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Working Title

I’ve been through several titles for my upcoming book now, and nothing seems to quite have the right feel.  Now, an unpublished book doesn’t need to have those details figured out, so why does it matter?  Is it really important for me to have a title I like right now?  I’m not selling yet, so it’s kind of an unnecessary obsession for me.
This is a problem that I’m sure other writers have; we want everything to be perfect before we’re even ready to submit.  First drafts are no big deal add far as details go, add it doesn’t matter until the draft is actually done.  So why seat the small stuff?
It’s an easy trap to get caught up in,  wondering whether we should self-publish or traditionally publish, and looking into all the details for both options.  This obsession had stolen valuable writing time from me, as I’ve looked into all of these fine details without first having a book to actually sell.
I’m beating myself up a bit over this, as I see myself lagging way behind in my goals. I almost wonder if this is the kind of thing that holds up certain popular series for several years.  (I’m thinking of one in particular as I write this, but I’m not saying who, as he might kill off my favorite character in retaliation.)
This is the idea of the working title: Don’t worry about what you’re going to call it until you’re ready to stay marketing the particular book.  At this time, as I write,  I only need a title from which I can work.  For that matter, I could simply call it “Work in Progress”.
If love to hear what you have to say, dear reader.
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Posted by on June 23, 2013 in Advice, Rants, Update

 

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Short Stories

It seems that the short story is back in style, at least for writers.  Every time I look at my Twitter feed I am bombarded with posts about the various short stories that people have written, and I’m just as guilty.  Why not?  Short stories are fun to write, quick to read, and can accumulate quickly.  All said, it seems like a great idea.  Of course, this is the writer in me speaking.  However, there are some distinct advantages to writing a short story or five.

1) Short stories can tie into larger works.

I’ve been enjoying The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  These stories are not only fun to read, but they also work to build up the characters first introduced in A Study in Scarlet.  They were also written in a time when there was big money in short fiction.  These days it isn’t as common to see such stories, though they do seem to be making a comeback thanks to the eBook.  For examples,  look up John Jackson Miller’s Lost Tribe of the Sith series of short stories, or Lindsay Buroker’s Shaped Over Innocence, which ties into her Emperor’s Edge series.

Another consideration: Even if your short story is never published, you can use it to gain some insight into the world that you’ve created.

2) Short stories are a cure for writers block.

You may have read my short story, The Immortal. If you haven’t, look for it at your favourite eBook retailer or download it at Smashwords. That particular project was a distraction from a larger work that I’m currently working on. I was suffering from a bad case of writers block, and decided to try writing something else to get the creative juices flowing. It worked. Add it turns out, my writers block was nothing more than intimidation related to writing a novel. A smaller project can help alleviate that intimidation.

3) Short stories make for some nice, light reading before bed.

Do I need to build on this? If you read before bed, short stories are great because one can finish the whole story before turning out the bedside lamp. Of course, this isn’t for everyone. Some of you may prefer to read a chapter or two from a medical thriller or fantasy adventure. On the other hand, if a short story is for you, you may have a collection of them on your night table already.

4) There’s no better way to test an author.

Authors and readers alike need to give this some thought. Books, even eBooks, can be expensive. You may not want to spend between $10-$20 on an author that you don’t know. Then there’s the investment in time. A cheap or free short story can solve this issue. I can think of a few books I would not have read of I had read some sort stories from those authors. For the sake of professionalism I won’t mention names, but I have a never-read-again list of authors, add I suspect most do. (In fairness, everyone has their own preferences, and the authors I dislike may be some of your favourites.)

Short stories may not be the master works that everybody wants, but they do serve an important role.

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2013 in Advice, Rants

 

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Marketing to Writers

I have a dilemma.  I’m writing fiction, and my target audience is primarily readers of fantasy.  I have a blog for writers, a twitter account (most of my followers are writers), and a Facebook page liked by only friends and family.  So where is my target audience?
Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to sell to writers, friends, and family.  But they aren’t my target audience.  I can’t expect to earn much with my writing if I don’t develop a larger readership than my social circle.  There lies the challenge – how can I attract my target audience?
I’ve decided that my business plan will include short-story giveaways, which is all well and good if I can get those stories into the hands of my target audience.  So how do I do that? The funny thing is, I know that I’m going to be bombarded with spam offering me the best strategies and services to attract readers. I’ve seen some of those strategies in action, by the way. One such plan involves giving away a free eBook for subscribing to a newsletter. Sounds good. Usually said eBook is something like “How to Make Millions on Kindle”. Not bad if your target audience is writers who want to publish on Kindle. Another favourite is the podcast for writers. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to a few of those. But I’m listening as a writer looking for advice. I know, you’re probably thinking “isn’t this a blog for writers?” Well, yes it is. This is what I’ve seen in motion, so I figured I’d give it a shot. If it helps some writers, that’s awesome. In the end, they may be the ones to buy my books. Maybe I should write a book on self publishing.

In the end, I’d really just like to figure out how to reach readers who aren’t also writing.  If you have some good ideas, please leave a comment.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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