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What do you want?

Mad Genius Club has been around for a little more than 10 years. It seems hard to believe. Dave and Sarah have been here the whole time. Kate and I came on within the first year, iirc, and the others came onboard as slots opened. Throughout it all, you guys have stuck around, brought in new readers and cheered us from the sidelines. We can never thank you enough—and, no, this isn’t a goodbye. Trust me. You aren’t getting rid of us that easily.

When Sarah and Dave started the blog so long ago, indie publishing was in the first throes of its infancy. Traditional publishing was still the only real player in the game. But they saw the writing on the wall and knew the industry was changing. No one guessed how fast or how far  it would go. But the one consistent was the bloggers here were going to pay it forward and help other writers and wannabe writers by sharing our experience and knowledge.

And this is where you guys come in. Just as the industry has changed, so has the blog. Our focus has changed from what is happening in traditional publishing with an occasional post about indie publishing to covering the craft of writing with emphasis on indie publishing, occasionally discussing the latest foible in the trad realm.

Now we have some question for you. Don’t worry. You don’t need to study for them. But we do hope you will be honest and help us grow the blog as we move through our second decade as the mad ones.

1. What do you see as the strengths of the blog?

2. What topics would you like us to cover in more depth than we have been?

3. If bloggers here were to pull together past posts—or write new material—on various aspects of writing and/or publishing and put them out as e-books, would you purchase such titles?

4. Would you follow an occasional podcast or vlog post if we were to do something like that?

5. What else would you like us to consider in this second decade of blogging?

Leave your suggestions in the comments below and know you have our thanks for your help.

54 Comments
  1. “4. Would you follow an occasional podcast or vlog post if we were to do something like that?”

    Yes, but only to hear Sarah say “Moose and squirrel.” ~:D

    “5. What else would you like us to consider in this second decade of blogging?”

    This is one of my top two blogs to hang out at and learn stuff. Change nothing.

    “3. If bloggers here were to pull together past posts—or write new material—on various aspects of writing and/or publishing and put them out as e-books, would you purchase such titles?”

    Yes, but that’s a lot of frickin’ work for how many sales?

    February 11, 2020
    • Thanks for the response. As for your question about it being a lot of work for how many sales, that’s one of the unknowns. It is amazing how many copies a how-to book can sell if marketed right. But you are right, there would be time and effort involved, especially if pulling together old posts (for the reason I noted in a comment below–information grows stale and would need to be updated).

      February 11, 2020
  2. 1. Strengths: Honesty. You guys tell is like it is unvarnished–I like that. You have a wide breadth of knowledge–I like that too.
    2. Can’t think of any, but you guys are always willing to dig down on whatever pops up, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that.
    3. Yes.
    4.Yes, but I prefer the written blog to read. I don’t seem to have much time for watching and listening to things.
    5. Very similar to to Question 2, so my answer is the same. You guys have an open willingness to dig in to all things writing. I find that valuable. I haven’t noticed anything lacking.
    6. Thank you for this blog. I read it everyday. You’ve blessed me and kept me going more that you will ever know. Thanks.

    February 11, 2020
    • Thank you. Sarah and Dave started this to pay it forward and we’ve kept that philosophy all along. I’m glad to see that it has been helpful.

      February 11, 2020
  3. Draven #

    Go away mister morden

    February 11, 2020
    • *musical chimes* “Who are you?”

      February 11, 2020
      • Draven #

        and then the final question, from Loren: “Do you have anything worth living for?”

        February 11, 2020
        • ❤ That has got to be one of the best questions.

          February 11, 2020
      • snelson134 #

        February 11, 2020
    • snelson134 #

      February 11, 2020
  4. Luke #

    I want a pony.
    .
    (Bah. Do what you find useful or enjoyable. Change it up to keep your interest as desired. )
    If I were to make a request it would be for the archives to be more readily searchable. Preferably with dedicated pages linking all articles on that specific topic.

    February 11, 2020
    • That latter isn’t going to happen, at least not going backwards. We have a keyword search or you can click on our names/icons at the side of the page and our posts will come up. But going back through to make dedicated pages like your asking would be a time sink for us–and that would cost us money. Also, the problem with such a thing is that a lot of the information would be out-of-date. What worked even a couple of years ago might not work today. Shrug.

