writing

Writing Wednesday: What To Do About Depression?

Goals status: Last week I made my three blog posts (as usual), as well as my quota of comments on other blogs.

I’m STILL looking for a new market for “Schizo the Magnificent”, which is my only remaining short story that hasn’t been ePubbed, and so is still in search of a market (yes, over a year of focus on Swordsmaster has emptied out my inventory.)

“Truth in Advertising” is ready for its June 21st release (and set for preorders – see links somewhere down below…)

Last week I only managed to spend time on five days working on Swordsmaster. I get credit for a respectable 2,267 words of fiction, and Swordsmaster is now over 96,000 words.

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Sometimes, I think writing must have been designed for masochists (I don’t mean the art of HANDwriting, which is going the way of the dinosaurs thanx to modern technology.) I mean creative/fiction writing.

When you choose to spend any of your preciously limited time doing something, you should engage in self-examination so you know WHY you are doing it and what you hope to gain from your activities.

I first decided to be a speculative fiction writer in 2004; this was to fulfill my need for creative release – a need that I had neglected for somewhere over 25 years, from way back when I stopped acting and playing musical instruments and buried myself in REAL life pursuits, like family and the DAY JOBs that most of us need to be able to… live. I had dabbled with writing (music, stories, and plays) back in the 70’s – the sorts of things that I showed to almost no one – true SOCK DRAWER denizens (well, some of it’s in my guitar case, but you know what I mean…) Writing stories was one of the few things I could think of that wouldn’t require anyone else’s involvement, wouldn’t disturb anyone (you can’t practice your trombone if you want to live around other people), and could pretty much be done anywhere at any time. So I wrote.

What did I hope to gain? Well, aside from the release itself, I hoped for (mostly positive) feedback (if you write and nobody reads it, have you really written?). AND, if I was going to dedicate a substantial portion of my time to this (I have) it would be nice if some of that time was compensated with money.

I started my ramp-up to riding the WRIDING horse back with that decision, and I graduated from shopping my stories just to traditional publishers to putting stories on the shelf in my own Magic Bakery at the start of 2012. I built my inventory, and waited for the crowds to taste my stories.

I don’t remember where I first heard the term MAGIC BAKERY in relation to authoring and publishing, but the gist of it is that once you write a story, it sits in your shop, available for purchase many, many times. Nothing on the shelf ever gets stale – you just keep writing and adding to your inventory. This is dependent on you keeping your rights (or selling specific rights like movies, or Polish print publication rights) so that you always have product, which keeps the sales coming. Nice in principle – it would make you think that all you have to do is make your product. If you build it, they will come…

The basic Magic Bakery concept doesn’t deal with HOW to get customers to come into your shop. I obviously don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to marketing and promotion. The main reason I started this blog was to try to generate interest in my stories. I know that’s not all there is to it – I spent five years blogging at my DAY JOB on our intranet before that went away. It’s another avenue for feedback – feedback of another sort, obviously, but feedback, nonetheless. Which is why not being able to get LEGITIMATE comments on my site – not the self-serving spam I seem to attract – is such a let-down.

Just as frustrating is my lack of reviews. Even when I generate “sales” by GIVING MY STORIES AWAY, I can’t seem to generate reviews to go along with them. Of course, I have heard conflicting advice on book-giveaways over the years. Some people extol FREE books as a way to build up a following and improving your position in the sales lists, while others say that FREE does nothing for you – that FREE is what those people are actually loyal to (the few experiments I’ve done with FREE – including the one I did recently for “Date Night” – have not netted me a single review, so I tend to believe FREE is a waste of effort.

I tried 67% off coupons to reduce my smaller (6-story) collections to 99-cents for several weeks, and didn’t get a single sale. Even reducing a collection of 18 stories to that same amount has also come up empty.

Is it that I don’t know how to market? Gosh – I hope it isn’t that I don’t know how to write (I have be fair to myself – three honorable mentions in the Writers of the Future, multiple close calls with different publishers tell me it isn’t that I can’t write.)

No feedback and limited sales is sort of like being closed up in my room with that blank piece of paper and wondering why I’m doing this – and whether anyone is out there. If no one reads a book, is it still…

Well, this one has become a meandering mess, hasn’t it? How do the rest of you (WRITERS) keep from being depressed? Or should I stop worrying about it, because DEPRESSED is supposed to be our normal state? Just saying…

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The Smashwords coupon is still available for The Next Three ‘Things I Could Get OUT OFCollectionNext3Cover MY MIND’ ; still waiting for ten people to purchase this mega-collection at Smashwords with coupon code SSW50 so they can receive an 80% discount (so you pay only 99-cents for EIGHTEEN STORIES – such a deal!):

Stories included: “Bugging Out”, “The Unreliability of the Mature Mind”, “My Brother’s Keeper”, “The Black Spot”, “Flee Markets”, “Canabis alienus ‘alien dope’”, “Mutiny on the Star-Bound”, “Reconcilable Differences”, “New Antiques”, “Dead End Jobs”, “The Re-Entanglement of Grant Decker”, “Anti-Social”, “The Red Barrens”, “Dempsey’s Debut”, “Look Both Ways”, “The Final Ending?”, “Close Enough”,  and “The Wolves Will Come”.

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/784952

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TruthInAdvertisingCoverWilliam Mangieri’s next ePublication will be “Truth in Advertising”:

A paranoid marketer finds himself down a dark alley, just as he expected. But is it always a bad thing when they’re after you?

“Truth in Advertising” is a speculative fiction short story with a bit of alien marketing. The release date isn’t until June 21st, but it’s available for preorders now at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/941678

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SFLXWQQ

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William Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent release “Date Night” – can be DateNightCoverfound in many places, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri

To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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