After 6 years of struggle, last fall things turned around. My 7th year back in self-employment has, so far, been the best. Less anxiety. More fun. Greater clarity. Better schedule. And even better money.
There are 3 projects in the pipeline that’ll take less than 6 years (partly because I’m not starting out in a $400,000 hole. Long story. Feel free to ask.)
- Finish my first Chandleresque cozy, anodyne. I’m enrobing myself in writing craft, especially the works of Larry Brooks, but also Robert Olen Butler, Stephen King, John Gardner, and Donald Maass. I was born 9 months after Raymond Chandler died. Time to accept my birthright as a mystery author.
- Commonsense zero-cost DIY marketing for authors. It’s a book, but first, it’s a project. I believe that the marketing methods which have made my businesses successful will work for my books — but I haven’t tested them yet. (Alex Zabala, author of Treasure of the Mayan King certainly has. Over 3,000 sales to date.) I need to test and prove these methods, using anodyne as a guinea pig. When I know what works and what doesn’t, I’ll codify it in the book which will be called, surprise, Commonsense Zero-Cost DIY Marketing for Authors.
- This Might Not Work: Video Series. We all say “take risks; failure has to be an option.” Where are the people who don’t even know if their path is going to end happy or sad? Seth says “this might not work.” But virtually all the stories are told after they’re sure. Where are the videos in somebody’s basement office where they’re trying something and saying, right now, today, “this might not work” ? We all pretend we celebrate the struggle, but really, most of the time, we celebrate the successful outcome of the struggle. Those are the videos I want to make: struggling scared people in the trenches, with no clue whether this is going to work or not, but doing it because by God they can’t not do it. Starting something stupid, as Richie Norton calls it. This probably means spending $10,000 to make 4 three-week trips around the US and Canada shooting video interviews.
The plan is to have anodyne finished by year end, crush the marketing and get rich (tee hee) and then write and release Commonsense Zero-Cost DIY Marketing for Authors before the end of 2014. Which could get tricky, if I’m traveling all over the US and Canada filming This Might Not Work in order to have the videos go live all year long so the book can be started at the beginning of 2015.