Monday, May 1, 2017

Modern day pulp fiction

THIS JUST IN! NO WAY UP IS ON SALE FOR $2.99 EBOOK! GO GRAB A COPY IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT, THAT'S BOOK ONE IN THE CIMARRON LEGACY SERIES

Through the 1930s and 40s, a man named Lester Dent wrote 159 novels, most of them Doc Savage novels. Comic book writer Stan Lee credits Doc Savage as part of his inspiration for writing superheroes.

Frederick Faust wrote under ten pseudonyms, including Max Brand, famous for his westerns. Faust also created the character Dr. Kildare. No total number is available but he is credited with writing over 500 novels between 1910, at age 18 years, until 1944 when he died working as a war correspondent in World War II.

That’s 500 novels in 30 years. That’s 16 novels a year.

Raymond Chandler, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London and Tennessee Williams all wrote pulp fiction at one time.


It was called pulp fiction


These books were printed mostly in magazines made with the cheap, wood pulp paper.

But out of these cheaply printed pages came works of genius. And not all of them went on to wealth and fame, many (and there were many) just made a living writing story after story, always with a deadline, always with a magazine editor hovering.

And then those magazines went away. Those job opportunities dried up. Lester Dent earned first $500 then up to $750 a month for his Doc Savage novels. This was in the 1920s. That’d be a very delightful amount to make NOW!


But of course there is no more pulp fiction…………or is there?



What else would you call an indy published ebook?

Modern Day Pulp Fiction.



You can write as fast as you can. You can release books as fast as you can write them. And you can make money (if it goes well) in a steady stream.

Dean Wesley Smith has written over one hundred novels.

H.M Ward releases a novel every few weeks.

This sounds like an amazing outpouring of prolificness, right?

But if I write 1000 words a day, couldn’t I release a novella every 20 days? Would a new novella a month even be hard? Especially if you got a recurring character like Doc Savage or, in the case of Edgar Rice Burroughs, a pulp fiction writer, Tarzan and John Carter of Mars.


Just start telling stories and posting them as ebooks. Constant new content.

Has anyone done this? We’ve had people who hang around Seekerville do this right? Can anyone sustain it?

I want everyone who reads this to think about it. Today, consider if you’d like to try this. I’ve got contracts and they keep me hustling so I can't. But this is so interesting, so tempting.

What a fun idea.

Me and Tarzan. Me and Dr. Kildare. Me and Roy Rogers or no wait... Me and Coy Codgers. I can make him old…and cranky—Codgers and his wife Gale. Coy Codgers and  Dale Blevins…and their … well, anyway, I’m not going to write that here and now…..someone might be tempted to steal Coy from me!!!

Someone said to me this weekend that all the modern Amazon ordering we do, it’s honestly just a throwback. Montgomery Wards used to be strictly mail order right? It was slower but it was how you got nearly everything that wasn’t in the small local stores. The huge department stores, like Wards and Penneys, are a product of the modern times. Don’t think of Amazon as new, think of it as old.

And now pulp fiction is back.

Cary Monnealy
Does anyone want to give it a try? I think the real secret isn’t FAST, it’s constantly coming up with something NEW. Ruthy has talked about that before. Get a few books ready and release them one after the other. Then keep it up.
Who would your hero be? Tarzan? Can you come up with a superhero? An adventurous Doc Savage? A man who travels in outer space? Let your imagination go wild and tell me about your recurring Queen of the Werewolves heroine and her ongoing effort to make the world safe for 'nice' werewolves.

Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for Long Time Gone, by Cary Monnealy....oh wait, no...who is that Cary person?

The drawing is still on though.


157 comments :

  1. A novella every 20 days...wow!! That's a quick turn-around, and while I do know indie authors who have released them one right after, I think it would be a lot of pressure for a writer. Just my opinion as a reader anyway! I mean, I read fast, but the most books I've ever read in a month is 10. I'd have books flying by my eyes so fast, I wouldn't know what I just read...lol! I think it may be the same for an author, can you say burnout?

    But maybe our Seekers here are made of sterner stuff :-) I can't wait to read tomorrows comments!

    Cary....er, Mary...no need to toss my name in the hat as I already have a copy of Long Time Gone.

