Saturday, January 04, 2014

Konrath's Resolutions For Writers

Every December I do a post about resolutions for writers, and every year I add more of them.

2006

Newbie Writer Resolutions
    I will start/finish the damn book
    I will always have at least three stories on submission, while working on a fourth 
    I will attend at least one writer's conference, and introduce myself to agents, editors, and other writers  
    I will subscribe to the magazines I submit to  
    I will join a critique group. If one doesn't exist, I will start one at the local bookstore or library  
    I will finish every story I start  
    I will listen to criticism  
    I will create/update my website 
    I will master the query process and search for an agent  
    I'll quit procrastinating in the form of research, outlines, synopses, taking classes, reading how-to books, talking about writing, and actually write something  
    I will refuse to get discouraged, because I know JA Konrath wrote 9 novels, received almost 500 rejections, and penned over 1 million words before he sold a thing--and I'm a lot more talented than that guy
Professional Writer Resolutions 
    I will keep my website updated  
    I will keep up with my blog and social networks  
    I will schedule bookstore signings, and while at the bookstore I'll meet and greet the customers rather than sit dejected in the corner  
    I will send out a newsletter, emphasizing what I have to offer rather than what I have for sale, and I won't send out more than four a year  
    I will learn to speak in public, even if I think I already know how  
    I will make selling my books my responsibility, not my publisher's  
    I will stay in touch with my fans 
    I will contact local libraries, and tell them I'm available for speaking engagements  
    I will attend as many writing conferences as I can afford  
    I will spend a large portion of my advance on self-promotion  
    I will help out other writers  
    I will not get jealous, will never compare myself to my peers, and will cleanse my soul of envy 
    I will be accessible, amiable, and enthusiastic  
    I will do one thing every day to self-promote  
    I will always remember where I came from

2007

    Keep an Open Mind. It's easier to defend your position than seriously consider new ways of thinking. But there is no innovation, no evolution, no "next big thing" unless someone thinks differently. Be that someone.  
    Look Inward. We tend to write for ourselves. But for some reason we don't market for ourselves. Figure out what sort of marketing works on you; that's the type of marketing you should be trying. You should always know why you're doing what you're doing, and what results are acceptable to you.  
    Find Your Own Way. Advice is cheap, and the Internet abounds with people telling you how to do things. Question everything. The only advice you should take is the advice that makes sense to you. And if it doesn't work, don't be afraid to ditch it.  
    Set Attainable Goals. Saying you'll find an agent, or sell 30,000 books, isn't attainable, because it involves things out of your control. Saying you'll query 50 agents next month, or do signings at 20 bookstores, is within your power and fully attainable.  
    Enjoy the Ride. John Lennon said that life is what happens while you're busy planning other things. Writing isn't about the destination; it's about the journey. If you aren't enjoying the process, why are you doing it?  
    Help Each Other. One hand should always be reaching up for your next goal. The other should be reaching down to help others get where you're at. We're all in the same boat. Start passing out oars.

2008


I Will Use Anger As Fuel


We all know that this is a hard business. Luck plays a huge part. Rejection is part of the job. Things happen beyond our control, and we can get screwed.


It's impossible not to dwell on it when we're wronged. But rather than vent or stew or rage against the world and everyone in it, we should use that anger and the energy it provides for productive things.


The next time you get bad news, resolve to use that pain to drive your work. Show fate that when it pushes you, you push right back. By writing. By querying. By marketing.



I Will Abandon My Comfort Zone


The only difference between routine and rut is spelling.


As a writer, you are part artist and part businessman.


Great artists take chances.


Successful businessmen take chances.


This means doing things you're afraid of, and things you hate, and things you've never tried before.


If, in 2008, you don't fail at something, you weren't trying hard enough.




I Will Feed My Addiction 

Life is busy. There are always things you can and should be doing, and your writing career often comes second.


So make it come first.


Right now, you're reading A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. Not A Newbie's Guide to Leading a Content and Balanced Life.


You want to get published and stay published? That means making writing a priority. That means making sacrifices. A sacrifice involves choosing one thing over another.


If you can't devote the time, energy, and money it takes to pursue this career, go do something else.




