About 15 months ago, I wrote a post titled “S.O.S.” in which I detailed just how poorly my books were selling. A lot of writers chimed in, both publicly and privately, to offer suggestions and feedback. The aftermath of that post led to my decision to release the stories I’d been working on as individual titles in an attempt to grow my catalog and reach more readers.
The first story went on sale on January 3rd, 2014. This post will discuss the year of sales data that followed that first on-sale date. In other words, this is a “business” post. If you’re just here for the fiction, my feelings won’t be hurt if you skip over this.
Gef Fox, curator of the dark fiction review blog Wag the Fox, cornered me a few weeks ago for an interview of sorts. He asked me all sorts of things, including my favorite dirty limerick (which I’m sure he now regrets). Here’s an excerpt:
Gef: Along with your short fiction, there are the novels in your Monochrome Trilogy. How much of a gear shift is it for you to go from one to the other?
Todd: There’s a drastic difference between my novels and short fiction. The Monochrome novels are way more complex than the stories in the ULT series. Conceptually, the Monochrome novels are more “literary” in scope. The things a typical horror fan looks for—the gore, suspense, dread, et al.—are in there, but with a bigger subtext. The ULT stories are more direct, and so far have proven to be far more gory, disturbing, and violent.
Shifting between the two has proven challenging. After completing my last novel, I feared that every “short” idea I had would balloon into another novel; now that I’m gearing up to work on the last Monochrome novel, I’m having a more difficult time piecing together the smaller facets of the plot because I’ve spent the last year thinking in the confines of shorter fiction.
Going from one to the other requires a completely change of approach. It’s kind of like looking at one of those “Magic Eye” images. You have to stare at it for a long time before the full picture comes into focus, and the way you do it once isn’t necessarily the way you’ll do it for subsequent viewings.
We’re only twelve days into the year and I’m already behind on things. I guess I was behind on things before today, but whatever—the point is that I’m behind schedule on so many things, it’s not even funny.
Last year I wrote so much and yet accomplished so little in terms of new fiction. I currently have seven WIPs that are destined for release as ULT stories at some point. Every single one of them has stalled out somewhere in the process, either from my own malaise or complete lack of interest. There are days when the words are there; there are other days when you have to go digging for them. Lately it seems like all the words are buried—or worse, the stories themselves are buried, and I haven’t the desire to break out my shovel and pickax.
As my pal Mercedes says from time to time, “Suck it up, buttercup.”
I now dub 2015 the “Year of Getting Shit Done.”
Goals vs. Resolutions
Maybe it’s just semantics, but the word “resolution” carries with it an eye-rolling quality that I want to avoid. I need to be as positive as possible right now, so instead of “resolution,” I’m going to say I have “Goals.”
To demonstrate that I’m serious, I’ve written these goals on the Whiteboard of Woe:
Definitely. I don’t know how possible some of these are—10k down on NONENTITY seems insane to me right now—but goddammit, I have to try. I’m tired of being stagnant, and the only way I know to keep myself motivated is to set deadlines.
So . . . I’m setting a deadline of March 31st for everything listed above, and I intend to provide monthly updates on where things stand—starting with the 2014 sales recap this Friday.
SO IT IS WRITTEN!
P.S. Yes, the website looks different. We ran into some issues yesterday with the old theme, so I’ll be tweaking things in the coming days. If something looks weird or isn’t displaying properly, that’s probably why. I’ll write more about it later. In the meantime, let me know what you think of the new format!
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Last night’s Awkward Conversations broadcast was hilarious. I’m still recovering from it. Thanks to everyone who tuned in–not just last night, but all year. Expect more of these crazy broadcasts to continue in 2015!
Next week will be a busy one, for two big reasons:
On Tuesday, December 16th, the Geeky Writer Gang is getting together for one last broadcast to send off 2014 with a bang. There will be holiday-themed shenanigans, and in keeping with the spirit of the season, we’re going to be giving away prizes to a few lucky winners. As with previous iterations, you need to join the event on Facebook in order to participate, and only by participating (comment, asking questions, being present, etc.) will you be eligible for the drawings. The YouTube link will be posted a few minutes before we go live. We hope you’ll consider joining us!
On Wednesday, December 17th, I’ll be a phone-in guest on Whispers in the Dark, a BlogTalkRadio show hosted by Victor Aurelius and Jeff Niles. I’ll be joining Terry M. West, Stuart Keene, Christopher Alan Broadstone, Michael Thomas-Knight, Essel Pratt, Crystal Leflar, Jeff O’Brien, Robin Dover, Paul D. Marks, and Joseph Ramshaw to promote JOURNALS OF HORROR: FOUND FICTION. The show kicks off at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST, and I’m scheduled to go on for about ten minutes starting at 9:27 PM EST, during which I’ll talk about my contribution to the anthology. You can tune in here.
So that’s happening. Update your calendar. Set a reminder on your phone. Write it backwards on your forehead. Do whatever you need to do to remind yourself to tune in!
We’re just a few weeks away from Christmas. Everyone’s freaking out about last-minute gift ideas, and a lot of authors I know are scrambling to get just a few more sales by the end of the year. So I thought, Hey, why not help out some folks I know? And that’s how this post came into being.
Full disclosure: I haven’t had an opportunity to read every single title here, but I’m familiar enough with their authors to vouch for their books. Most of these titles are by lesser-known writers, and several of them are my friends or acquaintances. Furthermore, not all of them are horror. Please don’t let that discourage you from adding them to your shopping list. I’ve tried to include something here for everyone, no matter what your reading preferences may be (yes, I’ve even included romance).
Clicking on a book’s cover will take you to the Kindle version, but I’ve notated when there are paperback equivalents available. Some of these authors have extensive catalogs and I encourage you to check them out.
Anyway, I’ll shut up now. Take a look. See if there’s something that strikes your fancy. . . (more…)