      February 11, 2020
      • Luke #

        😉 Hence the pony comment.
        (I know just enough to know the request wasn’t very realistic.)

        February 11, 2020
  5. Reziac #

    Same answer to all:
    Ain’t broke. Don’t fix it.

    February 11, 2020
    • But how do we expand our reach? That is part of what this is about. We’re writers. While we love our dedicated fans–you guys–we want to expand to new ones as well. So what do we do as a blog to do so without running you off? (Not talking advertising, etc, but topics, frequency of posting, etc)

      February 11, 2020
  6. Luke #

    With respect to #4, specifically, I’d advise against it, unless you really want to do it, and do it on a regular basis.
    To do it well requires equipment, technique, and time. (Audio editing software doesn’t tend to be user friendly.)
    .
    Also, your natural audience is necessarily oriented towards the written word.
    .
    I don’t think the return is likely to meet or exceed the investment.

    February 11, 2020
    • BobtheRegisterredFool #

      An evil giraffe comes to mind. Might not have the equipment and skills. Doubt he would have time for it either, which is one reason why I decided I shouldn’t be coming anywhere close to volunteering him in public.

      February 11, 2020
      • Luke #

        To clarify, everyone doing it would need equipment, a quiet space to record in, and time to get a solid handle on the software and mic technique.
        .
        A mic and interface/recorder that can beat podcast quality isn’t too dear. You’re talking somewhere between $60-$200 depending on how you want to swing it. (Naturally, I have suggestions. But talking to a Sweetwater rep about your exact needs would be a good idea and might net you a package deal.)
        .
        A quiet (echoless) place to record is a bit harder. In a pinch, you could use an interior (full) clothes closet and grab some cushions off your couch to make a a makeshift recording booth. That said, I don’t think you would want to do that on a regular basis.
        Acoustic treatment could quickly run many hundreds of dollars, but you can actually do basics pretty cheaply. (Which would put you ahead of lots of YouTubers!) The main “cost” here, is space. (Provided you live in a house in a quiet area. And can schedule recording sessions around leafblowers, lawnmowers, etc.)
        .
        The last bit is whe the true cost comes in. Time. After you get a solid handle on technique and software, you’re still looking at 3 hours editing for every hour of recording. Plus time to write the script in at least outline form. (God help you if you follow my example of installing Jack in a lightweight Linux distro. Although it frees up lots of resources for processing, my advice is: don’t even think about it unless you’re already a linux guru.)
        The software runs from ruinously expensive to free as in beer. (I recommend Tracktion 7 on the free side. (Free, full-featured, and a shallower learning curve.)

        February 11, 2020
        • Seconded on the equipment, putting up You-Tube videos requires some stuff. You -can- get away with using your phone, but it looks like you’re using your phone. It is also amazingly time consuming.

          I have a little experience helping someone do some video for their website. It was time consuming to get right, and the response was not worth the expenditure of time and energy. Equipment I cobbled together from what was lying around Chez Phantom, the only things they purchased was some very inexpensive lights from Amazon and a Blue Yeti microphone. Tungsten table lamps won’t do, you need proper lights or it looks stupid. Same with the microphone, you need the good mic for spoken word or it becomes unintelligible. Two or three hundred bucks though. Not free, by any means.

          I don’t see how doing a vlog or a podcast will improve audience penetration regarding books.

          However if the subject was -audio- books specifically, that would be useful. According to several authors there is a collection of techniques used to remove the “said Mr. X” five times in six sentences that will improve the audio experience.

          Would it drive traffic to MGC though? Doubtful it would move enough to be worth it.

          February 11, 2020
        • Worse, because very few of us live in the same state as each other, we’d be looking at this expense for each and every member of MGC. *sinal salute*

          February 11, 2020
          • Actually, no, Dorothy. IF, and this is a very BIG IF, it was decided to do an occasional podcast, it could be a call-in with only one person having the set-up. Much like Baen and so many others do it.

            And, let’s face it, this is probably something that is far down the road. But we have to look forward and see what we may need to consider for the future.

