Archive for the JA Konrath Category

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Konrath’s Publishing Predictions 2014

Posted in Armand Rosamilia, fiction, JA Konrath with tags , on December 30, 2013 by Armand Rosamilia

JA Konrath with some bold predictions for 2014… and he’s usually pretty darn close when doing it… 

A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Konrath’s Publishing Predictions 2014.

Writing: A Career Or Your Hobby?

Posted in #amwriting, Armand Rosamilia, authors, Blogging, fiction, JA Konrath, personal, writing with tags , , , , on October 23, 2013 by Armand Rosamilia

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Writing: A Career Or Your Hobby?

 

            I write full-time, as anyone reading this blog will know. I have been for the last two years, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I can think of no better job than being my own boss, creating something from scratch each day and then having to do most (if not all) of the work to make money doing it.

            For years I wrote between work schedules, kids, marriages and divorces and a hundred other things. I wrote sporadically and I wrote random stories and have a ton of unfinished and/or vague ideas on hard drives, thumb drives, floppy discs and a dead Brother word processor. I wrote when I could and I just sat down and wrote something with no real goal in mind and no real focus.

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            Until two years ago, when it was sink or swim. I had no financial backing, no spouse to fall back on to pay the bills. I tried to find a ‘real’ job but there’s nothing out there for a forty-something retail manager who made really good money and worked really long hours.

            I decided to give this writing thing a shot and gave myself twelve months. I read every blog I could about writing and publishing and asked advice, learning from guys like JA Konrath and Scott Nicholson, authors who were already in the trenches and making an honest living doing this.

            I set a personal dollar figure goal but also wanted to put out at least 12 releases in the year because from my research I knew the more you had for sale the better off you were with potential readers finding you.

WRITER

            I am very lucky in that I can write fast and can focus each day to hit a 2,000 word day. I usually do more. My record in one day is 18,000 words, done in a little over 16 straight hours. I have a nice 10,000 word a week goal, so anything over 520,000 words a year is a bonus.

            But I’ve run into authors who put out one 25,000 word novella in a year, buy 500 copies in print at $7.00 a book and then end up selling 10-20% of them locally. And consider themselves having a career in writing. I suppose you could argue they do, but is it really a career or a hobby? Too often I see the bored housewife syndrome. Writing is something for them to do to fill up their time, and that is not a bad thing. Writing is a great release and helps with stress and getting away from reality, but when you suddenly decide you are a legitimate author you need to back it up, have some actual goals in mind and try to get somewhere with it.

            Or else it’s a hobby.

            Not everyone strives to be a successful author, published and making money and enough to pay their monthly bills. I’ve talked with dozens of authors who just wanted to put that first book out to say they could do it, and other authors who have a steady income and do the writing gig on the side when they have time, and enjoy doing it.

            But the goal is to know what you are and who you are, and know your limits. Taking on too many projects and never completing them is a sure way to let people know you aren’t serious, and feeling you don’t need to be on Twitter or have a blog of your own or do any of the leg work is another way to always be known as the quirky local author but never getting enough sales to justify you proudly exclaiming you’re a legitimate writer doing this for a living.

            Because it is a hobby to you.

            The first year I did this full-time I had 26 releases published, more the next. This coming November alone I will have 10. Which might be more than the hobby people have in their career. Why? Because I’m focused, and if I don’t sell another book I don’t eat.

            This is my career and I’m living the dream doing it.

            How about you?

Armand

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This Internet Stuff Is Forever… Usually

Posted in Armand Rosamilia, Blogging, death metal, dying days, horror, JA Konrath, personal, Twitter, wordpress, writing, zombie with tags , , , , , , on April 20, 2013 by Armand Rosamilia

This weekend, besides getting into the homestretch of the Dying Days 3 zombie novel, I’be been culling some of my favorite blog posts and interviews from this website and they will eventually all be bundled together, along with many new ones you’ve never seen, into an eBook titled Shut Up, Old Man! Random Thoughts, Posts, Interviews, Lies and Help from Armand Rosamilia

I’m not going to pretend to know anything, but after the last 18 months I’ve learned a few things, and I wanted to put my journey into perspective and see (for myself) how far I’ve come or haven’t come. It’s fun going back and reading posts I did a year ago, and remembering where my mindset was at that moment. And seeing how it’s changed. 

