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This new-fangled thing…

One of my pals from the olden days got in touch with me recently to ask, Hey, what about this e-pubishing thing? My initial thought was, hmm, tough luck, buddy. You’re asking me?

Nonetheless, we’ll have lunch, I’ll yammer a bit, he’ll go away with some observations that might do him more good than my big ideas ever did for me.

His advantage is that he has a built in audience. He’s editor of a magazine for military veterans, and so has access to a vehicle for ads and, depending how he feels about it, a little editorial puffery. He knows the audience, writes clearly, and has relevant information to convey. Plus, let’s face it, a lot of veterans are at an age where they’ve got a lot of time on their hands.

As you’ve noticed by now, my ebook publishing is limited to novels. Finding a path to readers who don’t mind plonking down somewhere between $1.99 and $3.99 for a downloadable bit of dreaming — well, there’s the next challenge.

One obvious marketing strategy, if it can be called that, is to make the books free. Presumably more people would press the Free Download button. More people would read the works that I’ve spent so many hours writing. As my wife so often asks, What’s your goal here? To make money or have people read what you’ve written?

Huh. The trouble is I can’t really stop myself. I’ll write something regardless. You could call it a hobby, or you could call it a fixation. But I’m also mentally hobbled by a life that with rare exception included payment for the writing I have done.

This frame of mind was set at the college newspaper where I worked severeal decades ago. Payment was by the column inch. The more you wrote, the more you got paid. Maybe not so healthy as a route to developing a concise writing style, but useful as a method of learning how to lay down the malarky with ease. I feel some pity for people who say they suffer while writing, or are afflicted by writer’s block. I assume they’re more sensitive souls, and guess that might be a point in their favor. Though not one I care to emulate.

Having just finished up my latest — the quartet of novellas, Fatman’s Inferno — I’m on to the next thing. The title for now is The Handyman. No ghosts, no sentient animals, no mermaids or other fantastical creatures. Not my style up to this point in time, but then again, why not? The money is probably just as good either way.For me the amusement factor will most likely be equivalent.

1 Comment on this post

  1. This little e-missive arrived about 15 minutes after I “liked (actually ‘loved’)” Frogtown Green’s post about winning the UMN 2024 Climate Adaption Award. Coincidence? Or is Fatman manipulating my reality again?

    Glad those devlish angels are back…I really enjoyed following the tails (oops, tales) in the past and plan to enjoy the new stuff.

    Hope you’re doing well, Tony.

    In solidarity and peace,

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