            February 11, 2020
            • Luke #

              I hate to rain on the parade, but that means capturing the voice with a Lo-Fi telephone mic, replaying the sound on a Lo-Fi telephone speaker, and then capturing that result on another mic. It doesn’t matter how good that end setup is, it’s going to be a poor quality recording.
              .
              Everyone will need at *least* a Blue Snowball/CAD U37 USB mic equivalent. (But a basic ZOOM or TASCAM recorder would be better. And a decent USB audio interface with an entry-level XLR mic better still.)
              And they’re going to have to splice their own flubs.
              You can have one person do the EQ, compression, mixing, and mastering, which will help.
              .
              Caveat: entry-level large diaphragm condenser mics are almost all boosted in the highs, which will really emphasize the “S” sound if you’re not careful, and can play merry hell with female voices.

              February 12, 2020
              • Draven #

                just the blue snowball is fine. most of these people’s machiens aren’t going to be set up very well for using a usb audio interface… its really spending extra money they dont need,

                February 12, 2020
                • Luke #

                  Gah. I was almost done, something glitched, and I lost the post. So my apologies if I fast forward through any part of this response.
                  .
                  First, Draven clearly knows what he’s talking about, so much of the pos is aimed at the audience, so they can make informed decisions.
                  .
                  Will a Snowball equivalent work?
                  Absolutely.
                  There are the following caveats:
                  1) It’s a budget Large Condenser Diaphragm mic, which means it will pick up lots of background noise, has a high self-noise, and is susceptible to handling noise (i.e. introduction artifacts when you touch the desk it’s sitting on).
                  2) It has a hyped high end. This is important because your voice isn’t just one tone, there are harmonics involved. For example, my natural speaking voice resonates at almost exactly 100 hertz. So there are secondary resonances at 200 HZ, 300 HZ,400 HZ, and on up, fading in a diminishing echo after the first few iterations. So an 8 decibel boost on the high end isn’t going to affect me much (beyond highlighting the “S” sound at 10K HZ). But if you’ve got a higher voice, say 500 HZ, it’ll have resonances at 1K, 1.5K, 2K, etc. Which means you can hit the hyped frequencies before the resonances really begin falling off. This sounds unnatural, and is a bad thing.
                  3) It has a low ceiling. Sample rate and bit depth are to sound as resolution is to picture. Snowball and equivalents record at CD quality, but every time you mess with the signal, you lose information. It’s like taking a picture of a picture. So to actually produce something of CD quality, you have to record significantly above CD quality. To be clear, Snowball equivalents can get you to podcast/audiobook quality, but really no farther than that.
                  4) You’re recording with your computer, so Draven’s caveat applies here. I’ll address it more, below.
                  5) Most budget USB mics lack realtime monitoring. It’s a lot easier to record when you can hear the sounds as you make them.
                  .
                  The second option I gave was a ZOOM or TASCAM portable recorder. They are handheld boxes with mics built in that save to an SD card. They’re movie making kit, so emphasize the spoken word, and being handheld, are resistant to handling noise. They record at a higher resolution, and require nothing from your computer.
                  Basic models are about $25 more than Snowball equivalents.
                  The downside is that unless you buy a higher model, you’re stuck with the omnidirectional onboard mics.
                  .
                  Then you have the option of a USB audio interface and mic of your choice. The sky’s the limit here, but for the purposes of this discussion, the main benefit is that they let you use dynamic mics, which are much better at rejecting background noise, and largely avoid the problem of an overhyped top end. You can get a basic Behringer interface and dynamic mic, a mic stand, and cables for under $100.
                  You are recording with your computer. But here’s the thing, you aren’t mixing, mastering, applying plug-ins, synching with video, or syncing different audio sources. The are the things that eat processing power. You don’t need absolute time from a master clock, you aren’t doing funky things to modify the signal, you aren’t running simultaneous tracks. You won’t need to tweak things much to use your box as a glorified tape recorder.

                  February 12, 2020
              • https://www.amazon.ca/Blue-Microphones-Snowball-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B014PYGTUQ?psc=1&SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duc12-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B014PYGTUQ

                $60 CDN plus tax. Sounds okay when used as directed with an average PC/laptop. And by okay I mean you can understand the spoken word. Kids doing Twitch streams use this a lot. My friend bought the Yeti, finished product doesn’t sound much different from the Snowball to my ear, but the Yeti has some features they wanted, like a “record” light, volume control, mute button etc.

                Using the mic and camera of your laptop is a non-starter, it looks and sounds bad. Okay for a skype call but not for a vblog/podcast.

