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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Future of M.A.M.S.

While I’m not convinced that my longevity as a blogger is a given, I do understand that if I don’t put out content, people won’t read. Even if it’s crap, it’s out there and someone will eventually stumble over it like a tricycle in the yard. However, the demands of my real job are going to cut into my ability to keep up with this. Why? Because, I spend more time on the road and have less time in the evening to write. I have to balance this with other stuff like shirt designs and family. So, it’s safe to say that I may not make my long standing quota of three posts a week. Believe me, if I could do this for a living, full time, I would.

In fact that segues right into my point, the future. Call it “Writing as a white space.” For those of you not familiar with the term, it means that exploring a part of the business that I have not yet capitalized on, yet. I started out blogging. I moved onto shirt design. I moved into social media. I blogged more about how all of those concepts work together. I made money on the shirt side, but not the other stuff. Granted, some of the shirt money might have come from those other input channels but most of my sales are because someone went searching blindly on a shirt site or search engine and landed on my designs and clicked “ADD TO CART”.

So, why not use the shirt business to sell some books? Now, I’m talking about selling other people’s books. I’m talking about writing my own. It’s something I’ve been kicking around for awhile now and I better jump on it soon. Why?

Self publishing is right up my alley because I’m a cheap ass, lazy entrepreneur. As a kid, I had this dream of being a writer. When I was 12, I wrote my first story. When I was thirteen, I wrote my second one. When I was fourteen, I wrote my third one. When I was fifteen, I quit writing.


In those three years, I wrote the stories but did nothing else with them. I had delusions of actually being a paid writer and didn’t think about getting a publisher or what it costs to print and sell a book or the actual need for my work in the market. When I realized that, it was either never going to happen or take a while to happen, I switched game plans. In either case, it was not profitable. But, I held onto the works just in case. Hell, those stories are probably sitting on a 5 ¼ “ floppy disk somewhere in my parents’ house.

20 years ago, I could never conceive of actually becoming a published author, but, in today’s world, a writer can simply write, upload and sell their work for Kindles and Nooks and bypass publishers all together. Some have actually sold a million copies of their books, strictly through ebook sales. So, I am going to try an experiment. I am going to write a book on exactly what I’ve done in the last few years from the business side. I will then attempt to sell it on Amazon or through my site (Those details are sketchy). If I can make a case to myself that it is worth me putting forth the time to write something with the expectation of being paid for it, then I will revisit the idea of creative fiction. Believe me, I still have stories floating around in my head that my nearest and dearest friend/editor has told me to get written.

The caveat is that I have to see a significant interest in this venture before I take the time to attempt a 300 page novel. I just don’t have that kind of free time. Not to mention, I have a few friends with degrees in English and teaching that would probably want to see me DIAF if I actually wrote something and tried to sell it for profit.

The reason I am trying to fast track this experiment is that the new fad smell of self publishing and Kindles are probably going to wear off, soon. Stephen King had once said (paraphrased) that “Ebooks would account for probably 50% of all book sales by 2013. Maybe 2012.” However, he also says that people get tired of the new toys.

By that note, I have an ever shrinking window of opportunity to establish myself before the fad of ebooks or self publishing becomes the MySpace or worse, Friendster of writing avenues.

I still plan to blog as much as possible because I have a great source of material, my kid. Still, the point of MAMS was to rant and rave over the decline of entertainment via the distorted view of a pop culture observer. Those posts take a lot more time to prepare and vet and I have neither the time nor the ambition to do actual research.

I do hope those 4.5 readers I still may have will keep on reading but don’t be surprised if you wake up on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday and don’t see anything new… or worth reading for that matter.

1 comment:

Manz said...

It certainly is the perfect time to self publish. I wish you all the best Mike!! Now go and hunt down that floppy disk - I'd love to read those stories you wrote as a teen. But then again, how do you even get the info off of those now?

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