A poor sod like me can write to his heart's everlasting content, but sooner of later comes that nagging sensation that the whole blasted insanity is worthless without a public audience. Thus, time to sell. It's challenging, exciting, and utterly terrifying, if truth be told. The digital world has created endless competition for our eyes and increasingly short attention spans. People can publish anything they damn well please for free. Amazon, the world's most powerful bookseller, features many millions of titles on its site - everything from literary masterpieces to utter dreck. That's a lot of clutter to break through. So what is a writer to do?
So, here's my choice after 25 years of playing it safe: No more time-wasting trying to find notice in the traditional publishing biz. Agents take weeks (and often months) to respond at a rejection pace exceeding 98 percent industry-wide, and publishers tend to be slower and far more inept. Sure, if you break through, then life can take amazing turns. But the reality of reaching the NYT best-seller list and becoming a mega-best-sellling-empire-of-one is much like achieving stardom in Hollywood: Of all the actors seeking work, only a handful will ever command six- and seven-figure salaries. So I rather think it's time to put aside fanciful notions of literary, financial godhood and turn to the trickier, more daunting task of turning the writing into a startup business.
That's the direction I am headed. Although I have published two books on Amazon and received reviews from my first few readers, the journey ahead will be long and grueling. I'll be launching an advertising campaign for those books this summer, followed by a third novel that is currently going through final edits. I'll then turn my attention to more of my back list as well as future novels and short stories connected to The Father Unbound and The Savage Clock. There's the matter of formulating a business plan, developing spreadsheets to track inflow and outflow, and of course design Facebook and Amazon ads.
Ads, of course, cost money. But what is the central adage of anyone daring to make that startup business work? See the headline to this blog.
And so it begins. The next chapter. The down and dirty. The bottom line. Accounting. Taxes. All quite vile. But if it works, now there's an intriguing possibility. And I'm all about possibilities.