                February 12, 2020
    • Agreed. It’s much easier for me to find time to read something than to listen to/watch that same thing, and I retain it better as words. I expect I’m not alone.

      One audience audio might capture, though, are those with vision issues. Has anyone tried using a screen reader on the site?

      February 12, 2020
    • Stanley Miller #

      I open a lot of tabs of videos to watch later, that almost never happens, and they get closed unwatched. I see some that sound really interesting and I really think I’ll get to them but it rarely happens. One of the places I visit has gone from mostly printed to mostly video and every time I open an article and find just a media player and no text I feel a bit betrayed.

      I understand the need to go to video for the other site, they find the younger folks they are targeting just won’t read more than a couple paragraphs, but will sit through a 15 minute video of what could have been conveyed in print in 5. Still I’ve gone from visiting multiple times per day and contributing to looking once a week or so.

      So I’ll just beg that you include a transcript or at least your talking-points notes along with any video you do.

      February 12, 2020
  7. BobtheRegisterredFool #

    1. What do you see as the strengths of the blog?

    Mixture of different people, doing their own analysis and guesswork, honestly.

    2. What topics would you like us to cover in more depth than we have been?

    Have no useful suggestions.

    3. If bloggers here were to pull together past posts—or write new material—on various aspects of writing and/or publishing and put them out as e-books, would you purchase such titles?

    Probably not. My money budget is more limited than my time budget, and I probably ought to be restricting and controlling my time budget more.

    4. Would you follow an occasional podcast or vlog post if we were to do something like that?

    Probably not. Discussions between the writers here might be interesting. My mental budget for video or audio is much lower than mine for text.

    Comes to mind that a quarterly podcast could serve a purpose of summarizing the state of the industry as seen by MGC. On the other hand, weekly or bi weekly might summarize posts, and highlight trends. I think this is an additional market or marketing tool, I definitely am not smart enough to define MGC’s business plans or what marketing tools would be most effective, and would guess that you would need someone with the time and energy to experiment. Which would probably be enough of a full time job that no one at MGC would want to do it.

    5. What else would you like us to consider in this second decade of blogging?

    It feels like MGC focuses on a narrow type of business, and does not cover transactions that can be potentially considered a related type of business. Forex, activity heavily funded by patreon. Though, you would not be very different if you stuck to business types that are strictly legal. (Excluding such as unlicensed translations funded in various ways.)

    Longer term, the alternative business types might be more important.

    Might be wise to stick to strictly legal businessmen whose business plans are robust enough to survive the rigorous feedback MGC gets from conventional industry.

    Leave your suggestions in the comments below and know you have our thanks for your help.

    Thank you all. Your relentless focus on fixing problems, getting down to business, and making viable future plans has done a lot for me. It has kept me grounded and oriented when I’ve had difficult times in RL, due to plans in other types of business failing.

    February 11, 2020
  8. I’m not a good fit for podcasts, I read quicker than people can talk and that’s not a challenge JIC any bright spark thinks it is.

    I do watch YouTube, but it sucks time and I’d rather read, unless the vlogger is charismatic and entertaining, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue.

    My only suggestion is reviewing what KKR says in her book on Discoverability. Most of what writers need is a reason to write words. There, that’s my suggestion, smart Alec that I am. 😉

    February 11, 2020
    • Mary #

      Me neither. Auditory issues. I don’t like podcasts.

      February 11, 2020
  9. First, thank you for the time and effort you’ve put into this blog over the last 10 years. It’s not a trivial task, and I appreciate everything you’ve done.

    1. What do you see as the strengths of the blog?

    I don’t have to sift through braying political posts to find a few nuggets of useful information. You post opinions, but recognize them as such and don’t go balistic if someone disagrees with you (provided they do so politely and at least try to back their position with facts).

    2. What topics would you like us to cover in more depth than we have been?

    Marketing. I’m sure I’m not the only indie author here who is virtually clueless on this topic, and it’s one that’s not easy to just pick up. I’ve read more than my share of blog posts about marketing, but they’re either short on details or, worse, a sales pitch to spend hundreds of dollars on someone’s online, self-paced course.

    3. If bloggers here were to pull together past posts—or write new material—on various aspects of writing and/or publishing and put them out as e-books, would you purchase such titles?