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    1. Trixi, I wonder how the people that write that fast to get readers to keep up.
      I'd think you'd stumble for a month or two and you'd be so far behind you'd just never get it back.
      But a character like Tarzan, well, no matter if you read them in order right?

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    2. For sure, I agree with that! Or perhaps you could apply that same principle to some comic books. :-)

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    3. If everything is stand alone, it doesn't matter.... and if you mix up series, it doesn't matter.... And most folks will find you and follow you (think Kimberly Rae Jordan and Sandra Belle Calhoune and Carol Moncado)....

      I believe the premise works. And I think it works well.

      And I like my idea of having a few books ready and then keeping the circulation going.

      Mary, I was just talking about the whole Sears and Roebuck store closing thing the other day with some peeps... the Sears catalogue was the lifeblood for many in the West. Folks ordered and product came. So yeah, Amazon didn't re-invent anything but added modern speed and connections.

      So what if Sears went BACK TO CATALOG? Online?

      What if they simply became a better version of Amazon in their own niches?

      No more store overhead.

      Just sales and distribution.

      HUGE DIFFERENCE.

      And I love publishing both ways. Unless you've nailed down big contracts, it's hard to make a living with one publisher and augmenting with indie work is a great alternative.

      Great post, Connealy.

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    4. Check out Walmart.com they are doing this. Free shipping on almost anything. No Amazon Prime charge per year either.

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    5. I was thinking along the same lines as Trixi. As a reader with a long list of favourite authors I'd be overwhelmed if they all suddenly started publishing books every month. I like some breathing space between releases so I can keep up with all my favourite authors and try out new ones. So this method would have the opposite effect on me. I'd just give up on the author, I'm afraid. But that's me and my opinion doesn't count because I don't read ebooks. :-)

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    6. Relax, Kav, very few will actually ever do this.

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  2. Lawrence Block used to write for the romance rags in the day. Pulp fiction writers I can think of are Dashiell Hammett, Robert Heinlien, Raymond Chandler, Edgar Rice Burroughs. Good grief, too many to name.

    Pulp fiction is the beginning of romance. The dime novel.

    Amazon is doing this with their Kindle Worlds series, basically published and organized fan fiction. Kindle Worlds

    All we need to do is spin off of Cary Monnealy books that she has the rights back to.

    James Patterson is doing this as well with BookShots.

    BookShots


    You're right. We need to get on the gravy train!

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    1. I love book shorts. If you've got an enduring character...and they're like 10000 words right? I've read every one of them Lee Child has written. I cough my 99 cents right up

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  3. A novella a month! The thought terrifies me, but I have a friend who writes the first draft of a novella in a week so it's definitely doable.

    I would love to try it sometime and see what happens.

    Please have Cary throw my name in the hat.

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    1. Terri, it's coming up with ideas that's the killer, not even the writing.

      My super heroine.........thinking.......

      Wander Woman. About a woman with superpowers who wanders the earth searching for....something. A ring. No, ten rings. One for each finger. And she confronts evil villains after the same rings because whoever has eight rings rules the world.

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  4. And you're talking about serializations too..The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing mentions this. And it works for some writers. But some fans get really annoyed with this concept, unless each story has its own Plot. When you have to keep buying another one each month for .99 cents and there are ten of them. That's ten bucks. Does not make readers happy, especially if when the series is done the publisher markets the entire serialization for five bucks.

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    1. Tina, that seriously annoys me! Sometimes it happens with full length novels too, say three or so. You wait MONTHS on end for each installment, then say a month or so later, you can buy the ebook set for really cheap!! I don't mind paying good money for a book, but that's just downright insultin'!!

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    2. I've also read reviews of a certain popular author who will remain unnamed, who wrote like 10 or so short stories and you HAD to read each one to get the full story and charged quite a bit pet installment. The reviewers complained about the price, the amount of stories and the fact that the publisher should make it into a long novel where they would be more willing to buy it. And pay the price to get it since it is a popular author. Readers were not happy!

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    3. But there IS NO PUBLISHER. Only me. Right? So I'm never going to package them together. (or am I!!!???)

