Saturday, February 23, 2013

We interrupt this Program...

Howdy, everyone! It's time to hear a little bit from the "Let's help Rob make a living from writing" side of things...

Have you ever wondered exactly how writers make a living from telling stories? Well, the sad fact is that most of us don't. It's difficult to make a living writing, and I know that every book I've sold so far is because I worked hard to sell it. I'm blessed in that my wife believes in me enough to pay the lions share of the bills while I work on taking care of the kids and writing, but it's not a perfect system. Like any small buisiness, there is a cycle of outlays and returns that adds up after a while. I write books, buy books to sell, travel to sell them, use money to write books, buy books and travel... etc.

In short, there hasn't been much of a profit margin. I really want to change that if for no other reason than to buy my wife a gift that she didn't actually pay for. Let me tell you a little bit about things that I'm currently involved with, and how you can help...


This is the zany sci-fi adventure serial team Zombie and the Brain did for the NOLA 48 hour film competition last year. We won all kinds of awards, and the first question everyone asked was "When are you making another one?" Well, the answer is "As soon as we have the money to." To that end, The folks at the ZBBC have started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a six episode run, which I will be co-writing. You can see the original short Here, but the more money they raise, the more likely it is that I'll eventually get paid for my efforts. Thus far it has been a labor of love, but oddly enough Starbucks doesn't accept 'love' to pay for my morning cup of coffee.

More importantly than helping me get my morning cup of joe, contributing to our Kickstarter will help us strike a blow for independant filmmakers everywhere. The more successful films to come out of Kickstarter, the more Hollywood might realize that you want to see fun, risky, original stories instead of "Indiana Jones 17: The hunt for Medicare Cards" or another re-boot of "angsty super hero number 4"

 If anything, you should watch the pitch video... I'm in it as comedy relief...

Contribute to the kickstarter campaign here


This is my series of novels, and the easiest way for you to directly contribute is to buy them at the links to the left of this page, or come out to one of my signings or convention appearances. I'll be happy to autograph one for you if you see me in person. Beyond that, the way that indie authors like myself become more popular is by word of mouth. If you liked my book, tell your friends, give it a review on Goodreads, or just comment about your favorite part of the book on Facebook. (I love it when that happens...) If you'd like to take a more active role, Damien Walter of the Guardian is currently looking for under-appreciated sci fi novels by indie authors like myself, and is taking suggestions from the internet in the comments of his article. Go there and suggest he read one of my books, and I'll give you a big hug the next time I see you. I promise it won't be awkward.


Photo of the incredible Cheri Cerio by Steven Dale
It's easy to forget that for a long time, being a fanboy wasn't cool. While I know that many people think that the mega-conventions like DragonCon, SDCC, and Wizard World are the face of fandom, the fact is that they have become such big media events that little guys like me can't afford to promote ourselves there. Local cons are much easier for the indy guys to use as promotion, but they are currently being squeezed hard by the big guys. This is where real fans gathered back in the dark days before TNG started bringing our fandom into the mainstream. Many are still going strong, but need your help to survive. There is a list on the left of cons I will be attending this year, but I encourage you to find one near you that isn't on the list. You won't regret it! The thing is, small cons are generally a lot more fun. You get some real facetime with your favorite authors and celebrities because the crowds are so much smaller, and that's always awesome. By showing your support for these smaller cons, you help them be able to pay guys like me to be guests, which helps us produce more of the entertainment you love, which gives you more of a reason to go to cons.

See? Cycles can work both ways!

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