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Business, business, business. The business side of the author world.

"Happy Monday!" said no one ever.

This weekend went by too fast and was too full of things that made my head hurt. I found myself trying to do everything I could to relax, yet being pulled back to doing things I needed to do. It was a good weekend, but I still feel like I need a vacation. Here's what's been going on in my world.

First and foremost, I need to be working on a new book. I've started one (technically two, but the first has been shelved for the time being) and I've got an idea of a character and something resembling a plot, minus all the things that make a plot fun, exciting, and interesting. Sometimes, that's how the game works though. So we'll slowly keep working on that, and see what comes of it. I am interested in diving into the story, learning more about the people, finding what makes them tick. That's always been the fun part of writing for me, discovering the meat of the story.

I think I'm standing in my own way, though. See:

Second on the list of things in my head, Bound To Parish. If I haven't mentioned this before, I love that book. I'm so, so, so, so very proud of it, and I lived in that world for a year, so it's been somewhat hard to break free from. I want to do something different, but at the same time, I keep being drawn back to it. I'm starting to wonder if I need to play with the idea of a sequel of sorts, but I have exactly no idea what it would even entail. That's part one. Part two is that it's easily the best performing book I've written to date as well, and while I love that (it's always nice to see something you create being enjoyed by other people) I think I'm running into a problem where I'm worried the next book won't live up to the expectations of readers I may have gained from BTP. It's giving me a case of the "not-good-enough's" and those are the death of creativity.

Tangentially related to this is the business side of things. Someone on TikTok who does reviews of indie author books reached out to me and was asking about the ability to buy a signed copy. Now, anyone that knows me in real life knows that I'm all about signed copies: I'll sign whatever you bring me, I'll hand out signed copies to friends and family, I'll send them to you if I can. When BTP released, a few people at work asked about the best way to support and if there were signed copies available to buy, and I didn't think much into it. "Come visit the office and I'll sign it for you, no question!" I said. "If you're ok with giving me your address, I'll send you some!" I said. But when someone I have no relationship with asks about it, I had no good answer except, "Sorry, no I don't, I need to work on that." I didn't like that answer. I see other author's doing it, why am I not?

So the idea was planted.

When I first set up the website, I set it up as a "store" page, thinking I could easily link the books from Amazon, and people could come and buy them directly. I spent a solid ten minutes on trying to do that before I gave up and settled for buttons with links. This weekend, I dove back into the store side of the page, and got something set up that I'm somewhat happy with. (If you're here reading this, why not got check out the "SHOP" link on the main menu after you're done, let me know what you think.) Creating the page and setting up products and things wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. However, I then had to consider the actual "selling" side of things. How will people pay, and what does that look like? How do I collect those payments after the fact? What about taxes? How do I ship things? Do I need to set up an LLC now that I'm trying to do like...official business things?

I just wanted to write books, man. Not run a Fortune 500 company.

Overall, I think I've figured out most of the aspects of things. I'm still trying to determine pricing and shipping and all that jazz, so for the time being everything is "out of stock" even though I have signed copies sitting here staring me in the face. I'm also waiting on the free USPS boxes to arrive. I need to figure out where I would leave packages for pickup in my apartment complex. I need to make sure I can print and correctly create a shipping label. Once those minor things are all figured out though, I might be ready for business. We shall see how this all plays out, I suppose.

Let's see, what else has been going on? Harley has still been as cute as ever. It's crazy to me that I've only had her for about 6 months and she's already such an integral part of my life. I love her. I've started reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and I have to say that while I do appreciate her writing immensely, I think that knowing the story from the movie is a detriment. I'm finding it hard to get invested in it. I'm still in the very beginning of the story, though, so we'll see how I feel as I get deeper into it. I still think Sharp Objects is my favorite Flynn. After that, I have All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers, which I know nothing about but it was on a list of "Best Thriller Books" that I looked through and decided to give it a try. I need to make a new TikTok soon. I need to make something for Instagram probably. I'm going to keep running the Amazon ads until the end of the month but I think I'm going to chill on the Facebook ones for a moment while I recoup some of the money I've been spending on them.

And there we have it, the updated ramblings of someone who is in a weird spot in their writing journey. Excited to explore the possibilities of it all, scared that it might become too much, overjoyed that people are loving the work.

Writers: anxiety in human form since the dawn of time.


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