Friday, March 28, 2014

It's a Cinderella Story

It’s that time of the year again. Here in the United States, the annual NCAA basketball tournament known as March Madness, The Big Dance, The Final Four and a host of other names is in full swing. This three-week event kicks off with thirty-two games in two days. Televised, streamed and watched by millions, every second of each game is available for consumption. In fact, the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament were officially the least productive days in the US workforce for the entire year.

Why do millions waste countless hours watching? Two reasons—office pools and Cinderella. Betting on the “brackets” for the tournament is huge. So much so, Warren Buffett, the finance guru, offered one billion dollars for anyone who comes up with a perfect bracket. It’s only a 9.25 quintillion to one chance of winning (by Friday there were no perfect brackets left.)

As for Cinderella, well that’s a whole other story. Millions watch to see the no-name team knock off the perennial favorites—David versus Goliath stuff. University of Dayton and Mercer are shaping up as this year’s Cinderella. If you’re still reading this, you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with writing and publishing?

The NCAA tournament is like a microcosm of the publishing industry. When fans fill out their brackets, they typically end up with a championship involving a couple of college basketball powerhouses. Meanwhile, as you watch, you find yourself cheering for the huge upsets. A school like Dayton is the self-published author of the group, going up against the machinery of traditional publishing.

We see the same thing in our indies world. We get excited when a Hugh Howey or Martin Crosbie break through, challenging the established publishing industry. We cheer for their success and the success of indie writers in general. Is it because they’re great writers? Maybe. Is it because we all believe in Cinderella? Definitely.

Does anyone remember Florida Gulf Coast University from last year? Just what I thought. That’s one problem with the Cinderella concept. The next year, they don’t make it back. But, not always. Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) squeaked into the tourney as an unknown several years ago and made it to the final four. Since then, they’ve become a force each year in the tournament. Most people today don’t remember that they were the Cinderella—once upon a time.

That’s what we need to do as indie authors, not just make it to the big dance, but get back there each year. The more that happens, the less it becomes a Cinderella story. The more that happens, the more our reputations improve. The more that happens, the more the traditional publishing industry takes notice.

The more that happens, the more readers won’t remember that we were the Cinderella story. Eventually, there won’t be self-published and traditionally published authors … just like VCU isn’t considered a Cinderella anymore. We’ll all be authors, enjoying our time at the big dance.

is the author of the #1 Kindle Bestselling Young Adult novel, The Card and So This is Christmas. He's also a healthcare consultant specializing in helping healthcare companies and practices develop a social media marketing platform, and maximize cash flow. You can find him posting weekly to Indies Unlimited and occasionally as a contributor on Yahoo! 
A version of this post appeared on Indies Unlimited. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Where Did My Hour Go?

Ah, Daylight Savings Time (DST), further proof that society is a slave to the clock. It’s remarkable to think that nearly 100% of the nation moves their entire lives forward one hour. It’s quite an accomplishment considering that billions of dollars, countless person-hours and tons of research have only reduced the number of smokers in our country by 15%.

But, I digress. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review: Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved it. A great continuation from the original story. Stephen King was back in his wheelhouse.

The story is about as good as a sequel can get. Within the first few chapters, you felt as if you just put down The Shining and picked up this book. A re-introduction of a couple of your favorite characters followed by a couple of great scenes will put you right back into the world of Danny Torrance. We all remember Danny, riding his tricycle around the resort and of course his "red rum."

You won't be disappointed with his story, decades later. While bringing the past into the present, King introduces a fresh take with new characters you can root for and villains that will scare your socks off.

Not sure how he pulled off a sequel so long after the original, but he did. Without falling into the trap of a cookie-cutter horror novel, Doctor Sleep is more robust, with deeper meaning than the original. Awesome.

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Six Things to Avoid if You Want Success

Throughout my life, I’ve been lucky enough to hang around million-dollar athletes, history-making attorneys, world-famous musicians, and friends that you never heard of who change people’s lives for the better every day. The common bond between all of these people is the ability to live life to its fullest on their own terms.

While there is no secret to success, I’ve tried to learn from other successful people who have entered my life, even if only for a minute or two. Today, I’m sharing a few of those lessons. The universe offers boundless rewards and only your own thinking and behaviors can determine how much of it you reap. I’m not saying that I’ve perfected all of these, but I have witnessed the result of both positive and negative influences.

As individuals, each of us has a different definition of success. It isn’t necessarily monetary or fame—the process itself may define success. Whatever your goals, here are a few things to avoid that less-successful individuals typically let guide their life. Once we recognize them, we can make changes that will propel our lives to a different place.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Author Earnings Expands Data Set to Top 54,000 Titles

Hugh Howey has released his latest report to go with last weeks inaugural report. The data remains solid and continues to show the value of self publishing over traditional publishing. Great information and a must read for anyone considering or involved in the writing world.

You can find the breakdown and raw data at Author Earnings The 50K Report.

is the author of the #1 Kindle Bestselling Young Adult novel, The Card and So This is Christmas. He's also a healthcare consultant specializing in helping healthcare companies and practices develop a social media marketing platform, and maximize cash flow. You can find him posting weekly to Indies Unlimited and occasionally as a contributor on Yahoo!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Author Earnings - A Report by Hugh Howey

I know that many of you have seen this report on other forums, but I felt that it was important enough to reblog it here. Hugh Howey's Author Earnings Report has rattled the publishing industry. Posted on his new site, Author Earnings, his report breaks down the self publishing and traditional publishing industry by the numbers. 

Sure, it might have a few flaws, but with the inability to extract exact numbers, this is as close as one could get. I'll be looking for more as they continue to expand the sample size.

Please visit his blog to see the full report ...