Getting the milk for free?

Profits in the bagsI have been writing for just about as long as I can remember. There are millions of words out there that I’ve laid down, some public and some not. As I come into my late 30s I realized that I have never made a dime off the stuff that is bouncing around inside of my head. My wife has asked me over the last couple of years, jokingly, when I am going to publish a novel so we can retire and live off royalties. On the one hand, I am a bit of a dreamer, but on the other I am a realist. I am aware that the writing market is saturated with people who think that others want to hear what they think, maybe even NEED to hear what they think, and they’re willing to charge a fee for those thoughts

I wrote a silly little zombie tale a few years back called “The IT Guy” (almost entirely on my T-Mobile Sidekick to boot!) and it took off like wildfire on several websites. Now granted, I was basically “preaching to the choir” when I posted it in the Fan Fiction section of a couple zombie fan sites, but if people are so willing to read my stuff for free would they be willing to throw a couple bucks my way to read something from a more polished and experienced author? Would they be willing to hear my ideas in a completely different genre?

Lately I have really been thinking about getting a bit more serious about this writing thing. We’re in a world where EVERYONE is online now at any given time of day, EVERYONE is reading on their electronic devices, and EVERYONE is connected in ways we never thought possible. I have bought into this as well, and have blazed through some book reading with both my Nook and my Android phone.

I have “liked” some Facebook interests about writing and have gotten on some mailing lists for aspiring authors. I attended, last month, a meeting of other writers who wanted to sit together and write creatively. I have made an effort recently to immerse myself in the world of writing. I absolutely LOVE reading other peoples’ words formed into sentences and I hope to give readers the same pleasure while reading MY words that I get from other writers.

I was talking to a friend at church last week (hey John!) who had asked for the link to my blog so he could dig around through some of the stuff I have written previously. I told him that I would love to be able to write more often and that my wife had been ribbing me about my first book. He told me that he thought I really could make a little something out of my writing and he’s not the first person who’s mentioned it. I don’t take compliments very well, but I’m wondering if these folks are right. If they are right, why SHOULDN’T I get a piece of the pie?

I have read several articles in the last month or so about self-publishing. I have an online friend who has a novel already out there published and he’s working on a second. He’s read through some of the stuff I have written and has provided some excellent feedback that I am truly appreciative of.

Amazon seems to offer a pretty sweet setup for writers who would like to get some of their writing disseminated to the masses. I’m curious, dear reader, if you would be willing to shell out anywhere from two to five dollars for an e-book version of my stories. I’m contemplating leaving the first five chapters of my latest story, “The Rider” up on my blog here for free, as a preview if you will, and then collating the remainder of the story into an e-book I would put up for sale on Amazon to start with. I have an idea where I’m taking the story, or at least how I plan on ending it, but the fun part for you and I is the journey to the last sentence of the story.

I love writing, and I plan on continuing to write my usual little blurbs on the blog here but I’m throwing down the gauntlet to myself and seeing if I can parlay this little odd hobby of mine into something that could truly matter.



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