I Will Never Be Satisfied 

Think the last resolution was extreme? This one really separates the die-hards from the hobbyists. 


While an overwhelming sense of peace and enlightenment sounds pretty nice, I wouldn't want to hire a bunch of Zen masters to build an addition on my house. 


Satisfaction and contentment are great for your personal life. In your professional life, once you start accepting the way things are, you stop trying.


No one is going to hand you anything in this business. You have to be smart, be good, work hard, and get lucky.


Every time you get published, you got lucky. Don't take it for granted.


When something bad happens, it should make you work harder. But when something good happens, you can't believe you earned it. Because it isn't true. You aren't entitled to this career. No one is.


Yes, you should celebrate successes. Sure, you should enjoy good things when they happen. Smile and laugh and feel warm and fuzzy whenever you finish a story or make a sale or reach a goal.


But remember that happiness isn't productive. Mankind's greatest accomplishments are all tales of struggle, hardship, sacrifice, work, and effort. You won't do any of those things if you're satisfied with the status quo. 


Who do you want on your team? The kid who plays for fun? Or the kid who plays to win?


If you want this to be your year, you know which kid you have to be.




2009

This year I'm only going to add one resolution to this growing list, but if you're writing for a living, or trying to write for a living, it's an important one.

I Won't Blame Anyone For Anything

It's tempting to look at the many problems that arise in this business and start pointing fingers. This is a slippery slope, and no good can come from it.


Do agents, editors, and publishers make mistakes? Of course.


You make mistakes too.


Hindsight is 20/20, so we can all look at things that didn't go our way and fantasize about how things should have gone. 


But blaming others, or yourself, is dwelling on the past. What's done is done, and being bitter isn't going to help your career.


So try to learn from misfortune, forgive yourself and others, and make 2009 a blameless year.




2010

I Will Be Wary

The medium in which stories are absorbed is changing in a big way, and it will continue to change. 2009 will go down in publishing history as Year Zero for the upcoming ebook revolution. Writers should explore this new territory, but we need to understand that Print is still King, and any goals and dreams a writer might have regarding publication should be focused on getting into print.


That's not to say that ebooks shouldn't be explored and experimented with. They should be, and in a serious way. Erights are a very long tail--one that can potentially continue long after our lifetimes.


Don't forsake print for ebooks without understanding what you're giving up, and don't give away your ebook rights to get a print deal.




I Will Be A Pioneer

Remember the old saying about how to recognize a pioneer? They're the one with the arrows in their backs and fronts.


I've tried to be forward-thinking in my career, rather than being content with my role as a cog in a broken machine. Your best chance for longevity is to question everything, test boundaries, experiment with new ideas, and be willing to change your mind and learn from your mistakes.


Your job is to survive, by any means necessary. So pull out the arrows and forge ahead. Discover the difference between determination and stupidity by being an example for one or the other or both.


Though this may seem at odds with the previous resolution about being wary, it's actually quite simpatico.


Q: What do you call a wary pioneer? A: Still alive.




I Will Read Books

I'm surprised I haven't mentioned this in previous years. If you're a writer, you must be a reader. I don't care if you read on your Kindle, or on stone tablets. Reading, and giving the gift of reading to others, is essential. Period.




I Will Stop Worrying 

Worrying, along with envy, blame, guilt, and regret, is a useless emotion. It's also bad storytelling. Protagonists should be proactive, not reactive. They should forge ahead, not dwell on things beyond their control. Fretting, whining, complaining, and bemoaning the state of the industry isn't the way to get ahead.


You are the hero in the story of your life. Act like it.



2011

I Will Self-Publish

Just twelve short months ago, I made $1650 on Kindle in December, and was amazed I could pay my mortgage with ebook sales.

This December, I'll earn over $22,000.


The majority of this is on Kindle. But I'm also doing well self-pubbing in print through Amazon's Createspace program, and will earn $2700 this month on nine POD books. I'm also finally trying out B&N's PubIt program, which looks to be good for over $1k a month, and I'm doing okay on Smashwords, with Sony, Apple, and Kobo combining for another $1k.


This is nothing short of revolutionary.


