Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Journal

The Freelance Leap: Wiped

n just under three months time, I’ll be taking a year away from dayjobbery and seeing how close I can get to generating a full time freelance writing career. For the next couple of months I’ve the luxury of preparation time, trying to figure out how to make it work and putting some things in place that will pay off down the line (maybe). Then, at the end of September, I’ll take the leap, put all of this into practice, and see if I’m right about any of it. You can browse previous entries here.

Craven Flats

I am weirdly wiped, the result of a week of sleepless nights and no chance to catch up.

Your weekly Freelance Leap reflects this. Nothing going on in my head. Nothing practical happening at all. Craven Place is released and in the wild, and I feel a bit emptied.

Which is more or less fine, as long as it plans to end imminently. There’s actually nothing I need to do now except let some of the people who downloaded the book read it, and tell other people about it. At the moment I don’t really mind what they say – good, bad, or indifferent is all the same to me. That’s slowly started happening. The first two reader reviews are up on Amazon (one in the US, one in the UK), and cover two parts of that spectrum. It’s only a matter of time before the final box, a bad review, is also ticked. Individually, there’s not much I can take from these reviews. Each is just a single opinion right now. I’ll worry about cumulative opinion when it… erm… accumulates. That’s when I’ll have a better sense of whether Craven Place is perceived as a good book or a bad book.

Why pay any heed to the reviews at all? A lot of writers don’t seem to (so they profess). In this case, it’s a result of self-publishing. I’ve cut out the publishing house and gone straight to the readers. I think it would therefore be profoundly arrogant not to try and get a sense of what people liked and didn’t like about the book. No individual reader can tell me much on their own, but when enough people say the same thing the same way then it’s feedback worth noting.

This weekend I’m going to stay away from Craven Place, and sit down with what I have planned for the next twelve months or so and see if it all makes sense. I’m hoping just sitting and planning things out will be enough to jar me out of the strange exhaustion that’s settled over me. Publishing a book becomes so all consuming, for me, that I lose track of everything else that’s happening.

Time to refocus a bit.

This week:

  • Craven Place was launched for the Kindle and in paperback. Do pay attention…
  • We managed to give away 688 copies, all over the world. I say ‘we’, but it was mostly you (I didn’t buy or request any of the usual external promotion slots). Thank you.
  • A contract for a short story turned up (yet to be announced). The story was in a book long, long ago, and will be new for most of you. It’s one of few stories I wrote when I was starting out that I still have some fondness for, and early wander into territories I’m very comfortable in these days. I’m delighted the publisher agreed. There hasn’t been a formal announcement yet (I’m still not sure who else is in the book), but as it is due to be released before the end of the year it shouldn’t be too long.

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