    Maybe. It would depend on the topics covered and the price.

    4. Would you follow an occasional podcast or vlog post if we were to do something like that?

    Probably not. I tend to put off listening/watching those things because they take a different level of concentration than reading a blog. Between a day job, writing, and responsibilities at home, when I have time to concentrate on something, I prefer reading to anything else.

    5. What else would you like us to consider in this second decade of blogging?

    Keep doing what you’re already doing. That will be more than enough.

    February 11, 2020
  10. First thoughts – #3 – ABSOPOSITIVUTLY! Doesn’t have to be cheap, either.

    The rest, I’ll cogitate on, and will need longer responses.

    February 11, 2020
  11. TRX #

    > What do you want?

    [looks around for Mr. Morden…]

    > 2. What topics would you like us to cover in more depth than we have been?

    I think you need to spend more time considering non-Amazon distribution systems. While they’ve been generally a good thing, they’re a choke point that gives me the heebies.

    > 4. Would you follow an occasional podcast or vlog post if we were to do something like that?

    No. Ten or twenty minutes of attention for something I could read in less than a minute is a poor tradeoff for my time.

    February 11, 2020
    • I’m sorry. I’m going to be very blunt. And I’m sorry, but this is goofy.
      A) I have no idea what you’re asking us to do: spend time on non Amazon Distribution systems means WHAT precisely?
      B) If what you’re saying is “Why don’t you put your books on other publishers?” My answer is no. And also I’m not going to give up 90% of my income because whatevs. Also, all the other systems are equally “evil.” Up to and including banning books for porn that have no sex in them and nothing sexy in the cover. (Yes, there was a person lying down. He was fully dressed. Also dead. And I wasn’t the only one affected.)
      C) If what you’re asking is “how do you get on other sites?”
      The same way you get on Amazon. Same format cover. Same file formatting. Same rigmarole to put it up, only slightly more incomprehensible.
      Same everything, it just makes less money. There. Other distribution channels covered.
      D) If you mean “why don’t you sell them yourselves right heeeeeere.”
      No, and also no. And a side of no. Amanda and I have run an online store of that sort in pre-history. We gave it up because we could do that OR write. It’s a full time job. And MGC can’t hire a full time manager.
      Worse — and in case you wonder why no one is challenging the Amazon monopoly — a decision that allowed states to tax digital purchases even when the seller doesn’t have a store in the state means that we’d also need a full time accountant, whose sole job would be making sure all the taxes are paid in every state and changes in tax law in some state are duly noted and followed.
      Now, some of us make a decentish income from writing. But even all of us in aggregate don’t make enough to pay two highly skilled full time employees, pay taxes, and have enough to justify our trouble.
      So, no.

      February 11, 2020
      • TRX #

        Seriously?

        You get some other authors together. You pool your money and form a corporation. Then you pick one of the hundreds of web-storefront-providers to set up a basic web store, and they take care of credit cards, taxes, and all the grotty stuff that goes on behind the scenes. The same thing that goes on behind almost every web site that sells anything online.

        If you want some kind of “reader app”, you look at the ones that are out there, pick the one that looks best to you, and make a deal with the author.

        I don’t know what you’re thinking of; what, standing toe-to-toe battling Amazon, or something? If that’s the only level of success you’ll accept, okay. If all you want to do is sell books, you have an entire industry out there that’d like to have your business, particularly since you’re only moving data.

        “There’s a proper tool for every job. The proper tool for a broken TV is a TV repairman.” – John W. Campbell

        February 11, 2020
        • Bullshit. What you are suggesting is exactly what publishers have been doing–unsuccessfully–for years. Readers, on the whole, don’t go to a publisher site to buy a book. There are a lot of reason why but the main one is convenience. Most readers aren’t limited to one or two publishers. They read a number of different authors, genres and publishers.

          Before you start lecturing anyone here, especially Sarah, about how to set up and run a publishing business, do your homework. Know that she owned a small press and several of us here worked for it. Understand that we know a bit more about the business than you do. That includes knowing the terms of service for the various storefronts we sell our work through — the same terms of service than can and in some instances does prevent doing exactly what you are proposing.

          February 11, 2020
          • Thing is, it can work–Baen, from what I understand, has done quite well for itself–but they’re the exception that proves the rule. Baen is a brand in a way that few other publishers have managed to become, or ever will.

