It’s strange, but I don’t often talk about the business of writing. Especially my own business. Like all novelologist, I am basically a small business owner. I create a product, partner with a publisher, and together, we bring that product to the fine folks out there. It might be a bit mercantile to use the term “product”, but there’s nothing weird about it. My books are a product, something to be bought and consumed. I don’t write them for my own pleasure. Not primarily. Primarily, I write to earn a paycheck. I do like writing. Heck, I love it. But it doesn’t change the fact that if you didn’t pay me to do it, I’d probably not do it. I’m fortunate to make a living doing something I enjoy, and that’s something I remind myself of every day.
I write this blog, brilliant as it occasionally is, goofy as it often can be, because I want people to buy my books. I probably wouldn’t blog just to blog. I realize there are a lot of people who do just that, and I see nothing wrong with it. But I’m here on the internet to remind people that I’m here and to encourage folks to buy my books.
Yet I don’t often say this:
Please, buy my books!
I don’t care which format you prefer, hardcover, mass market, or e-book. It’s your call. But buy them because I can’t make a living if you don’t.
Yes, I’m sure that soon I will get a comment from someone who says I just wrote two posts about copyright / trademark law being too extensive and how I don’t think piracy is a horrible problem. And I stand by those posts. I don’t want you to pirate my books. I want you to buy it. And you probably should because it’s easy to buy and there’s very little excuse not to. Though I’m sure they will be pirated, and I’m sure I’ll lose some sales because of that. But piracy isn’t going to kill my career. I just don’t believe that.
Without getting into the dry numbers, I’ve hit a sales plateau recently. I have my loyal fans, but growing past that has proven difficult. I can get people to buy my books. But I have trouble getting return business sometimes. My own theory is that this is due to the truly standalone nature of my novels. It’s a competitive market and when people buy books, they tend to go with something reliable. I wouldn’t call that playing it safe. I just think that with so many choices, people will generally aim for something they can count on, with characters and worlds they are at least partially familiar with.
That’s a problem with my books. Not only are they not part of a series, they’re also not even set in the same universes. This incompatibility means that when someone picks up one of my books, they are taking a chance. For those of you who take that chance, I can only express my unending gratitude. I know there are plenty of choices out there, and I appreciate your willingness to take a chance on the new worlds and characters I create. Your support is the foundation for any success I get, and I love you for it. Seriously, if you need a kidney or something, let me know.
But for everyone else out there, for those who are only have a passing familiarity with my work who might just be visiting this website out of curiosity, this is a great time to encourage and inspire you to take that chance, to buy my space squid supervillain story. EMPEROR MOLLUSK VERSUS THE SINISTER BRAIN is due out on March 5th, and I want it to sell like hotcakes. Better than hotcakes! I want it to sell so many copies that I am indicted by environmentalists for cutting down too many trees and the internet becomes known as the Aleenet because it’s primary use will be to support all the fan clubs who love the book.
So I’m exercising my power as a world-renown(ish) novelologist, I am declaring February to be EMPEROR MOLLUSK MONTH!! I know it’s also Black History Month (which I very much support), but it can be two things, right?
In the coming weeks, prepare yourself for a whole lot of stuff on Emperor Mollusk and his universe. I’m going to approach this from a Mass Effect perspective, meaning that you are going to learn not just about the story I’ve written, but the universe it takes place in. I’ll also be writing about the story, about the inspirations that helped create it, and about the characters themselves. My hope is that by the end of the month, you’ll be salivating to read this book. You’ll see it not just as a novel, but as a doorway into a world of fantastic adventure, deep thoughts, and cool characters. Kind of like Narnia, but with more rayguns and giant robot fights.
Stay tuned, gang. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,