Monday, June 27, 2011

Nonfiction Recommendation: How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months

Yesterday, I read John Locke's writing book How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months.  I don't want to give away his information, but his book has some good advice.  Refreshingly new.  But basically, I love it when people try something new and it works out well, because I don't do standard well.   Some of his advice will work out right great for me; others I need to twist a little for my benefit.  But there should be oodles of usefulness from this book.  

So, what is the difference between this book and others?  Well, it has a lot of business sense in it, some things I slowly started picking up while reading actual books on business.  Good to know I was heading in the right direction.  Also, some of it made me wonder if John Locke ever took a Dale Carnegie class?  Some of his ideas or his approach reminds me a little of the famous book I'm reading by Dale Carnegie, whom I really like.

However, I must add a caveat.  It would work better for the self-publisher than the traditional publisher's author.  Mostly because I think the marketing approach would be harder for those authors to carry out since other people are involved with their work, agents and publishers (editors).  There are a few other things too that make me say that.

Anyway, it made a lot of sense, and now I'm inspired that much more to get something out there.  If you haven't, pick it up.  If like me and you don't have a Kindle, you can pick it up at Smashwords for an epub format.  I did that so I could read it on my nook.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Morning Coke, Morning Pages

I am going to replace my morning Coke with morning pages . . . soon.  In a few weeks.  I'm working on decaffing myself over the next few weeks.  Why?  Multiple reasons.  For one, some medicines don't go well with you consuming large quantities of caffeine while on them (I learned that recently).  Two, if the symptoms of gradual detoxing from caffeine are any indication to go by, caffeine is some serious crap that affects your body.  Dislike that.  Three, a can of Coke has 140 calories, and multiply that by how many I used to consume daily, that's about damn close to a 1000 calories that I drank in.  Daily.  And my body is showing it lately.

To help wean myself off after, oh, 20+ years of Coca-Cola-addiction, I'm drinking fake soda--that is, decaf, diet Coke.  And I am doing this with Julia Cameron's morning pages.  According to her Artist's Way book, you write three longhand pages of whatever comes to mind.  You write them first thing in the morning.  They helped me long ago when I was getting past some writer's block.  I figured I better start practicing at them now, making the morning pages an ingrained habit, before I take that final step and drop my last can of Coke.  In the end, both practices--being caff-free and doing daily morning pages--will prove beneficial in the long run.

(This post took me 18 minutes to create, from conception to posting.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Literary Agents as Publishers: Conflict of Interest

Awful news, heard first via a Passive Voice post.  I couldn't read the whole article, too disgusted.  Since when do the agents get decide if what they are doing is a conflict of interest instead of the law doing so?

Perfectionism: Fear in Writing

Dave Gaughran posted an interesting piece on the kindleboards and on his blog about a self-publishing myth.  In it, he brought up a key piece of negativity that I too sense in discussions with others.  That is, that most self-published work is crap and therefore it somehow taints the good self-published work (and perhaps even non-self-published work).  He wrote, "[T]his idea of poor self-published work tainting the rest is clearly rubbish. Will my perfectly formatted e-book become corrupted by sharing a virtual bookshelf with unprofessional self-publishers? Will the colours bleed from my cover? Will I begin to dangle my modifiers? Will my characters turn to cardboard?"

The article goes on to make more good points, but that is an important point in another way.  After all, it is useful to adopt this point of view towards one's work in general.  I'm a perfectionist, and I fear letting out less than perfect work.  I fear that no matter how long I work on a work, it will never be perfect--which is a truth, actually.  But I can't let that fear prevent me from producing and publishing my writing.

The main, weird point I drew from this article is this:  an imperfect story will not make another story worse.  That is something worth remembering when you write.  And in doing so, another arresting fear is released.

(This blog post took me 15 minutes to write, from conception to posting.)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Oops! Where Did My Blog Links Go?

Looks like I might have lost my blog list when I changed the name of my blog.  Maybe it will come back on its own, but I doubt it.  So, I'll have to rebuild it from scratch.  Sad :-(  But it something worth noting if you change the url of your blog--save your blog list.  It will disappear.

New Name, New Focus

This blog was formerly called Fantasy Fiction Addiction, and its focus was writing.  For a while now, I wanted to combine several blog concepts into one.  But it is only now, as I work on changing myself, that I am working on changing this blog.  This move is far from complete, but bit by bit, I am working on getting it ready.  For those used to the old blog, I still plan on posting snippets of my writing here.  I still will talk about writing.  But I hope to add other things here, such as interesting bits from my research.  Hope to see you around.

(This post took 6 minutes to create, from conception to posting.)

Bite-Sized Success

I am a fan of the Triple Crown Races.  I watch it every year, hoping this will be the year.  And after the second race has run and my hopes are dashed, I usually stop watching.  But this year I watched the third race, the Belmont, and I noticed something.  The announcers had the same level of enthusiasm for each race no matter the fact we lost our chance this year for a Triple Crown Winner.  His level of enthusiam for the last race was great as I heard for the first.  That made me realize I'm missing an important point.  Yes, having a Triple Crown Winner is amazing and inspirational, but each race is worth celebrating the victory on its own merit.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Finding My Zeal as a Writer

To get back into the groove of things, I've been writing shorts. Why? For two reasons.

First, it's easier to start out small and build big. After all, isn't the Wii Fit always telling me I need at least 10 minutes of exercise for it to matter? If I start out with scheduling in 10 minutes and keep that routine for a week, then adding 5 minutes to it next week won't seem impossible. Before long, instead of wanting to do yoga but never seeming to find the time, I will be doing yoga half an hour a day. The same for writing. It's like I'm out of creative shape. Why try to run a marathon when you haven't been exercising in a long time?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Caterpillar to Butterfly

Caterpillar by cicerocat
Caterpillar, a photo by cicerocat on Flickr.

For several years now, we have raised butterflies as a hobby.  They start out as little yellow eggs, hatch into little black caterpillars, mature into green gremlins, and end up wrapped in green or brown chrysalises.  A few weeks later, they are something else altogether--a beautiful black butterfly.  Then the process begins again. 

Sometimes I think creative arts people go through a similar metamorphosis, perhaps several times over.  I think I am going through one now.  What I knew as writer's block, gently called writer's ennui to take out the sting, may be the creeping stages in my life cycle as a writer.  I feel I am close to something . . . else, but my past is still holding me back.  

You see, I have all these goals, most of which ended up in failure.  Most likely because what I was passionate about, my true goals, were changing.  That is why I need to let go of my past goals, and keep only the essence.  Meaning, I keep only what keeps me writing and striving toward publishing.  Meaning, I may have to change how I write, what I write, and how I seek publishing.  Meaning, like a caterpillar, I have some molting to do in order to grow into my new skin, my new goals, my new future.  But at least now, I know its waiting for me as long as I do my work.

butterfly2 by cicerocat
butterfly2, a photo by cicerocat on Flickr.

(This blog post took 43 minutes to create, from conception to posting.)