Copywriting for fun and profit. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.
I’m proud to say I’ve built a full-time career around writing, as both a novelist and a copywriter.
That means splitting my time between the two. Usually I spend the morning writing novels, then spend the afternoon writing marketing and advertising copy for business clients.
(“Copy” is just fancy ad agency shorthand for “words that sell stuff.”)
I’m not alone. There have been innumerable examples of copywriters who also successfully wrote fiction. James Patterson, Salman Rushdie, Joseph Heller, and Dorothy Sayers, to name a few.
Toothpaste, shampoo, hot dogs . . . and my book! All at Walmart.
I swear, I never saw this day coming.
Hey, you know, I’ll celebrate any new milestone. Including this one.
So here it is:
Today, for the first time, I have a book that’s available at Walmart.
And I’m . . . Proud? I think?
Yeah, why not. I’m proud to be at Walmart.
There. I said it.
So now, while you’re shopping for all of your favorite low-priced deals at Walmart.com, you can add my book to your shopping cart.
Why not, right? It’s a good book. At a good value.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the good gals and bad guys in It Happened One Doomsday. Subscribe now. >
OK, so, yeah, I’m at the bottom of page 51. Not exactly headline news. But still, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY!
So there I was in Target, shopping for chicken and peanut butter, when something terrifying popped up on my phone.
Publishers Weekly had just reviewed my new book. Not just online, but in print.
I froze. My heart started pounding. A cold jolt of adrenaline shot through me. Why? Because first off, in the world of a writer, this is officially a BIG THING.
Like, Tyrannosaurus-Rex-in-your-living-room big.
OMG, I want to frame this. My new book deal with a New York publisher is right at the top of today’s Publishers Lunch.
My new book deal is in Publishers Lunch!
Publishers Lunch is a daily publishing industry newsletter put out by Publishers Weekly. Essentially, it’s the #1 place for announcements about new book deals between literary agents and publishers.
According to the website, their subscribers number more than 40,000 publishing professionals.
And, you know … little ol’ me.
Ever wanted to know how a science fiction or fantasy author builds an imaginary world?
How do authors create strange new worlds? Find out!
Authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephanie Meyer, J.K. Rowling, Frank Herbert, William Gibson and scores of others are renowned for the worlds they’ve created.
What makes them so intriguing?
I’ve been invited to join a handful of other authors at MileHiCon here in Denver this month to talk about the reasons why (and how to do it).
What Is World Building?
It’s pronounced SAY-TAHN. Yeah, it is.
I recently discovered, much to my dismay, that I had eaten Satan for dinner.
This is a true story. Allow me to explain.
In the midst of a snowstorm, my wife and I decided to try a new restaurant.
We ended up at a brightly lit, very mod, hipster-friendly place that put an emphasis on fresh food.
Hey, I’m cool. I love fresh food.
But what landed on my table bore no resemblance, by any stretch of imagination, to the gyro I had ordered. Continue reading
Don’t make them get medieval on you!
Sun Tzu ruined my life.
Don’t get me wrong, “The Art of War” contains some gems of insight for anyone engaged in a difficult struggle, like running a business.
(Or fighting a war with chariots and spears.)
But the problem is that Sun Tzu puts a great deal of emphasis on lightning-fast strikes intended to leave the enemy off-balance and lead to a swift victory. He recommends avoiding a prolonged conflict at all costs.
And he makes some good points.
But sometimes, you can only win the battle — or write a book — with a slow and steady application of force.
Don’t carry a notebook in your pocket. Instead, carry index cards!
For many years, I carried a writing notebook with me everywhere I went. That’s what all serious writers do, I’ve always heard. But in truth, it’s a terrible idea.
- First, when you write in a notebook, your notes are locked in rigid sequential order. If you tend to think of things randomly (and who doesn’t?), you’ll spend a lot of time flipping back and forth through your pages to find something.
- Second, it’s difficult and time-consuming to transcribe your notes from your notebook into the files for each project. I suppose if you’re the sort of person who only works on one story, ever, then this isn’t such a big deal. But I’m always working on a huge list of projects.
- Third, notebooks get gnarly quickly. They get creased, folded, bent, ink-stained… It’s not pretty.
The Un-Notebook Solution
The secret is deceptively simple: