Are you writing For Free?

Are you tired of spending four hours on query letters?

 

I stood in front of a group of writers and told them the following…

It is tough to get the attention of an agent because everyone in the world from Grandmothers to third graders think they can write.  Many of those same folks Query agents, creating a slush pile that may or may not get the attention it deserves.

Days later, I was told I should not have stated the ‘facts’ as I discouraged writers.  Some of those in that group might have been those ‘writers.’

“Yeah, so what?  I didn’t tell them not to write, I told them why it is so hard to get an agents attention.” The Jack Nicholson line played through my mind as this person was genuinely upset with me.

“You can’t handle the truth!”  I deal in reality, and I have no illusions about the craft of writing.

How do you sugarcoat the truth?  Should you?  No.  If you have cancer you need to know you have it, what is it going to take to cure it or, you should work on your bucket list before you are bedridden.

It is perfectly ok to get inspiration from others.  When you talk about querying agents just possibly, you should run your work by others in the group for some fact checks.  Did people who you are not related to like your writing?  Did those same people tell you how to make it better?  Did they treat you like your mother might?  “Oh, honey this is the best thing ever!”

I deal in reality.  I write in fiction and fantasy, but in life, I deal with ‘what is.’

I am not going to lie to people.  If you intend on your novel being on the bestseller list, you must be exceptional.  ‘Exceptional’ is subjective.  Your book must not only be extraordinary, but the subject matter must be timely.  One day the clearance racks at Half Price Books will be loaded with 50 shades as that will no longer be the shiny penny. Harry Potter books will line the shelves of clearance books.

It happens; Cussler, Ludlum, and Brown are all easily found on the clearance racks.  Movies that sold millions of tickets are on blue ray, sitting in the clearance section.

Attending one writer’s conference after another, you meet all kinds.  Hundreds attend, and there are all kinds. From the super hubris to the serious introvert, they walk among us.  They are there because they feel they can write.  Maybe they can, and perhaps they can’t.

KU or kindle unlimited is an excellent repository for their attempts at conjugating a verb or in extreme examples, using a noun and a verb in the same sentence.   The winner in this slush pile of reading material is Jeff Bezos.

Therefore, here are some more facts for you to consider.

If I have a ‘one of a kind’ item, say a rare coin minted for Caesar and maybe that coin was a ‘double strike’ meaning the person making it hit it twice to get an imprint, causing two distinct images to appear, it would be worth a ton of money.

If on the other hand that were the preferred method of making their coinage back in the day, to keep it unique, the coin would not be a rare antiquity.  It would be much like our pennies today, just old.

KU is training the reading public to value our work as the American Penny.  For a few dollars a month, an avarice reader can consume several books.  To the reader they feel as if it is free, ergo when they see eBooks for sale, they will most probably look at KU first for a substitute.

Jeff gets the ‘subscription,’ you provide the material, and those readers enjoy the fruits of your labor free of charge.  If you ask them for the favor or a review they won’t even do that, as they are too busy reading the next free book.

It is not their fault.  There are providers and consumers.  They are programmed to consume. Until you put pen to paper, and spend four or in some cases thirty years, creating a novel to have people read it for free, you just don’t know.

To have your novel on KU, Amazon has exclusivity. You cannot make it electronically available anywhere else as long as it is on KU.  Now you can make a print version of it available, but, not an e-version.

Who do you think is going to spend $25 for a print version, when they can read it for free?

Printing a book adds ten or more dollars on average to the cost.  Amazon only pays 60% royalties on printed books, meaning you make less money when they buy a printed novel than an e-book.  Buying Create Space, they have taken the competition away, thus making it harder for the creators, ‘us’ to make money from our work.

The bottom line is this.  If you are writing to get rich, leave your day job, and be the next Hemmingway or Cussler, you may have missed your opportunity.

Those who make money in this game are the people selling services.  Creating the ‘perfect’ cover or editing your book so it is ‘perfect.’

