Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Not Much New on the Writing Front

Over the weekend I received feedback from some of my readers for Rotter World, so I've gone back and have been reviewing the first quarter of the book for a second time.  I hate doing the same work twice, but the final product is much better as a result.  Hope you all agree that it's worth the wait.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Guest Blog on Dawn's Reading Nook

Dawn's Reading Nook posted my blog on how to write your first novel.  Please check it out here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Four Stages of Your Writing Career

There’s an old joke that states an author has four stages in his or her career.

There’s the first stage when a reader walks into a bookstore, lifts your book off of the shelf and ask, “Who the hell is Scott M. Baker?”

There’s the second stage when a reader walks into the bookstore and asks the sales clerk, “Do you have the latest book by Scott M. Baker?”

There’s the third stage when a reader walks into the bookstore and asks the sales clerk, “Do you have any books by authors who write like Scott M. Baker used to?”

And finally the fourth stage when a reader walks into a bookstore, lifts your book off of the shelf and asks, “Who the hell is Scott M. Baker?”

For anyone who has been published, there’s too little humor and too much reality in that joke.

Every author has to endure that first stage. Even Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were unknown entities at one time, at least until readers became aware at how incredibly adept they were at story telling. Now they’re household names. If only the rest of us were that lucky.

The sad truth, however, is that most authors will never make it beyond the first stage. If they’re really fortunate. If they’re good at telling a story, or developing great characters, or writing catchy dialogue. If they’re lucky enough to find a publisher who will distribute their books nationally. If the day their book comes out they’re not competing with an instant best seller such as a kiss-and-tell book from one of Tiger Wood’s mistresses, or the latest Dan Brown tome, or a diet plan on how to lose weight by eating red velvet cheese cake, or the biography of a pet the cover if which is adorned with an incredibly cute ball of fur. And if, over time, they are fortunate enough to develop a small, loyal cabal of readers who will follow them regularly and read everything they write, then an author might pull in enough money annually to make ends meet (as long as they have an understanding spouse with a really good day job).

Depressed yet?

If you said no, then you truly are a writer. Not necessarily a good writer. Or a prolific writer. Or a rich and famous writer. But a writer nonetheless. Someone consumed by the hunger of putting words to paper. Someone who can listen to a quirky story on the news or spot a unique looking individual on the street, and within an hour have the plot of a story or novel mentally outlined. Someone who brings their laptop on vacation because you can’t relax and enjoy yourself if you haven’t written something that day. For us, the writing is the passion, and seeing a complete story or novel in print is reward enough (though none of us will shut the door on fame and fortune if it comes knocking).

For those of you following my blog, you know that next week I enter that dreaded first stage of the writer’s career. On Friday I’ll celebrate the publication of my first novel. On Saturday morning, as well as nursing along a hangover, I’ll also come to grips with the reality that writing the first novel and getting it published were the easy part. There will be plenty of work in the months ahead to market myself and attract readers, with the goal of reaching stage two. It’s going to be a long road, with no guarantees that I’ll reach my goal.

But I’m excited by the journey.

I’m sure I’ll be able to kick out few blog postings along the way.

[This blog was originally posted on Dawn's Reading Nook (link) on 12 March 2010.]

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Book of Horror To Be Released in April 2010

Here's the cover for Living Dead Press' newest anthology.  My short story "Denizens" (about creatures living in the sewers of Washington D.C.) will be among the included works.  I'll post more information when the anthology is published.

Guest Blog on Patricia's Vampire Notes

Patricia's Vampire Notes posted my blog on vampires vs. vampire hunters. Please check it out here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Bunnies

Thank goodness spring is finally here.  Now we can lie around all day in the warm sun.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Busy Weekend

I made it back from Boston today after spending a week taking care of family business.  Nothing beats New England in the spring.

This afternnon I started the final revision of the zombie novel, tentatively titled Rotter World, and finished the first four chapters.

Also, please check out my posting titled "The Joy of Books" on Dawn's Reading Nook.  You can read it out here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Note About the E-Version of The Vampire Hunters

Some people have reported technical problems downloading The Vampire Hunters. I'm in contact with the publisher to correct the errror. Please be patient.