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    4. Trixi, I am 100% in agreement with you. That's crazy. And insulting. And greedy. It's not like you're getting a magazine "serial" where the story part is part of the magazine.... those were so popular in my mother's day!!! But to try and fool readers like that. WOW. Just wrong.

      Being prolific is fine.

      But being prolific and greedy is just plain rude.

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  5. Some days the best I manage to put down is a 100 words... :D No way I'll be able to do a novella a month. Hehe

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    1. Lucy, 100 words a day. 20,000 word novella. A novella every 200 days, that's about two a year. DO IT!!!!! Make the novellas 15,000 words and definitely three a year right?

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    2. But your novellas are so good, Lucy! Do what you can and as the kiddo gets older the easier it will be to get more words ... or you can be like me and get no sleep and write at night when the house is silent. Of course editing will fix all those random letters that get hit when you doze off on the keyboard.

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    3. Crystal's reminding me of a very good point. You've got to do what works for you. That's a big part of finding wisdom as an author! Thanks, Crystal...before I started just NAGGING Lucy! LOL

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  6. Wow, what a crazy workload! I think in order for it to work you'd have to get popular very quickly. I agree with the above comments about serializations- I want to be able to start and finish a story without having to deal with any "to be continued..." nonsense ;) I would follow a character or family/group of characters in a novella series though.

    Please put my name in the hat for your book!

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    1. Are there really many of these serialized stories?
      I've heard of it, but usually there are many stories but each stands on it's own right?

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  7. "H.M Ward releases a novel every few weeks." Oh my word! I could never write that fast. I'm exhausted reading this post, Mary!

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    1. Mary ConnealyMay 1, 2017 at 8:34 AM
      Jill, lol if reading this post exhausts you, how could you WRITE a book every few weeks, huh?
      I've never read HM Ward but the books are definitely not Christian fiction--based on the covers--just FYI

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  8. I love this post.... and it should get EVERYONE thinking....

    There's so much fun and freedom in indie publishing. And if your work is good, the audience will find you and you'll find it and the world will keep turning....

    Productivity and good product are key.

    But if you love to write..... The possibilities are endless.

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    1. You are such a wonderful optimist, Ruthy.

      I need more coffee to even handle it!!!

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    2. I prefer realist.... with a BIG SMILE!!! :)

      And you know how much I love this writing gig.... It makes me so stinkin' happy!!!!

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  9. I could do a novella in a month. I did one for Speedbo, or maybe it was NANO. What is hanging me up is the indie part. To me it's too risky. But we'll see...Right now I'm dipping my toes into the waters of semi-retirement. I did quit my day job, but am juggling several part-time and temp gigs. I'm living out my future day by day. Wait a minute, that's risky too...
    Thank you, Mary, you have given me something to think about.
    Genre is pulp, and there's nothing wrong with that. It gets books into the hands of people.
    KB

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    1. kaybee what struck me is that these pulp fiction authors seemed to be really dismissed at the time, disrespected. And now...the names are so famous. Max Brand? Edgar Rice Burroughs?
      From Tina's list Raymond Chandler ... just because it's fast and fun, doesn't make it automatically bad.
      When you think how disrespected Romance Novels are....

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    2. EXACTLY.... not for nothin', Janette Oke's work wasn't exactly lauded by the mainstream, or Grace Livingston Hill, but in the aftermath we have these beautiful stories and movies and shows.... Folks don't always respect us in our time, but history can bring a whole new perspective to this kind of thing.

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  10. A couple of thoughts on writing, only because I have no other place to put them:
    I have been reading a Ruth Rendell book, I like mysteries and suspense when I'm not reading Christian fiction, and I am hooked by the depth of her characterization. The characters are mostly pretty awful, but it's like a train wreck, you can't look away. The book is "13 Steps Down" and I am learning a lot from it.
    My husband and I are also watching "Mercy Street" on PBS and I am fascinated by the character development there. The Northern and Southern characters are all fully realized, with flaws and strengths. I can't say it's a "balanced" portrait, there is no balance where owning other human beings is concerned, but it's nuanced. We learn things about writing in the strangest places...
    Kathy Bailey
    Nuanced in New Hampshire

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    1. kaybee I'm a huge suspense reader. Lee Child, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, CJ Box, Nevada Barr....I should probably write this genre, and there is a lot of suspense and action in my books. But mine don't fit the category!!!

