What’s Coming in 2008

What’s Already Happened:

A few months ago I decided to get off my ass and start writing again. I also decided that since writing takes so much time and energy, It would really be nice if I could pay a few bills with it. And if I couldn’t, then there’s other things I could do with that time and energy that COULD pay a few bills.

Much of what happened after that point has been preliminary and warm-up work. I’ve redesigned the site, ditching the CMS and converting all the old stories to a much simpler format. I’ve restored a few old stories that, for a variety of reasons, haven’t been seen on the site for a while. I’ve started this blog to keep people informed about what the hell is going on. And, most importantly, I’ve started writing again. No, not as much or as regularly as I would like, but it’s a start.

I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking. Just how the hell am I going to pull a few dollars out of this “hobby” that I’ve been doing for free for well over ten years? Advertising is not going to work with the level of traffic I’ve got. I have zero desire to go the route of traditional dead-tree media and, despite several people shouting (quite loudly) that I should just get an agent, that’s pretty much going the route of traditional dead-tree media, except I’m paying somebody to do all the begging for me. That might happen; but I’m not putting any effort into making that happen right now. That’s pretty far down on my list of things to try, and if I’m shooting myself in the foot by not doing it now… then I’m shooting myself in the foot; so be it. What I’m going to try first is donations and self publishing.

What’s Coming:

Donation Rewards:

Support your local starving artist. I’ve set up a donations page and a couple of people have already used it (thanks). It will get used a lot more next year, I can pretty much guarantee. Next year I’m going to reward people who donate any amount over $5.00 with a new story. I’ll explore the details in another post (hopefully before Tuesday), but the short version is that every month I’ll write a story that you will only be able to see if you donate a non-trivial amount to the site. It’s important to realize that you are not buying the story, you are receiving it as a token reward for supporting the site. More on that in the near future.

The Return of Regular Updates:

Every month I will also post at least one new story for the general (i.e. “non-paying”) audience. Since I am a big fan of serial fiction, what you may get each month is a chapter of some longer story. Hell… one story/chapter a month!? That’s not a lot of writing there, Mr. Writer. It sure isn’t. But do keep these things in mind:

  1. You get what you pay for, and I am not getting paid.
  2. There is at least one more story per month you can read if you donate, and
  3. One story/chapter a month is a minimum. You’ll probably get more.

Enough said about that. Or maybe not:

Dark Icon Takes Over The Internet

Yes, you will probably get more than one story/chapter a month. But they may not necessarily be on this website. There are lots of places on the web that “publish” fiction, and for the most part I have completely ignored them for the past 10 years. I wanted all my stuff together, under my complete control, all in one place where everybody can find everything. Not any more. I’m on the prowl for places that I can get a Dark Icon story posted, and I’ve found some promising leads. If you find any others, give ’em here. They don’t even have to pay me. Money is good, but a new reader and/or a link back to my main site is pretty good, too. Sometimes I’ll be using existing stories to help take over the internet, but some of these folks want stuff that hasn’t been seen or published anywhere else before. I can do that, too. And I will. Any time something new gets published somewhere, I’ll link to it in this blog… all the more reason for you to subscribe to the RSS feed if you haven’t already done so.

I expect to be putting a lot of effort into this for the next few months (if my work schedule permits it). Once I’ve made a genuine effort to get my name out there (it’s called “Branding yourself” in marketing-speak), I can judge whether it’s worth continuing or not. If it isn’t, then I will put my time and energy into other things. Which brings us to:

Anthology…or not

A while back I decided that I was going to write a bunch of stories and publish them either as an ebook, a physical published book, or both. My plan was to at least get the stories written in the first quarter of 2008, and then decide what to do with them. That’s probably NOT a good plan. I don’t have nearly enough of a fan base to make such a project anything more than a waste of time and a massive ego-deflater. I need more readers first, otherwise I’m creating a product for which the market is only three or four people. So I’ll see what I can do with posting new and existing stories in various places on the web first. The stories will still get written, but any serious effort to get them all ready for some anthology product will be delayed until much later in the year.

Other Projects

Ahh, the mysterious “other projects.” There have always been and will always be other “things” that I’m in thinking about doing. Sometimes I do more than just think, and sometimes an “other project” sees the light of day. These things can and do take time away from writing, but that’s not always a bad thing. Thats where the Book of Dark Places came from, after all. Normally I don’t tell people (except one specific person) what I MIGHT be THINKING about doing, just so I don’t have people constantly asking “Hey, what happened to XYZ…?” So far, I’ve been trying extremely(!) hard to resist getting back into 3D rendering since I pulled the plug on the Book of Dark Places. I don’t know if I’ll continue resisting, but I do know that anything else I do in that area will be a lot smaller than BoDP. There are quite a few other things that are orbiting in my brain, looking for enough free space to land. It’s hard to tell which, if any, will receive any further attention, but rest assured I will be doing various ‘things’ in 2008 that involve more than just writing stories. But my focus for the near future will be on writing, and any side projects will either be in support of writing (like making graphics for stories) or will be kept to a minimum time investment. Unless it involves money. Then all bets are off.

So that’s about it: Monthly updates. Donation rewards. My stories in other places besides this website. A (maybe) anthology. And other “stuff”.

This is my intention for 2008. Keep in mind that, just like everything else in life, all of this is subject to change.


4 Comments

  1. nate, January 2, 2008:

    I can’t believe there are no comments on this post.

    I’m going to give the donations thing a shot. I know I’m not buying the story, but the quality of the story I get will help determine if I continue. I certainly hope to, as I wish DI success and want to see him continue.

    Good luck with this, as with all your endeavors.

    Are you still going to finish off the Forgotten this year? I know from the previous posting that you lost part of it in the hard drive crash, I’m just wondering if you’re planning to try and finish it this year.

    On the donations rewards, any chance you’ll take reasonable requests? I’d like to see some of the missing episodes of Road Trip To Hell. That might be too hard to do as rewards though, since it’s serial fiction.

    Whatever you end up writing will be good though, if past history is any indication.

  2. DarkIcon, January 2, 2008:

    Yeah, Forgotten should be finished this year.

  3. nate, January 2, 2008:

    Damn, that was fast. Thanks.

  4. nate, November 18, 2008:

    I’m bored and browsing the random posts here. Came across this one and figured I’d comment again. Sorry the donations thing didn’t work as well as you’d expected. I’m still using it, but not sure what I’ll do after the end of the year. Wish I could give more, but wife/4 kids/home/!#$% pets/!#$% ^&** $%^%# farm animals… you get the picture.

    Forgotten?
    Eric Hood?
    Zade & Blaymore?
    N’doki?
    Another episode of CSI Montfort?
    Kultra?

    $5 donations for continuance of those stories/characters would be considered, if they were good-length chapters.

    Books are so dang expensive. The last one I looked at retailed at $35/hardback. That’s still only about $1/chapter. I’ll get it from the library eventually and donate part of the cost to this site.

    I’ll quit rambling now. It’s almost time to go home for the day.

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