I’m not sure how other indie writers do it. 

I get e-mails from Mailchimp on how to expand my mailing list. I get e-mails from my server on how to enhance traffic to my store, which reminds me I should get a store. Facebook offers me a spend 20 get 20 deal. Bookbub has some ideas on how to spend my ad dollars. So does Twitter. And Instagram. 

Should I be exclusive with Amazon or go “wide,” meaning Apple, B&N, Bookbaby, etc. If I go wide I make less of a percentage of profits and lose out on that Kindle Unlimited deal where I get paid one cent for every three pages a subscriber reads. Cha ching!   


I picked someone to read my book Twenty-One Octobers, a self-made voice actor Jake Hunsbusher. He requires very little direction, but it’s weird to hear such a personal story read by someone else, yet draws from me the same emotions I tapped into while writing it. 

Part of the reason I am spending time and money on making an audiobook and a large print edition, aside from the potential revenue, is so my 84-year-old mother can enjoy at least one of her son’s works. But as I hear my voice actor read the words of a character inspired by her, I wonder how she’ll take it. Often I think my mother will like a book or a television show, only to be flabbergasted by her reaction. I bought her the dvd of “Police Academy” because I remember her liking the movies when I was a kid. She didn’t understand why I got her the slapstick raunchy comedy, and my partner suggested that maybe she didn’t like the movies, but went because I did.


I want her to read my book; I went to a lot of effort and expense, but despite everything the book will still be “too small” or “hard to hear” or she just won’t listen to it or read it. Why not? I don’t know.

I’ll leave with this possibly unrelated excerpt from a book I just finished called Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. She shares essays and anecdotes about her career and thoughts on being a writer. Though she is successful, she has a remarkable insight into thoughts of failing. 

No one has expressed it better than a great novelist I heard once on a talk show who said something like “You want to know the price I pay for being a writer? Okay I’ll tell you. I travel by plane a great deal. And I’m usually seated next to some huge businessman who works on files or his laptop for a while, then he notices me and asks what I do. And I say I’m a writer. Then there’s always a terrible silence. Then he says eagerly, ‘Have you written anything I might have heard of?’

And that’s the price I pay for being a writer.’    

Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott

Confessions: October 5th

Write drunk. Edit sober.

I drink therefore I am!

I think I will become a wino.

Great advice?

Many of the great writers have been alcoholics. Or drug users. Or both. I have often joked about becoming an alcoholic to fuel my writing. But I can never find the right booze. If I’m out at a bar, I’m moving around and interacting with others; I don’t yawn and yearn for my bed. But if I’m home, a beer or two and I can’t concentrate on writing.

Beer makes me bloated. Scotch and whiskey and vodka are too hardcore while alone at home. What about wine? Red wine? Like a teenager experimenting, I pour a big glass. The kind that comes in a box with a plastic bladder inside. I power through the yawnsies, as I call them, and soon I’m in the sweet spot. Happy and invigorated. 

I have reason to celebrate. I signed a contract with an audio professional for my book Twenty-One Octobers. He’s good. When I read aloud, I feel the emotions of the powerful scenes but I really felt them when I heard them from a trained actor. He hits words and really pulls the joy and rage and bitterness of the characters in the audition, in ways I hadn’t expected. I coach him on the subtext like a movie director and he understands me. I’m excited to hear him while reading the full script.