Recent Developments

October 12, 2014 — 83 Comments

Hello friends,

You may have noticed a lack of posts. Don’t worry, I’m not dead.

If anything, I’m writing – a lot!

Here are some recent developments I’m psyched to share with you.

Pool of Echoes

Pool of Echoes is about to be released. It is now in the process of formatting, proofreading, and some basic marketing preparation.

It is a story that does some things I haven’t seen anywhere else, yet still has familiar elements that fans of science fiction and psychological thrillers are certain to enjoy.

Marketing

In another post, I talked about getting a marketing degree. Unlike many authors who have a phobia of promoting themselves, I intend to be the opposite.

Writing is what I’m really committed to, and when you commit to something, it makes sense to ensure that your activities are as valuable as possible – to yourself and others. To suggest otherwise is to cheapen your time, life, and mission.

Though to be honest, I’m just barely starting to get a handle on what I’m doing.

I may in the future write some posts about the different things I’m doing to promote the books. If you’re interested in spreading the word about what you do, you may find it useful. If not, you’re welcome to skip it.

To synthesize everything I’ve learned into a few short sentences, it’s this: Write what really excites you, then position your work where it is easy to find, and make sure you have a way to remain in contact with people who like what you do. Repeat – the more often you can do this without sacrificing quality, the better.

Working

Austin is a challenging place to live, especially if you’ve started in the city unemployed and without any network in place. I’ve managed to change both of those things, thanks to my faith and the Three Legs of Trust.

As a commitment to my writing career, I’ve decided that not a single month will go by where my expenses exceed my income. Sometimes that means 60+ hours a week between multiple jobs. So be it. Doing this may seem like a tough thing to do, but I’ve managed to pull it off for the last 5 months without too much problems. It also has helped me to earn enough money to release more than one book a year. Great news, as that means I’ll be able to put out enough books to – within a few months/years – drop back to 40 hours/week or less. Like a normal person.

From there, it isn’t unreasonable to expect 2-8 completed works a year, depending on how many worthy ideas I find, and how improved the writing process gets. About 75% or so will be novels while the remaining 25% will likely be screenplays.

Marketing 2.0

Ultimately, the activities that are going to work best will have two big features:

1. It will be effective in earning income and creating more freedom to live well and continue writing indefinitely. (this usually will mean book sales, publishing advances, or screenplay options)

2. It will be enjoyable for both myself and others.

Here are some thoughts on different methods:

Blogging

Ask any how-to book on how to succeed in writing, and you will get the following advice: Start a blog, write 3-5X a week, and guest post to build your audience. Then, after 6 months or so, you’ll have a platform of people who will be interested when you have something to offer.

I’ve noticed that for this to work, it’s best to have something valuable and useful to say, 3-5x a week, and even more for guest posting elsewhere.

For a lot of people, this has worked really well. For me? I just don’t have something incredibly useful to say 3-5X a week, every week.

Plus, this takes time to do, time that could just as easily be spent writing more books – something I know you really want if you’re on this site. Why would I delay giving you what you want in order to do something I’m not naturally good at, when I don’t have much time to spare as it is?

I am interested in blogging on specific things, like a production diaries and a reporting of interesting things I find during the research process. Perhaps as sales improve, freeing up more time, I’ll be able to do more of this.

Audio and Video

Big secret here.

When I write, I’m basically writing down a movie that I’m seeing in my head. At least on good days.

Audio takes very little budget, but works best when you have guests to interview and interface with.

Video, on the other hand, can be done solo or with guests. You can do interviews, short narratives, how-to’s, screen-captures, and other forms of content. While it takes more resources to do well, I believe my mind works in a way best-suited for this type of content. Doing this will likely be just as rewarding as the writing process.

PR, Radio, and TV Interviews

I’m open to them, though I think a publicist would be tremendously helpful if I’m seeking to do this consistently and well.

Blog Tours

Heard they’re not that effective, but willing to try them out.

Series

There’s Emotionally Bulletproof, and another one in the works! I’m really excited about what you’ll get to read in the near future.

Audiobooks

The groundwork is being laid for producing audiobooks of all my works. I don’t have a publicized deadline, but it is super important to me. Audio is one of the best ways for me to read, and I know that a lot of people feel the same way for many different reasons.

Advertising

To see if it works, I’ll do it. It seems to be working for a lot of writers. If it works, I’ll keep doing it. If it doesn’t, I’ll try again later with a different release.

Guest Articles

I want to have more recent posts, even if I don’t post very often, before really leaning into this. The big reason for using this form of promotion is mainly to make friends in the new media and add value to them as much as possible.

Book Signings

They aren’t a great way to leverage your time unless you have a large platform already. If you’re last name is Rowling, or Patterson, or King, or Dekker, then do it. If not, your sales will likely be in the single digits unless you promote hard for 4+ hours on end. This is based on multiple personal experiences. There may be exceptions if you cross-promote with other authors, or create an event with unique appeal. Otherwise, it isn’t a sustainable way to make a living and write, especially if your energy diminishes from being really social – the definition of introversion. With your tank on empty from promoting all day, where is the energy to write more? Add a multi-city tour, and you’ve just added time off work and travel expenses as dual costs that have to be surpassed in order for the event to succeed.

Book Publishing Events and Conferences

Completely new to this, but looking forward to seeing how other authors use these in order to improve their connections and contribute as panelists on specific topics. There is one coming up near the end of the month in my home city.

Compiled Short Stories With a Variety of Genre Authors

Sounds like a lot of fun. I don’t know how to get something like that started, but I think that with the right group of people it could be really great. While I’m not really accustomed to short-form storytelling, I’d push through that knowledge gap in order to participate in the right compilation.

Short Story Submission

Despite searching through Writers’ Market, and some thorough online research, I don’t know a lot of authors doing what I do (best described as Christian-inspired fiction with elements of action, thriller, and sci-fi mixed in), and with the few magazines I have found, it doesn’t look like there’s enough readership and/or financial incentive to justify the work that goes into that type of work so far. Given, if I’m inspired to write a short story, and I later find that such a platform is the best vehicle for it, I’ll gladly put it there to attract readership to my other books and to help the magazine broaden its reader base. Until then, not really feeling it.

If you know of any good Christian Fiction, or Magazines open to the type of work I do, let me know. It would be an honor to contribute to something people love.

That’s all folks!

My next post will likely be about Pool of Echoes being released, so look forward to that. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to sending more great work your way.

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