Tag Archives: making a living

Help Spread The Word – Promo Image for the Casebook of Esho St. Claire

esho_tease My buddy John McCarthy – layout designer, and occasional┬ácover artist – designed this teaser picture for the Casebook of Esho St. Claire. I think it rocks! Please help me spread the word by sharing it and the link to Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Casebook-Esho-St-Claire-Gibbering-ebook/dp/B00UTVDJ4O/. I think it will help drum up interest. Remember, reviews are also very helpful and no matter where you bought it, you can still review it on Amazon.

If you are a book blogger, podcaster, web-comic creator, you-tuber (or any other kind of regular content creator) touch base with me and I can get you a review copy. I also have a friend whose working on an audio promo.

House of Phobos – A New Anthology And Potential Paying Market

ScottRoche-Phobia-Tease I’m putting together what I hope will be an ongoing series of anthologies called “The House of Phobos”. Each one will contain five or six of my short stories, each one tackling a different phobia. In the depths of darkness last night, it occurred to me, why stop there?

If you would be interested in contributing art, poetry, or flash fiction that tackles the subject of fears/phobias, let me know. I have a small budget and could open a few slots to start. From there we could see how it goes. Leave a comment or shoot me an email and we can talk about how it would work.

Pocket Full of Quarters

COBREcentavosecuador2000-2 When I was a wee lad, there existed these temples to entertainment. For a mere quarter you could be transported to another world. You took your change and turned it into electronic dreams. I speak, of course, about video game arcades. Now there’s something like that for short fiction fans. Writer and hoopy frood Kris Neidecker clued me in on this new and interesting venue for short stories. It’s called QuarterReads.

Writer and software developer, Ian Rose, saw a gap in the short story market. I’ll let him tell you:

On one side, there were the traditional magazines, online and off. Tightly edited and designed, difficult to break into and subject, for better and worse, to the tastes and preferences of the editorial staff. On the other, there was self-publishing, a free-for-all with no barrier to entry, no gatekeeper, and no quality assurance. The space between began to seem to me less like a niche and more like a gaping hole, and both my writer and developer brains got excited about the idea of building something to nestle right into it. A few months later, QuarterReads was born. We launched on October 14, 2014. There are a few reviewers and various helpers that work on the site, but it remains my baby and if there are any problems with it, I take full responsibility for them.

So how does it work?

The other thing that sets QuarterReads apart is our royalty structure. As the name suggests, each story on QuarterReads costs one quarter, 25 U.S. cents. Readers who sign up with QuarterReads pay $5.00 (USD) for 20 reads. Every time they decide to read a story, the reader spends one of their reads. Of that 25 cents, 22 are paid into the writer’s account. That’s 88%. Also, if the reader loves a story, they can “tip” the author either 1, 2 or 4 reads (equivalent to $0.25, $0.50 or $1.00) and 100% of those tips go straight to the writer.

If you’re interested, have a look. I put a story up there. It’s “The Good Doctor”, an alt-western fantasy piece, with werewolves and a doctor that’s not so good. And maybe not a doctor. All the stories on the site are under 2,000 words. I’ve got some flash pieces that clock in under a single k that I can beef up to the site limit. Is that something you as a reader would be interested in?

Leave me a comment and let me know.

Full of Crap

full of crap As a co-host of the Dead Robots Society, I can tell you that a large number of our topics come from our listeners. Wolf Roark, a good friend and a man whose picture is next to lovable curmudgeon in the dictionary, recently asked one that resonates with me.

How do you keep the crap that happens in the real world from affecting the story you’re trying to tell?

Now, this question can be taken in a couple of ways. I’m going to answer in both ways that spring to mind:

Way the First – I’m a husband, a father, someone with a day job, and in general just a busy dude. In short, there’s a LOT of crap in my life. Things that take time. Things I waste time on. Things I actually have to do. All of that stuff can get in the way of telling the story, much less actually getting the story written down. There are a couple of ways you can prevent that from happening:

Have A Schedule – Much of the crap that gets in the way has its own schedule. I have to be at work at a certain time. The kids have a bed time. We eat dinner at roughly the same time every day. Why should writing be any different? I write nearly every day at lunch. This is a habit I’m trying to cultivate and am having some degree of success at. I also try to write at the end of the day, but that’s possibly the worst time to do it for me personally. If any crap hits the fan then writing isn’t going to happen. That’s why I don’t rely on having that time to write. It’s like a bonus. So you need to find the best time of day for you to write.