Attending conference after conference, you see hundreds if not thousands of people who all have the desire to be the next ??? Whatever.

Recently I sent some work to an editor.  I was curious.  This young woman holds herself out there as a professional editor.

Using the Chicago style manual as the standard, she formatted my manuscript, put a few commas in and took a few out. She contextually made the story different in meaning from what it should have been.  She did not have the wisdom and history to understand that what I wrote, and what she created were different. I could have gone back and forth with her, but she would have been the beneficiary, and I the SME, (subject matter expert) the teacher.

Discouraging a writer is not the intent of this blog.  Keeping it real is.

  • Write to escape.
  • Write for the passion.
  • Write because it means something to you.
  • Write to have something you enjoy reading.
  • Write to keep your mind agile.
  • Write to be happy.
  • Write to work out your frustrations.
  • Write to entertain.
  • Write because you can.
  • Don’t write because you are confident that your writing is the best in the world. That millions will be waiting with baited breath for you to submit it to some editor or agent.
  • Don’t write solely for pecuniary interests.
  • Go to the writer’s conferences and groups.  I have, and I genuinely like most of them.
  • Go find your tribe, and enjoy the friendships you will undoubtedly make.
  • Don’t trade life for days and weeks staring into a screen waiting for those magic words to fill the screen.
  • Carry a notepad to jot down ideas as you ‘live’ your life.

If you write and think that this one will give you financial independence, save your time and purchase a lottery ticket.  After you have paid the ‘stupid tax’ of a dollar, go fantasize about what you will do with all of those millions when you win.  Too Harsh?

The truth is this, most people who publish a manuscript online might make $10 the first year.  I have over 30 novels out there.  Last year, 2018 is the first year I had to pay taxes on what I made selling books.  That number for those of you who don’t know is 600.  I made over $600 in 2018. Bezos, Corker, and other etailers made the real money.

Take care when you pay money to someone to fix your manuscript.  Many out there only make money by selling services to hopeful writers.  As writers we are blind and emotionally invested.  ‘This is going to be the best…fill in the blank!’

Since Amazon and other ebook sellers devalue what we do, and set the stage so the reader believes what we do has no value, selling your book means you have to create the next Harry Potter or Christian Gray.  Since that has been done, maybe Christian Potter should be your goal.

A magical interlude between a billionaire sex-starved wizard who blows fairy dust up young girls bottoms to make them ‘Sparkle.’

No, wait…

Here is the next bestseller…

A magical interlude between a trailer trash wizard, and grandma.  Tony the wizard blows fairy dust up old women’s bottoms to make them young again.  Charging them their life force after one year of living like a queen, the wizard trades that soul to the devil for more magical powers which elevate his status as a result.

After many women die by unknown means, a detective from a magical province in Mexico is called in to use his gifts to find the murderer.  

The wizard tries to escape the shaman, but his magic sleuthing dragon is hot on the trail. Unbeknown to Tony, he leaves an evil residue behind him, much like breadcrumbs, Slinko the dragon is hot on his trail.

 

Much Love -TW

 

Dragon Master and the Witch

Yeah!  It is finished!

This story took longer than anticipated.  Six weeks give or take with several edits to get it right.

A week of that time I was traveling so, I guess 5 weeks to write a book.  I like to wrap one up in a month.

During the late 1200’s Blaise, the Dragon master is banished to the top of Mount Sherman by the Queen for a disagreement that the Queen and his father got into.

Blaise took the time to train his dragons and learn from his father.  After his father dies, Blaise becomes the Dragon Master.

Sarah and Blaise were set to be married until the falling out.  She would often sneak out of the castle to meet up with Blaise until one day she was captured by another who sought to control the dragons.

Removing her from the dark ages of England to 2017 in the United States, Sarah hardly fit in.  Unaware of where she was or what the place was famous for, the portal through which they traveled had its own plan, taking them near Salem Massachusetts.

