This marks the 200th blog I’ve posted about writing, editing, marketing, ebooks, paper books and the general state of the publishing industry. The first post was on January 26, 2011, almost exactly four years ago, and I’ve averaged 50 posts a year. Not bad considering each post is about five hundred and fifty words. All in all, at 110,000 words, this is a novel in and of itself. What is even more impressive is that I’m still writing the damn thing. It is as much a release of frustrations as a commentary on the state of the publishing industry.
I wish that every blog was pithy and smart, yet some were just silly and even dumb. Others have helped new writers into the world of self-publishing, showed how the barriers could be breached, and helped many to find the right path. When I started this blog the independent self-publisher/author/writer was an anomaly and shunned by the greater publishing world. Amazon was trying hard to fight the fight for the indie writer and Mark Coker, with his Smashwords’ “meatgrinder,” was new. Now they are the backbone of a innovative world of publishing and writing opportunities, and in fact Amazon through its various imprints and publishing houses, in now one of the biggest publishers on the street (and not just ebooks). And self-publishing has become the go to for many writers who have lost their gigs with the New York traditionals.
One of my earliest posts was about the scheduling of the writing of my third book in the O’Mara series, Toulouse For Death. It was an attempt on my part to set dates for the book’s development, I beat that first schedule. Since that first post I’ve written five additional books with new characters, plots, and even historical settings. I’m proud of the work, but I don’t schedule anymore.
I’m easily squirreled. Right now I am writing and developing five new books, each remarkably different than the rest. Which one is completed first remains to be seen, but in time they will all be written.
I am a storyteller, not a stylist. The fundamental truth about good and even great writing is story. While rich and well developed characters are critical to a story, if they don’t have something to do or react to they become flat and unresponsive. This debate will never end. Which is more important, story or characters? Right now I believe in story.
Where do I go from here? Easy to say. My goal this year is to publish three new works, and then follow up in 2016 with two more. Will I go traditional, not sure? Never saw a deal that was worth the loss of control and creativity, but then again the next book might be the one.
More later . . . . . .