Going On The Account: Perish? No, The Other One…

Uh, yeah, it’s been a little while…

I suppose I could make up some lame excuse  as to why I haven’t been over here in a month:

* The holidays took up all my time.

* I’m deeply enmeshed in following the NFL playoffs.

* I was still very wrapped up in all the 50th anniversary for Doctor Who hoopla

* I was frozen in place thanks to the arctic vortex like one of the 76 runners Box received before Logan-5 showed up:

* I was until today in the last car still stuck in Fort Lee after the GWB was closed by Bridget Anne Kelly (acting alone, supposedly…); it was so bad I only just got into Manhattan

I could say that, or I could say the truth:

* I focused on writing and placing some professional sales

I know I’ve discussed in an interview with Susan Rocan my thoughts concerning getting a publishing contract, and I still have core concerns about the publishing model as it now exists.

For long forms.

In terms of short pieces, though, I wanted to take another crack at that.  Why?

* To test myself; having spent close to around 120,000 words to discuss Hope Harvey in Raging Gail, and in the neighborhood of 72,000 on Jennifer DiNapoli in Red Jenny,  I wanted to see whether I can still talk about someone else using 5,000 words or less

* To go back and work in this form again; I started in writing with short fiction, and haven’t had to work within the limits imposed in needing to be that succinct and exact in years, so I needed to refresh that

* To validate myself to me; there’s no one to stop you from going online and publishing your own work, but there’s also no one to pat you on the head when it’s ready to be read, and no matter how good I may get it’d be nice to have someone agree with me about how good a piece is before it hits the wires

Am I that self-conscious?  Asking someone who writes if they’re self-conscious is like asking someone in Buffalo if they’d love a few days in the middle of February down in Key West…

I won’t even bring up the economic question, as rates for short fiction don’t seem to have gone up much since the last time I sold a piece; insert joke about what writers make here…

Actually, screw that; in fact, what helped get me back here was seeing Jim C. Hines’ post about his writing earnings for 2013.  In addition to being a great writer and advocate for those segments of genre readers and writers who don’t get the respect they’re entitled to, he did us all a great service in providing hard real numbers with year-to-year comparatives.  Because numbers can discuss performance with precision, and offer comparative data and accompanying insight, this was invaluable at this point for me.

As right now I have comparative numbers of my own relating to my short fiction endeavors that are much less impressive.

There’s very little to show at the moment since I went back into short forms.  Like zero.  Zilch.  Nicht.  Goose egg.  Nada.  Scott-Norwood-hard-to-starboard kind of results.  Which could be interpreted very badly by people with hard bottom lines and little patience.

Yet, Jim’s listing does include a chart showing year-to-year income, with data tracking starting with 2002.  He also notes in the body of the findings that he started writing in 1995, which means there’s a seven year gap between the start of his efforts and when he has data to report on results.

So coming back into short fiction may take a little while for me, probably.  It’s not going to happen soon, unless I sell my soul to some dark force from the Nether-realms who’s owed a favor by someone at CAA.

Or use the algorithms for best sellers discovered by researchers at Stony Brook University.  A little editing of the manuscript with these keywords at hand ready to insert into the work, and everyone can write a bestseller.

At which point, the average advance for a novel goes down to about $75 apiece, but hey, laws of the market and what not…

Which means a large number of those books not earning money today will result in poor writers discussing their lack of income from that ten years hence if the research done in Britain on the “economic misery index” in fiction holds up…

You’d think with all the science just applied to writing, there’d be a lot more certainty in this business, but no; it’s still the same heap o’ chaos it’s always been.  And until I crack that code (or my head on the table in frustration), I’m just going to keep on working on the short pieces, which thanks to Jim’s data I’m not going to worry about placing until 2021 rolls on through.

And I’m going to work on some longer pieces; those I’ll keep under my aegis for now.

At least, that’s what the data on hand seems to say at the moment…

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