Hi Kirk’s readers. My name is Chris, and I write a lot. I frequently fart while doing so.
Some of you may or may not have heard of me, and either way, that’s fine. I’m your typical struggling indie author that has a decent enough fan base to delude myself into thinking I’m a successful semi-famous author. I don’t want to brag, but I’ve signed some autographs…
Not famous or successful enough to quit my day job though, and I guess that’s the real measure in this field. If you’re trying to be a professional. Or at least quit your day job.
I enjoy rambling. It’s like a challenge how long I can write without actually saying anything some days.
Kirk was kind enough to give me a guest spot on his blog for this, and I was all like “fuck yeah!” And then I was like “what the fuck am I going to write?” Then some strange nervousness sat in, and then I got sweaty palms, and eventually I just decided to drink a few beers, and churn out some random stream of consciousness crap that may or may not entertain anyone. Kirk suggested I write about my projects.
It all started on a warm late summer night in 2010. I was a bit sweaty, and I had eaten some chicken nuggets earlier in the day that had given me gas.
My biggest success was Adrian’s Undead Diary. The story of Adrian Ring surviving the apocalypse a t a private school as well as the world around him falling apart was a bit of a web phenomenon, dare I say. At its peak AUD was getting well over three thousand visitors a day, and somewhere in the area of 25,000 hits. Hundreds of people paid me to read premium short stories set in Adrian’s world, and I was really rolling. Like a boss is the expression I believe. I’ve since retired Adrian for the moment, and I only update some short stories now and then to keep my reader’s appetite for more Adrian going. I’ll return to AUD sooner or later, but there are so many things to get done first.
Like Elmoryn, my second project. I developed a RPG world a decade or so that never saw the light of day, and with the success of AUD, I novelized it, and launched the world on the website. The first book, The Wrath of the Orphans is complete on the site, and literally as I write this, I’ve got the beginnings of book two going. The Motive for Massacre should hopefully entertain fantasy readers, especially those with a penchant for darkness, and the undead. If Elmoryn had half the success that AUD enjoyed, I might actually be a professional writer right now. I know, sadface, right?
My most recent writing endeavor is Tesser: A Dragon Among Us. Also inspired by a role playing experience, Tesser is the story of an ancient dragon that awakens in modern day Boston. Magic is fading, and he has no idea why he’s been asleep so long. It’s a lot closer in spirit to AUD, and the initial response has been overwhelmingly positive.
I think being an indie author requires being a giant whore. I mean it too. A huge, e-whore, just spreading your literary legs everywhere you can to get attention. It also requires you to be in complete touch with your readers. It’s one of the advantages of being small. I have the luxury of being able to write back to EVERYONE who takes the time to write me. I’m not just some name on the cover of a mass-printed novel. I’m a dude who cares about every single copy of my writing that someone buys, or lends out.
I suspect my success is a lot like Kirk’s or Mark Clodi’s, or Rhiannon Frater’s, or Tim Long’s, or Iain McKinnon’s. I put what I write out there, and the people who like it, spread the good word because they like, and because they like me as a person. I wouldn’t be saying these people’s names if I didn’t want people to run to Amazon and look their works up.
Take care of your own, as they say.
That’s how we get the word out. We give away free books to get folks to read them and review them, and that starts the giant wheel of e-commerce that generates enough sales for us to pay the electric bill, and sometimes the cable bill too. God forbid I make enough money to pay off my mountain of stripper-debt.
If I made more money writing, I could write more, which is what my fans really want. I would love to cut my hours or pick up a part time job so I could devote more hours per day to cranking out AUD, Elmoryn and Tesser, but the simple fact is, if someone can read for free, they do.
God this sounds like a rant. It isn’t meant to be. I’m incredibly grateful to the people who’ve shared the good word of my sketchy writing skills, and the people who have subscribed to AUD, or snagged some of the work on Amazon, or bought one of those delightful shirts. The fact that ANYONE has paid me for something I simply thought up…
Makes me smile.
I guess at the end of the day, if you love a writer, or an artist, the greatest thing you can do to ensure that they keep producing what you love, is to a) part with your money to them, and b) tell everyone you know passionately about how much you love them.
No one listens to the writer, but everyone listens to the readers.
Until next time, keep enjoying Kirk’s ramblings, his stories, and all that he gives to you so freely.