So here we are... the second week of the Final Four NCAA basketball tournament and all but one of the top seeds (Michigan State) is still vying for the 2012 title. KU got a mild scare as they were up against a fiesty North Carolina State team last night, but the Jayhawks managed a 3-point win in a low-scoring game. KU now faces the team I picked at the beginning of the tourney to win it all (North Carolina). Do I have any mixed emotions? Not at all! I still fault Roy Williams, NC coach, for leaving Lawrence to take the NC job when Dean Smith retired. I would definitely like to see the Jayhawks send the Tarheels back home. But I don't seriously think the Jayhawks will win.
Someone posted in a writers' forum that I scan on a daily basis this quote from Confucius:
"Find something that you love to do, do it for a living, and you'll never work a day in your life."
I would have to say that I would love to write full-time, relying on the royalties, etc. for all my financial needs. Dozens of people have uploaded e-books to the Amazon servers and are making lots of money selling those e-books. More than a few of those people have spent and continue to spend hundreds of dollars to promote their books, hire cover artists to create dazzling covers, etc. I suppose this old saying is true here: "You gotta spend money to make money." I don't think I have spent even $100 to get Betrovia and the short stories onto Amazon. But what if I invested $300 or so to hire out a professionally-created cover? Would that net even more sales?
Hugh Howey uploaded a short story to Amazon last summer: Wool
Just by word-of-mouth (and not because of some slick marketing campaign and definitely not because of a dazzling cover), that story -- and many others that he has since published -- continue to sell very well.
Hugh's fiction sells because it is good writing.