The Overwhelmed Author

IMG_0180Are there other authors and writers out there overwhelmed by all they are told they need to do and little time in which to accomplish it?

With Amazon opening the floodgates of self publishing in 2009-2010, I am now hearing the moans of authors saying, “I have no time to write anymore.”

Marketing has reared it’s ugly head.

Even those carrying contracts with big and little publishers are tasked to do the lion’s share of their marketing. Everybody has turned to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest,Google+, Goodreads, Librarything, LinkedIn, etc. and finding social media can create a black hole in their time and energy without any knowledge of what return is gotten on sales. Everyone’s experience is different. Some swear by social media, while others question its effectiveness. As old ways shift to new strategies, we feel like we’re on unsettled ground.

In addition, the Indie author is struggling with formatting, editing, cover design and downloading protocol. It’s doable, but time consuming unless you farm it out…and then beware. Everyone has a book to sell on marketing or book design. Various publishers are ready to rip off the uninformed writer who has no time to research what a good contract should look like, what distribution is best or just the basic business of writing.

Check out http://kriswrites.com to help you. It’s an exciting world out there to be sure….but overwhelming.

And if you’re writing, I am hearing the complaint that there’s no time to read anymore. Welcome to my world…and I write a book review blog. Gah!

This week I strayed off course (“Again!” you say.) and picked up Constellation 2 (just out) by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Constellation 1 is also out.

Constellation

As some know, I’m deep in the Liadon Universe series and this is a compilation of short stories published over the years for various magazines and venues.

The interesting point here is that these authors kept writing and putting out work while they tried to find a publisher. They kept on. And on.

And developed a fan base, or what everyone is now calling “a platform.”

Think persistence if you want to be successful. Remember the parable of the tortoise and the hare? So, because of their persistence, they also have a wealth of content that they are bundling into anthologies. In addition, they are taking their novelettes and putting two or three together, adding a new cover and title and republishing to a new and building readership.

If you own your copyright, you can do this. Hear me Indie author…the power is yours.

Constellation2Constellation 2 is a delightful group of stories. Lee and Miller have a way of making their characters feel alive. In each story, the plot is interesting and the action strong.

For example:

In the first story, a young girl struggles in a world where women are controlled and repressed. Father has several wives picked out by his father. Women are not taught to read and are expected to stay home and serve their chosen husband . But Ina Bhar is the mousy third daughter with a clever mind and her father, a scholar, lets her into his world by teaching her to read and think. He bequeaths her the Curiat, a dangerous book that brings about his death at the hands of those searching for it. Using the book, she plots to escape her bonds, her world and those that would kill for its secrets.

Not one normally for anthologies, these stories feel like quick additional peeks into the lives of characters I have read about over the years. They are a side venture, not explored with the major plot but vignettes that adds depth and deeper understanding to characters and events already introduced in the series. They are familiar characters or situations that I am eager to learn more about.

So, here is an example of two authors who are getting creative with their efforts, and stories written long ago for other venues are finding new markets, and adding some efficiency to the role of the Indie author.

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2 Comments

Filed under Alien and human bonding, alien life forms, Alien pets in science fiction, Alien worlds, Best selling science fiction, dragons, genetic manipulation, Liandon Universe, Science Fiction Anthology, Science Fiction Novelettes

2 responses to “The Overwhelmed Author

  1. See? You did come up with a good topic to blog about. 😛

    Overwhelming for sure. All the freedom writers have always wanted comes with all the responsibilities and risks too. Indies authors aren’t just authors, they’re publishers, marketers, performers as well as the men behind the scene. Those who can juggle all these roles successfully, are successful. Those who can’t, go under. No business has ever been kind to people, and publishing IS a business.

    Sigh.

    I thought about writing and publishing short stories to create some sort of portfolio for myself, because it does indeed help with visibility and Kudos! to those who can do it, but I’m just not that much into writing short fiction. Sure, it’s fun, and I will definitely garnish my novels with some extra short stories in the same world just for fun, but I’m primarily a long fiction writer. I prefer space opera sized stories, series and trilogies, huge tomes you could smash a raccoon with.

    Take heart, you still read tons more than I get to. I’m lucky if I manage to start a new book as soon as I finish one, instead of letting the days (or weeks!) amount between them.

    Also, I love reading your blog too, even if I don’t always comment. You always find such interesting books!

    Like

    • Run raccoons, run.

      Yep, I am the same way. I just can’t fire up interest in writing short stories. Rather, I find myself wading into a complex world with lots of action and characters that start doing things that amaze me, and keep on doing stuff.

      Unfortunately, once you start dealing with the business side of writing, you realize that when you pass 400 pages, the cost of printing gets expensive and nowadays customers are being trained to spend less per book. New free book sites, discounted books, Kindle prices all have brought the price down. Readers just see a cover, read a blurb and decide without checking page count. Page count can be 80, 100, so the book gets priced low. Keep that in mind as you write because a first time writer does tend to write a big book not realizing that the next step is trying to sell it.

      Been there.

      Like

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