The gatekeepers--agents who submit to editors who acquire books to publish and distribute to booksellers--are no longer needed to make a living as a fiction writer. For the first time in history, writers can reach readers without having to jump through hoops, get anointed, compromise integrity, or fit the cookie-cutter definition for What New York Wants.


I'm not saying you should give up on traditional publishing. But I am saying that there is ZERO downside to self-pubbing. At worst, you'll make a few bucks. At best, you'll make a fortune, and have agents and editors fighting over you.


But remember: even if you are being fought over, you still have a choice.


DO NOT take any deal that's less than what you believe you could earn in six years. If you're selling 1000 ebooks a month, that means $144,000 is the minimum advance you should be offered before you consider signing.


It blows my mind to think that way, let alone blog about it. I got a $34,000 advance for my first novel, and even less for my last few.


Currently, I have seven self-pubbed novels, each earning more than $24k a year. In six years, at the current rate, I'll earn more than one million bucks on those.


But I don't expect them to maintain their current sales.


I expect sales to go up.


Ebooks haven't saturated the market yet. But they will. And you need to be ready for it. Which leads me to...



I Won't Self-Publish Crap


Just because it's easier than ever before to reach an audience doesn't mean you should.


I can safely say that I'm either directly or indirectly responsible for thousands of writers trying out self-publishing. The majority of these writers aren't making the same amount of money that I am, and are scratching their heads, wondering what they're doing wrong.


Luck still plays a part in success. But so does professionalism.


Being a professional means you make sure you have a professional cover (http://www.extendedimagery.com), and you have been professionally formatted for ebooks (www.52novels.com) and for print books (http://yourepublished.blogspot.com.)


Being a professional means you're prolific, with many titles for sale, and that you diversify, exploiting all possible places to sell your work (Kindle, Createspace, Smashwords, iBooks, iTunes, Sony, Nook, Kobo, Borders, Android, and no doubt more to come.)


But most of all, being a professional means you won't inflict your shitty writing on the public.


Self-pubbing is not the kiddie pool, where you learn how to swim. You need to be an excellent swimmer before you jump in.


If your sales aren't where you'd like them to be, especially if you've done everything else I've mentioned, then it's time to take a cold, hard, critical look at the writing. Which segues into...



I'll Pay Attention to the Market


To say I'm excited about the ebook future is putting it mildly. But that doesn't mean I have carte blanche to write whatever the hell I want to, and then expect it to sell.


Yes, writers now have more freedom. Yes, we can now cater to niche tastes, and write novellas, and focus on more personal projects.


But if you want to make a living, you still have to understand your audience, and how to give them what they want.


Self-pubbing is not an excuse to be a self-indulgent egomaniac. On the contrary, it's a chance for you to learn what sells.


For the very first time, the writer can conduct their own real-world experiments. By trying different things, learning from mistakes, and constantly tweaking and improving, we have more power than ever before to find our readers.


A lot of folks know how much money I'm making. But how many know:


I've changed or tweaked cover art 45 times.

I've reformatted my books five times each.
I've changed product descriptions over 80 times.
I've changed prices on each book two or three times.

Unlike the traditional publishing world, where published books are static, self-publishing is dynamic. If something isn't selling as well as you'd like, you can change it. The work doesn't end when you upload your ebook to Kindle. The work is never-ending, and vigilance is mandatory.


Self-publishing is a wonderful opportunity to learn and to grow. This means you MUST try new things.


2011 is going to be a turbulent year for publishers and bookstores and editors and agents. Change is coming, and many of the stalwarts of the industry aren't going to be around for much longer.


But savvy writers will be safe from harm. In fact, they'll thrive like never before.


For the first time in the history of publishing, we have control. Embrace that control, and make 2011 your year.



2012


Hard to believe this will be my sixth year offering New Year's Resolutions to writers. Even harder to believe is how much the publishing industry has changed during that time.

When I first began this blog, it was about helping authors find an agent and a legacy publishing deal. And once they did, it was about working with your publisher to sell as many books as possible by understanding how to self-promote and market.


Now, writers are much better served learning how to upload their work to Kindle and write a product description than learning how to write a query letter or do a successful book signing.


