Saturday, June 29, 2019

Year of an Indie Writer: Week 26

Scott D. Parker

As of Monday, half of 2019 is gone. How is your writing?

Mine? Well, it is not where I expected it to be on New Year's Day. I had envisioned a couple of new books under my belt, ready to be edited, revised, and published. Then again, I also expected 1 July to be the day my fourth Calvin Carter novel would be published.

Ain't gonna happen.

When the Publisher Rejects Your Book

Countless writers have received rejection letters from agents or editors or publishers. Heck, back in 2006 and 2007, I got mine, too.

Which makes the indie publishing concept so enticing. There are no gatekeepers between a writer and a reader. The only thing stopping a writer from publishing a book is...well, nothing. As long as the writer can learn how to upload files to Amazon, Kobo, or whatever.

Which makes the fact my publisher rejected the fourth Carter novel so interesting, *I'm* the publisher.

As I wrote last week, I realized the fourth Carter book, Brides of Death, as written, wasn't up to par of the other three. Brides follows the pattern of all six Carter novels: Carter is assigned a case, he investigates, he gets into and out of scraps, and he completes the assignment.

But the chapter detailing the assignment and what actually happens don't match. An easy fix would be to revise the assignment chapter, but then I'd have to re-title the book. The other alternative is to keep the title (which matches the assignment) and insert extra scenes into the book to show Carter and his partner investigating the actual assignment. That would make for a more in-depth book, which is a good thing, but there was no way to get it done by 1 July (actually 27 June because Amazon needs some lead time).

So I'm temporarily delaying the book. I don't want to put crap out, and if I had published the book as is, it would have been that. I'm the first reader and if I found an issue with the book, then other readers would have as well. Let's avoid that.

Granted, astute future readers can read the book and this blog and draw their own conclusions, but I have no power over that. Control the controllables. Make the book better and move forward.

What is Forward?

My wife is a small business owner as well (she makes jewelry under, so I asked her opinion. She agreed with me not to publish at this time. I jokingly said, "It's not like there are dozens of readers who would be upset at my decision."

That jibe hit home harder than I expected. Yes, my sales are not awesome, but that doesn't always bother me. I am unfocused when it comes to marketing, and I need to rectify that.

Which is what I plan on doing for the rest of the summer. I've got three books in the series out now. Why not promote them? See if there's even an audience for the type of book I'm writing. Sure, they were a blast to write, but what if I'm the only reader? After a bit, is there a reason to keep writing them if my reason for writing is to share stories I tell to the general reading public and the general reading public doesn't respond?

It's a quandary. Well, no, it's not. It's an opportunity. I plan on spreading the word about the Calvin Carter, Railroad Detective series far and wide. Why not build the audience with the three books currently available, build anticipation to books four, five, and six?

Speaking of audience, I read a fanTAStic blog post this week.

We Are in the Entertainment Business

You know this, right? Books are entertainment, just like TV and movies and music. But, before Thursday, me, like many of us writers, thought the book/ebook was the goal. We indies are our own publishers, and publishers produce books. Sure, we knew that our characters could be licensed, but that was only after we had a book, right?

Well, not exactly.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith attended the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. Dean has a series of videos up where he discusses what he learned from the expo. Kristine started on Thursday with the first part of her Business Musings: Rethinking The Writing Business. It will blow your mind wide open.

If you are a writer who thinks larger than a book or books, you owe it to yourself to read her column every Thursday. Jump on board now and learn with her. It's like going to school, but it's stuff you want to learn.

Filling the Tank

Finished listening to THE SCAM by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. It's a good thing I enjoyed the book and was already going to listen to others because this one ended on a cliffhanger.

Watched Toy Story 4. Enjoyed it quite a bit.

Watched The Old Man and the Gun. Liked it pretty well. Good to see Redford go out on a good film.

Still loving Masterchef. Could watch Gordon Ramsey demonstrate cooking things all day.

Enjoying CBS's Blood and Treasure even more after this week's episode.

Started listening o the audio of Good Omens. It's my current book for the SF book club.

All of this is to say I'm filling my tank with good content that I can bring to bear on the story I'm starting on Monday. But I'm also rethinking said story. I had one in mind...and then another just roared into place. So I'm likely going to go with the flow. It'll be something rather different for me, and that both excites and scares me.

Just the right place to start a new story.

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