Be Flexible – This may seem to contradict the schedule thing. For me, it gives me some freedom. I used to write almost nothing. Months would go by and nary a word would I commit to paper/electrons. When I finally decided to “get serious” I would start of grand and then something would go to crap. I’d feel guilty, get discouraged, and give up for a few weeks. Now, if life interferes, I let it. Then I remember that writing can happen and WILL happen the next day. I don’t let that trap of guilt and shame slow me down.

Get Buy In – Make sure that the people in your life know how important writing is to you. My wife, God bless her heart, will go to great lengths to make sure that I know that it’s writing time. She hasn’t taken the nuclear options of stealing the remote or hiding my beer, but those cards are on the table.

Way the Second – It is entirely possible he meant “how do you keep current events or the crap at work from creeping in to the stories you’re writing?”.

I say, don’t stand in the way of those things. Inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places. Everything from the origin of the story itself to events in the story can and should be somewhat fluid. Whether you’re a pantser or a plotter, you can leave room open to being affected by that song you heard or that movie you watched. These days I think that can be particularly useful if you happen to be writing political thrillers, but every genre can and should tackle the sort of events and issues that we run into in our daily lives.

Then there are the things that happen in my personal life. Being a father and a husband has done nothing but make my writing better/richer/deeper. I let those things in. I draw events and interactions into my stories. I feel like that will help them resonate with people.

The Final Thing – It’s entirely possible that I’ve missed the point of his question. Or that you’re inspired to ask a new question or answer the question he seems to have asked yourself. Please do! That’s what comments are for.

Image Credit

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Please consider visiting my Patreon page and supporting my monthly fiction output!

Patreon Goal

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I can’t say enough good things about what Patreon is and what it has allowed me to do. I’ve found so many great new artists and writers to support. The idea itself is reasonably well executed, and it’s getting better every month. I’ve been able to pay for cover art without hurting my bottom line an awful lot. Still, I have a way to go before it will actually be putting any money in my pocket. Why’s that?

Here’s what you need to know. The people that are supporting me are actually going a long way towards helping me support the people who add the icing and liners to the literary cupcakes I produce. The money I get from each paid post goes to pay people like Scott Pond for the covers, John McCarthy for his layout skills, and models like Tony Ballard-Smoot for pictures. I’ve incredibly grateful for all of the. To that end, my goal is to hit $100 per paid post by the end of the month so I can continue to support these folks.

How does it work? The way I have my Patreon page set up, you get charged for every paid post I put up. For right now that’s two a month, every month. I’m serializing two long form fiction pieces; So Shall You Reap and Gary Johnson: Super Soldier. You will get access to five chapters of the first and one “episode” of the latter. Only patrons will get to see Super Soldier until I publish it later this year. Anyone can read Reap as it goes up, but Patrons will get portable formats emailed to them.

You can pledge any amount, and if you need to watch your budget you can put a monthly cap on your generous gift. I do that myself, and I understand if that’s what you need/want to do. There’s no risk. If you get one of my paid posts and decide you don’t want to pay for it, you can request a refund and Patreon will get you your money back. You can quit at any time. I hope you’ll give my stories over there a read and continue to help me make these things happen.

Support me on Patreon!

Let Me Flattr You!

One of the questions I’ve heard more than once over the years is, “Can money be made from podcasting?” The answer is usually “Not really.”, but there are people that do it. Some of them do so indirectly. People listen to their podcast fiction and buy their book(s). Other’s have set up a “subscription” model through Paypal. Still others, at least in the podcast fiction world, go through Podiobooks where listeners can donate and the author gets a large percentage.

There are a few problems with these options. Some people don’t want to buy your books. They’re happy to listen to the podcast and then move on. They might, like me, want to throw you a buck or two for the entertainment you provided without adding to their collection of stuff. Other people have an undying hatred of Paypal. And on the creative side not everyone wants to deal with putting their stuff on Podiobooks (I’ve yet to), or their content might not be fiction.

