Keeping the Fun in Fandom

If fandom is one big geek tribe, then like any extended family, it’s inevitable that sometimes, people disagree. Trekkies vs. Trekkers. Star Trek vs. Star Wars. Iron Man vs. Captain America. Old Skool Vamps vs. Twihards.

When it’s all in fun, a light-hearted debate over whether Batman could kick Superman’s ass (he totally could–I’m sure of it) is entertaining. It’s part of what we sign up for when we buy our con ticket–to be able to get as nerdy as we want to be with other people who have seen all the episodes, read all the books, watched the movies and can finish our geeky quotes.

But can we please remember that while the characters we’re debating are fictional, the people in the audience with us are real? And real people shouldn’t have to put up with invective about why something they love, something that speaks to them, is ‘dumb’ […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: Finding A Writing Community

I’m finally home after ConCarolinas and the Roaring Writers Retreat, where I taught and led critique sessions for a fun, productive, wonderful week. (Thanks for inviting me, folks — it was fantastic!) My third night home — last night — I attended a meeting of the writer’s group of which I’m a part here in my town. And, of course, I’m posting this to MW, which has been the foundation of my writing family for eight and a half years.

So, I thought today I should post about community and its importance to writers of all levels.

Writing can be a lonely profession. We often work on our own, toiling alone for hours at a time, sending our work into what can feel like a marketplace vacuum, and waiting for feedback that can be hurtful, even brutal. It’s hard, and our solitude makes it harder. Yes, we have loved ones […]

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Making Money Mondays – More Revenue or Lower Overhead?

Before I get to the topic of the day, I just want to say what I am sure all of my cohorts here at MW are feeling. Our hearts go out to all the families and victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting this weekend. I won’t get political here, this isn’t the place, and I won’t get political today, because it’s not the day. But I’ll just say that from all of us here, please accept our condolences, and know that we believe through the power of words we can all work together to make the world a better place. Please be kind to each other and take care of one another.

Now, with ConCarolinas behind us, and my most profitable ConCarolinas ever, for the record, let’s look at two different concepts in improving your chances at making a living as a writer.

There are two ways to live like […]

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Making Connections: Doing Business At Conventions

Last weekend, I was at Balticon. This coming weekend, I’ll be at ConCarolinas, and then after that, Origins Gaming Fair. From there on in, the summer’s pretty busy: Congregate, Confluence, LibertyCon and then DragonCon, with ContraFlow and Atomacon rounding out the year. I did four cons earlier in the year, and I’m already signing up for and getting confirmed for 2017 conventions.

Conventions are expensive. Most writers pay their own way: travel, hotel, food, vendor table and merchandise. It’s time away from family and from writing, and from sitting by the pool chilling out with a beach drink. So why do we do it? Sure, there’s visibility, meeting readers, promoting the new book. But as I saw at Balticon last weekend, the most valuable part of a convention lies in connections to other writers and the stream of information and possibilities created by good relationships.

What kind of information and […]

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Making Money Mondays – Removing Obstacles & Download Cards

I mentioned Ebook Download Cards in my last post, and we’ll talk about those in more depth today, but before we get granular, I wanted to talk about why we care about things like ebook download cards, or buying anthologies with your stories in them, or publishing things of different lengths and price points, or any of a number of things that we do when we’re planning a convention trip or just working on our career.

It’s all about removing obstacles to the sale. When we’re working to hand-sell a book, anything that gives a customer an excuse not to buy is an obstacle to the sale. Someone at your table says “I don’t feel like carrying books around the whole convention, I’ll come back Sunday.” They’re not saying their arms hurt, they’re saying “no.” Your best response – “I’ll hold them here behind the table with your name on […]

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Opportunities, and the costs therein

Like so many of the MW crew, I’m back from DragonCon and pretty much recovered at this point. I managed to dodge the con crud by judicious application of tequila, in the form of margarita popsicles (yep, every bit as hazardous as you think) and by having an assistant at the con this year. I’ve had an assistant at several conventions this year, and have had several of my colleagues ask me how I got one. I went through a soul-searching, spectacularly difficult process before I settled on Jay Requard, an up and coming writer and one of my best friends, to work as my assistant. Here I will detail the process.

I put a note on Facebook asking if anyone would be interested in traveling to conventions with me and helping me handle books, my table, keep me organized (somewhat) and serve as my assistant.

That’s it. I got […]

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Money Matters – Patreon, Conventions, and Charging for Autographs

Before I start this week, a quick note that I’ll be at MonsterCon 2015 in Gaffney, SC next weekend, so come by and say hello if you’re in the upstate! Also, I’ll have a new release to talk about in the next couple of weeks. It’s my first foray into epic fantasy, and it’s coming out as three serialized novellas, then I’ll release the entire novel when that’s done. It’s called Queen of Kats, and here’s a peek at the cover.


Welcome to the Dark Side, we don’t really have cookies. We also have a lot of incomplete information about how this business works and how people manage to make a living in it. Since becoming a full-time professional writer on June 30th (sounds SO much better than “losing my day job,” which just sounds careless), I’ve paid a lot more attention to the cost and benefit of […]

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