Saturday, April 27, 2019

Book Sale - May 2019

I've always believed that it's very important for creators to value their work for a variety of reasons, particularly when aspiring to earn a living from it.

The amount of time, effort, and in many cases money required to create, refine, and release high-quality content is generally quite significant. As such, I've never been shy or reluctant in my efforts to monetize my work in various ways to help justify those investments.

To me, it boils down to a simple truth. If I create something of quality, I believe I have just as much right to profit from it as anyone else doing the same, which is why I never hesitate to set the prices of the products I sell based on generally-accepted industry practices, and never sell products at a loss.

For example, without going into too much detail: The prices I normally set for my books are selected to ensure that I earn an amount of money comparable to the amounts earned by my printing and distribution partners. As a result, any discounts I offer on books during book sales are mostly taken from my third of the proverbial pie. In other words, when I sell my books for any less than I normally do, my printer and distributer still make nearly the same amounts they typically would, while my personal profit is significantly diminished.

As one might expect, things are a little different with eBooks as there are no printing costs involved, which allows me to offer more substantial discounts, while still maintaining a somewhat-fair profit share with my distributors.

I bring all this up because I've decided to offer the deepest discounts I possibly can on my first two books for the month of May in an effort to give as many people as possible the opportunity to read and enjoy them.

I don't know if I could ever adequately convey how inherently-unappealing the thought of earning significantly less for my work than I believe it's worth, not to mention significantly less for it than my business partners will earn, feels to me but at the end of the day, I'm willing to take that hit to get my books into more people's hands, and build my reputation as an author.

So, without further ado, behold the new prices for my first two novels, which will be in effect from May 1st, 2019 until June 1st, 2019!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Moving Forward as an Author

Over the past two years, I've spent a lot of time and effort establishing myself as a professional writer. In a lot of ways, I've experienced some arguably-amazing instances of success, particularly given the fierce competition inherent in the field, and the generally-limited number of opportunities that tend to be available to newcomers entering it.

Despite those successes, writing does not pay my bills, at least not with any consistency or reliability. At the end of the day, I still heavily rely on employment opportunities related to my previous profession as a software engineer to make ends meet.

With that reality in mind, I've found myself carefully considering the best way to move my writing career forward, while maintaining the ability to financially support myself in the likely event that the revenue generated by my written works continues to prove insufficient on its own.

Historically, my approach has been to commit for a time to an all-consuming, high-paying, full-time IT job, or a series of short-term contracts, accumulating enough money to support myself through the likely duration of one or more creative projects.

The big advantage to this approach has been that it allowed me to completely focus on particular tasks. When working an IT job, I was able to put everything I had into it and achieve impressive results. Similarly, when expressing myself creatively in-between IT jobs, I was able to give those projects my full attention and intensity.

Over the years, I've found that the down side to this methodology is that it tends to lead to some extreme and ultimately-unhealthy behavior on my part, particularly when working in the IT field. For many years, I was the guy who would spend 60-80 hours a week writing code and tackling complex technical problems, nearly completely immersing myself in my work duties to the point where other aspects of my life suffered.

In the early days of my IT career, this focus and determination had a lot to do with simply wanting to do a good job, opening potential opportunities for advancement within the organizations where I worked, but as years went by, my motivations changed a bit. At a certain point, my immersion became more of a way to prevent myself from becoming distracted, or spending the money I was accumulating so that I could more-quickly accomplish my IT-related goals and return to a more creative existence. As a result, there are spans of time in my life, some lasting for years, where I recall little more than constantly working on major technology projects, and not much else.

I wouldn't say that I regret those choices but I have become more aware of them as I've aged, and I've certainly developed a desire and practical need to avoid such situations moving forward in an effort to lead a more balanced, consistently-fulfilling, and healthy life.

As such, I've decided to try something I've never attempted before, and actively work on a writing project while holding a more traditional, 40-hour-per-week job. As one might expect, some changes and compromises have been required on both fronts to that end but I find myself optimistic that I'll be able to find a way to make this new scenario viable long-term.

The good news for fans of my creative output is that I won't be forcing myself to completely put those efforts on hold for a time as I have in the past. Consequently, things like this blog will likely continue to be updated on a far-more-frequent basis than would have been possible using my old methodology.

Of course, there's no way of predicting whether or not this new scenario will prove more or less effective than what I've done in the past but I'm eager to give it a try. If nothing else, I'm looking forward to comparing the new results with those from my prior efforts.

Another technique I'm keen to attempt with this next writing project is to expand my marketing strategy based on what I learned from promoting "309." As such, expect to hear and see a lot more from me about my next book well in advance of its release.

In summary, buckle up! Things are about to get interesting.