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  11. Great thoughts, Mcary! I think fear stops many writers from pursuing a fast indie publishing schedule. Man, writing sure can be a fearful task at times. One of my problems is focusing on ONE idea. I've been pretty scattered lately, with multiple projects fighting for my time. Ah well. They'll all get their turns. Eventually. :)

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    1. Hi lizzie! Writing and fear, the eternal combo! :)
      When I think of doing this, I wonder how you come up with an idea all the time like they'd have to. That's what seems impossible to me.

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  12. My goodness! I wish I could release a novel every few weeks. It really amazes me how some people manage to do that. Between the husband, kids, house, church, and other responsibilities, I'm lucky to get in a few words every day.

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    1. Stephanie, maybe it's the stage of life HM Ward is in. Maybe no kids at home and an author could just work eight hours a day.

      Nora Roberts releases five full length books a year, right? And she's consistent. That pace frightens me.

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  13. Mary you always make me laugh. Love the mustache. But what you say is huge. Amazon does work better when you are pumping something out all the time. So a pulp fiction character every month would really get you some attention. I guess we have to keep playing their games. Amazon started because they didn't like the games traditional publishers played. Now they are just as bad if not worse. LOL It all boils down to the money. Happy writing.

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    1. Sandra...if only there was a way every author could sell ebooks directly to readers. Author-Reader. The only really REQUIRED people in the reading world, but getting together with them is always a tricky path to walk.

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    2. There are games everywhere, aren't there???

      And Sandra, you are a wise woman!!!! Mary, I love the idea of author/reader.

      Hmmmm.........

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    3. We don't have to get our own reader, invent our own Kindle or Nook, we could sell PDFs...but they'd have to come to my website or something like that, to ace out Amazon.

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  14. Wish I could write that fast. But I have a question. If you are doing this as indie publishing, isn't that terribly expensive to be putting out a book every few weeks since you have to pay for it?

    It was great seeing you at the conference this weekend, Mary! It was a fun time. And since I got the book this weekend, no need to put me in the drawing.

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    1. Hi Sandy. It was so fun to see you. I always come away from things like this regretting I don't just get to sit down and visit with more people. Why is that so hard to arrange???
      But so much fun. I wonder if next year we should plan a PRE-conference event. Meet for lunch on Friday and just have a few hours to talk.

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    2. And posting the books on Amazon is free for the author. And charging 99 cents for it, well if it's a fun read, I'd pay 99 cents.
      What Tina was talking about with serialized stories, like ONE story, continued for 20--chapter-length insallments, then it amounts to paying about $20 for a single book.
      That's too expensive for a reader to come away happy about it.
      Especially if the 20 chapters are then repackaged into a single volume for about $10

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    3. You really DO have to pay something, though, if you hire an editor, which I think is almost a necessity, and hire someone to do a decent cover, which is also almost a necessity. And as for me, I'd have to hire someone to do the formatting, because I'd pull my hair out trying to figure out how to do that myself.

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    4. You're scaring me, Melanie. All this common sense.

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    5. Okay, let's take that .99 novella.... And let's say $100 for editor (that's what Jamison Editing charges, and that's an easy figure to work with) and a cover... Let's go with $100 on that (although you might pay more or less)

      Formatting is $40 with professional formatters and maybe less for being a novella.

      So for that $240 dollar investment, at .35/purchase the author makes, we need to sell 800 copies. (rounding up)

      Now if you put 4 novellas together into a volume, and pay $40/formatting, $100 for cover and $400 for editor, you've got $540 invested.

      Sell the 4-novellas for $2.99.

      Author cut on that about $2.00 so you have to sell 270 copies at $2.99 to cover the costs.

      In these cases (like with self-employed business taxes) a dollar ISN'T just a dollar once it's divided and assessed.

      So there are ways to give readers affordable books and ways to pay for them comfortably.

      But then you come back to the "No one is buying my single 60 page novella"... and that's probably true if you only have one or two or three offerings out there.

      So we go back to productivity, and honestly, I think the two still work hand-in-hand.

      Productivity and great stories.

      A fair and solid profit margin for the author.

