The writing/publishing world is abuzz about the best way to publish. And by best, they usually mean, what will make you the most money, how you will get the most people to buy your book.
There have also been some discussions in self/indie publishing about pricing. Is 99 cents too low? Unprofessional? Does it attract the wrong type of customer? Are readers who buy 99 cent books just hoarding them? Is it a good way to build a fan base? Do 99 cent books lack quality of story? What about editing?
I believed it for a while. I read the blog posts. I followed the industry closely. I questioned my own plans.
And it came to me recently.
I am not having fun with writing anymore.
I’m worried about my sales ranking and making money and if I need to hire an editor or cover artist and if I should raise my prices. I worried about writing the next book in the Up in Flames series. I worried about whether the whole contemporary romance thing was even worth it because paranormal is HOT now. Historical does fairly well. Contemporary is a lukewarm market unless you sign with Harlequin.
The point of this for me was to write my ideas. To have fun making up stories. To dream up these fantasy lovers who are flawed men, who sweep women off their feet. These fantasies we dreamt about in high school.
I am not doing that anymore.
I’m having ideas that I’m playing with. As I’m working on them, I feel pressured to market and produce. I’m worried about what people are going to think of my writing (okay, I’ve always been worried about that. I used to keep at my stuff hidden from my family. IT’s still easier to share with total strangers than my mother.)
I want to have fun.
For the next while, anyway, I’m going to have fun with writing and reading. I’m going to read free and 99 cent reads from Smashwords and review them. (Though, to be honest, I’m worried about having to give bad reviews, but any review is better than none). I’m going to break all the rules. In fact, I’m going to write new ones.
The FUN Code (more like guidelines?)
#1 No Self-Promotion. No linking to myself.
Caveat to #1. To inform people of this project I have to tell them about it. But it’s project promotion so others can read my promotion of others. And I’m hoping other authors will give up on promotion and money made being the end all of success. I want other authors to measure how much fun they are having writing, like the good old days. Besides, most of us aren’t selling that many copies anyway. We might as well give up and have fun.
#2. No writing stuff that isn’t fun. I can even abandon projects in the middle of working on them if I don’t feel the flow.
#3. Read for fun. Review what I read. Promote what the good, and maybe some bad. Write e-mails with details to the bad and ugly telling them where things have gone wrong. Especially regarding blurbs. I read a lot of bad blurbs lately.
#4 Unsubscribe and delete all industry blogs. For me this is Konrath’s blog, Jane Friedman‘s blog, Publetariat, Ditchwalk, and anything related to productivity (urgh! I am at the point of loathing productivity blogs. I don’t need another tip on how to get more done. Give me tips for getting more FUN) and anything related to writing that isn’t about how AWESOME it is to make shit up.
Caveat for #4. If you want to go hard-core, unfollow those bloggers on Twitter and unlike them on Facebook.
#5. Wasting time is not a crime punishable by beating myself up. Making mistakes is encouraged.
#6. Reach out to other authors and share insights, info on their work and encouragement.