Friday, July 28, 2006

Today's Mail

Today's mail brought a contract for an essay to be published in True Confessions. This is my 49th acceptance of the year; three more acceptances and I'll reach my annual goal of 52.

Writing Confessions

In addition to writing crime fiction, I write confessions. I recently found two blog mentions of my work--one where I'm named, the other where I'm not--by a new reader of confessions and by a former confession editor.

First, the new reader:
(Read the March 30, 2005 post.)

Second, the former editor:
(That's my story--"New Year-New Marriage"--mentioned in the 6th paragraph.)

Guerilla Marketing

Back in 2000/2001, when seven of my books were released within a two-year period, I prepared a lot of promotional/marketing material. Too much, actually, but at the time I managed a prepress company and, though connections, had access to deeply discounted printing. I made folders and posters and postcards and bookmarks. I also created a series of business card-sized promotional pieces for each of five of the books.

Alas, much of that stuff remains in my office.

My mailbox is filled nearly every day with junk mail I neither request nor desire. Much of it contains postage paid returned envelopes. Until recently, I just threw the junk mail away.

About a month ago, I started doing something different. Before discarding the junk mail, I remove the postage paid envelopes. Once each week, I stuff two business card-sized promotional pieces into each envelope and drop the envelopes in the mail.

There is an infinitesimally small chance that someone on the receiving end will do anything more than throw the cards away. On the other hand:

a) I slowly reduce the pile of otherwise unusable promotional material in my office without the heartbreak of actually throwing it away.

b) I produce a small, but steady, flow of business for the USPS, an organization that has faithfully delivered my manuscripts to editors in good times and bad.

c) I make companies that waste my time with junk mail spend a few fractions of a cent, thereby "sticking it to the man" in my own subtle way.

d) I just might sell a book, and that would be one sale I never would have had otherwise.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pseudonym success

It's no secret that I write under a variety of pseudonyms, even though the exact pseudonyms aren't freely shared, but I've been faced with a bit of a personal challenge lately. One of my pseudonyms has had a streak of good fortune this year, placing 15 short stories and receiving an Honorable mention in a writing contest.

And I can't/won't tell anyone (other than the editors who bought the stories so they can write the checks to me!) what name I've having success under.

Web site in flux

I haven't had much time lately to do some of the things I need to do as a freelancer, but I have been reworking my Web site -- -- in an effort to make it easier to navigate, easier to read, and more focused on telling the "story" of what I can do for potential clients rather than the odd mishmash of personal and business information I had on my "old" site.

My work is far from complete, but I'm able to take some time every few days to add information, tweak links, and do other things. At this pace, I may have it lokking and functioning the way I want in a month or so (until then, every new page has a link to the old site).

Friday, July 21, 2006

Settling Back In

After a crush of non-writing freelance work that kept me busy beginning around Easter, I finally returned to the keyboard.

I finished a new short story last week and two new essays this week. I also revised two essays and sent them to editors, and dropped a recently rejected short story back in the mail. Additionally, I've written maybe a dozen more pages of fiction, though they've been spread among a handful of stories.

I've received four acceptances within the past 48 hours--three short stories and one essay--and expect another acceptance any minute now for an essay I wrote on assignment. So, even though my production dropped for a couple of months, my sales continue.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Career Turns

My freelancing career took a hard left turn about a month ago, and I found myself creating Web sites for two clients. Between that work and the weekly newsletter I now edit, I've had less time to write fiction. Still, work keeps selling and getting published. Recent publications inlude:

“Making that Time with Your Man Special,” Jive, September, 2006

“Young Love,” Jive, September, 2006

And a few stories under a pseudonym.