Blake, the Son of the evil sorcerer, was in love with the Queen ’s other daughter; Katherine. When Blakes mother died suddenly, Zolof placed the blame on the villagers.  The anger that ensued was all that Zolof needed to turn the heart of his son dark; thus controlling him to do his bidding with a spell.

While Sarah attempts to put together a Coven of 13 in 2017, Zolof needs to lure Blaise through the portal where his powers would be useless allowing Zolof the opportunity to kill him.  Once Blaise dies, Zolof would inherit the loyalty of the dragons giving him all the power he would need to bring the world to its knees.

What we have here is a love story in the classic sense.  We have a fairy tale where my sense of humor and wit come through in my characters.

The artwork is a combination of a painting I did years ago and some digital art to make a rather impressive cover.

This is my 25th Novel, and I believe a milestone.

Currently, my work is selling around the globe on more servers than I can count.  I have to trust that I am being paid for my work but truthfully, I have seen my works pirated on sites that I do not even have a clue of what the language is.  If it is good enough to pirate, I guess I should take it as a compliment.

Amazon should release this book in a day or so.  I published it on Smashwords too.  Smashwords, while a pain to publish on, does send it to many different sites including B&N, Apple, and too many others to mention.

Once a month I get royalties from them via PayPal, so there are good things about them as well.

The link for Smashwords I will put here, so you can get your copy and tell me what you think!

We, independent Authors, appreciate you the readers of our work.

We don’t have multi-million dollar publishing companies hyping our Books.  We, the independent must write it, edit it, create the art work and market it! To get it in your hands, Amazon and other companies like them provide a website to sell it on and take as much, if not more than an agent would charge.

Agents provide the technical services as well as the marketing! Agents hire editors who not only look for typos but know how to guide the author in ways that would make the story more palatable.

Dangling participles aside, a good editor is hard to find.  Many on Twitter will offer their services, but I must tell you the truth of this.  An independent writer cannot afford $10 a page.

The hard truth is that most “independent writers” will think their work is great and be willing to spend the money betting on the ROI. The facts are that few will make over $10 in royalties in their first year.  If that hurts, I am truly sorry but it is the bitter truth.  Don’t write for pecuniary interests. Don’t play the lottery for a retirement strategy. Keep your day job!

Another service people offer is cover art design.

And still another is marketing, and the list goes on.

The only folks who make money in this business are those who provide some sort of service, with no guarantees.

That is why readers like yourself are so important for the independent author.

Folks, we need you!  I support independent authors, and I know most of you do as well.

With 25 novels selling around the globe, one day you will be able to say, “you knew me when!”

“Yes, I have made much more than $10…”  The truth of it is that I would do it all over again if I were to only make $10.  I love what I write so at the very least, there are 25 novels out there with the Brand TWScott that people are enjoying. That means something.

You can contact me here, or on my website at www.authortwscott.com.

Follow me on Twitter @authortwscott or @twscott823

Buy my books.  Not one of them cost more than a cup of fancy coffee!

Many are on Amazon Kindle Unlimited so you can read them for free!

Those that have read my novels to date; tell me that they like them; so I am on to something. Some of the feedback on Cyber Subs had me go back and change much of it.

I am always looking for an idea for the next novel.

I wrote a story about a couple of young ladies who do web cam shows for money.  Tonight on the news I learned about a young mother who poses nude on Instagram making about $5K a month.  If you like a little titillation, read that book called Cyber Subs!

The interesting thing about this woman is she is no model.  She is a mother and married to someone in the military who takes the photos of her.  One of my themes in many of my books is about loving who you are.  I would not mind interviewing her as I think that might make a story too.

Thanks for the purchases of my books!

Thanks for the follows and retweets!

If you are an agent or know of one that is not too proud to support an independent author such as myself; I could use the help!

I am a writer; that is what I do.

Marketing, I would rather leave to the professionals.

I spent years working in an advertising agency, and I would still rather write, than market.

Much Love -TW