Welcome friends and subscribers to the WBF e-zine.

In this month's exciting issue we have the following treats:

  • Re-Connecting the Dots
  • One seemingly small false idea can have very far reaching ramifications. And when you remove it, all of your thinking has to be reevaluated. I call it connecting or re-connecting the dots. I had one of these and I wanted to share it with you.

  • Writing is a Business!
  • You can write as a hobby, as a profession or as a business - but only one will give you any real satisfaction or make you any money - can you guess which one?

  • Writers - Are you, "What's for Dinner"?
  • Yu' ever feel like you got a hook in you mouth? Well, you do. And the Big Box publishers have been pulling the line. It's time to start thinking like a fisherman, instead of not-thinking like a fish - unless you enjoy being, "What's for Dinner"

  • Great Source of Agents and Publishers
  • And these agents actually like working with first time Authors.

    John Kramer's list of Editors have bought at least one book from a first time author. The list of Editors is free but the list of Agents is $30 I've heard John Kramer speak. He's a great guy and great source for tons of info on the publishing end of things. BookMarket.com

    Note - I'm not an affiliate and make no money on whatever you might do with John.

Hope you enjoy this month's issue. For comments and questions you can reach me at Richard@write-better-fiction.com. I'd love to hear from you.

I can only do so much alone - I could use your help.

Help me help your writing friends. Forward them a copy of this e-zine or send me their name and email addresses and I'll send them an invitation to receive this free monthly e-zine. No spam - just an invitation. They'll need to opt-in on their own.


Writing is a Business!

Are you writing as a -
  • Hobby,
  • Profession or
  • Business?
Your answer makes all the difference in the world.

Self gratification - comes from a "hobby".

Wages - come from a "profession".

Profit - comes from a "business".

It's your choice. One must understand the ramifications of the choices.

Don't believe for a moment that you can do one and get paid as the other.

It really doesn't work that way. No matter what "Tooth Ferry" you "Believe in".

Here are insights from publishing industry "insiders" about the "business" of writing.

----------

"In today's market, writers can't just be writers. They have to be performers and publicists as well." - Novelist JOSHUA HENKIN, "Writer with a Roadshow" (op-ed page article), New York Times, July 5, 1997

"Publishers lavish promotion on books likely to sell, written by bestseller writers." - JEFF LIPPMAN, Wall Street Journal, September 2, 1997

"Everyone else pretty much has to fend for himself." - ROBERT CRAIS, author of the Elvis Cole mystery series, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, September 2, 1997

-----------

Many artists are confused about the "model" they are using and wind up operating their "art" as a hobby and wondering why they aren't making any money.

I made this mistake for many years. You don't need to.

To change your income - first - change your operating basis.

Click here to read the elements of fiction writing, starting with a discussion of the writers "product".

"Richard A McCullough is the creator & editor of http://www.write-better-fiction.com the Fiction Writers source for Writing Better Fiction Faster and Selling More of What You Write. Copyright: you may freely republish this article, provided the text, author credit, the active links and this copyright notice remain intact."


Writers - Are you, "What's for Dinner"?

Yu' ever feel like you got a hook in you mouth?

"I've never quite bought the idea that the public buys or takes what it deserves. I think that...publishers to a measurable extent dictate public tastes. They're really more powerful than we want to admit." - VAN ALLEN BRADLEY, literary critic, quoted in Conversations by Roy Newquist

One very viable solution for this dilemma (the publishing industry deciding arbitrarily who will and will not be "published") is to bypass these guys and self-publish your own book.

Are you a fish or a fisherman?

What do we need them for - anyway?

Think about it. If you self-publish - You'll make 10X the money, retain complete control, and your book will stay in print indefinitely instead of 3 months; not to mention the fact that your book will be on the selves in a couple months instead of 18 to 24 months with a "publisher".

When one adds up the simple facts - the "dream" of being published by a NY publishing house shifts from "dream" to nightmare pretty quick.

"Hey, honey! We hooked another idealistic "writer" today. Turn on the grill. I'll have him gutted and cleaned in a minute."

The only thing that a Big Box publishing house actually brings to the table (besides you're cleaned bones) is the cash for the first 3-5,000 copies.

But when you realize that for that small investment ($10,000) they're going to pick your book clean of 80% of the profits and then throw what's left of you and your book in the trash - No self respecting business person would consider their "deal" for a NY minute.

So, why do writers routinely fall for this obviously lopsided business arrangement?

Are we as genetically stupid as fish?

No, we're just programmed to think of ourselves as "artists", and discouraged from looking beyond the surface to the guy holding the rod and reel.

We don't want to be involved in something as sordid as "business". As artists we're above all that! It's about the "art". That little worm hides the hook of our demise.

