Part 1 – Methodology and Metrics
“When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science.” – Lord Kelvin
This set of blog posts represents the end of my discussion for Indie Pubbing, why I did it, and how I proceeded. This has been very much a “learn as you go” effort. I have run other businesses, and in the process of doing that, I have learned that you need information about how the business is running to make day-to-day decisions. The quality of these decisions in turn determine how well our business works, and how much money we can take out of it.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but sometimes this gets to be a tough proposition, this writing business. It takes hours and hours, sometimes I feel like I want to give up, sometimes the negative comments get to me. Having a Celtic heritage doesn’t help either, unless I go break into the single-malt. I finally got a break – I’m at a holding point for a few days with The Gambler, and I had one of those rare times for introspection. I’m in this because I love doing it. I have to remind myself of that. The Pianist was ten months of every spare moment, much of the time still working on my craft. The Gambler, thus far, six months, finally feel like I’m getting closer. I’ve made money, I’m proud of that, but a lot less than my day job, Someday, my name in lights…
What I write is controversial, I recognize that. People have a right to their opinions and, other than the one review that was pure attack, the rest of the negative comments have been thought-provoking. Still, I needed something to balance them. I did something that got me back to a more centered feeling, ready to go out and kick ass and take names. I went through all my reviews and took the shining stars, the comments that really cheered me up, out of all of them. Then I put them in one place and read them, and re-read them, until it finally dawned on me. Hey, somebody out there loves what I do. It worked for me, try it, it might for you…
One of the really fun things we used to do was cruise around the desert, looking for ghost towns. You’d be amazed at what remains, often not the things you’s think would stand the test of time. We found an old, out of print book published in the forties that was excellent, giving detailed directions and little known facts about mines and small towns from the gold and silver rush era. This complemented the Sunset Magazine set of books on the subject, which tended to concentrate on the better known places.
Last Friday was my birthday, and Soulmate took me to a very nice casino in Carson Valley, a little town over the mountains in Nevada. We took the day off from the usual stuff we do around the ranch and instead gambled and gamboled and generally had a good time. But what I wanted to show you was the lovely ride we had. Instead of taking freeways to get where we wanted, we drove down a little back road that skirts Lake Tahoe, then drops down the back side of the Sierras into Nevada.
I’m very lucky, because I get the best of both worlds. We have a little place in LA where I get to spend time with my writing friends, and I imagine it’s pretty much the way most of you live, in town. But I also live in the Sierras. We have a small ranch, and that’s where home really is. How different it is.
I’m proud to announce that I got my first ever review, and I was really pleased that the reviewer awarded the book 4 stars. The full review is here