So. As you know, between Twitter, Facebook, this website, my other website, SF Signal, Functional Nerds et all, I spend a lot of time online. As such, I’ve seen a lot of people are hurting these days. Neil Clarke comes to mind. And the victims of hurricane Sandy. Saladin Ahmed hit a rough patch. These are just a few that have caught my eye. There are many more.
I’m one of them.
I lost my dayjob in February of this year with what amounted to 2 months severance. When it happened, I polished up my resume and started looking for a new job. Unfortunately, the economy hasn’t picked up and there are a lot of people competing for the same jobs. Hopefully, that will change in the new year and we’ll see a rebound and influx of new jobs.
Not one to sit idle, I’ve done a lot of things with my ‘free’ time, including write 2 books (Sam Kane Book 2 & the Epic Fantasy that is this close (holds finger and thumb a hairs breadth apart) to being done), did some guest speaking gigs on marketing, podcasting and social media – and I’m about to do another one all about Scrivener for a couple of writer’s groups/conferences. I’ve built an online resume complete with a portfolio and a blog dedicated to marketing and social media. And I’ve done some freelance work when I could.
Financially, I’m not dead in the water. I’m treading. Furiously treading.
Seeing Kristine Kathryn Rusch‘s and Nathan Lowell‘s tip jars on their sites, and how well they work for each of them, I decided to add one to this site. Haven’t seen it (—-> it’s in the sidebar)? I’ve also started adding some text to the bottom of certain posts, and that looks like this:
If you find this or any other posts on this blog to be useful or entertaining, consider donating to help keep it, and me, afloat. I am currently unemployed and appreciate any tips sent my way. Thanks!
I have neither the following of either of those two authors, nor any expectation that I’ll make a living via the tipjar on this site. But every little bit helps.
With that in mind, I started thinking about something Chuck Wendig said to me after checking out Conversations with my Cat (a popular part of this blog); “I’d bundle those as an eBook. People would buy the hell out that!” (paraphrasing).
At first, I thought this was flattering but didn’t think there was anywhere near enough content to put together in an eBook, nor would there necessarily be interest in one if I did. But, in talking with different people over the past few months, I learned there was a definite interest. This led me to start messing around with the idea and I found that I’d written an awful lot of those posts, and not all of them ended up being published. I pulled them into Scrivener and was shocked at the word count (upwards of 1o,000 words).
With the posts in Scrivener, I figured I would give it a go and lay them out and see how it looked. I even added the ones that have never been published here (or anywhere else), and wrote some new ones to boost the word count. Then, I decided it needed a foreward to explain the whole thing (to long time fans and new ones), and started adding what I called ‘Side Notes’ here and there, expanding on something from a Conversation or inserting some commentary. Before I knew it, I had a decent sized eBook with over 12,000 words. All I needed was a cover, so I started working on that, too.
The whole thing took months. Why? Because I obsessed over the details. Unable to afford an artist for the cover, I did one myself. I didn’t want it to look ‘self published’, but no matter what I did, that’s the way it looked to me. It could be my mind playing tricks on me. Or not. The end product is something I designed in Illustrator (I’m going to do a cover evolution post later this week). In the end, I like it. Very clean and minimalist, which is what I was going for.
I saw the entire experience as knowledge building – still do. I’ve laid out an eBook cover to cover. And I have something (potentially) to sell that could make a little supplemental income when, frankly, I could really use some supplemental income. AND, I can add eBook Design/Layout to the list of offered freelance services.
Anyway. I’ve created an eBook: Conversations with my Cat (Volume 1), and I hope to be able to offer that to you very soon. I’ve set everything up in the Kindle Direct store and am waiting on approval. Once that comes through, look for an official eBook launch post here. If you can/want to buy it, that will help me. If not, I understand. Tell your friends. :) I may release on other platforms later, but for now, just on Kindle.
And if things go well, I might do another – maybe a Scrivener piece? I’ll keep you posted.