Momentum.

Image result for yin and yang symbol

A couple of weeks ago I announced that my Booker and Cash stories had been taken up by a publisher. While that was great news for me the writer, like most things in life the yin has a yang.

Making a living at anything is dependent on a number of things. Among the most important of these is being able to cut your coat according to your cloth. As Mr Micawber perfectly put it: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.” It could be argued that’s as true for a multi-national company CEO as it is for a CWAP.

In a narrower sense making a living as a CWAP is reliant on a few core attributes: good storytelling, good presentation, good marketing. Be competent at these elements and you can scrape a CWAP living. If you’re good at all of those things then you can make a better living. If you’re very good at all of these things you can make a very good living.

If you’re very good at all the above, making a very good living as a CWAP and obeying Mr Micawber’s principal for happiness there is not the economic pressure to churn books out quickly. I’d venture that one maybe two a year will do it.

I think I fall into the ‘competent’ category regarding two of the three elements mentioned above (and incompetent at the third – marketing.) Still, as that other oft quoted celeb of times past was known to wail, two out of three ain’t bad. Mainly thanks to other interests I get by. Just.

One of the reasons I’ve ‘got by’ is because I’ve compensated for my lack of excellence at writing, presentation and marketing by regularly producing new books. This has enabled me to keep my name and content visible where it matters most to a CWAP – in front of readers.

So to my yang. The last book I put out was Cold Kills in December. I had planned to release Poor Hands (Booker and Cash #3) by now ­- it’s good to go. And then in the summer Booker and Cash #4, a book I have a good start on and which will be my next completed full length novel. Now that Booker and Cash #3 is off my hands, so to speak, I have a huge void in my self-publishing calendar. (I can hardly rush out #4 before #3 is released.) And for a CWAP like me that’s not good. What to do?

I have another book written but (a) it’s a complete change of direction for me and so unlikely to interest my regular readers and (b) I feel the need to have three books ready in that series before I think about releasing the first. It’s a series I’m intending to make something of and I want to do it right with a whole new audience. An important lesson I’ve learned from my CWAP adventure is that there is a far better chance of ‘success’ if readers have something to go straight onto after they’ve read a first in a series that they like. It’s all about momentum.

I also have a number of shorter stories that I’ve been writing over the last year and a bit, and I’m working on another at the moment. I’m considering bundling them all together in one book and self-publishing them. Together the word count will amount to about seventy thousand words, which equates to a short novel. This could fill the void in my CWAP publishing life.

I like the short story form. I like the stories I’ve written. I want to share them with readers and see what they think. This need to maintain some form of publishing momentum could be the kick I need to do something with these stories that would otherwise just clog up my hard drive. I also want/need to keep my writing visible and, yeah, I want to continue to make a CWAP living because I do enjoy sitting at home all day writing stories for a job.

12 thoughts on “Momentum.

  1. An interesting read, my only issue is the delays, due in some extent to outside forces (New publisher) Though your regular blogs do fill a little of the gap.

  2. Like David I could do with the next book sooner, probably not as much as you could though. I am, however, content to wait if the publishing deal is better for you. The short story idea is a good one. I have another idea which might work for you, I will email you later.

    • Thanks, Dawn. I’m confident that the publishing deal will be to my benefit in the long run. I just wish I had something more substantial to offer readers in the mane time.
      Email received and I’ll reply shortly. 🙂

  3. I am looking forward to B&C, 3&4. I must admit I am missing your characters, all of them. I am also looking forward to your short stories, are they a mixed bunch or is there a theme going on? Good luck with the publishing, great opportunity for you, much deserved. 😉

    • Ho Roz,
      Thanks for your comment. 🙂 I can’t wait to see B&C in print.
      Short stories are a mixed bunch for the most part but there are three that are linked. I shall cal them the Nile UK trilogy. I’m sure you can work out what that’s representative of. 🙂
      Best wishes

  4. My two pennyworth….

    What about a series of short R&M stories?

    Personally I would love it and I think a lot of other readers would too. Size…around 50 to 75 pages. Price point….. 99p You wouldn’t need to wait to build up a ‘set’ as it’s an existing series…just pop them out as you finish them.

    Seems to be quite in-vogue at the moment. Just read a couple by Mike Faricy as part of his long running Dev Haskell series, Tony Black in the Gus Dury series, Mick Bose in the Dan Roy series, etc..

    Also, the option for double bubble as you could put them into a box set at a later date and sell them again or use them as giveaways for signing up to your mailing list, or as prizes, or…..

    Any way…that’s what I think 😉 but whatever you do, keep on writing!

    Take care, Andy

    • Hi Andy,
      Thanks for your suggestion. It’s a really good and manageable idea. I’ve noticed a few other CWAPs doing that sort of thing but it never occurred to me. It would certainly help keep my writing visible. I’ll also check out those other examples you cite.
      Food for thought.
      Thanks and best wishes.

  5. Well I for one am interested in seeing the new venture for a new audience come to fruition. My interest valve has been primed. However, I am also looking forward to B&C. My favourite of your stories Oliver. Question: will they only be available in print or will they be in Kindle reader format as well.

    • Hi Simon,
      Thanks for your comment.
      I’ve done some work on that other project in line with feedback. I’m itching to get going on book two.
      B&C will be available in both formats. (Bloodhound focus more on digital publishing.)
      Best wishes

  6. I wouldn’t be too worried about a change in direction – I’m sure your regulars will give it a read! Also you do have three strings going successfully, so I would be optimistic about another. Us readers always want the next copy, almost as soon as the previous is read!

    • Hi Andrew,
      Thanks for your comment.
      I would hope that some of my regulars would give the new direction a go when the time comes. It won’t be for everyone, though. I understand that. And thanks for your vote of confidence. Much appreciated.
      Best wishes

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