So is there still anything left for me to say?


Yes. There's plenty.




I Will Experiment

Don't let fear prevent you from taking chances and trying new things. I'm talking to all of you who refuse to raise or lower your ebook prices. I'm talking to all of you who pass judgement without any experience to back up your position. I'm talking to all of you who insist that your way is the right way without ever having tried any other way--or in some cases, knowing nothing about the path you want to take (I'm looking right at you folks still chasing legacy deals.)


The goals you set should constantly be adapting and changing as more data comes in. But don't be a lump, expecting data to come to you by surfing the net, or reading this blog, or praying Santa Claus helps you out.


You need to be the one actively trying different things, taking different directions, and learning through trial and error.


In the past, there were a lot of gatekeepers who could hold you back.


Today the only one holding you back is you.




I Will Help Other Writers

If you learn something, share it. If you have some success, show others how to follow your lead. If you fail miserably, warn your peers.

Writing and publishing were once solitary, private matters, and everyone played their cards close to their chests. No one knew how much anyone else was earning, or how many books they sold, and this suited the publishers just fine. The dark ages are all about being kept in the dark.


Well, let there be light.


The more we share, and help one another, the more our collective base of knowledge can grow.


Self-publishing is an open source project. Add to the database.




I Will Control My Fear

There will always be doubt and uncertainty, because luck plays such a big role in success. I know there are writers who are doing everything right, who still haven't found readers.

But don't let fear own you.


It is easy to get frustrated.


It is easy to get envious of those doing better.


It is easy to dismiss the success or failures of others.


It is easy to worry about the future.


It is easy to ignore good advice. It's also easy to take bad advice.


It is easy to make snap judgments and quick dismissals.


It is easy to make predictions without evidence.


It is easy to give up.


BUT NOBODY EVER SAID SUCCESS IS EASY.


Yes, it is the greatest time ever to be a writer. But no one owes you a living, and no one promised that even if you write a great book and promote the hell out of it you'll get stinking rich.


Not to get all Yoda here, but fear leads to doubt, and doubt will take you down the wrong path.


Controlling fear is easier than you might think. Just accept that failure is part of the process.


Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. All major success stories are filled with setbacks and mistakes and bad luck. But all successful people persevere.


We've all heard that luck favors those who are prepared. So be prepared, and stay prepared, for as long as it takes for success to find you.


Remember that. You don't find success. Success finds you.


This is especially important when you realize this truism:



What Goes Up Must Come Down


I've had a lot of writers email me that their sales are down. Mine are, too. Because ebooks are so new, no one knows what this means, and it is easy to let fear cause doubt.


Here's a mantra for you to help you get over it.


1. Ebooks are forever, and shelf space is infinite. Once you're published, you'll always be selling.


2. Ebooks are not a trend. They are the new, preferred way to read, and mankind will always have the need and desire to read.


3. Ebooks are global. Doing poorly in the USA? That's okay. There are plenty of other countries where you can make money.


4. Sales fluctuate. Always. And there is often no logical or discernible reason why. Riding high in April, shot down in May, that's life.


5. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You're a writer. You're in this until the day you die. As long as you continue to write good books, you'll find readers.


2012 is going to be a very interesting year. We'll see unknown writers get rich. We'll see big name writers leave their publishers. We'll see more and more people buy ereaders throughout the world. We'll see some companies go out of business. We'll see other companies start growing market share.


We're part of something big, and it's going to get even bigger. And while everything that goes up must come down, we've got a very long time before that happens with ebooks.


And when it does? That's okay. Formats and gadgets come and go.


But the world will always need storytellers.


Have a great 2012.



2013


I've lived long enough to see my advice become obsolete, and that gives me hope for the future.


Back when I began, this business was all about finding an agent, finding a publisher, then doing whatever you could to promote yourself.


This blog spoke at length about social media, and book tours, and partnering with your publisher.


Things have changed. 


I have 10,000 followers on Twitter, but I only use it occasionally  Facebook? Haven't been on there in eight months. I witnessed the rise and fall of MySpace. I've opted out of Google+ because I saw no benefits. LinkedIn? I can't even remember my password.


