Whack-A-Mole

The name of this post relates to how many new things come up that need dealing with once you begin a new endeavor. Be aware of what lies out there but don’t go crazy when you realize it will take energy to do everything that’s required for success (and disaster too–that’s what learning’s about.)

There was a time when a writer could become an author just by writing, submitting and selling and just letting the traditional publishing world take over the rest, doing the business work for the author and taking their share. I grew up with that model. I am finding it doesn’t entirely work for me any more and I am rapidly becoming a hybrid author venturing into a whole new amusement park.

My warning to you if you are going my route. Don’t let yourself be daunted. Decide what needs doing first and do that. I am desperately trying to act on my own advice.

Until now I have been engaged in building my craft, writing story after story and developing the epic fantasy concept I am now swiftly bringing into being. Until now I stayed largely under the radar, using this site as a static business card, largely unaware of the potential of newsletters, links, blogs and such. I now know this has to change and swiftly because my visibility in the authorial world is changing. I am moving away from being a baby author and starting to play with the big kids.

I began by publishing in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and then in several other great anthologies, but now my focus is shifting to novels and indie publishing. Whack-a-mole. I have to re-invent this page. This involves finding someone to work with because, honestly, I don’t have the time or the wits to learn to build the kind of web page I need.  I am figuring out how much to learn and how much to farm out. Whack-a-mole. I’m deciding how much money to spend and where it’s coming from. Whack-a-mole. Finances. Whack-a-mole.

As I mentioned in my previous post I am involved in an indie book bundle enterprise with eight other amazingly talented authors, Ann Gimpel, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Caridad Piniero, Julia Lake Mills, Susannah Scott, Melissa Snark and Rosemary Edghill. If you haven’t been over to their sites or signed up for their newsletters, go do this! I would have those links right here but I am still learning how to put links here on my page. Aargh.

I have a huge bunch of stories that need to be formatted for e-pub and covers to work on to fit their concept. I write in a bunch of genres, but people tell me I write character stories with distinctive voice, much of it with a mythological or Native North American twist. I need branding. Whack-a-mole.

I need my own newsletter too. Whack-a-mole. Learning where I can do this is of primary importance. Whack-a-mole! Oh, and then there’s learning how to find subscribers, how to link to my other social networking sites, promotion of the current book bundle, while finding time to deal with the creative kittens scrambling around in my brain and this enormous epic fantasy that’s clawing a path out of me book after book. Gasp!

The mallet grows hot in my hands. I’m getting a huge workout. I have no idea where it will take me. This game is both stimulating and terrifying.

But, as I said earlier, I am learning bit by bit that I can’t just rush blindly into this process any more than I rushed blindly into writing, editing, and publishing my earlier work. If I can maintain the clarity of vision I need to do the business end of this job, I won’t go banging away in a frantic tizzy. This book bundle has opened my eyes to so many possibilities. I need to go for them, not with a mallet but with a brain.

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear how your process is going.

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