Less Than Random Thoughts From a Science Fiction Author and Generally Good Guy [ Fawkes ]

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ah, Don't Worry So Much.....

So, I have been thinking on the issues I touched on in my last blog. Specifically, where I'm headed in terms of writing/podcasting. I have read a few learned blog posts by Mark Coker and others in the know, as much as is possible, in the new-publishing era we find ourselves in. It is easy to panic, it is easy to join the local Luddite Society and eschew new-pub, e-pub and its variants, it is easy to scrum ahead into new-pub blindly, with more force than thought. So what is one , one in this case one craigie-poo, to decide? Well, fortunately it returned to mind why I'm here in the first place and what my motivations, not so much my goals are. In fact, it struck me lightly in the back of my head: why have goals at all? Who, in this challenging and hyper-complex, amped on steroids universe needs goals for their hobby? Right; am I right am, am I right?
Certain facts are easy to place in the field of reasoning. First, it has been said over and over that if you want to make so coin, get a second job flipping burgers. You'll make way more, way more easily, than writing fiction today. Second, the way the world is now, big-pub ain't interested in you, unless they are already making bank on you, so don't even ask. Third, the only segment of the new-pub authors who are really making any significant sales are those writing about [any guesses first? Come on, what genre is actually moving some product? Okay, I'll tell you] you got it: self-publishing/web-publishing. Niche market authors can succeed if they market their niche properly: Christian romance, knitting vegetables for pets, that sort of thing. But niche-markets are not big-sexy-glitzy-pop-the-Dom-Perignon kind of lucrative venues in which dreams are forged. Third, [remember my point? Seems I might not have ; ) ] 'experts' agree that if your book is all-time wonderful Pulitzer Prize-slam-dunk great, it need not get noticed let alone make any real dough; it's to hard to stand out and get noticed. They say if you stuff is not great, your completely SOL, but the tripe big-pub does peddle argues to the contrary.
So, my point, and I do have one, is don't worry be happy! I started writing Anon Time 15 years ago because it was in my head and I needed to get it out. Creating it was it's own end. At the time, pre-internet, there was no avenue to pursue getting anyone to know it existed. In the end, this does matter. I've discussed in previous blogs, I cannot be like Emily Dickenson or George McFly and write my entire life without letting the world see it. Why? If you create it and it's pathetic crap, then your investment of time is suspect. If it is not crap, your efforts, in retrospect, had merit. That's it, a touch of practicality in one's vanity, if you please.
Sooooooooo, I will try and convince myself I do not need my name to be on the intelligentsia's lips, my books need not sell like hot-Potters, that I do not need to see a beautiful blond in a thong bikini reading one of my books on an isolated beach- wait, where did that thought come from? Wasn't mine, no way! No, Officer, I have never seen that thought before- but I digress.
Went long on this post, sorry. In the end, as a good friend of mine John Milton said, "Fame is not a plant which on mortal soil grows." I will content myself with what fame and fortune publishing has in store for me and be really really thankful to have been a player, and most of all to have met you.............

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thoughtful Pause

So, as I'm basking in the glow of TPN, which I really like, and am working on Time Diving, I started to ponder the future. First, a word about TPN's editing process. I asked Emily to edit it formally for me, and boy, what am eye-opener! There are a lot of doz puntiation tingies to no currectly ; )
I have made minor changes to the text I probably will not reproduce in the podcast,
In terms of the future, now 3 books out in a year, several thousand listeners, I wondered where I was heading. I've read some blogs about the future of self-publishing, and I begin to formulate that specialization and reader-retention may well be the future. The days of big pub. and physical bookstores is at an end. The best future for an indie author is probably to 'specialize'. Sticking with a topic, a genre, a world, is probably the best way to secure some financial success. So.......what would I tie myself down to? A fantasy world? I do have one outlined. A medical series? That I could do. Some scifi? Harder to find theme and stick with it. I will decide. Heretofore I have written what pleased me, what I needed to write, but maybe I need to stake-out an area and 'own it'. We'll see. For now, one more workday, then 2 weeks off, and a trip to Kauai. I know, humble, be humble, and I will.............stay well and stay outta trouble/////me

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tooting Yet Again My Own Horn

Well, just a day into the launch of TPN and my feet still barely touch the ground. The numbers I mentioned yesterday are growing, just over 100 people worldwide have downloaded episode 1. TPN is number ONE on Podiobooks.com's Daily Top 10 List, with 36 listeners from that site alone! The US, Great Britain, and Australia lead the pack for total downloads, and Belgium has popped onto the list of Non-native English speaking countries. What a rush. Thanks to all those who have listened and especially to all those who helped (including the one trying to crawl out of their turtle shell).
This discussion has ranged on various sites and discussions: how does an author validate their work. If absolutely no one read Shakespeare's or Milton's or Bradbury's work, would it have mattered? Would their towering efforts be valueless, or would they be the master pieces which they are? First off, the only way to know you're good and entertaining, is if others read and enjoy your work; your own opinion and that of your cat do not actually count in this regard. So my point, and I must have one, is that these downloads and hits achieve two goals for me. First they let me know I was heard. If I'm Good , Bad, or Indifferent, so be it. Second, they reconfirm my huge smiling satisfaction that author's are no longer constrained by rigid unhearing non-risk taking large publishing houses to be heard. Yes, to be financially successful you still have to be lucky enough to be accepted by those fickle bean counters but they are not required to be heard. Someone told me Patterson made 7 million dollars last year. His books are in every supermarket, airport, and 7-11 store. His writing is, in a word, unacceptable. I am not bitter ( seriously, not a trace, lick the back of my hand if you're determined to), but mention this to juxtapose what extreme financial success measures. It measure extreme financial success, period. It clearly has zero to do with quality or imagination or creativity, only singularly great luck.
Off the soap box now, and back to the afterglow, I'll keep y'all posted as to TPN moment in the Sun, and work anew on Time Diving. Kiss the one you love and love the one you kiss........craig

