Saturday, February 17, 2007

Milestones

I haven't been paying much attention to this blog because I have been busy doing other things. The big news is, I have managed to achieve my major goal for this writing year: I have earned some money.

I've already been published but, no matter what you say, it really doesn't count unless you get paid. On New Year's Eve of 2006, I received word that an article I submitted to AbsoluteWrite.com was accepted. The pay: $5. This was good news indeed, even if it didn't allow me to quit my day job.

On my birthday, a little while after that, I received word that a filler article I sent to Writer's Digest (yes, Writer's Digest!!!) had been accepted. The pay for that was a bit more than $5, but I'm still keeping the day job.

I finally finished the first draft of my novel--which should not be confused with the rough draft, which was finished some time ago. I sent off a copy to a buddy of mine to read (and the initial reports are good) and made a hard copy for my wife. Neither of these people are editors, but they are readers and know a good story when they read one and will, hopefully, be able to spot one that is full of holes and/or inconsistencies.

My non-fiction humor book, Postcards From Across the Pond, never landed a publisher. The field is simply too crowded with authors with more name recognition so it was unlikely to make any money for a publisher. Therefore, I decided to publish it myself. I was willing to shell out a few bob for the project, but found LuLu.com where I was able to produce it as a Print On Demand (POD) book for a very reasonable sum. I can order as many/few books as I want and offer it for sale on the web through LuLu, Amazon and other major book store web sites. I can even place it in actual book stores if I feel like it, but I doubt I will. My fan base is through my web site; I think a link from there to LuLu or Amazon may be about it. But then, at least, everyone who has been waiting for a copy can buy one if they want to.

I'm not a big fan of self-publishing, and I would never go that route with my novel, but I think Postcards is the right type of project for POD publishing. Remains to be seen. At least it didn't cost much, and I can always keep a few copies on my bookshelf to make me look like a real writer.

Beyond that, I'm editing and submitting more articles (it has not escaped my notice that articles are the only things making me any money right now) and working on the plot for my next novel.

It's a busy time. I'll check back in when something else shakes loose.

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