The Vampire Hunters Is Published!!!

Shadowfire Press published The Vampire Hunters this morning.  You can purchase a digital copy of the book here.

You can read the first chapter from the book here.

Thanks for your support.  Let me know what you think of it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all.  May you all enjoy a pint for the holiday.

(Disclaimer:  Before someone sicks the ASPCA after me, there was no guinness in the mug, only raisins.  Of course, knowing Ruby, if there was guinness in it, she probably would have drank it.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Interview With Authors By Authors

Kiki Howell's Authors By Authors blog ran an interview with me today.  Please check it out at here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Four Stages of Your Writing Career

Please check out my blog posting on Dawn's Reading Nook describing the four stages of an author's writing career. You can connect to it here.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Latest News

Last night I signed a contract with Living Dead Press to have my short story "Denizens" (creatures that live in Washington's sewers) published in THE BOOK OF HORROR anthology.  I'll post more details once they become available.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Of Puppies and Publishing

For those of you following my blog or social networks, you know that in less than a month The Vampire Hunters will be published. It’s an exciting time. Reading the proofs and seeing how my book will look when published. Working with the publisher on drafting the cover art for the book, and anxiously waiting to see the final result. Enjoying the sense of anticipation of having a dream come true.

Coming to the grips with the harsh reality that getting published was the easy part.

The entire experience reminds me of when my school friend wanted nothing more than a puppy for his birthday. He begged and pleaded, promised and cajoled, and hoped against hope. And on his birthday, he finally received his four-legged friend with those big brown eyes looking up longingly at him. He had finally obtained what he dreamed of for so long.

That’s when he realized there’s a lot of responsibility that goes along with that puppy. The puppy whined all night. It needed to be walked. It needed to be trained. In order to ensure that puppy grew up to be a strong, healthy dog and to live a long time, he needed to provide him with constant care and attention.

The same can be said about your writing career.

When you receive a copy of your first book in the mail, you feel as if your dream has come true. All those seemingly endless hours spent in front of the keyboard, all those nights and weekends spent away from family and friends, seemed to have finally paid off. Slowly that initial euphoria wears off and you realize that a lot of care and feeding is required if you want that first book to grow into a full-fledged writing career.

The day I signed my first contract with Shadowfire Press was one of the most exciting of my life. After the euphoria subsided, however, I realized I had a lot of work to do if I wanted to make that book a success. The first thing I did was start searching the Internet for a domain name so I could set up my website, which was a scary process for someone as computer illiterate as myself. And who knew there were so many Scott M. Bakers out there who had already scoffed the best domain names. Then I created a blog. Feeling very confident in my abilities by this time, I opted to establish a presence on the social networking sites. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw just how many SNSs there were. So I opted for the basics – Facebook, My Space, and Twitter. All I can say is, thank God for Ping.

That still wasn’t enough. I had to make people want to come looking for me. So I go involved in a couple of forums, though due to limited time constraints the only one I frequent any more is the Horror Mall Forum, and even then I’m not on anywhere near as much as I would like. The same holds true for guest blogging. I’ve had offers to write for some other blogs, but have reluctantly turned down those invitations because of time constraints. It’s a shame I can’t get more involved, but as of now I’ve spent nearly as much time marketing myself and The Vampire Hunters as I did writing the book.

Right now I’m setting up newspapers and other vampire-related websites to review and/or publicize my book after it’s published.

So for those authors out there aspiring to get their books published or just beginning the process, the road ahead is long and hard. But if you love what you do and writing is in your blood, this is actually a labor of love. Just like raising a pet.

And yes, the puppy lived a long and happy life. I hope ten years from now I can say the same thing about my writing career.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to feed my Twitter.
[Originally published on Dawn's Reading Nook on 21 February 2010.]

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

I'm still young enough to do the things I shouldn't and old enough to know better. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Follow the Money

On 28 February, The New York Times published an interesting article on the costs/profits of e-publishing titled "Math of Publishing Meets the E-Book."  It's a must-read for anyone in the publishing industry.  You can find the article here.