Well, I say... Bull Shit!

If we fiction writers don't want to be hooked and flayed like gasping mackerels we'd better put on our "business hat" and start thinking like fishermen/businessmen.

Look beyond the surface - study the facts. Then make an informed decision.

Am I going to be the fish, or the fisherman? Am I going to be a business person about this "writing thing" or am I going to be "dinner"?

"Richard A McCullough is the creator & editor of http://www.write-better-fiction.com the Fiction Writers source for Writing Better Fiction Faster and Selling More of What You Write. Copyright: you may freely republish this article, provided the text, author credit, the active links and this copyright notice remain intact."


Re-Connecting the Dots

One seemingly small false idea can have very far reaching ramifications. And when you remove it, all of your thinking has to be reevaluated. I call it connecting or re-connecting the dots. I had one of these this morning and I wanted to share it with you.

Yea, I know it was mean of me to list this article first and then present it last.

But I wanted to save the best for last. Please consider it "dessert".

Like most BIG ideas, the ones with really far reaching effects - are deceptively simple looking.

Here's the Big Idea - we were sold a bill-of-goods.

We were sold on the idea that writing is "art" and then never given a workable definition of what art is. Instead, of a clear definition the subject was wrapped in religious like mystery.

Let's look at this again. First they wrap the subject of writing fiction in the veil of "art" and then they place "art" at the top of on un-scalable mountain of conflicting opinions, half truths and downright lies.

This little trick of smoke and mirrors is a control mechanism to keep artists looking in rather than looking out; to keep them interiorized into their heads rather than exteriorized and looking at and communicating with the world.

But when we "take the red pill" - like Neo, the scales fall from our eyes and we see that writing is just communication. And when we write to make a profit - it's a business.

Until one starts thinking of their writing (even fiction writing) as a business - their business - there is no overarching principle with which to align any other fact, or datum about the craft. And all these unevaluated and unaligned facts and ideas just tie one in a knot of confusion, which of course keeps us from writing much about anything.

Here is another datum to compare to the above.

The writer who considers his writing as "only" a hobby starts down the path of looking and thinking only about himself, what he likes, needs, and wants. They interiorize into the subject. This interiorizeation can go a very long way, for a very long time and effectively stops the writer from having much of an effect on much of anyone - except himself - of course.

Only when we consider writing a "business" that produces a product, which must be exchanged with other people, can we exteriorize our attention regarding the subject and start looking out, instead of in on ourselves. And in doing so; we begin to make sense of the nomenclature, tools, raw materials, sequences, and techniques in their relation to producing and exchanging that product.

You see, when we are only writing for self gratification (as a hobby) there is no "right" or "wrong" way of doing anything. Our judgments can only be subjective because we are the only judge. We do whatever we feel like doing - and it's totally "right" - for no other reason than - that's how we felt like doing it, in that moment in time.

But when we are writing to produce a product (something that is going to be exchanged) everything about what, how and why we are doing what we're doing changes. Our viewpoint becomes objective because the work (the writing) is no longer just about us. It's now about communicating with an audience. And (as a business) we know we must create the desired effect as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

From, and according to this viewpoint of product - all aspects of the craft can now be evaluated, aligned and understood.

Operating from the viewpoint of self gratification, NO factors can be aligned, sorted or evaluated. Whatever feels good at the time, is the only possible criteria.

And, there's a little zinger in here. Many of us "think about" becoming well known authors but we've been brainwashed into believing it's all about "the art". Like the word "art" conveys some sort of otherworldly, holiness on the subject. And as long as there is this holiness attached to the subject it remains shrouded in mystery.

But when we begin to think of the subject as a business, that produces a simple product, the fog lifts and the subject, and all its parts and pieces, becomes very simple. Because everything now can be aligned with and from this single question - what's the product?

Ok, the product is a story. A story is a certain thing, made a certain way to create a specific effect on those who consume it; which leads directly to other simply asked and answered questions, like.

What kind of stories do people want? How do they want them, what form, structure, content, etc?

And as we begin asking and discovering the answers to these questions the subject just gets simpler and simpler.

So, there is a choice that we must all make. Is my writing going to be an exorcise in narcissism or an exorcise in sound business practices?

Is it going to be about "art-for-arts-sake" or about producing a good story, which people want to read, presented in the appropriate format and best packaging?

Is this a business or a hobby?

Do I want to go round and round in my own head, like a hamster in a cage, or do I want to communicate with the world?

Your answer makes all the difference in the world.

"Richard A McCullough is the creator & editor of http://www.write-better-fiction.com the Fiction Writers source for Writing Better Fiction Faster and Selling More of What You Write. Copyright: you may freely republish this article, provided the text, author credit, the active links and this copyright notice remain intact."



New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.