• Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

    Magic Bakery Workshop Moved to Classic

    I Pulled It From the February Line-up… I looked back over the records and no one had taken the Magic Bakery workshop since last spring I think. So no point in listing it as a monthly workshop anymore, even though I think it is one of the most important workshops we have done. So now only nine workshops offered in February. I will continue to work to clean up old workshops so there is room for new ones this spring. So the Magic Bakery workshop is now a classic workshop. And it has been added to the Lifetime Subscription as a Classic workshop, and I left the original one there…

  • Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

    The Magic Bakery: An Epilog

    Epilog: A Comment Reminded Me… I used to wonder what rights I could sell to my fiction. What exactly those rights were all called. I thought for the longest time there were rules and I just couldn’t find the rules or the secret door to go through to discover where those rules were posted. I think all of us feel that way early on because we don’t understand the true nature of copyright when we start writing. In fact, most writers, even though they will spend years writing, don’t have a clue what they are trying to sell or license. And won’t spend one minute trying to learn it. Let…

  • On Writing,  publishing

    The Magic Bakery: A Chapter in the Center

    (Note: I forgot a major topic. The doors to the Magic Bakery. So this chapter will fit into the middle of the book somewhere.) Chapter (in the center)… Doors to the Bakery Any business must have a way to get into the business. For example, at our North collectable store here in town you can enter through an interior staircase and climb, or climb an exterior staircase. Both methods take some work for customers and we also have a special entrance in the back that comes in without stairs. Three entrances. We have the store full of enough cool stuff, we hope it is worth the customer’s climb. So how…

  • On Writing,  publishing

    The Magic Bakery: Last Chapter

    Chapter Ten… Maintenance. This book, at its heart, has been about the business of fiction. And selling fiction. And the copyright associated with fiction. Fact: So many writers ignore copyright and eventually go away. Long-term writers know copyright and know how to get every bit of money we can from copyright. That might be the most important element to why a long-term writers is a long-term writer and not a “what-ever-happened-to” writer. Fact: So many writers equate the hours it took to write something with the value of the story. A short story can’t have much value because it only took four hours to write it. That is the thinking.…

  • On Writing,  publishing

    The Magic Bakery: Chapter Nine

    Chapter Nine… Beyond Next Year. As I said last chapter, it has been my observation that most writers never look more than a year out, if that. And that lack of being able to see five years and ten years and fifty years into the future causes all sorts of really bad decisions. Now, I wish I could say I had been an exception to this in my first few decades or so in publishing. Nope. Kris was a bunch better at looking long term and making decisions based on that vision. But I wasn’t. And wow did I make some boneheaded mistakes because of that lack of vision. So now…

  • On Writing,  publishing

    The Magic Bakery: Chapter Eight

    Chapter Eight… Success and the future. Now there are two words that almost every writer I have met can’t fathom or even see when it comes to their own writing and business. Now granted, some writers give those two words lip service, and in different workshops Kris and I work at getting writers to think ahead. It feels like walking into a brick wall. Success and future planning when it comes to writing and a publishing business are just not possible for almost every writer to fathom. And honestly, I understand that. My goal, for a very long time, was to make a living at my writing. I had NO concept…

  • On Writing,  publishing

    The Magic Bakery: Chapter Seven

    Chapter Seven… I knew I was going to need to talk about this topic in a chapter and honestly, have dreaded it. Writers, especially newer writers have no understanding of the value of their own work and how others value it. So with that problem in mind, I am going to try to add a level of understanding of value of copyright to this book. For most of you, I will fail at this, but at least I can say I tried right here in Chapter Seven. I’m calling this chapter “Perceived Value” of the inventory in the Magic Bakery. I cannot even begin to count the hundreds and hundreds of…

  • Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

    The Magic Bakery: Chapter Six

    Chapter Six… I get questions all the time about free. Should an author put up their book for free? How about their first book in a series? Does leaving something up for free forever work? Interestingly enough, The Magic Bakery works perfectly to illustrate the answer to these questions so writers can decide for themselves. All I’m going to be talking about in this chapter is basic, standard-retail sales practices. I won’t tell you one thing new in the world. You can see some of these practices working every day from grocery stories to music stores. But explaining these practices to authors who do not understand basic sales of retail has…

  • On Writing,  publishing

    The Magic Bakery: Chapter Five

    Chapter Five… I get a lot of questions about pen names and if writers should use pen names in this modern world of publishing. So let me use The Magic Bakery to explain my answer to that question. Now understand, the reason for this book about The Magic Bakery is to help writers understand copyright and the magic power of copyright in this world. But the metaphor of the bakery can help in business logic as well. And in sales. And in promotions. For example, understanding the power of free is clearly illustrated in The Magic Bakery and I will get to that in a later chapter. But for this chapter,…

  • On Writing,  publishing

    The Magic Bakery: Chapter Four

    Chapter Four… I started off chapter three with a question and an answer: “How do you slice a magic pie? The answer is simply as many ways as you want.” But first you have to have a magic pie to slice. You have to have copyright to license. And that is the rub, the place where so many writers flat run into a massive wall. It takes time and a lot of practice and knocking down personal demons to produce new stories and novels regularly. Anyone can do it for a short time. A year. Maybe two. But then with just a few cases in their Magic Bakery half full and the rest…