Is there a solution to these issues? It turns out that there may be. It’s called Flattr. (I know, I know, again with dropping a final vowel.) How does it work? It’s pretty simple really. Sign up for free. Put some money into your Flattr account using a major credit card or Paypal. Then “Flattr” content creators that you want to support. Every month an amount you budget is divided by the number of Flattrs you distributed and 90% of that money is given to the creators. Flattr gets the other 10%.

There’s a problem with this, though. I can’t Flattr you if you don’t sign up for Flattr (well I can actually, but you don’t get any money unless you sign in). So help me to help you and other content creators. If you’re a fan of podcasting and other content creators, sign up and get to Flattr’ing. If you’re a creator, do the same thing, but also make sure to add a button or widget to your site and let us know that you’re using it and why.

Let me bottom line this for the consumers out there though, if you’re listening to, watching, reading, or otherwise enjoying something find a way to thank the creators. Comments are awesome. Retweets and shares are great. Getting paid is even better. Let them know how much you value what they do!

Quality Audio Stories Forthcoming!

IMG_20130215_140212 I have a friend in town that has a brand new recording studio! Zoo Station Studios is open for business and he’s charging $30/hour at this point. Here’s the picture of the booth that I spent some quality time in today.

By the end of the week I should have two short stories recorded. I will be putting these up for sale. I had to pay for the production, so I’ll be asking you to pony up for the product. Business is business and business must grow. That’s especially true now that I’m unemployed in the traditional sense. So, soon you’ll be able to buy versions of “With Power Comes Responsibility” and an unpublished anywhere (though soon available in e-print from Flying Island Press) story called “Stand Up Fight”.

Both of these stories weigh in at 7,000 words and that means around a half hour to forty-five minutes of audio. I was thinking of charging $1.99 for this pro-quality recording. Sound off in the comments about the cost, your interest and anything else you’d like to say. If these do well then we’re looking at a pro-quality audio versions of Archangel books one and two.

More details as they transpire!

Lessons Of The Gun

I am in the process of writing a novelette called “The Lessons of the Gun”. It’s an alternative history western that blends gun fights with philosophy. What if marshals and rangers were part of a belief system that treated the Colt .45 like samurai treated their katana? An old gunslinger faces one final battle for the peace of his town, the life of his acolyte. and possibly the future of his Order.

I decided that I’d see if something a little different would work. I’m making a PDF of part one available to you for free. If you decide it’s worth it hit the PayPal button and when the finished e-book comes out you’ll get it for free. Like it, but not enough to pay right now? The e-book will be coming out soon, but given the length I envision I will probably be charging at least another buck or so.

Get it here!











Monte and Molly Kickstarter Dreams

The text for my children’s book project with Ed Delaney is more or less finalized. Everyone that’s read it so far uniformly loves the idea and thinks that I’ve gotten the voice and tone right. I may tweak it a bit (already have from what I sent out), but the hard part for me is done. Now it’s up to Ed to do the drawing and for us to work on layout.

Here’s what I hope to put out:

12 page softcover book (8 x 10)
E-pub/PDF/Mobi
App for iPhone/Android that includes an audio component

In order to get there I’ll need to make sure that Ed gets paid for his hard work. I’ll need to pay the developer for the app. I’ll be paying someone to do the audio for the app. Let’s just ball park and say that I’d need to raise $1500 to make that happen. That’s not out of bounds.

Here’s what I’m thinking about for levels of donation and rewards.

$1 – A heartfelt thanks and a high quality wall paper of the crew!

$5 – Your name in the backer’s section of the book, wallpaper, and an adventurer’s club button

$15 – Your name in the backer’s section, an autographed e-book, and a button.

$25 – An autographed print copy, e-book copy, and all previous rewards.

$50 – The app plus all previous levels.

$100 – Limited edition tee-shirt plus all previous award levels.

$250 – Limited edition 8.5 x 11 print of Monte, Molly, and Cyril plus all previous levels.

Ginnie Dare Price Drop

I’ve decided to drop the price on Ginnie Dare to $.99 on Amazon and Smashwords. I plan on doing this for a limited time, a week from today I’ll push it back up. It’s an experiment to see if I can move the needle a bit as it seems to be stuck. Please share it with everyone you can. I think it’s an awesome book (of course) but I’m not alone. It’s gotten solid reviews from where it’s gotten reviews, but I understand folks not wanting to drop $3 on an unknown. Let’s see if this changes their minds.