M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Now for Something Different: One Writer's Journey

We all generate affinities as we work our way around the social media. R. Mac Wheeler writes a blog I seldom miss. He's also made indie publishing the "cornerstone" of his career. Mac mirrors the attitude I seem to be developing ... except I do have a small indipendent publisher for at least one work -- provided they can find an artist for the cover. But, that's another writer's headache.

Enjoy Mac's story.

Mac & Pup, Molly

Who am I?
R. Mac Wheeler…an author of character-driven SF/F/paranormals and suspense filled with quirky sorts who lug a lot of baggage, in worlds that aren’t that far out.

My trek to publishing is typical. I've spent twenty years writing when I could. I set aside each novel and wrote another…returned to the earlier novels and edited. Queried. Edited. Wrote. Edited. Repeat.

I wanted to be traditionally published, of course. I studied and practiced my craft. I tried new genres. Grew. Still didn't capture the attention of an agent. I had the opportunity to write full time seven years ago, and jumped in with vim and vigor, and a lot of naiveté.
Nineteen novels backed up on the shelf. Last summer I decided there was no point letting them collect dust. I would self publish. No new writing since. Just edit…edit…edit… 
*he screams maniacally*

I'll soon have my sixteenth novel on Amazon and B&N. I have two novels outlined already. I'm very eager to write.

I've learned a lot. Indie publishing is like every other endeavor. Pages of minutia, each element if done well, improves the quality of the product. But having an asset is only one-third of the effort.

Building a Platform
I'm not going to kill myself creating a brand. There are companies that spend many thousands of hours doing this. I'm not naïve enough to believe I have the stamina, nor the capital to launch an identity.

I've embraced Facebook. I blog, mix my journey to publication with my joy of photography to entice folks to visit me…hopefully peek at the novels I brag about there. I've created a home page (not all that flashy…most you can say is, it's functional…but I like simple…I'm not a flashy person…I don't write flash either…my characters are malcontents…a little like me).

Marketing Myself
Selling at this point isn't my priority (Don't tell my wife…she wants to retire). I trust the industry. Maybe that's foolish…but I figure if I haven't enticed an agent to represent me yet…I haven't learned enough to merit a contract.

But, I snort. Ninety percent of those who get a contract, still can't support themselves with their writing.

I love to write. I'm never going to stop. I unabashedly anticipate living another two-hundred years. Writing isn't something I will EVER retire from. Think of the novels I can create in the next two centuries. It's mind boggling.

If one of my titles catches fire…fine. I might make a bunch of money. I don't think that will change my life. All I will want to do is stay home and write, with my pups laying all around me.

If I blaze no publishing glory, I can continue to earn thirty bucks a quarter from each of my titles, by the time I die I will have created a library that may help my grandkids' kids afford their first homes…or meet the mortgage…maybe.

When I have my current novels out there…and have let a little of my backed up energy escape with some new writing…I'll…eh…maybe consider some marketing.

In the Meantime
I write. Love my wife. Pet my pups. And post photographs every week capturing my marvelous hikes…my Sunday Safaris. Come for a visit. Drop me a, "Nice pix" comment. You'll warm my heart. I promise to send you a, "Well thanks for dropping by."

-R. Mac Wheeler
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