I'll never do another book tour. I doubt I'll ever do another official booksigning. I've stopped speaking in public, stopped attending events. Once it was important to meet fans and network with peers. Now I can do that just fine via email. 


Partnering with your publisher? Why would you do that, when they offer so little? 17.5% ebook royalties with them, vs. 70% on your own. 


I haven't blogged or Tweeted in months. I've been busy doing what writers should be doing: writing.


And guess what? My sales have remained constant. 


Many times this year, I took industry practices to task. I saw stupidity, or unfairness, and I did my best to discredit it. I fought, tooth and nail, for what I believed, and wasted untold hours arguing with pinheads.


Which brings me to my resolution for 2013.



Get Over Yourself


I have turned off Google Alerts, and don't Google my name or my pen names.


I don't go on message boards.


I don't read my book reviews.


I don't care what people are saying about me, good or bad, in blogs or on Twitter or in the media.


There will always be people who don't like you, and don't like your books.


Ignore them.


Trust me, it is liberating to be free of the opinions of strangers. We all need to focus on our writing. Because the millions of readers out there don't care about your blog. They aren't searching for you on Twitter and avoiding your books based on the comments of others. They aren't taking one star reviews seriously.


It's very easy to obsess in this business. But I haven't seen a single shred of evidence that obsession helps careers.


The thing that I have seen, over and over, is people finding success by writing good books.


I really think it is possible to make a very nice living by writing and not worrying about anything else.


We all want to believe we're doing something good for our careers, so we abuse social media, buy ads, rigorously defend our good name, cultivate media contacts, make appearances, and celebrate our own very minor celebrity.


Let it all go. Spend your time working on your books. That's the only thing that really matters, and the only thing you have control over.


I hope everyone reading this has a very successful 2013. Happy new year.



2014

I'll get all of my real-life shit together.

That means:

1. Incorporating and paying quarterly taxes.

2. Creating a will, including a living will.

3. Making sure the will includes provisions for your literary properties.

4. Keeping accurate track of business expenses.

5. Getting regular doctor check-ups so you don't die from something avoidable.

6. Remembering that future goals shouldn't come at the expense of enjoying every single day.

7. Appreciating the people you care about, and making sure they know it.

With luck, we'll all die very old and very rich.

But I've always said that luck favors those prepared. It's very east to get caught up in writing and promotion and ignore the stuff that only becomes obvious when you're in a life-or-death scenario.

Don't wait for the life-or-death scenario. Take care of it now. It doesn't matter if you're 18 or 108, death and taxes are unavoidable. The more you do now to prepare for them, the less painful they'll be.

If you die tonight, will it be with regrets? If so, sort that out immediately. Don't leave loose ends. Don't leave things unsaid. Don't leave a mess for others to clean up.

Now go take care of business, and have a great 2014.

34 comments:

Bob said...

Good summary. One of my goals in 2014 is to focus less on the industry and more on readers.

Readers pay my bills.

Donald Wells said...

Well said!
Organization is key if you're going to be a PROFESSIONAL Writer.

Writer Chick said...

You've left only one thing out: Take care of your physical body. If your mind is the gold mine of all your ideas, your body's the miner. Feed it wisely and exercise it once in a while.

writerrobynlarue said...

I just checked the date on my will...aaaannnddd added to the 2014 To Get Done list. This time I'll have literary rights to add to it.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Well said :) Discovered your blog this year, but have never commented until now. Enjoyed reading this evolution in writing goals and the look back in history. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Really like these lists.

Although you said you opted out of Google plus, but I see that your link to it is still there, so I'm not sure what you mean by that. Also, how do you like using blogger?

oakbark said...

Pay attention people. The part about the will and securing the afterlife of your babies (lit and human) is the golden nugget.

If your work is successful, it's a no-brainer. If your writing isn't selling.. you just can't know if/when it suddenly jumps in popularity and offers your kids a steady addition of $$.

Avril Sabine said...

The sixth point is extremely important. Enjoy every single day because sometimes life can be very short. Find a balance because neither should be at the expense of each other. Sometimes that means coming up with creative ways to maintain that balance, but creativity doesn't have to be just for the artistic endeavours in our lives.

