2013—Looking Back & Ahead As An Author & Publisher
For the last several years I’ve made predictions about what will happen in publishing for the upcoming year, but I won’t be doing that this year. In fact, some people have noted that I’ve been very quiet on blogging about publishing and commenting on other industry blogs. And that will continue. A big decision we made at Cool Gus late in 2012 was that while we will continue to monitor and stay ahead of what’s going on with publishing, particularly the digital world, as we’ve always done, we see little benefit in adding our nickel to the conversation.
All our blog entries from the last three years are still at Write It Forward and most are still very valid (and free) for anyone interested in digital publishing. How We Made Our First Million on Kindle is a good primer (but not free) that Jen Talty and I co-wrote on our experiences as Cool Gus Publishing evolved.
Our motto at Cool Gus has been: Writers create the product and readers consume the product. Everyone is in between. Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. So we’re not engaging with those in between much any more and focusing on our consumers: the reader.
It’s the beginning of the year and it’s cloudy and raining here at Write on the River. I’ve been in TN less than two months and I’m very happy about the house, the location, the river, my writing, but most particularly my wife, my new grandson, my son & daughter-in-law, and yes, of course, Cool Gus & Sassy Becca. I launched my kayak the other day for the first time on the Tennessee River and had a blast. I’m looking forward to running some rivers (no white water for me, just lazy paddles—so I guess that’s negotiating some rivers rather than running) in the Spring. Has anyone done the Little Tennessee River below Fontana Dam? Recommendations?
In 2012 I realized I’d made an error with my strategic planning as an author. I put out new titles, but they were all stand alones, instead of part of my successful series, such as Area 51, Atlantis, Green Beret, Cellar, etc. While I’m very proud of The Jefferson Allegiance, I, Judas, Chasing The Ghost, Duty, Honor, Country: A Novel of West Point & The Civil War, it wasn’t the smartest business plan. I’m being up front here, for those of you trying to break out: series are KEY. Look at Bella Andre, Marie Force, Barbara Freethy, Jennifer Probst. They’ve all got great series. I’m fixing that.
As an author, Area 51 Nightstalkers was published in December, going with the idea of pushing forward a series (although technically Nightstalkers launches a new series with a new cast of characters) and has been in the top 25 in science fiction on Kindle since pub date. I’m finishing the second book in the series, Nightstalkers: The Book of Secrets for a July pub date. I love this series because my snark is back. My log line is: The Unit meets Warehouse 13, which means action meets snark meets weird stuff. Additionally, lesson learned, in the Book of Secrets, the Cellar from Bodyguard of Lies and Lost Girls makes its first appearance. Yes, Hannah and Neeley are back. Teaming up with Moms, Nada, Roland and the rest of the team. I’ve had a lot of people asking for more Hannah and Neeley and in July, you’ll get them.
I watched Loopers the other day and thought the concept was brilliant, the opening was good, it started to sag, then the ending was outstanding. My wife just finally watched Game of Thrones (she used to make fun of me watching it as she walked past—swords and naked women, or some such comment) but now she’s hooked on it and blazed through the first two seasons in a weekend. She’s now watching Life, which I watched a couple of years ago on Hulu and she’s hooked on that too. Same actor as Homeland, which we both enjoyed. What series have you watched lately, new or old, that drew you in when maybe at first you kind of thought it was dumb? And, anyone who comments will be entered in a drawing for a free Audio book. Jen will be collecting the commenters names over the next couple of weeks and announce the winner.
I label 2013 the year of writing. And that’s what it will be as well as the year Cool Gus breaks out as a leader in the publishing world.
Nothing but good times ahead as Cool Gus & Sassy Becca snore underneath my new desk, in new house.