I confess, I've been dragging my fingers on editing my work into audio format. Sure, I do such things in the evenings, when the few hours must be spread across family, remaining day job work, draft editing, project planning, and (at the end of the list) audiobook editing. So I could blame lack of time on my dearth of audio titles, but deep down I know that's not it.
I haven't produced any more audio because I know that no one in their right mind would buy what I have to sell yet.
My short story, The Sound of Autumn Night, went up for sale on ACX/Amazon one year ago today. It has yet to sell a single copy. Why? Well, one reason could be that Amazon priced it at $6.08. That's absurd. In an age when you can get a Redbox movie for a buck or stream all the video entertainment you want from Netflix for even less, why would anyone pay SIX bucks to listen to my 20-minute story?
I wouldn't pay that.
And did you know that you can download it for free from this website under the Audio tab above? I have no idea how many people have downloaded it because I've never taken the time to learn this hosting service's reports and whatnot. All I know is that I would feel bad if someone paid $6.08 for this story, and I love the idea of them enjoying it for free, just to get more acquainted with my work and/or laugh at my poor acting skills.
So I'm pondering just putting all of my short stories up for free. When that's done, I would bundle them all into their respective volumes, such as Specula One, and people could pay whatever insane fee Amazon or Apple decides to slap on it. For novels, yeah, I would put those out for regular rates through the regular channels.
But shorts? No, I'm thinking free would be good. Pass them around. Enjoy with no barriers. That seems fair, and it feels right to me.
What do you think?
I follow a fair number of podcasts -- so many, in fact, that it cuts out the majority of the time I used to spend listening to audiobooks. The four or five podcasts I now listen to regularly are all writing-related. It's one of the ways I learn about self-publishing, stay inspired, and gather new ideas.
One of these ideas came in a recent episode of The Creative Penn, helmed my Joanna Penn, an Australian native now living in the U.K. This gives her a delicious accent which inevitably leads my wife to comment, "Cheating on me again?" when she overhears me listening to that show. She knows me and British accents. Mrroww.
Anyway, Joanna had a guest on talking about marketing, social media, and the write and wrong ways for writers to try and build an audience. This guy commented about how some people -- like me -- only post when they have a treatise to write, some long essay full of depth and import. Such posts demand a lot of time in research, writing, and editing.
But that's not what people want, he said. The people who come to your blog want to know you, the person. They don't want a lecture. They want a tidbit, just whatever happens to be on your mind, like a friend saying, "Hey!"
The more I thought about this, the more sense it made. Some writers do build blogs full of lengthy, weighty posts, and they do it well. The reality is that I'm not going to be that guy for the foreseeable future. I've got a big family and a bigger day job. I'm lucky to find 120 minutes in a day for fiction, and that seems to never leave time for blogging, in part because the posts always seem like such a massive undertaking.
And let's be honest. I'm new at this. I don't know what I'm doing here. I'm in awe of these writers who jump into their career and build a "platform" in only a few months. I might get there someday, but today is not that day.
I'm really nobody of consequence. I'm a career tech writing freelancer trying to build a second career in fiction. It's not glamorous. Watching it from the outside would be like watching paint dry. So I have no intention of boring you with my daily activities.
Instead, I'll just drop little notes in here every so often about my projects and what I find curious about them. Or little bits about my dog. Or my kids. Or something that caught my eye. On their own, each post probably won't look like much. Taken together, maybe they'll add up to something eventually. Maybe you'll get to know me a little.
If that sounds like fun, if you want to get to know the guy behind the stories, then please stick around.
Also, please don't be shy about leaving comments! I'm a pretty standard issue writer introvert. I don't get out as much as I should, and that's unfortunate, because the older I get, the more I realize how much I've missed by not experiencing more people. When I've traveled, I've always found that the people were the truly memorable heart of any destination, far more than any scenery or ruins. What I failed to realize was that there were equally fascinating people right here at home, all around me. All I had to do was say hello.
William has been working in the tech field since 1991, when he began his long journey through working for a manufacturer's rep, being a distributor, moving into retail and corporate sales, shifting into journalism, and gradually transitioning into content marketing. In 1997, he sold his first articles to local computer magazines. By 1998, he was a full-time tech freelancer and now produces content for several of the industry's top companies.