishing jackpot...unlikely in Fantasy, heh) However, making enough with several projects to equal an additional income for a family...I think that is feasible for a lot of writers.

Anonymous said...

May the Force be with you, Betsy....