            But yes, I definitely wouldn’t bet on it.

            February 12, 2020
        • Taking me for an example, I’ve had The Phantom Soapbox since ~2004, before that I was on Geocities since ~1997ish.

          Currently, thanks -entirely- to the signal boost I’ve gotten from Sarah when she put a few of my posts on PJM, I’ve got more views than I ever had before. For me, its a lot of views.

          Self-marketing of one’s own IP is difficult. Fun for a hobby, less fun as a job.

          February 12, 2020
          • Don’t forget to set up a store, we not only would have to pay a tax professional — and let me tell you that I know of a much bigger than we’d ever be publisher who took theirs down because of the tax thing — BUT we’d have to give up on income from KUL, which for most of us accounts for half of our income.
            Is it worth it? Not that I see. And this is a business, not a charitable organization. I can’t afford to do this for fun.
            On top of which, yes, we ran an online store. You have NO idea the glitches you can get into that we’d never thought of before. Completely software and people based, but enough we’d need a full time service person.
            Can we pool together enough to get those? WHY? What would the point be?
            Baen was established BEFORE Amazon, and a lot of their people go there as a matter of default. BUT starting now? No chance. Period.
            So, a lot of work and a lot of expense to…. what? Make TRX happy?
            I have nothing against TRX’s happiness, but I’m not married to him, so it fails to be my primary objective in life.
            Answer remains “No.”

            February 12, 2020
            • I agree. The hidden costs of an LLC encorporation or even a simple proprietorship are considerable, just from the basic legal and accounting standpoint.

              Insurance is another one everybody forgets. Insure an e-tailer? Yes!

              February 12, 2020
              • one of the reasons we stopped doing it.
                LLC incorporation is not difficult, but paying taxes to EVERY state our customers come from? Charging the right tax? You’ve got to be kidding me. Programing it in, then doing the paperwork and sending it in? Oh, dear.
                I’d rather be writing.

                February 12, 2020
                • snelson134 #

                  Which is exactly why that law was passed. Amazon has the IT and accounting staff to handle it. Possible competition won’t. So potential competition throws up its’ hands and goes away.

                  February 14, 2020
                  • Nah. The other big companies, including Smashwords have them too. It’s the rest of us, yes.
                    Look, they are — all the tech companies — being investigated now for illegal practices. There’s nothing we can do as of right now on the ground. I agree with you. This is what technocratic crony capitalism looks like.
                    The point remains there’s nothing we can do.
                    I mean I can throw myself on patreon, but you know what patreon is like. Etc.

                    February 14, 2020
  12. I just want to say that I’m another one who wouldn’t enjoy a podcast or a vlog. I might listen/watch occasionally if it were a topic that I were particularly interested in, but I would always be feeling slightly annoyed that it wasn’t in text form.

    Thinking about the rest, but I do want to say “Thank you.” Mad Genius Club is my first stop every morning, and you guys have all been an inspiration. Whatever you do moving forward, I’ll follow.

    February 11, 2020
  13. Keep on adding links to the “writing to publication” page, and occasional critique posts.

    Which you do on a regular basis, so keep doing it.

    February 11, 2020
  14. “What do I want? I want a Roc’s egg . . . ”

    Well, someone had to start the quote! 😛

    Source: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1862679-glory-road

    February 11, 2020
  15. What do you see as the strengths of the blog?

    Various skills, areas of interest, and the ability and willingness to share same.

    What topics would you like us to cover in more depth than we have been?

    Odds and sods: Things like Blake Smith’s horse info posts, but on other things – like beer making. Or maps.

    If bloggers here were to pull together past posts—or write new material—on various aspects of writing and/or publishing and put them out as e-books, would you purchase such titles?

    Yes, but it would depend on the topics covered and how up to daye.

    Would you follow an occasional podcast or vlog post if we were to do something like that?

    No.

    I spent a lot of time this year doing surveys and evaluations, and I’m beginning to suspect that while folks know very well what they enjoy and value, they’re also really bad at pointing to why 🙂

    February 12, 2020
  16. Michael Barker #

    1. What do you see as the strengths of the blog?

    Variety and regularity — there’s always something different here to read.

