Writing & Making Money as an Author

Last week I said I was back, it’s true I am, but not going too fast. I did work on a short story for Christmas and edited on my WIP, but didn’t write all that many words – but, it’s a start.

I am not sure if I will get back to writing every, or nearly every day of the week, maybe when winter comes, I will get a little more prolific. It is always rewarding to write a scene I like, but re-dos, do-overs, cuts, and adds, are tedious and can be downright dull hours on my laptop.  

It may be that I was enjoying writing more when I was not checking sales and looking at my writing income every day. What started as a hobby became more of a business, which is nice, but the business end takes time from, watching Baseball, playing golf, hiking, photography, gardening, and sitting around doing nothing – being retired.

I remember my first sale and the first check for more than $100. I keep a copy of that check

Of my twelve books, I have only two with sales over a thousand, but several more getting close. One of my books sits at less than 20 sold, guess they don’t all work out.

A few facts for new writers – or – how to not get rich quick.

The average traditionally published book sells 3,000 copies in its lifetime and only about 250-300 copies the first year.

To make the New York Times Best Seller list, a book needs to sell 9,000 copies, or more, the first week.

Most self-published eBooks sell less than 250 copies in their lifetime

Most self-published-only authors, make less than $1,000 per year, some much less than that.

What is Selling Now?

  •             1) Romance/Erotica
  •         2) Crime/Mystery
  •         3) Religious/Inspirational
  •         4) Science Fiction/Fantasy
  •         5) Horror

I write, westerns/historical fiction, kids chapter book adventures, humor, and historical non-fiction.  Humm, don’t see any of those on the list above. I do write mystery into my historical fiction, that should help.

My Point for the day –

Write because you love it, write for the pure joy of putting words to a story –  and don’t quit your day job, not yet anyway.

Want to see my work?      Find all my books, available in softcover, and eBook here – amazon.com/Neil-Waring/e/B00XV26KL

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Published in: on July 31, 2019 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My Writing Year

There Goes 2018 – Like so many people, as the year comes to an end, it is time to do a bit of looking back. This year seemed to be a slow down year for me. We didn’t travel as much, I took a few thousand fewer photographs, and I did not write as much as I have in the past.

Writing Year – I have written 250,000+ words each year since 2012 – this year about half of that. I posted on this site 43 times down from 59 last year. The other sites I post quite a lot on really took a dive. My Wyoming history blog went from 27 posts a year ago to seven this year. My Guernsey State Park blog went from 21 posts down to three. I did manage to publish a couple of books this year, although much of the writing on one was completed in 2017.

2019 Goals? – Looks like I could use some goals for the next year. Like most Americans, I would like to lose a few pounds and get in better shape. That being said, what about writing goals?

Writing Goals – I would like to get, at least, back to my quarter million words a year mark. I would also like to publish another book in my kid’s chapter books series and another of my Blade Holmes western mysteries. I also hope to finish at least one other novel and work on my nonfiction book and continue writing short stories. Wow – that’s a lot of writing, hope I can do it.

From the Old West When a cowboy’s too old to set a bad example, he hands out good advice.

Photo of the Week –

big horse

As always, you can find all of my books here on Amazon 

And

Follow me here on twitter at @wyohistoryguy 


Keep on Reading and keep on Writing

Have a wonderful New Year.

Western Short Stories – What A Ride

I cannot say how terrific it feels to see my book of Christmas short stories is still selling. Although the stories are set around Christmas, they are stories for any time of the year. The short tales are more of love, hope, relationships and most of all, the west.

The book did well before Christmas and is still going strong, selling a few copies, now, nearly every day. I often get notes on blog posts or by email about my books, and occasionally by mail. Recently I received a most heartwarming note about this book. It was so appreciated, as all of us that write hope that we are making a difference in our readers day, if nothing else, but to bring a bit more pleasure and happiness into someone’s life.

Take a look here, you can read the entire first story for free. Now that’s a good deal.

Interested in westerns? Read my western writing blog posts here – http://confessionsofawriterofwesterns.blogspot.com

Reading Through the Boring Stuff

I often pick up a book I think will be a great read then find it gets off to a slow start. At times I will keep reading with hopes the story will get better.  Sometimes I will put the book away for another day and never pick it up again. I have liked several of Elmore Leonard’s books over the years and have always been a fan of his 10 Rules for good Writing, especially his last one – “Leave out the parts readers tend to skip.”

As you may have guessed by now, I started an Elmore Leonard book and found most of the first chapter boring, went to the second, and then skipped ahead to see when a good Elmore Leonard story would break out. One last thought on this, what is boring and what is not, is up to the reader, other readers may find fascinating what I find boring. The old, “In the eye of the beholder,” thing.

Although Jack Kerouac is considered a genius by some writers and readers, others find him a bit too mystical to understand, count me as one of the latter. I do find much of what he wrote entertaining, just a little hard to understand such as – “It ain’t watcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.” I get it but am not sure it deserves an A+ for great use of the English language.

When I read the above, I may have said, “hummmm,” then scratched my head.

Meanwhile keep on reading and keep on writing.

Been Away Too Long

It has been three years since I have used this blog. Way too long, but I am back. Where was I?

Writing, I guess. I have published six books since I last posted. You can find them all here. I will not be away that long again, maybe a few days.

The End of the Old West

As I was writing an introduction to a book that I am working on several thoughts crossed my mind. The book, about Fort Laramie and the American West, has been a much more than interesting research project. Fort Laramie may be more a symbol of the old west and last frontier than anything else.

Fort Laramie 1849-1890

Throughout most of its active years, Fort Laramie was the most important fort of the West. The fort protected an area that was mostly unsettled when it was established as a military fort in 1849. One could argue that the 41 years the fort was active, were the defining years of what many called the old west. Yes, there were people, quite a few, in fact, Native Indian Tribes who would soon be displaced, and a few hunters, trappers, and wanderers, and with Fort Laramie, Soldiers.

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Here I am at Fort Laramie Trapper and Trader Days Last Summer

 

 End of the Frontier

During the active years of the fort the country rapidly expanded. The Gold Rush, Transcontinental Railroad, Telegraph, Pony Express, Civil War, and economic woes in the east all lead to the end of the old west. By the time 1890 rolled around, Benjamin Harrison was president and the United States Census Bureau announced the end of the frontier. In 1893, Fredrick Jackson Turner wrote an article for the Chicago World’s Fair, stating that there was no longer a line of Frontier in America. With the closing of Fort Laramie in 1890 also came the disgraceful Massacre at Wounded Knee and statehood for Wyoming. When Owen Wister published the first Western in 1902, The Virginian, the old west was gone.

Wild West

What about the Wild West? If it ever was, which it was not, it was a part of the old west. The Wild West was a creation by pulp writers turning out dozens of dime novel westerns and a few years later, Hollywood expanded the myth.

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My part of the Wild West – 30 Miles from home last March

 

Fort Laramie was the first sign, or last sign, of civilization to an American people who farmed the land or lived in cities on the east and west coasts and in the south. It was also a sign of things to come, and 41 years after it opened, the buildings were sold off for salvage.

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4th of July at Fort Laramie

 

The Time’s They Are Changing

At my age, we just returned from our weekend 50-year high school reunion, I am not always in favor of the changes I see taking place. It was no different with the ending of the frontier, some saw it as a good sign, others hated the Idea of everything settled. Such is life, change and time march on.

best shot

Thanks for reading it’s great to be back.