401. Course Set

As I get a few bits written on Hammer and Magic each week, even if they are very small, inevitably I get to think about the future – and what my ambitions are and should be here?

I published some Shade of the Morning Sun-novellas on Amazon in 2012. You can read them online now, including my ‘flagship’ novella: “That Which Cannot Be Broken”.

I had big dreams about digging into the self publishing ‘gold rush’ that started in 2009 or so (author Kristine Kathryn Rush explains what it is and why it went away in a great way on her blog). I gave up on those dreams, though, because … well, life.

And I simply did not have the discipline, it turned out to write as much fiction as I felt was necessary to hone my skill and have something out there in a large enough quantity to get discovered.

I have thought about trying again, though, but especially author David Gaughran’s ongoing coverage of how the big self-publishing eco-system (among many other things) – Amazon.com – is treating indie authors have made me think twice about it. I am still thinking…

And a slew of other problems, including the shut-down-your-author-account-without warning-because-of-some-problem-our-robot-reported.

I was thinking … most authors probably put up with Amazon, despite the problems, because that’s where THE majority of their income comes from. But couldn’t fiction authors make a significant amount of income (not necessarily a full livelihood, whatever that is in your region), from self-publishing fiction independently of Amazon? Or at least with the majority of their income coming from other sources than Amazon? That may also include spin off income sources such as merchandise, courses, ads, etc.

I mean I know a lot of non-fiction authors with huge blogs and communities who are able to make nice money by selling directly to their list and the random million visitors to their sites.

Is this possible for fiction authors as well, I wonder … and if so, how? And would it be worth it?

I don’t know, but I think Hammer and Magic should  be the vanguard – pun intended – to prove this.

That, however, still doesn’t change my resolution not to do this art project for the money. I am still only doing Hammer and Magic – art and illustration bits – in my spare-time when I need to relax. I am going to be deliberately and hopelessly “unprofessional” about how I work on this project, because I know from experience that … nothing else works, if I want to stay motivated under the circumstances of my life.

If I can make a buck from some income stream or other attached to the site where the story and other things reside – then fine. If not the project will have served its purpose anyway, namely to give me energy when I need it. And give me the opportunity to express that desire to do epic storytelling (and illustrate it a little) that apparently I cannot escape (nor do I want to).

I won’t rule out ever publishing on Amazon again, but my desire just for control alone seems a far cry away from the raw deals The Company is offering authors these days. And I don’t think it will help to just sit down and hope they will treat authors better in the years to come.

So it’s my course and it is set.