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Posts by Dorothy Grant

The problems of success

As pointed out last week, Mad Genius Club has been around for over 10 years, now. This means it’s older than the average career of a fiction writer… and more than twice the lifespan of the average indie writer. The advantage of a group blog is that as writers get burned out, they can take a break or leave, but the group is still here – and thanks to Dave Freer, Sarah Hoyt, and Amanda Green holding down the cornerstones and surviving through it all, this place is still awesome.  (Check out their books! Good stuff, and thanks to long careers, they have lots to choose from!)

As the bloggers and commenters have been here a while, the questions start to change. Starting out, the problems are simple, clear, and everybody has them. How do I tell the story in my head? How do I get published? How do I get noticed? But when you’ve been around long enough, you have the problems of success, and the problems of having a career. When and how do I end a series, and how do I minimize the impact to my income, and draw readers to other books? When do I rebrand all of my covers, and rewrite my blurbs? What are the advantages and disadvantages of anthologies, or of going hybrid? How do I get my rights back? When is it time to incorporate? What provisions do I make for a literary trust in my will?

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Seasonal Releases

When is the best time to release and promote your books? Usually, indie authors look at me and say “Uh, when they’re finished?” or they start thinking about staggered serial releases. But in our wonderful world of not planning releases a year out, there’s an interesting question: when do you release Holiday-themed or seasonal books? We all know the outcry when Christmas decorations appear in the store before Halloween, but is it better to release a Christmas romance before in early November, or early December? Read more

Prepping for Research

We’re late! We’re late! For a very important date! Or post on MGC, anyway. We are not late yet for taking off on a research trip, which is going to involve multiple museums, and a good chunk of the trail that Walt Ames is going to travel with some horses back in 1870-something (Peter could tell you the exact year. Just as he can tell you exactly who was in command of every little border post and fort, and when they left on the trip, so Walt Ames can do a deal that’s more amenable with their fill-in…) Read more

It’s all in how you look at it

Point of View

How many of you here have started something in first person, only to go back and redraft it as third? Or third person redrafted to first?

Or figured out you were in the wrong person’s head, and had to restart in a different head?

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Welcome to the Fourth Quarter

Ah, September. We’re closing in on the end of the year, with less than four months to go. Are you on track with your yearly goals? What are your revised goals for the last tax quarter of the year?

Third-quarter estimated tax payments are due into the IRS by September 17th. (Yes, technically September is fourth quarter, by tax year. I understand it’s the end of the third quarter by mathematical ratios. The IRS doesn’t care about that; third quarter for taxes and accounting ends on August 31.)

For those of you who are or want to become full-time authors, and even those of you who don’t, now is a good time to put down your author hat, pick up your business manager hat, and answer a few questions for yourself. Read more

Running to stand still

Today, a couple links for you on how to stop running flat-out (or how to prevent running flat-out to begin with.)

https://kriswrites.com/2018/08/15/business-musings-writers-and-the-hamster-wheel-of-doom/

and

https://mwl.io/archives/3232

Enjoy!

Messages in our minds

Man is a rationalizing creature, not a rational one. We can no more order ourselves perfectly from top-down principles than we can tell ourselves “I’m going to eat right, exercise, and get all my chores done from now on!” (Well, we can say that. You all know exactly how well it works.)

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