I also began pulling every interview I’ve done and putting together a sort of ‘Best Of’ interview, with every question I’ve been asked and the multiple answers I’ve given for each… so far, I talk a lot of crap. 

One thing that alarmed me, however, was the many dead links I am seeing. I have done a ton of guest blogs and interviews, and linked them to my website. However, when I click on them to find them, they are gone. Erased. Deleted. And these are websites that still exist. 

I contacted two bloggers this morning to see if maybe they changed the names or archived them, only to be told by one ‘Nah, that interview was old (it was 9 months ag0)’, and the other said ‘I only want current stuff on my blog’… 

Huh?

The greatest part of the internet is the perpetual flow of it, and the fact I’ve had new readers who found me based not on my latest Twitter post, but because they read an interview when I was first promoting Dying Days or Death Metal, and they looked me up and started reading my stuff. You never know where a reader is going to jump into your career, so you hedge the bets the more chances for them to see you the better. 

Thank about any author you’ve read. Did you see them as an up and coming writer with their first book, or maybe jumped in when they got a buzz from people you trusted on the third book? I’ve stumbled across great interviews with authors and wanted to dive in and see if they were any good. 

Keeping an interview or guest post on your website doesn’t hurt anyone, especially you. I have hundreds of posts and things on my site, and I’m using about 3% of what they gave me. For free. Unless you are running crazy apps or tons of video, that isn’t a valid excuse for deleting stuff. There’s a blogger I really like on a personal level, but won’t send him my guest blogs anymore, because he takes posts down after two months. I have yet to see what the point is. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post titled “JA Konrath Is The Devil”, and it still finds its way into my top five posts each week, no matter what. It’s been out for months, but people still find it and follow my blog and keep coming back to read more and more. 

By some folk’s reckoning, I should have deleted it months ago and only posted ‘relevant’ things… well, guess what? If an interview or guest post talking about an old book still in print  helps me find even one more reader and gives them another reason to read your blog and maybe like your own work, I say it is more than relevant. 

Armand

Rethinking Publishing in 2013 – In My Humble Opinion

Posted in #amwriting, Armand Rosamilia, dying days, horror, JA Konrath, novella, personal, pro market, pro sale, short story, Tool Shed, writing, zombie on March 15, 2013 by Armand Rosamilia

I haven’t technically released a new story so far in 2013… on my own. Sure, I have a great little story in the Fifty Shades of Decay anthology from Angelic Knight Press, but I’ve yet to release anything self-published in 2013. I’ve written three contracted novellas for a company but I have no idea when (or if?) they will be released for sale. All I know is: I wrote them, I got paid for them, I loved writing and getting money for them. 

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I’m working on Dying Days 3 and Dying Days: Origins novellas right now, but at a leisurely pace. There is no strict deadline or panic if I write less than 2,000 words a day. The way Dying Days 3 is shaping up, it should be longer than the typical 25,000 word zombie novella in the rest of the series, and I’m happy with it. I’ve also been dancing around the issue of doing a synopsis for my Chelsea Avenue horror novel and sending it off to a actual agent who wants to take a look. 

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… agent?! In this day and age?! I’m a huge fan of reading the JA Konrath blog on an almost daily basis when he has something new to say, and I get what he’s accomplished and what he’s pushing to be successful. But I’m not selling 6,000 eBooks a month and if I get 5 Amazon loans I’m ecstatic. 

I’ve seen my numbers dry up, and my back-list (heck, I have 67 items for sale on Amazon) not selling the way it used to. I peaked about a year ago, selling almost 2,800 eBooks on Amazon. Now? Um… a lot less. A lot. 

Why?