      Which is why you see so many of them doing it regularly. :)

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    6. Surely I could find 270 people to buy my books. I mean with my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews, I've got about that many in my immediate family. (Not that they all read my books, the brats!!!)

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    7. Who cares if they read them, Mary? ;) As long as they BUY them! :D

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    8. Good point Carol. I was equating the two. :) My bad.

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    9. OK, thanks for the clarification about putting up books on Amazon.

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    10. Mary, it would be fun if we could get together before the conference next year. Also, we should try to get together this summer. With enough notice, I could make it to Omaha if people want to do something.

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  15. Great post, Mary. I don't ever see myself writing that fast, but I'm fascinated by people who are able to do that. And I'm even more intrigued by people who come up with a character that people will follow for years.

    It's so funny that you mentioned the Sears Roebuck company. I have a reprint of one of their massive catalogs on my desk right now - and I'd just been thinking the same thing about Amazon. I may not get any words written at all today, because I'm fascinated by what was available for purchase by mail order back then. Everything from candy, tea and laundry soap to pianos, iron bedsteads and buggies. Amazing! Thanks for such a fun post!

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    1. Laura what's really funny is, when you say you own a Sears catalogue...I immediately want one...but then I do NOT want one...I'd rather have a historically correct one...available digitally. So old catalogues as ebooks! Do they make those?

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    2. That's a good question. But the one I have is a reprint (produced in 1960s) of a genuine 1903 catalog. At least that's what it says. I wanted one from earlier, but my daughter happened to have this on hand (she also washes her clothes on a wringer type washing machine, LOL) and she let me borrow it. Hopefully it's historically correct enough to at least help me a little.

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    3. I love it, Laura! I'll bet it's so interesting!!!

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    4. Laura, that catalogue sounds like a great inspiration for an historical story!

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    5. It was so helpful as I wrote my first historical book. But I just can't quit reading it. Did you know you could buy a whole telegraph set-up? And cameras and darkroom equipment? So interesting. It helped me get the little details accurate in the book (bar soap for laundry)and details about the candy that would've been available in the general store, etc. I'm such a history nerd that I could read stuff like this all day. Which is just one of the reasons that I'll never produce a book a month, LOL.

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    6. Laura knowing that stuff existed and for what price and that it could be shipped anywhere (slowly!) can add such authenticity to a book!

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    7. Laura, I have a reproduction of a 1897 Sears Roebuck catalog. It's helpful and fascinating. I found face powder with arsenic, which was said to make the complexion pale. I'll bet! LOL

      Janet

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    8. Janet, that's so interesting! Face powder with arsenic. Incredible. No telling what some of those "miracle elixirs" and "cure-alls" contained.

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  16. So now I know what partly inspired Stan Lee- who partly inspired me! I'm a bit of a prolific author myself- though my sister would argue most of my books don't make it to strictly novel size- and most of them have recurring characters who then meet my other characters... Being inspired by Avengers, I have quite a lot of superhero characters- and spies too!

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    1. Boo these pulp fiction novels are often very short! You'll fit right in!!!

      Avengers! Boo-Woman! (okay you can fill in the blanks and write a series!!!)

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    2. Boo, it sounds like you already have a good start at this!

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  17. Ha! I love it! Ms. Cary Monnealy. :)

    I think there are a lot of people making a good living putting out novels as quickly as they can. Some of them amaze me with their productivity. It seems to me once an author gets some people in place to help (covers, formatting, editing), then he/she could get on a schedule to release several novels a year.

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    1. Finally, a voice of reason!!! I was wondering when someone would mention the possibility--no, the NECESSITY--of actually revising and editing these "little" novels. Plus all the other aspects of getting them ready for the world to see.

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    2. Wow, editing? That seems harsh, Myra and Missy. Can't I just crank them out and post them?????
      Why are you making this harder???

      LOL

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    3. Laughing!!!!

      But it is tricky to find the right people to work with.... and yet that's part of the biz, right?

      I am not one bit clever like Myra or Julie's hubby... or anyone else who does their own cover. I know my limitations.... but I still think that productivity is the key and (just like we've been doing for years here) building a readership.

      I love my readership.