Ryan L. Petty said...

I particularly appreciate your encouraging all of us to do the tough work of estate planning, providing for our heirs and the literary "children" we have birthed, including the not-yet-born.

In the companion piece you link to, it's great that, in addition to the legal word smithing required to transfer assets, you're trying to help authors figure out how to provide heirs with needed advice, access to trustworthy ongoing relationships, etc. Difficult but important.

Thanks!

Alan Spade said...

Happy New Year, Joe!

Hmm... Your #6 resolution, "Remembering that future goals shouldn't come at the expense of enjoying every single day", seems to come in contradiction with that 2008 resolution :

"I Will Feed My Addiction

Life is busy. There are always things you can and should be doing, and your writing career often comes second.

So make it come first.

Right now, you're reading A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. Not A Newbie's Guide to Leading a Content and Balanced Life.

You want to get published and stay published? That means making writing a priority. That means making sacrifices. A sacrifice involves choosing one thing over another.

If you can't devote the time, energy, and money it takes to pursue this career, go do something else."

Of course, the business evolved a lot since 2008. One could almost think success in the self-publishing world would require less self-commitment than in trad pub world... if you didn't seem to have been so extremely busy lately, Joe.

My prediction for 2014: your number 6 resolution will be the most difficult to fulfill for you, Joe. ;)

Christina Katz said...

Hi Joe and Happy New Year!

I love your list for 2014, and find myself thinking about the very same things, although my portfolio is not as large or complex as yours.

Thank you for being the ultimate writer's writer and sharing from your mind, your heart, and your soul bravely on topics I'm sure all writers can relate to.

Diana Stevan said...

Happy New Year!

Thanks for all the resolutions. Love how they've evolved. What you've learned you're passing on which is a gift you're giving your readers.

I'm planning on self-publishing for the first time this spring. So excited. And like you, I have not intention of publishing crap, so I'm paying attention to my cover, getting my copy edited, etc. etc.

I'm also looking forward to all the marketing, even though I know it won't be easy in this upside down trad/self-pub. world.

Kilburn Hall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kilburn Hall said...

My top goal for 2014 is to keep a wary eye on the ever shifting landscape of online and brick and mortar publishing and to continually adjust and expand my publishing options and strategies. A lot of indie authors tend to put all their publishing eggs in one basket and if someone kicks over the basket, if Borders Bookstores or Nook shuts down we have no plan B. So my goal as an inde author in 2014 is to have not only a plan B but C, D, D, E, F, and G, and the rest of the alphabet if need be.

Kilburn Hall said...

My top goal for 2014 is to keep a wary eye on the ever shifting landscape of online and brick and mortar publishing and to continually adjust and expand my publishing options and strategies. A lot of indie authors tend to put all their publishing eggs in one basket and if someone kicks over the basket, if Borders Bookstores or Nook shuts down we have no plan B. So my goal as an inde author in 2014 is to have not only a plan B but C, D, E, F, and G and the rest of the alphabet if need be.

Nigel Bird said...

Very liberating words. Hope it all works out.

Brandon Berntson said...

With KDP changing so much, nowadays it seems you have to shell out cash to promote your work, even when you're giving it away for free. For those us still trying to build a readership, I'm not sure what other option is available. But I do believe it should be more about writing and publishing more books, like always. That's the way it was in the beginning, and I think that still applies today. Thanks for the post, yet again!
https://www.bberntson22.wordpress.com

bettye griffin said...

Just two days ago I looked into switching from a DBA to an LLC in order to do collaborations, for one...are you reading my mind?

Lynn Osterkamp said...

I love the contrast between your 2006 and 2013 resolutions. I have followed the same path and come to the same conclusions. Unfortunately my books don't sell in anywhere near the quantity yours do. Nevertheless I agree that writing is a better use of my time than promotion - and it is much more satisfying. I continue to be surprised at recommendations to new writers that they spend time promoting through social media, books signings, talks, etc. I'm also amazed that writers I know continue to pursue the agent/traditional publisher route. I love your blog. It's one of the very few publishing blogs I read anymore.

