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Things Yet to Come

I found this picture this week of the Antares rocket launch taking supplies to the ISS. It is a powerful picture and it made me wonder when we will land and live on another planet?

The possibilities are only limited by our imaginations to create the next generation spacecraft to get us there. Pretty lofty goals for sure.

But, we are powerfully creative creatures and we are only limited by ourselves. This image and listening to Joanna Penn’s 10th anniversary podcast this week helped me to realize many things. One of which you are never too old to create, to learn to start something new. To strike out on a new adventure. We are often conditioned to do these things when we are young. That the world is what you make of it and that when you are older you are sort of expected to just sit back, relax and reflect on your youth. I say, forget that! Who better to create that people who have already traveled, had the time to read more, experience more, learn more. I didn’t publish my first book until I was fifty, despite having written many stories and poems. I was always too busy doing other things, going to school, having a career some (not all) of the things you are often expected to do. But, I ask you regardless of your age, why wait? Do it now! Who cares how old you are, who cares what you have or haven’t done, there is nothing that says you might do this thing before you can do the next. If you’re retired, don’t sit back and think, ‘if I was younger I would learn to do <insert the thing you wish you had done>. go do it. Go do it. No told me ‘oh you are too old to publish a book’ but if they had I would have told them to bugger off.

I think people of a certain age should be publishing more books, they are the people with the experience and the stories to share. People over a certain age have already had many experiences just by sheer time spent on this earth. Can you imagine the stories a grandmother could write? Imagine, the stories a person of a certain age who has seen so many changes during their lifetime could share with the world? These experiences are a goldmine for fictional stories and even non-fiction.

So those of you who may be reading this who aren’t in their 20’s 30 or maybe even 40’s share your story in whatever form that takes. You’ve got one in there, let it out! The world will be a richer place having read or heard your story.

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Day 26

Dear Reader,

Don’t you just love Monday’s? Me, neither. I suppose I would if I had more control over them. But my Mondays are typically filled with meetings organized by others and I am just a participant. Today was one of those days. I had to give a presentation at one of the meetings. Which went well enough. It is just time-consuming and interrupts the regular workflow of the day.

There was no time for a lunch break today so my midday writing plans had to be put on hold. But, I have been very productive this evening and working on catching up for the writing I didn’t do over the weekend.

Here’s a sneak peek from my efforts. Simon is the navigator on a newly refitted ship to be used for cargo transport between off-world colonies:

 

Simon smiled to himself. He couldn’t wait to get back out there. He had been forced out of Federation service when he lost his eye. And staying on Earth gave him the hives. He needed to get back out in the black, as he called it. He pulled out his personal communication unit or PCU and pressed the button for Korin Chambers.

“KC, itsSimon. Are you busy?”

“Not really, what do you need?

“It isn’t what I need, it what you need?”

“Really, and what is that?”

“ A job.”

“I’m listening.”

“Can you come to the docks over at Wallops, slip 62?”

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. And if you haven’t already don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter for more exciting announcements and a look into the mind of an indie author.

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Playing the Long Game

If you are a new indie author or one still seeking the level of success you set for yourself you have to have a plan to get you where you want to be, right? But, what does that plan look like? We all have a different idea about what success looks like.

If your goal is to make a big salary from your books what do you do when you hit 7 figures? Are you going to stop writing? Probably not. You enjoy the craft, but the point is for people to enjoy it as well, so they have to be able to find you. So what is your plan for sustained exposure? I asked myself similar questions when I started thinking about publishing. I wasn’t sure if my goals were obtainable, but I knew that if I wanted any chance of success I had to let the world know I had something to say.

As part of my research, I have listened to many successful authors and publishers speak on the just of publishing wide or staying in one ecosystem such as Amazon. If you are a writer in the United States you know that the Zon is king. Every report, article, or study you see regarding publishing, selling and marketing is all about Amazon. If you look at market share there is no question Amazon is a force unto itself. Its next closest competitor in the U.S. is Apple with 9% of the market. Yes, 9% is second place. That is a huge gap, so it is easy to say, I can publish my books just on Amazon and reach my goal. I can make money there. People in the U.S. clearly go to Amazon for their book purchases, especially ebooks so why bother with all the other outlets? Is it worth the effort of uploading and tracking your sales in places where you might not sell even ten copies of your book? The short answer is no, why bother with all the others?

That is a very convincing argument to be made. However, I have this all my eggs in one basket fear. What if something happens and Amazone decides they don’t want to be in the book business anymore. They can make more money streaming content than pushing out ebooks? What happens to your income source? What are you going to do to make up that seven-figure salary you were earning off your books on Amazon?

You have to start from scratch on other platforms and in other markets. And maybe you’ve been publishing for years and you have 50 books on the market are you going back to book one to try and capture that new audience? Sure, the Amazon customers are going to flock to new retailers, but will they be able to find you there? Will you be able to upload all your books in time for readers to find them before they move on? That is why I have used a service like Draft2Digital to get my books into other retailers and in other countries. Now truth be told I haven’t sold much in those market yet, but I only have two books out so I am betting that with time and more content, I will establish a fan base and some sales on other platforms and other countries. I upload directly to Amazon myself and then use D2D for the other retailers, just because it is easier. And D2D has a very friendly user interface and are also kind enough to send me an email notifying me of sales/royalties. And while I use D2D and recommend them, there are other service providers out there you have to find the one that is right for you. Additionally, when book 3 in the Maggie Gray trilogy is ready this time I am going to add IngramSpark to my list of distributors.

So think about it. If you are just starting out and not sure what to do, plan for the long game, that way you will have a built-in plan B.

You can find my books at http://www.amazon.com/author/milissalstory or at these retailers.

Best of luck!

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The Big Day

Drum roll, please…

Gray’s Requiem the second book in the Maggie Gray trilogy is available today! This book had a couple of setbacks on its way to release day, but just like its namesake, it fought back and made it to the finish line.

Being an indie author is all about knuckling down and getting it done. Because no one else is going to do it for you. You have to write it, publish it, market it. But, there is also a learning curve. I’ve learned a lot from my first book, The Deceived and I know you will enjoy the second book in the series. There are a lot of people who have helped me along the way to get to this point. Some of them probably don’t even realize it, but that doesn’t make them any less important.

If you haven’t met Maggie Gray yet, you can get my first book, The Deceived for only .99 cents at both Amazon and Kobo. If you’re ready to continue the adventure with Gray’s Requiem, it is available today at these fine retailers: Amazon , Kobo, BN, Apple, Scribd, Overdrive, and more.