Monday, May 14, 2012

Phase 2: Write Fast, Publish Slow

Two long years...

...but it’s over now. I’m back in America! I’ve been exhausted for the last month, recuperating from the airplane ride and twenty-seven months in the jungles of Thailand doing mysterious things that will be related in more detail in my memoirs when they’re declassified (and/or written).
As I said, it’s over now. My idleness is over. My goose is cooked. My ears are perked up, ready to hear the sweet sounds of my Muse amidst the jabbering of my hideous and untalented contemporaries. You know who you are. I’m back in the saddle, is my point, and the horse is writing, and it is riding toward the hay-filled barn of publishing. In this metaphor, hay is money, and why not? Hay is delicious.

The straw that broke my back— to carry the metaphor out of its natural range—is that Not Writing is Boring. This can be demonstrated mathematically and morally, a delightful fusion. Pose A that Easy Is Boring. Pose B that Writing Is Hard. Pose C that Sex is Fun. We will not use that last Position today, but ‘tis of interest, ‘tis it not? Ergo A+B = Writing Is Fun.
Publishing, on the other hand, is rather dull, but I’ve spent two years learning it. I’ve got both some skills and the knowledge of what skills I don’t have, so, without further Preamble, let’s kick it up a notch. Let’s take H2NH ePub into...lightning’n’thunder...Phase 2.

Let’s Write Fast, Publish Slow.

What Has Come Before

“Write Slow, Publish Slow”

At this point, I had already written and burned My First Million Words and was rolling into the Second Better Million. I was confident in my writing, but I had no idea what I was doing when it came to Publishing. I needed Publishing 101: Absolute Beginner’s Guide. Some helpful links from fellow writers Ben Godby and Jeff Ambrose later, and I’d run across Dean Wesley Smith and his incredibly helpful blog. Read it for yourself!

You can follow my baby-steps through the new world of publishing in my blog collection The First 200 Days.

“Write Fast, Publish Fast”

Basic education done, it was time to get dangerous, so I picked up Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s The Freelancer’s Survival Guide and supplemented it with her ongoing series on her blog. It made me rather dangerous, indeed. Professional dangerous. I sat down and wrote (this will become a theme, cats and kittens, in all the professional achievements to follow) and produced. Not enough, but I produced, at a feverish pace, a big pile of short stories.

Science Fantasy Romance Stories 2011
A Future Darkly
To Another Shore
The Language of Ice Cubes
More of the Sun

The key to Phase One was learning how to publish all this sh*t (in its most awesome connotation). The short stories went around the various markets, but after that I wanted to put them up on sale, both singly and in collections. Since I determined that everybody was just making this up as they went along anyways, I decided to go for it, and learn eBook Formatting. With the generous help of Guido Henkel and Paul Salvette, I was able to cobble together an eBook formatting workflow, and, fortunately, I had fifty things to practice on.

The first attempts looked...OK, I guess. But now I’ve fixed them up, and the second electronic editions look great! Speaking of second editions...

The State of H2NH ePub

It finally happened! After long years of travel, toil and trouble, I’ve got a proper website!

If you were reading this post on the new website, you’d be there by now. If not, go there. I’ll be cross-posting for some months, just to keep things going, but eventually I’ll be using the Blogger blog as a massive archive to link to and putting everything here exclusively where I can control it. As is my custom, I’ll make a fancy blog post about setting up a writer’s blog for newbish types like me. Excuse any lameness while I catch my Wordpress bearings. So, pop over to that website and prepare to experience...

“Write Fast, Publish Slow”

Publish Slow
Now that I know what I’m doing, I don’t have to go crazy on the publishing side. Whatever I write will stay written, so I can bring it out slow and sure, and none of this “second electronic edition” foolishness. I want pretty books, indistinguishable from professionally published books...because they are professional published, by a professional. That is to say: Me. I will have published them.

Cover Art
The first thing I want to improve is my cover art. The key to successful self-publishing is not to be self-conscious, and I am self-conscious about my cover art. It’s not technically that bad...most of it. But it’s not professional, it’s make-do. One day I suppose my many ardent collectors will clamor to own the original cover art made with my own two hands, but here and now my cover art annoys me. It’s good enough for eBooks, but what about

I demand print books. eBooks are cool and all, and I think they will become the trade paperbacks of this new world of publishing, and that’s wonderful, and I can read them on my smart phone: But I want a shelf of print books with my name on them. It’s going to happen, and you can follow along as I suck at it.

Write Fast

“But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Twitter.”
I have so much fun on Twitter, but it eats up way too much of my time, which is becoming more and more valuable by the day. I meet so many cool people on Twitter, though...and find so many cool things. I am torn. I am torn. I suppose I could just cut back, right?

My Facebook page is super-restricted just to people I have actually met, and even then it takes too much of my time. I seem to use it mostly for being Political and engaging in humor. Oh, and posting pictures of my lady so everybody is jealous of me. Not that they weren’t already. My new theory of Facebook is just put all that sh*t into my writing, and enjoy life. Or, alternatively: Save up all that manic energy for one grand post a day.

I want this blog to be the only aspect of my Internet life that takes up any time, and thus I am designating Lazy Sunday to be blog day. If I don’t have a new blog post idea, my fancy plan is to go through my posts from my two years archive over at by David Barron [], choose thirty as my Best Of, and refresh them for this new site. Can’t hurt.

Having dispensed with the time-wasters, my task is to write 2000 words a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, excluding Leap Day which I hereby designate “Vacation”. I will wake up in the morning, write that, then go about my other business, and in so doing achieve:

Phase Two
Twenty Books
Define book as “a manuscript of 120,000 words”, so whether that means a full novel, a collection of short novels, a pile of novellas, or a kerbillion short stories...well, whatever. I need twenty of those, and I will have them. That is to say: I will have at least 2,500,000 words in print, posthaste. POSTHASTE, I said!

Thanks for reading!
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