The Myth of The Lazy Writer by Hugh Howey

Re-Blogged from Publishers Weekly.

The hardest part of getting a book published is the actual writing. All it takes to see this is the number of people who dream of publishing a book but never manage to hammer out a rough draft. I spent 20 years trying to write my first novel before I finally pulled it off. It’s not unusual for an aspiring writer to struggle for years and never produce a finished product to submit to agents or editors.

Once the hard part is done and a draft is written, there are two basic routes a writer can take. Much ink has been spilled over the past few years about the rise of self-publishing—even though the route predates Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin. To self-publish requires hiring cover artists, editors, and typesetters or learning to do these things on one’s own. The difficult task of emailing a cover artist to hire her services is often used to frighten authors away from self-publishing. That’s because there’s a myth that authors are lazy, and a myth that some authors merely write for a living. No such creature has ever existed.

The alternative to self-publishing is to sign over your work to a traditional press. It sources the cover artist, editor, and typesetter for you. In exchange, it takes most of the income. This is sold as a fair deal, especially since it is said that publishers support authors while they write their novels by providing a livable advance. This is yet another myth: authors produce their first works while working another job; they are not given a year’s salary because they have an idea.

Read the rest at Publishers Weekly

Friday's 5 with Tim Aker

Tim Akers was born in deeply rural North Carolina, the only son of a theologian. He moved to Chicago for college, where he lives with his wife. He splits his time between databases and fountain pens.

1.) When did you first get serious about writing?

A.) When I turned 30. I had been talking about being a writer since high school, and had some publishing credits, but on my thirtieth I decided to get serious. I went out and bought copies of every sf/f magazine I could find, started researching the markets, and began researching the various awards, conventions and organizations in the business.

2.) What is the hardest part for you about writing?

A.) Revision. I want to write the next book, no rewrite this one. Ten times.



3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.) Pretty ecstatic at first. But it quickly settled on my mind that it was only one step in the larger project. Writing is something you do over the course of a lifetime, not something you do and then have done and then move on. Being a writer is so much more than one publication.

4.) What is more important to you, story, or character? Why?

A.) I don't think there's anyway to remove one from the other. Characters in a void are just dull, and a story propped up by boring characters are just flash. I don't think you can do one of those things correctly without proper support from the other.

5.) What is a typical day like in your world?

A.)  My wife and I are both self-employed. While that comes with a lot of troubles, from unstable income flows to sketchy health insurance to endless trouble trying to get a loan, it has some pretty unique benefits. We've committed to an alarm clock free lifestyle, so we get up when we're no longer tired and are able to take time off during the day. It's pretty grand. That said, I get at least two or three writing sessions in each day. I can't sit and write for eight hours, so I break my tasks into two or three hour sessions. I don't hold myself to particular goals in those sessions, unless I'm under immediate
deadline. Going to the empty page with no real expectations actually does wonders for my productivity.

Tim can be found online at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JTimothyAkers
Twitter: http://twitter.com/@TimAkers
Website: http://www.TimAkers.net




Kindle Unlimited Thoughts

Re-Blogged from A Newbie's Guide to Publishing

Like everyone else in KDP Select, I've been paying attention to my Kindle Unlimited page reads.

When the new accounting began at the beginning of this month, I had 33,000 daily page reads. I had no idea if this was good, or bad. It was what it was.

But I was intrigued to see my Amazon Author Rank go up. My best rank was #1, but for the past two years I've been hovering around #1000. On June 30 I was #854.

Now I hover around #400. I got to #267 last week, and now I'm at #441.

Since I haven't released any new solo novels in two years (I have three coming out by fall, two Jack Daniels thrillers and a Jack Kilborn horror), the only explanation I have for this jump up was the new KU rules.

By the end of the first week, my daily reads were up to 60,000. By the end of this month, they're at 85,000.

Now, this all could mean absolutely nothing. Maybe my page reads have remained static, and Amazon's new accounting system is simply finding its groove.

Maybe people are finishing my books, and the more they read the more they want to read. Or maybe a lot of people are starting them and not finishing them. The likeliest answer is some readers finish, some don't. Page reads, by themselves, don't give us enough information.

Amazon has the tech to pinpoint how much a reader has read of your work, and where they stopped reading. I've pleaded with Amazon to allow authors access to this information. It would be invaluable. As writers, we've never been privy to how quickly readers read our work, if they finish it, or when they choose to put the book down. I'd love to look at trends. Do I have any books where readers tend to quit before finishing? Where do they quit? I know I could use this information to fix books, make them more reader-friendly, and get a higher page read.

Read the rest at A Newbie's Guide to Publishing
Writing is not a career for the weak. It comes with seemingly everlasting periods of writer’s block, glooming fits of self-doubt and often little recognition or remuneration in return for great dedication. Perhaps the biggest bother, though, is constantly having to defend who you are, what you write and why you write it. For many people, because they know how to write, they carry an assumption that writing is easy. What they don’t realize, however, is that writing, the tool you learn in school and use to jot texts, refrigerator memos and the occasional letter, is quite a ways away from writing, what novelists, poets, journalists and others who connect words professionally do. Read more at http://observer.com/2015/07/tenthingsnottosaytoawriter-hashtag-has-famous-authors-venting-and-bonding-on-twitter/#ixzz3hN0d9fNn Follow us: @observer on Twitter | Observer on Facebook Read more at: http://tr.im/KmiUp
Writing is not a career for the weak. It comes with seemingly everlasting periods of writer’s block, glooming fits of self-doubt and often little recognition or remuneration in return for great dedication. Perhaps the biggest bother, though, is constantly having to defend who you are, what you write and why you write it. For many people, because they know how to write, they carry an assumption that writing is easy. What they don’t realize, however, is that writing, the tool you learn in school and use to jot texts, refrigerator memos and the occasional letter, is quite a ways away from writing, what novelists, poets, journalists and others who connect words professionally do. Read more at http://observer.com/2015/07/tenthingsnottosaytoawriter-hashtag-has-famous-authors-venting-and-bonding-on-twitter/#ixzz3hN0d9fNn Follow us: @observer on Twitter | Observer on Facebook Read more at: http://tr.im/KmiUp

Advice Does Not Equal Rules

Hi, I’m Dev Jarrett. I’ve written a bunch of short stories and a couple of novels. The first novel was Loveless, published by Blood Bound Books in 2013. It’s the story of a ghost haunting a Georgia lake. Permuted Press published my second, called Dark Crescent, just a few days ago. It’s the story of an accidental psychic who uses his talent to prevent a savage murder, then unwittingly becomes the murderer’s next target. Further up the pipeline, my third novel will also be published by Permuted next February. It’s called Casualties, and it’s about a soldier back from Afghanistan who must fight a demon in the Arizona desert. After that, well, who knows? I’m working on a number of other projects at various levels of intensity. Werewolves, dolls, vampires, sea monsters...all those stories and more are coming.

Novice writers, like all artists, are often given stupid advice. “You want to sell books, then...” “...write what you know.” “...you need a strong hook at the beginning.” “...give your readers a character with whom they can identify.” There are at least a hundred others, and most of them come from respected sources. You can find lists of them everywhere, and all those lists claim to be definitive.

Read the rest at Darkness Dwells