Settling into Fall

At least that’s as far as I’m willing to commit to at present.

Crazy summer is over (theoretically). Got one part of the fence project left to finish partway on Monday and then hang the deer netting after that and call it done.

Recovering from NINC. Mostly. Got a lot of homework in front of me, including writing everything up from the conference so I know what I need to do going forward. Several weeks of homework ahead.

One of the things I plan to do will be to start direct-selling some of my short fiction directly off my website. Short stuff only, not novels. Stuff I won’t put up anywhere else, so everyone will have to get into the habit of coming here to get it. This is not an accident. The extra 60 cents I mightmake isn’t all that impressive, but it puts things better in my control.

Found out the other day from a fellow writer (or writer fellow) that if I don’t see more than X in sales for any given state, I don’t have to collect taxes for that state. And some of them are $10,000, while others are serious amounts of money. If I’m making that level I’ve traded up for other problems, and I can deal with that.

The thought right now is put them up for like $0.49 for a week or maybe the month. Then raise them to $0.99. Or maybe even a whole dollar. I know, big-time spender.

These will not be stories that get put up later on Amazon or anywhere else. Best you’d see is if I got around to doing another Beyond The Mirror Collection or six, depending on theme. Input from the peanut gallery will be taken under advisement.

At $0.99 on Amazon, I make 28-29 cents net. Everyone else is pretty similar. So I’m making more money at $0.49. And you’re saving money. Win/win.

The narrowcasting is coming. (More in a moment.)

I’ll be down at OryCon in November. I do not know what my schedule is, because they are behind on posting it. (I knew I was in trouble when one of the ConComm folks reached out personally to let me know that I would be on panels, but they were still filling things in. News to follow. Yikes.)

But after Orycon, I know a few people who are simply going to shut down their FB accounts and walk away. And I understand their logic. It can be a cesspool. Just this week, I had a friend of a friend post some armchair racism on my wall. That got deleted. She got banned. FB actually slapped me for my response, which may have been a bit overboard, but I like to remind folks that when they defend white supremicists, I will simply assume that they need to be tarred with the same brush. There is no equivalence there, as I have many friends who aren’t WASPs, and your racism offends me. If you can’t shut the hell up then go away.

But without something like FB, you will suddenly have ten thousand channels for communication. Unsocial media, as it were, where everyone goes off to their own fragment of the internet and loses track of everyone else.

Not talking. Probably worse than talking, even when I have to risk idiots explaining the importance of fourteen words to me. (That’s a good way to get yourself punched, by the way. You have been warned.)

But I’m also going to contribute in my own way.  Won’t stop the social media, but will be spending less time there. Will be blogging a little less  as well.

Instead, I will be moving up to doing a twice-a-month newsletter, probably starting with the new year. Chat about life and projects and the farm and whatever, plus talk about the book just come out, or the one coming.

Also, I will be starting an entirely separate newsletter. New signup, new process, new everything. This second one will be called “Blaze Ward’s Publishing Corner” or something equally memorable and will talk about what I know or have learned related to Indie publishing. Won’t be anything useful for TradPut writers, or folks who still have the delusional hope that they’ll get a agent or a deal in this lifetime. Won’t be much useful for folks in KU, because I’m wide and it is an entirely different ecosystem with different rules.

If you want on the mailing list, make sure I have your email by sending it to me and expressing direct interest. There will be a button for it at some point, but again, probably end of the year, once I write up all my NINC notes.

So far, we have broken Indie down into five separate categories. I hesitate to call them levels, because you can get from one to another without crossing some. When you sign up, I will send you the document (not quite done yet) as part of the on-boarding, so we all share a vocabulary.

Each newsletter will have stuff I have learned, broken out by the groups most likely to be able to take advantage of that information. It’s all good stuff to know, but a lot of Indie involves training wheels all over the place, only removed when you get comfortable. Myself included, even where I’m at in my career.

Folks joining us for our monthly writers lunch have complained (good-naturedly) that it can be a fire hose of information, and you just have to survive for a while until you start to get a grip and figure out what your path to the top of the mountain will look like.

There was some talk about putting it on my Patreon, but I’d rather folks just buy my books and those from the Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm). Those come out after the fact, but will also help catch you up some.

Indie Press moves. My favorite two sayings, looking each direction: “That’s so three days ago.” and “The galaxy has changed.”

What worked for you as recently as three years ago is hopelessly out of date now. Sometimes, three months ago. Occasionally, as we learn things, three days ago.

You have to adjust your mindset. Part of that adjustment is that you have to reevaluate things on a weekly basis. Something will have changed. New tools. New services. New gimmicks suddenly not working anymore and causing people’s careers to implode while they thrash about hopelessly because Amazon got tired of chiselers.


If you want to play in the big leagues, adapt. I am not a big shark. Frequently, I am the smallest dogfish in the room, but the Babe and I punch well above our weight because we are willing to abandon things that don’t work and try new things. I get invited to meet with interesting people under NDAs because I have ideas, and want everyone to succeed by sharing with others.

As some of those NDAs expire, you’ll see useful bits in the newsletter, which is why the writer/publishers out there should consider it.

Fans are always welcome as well, but you gotta be nerdy to want to actually see the sausage being made. I know a few of you are, so feel free to jump in the boat with us.

Nobody knows where the river’s headed.

But it is going to be one hell of a fun ride.