Friday, August 20, 2010


OK, 12 hours into TPN release, and I have 152 total downloads, with impressive international stats: 3 Australia, 1 NZ, 1 Tokyo, 2 Germany, 1 Poland and Korea, 8 GB and 1 Columbia. Thanks far off fans plus all US/CAN hits! You have all, literally, made my day ; O

Houston, We Have a Liftoff !!!!

OK Ok OK it's a podiobook! The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo went live today! I know it's me saying it, but I listened to Episode 1 downloaded from iTunes (quality check, not vanity check) and it's brilliant. Check out the brilliant audio promo by Nathan Lowell: http://www.myfavoriteauthor.net/images/TPN_promo.mp3
Many thanks to all...........your pal, craig

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Waiting Game

It's fun having all the work done for the TPN release and just waiting to see it birthed and on the charts, and especially to hear the feedback ( I hope I hope I hope). I'm back to Time Diving, second draft over the start, so writing again. It's nice but it's draining, and I find real creative writing, not editing or proof reading or making a shopping list, makes me very moody, blue. Hence the Moody Blues photo. I don't know if that had anything to do with their naming of themselves, but I feel it as a palpable force. I think it's good for those around me that I'm not a professional writer, spending all my days at the craft; I'd probably be less nice to around. But tapping into the creative force does change one's perception, one's self-image. To me it's a good thing, in an egotistical manner. For example, it takes me *solong* to birth a project, conception to release. Whatever *solong* is, it's long. So, when I see a TV commercial or a movie or a poem, I see the item, but cannot separate it from the effort, the expenditure of creative capital which went into it. While I'm writing, I subtly see things differently, weird, eh? Well, enough philosophy, a bit of writing (actually righting the writing), then chores and errands, or simply put, life. Have a great weekend and an even better life.............me

Monday, August 9, 2010

It Is Official !!!!!!

OK, no way out, it's official and all that: The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo launches on Podiobooks.com 8/20/10 : )
I uploaded 5 episodes, and will add 2 a week after that till complete. This week I'll tackle the ebook version for Smashwords.com. Then, submission and self-publication! I'm bowing, as you're no doubt applauding right now, are not you?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Almost There

Well, I uploaded the first 5 episodes to PB.com, and hopefully I got the technicals correct (last book out I messed them up a bit). Once I have Nathan's audio promo, I can go live and you can laugh whatever rear end you might have off. Even though I have all the episodes done, I am going to take Renee's suggestion to put them out gradually, so the title appears more often on PB.com's release announcements area. Maybe I can get a bit more buzz. This part of a podcast is almost anti-climactic, but it is a good feeling to have another book I'm proud of out there. I just made three books released for podcast in one year!
Time Diving is looking good, I'm extensively tweaking the first draft, and it looks to be a winner.
You have a great, not a good, weekend my friend, and make sure you post feedback on TPN after you hear or read it. Mean time, here's me and the boys on Carmel Beach last week........

Thursday, August 5, 2010

If it Gets Any Better, I'll Just Es-plode...

So I'm writing my backcover blurb, promo statement, for Prisoner. I send it to Renee to comment on, and she say's why not see if one of PB.com's big names will read it for you? Big names, thinks I, well that would be Nathan Lowell. So I write Nathan, he graciously accept in one and a half heart beats, and records it the same day! If anyone doubts the love and camaraderie of this PB.com community, well, you send them to me for a come to Jesus meeting, OK......

Monday, August 2, 2010

So, if You Were My Cover.......

So if you were the cover of The Prisoner of NaNoWriMo, what would you look like? You'd look one heck of a lot like the cover shown to the side, you would! Isn't it spectacular? Thank you thank you thank you, Laura Givens; brilliant and fast...........

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back in the Saddle

OK then, back from Lompoc (CA) saluki shows and Carmel whale watching, now back to 'reality'; Monday morning back to work : ( Two years 8 months to go. I can do it and it sure sounds nice. Didn't get much writing done, I guess I need routine to find time. Hope your overly short weekend was a blast, and just think, we all get to go back to work tomorrow and be helpful and productive. The photo is of a pair of blue whales, with Big Sur in the background. These guys eat 1.5 million calories per day, mostly krill. And I thought I ate too much!