Saturday, February 9, 2019

Year of an Indie Writer: Week 6

Scott D. Parker

Not sure what it means, but I have the opportunity to address it.


I downloaded the most recent sales spreadsheet from Amazon the other day and it revealed an interesting thing. Of all the books I've sold the past month, WADING INTO WAR leads the pack. That's the first book I ever published and the first book in Benjamin Wade / Gordon Gardner / Lillian Saxton series of stories. [Note: I'm gonna need a better name.] What I didn't see was sales for the second Wade novel, ALL CHICKENS MUST DIE. Same for the first Gardner novel, THE PHANTOM AUTOMOBILES. The Saxton book, ULTERIOR OBJECTIVES, has a smattering. 


Well, one obvious answer is that readers never finished the book. For those readers who found "The End," they didn't like it enough to keep on going. The way these ebooks are formatted, there's an end-of-chapter break after the last line of the book. Next in the ebook is the Author Afterward, then some Acknowledgements, and finally the samples of the other books.

So I wondered something: why not have links right there on the last page of the book that explained the next steps, the next books, all with live links?

I wondered if that would make a difference. I'm not sure, but I changed the Amazon and Kobo files yesterday. I guess I'll see if WADING is a good first book or if I should find a different on ramp.

Big corporate giants talk about agility in their internal processes. Well, when it comes to being a small-business owner--that's what we are--this kind of agility can prove invaluable. Only time will tell.


If you are a writer, you simply must read every post by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. With decades in the business and multiple genres in her portfolio, her work ethic alone is worth studying. Yet every Thursday, she writes about the business of writing. Every week, there are golden nuggets of information to ponder and determine how it fits into your own business model. It is appointment reading every Thursday. I subscribe to her blog via Feedly, and I read it every Thursday. And all the links she includes will send you down multiple rabbit holes, but it’s all good. It’s like a graduate level course in college. Seriously.

This past week, she concluded her “Planning for 2019” series with a post entitled “Shifting Attitudes.” She focuses on two aspects of us as indie writers: as micro-influencers and as prolific producers of content. The entire post is important, but one quote slammed into the mental brick wall that I had somehow erected last month: “Consumers are already ahead of us on all of this. So let’s just go with it and enjoy this part of the future. We can relax and have fun telling our stories to the people who want to read that type of tale.”

Have fun.

Yes, we have to sell our work and strive to do it as best we can, but the key fact remains: when you sit down as a writer to craft a story, leave your business side in the next room. Don’t sit and wonder “Will this sell?” If you are excited about the story, write it. Chances are good there are other readers out there who will like it, too.


Houston's own Murder by the Book made a major announcement on the Facebook page this week: James Patterson is coming to the city's oldest--and only--mystery-centric bookstore. This is big. Patterson is the world's bestselling author. It's a major get. Congrats to McKenna Jordan and all the good folks at the store.

Fingers crossed I get one of the 500 slots.


On the 5th or 6th episode, there's a scene between the two main stars, Michael Douglas and Adam Arkin. They're talking on the phone. Douglas is in an Uber going to a bar. Arkin's at home watching the movie "Cocoon." When Arkin declines Douglas's invitation, he comments about the experience watching the thirty-year-old movie about senior citizens while actually being in the demographic.

That what I feel like watching this show. Granted, I'm certainly not Douglas's 74 or Arkin's 84, but the humor of older men is something I really dig. Jokes about getting older, being old, prostate health, forgetfulness, and the like are scattered throughout the episodes. And creator Chuck Lorre and the writers don't shy away from real life. There is death and how the characters react to it is poignant and heart-wrenching.

But most of all, it's hilarious and really well done. I recommend the show. And since Douglas won a Golden Globe for his role and the show itself won Best Comedy Series, there's even more proof it's a special show. Glad it's been renewed.

Oh, and don't read about the show on the internet. It's much more fun to see the guest stars when you're actually watching the show.


The Super Bowl has become the annual gathering of my wife's former co-workers. The game is shown on every screen in the house, including the garage with a giant screen. We all chat, catch up, and watch the game and commercials. Most of the ads were easily forgotten, but two stood out. The one with Jason Bateman as the elevator operator and the one with the old football players.

What were your favorite ads?

That wraps things up for the week. How did your week go?

1 comment:

Steve Weddle said...

I seemed to remember getting dinged by Amazon back in the day because I’d put BUY links in the back of books that linked to Smashwords copies. Was it Smashwords that used to compete with Kindle?