Michaela Debelius said...

I feel like there's a lot more death and will chat in the posts lately. Is there a near-death experience I missed somewhere?

Joe Konrath said...

Is there a near-death experience I missed somewhere?

You didn't miss anything. ;)

Corduroy King said...

I love the evolution from 2006 to the present. K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid. You are now enlightened. Happy 2014 everyone!

Laura Russell said...

Useful list, Joe! Thanks for giving us the history, glad to hear no near-death experiences lurking in the background. Being organized is grand.

Frank Coles said...

Good update Joe. Life is for living after all and you are one of the reasons I have recently decided to give up indie writing. It was the comment in one of your recent posts: "Love what you’re doing. This is a brutally tough business, and if you aren’t in love with writing save yourself a lot of heartache and go do something else."

In fact I love writing but frankly the business side of it is dull, dull, dull. Sitting at the computer all day? Fuhgeddabahtit!

Like you I'm prioritising family and real life. Back to reality for me. I'm going back to the north pole, going to work on ending poverty and hang out with my kids. I've enjoyed your work. I'll read you again. Best of luck for the future.

Gretta Curran Browne said...

I don't know what works or does not work, I just keep on writing because I love it. But when I start to flag, I have only ONE solution that I turn to get my fires burning again, no matter what date the year is - READ JOE KONRATH.
And not only for Joe and his advice and encouragement - but also for many of the great posters who comment on Joe's blog who are also so enlightening to read.
A great community of writers and I love you all!
Wishing you all a great and life-changing 2014!

Kelly Wittmann said...

Thanks for the 'tude adjustment, Joe. Oh, how I needed it! Hope you and your family have a wonderful 2014.

Nowick Gray said...

Intriguing shift! Evokes ongoing, lifelong meditations on Art vs. Life, and balanced lifestyle, inspiring this latest blog post:
"J. A. Konrath...From aspiring to successful writer, to fame and fortune, and out the other side: in 2013, to single-minded focus as a writer again, dropping the social media buzzsaw; and then finally, suddenly in 2014, resolving, 'I’ll get all of my real-life shit together....'" ("Holographic Chakras," http://seekersmanual.com/?p=249) Thanks, J. A.!

Rex Kusler said...

Nothing lasts forever--except Vegas. You need to come here and shoot some craps and get plastered.

Patrick R said...

Hi Joe

Life adjustment or just keeping tax shark at bay, as the beast would like to feast, smelling dollars like blood in a pool?

Doing the production side of ebooks must be a cake walk compared to getting the business affairs side all fixed and professional. Most people won't be there yet (including me!), so might not feel the annual deadlines of accounts & tax, and the every approaching stealth of the ol' Scythe-swinger.

But these business 'production' processes need nailed, not least to get the foundation secure to build up more business(es).

So, a phase shift, from ebook/indie production processes to business production? Locking down before stepping up - even higher.

What say you? Getting to grips with business is what is round the curve for all who seek sales and ca$h from great e-works?

Great to see this flagged.

Patrice Fitzgerald said...

You sound downright wise, Joe.

Hope everything comes together for you on this list. Have a grand year.

patrick R said...

new website !! I love seeing business in action!

Ivan Izo said...

I love how your focus stays on writing lots right through the transition from traditional to ebook publishing. That is what matters most. The advice on getting professional ebook formatting and cover art were a bit disheartening since I don't have the income for that. On the other hand, I'm a life-long learner, so I'll be learning those skills while I keep writing novels. All it takes is willpower and determination. Your evolving resolutions through the years tell a great story. Thank you for this.

Lorraine Reguly said...

Joe, I've been reading and following your blog via Networked Blogs for a while and don't often comment, but I have to tell you that your posts are very inspirational to read. Educational, too.

As someone who only purchased a laptop in 2013, I'm now realizing that opportunities are all around me, and I'm grateful for you and other Indie authors who share your experiences so willingly.

I recently won a short story contest that will be used to help someone else make money. I've also had another story published in an anthology, with the same results.

I'm working on my memoirs, am blogging and guest posting, and am on social media. Why I am not focussing on earning is beyond me.

Give me a kick in the butt, please.

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