The writer William Zinnser passed away recently. I am not familiar with his work, but I really liked this post of useful advice and quotations, especially this one:
This question popped up on Facebook a few months ago: “I have an ailing college literary journal on my hands–focused on print. does anyone have tips?”
This is (essentially) what I wrote on Facebook:
Hey, I realized recently that no one knows how much another author sells. We kinda just guess and imagine that everyone is killing it. But in reality, it’s a lot harder than it looks.
For instance, last year when the Boost House compilation The Yolo Pages broke, I wanted to know how many copies they sold. No one knew. They went into a second printing, someone said. But still, I was curious.
The same with Mira Gonzalez’s poetry book from Sorry House. It was in bookstores. Mira was getting interviews and reviews. How much did they sell 1,000? Or 10,000? I should probably have emailed the publisher and asked. But I didn’t. (Fine, someone email me and tell me).
In that spirit, I thought it would be helpful if I talked about the metrics of my latest ebook, WOODBINE.
People set writing goals every year.
And I also do something called My One Word. (I’ll tell you more about that at the end.)
Everyone says you need a measurable goal, and most of the time that means “finish my novel” or “write 1500 words a day.” Usually, they crash and burn (good for you if that’s not you).
Anyway, that’s why I prefer a writing focus. And mine for this year is hard to measure. But if I do it right, it’ll have immediate and long-term dividends.
What is my writing focus for 2015?
This past week I was doing my Internet thing, clicking from this to that and saw this phrase: “a notebook that syncs to the cloud”.
Just that premise made me click through.