March 21, 2005
First Paycheck(Filed under: Buy My Novel!)
This weekend I received my first ever income from my first ever book, Downtown Dandelions. The royalty check came in the mail from CafePress, a whopping $44.60. While my first sale came way back in January, this is the true moment to celebrate. When you have something you can put in the bank. It amounts to 10 copies of my book and a Monkey Outta Nowhere t-shirt (thanks to my sister-in-law).
It's really the definition of starving artist, but it is cool to see even a tiny return on so much work. If you haven't checked out Downtown Dandelions yet, what are you waiting for? You can check out a preview for free.
February 24, 2005
Questions About Beginnings(Filed under: Editing)
The first few chapters and even the opening pages and lines of a novel are incredibly important. You have to hook people and keep them reading. At the same time you need to be sure the rest of the book lives up to a promising beginning.
So for those who've read Downtown Dandelions (and if you haven't, we're only talking about the beginning, so go grab the free PDF, read a few pages, and join the discussion), what do you think of the beginning?
February 10, 2005
Questions About Characters(Filed under: Editing)
For those who've read my book, I'd love to get some insight into what you think about my characters. Are they working? Are they believable? Are they too stock? Let's get at it.
January 17, 2005
5,000 Copies to #1(Filed under: The Book Industry)
Elvis Presley just scored the 1,000th #1 single in the U.K., selling only 25,000 copies. A Yorkshire Post article (which loads with a big ad over the text in my browser) explores the history of the singles chart and its waning significance.
Seth Godin comments that being #1 isn't what it used to be, pointing out that selling 5,000 copies of a hardcover novel in one week could land you at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. 5,000 copies? That almost sounds easy.
January 14, 2005
Plagiarism vs. Hip References(Filed under: Editing)
While editing Downtown Dandelions I came up against a little moral quandary: I wanted to reference some of my favorite pop culture inspirations, but I wasn’t sure when I was plagiarizing and when I was just alluding.
(examples follow after the jump which aren't plot spoilers, but I guess could be construed as spoilers of sort. So be ye warned.)
January 13, 2005
Cafepress Coupon Code(Filed under: Buy My Novel!)
(thanks to another one of my heroes, Jeremy Keillor, for sharing the love)
January 12, 2005
Success Does Not Equal Depth or Breadth(Filed under: The Book Industry)
"Remember, even a book that's a best-seller still is only read by less than 1% of the American public."
-Malcolm Gladwell, author of the bestselling The Tipping Point and the newly released Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, brushing off comments about his impact (from Fast Company, January 2005).
January 11, 2005
First Weekend Sales(Filed under: Buy My Novel!)
The economics of writing is really rather depressing. When you do the math it becomes quite clear that you don't become a writer to get rich.
Let's look at my potential haul from this attempt at self-publishing.
January 8, 2005
Cafepress Coupons(Filed under: Buy My Novel!)
If anyone is considering buying a copy of Downtown Dandelions from Cafepress, I'd encourage you to share the coupons. When I bought my copy they gave me a chance to send $5 off coupons to five friends. I'd encourage you to pass those coupons around. And if you can't think of a friend to send them to, send them to me and I'll redistribute them.
I've also been told you can often find online coupon codes just by using Google.
Absolutely Astounding(Filed under: Publishing)
Self-publishing, especially in the Internet age is very much like that. Though I suppose it is rather easy to tell what's worthwhile and what should never have been published. The Internet is full of self-publishing and print on demand (POD) success stories (including such names as Margaret Atwood, Louis L'Amour and the creator of Legally Blonde, Amanda Brown), though I suppose you have to take them with a grain of salt.
I'm giving it a shot simply for the thrill of seeing my book sitting on the shelf. And then a few folks said they wanted to buy a copy, and who am I to stop them?