For the last seven months, I’ve been splashing around the shallow end of self-publishing. My writing hasn’t made much money, but I haven’t put any real money into it, so it’s kind of a wash. I’ve spent a lot of time on writing-related tasks, but I am retired and stuck at home due to the pandemic, so my time is cheap.
Recently, I decided to take a small step forward — I upgraded my WordPress account from the free one to a paid account. For all you long-time bloggers and authors out there, it probably seems like a pretty small step. For me, however, it was significant. For the first time, I was saying: let’s see if John and I can really make this Indy author thing work. Can we turn it into more than just a way to show off our writing to our family and friends? (And yes, friends and family, I very much appreciate the fact that you bought our book! I love you all!)
When you upgrade to a paid WordPress account, you get to choose your own domain name. I was ready to call us the RuffWriters, because I am a Teddy Roosevelt fan, but John, quite sensibly, talked me out of it. For one thing, our last name is pronounced like “roof” not “rough” so the pun doesn’t work. Secondly, a Google search on the word RuffWriters reveals that there are many variations on that name already in use; the idea clearly did not originate with me.
So we went with the more sensible domain name: susanandjohnruff.com. In celebration of our brand new name, I revamped our website a bit and added a few photos, just for fun.
In addition to upgrading the WordPress account and choosing a domain name, I also started taking on-line courses related to self-publishing. One of the first things I learned involves the skills necessary to be a successful Indy author. In addition to the obvious requirements (such as writing skill and a desire to tell a story), successful Indy authors in the science-fiction/fantasy genres seem to share two qualities in their work — quantity and rapidity. They do not just rely on one or two novels, but instead publish many books, often in a series involving the same characters. In addition, they produce those books very fast, sometimes taking only months to write them instead of years.
Hmmm. So, let me see. How do John and I rate under those standards? We published one fantasy novel (60th Hour), it took us twenty years to write it, and it has no sequel potential. Perhaps that is not the best track record for a pair of aspiring Indy authors.
So I set myself a writing task — to see if John and I can produce a fantasy novel in six months or less. Those of you who follow this blog will remember that on October 9, I mentioned that I started a new writing project to help me overcome the pandemic malaise. I am still hard at work on it and should have completed about 33,000 words by the end of today. The goal is to have the novel run about 70,000 to 80,000 words total. The working title of the book is Prophecy’s Malignant Son. Here is the teaser:
What happens when a prophecy goes wrong . . . horribly wrong?