When I was growing up (and well into adulthood,) I could always count on Isaac Asimov to have written a new book that was interesting and engaging. His work may not have been deathless literature, but to me it was something better: challenging and absorbing. I wanted nothing more than to be able to write stories like that which others could read and love.
Fast forward to today: I’m trying to live that dream. Right now, though, I feel totally inadequate compared to the Supermen of self-publishing over at the Self Publishing Podcast (SPP.) I’m just not putting out the product.
If I had an employee like me, I’d fire her . . . oh, wait. I do. Well, OK, maybe put that employee on a serious productivity improvement plan . . .
Oh wait, I have. It’s called GTD.
It doesn’t help that I went to a self-publishing panel two weeks ago. There were three author panelists (who shall remain nameless.) Each was self-published. When the moderator asked if any of the three had made a profit, we heard . . . dead silence, with crickets chirping. None of those authors had made a dime. Not one. All three were in the red for printing runs, $3k editors, $700 cover artists, $250 blocks of ISBN numbers, ads on ebook advertising blogs, massive launch parties, trips to sci-fi conventions, bribing bookstores for book signings… Of the three, each had another book coming out Real Soon Now, just as soon as the first started selling so they could stop promoting and get back to Writing.
I tuned out at that point. None of the panelists had what I want. I want what Johnny, Sean, and Dave have over at SPP — a bunch of happy readers who pay hard cash for my output. They didn’t achieve that with tons of promotion or advertising. They achieved that with churning out lots of work of reasonable quality, and giving their readers good value for their entertainment dollar (pound, euro, whatever.) In order to have that, though, I need to have, well, output. Lots of output. A book up on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, et. al. And after that, another, and another…
I need to write like a machine. Like a TV sitcom hacker. Like . . . like . . .
Like Isaac Asimov did. For decades.
*Sighs and shrugs.* OK. Time to forgive myself one more time, and pick up the Scrivener project. Again.