Making a superficial scan of the thousands of bloggers, promoters, DIYers and wannabe gurus on the web, we find tons of tried-and-true wisdom about how to be a writer. Even how to make money at it. Some of that advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Some of it with a huge, horse-pasture-sized block of salt. Especially if we have illusions about making money at writing.
What Does Everyone Tell Us?
What we want to hear, of course: Continue reading “4 Bits of Bad Advice for Writers”
Dear Benevolent and All-Powerful Person in Charge of Hiring Writers:
I am responding to your advertisement for a versatile wordsmith. I do believe I am a good fit for this position since I write suspense, chicklit, satirical, and action-adventure novels; educational children’s books; and non-fiction instructionals. You can find me, and my thirty some-odd titles (yeah, I lost count. I didn’t say I was good at math), on Amazon and other online bookstores. I have been lucky enough to have won a couple of awards for my writing, and I have enjoyed the thrill of seeing some of my books hit the tops of certain Amazon bestseller lists. I’ll be honest, not all my books are awesome – my first novel that was published back in 2001 is awful, so I suggest you don’t waste your money on it. My newer works are much, much better. Unfortunately, even as “bestsellers,” royalties of thirty-five cents per book don’t make for a great living. Yes, I’m proud to say I am a starving author. Things are so bad right now that I recently considered taking a position as an executive envelope-stuffer, but I discovered I have a debilitating fear of paper cuts. Continue reading “Desperate Author Seeks Employment”
The holiday season is upon us and I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all you little Indies a fabulous – er – holiday season. I meant to do that – to prove a point. One of the great things about being an Indie is that you can go back and edit things after you’ve published them. Being an Indie is akin to freedom – freedom to publish whatever you want, whenever you want, and then being able to correct it, or not.
I’ve been hearing rumors that some of your books aren’t selling. Or not selling much. That’s a risk you take, you know, when you don’t have a name like mine, Bob Hammond, to precede you and generate sales. “How do you do it, Bob?” you ask. That’s Mr. Hammond to you, kid. And I’ll tell you how I do it – in fact, I wrote this book as a Christmas gift specifically for you Indies. Yes, I know, it’s benevolent of me and all that. That’s how I roll. I’m Bob Hammond.
You can read my uplifting advice to Indies in my new book: Bob Hammond: All That and a Bag of Bob Hammond-Flavored Chips. That’s right. I’m delicious. And not only that, this book is chock full of inspirational quotes to help little Indies keep their chins up during these tough times. Watch out, Howie Hughes, I’m about to dethrone you as king of the Indies. And really, trying to capitalize on having the same name as that tycoon guy? Sheesh. That’s what pomme-de-terres are for. That was free advice. You’re welcome.
Like I was saying, I’ve got inspirational quotes just for you Indies, like:
- Don’t worry, you won’t be a starving author forever – eventually you’ll die.
- Once you’re dead, you have a shot at post-hummus fame. So, you have twice the chances to be famous!
- Just think, twenty years ago, you couldn’t have published that!
- Isn’t it great to be in control of your career?
So buck up, little Indie, and give yourself the gift of Bob Hammond this holiday season. What could be better? That was a trick question. Nothing could be better, of course. You’re welcome.
I’m sorry to inform my dear friends and readers (more on that later), but after exhaustive research and continuous toil involving the consumption of 235 megs of information, 84 gigs of bandwidth and 753 bags of taco chips, I have come to the undeniable conclusion that the independent reader no longer exists. The reader, that is, who simply purchases a book and reads it, with no intention of reviewing, commenting or writing something similar.
As near as I can make out, the last extant reader of books for her own enjoyment is Mrs. Fanny Bruce of Nottinghamshire (pronounced “Notshur”) in England. This poor lady is in the middle stages of dementia. Her family gave her three Agatha Christie mysteries for Christmas in 2013, and her caregiver reads them to her in a continuing sequence. The dear old soul lives in an imaginary world where Agatha Christie is still alive and putting out a new mystery every few months. Continue reading “The Myth of the Reader”