Why Publish Your Story

Today I want to talk about publishing. While storytelling may not be your G-d given talent, it’s a skill like any other and can be improved upon. Everyone has a story to tell and I think everyone can write a book. It’s a lot like starting a workout regiment. If you have the discipline and dedicate time to daily manageable goals you will reach the finished product without feeling overwhelmed.

Once you get started on your writing journey, you will want to think about distribution. I have experience with a few options, but if you’re just starting out I recommend KDP, which is Kindle Direct Publishing. You can capture up to 70% of the royalties of each digital book copy sold and if you feel like most of your sales come from Amazon you can join the select program and be exclusive to amazon in exchange for the ability to share your work with Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited is great because it can help boost your book’s overall ranking and you get paid per page read by members (think of it like Netflix for books).

You can also create paperbacks on KDP, but if you’re interested in physical books there are other avenues with more options (like Ingram Spark) however I’m going to stick with KDP for the rest of this post. It’s effective, and simple. A great place for beginners looking to control their publishing fate.

So, why is writing a book important? It can help establish your brand; people still love to read books and what better way to capture your entire story than to write a book about it? It can be fiction (a parable or a fable), it can be nonfiction, it can be whatever you want–you could publish a cook book if that’s what you think fits your brand.

Books are timeless. Books go up on Amazon and you don’t have to think about them ever again. You could create some ads to draw traffic and reference them in your videos but they aren’t costing you any money by sitting there. You aren’t paying for warehouse space or anything.

At close to no cost (outside of time, professional editing, and cover art) you’ve opened yourself up to passive revenue streams that you don’t have to actively promote, that you don’t have to run the fulfillment services for, that you don’t have to handle shipping costs or anything. Your book is out there for the world to see and you can promote it however you want.

This isn’t a strategy that’s going to make you a millionaire, but it feels great to wake up in the morning and see 10 people were interested in your story and purchased a copy. This happened to me recently. I saw I had 40 bucks moved to my bank account from Amazon royalty services. I was stressed with exams, and feeling a little overwhelmed, and this put a smile on my face. It’s fun to be able to treat someone to dinner with royalties–it made me feel like a real writer. I think Stephen King once described talent as being able to pay the electric bill with something you wrote.

To conclude this post, writing a book is a great way to encapsulate your story, diversify your brand, and create passive revenue streams. It’s also a way to expand global reach, and grow your business affordably, by offering a new product with very low upfront costs AND offers you the ability to build an infrastructure around the culture you’re trying to implement into your business.

Into the Storm 1&2

https://read.amazon.com/kp/card?asin=B07GMXWGD6&preview=inline&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_itUJBbT67ZVGW

It’s release day! Into the Storm is officially out! We have a ten episode season one planned for you, all available on Kindle Unlimited.

Odd number episodes follow my MC Jakobe and even number episodes follow Lauren’s MC Lexa.

It’s been a fun experiencing co-authoring for the first time, I hope it’s even more fun for you all to read.

 

 

Pinched above the button

My writing stresses me out. It’s not that I think I’m a bad writer. I know I’m not at the ability of my daydream self. Daydream Ari is able to write a masterpiece in an afternoon with words so powerful they can launch a rocket to Mars, dig up water, sprout life into a vacuum, and cure cancer.

It’s just that, I finish a rough draft under the guise of, it’s okay if it’s shit because that’s what editing is for, but then the editing starts and I’m just staring at this 300 page document thinking “what have I done?”

There’s always good writing in it. That’s not because I’m a good writer it’s just simple statistics. Anyone who can read and write is capable of saying something smart if they have 70,000 words to play with. The problem is, I’m often left asking two questions (depending on the book I’m working on):

1) Where the hell is the plot?

2) why do these characters suck?

Okay, there’s a chance there’s a third question that’s some combination of the previous 2 but I just bury those manuscripts deep in my desktop folders for future Ari to deal with–future Ari has gotta be way smarter than me after all.