No clue… or maybe I do. This post isn’t about bitching and complaining the way Amazon does business, because they are a business and they are in the business of making money. They aren’t our friend (I don’t think they are the enemy, either). But the rules keep changing for us indies and we need to adapt. I’m going to adapt or die trying.

How? By pitching to an actual agent and see what happens. By actively looking for small press publishers who have something to offer, like some new readers and a marketing plan. I feel like I’ve hit a ceiling with my readers, and while I absolutely love those who are loyal to my work, I don’t think I’m reaching many new ones. I can almost guarantee what the sales will be for any zombie books I release, because the rabid fan base is there, but I need to capture new readers. I don’t think I’m doing it anymore.

ToolShed

I released what I consider my best traditional horror story, Tool Shed (coincidentally, also out by Angelic Knight Press), but the sales have been slow. It’s the story I’ve always wanted to write and sat in my head for many years before I refined it. I love it, but I actually had a conversation online with one of my more vocal Dying Days readers who said they wouldn’t read it because it had no zombies in it. Hmm. 

My new goal for 2013 is to start getting more releases out in a timely manner, and spread them out. I’m gong to begin looking at solid anthologies out there to submit to and spread the word, and finish up a few novella and novel ideas this year and look for small press companies I want to work with, and see if they want to work with me. 

I’ll still self-publish a few things, especially the Dying Days series, unless some publisher steps up and gives me a big chunk of cash upfront to re-release it. Otherwise, it’s all mine. My 2013 goal is to mix it up a bit, and see what works and doesn’t work. 

The rules have changed yet again, and as authors we need to change with the times. Not stop in place and bitch about it, but be proactive and do something about it… or die trying. 

2012: The Peak of Independent Authors?

Posted in #amwriting, authors, horror, JA Konrath, personal, writing on December 16, 2012 by Armand Rosamilia

Back in October, when my sales weren’t really strong, I simply figured everyone was waiting until mid-November to get their early Holiday shopping in. Once December hit, I’d be off to the races. 

Looking at my December 2011 sales, I had high hopes. While I couldn’t reach mythical figures like when JA Konrath made $100k in three weeks thanks to Amazon, I still had a great month. Little did I know, when those big sales continued into January, February, March and April, it would be my peak. 

This December sales? Not so great. OK, they are utter shit. There, I said it. And it’s not just me, it is many many of my indie author friends who are struggling. Why? Because, in part, we let it get this way. We lowered our books to 99 cents to get better spots in the intricate Amazon algorithms, getting high on Top 100 lists at the cost of profit. If enough people saw your book, they’d buy it… and it would trickle down to your backlist, and we’d all be rich someday. 

Only, it never really happened. Amazon tweaked it and made it harder for us to succeed. Why? Simple, really. That new Stephen King eBook that is currently priced well over ten bucks sells a hell of a lot more copies than I do. Even if it is 5-6 times what my eBook costs. They make their money off of the Big Boys and we’re just a few extra pennies in the coffers. And I don’t blame them one bit for being savvy businessmen. You can cry about your Art and them as being this big Evil Empire, but they are doing what we’d all do in their spot: make money intelligently. 

The sweet spot for sales used to be $2.99 for longer fiction and 99 cents for short stories. With the new way Amazon does things, I think we priced ourselves out of the game. Will raising my prices on novellas and short stories do me any good, or will it just kill the few sales I could have made? Is there something we’re all missing?

I can moan and cry about bad sales and plummeting ranks and a million other things. The bar has been not only reset but moved away from the independent author, and we’ll look back on 2012 with fondness for the good old days of book selling. What I need to do is suck it up and get into the game, or bail out and get that overnight stock job in Walmart I keep having nightmares about. 

For now, I will look back with fondness at 2012 and hope 2013 and beyond turns it around for me and all my brethren. I will keep putting out the best work I can without rushing, I will try to come up with some unique ideas to get me noticed and my books sold, and I will refuse to start stocking cans of corn at 2 am for a different Evil Empire. 

Armand Rosamilia

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