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Interesting article on writing production.



What an adorable man. I like the article. A lot. Even though I have my complaints about Amazon (Select, here's looking at you), they've completely opened up a doorway for people to achieve their dreams. I tried to get traditionally published for some time and eventually gave up because I couldn't handle the rejections anymore.

Self-publishing is easy and anyone with basic computer sense can do it. There's a ton of information out there on how to do it right, too. It doesn't cost a lot of money, but it can if you have the funds to spare. I've learned to make my own covers and have played with several different programs for that. I've taught myself how to self-edit and own a couple of books on learning this skill. Google docs is amazing and I can upload my book files to Amazon straight from the program. D2D will take me wide to the other stores once I'm out of unlimited. There's a ton of podcasts out there on information from many helpful Indies. Basically, the internet can provide an author with everything he/she needs in order to learn this business.

Writing a book, publishing it, and knowing how to market it are three different skills Indies learn. It's possible to succeed at this and have a lengthy career writing books. I know several authors making a living at it and many more making good income on top of working jobs. Traditional publishers exist for writers who prefer that route which is also respectable. But if you desire higher royalties and your own business, Indie is really the best way to go.

What I still need to do is pay for my hosting domain now that I've decided I love weebly. Aside of that, self pubbing is fun albeit hard work. I spend a lot of time making covers, writing blurbs, learning from other authors on marketing, what works/doesn't, etc. But it's all worth it and in 3-5 years, I hope to have a thriving small business. My little publishing company has a name and it's a legit business and I treat it as such by getting up early to write, etc. I'm not selling much yet but I have another book coming out in early May and let me tell you, I'm living my dream. My publishing schedule is set for the year and barring any accidents, I'll have a back list going by year's end. My goal is to publish 4 books this year. It's awesome. Really, really awesome.
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It's an interesting business-side take on making money writing. It fit's into his dream, but it sure doesn't fit into mine. Makes sense from the perspective of a lawyer writing law stories. Takes a particular personality to do what he does, that's for sure.


There are a lot of things to like about his business model which I think are worth emulating. Some things I think would be very difficult to duplicate.

Firstly, he gets out about 1000 words an hour or a little less when writing. That is some very good production.

I like the fact that he hires someone else to do all that social media stuff. I very much like how he uses his core group of fans to get up a large number of positive reviews very quickly after he releases the book.

His production time after draft seems fast to me. The time it takes for the editor to do the work and the revisions to get done seems quite short. I have not read any of his work so I can't comment on how well it turns out.

Nine books a year is crazy productivity. Most of the quality working authors I know say a book a year is plenty, not because of the traditional publishing schedule, but because it takes them a year or more to do a good book. Some authors complain about contracts that force them to do two books a year. His books are a little shorter though, and from what he says his research level seems light.

I read a lot of thrillers but have never heard of the guy.

I love the free royalty estimator on his site:

Royalty Estimator | John Ellsworth | Official Author Website

His bragging is a tad annoying, but that is just a style question.

I like his story on how many of his novels and stories were rejected and how he wrote novels for thirty years before he made much if any money on it.

I think I might join his mailing list to get a free book and see what I think.
Putting out that many books a year lends itself to formulaic writing. Maybe he's different. My parents seem to devour those types of books, several per month, so I imagine there's a decent market.
Yeah it's a matter of market and style, just check the amazon free pages. The Keys are: It's first-person legal, something a retired lawyer can just pump out in their sleep if obsessive and disciplined. The basic writing doesn't seem bad, and if pumping out that many words two things will happen: you will get very good at pumping out basic prose and you will get moments of good writing. With a very specific target audience who likely skims/devours this sort of thing like I did fantasy as a youngster, he's got a good thing going, but he is a yapper and a marketing dude, I'd take nothing at face value.

His marketing methods are nice.

Really he reminds me of a Western writer I heard of pre-computer era, who'd just drive out to an old ghost town for inspiration, tape record his novel, and hand it off to his secretary and editor from there. Good way to pump out novels fast, and please the target audience to no end. This also would take a different skill set than I have, I can not speak my writing, the act of typing clarifies my words, my brain to tongue connection would just end up babbling even more than my brain to fingers.


Fiery Keeper of the Hat
This is a good example of niche marketing done well.

I wonder if anyone comes close to doing this in the fantasy genre. I think it would be hard to find a formula in fantasy that's as easy to write and as effective with an audience.
I'm sure it could be done, at least to a degree, production level might have to take a hit in order to be more creative. From the little I glanced his text appears dialogue heavy (easy to rip out) and a lot of description was procedural, technical, legal, painting a picture of the case. And again, dialogue. 1st person present, another indicator of how he wraps a reader into the book/series and takes them for a ride.

My quick assessment is the guy is a straight-forward no BS writer, pulling something of a classic PI spiel (not quite the dame walked into my office... but in a modern lawyer vein of that). No BS you'd expect from someone pumping out this many stories successfully. it also doesn't hurt that as a lawyer story, you'd expect the words to be formal. It's the sort of stuff to sit down with beside the pool and rip through, nothing wrong nor great about it.

The formula for fantasy, pure opinion here, might be best to follow something like an NCIS season, episodic structure with a single tie-in. Has it actually been done? I sure don't know.

With world-builder's disease having constructed a world, and if the writer is then able to control that affliction when writing, a person could even go so far as to develop a few "voices" for multiple POV... but maybe best to stick with a single voice for the series. In two years a dedicated person could pump out a 14-16 volume fantasy novel set in a couple years. The level of sucking would be the question, LOL.

More fascinating, albeit extremely difficult to manage and maintain, would be a collaboration system, books written in the same world by different authors, Thieve's World on steroids, so to speak. Pumping out pulp.

This is a good example of niche marketing done well.

I wonder if anyone comes close to doing this in the fantasy genre. I think it would be hard to find a formula in fantasy that's as easy to write and as effective with an audience.