The problem I’m dealing with now comes from two manuscripts. Both are about 250 pages, both lack that emotional punch. It’s impressive how unemotional they are actually I mean one deals with assisted suicide and euthanasia in a fantasy setting (it’s disguised as a medical option but it’s really a non-mortal experience on another plane of existence) and the other deals with a painter who is forced to return home and is haunted by his dead fiance.

Both lack backstory, which I can’t weave in without flashbacks, and I’m nervous the flashbacks I put in during edits are too abrupt–like la di da here’s your story then BAM! Flashback boulder drops from the sky and you have to walk all the way around it to get back to the plot.

I mean–I guess what sucks is these are clearly supposed to be emotional stories with deep themes–I guess–and they more often than not leave me asking “so what?” while I’m reading them. I can’t publish them because I don’t feel like punishing people for buying my book lol.

I’m just in a bit of a rut I guess. Part of me wants to work on new projects but I know that’s crazy since I have these old projects to work on. I also know if I can’t edit these old projects what’s the point in working on something new because it’s just going to end up in my edit folders one day and will never be touched again.

So I’m working on these two projects–I’m hoping I find results.

I have another novella coming out October 17

I have two episodes of a serial I’m co-writing with Lauren Lee coming out September 4th with a new episode released monthly.

It would be a nice win if I could put out my first full length novel soon.

Write Around Full Time

Yesterday at 11 am I finished my latest rough draft. It’s not particularly long, clocking in at around 230 pages and it needs a lot of work but the first draft is done and now I have a foundation to build on. I started writing this manuscript at the start of June, just before my move to New Orleans and benefited from only working part time for the first half of it.

When I got down here though, everything changed. I couldn’t afford to spend my entire morning alternating between five page sprints and personal errands; I couldn’t write in consistent increments building towards large word count goals. I had to spend most of my day in an office or going to meetings. My writing was still a priority to me, but I had to find time to do it, I couldn’t build my day around it.

By the time I got down here I still had around 25k words left to write. Rather than hitting my 3-4k word count goals daily, I was hitting 1500 on two separate projects. Having to start and stop throughout the day, working in a couple hundred words during lunch or the hour I had at home before an evening networking event gave me the opportunity to hit smaller word count goals before the end of the night. The small windows of writing added up to anywhere from 1000-1500 words.

Late evenings were when I did the bulk of my work, usually ending the night with an additional 1000-2500 burst before going to bed. On off days I would get a little writing done in the morning but my top priority for mornings is the gym. It’s easy to find motivation to write after a long day; it’s not as easy to find the same motivation for fitness. The gym also helps me maintain a clear head throughout the day so I can balance my work life and my creative life.

It will be interesting to figure out my editing process down here. I expect most of my editing to be done late at night. It’s more difficult to start and stop editing than it is to write a first draft. Rough drafts have the benefit of building from scratch. If you only have ten minutes you can at the very least plan out a scene. Editing is a little more focused.

My tangible advice for anyone reading this and looking to pursue writing (or other creative endeavors) while working full time is this:

*Give yourself a daily goal. Not something to do all at once but a place to reach by the end of the day (or week if you work better with weekly goals).

*Don’t be afraid to be productive in small windows. 10 minutes may not feel like a long time but if you’re flexible and give yourself a specific assignment those 10 minutes can help build towards your daily goal.

*Don’t be afraid to ask for personal space. If you don’t have the luxury of having a quiet area, ask for one. Find a way to eliminate distractions so you can be productive.

*This is the last and least concrete piece of advice I have: Be flexible. Things will not always go according to plan but humans by nature can always find a way to adapt. It may not always be comfortable, but the time is there for you to take if you’re open to it. I heard Toni Morrison give a lecture at the end of 2017 and she spoke about how she started writing when she was working a traditional 9-5 job. She said she got most of her work done on the weekends and the pre-dawn hours of the day.

Time is a funny thing. Years go by in seconds, but you can stretch a few minutes a day into an entire book.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” –Mark Twain