Why You Should Be Reading Kristine Rusch’s Blog

The Business Rusch: Readers

“Many indie writers have one book and they promote the hell of out that thing. They give it away for free, they join Kindle Select to “maximize discoverability” (ignoring Nook & IBook readers), and they sell it for 99 cents, thinking that will increase their sales.

“So…let’s imagine that these writers are successful. Let’s imagine that they do get millions of people downloading their books. Out of those millions, at least half a million will read that book, and out of that half million, 250,000 will like it.

“Then what?

“Then nothing. That’s the problem. Nothing happens. Even if those successful indie writers eventually write another book, they have to start all over from scratch, because the readers who like what they did—those 250,000 readers—they will have forgotten the indie writer in six months.

“You indie writers treat your readers as badly as traditional publishers do. And you do it in the exact same way. You deny your readers the next book.”

The Business Rusch: Audience

“Most writers want to be bestsellers—a long-term bestsellers. They want the kind of superstardom that Charles Dickens or J.K. Rowling had, the kind that influences not just one culture, but several cultures. The writers want the money that goes with the bestsellerdom which they imagine to be unlimited, and they want fame—the writerly kind—where people don’t necessarily recognize the writer on the street, but they do know the writer’s name (and whisper it with reverence, since said writer is A Bestseller).

“The reality of bestsellerdom is much harsher—and I am not talking about the usual statistics of how many bestsellers there are.  I’m talking about something that Tracy Hickman had on his website this week.

“For those of you who don’t know, Tracy Hickman is a New York Times bestselling authorwho has sold millions of books. He has published at least forty different novels in a variety of series, including Dragonlance. He has worked with his wife Laura Hickman and with New  York Times bestseller Margaret Weis.

“The reason I added “for those of you who don’t know” isn’t because I’m being snarfy about Tracy or demeaning his work in any way. I am, in fact, reinforcing a point he made much better in a blog he posted this week.

“That point: bestselling writers—even those like Stephen King—aren’t really well known.”

Rusch’s blog has much, much more solid, practical advice about writing and publishing.

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3 thoughts on “Why You Should Be Reading Kristine Rusch’s Blog

  1. Good stuff, Catana, I’ll go over and have a look. One thing a smart writer can do is to have a backlog of books ready to go before they launch the first one. This desn’t suit every personality as it requires a great deal of foresight and patience, but it saves the writer from having to write rapidly after Book 1. Rapid writing – in many cases, not all – has a tendency to lose atmosphere, and atmosphere is one of those things readers prize above rubies. (Well, almost!)

    1. I was just lucky, really, that I had an idea for a sequel to my first novel and that it went so fast. Ideally, it should have been ready to publish much closer to the first, but I didn’t know diddly about self-publishing, compared to what I know now. I still have a couple of novels in reserve, my first NaNo novel and a spinoff. I’m thinking that I won’t publish the first one until the second is at least part way toward being ready for publication.

      Speed of writing — I would never recommend rushing, but my experience so far is that some stories almost write themselves — at least up to that point where they bog down and drive you crazy with frustration. 🙂

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