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Friday, February 24, 2012

Anyone out there?

My friend Adam Israel wrote about the importance of keeping records today.

It is important. As a self-employed person, running a small business requires records. Check in with Nolo Books if you don't believe me... or the IRS.

Even in SCA, I kept track of things -- what I bought, what I bartered. I wasn't doing that for anyone but myself. It was fun at Pennsic War to find that I'd bought something, traded it for other things, and still had money [or trade goods] for shopping the next day. I loved seeing what could become something else: "That dagger I had yesterday? It's this pouch!"

I track who I've queried for work. What they reply, if I should try again, and when. I don't have to track stories -- their genres, editorial comments, suggestions for revisions -- but I track where editors are, of course.

This makes me sound tremendously organized. Like Adam, I've had problems sorting my data. I have spreadsheets, along with some other docs. It's something that -- if there's someone out there doing this as an app for writers and editors -- it'd be a great resource to have.

Anyone know of such a thing? Considering all the creative types out there, seems amazing to me if no one HAS created some tracking apps.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Our only hope."

What happens when bookstores close? What about when brick-and-mortar bookstores just don't choose to stock your book?

How do readers find books in those cases?

Jim Hines has a guest blog by fellow author Joshua Palmatier/Ben Tate on The Importance of Shelf Space.

Here's author J.F. Lewis on why you should support your favorite writers by buying their books... concluding:

But spread the word or the words you crave may stop flowing.

(Also from Jim Hines, his annual writing income post. Check 'em all out; Jim's 2007 money post has the link to Scalzi's writing advice post about finances.)

Remember, if you just figure that "lots of people buy books" or that you don't need to speak up about the books you love -- you lose. No more future books. Maybe you think that books cost too much or that electrons [and electronic books] should be free.

Air is free.

Every book is a chain of people working to make that manuscript into a book. Unseen. Many people assume a book came out of nothing. As if it's a direct route from author to editor, which goes kazam! And lo, a book.

Just as another process is taken for granted, how cars are made -- with a great deal of effort by many (unseen) people. Books have a long production process. The only human face the average reader knows is the author.

Don't forget your authors create the words you crave. Feed them. Buy their books.