Without a doubt, I break creative writing rules. The main reason I break those rules is that I don’t know any better. Rule breaking is often associated with rebellion, but it also can be a result of ignorance. Point of View in a fiction book can be first, second or third person. Most of my books get this whole thing kind of muddled. Mixing POV is a no-no and would result in my writing getting a bad grade from my writing professor. Here’s the key to understanding why I do this, I don’t care.
What is a novel? It’s a story. My books tell a story about flawed characters involved in a mystery, usually involving a murder. Is there a specific book of rules for this storytelling? Yes, and no. The objective, however, is clear. It is to tell the story in a way that communicates to the reader what the author wants communicated. That sounds to me like there are no rules.
Very smart authors, not saying I’m one of those, often break the “traditional” rules as an expression of independence and creativity. So if you know the rules and break them deliberately that is okay; but if you just don’t follow the rules because you don’t want to—that’s bad.
You may be wondering why this is on my mind? It has been suggested by someone who knows the rules that I should try writing from a slightly different approach. I’ve given it a lot of thought and decided I should just stick with what I’m doing. The reason is not that this advice is bad; it’s just not me. My stories have a certain feel and flow. Maybe a simple style or a simple author? The most frequent comment I get from readers is that my books are easy to read. There was a time that for some reason I was not sure that was a good thing. But I have come to the conclusion that is a very good thing. I want the reading of my books to be easy and enjoyable—not a challenge and laborious. So, like my flawed characters, I will just keep doin’ what I’m doin’.
Lots of grumbling in the indie book world about changes Amazon made to emphasize paid ad space on book pages. Those changes have apparently resulted in lower sales for some of the big boys of the indie book market. The sellers of indie books are very susceptible to the whims of Amazon, and how they are completely focused on their profitability –not the authors’ revenue. As it should be. Amazon had a big hand in creating the boom in indie authors and e-books, but they are a web site focused on one thing –their success. If that matches with the authors success, so be it; but they are out for themselves. Why that seems to surprise some authors is beyond me. That is exactly what they should be doing.
During my years advising business people on selling their businesses, there was one model that consistently had buyer interest. It was the reoccurring revenue model where no one customer represented any significant portion of the business. Such as residential garbage collection. Two industries I worked in a lot that had those characteristics were propane and billboards.
Amazon has many of those same characteristics only on a scale never seen before. Does any single customer mean anything to Amazon? Of course not. If you could talk to a human (most likely you can’t) at Amazon to complain about something and threaten to take your business somewhere else, they would say adios. The collection of all customers matter but not any small number; much less just one. Same with vendors. Amazon owns the largest market place on the planet. If you want your product to be in that market place, you will abide by their rules. If you don’t; once again—adios.
Many indie authors exist only because of Amazon and many will disappear because of Amazon. Amazon pays good royalties to authors for e-books; but it could be some day in the future they look at the number of books they have available (a billion, ten billion?) and decide why pay royalties for new books when the supply is too large already. Good-by indie author. Remember it’s their web site, and they can do what they want.
Audio books are becoming a larger share of the book market. A long time ago I decided to get into the audio book segment. It has not gone according to plan. I still think will have a Santa Fe Mojo audio book sometime soon (yeah, no reason to believe that). If not soon, will probably regroup and try again—maybe go with Dog Gone Lies next time.
Not to be too crass, my goal with my writing is to make some money. While art for art’s sake may be noble it is not very profitable. The audio books are a total unknown to me as far as sales and profitability. If I can see a path to some profits, I will have a lot more audio books available. If no profits, probably not going down that path.
I’m a baseball fan. My team’s the Colorado Rockies. The current sign stealing scandal is very ugly and before it’s over, will involve some bad things happening to players. MLB can punish managers and owners, but until they do something to the players, this will not end.
Cheating has always gone on in baseball, even by the pitchers who will claim to be the most harmed in this latest case; but this seems as bad as it gets. This was a whole team, including managers. For maybe naïve reasons I was surprised someone had not blown the whistle long before now.
Being a fan of a losing team does have advantages. Kind of hard to believe the Rockies were cheating, considering the results, unless they are also very bad at cheating. I think many fans of other teams are not going to give a warm welcome to these cheaters during the season.
Thanks for being a reader!