    2. What topics would you like us to cover in more depth than we have been?

    I think you do a pretty good job. One thing that does happen fairly often is that someone will have an interesting start, but then it kind of disappears? Follow up might be something to work on (and making sure that when the follow up happens, we can find the previous and related posts?) Heck, is there some way for us to vote “Please follow up!” so you know that people want more on this one? Maybe as simple as asking people to note that in their comments?

    3. If bloggers here were to pull together past posts—or write new material—on various aspects of writing and/or publishing and put them out as e-books, would you purchase such titles?

    Probably. Hint — farm out the work of pulling it together to volunteers (who, me? Yeah, I probably would help) and get them involved.

    4. Would you follow an occasional podcast or vlog post if we were to do something like that?

    I’m a reader. I might try an occasional podcast or vlog, but it’s going to have to be relatively short, and not too frequent? On the other hand, I know people who keep urging me to follow someone on YouTube or to listen to this 100 episodes on the One-Shot Podcast Network or something like that, so obviously, there are people who really like that. OH! One notion might be to take your top posts here (like Sarah’s series on almost anything) and re-do those as podcast/vlog series? Heck, get a volunteer to read the darn things…

    5. What else would you like us to consider in this second decade of blogging?

    One thing that I’ve seen done a few times (conferences and such) which seemed really nice was to walk us through writing a story, from idea to finished tale, step-by-step, with what amounted to stream-of-consciousness commentary. Kind of like showing the hidden side of the process? You could use a story you have already done, or do a new story.

    Let me think about it. I’m sure there’s something that we could try doing…

    February 12, 2020
  17. rightasusual2003gmailcom #

    1. What do you see as the strengths of the blog?

    The posts/answers from working writers. Some well-known, others not. But, always the experiences from the trenches.

    2. What topics would you like us to cover in more depth than we have been?

    I have enjoyed the pieces about covers and genres. I would like to see something about a topic I’m currently struggling with – if you have a story that is multiple characters and lots of action, how do you keep things straight – particularly with both keeping the story moving forward, and also advancing the individual characters. Is there a way to outline that works? I’m currently using index cards for characters/locations, but, it’s getting complicated.

    3. If bloggers here were to pull together past posts—or write new material—on various aspects of writing and/or publishing and put them out as e-books, would you purchase such titles?

    Yes. I like Bundles. Put together some useful books, price them competitively, and let fly!

    4. Would you follow an occasional podcast or vlog post if we were to do something like that?

    Not sure. Go ahead and try it, but, I’m guessing that most of us are readers, rather than listeners.

    5. What else would you like us to consider in this second decade of blogging?

    Pricing. Pacing of books in different genres. Figuring out how long/short a chapter should be, given the content.

    February 12, 2020
  18. snelson134 #

    1. What do you see as the strengths of the blog?

    A wide range of topics and viewpoints.

    2. What topics would you like us to cover in more depth than we have been?

    Technical tools for writing, such as how to set up a spreadsheet or database (using common tools such as MS Access, Open Office, etc.).

    3. If bloggers here were to pull together past posts—or write new material—on various aspects of writing and/or publishing and put them out as e-books, would you purchase such titles?

    Yes, depending on the topic. Most I can think of based on your current posts I would buy.

    4. Would you follow an occasional podcast or vlog post if we were to do something like that?

    Depends on the topic, but yes. I would probably need the ability to access it as a downloadable archive.

    5. What else would you like us to consider in this second decade of blogging?

    February 13, 2020
  19. What I like her is the honesty about publishing, not the PR puff advertising sheets. Sadly, it seems more people are blinded by glitz and lies which make things sound easy.

    February 13, 2020
  20. Gonna use the Twitter for this part:

    I think the content is good. Plus the how to stuff on formatting books, even from word doc to other outputs has been quite useful for me. Esp knowing that Word can do chapter headers and make it easier for when its shifted to mobi format.

    Love the commentary about writing, what’s coming up in the industries, IE: So much options to go with indie wise. Plus you all remain much more upbeat then Book Twitter is about lots of things. Not much “Woe is me.” here. 😀

    I listen to podcasts while I write so its not unusual for me.

    Hmmm, What else to cover, oh! I know, for those who have used Kindle to post a series. Sometimes Kindle puts it in a series tab but sometimes it doesn’t, so maybe more insights into how people’s experiences have been with KDP and single books vs posting series books.

    February 18, 2020

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