Don’t Hate. Create. – Author Guide

Maybe it’s me getting older and wiser, but I’m starting to understand more about where to spend my energy as an artist.

I admit: all of this is a black box to me. When I was a kid, I acted and I got paid. That’s as far as I took it. Understanding all the pieces and parts to a major creative enterprise like a feature film, that was beyond me. I don’t get the luxury of that ignorance today and neither does any other indie artist.

We’re forced by necessity to be intensely focused on all the moving parts of a successful, monetized project. Fair or unfair, that’s our reality. It’s hard to get it right. Easy to get it wrong. We’re all figuring stuff out for ourselves.

And here’s the other part: We’re all passionate. In exchanges with other artists, and creative people, I’ve become aware how passionate people are and how that passion manifests itself. Some (I’m looking at you, @Scalzi and @HamillHimself) are bright shining stars that beckon.

Others are warning lights, saying ‘Watch out … I’m trouble.’  We’ve all had exchanges like that. Sometimes we’re the offender. Sometimes the offendee. As easy as it would be to poke fun, I don’t want to do that. I can’t point fingers. I’ve been that guy. I can’t judge too much. It’s bad for recovery … When You Point a Finger at Someone, There Are Three More Pointing Back at You and all that.

When an exchange goes south, it becomes an interesting personal exercise for me. What can this exchange teach me about how I interact with other people as I find new readers? As I mentioned, I still have a lot to learn. Many others do, too, apparently. Let’s distill our thoughts into one simple idea: Don’t hate. Create. The rest of this blog post is about unpacking those three words.

Continue reading “Don’t Hate. Create. – Author Guide”

Author DIY: Build Your Own Free E-Book Delivery Tool

Author DIY: Build Your Own Free E-Book Delivery ToolEnjoy lifehacks? Enjoy making your life easier? Read on, because I just spent a number of hours over the past few weeks putting this all together.

Like any other author, I want to make introducing myself as easy as possible. Free book giveaways are a risk-free way for new readers to get to know you and your work.

How do you do that without killing yourself responding to emails all day? There are systems out there that do this for authors with budget. However, what about writers like us?

With that in mind, I put this free e-book delivery tool together for myself. Because I like to share, I’m giving it to you so that you’ll have more time to write, too.

This is involved, so read it through and understand all the concepts first. Then grab a cup of coffee and settle in. You’re going to spend three or four hours setting this all up. Rest assured, once you’re done, you’ll have a kickbutt automated system for giving away free stuff to your readers and it didn’t cost you a dime.

Ready? Let’s go!

Continue reading “Author DIY: Build Your Own Free E-Book Delivery Tool”

Some Sniper Rifle Motivation for Creators

Do me a favor?

Just Because You Haven't Doesn't Mean You Can't - Sniper Rifle Motivation

Remind me to do something the next time I’m feeling down about myself I start acting insecure about my work, I want you to tell me to go re-read the Wikipedia page on Ronnie Barrett.

You may not recognize his name, but you know his work. In 1982, Barrett began work on what would eventually become the .50 cal M82 sniper rifle. What’s interesting is that Barrett was a photographer with no background in manufacturing or engineering. However, he had an interest in making a semi-automatic .50 rifle and set to work.

The journey was not all sunshine and roses, as you’ll note on Wikipedia: Continue reading “Some Sniper Rifle Motivation for Creators”

A Word to You About The Way It Is With Me

A Special Message for You

Hi there … I feel like we got off on a bad foot.

Do you have a dream?
Did you try to make it into reality?
Was it easy or hard for you to do?

That’s where I’m at in my journey. Instead of letting my baggage bury me, I’m trying to stand on it and find my way out. Sometimes I get it wrong, but not because I don’t want to get it right. Maybe this can be the moment where I make a friend. Fingers crossed … Continue reading “A Word to You About The Way It Is With Me”

Awesome Author Ideas: Supporting Yourself

Awesome Author Ideas: Support Yourself While You Write

I don’t know about you, but people have funny ideas about authors and how much they make. From time to time, I’m confronted by the myth that money isn’t something I think about, or that as an author, money just flows into my pocket like rain.

Nonsense. Authors have to pay the rent just like everyone else. Just read ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. Be entertained by his tales, living in a trailer in Maine having to choose between paying for his children’s medicine and fixing the car. Or read Scalzi’s essay “Being Poor.” Yeah, we know about being broke. We know all about that.

The question remains: *how* do you keep the lights on while you pursue The Great American Novel? Writing is a tough go after a ten-hour shift at the Amazon fulfillment center. What kind of job lets you support yourself, while leaving you enough energy to create?

Inspired by this Reddit post, I want to talk about some ways you can make money while you write. Please feel free to suggest your own and I’ll be happy to add them to an edited version of this blog post: Continue reading “Awesome Author Ideas: Supporting Yourself”

Storytelling Lessons from ‘The Last Jedi.’

Storytelling Lessons from 'The Last Jedi'“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” That’s the quote I kept thinking of as I watched The Last Jedi. Someone must have been channeling Friedrich Nietzsche because the meaning of his famous quote is woven throughout the 2.5 hours of cinema paradiso that is Star Wars VIII. It’s time to capture some storytelling lessons from ‘The Last Jedi.’ Continue reading “Storytelling Lessons from ‘The Last Jedi.’”

Just write. Because it’s just right.

Waited a long time to write this. From Bill Cosby to Kevin Spacey, 2017 has been the year of the Silence Breakers. Why did it take so long, we ask. Why didn’t we see this before? How can we prevent this from happening again? None of these are new questions for Hollywood. Bad behavior among creative people has been a thing since Charlie Chaplin met Mildred Harris.

People will behave badly as long as the community lets them. Hollywood’s interpetation of noblesse oblige begins and ends with how bankable an entity you seem to be. When the money stops, the party is over. Continue reading “Just write. Because it’s just right.”

New Scifi Short: Battle of Victoria Crater

I’m pleased to say that I’ve published another short story. The Battle of Victoria Crater is now available on Amazon or anywhere else you like to buy your favorite books. What’s TBoVC about? Here’s a quick synopsis:

“Martin grows up on the harsh, haunting landscape of Mars dodging bullets, freezing temperatures and hired guns. How can a raw, hard-bitten group of colonists hope to survive against a menacing Earthbound corporation? What will happen if they give up and go home? Continue reading “New Scifi Short: Battle of Victoria Crater”

I Won’t Be Self-Publishing ‘Mesh’

Open up Twitter to get some more bad news for self-publishing authors. According to this article, Amazon no longer allows you to review books unless you can prove you’ve purchased them through Amazon. This, in a nutshell, is why I won’t be self-publishing ‘Mesh’:

To write a Customer Review, you must have used your account to purchase any item or service on Amazon (free digital content doesn’t qualify toward this requirement.)

Something tells me that this rule isn’t necessarily hard-and-fast. I doubt all the reviews for ‘Star Wars’ came *after* the users bought them on Amazon. Ditto for ‘Moby Dick,’ ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ or ‘The Fault in Our Stars.’ Continue reading “I Won’t Be Self-Publishing ‘Mesh’”

Fledgling Authors Need New Readers

Reddit is walking/talking contradiction in terms. I find it hard sometimes to reconcile the weird and/or dark places it gets to, with the beauty of insights I get on a daily basis.

Case in point, read this Bestof post and realized how similar the IndieDev journey is to my journey. He articulates where I want to be better than I can! So rather than attempting to rehash the same idea, here is what this one developer said, and then I’ll talk about why I think this applies to pipsqueak authors like me: Continue reading “Fledgling Authors Need New Readers”