Inherent Problems

As you probably know, I write a lot of short stories.  There are various reasons for this, mostly because they’re a break from my longer works.  I’ve also hit upon an awesome character, the Hunter, who is perfectly suited to a plethora of stories.  I’ve already finished two of his tales and am working on three more.

Now, there’s an ugly side to the work of an author; the “business” side.  Even if you only want to write “for people to read” and money-making is utterly unimportant, there are still two big problems.  The first is that if you don’t sell your work, then you have to have some means of support, one that still allows you to write.  If you write often and a lot, it only makes sense to make a living off of it.

Now, admittedly, not many people want to make a full-time job out of writing.  It’s an exhaustive process, as many authors will tell you.  If you really don’t want to make writing your whole life and work, that’s fine, no problem.  But you’ve still got one big stumbling block.  If you want people to read your stories, you’re going to have to get out there; make a name as a writer, one people want to read.  And let’s face it; there’s a LOT of authors trying for the same thing.

I was pondering this and trying to think of ways to improve my “reach”.  I’m already well started, with this blog and my Twitter page.  I mean, YOU are reading this, so I’m already half-way there, right?  Unfortunately, it’s the other half of that way that concerns me.  Having a “following” is always a good thing, because it means that you really can do whatever it is you’re trying to convince a prospective investor, employer, agent, or publisher.

Having published work helps immeasurably, too, and I’m working on that.  But I need (or possibly “want) more.  Steady work is the only sure-fire answer, but I’m also looking for ways to boost my “presence”.  I’d like to be able to sell my work, sure.  Extra cash is always lovely.   I’d like to be able to do it for a living, to do what I love; who wouldn’t?  More importantly, though, I think I can write well and entertainingly and I would like for people to be able to read my writing.

One of the ideas that popped into my head today was mini-books.  “Hunter” has been very popular with my beta-readers.  Popular to the point of personal harm, due to the proximity of people with “opinions”.  With luck, I’ll be able to publish a lot of his stories in magazines.  But what if I could do Hunter-compilation giveaways?  Multi-short-story books, given away to the first ten people to “Tweet” about Hunter?  A poster of Hunter’s illustrations, signed by the artist for the first person to review a Hunter short story?

This deserves a lot more thought…….

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