Saturday, July 27, 2019

Year of an Indie Writer: Week 30

Scott D. Parker

Prolific writer Dean Wesley Smith calls summer the Time of the Great Forgetting. It’s that part of the year in which all those New Year’s Resolutions authors made to write more content slowly fades away. Come Labor Day, they’ll wake up, realize they blew a 97-day time to progress on their work, and likely feel depressed. Smith has a cure for that here.

For me, it’s not so much a great forgetting as a dividing of focus. There’s a project I’m working on—the same one I mentioned last week, the one about a filmmaker’s work—that’ll go live the first full week of August. It’s grown more than a bit, but it’s a blast to do. Looking forward, the bulk of the work on this project will be done by mid August, and from then on, it’ll just be rolling out on a weekly basis.

And there might be a video component. Stay tuned.

But said filmmaker’s body of work has also inspired to write a novel that is completely different than anything I’ve ever written. I’m making slow but steady progress on it, with an aim for publication this fall. I’m not forgetting.  Are you?

One Name to Rule Them All

Back in 2015 when I started publishing my mystery novels, I used my full name. When I came around and started publishing Westerns, I kept full name. Over time, as I listened and learned how other writers conducted their businesses, I decided to segment my books with a separate pen name for the Westerns, S. D. Parker. The idea was Also-Boughts and the algorithms churning underneath the facades of all the various online bookstores. Made sense at the time.

But over time, my thinking has evolved. When I ask veteran writers the question about pen names, almost all of them suggest using a single name, no matter then genre. As long as the covers are genre-specific with genre-specific SEO and blurbs, it’ll ultimately be better to have a single name and put everything under it.

I was leaning that direction, but over the summer, I have decided to bring the Westerns under the Scott Dennis Parker name. It’s not a big deal, really. All it means is that I’ll have to de-list the S. D. Parker books, slightly change the covers and internal front matter, and then republish.

If someone finds my work via Westerns and they like mysteries, they’ll have an easy transition. The reverse is also true.

More importantly, however, is the idea that a business can change as trends and new ideas emerge. Nothing wrong with that.

Having everything under one name will make all grunt work of file management much more streamlined.  I’m even contemplating bringing all my stories under the Draft2Digital universe. I’ve got most of them there now and they truly make it a no-brainer. just this week, I’ve been sending them questions about the procedures for changing my author name. They get back to me with personalized answers within a day. Customer service goes a long way.

Anyone else use Draft2Digital? If not, I certainly recommend them.

Interview of the Week: Paul Levitz

Dan Greenfield, over at the wonderful 13th Dimension website, re-posted his 2015 interviews with Levitz in honor of the longtime editor/writer’s induction into the Eisner Hall of Fame at Comicon this year.

They talk about his tenure as the sole Batman editor starting in 1978. Great behind-the-scenes stuff.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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