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    4. Maybe once you got really famous you could cool it with the cover art.
      Just oh....an apple cupped in someone's hands...like Twilight.
      Maybe we're all trying too hard with covers???

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    5. Mary, you have NO IDEA how I've toyed with a semblance of this idea!! I keep thinking, if I just write LONG NOVELLAS instead of a bookstoppers, I could get out 4-5 books a year if I really pushed it, which trust me -- I've been tempted to do just to see if I can do it!

      How many pages were these famous pulp fiction novels anyway, Mary, do you know?

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    6. Books need revising, even before editing. At least mine do. Still if a writer can produce great stories fairly quickly, they'll build their readership, as Ruthy says, and can make good money.

      Janet

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    7. Julie, I'm not sure about length. But I read a Max Brand book recently and while it wasn't a LONG book it was certainly a full length novel.
      Was Tarzan a serialized thing, released in magazines? Or did the pulp fiction magazines get long enough to publish a whole book at a time?
      Because Tarzan books (again not long...like doorstoppers) but still, not novellas either.

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  18. Great post Cary, er, Mary!

    I remember how excited we were when the Sears Christmas catalog came out every year. We lived in a small town with a dime store. When Roses came to town, it was exciting. My brother and I fought over who got to look at the catalog first and them timed each other so we'd get the same amount of time to dream about the cool toys they had.

    I enjoy Tarzan, but Superman and Batman have always been my favorite heroes.

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    1. I can't remember reading a Tarzan story. I must have, in my youth, right?
      Has anyone re-written them? Updated them, like they've done for Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys? How would I get THAT gig?

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  19. Hey Cary M - this was great. So interesting. Yes - i would like to do this but not until I have been traditionally published first (Still praying that happens someday.) I can't think of any better way to spend my retirement years than writing book after book for a group of fans that can't wait to read them.

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    1. Cindy, that would be awesome.

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    2. Jackie - maybe you and I can collaborate. How fun would that be?

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    3. I'm with Jackie on this, Cindy. THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!!!
      And teaming up is actually a great idea. Take turns. Cindy write Tarzan stories, then Jackie writes Jane stories!!!

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    4. That would be a ton of fun.

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  20. I've never read pulp fiction, but I did watch Tarzan. I guess that's how I 'd see these novellas. A unique character or setting followed by weekly episodes. In this case, monthly episodes.
    Tarzan, Land of the Lost, Star Trek, The Lone Ranger.
    I don't think I'm the person for the job, but it's a great idea.

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    1. Connie that's a great way to think of it. Like a weekly TV show. Books that are just episodes.

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  21. Mary, this is what I try to tell people! Write the next book, and keep writing them! I'm like you. I have contracts that keep me busy, but Carol Moncado has done this! Is doing this! She's amazingly prolific and she's got a few series going, with royal heroines from her fictional countries. She's doing quite well, if I'm not mistaken. Honestly, it seems the way to go these days, especially if you've studied and honed your craft and not had success with traditional publishers. Also, Tamara Leigh is doing QUITE well doing this very thing with her medieval romances. She's churning them out and her fans BEG her to hurry and write the next one, and she does! :-)

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    1. By the way, I love the Tarzan novels as a teen, but I kind of lost interest after they started getting science-fiction-y and stopped being about Tarzan and Jane's romance.

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    2. I'm churning out books as fast as I can, and I think that's a big part of the reason for my success.

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    3. And if I could concentrate on my story for more than an hour or two a day . . . sigh. I could get so much more done. I can also see how having a recurring protagonist would make it so much easier to write more novels really fast. Not much characterization work to do, which is one of the things that bogs me down in the beginning of every book I write.

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    4. Great examples, Melanie.
      Uh...you mean like...Tarzan met with...space aliens or something? Science fiction-y?

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    5. Hi Melanie - just wanted to say that if you ever get out of the contract business and do this sort of thing - sign me up for your fan list. I am reading A Spy's Devotion right now and LOVING it. You could have like a whole fan base built on regency spy novels. What a cool market niche!

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    6. Yes, Mary! Exactly! Tarzan Goes to the Moon was one of them. A little too mind-bending for me.

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    7. Aw, Cindy! that's so nice of you to say! I'm so happy you like my Regencies. I really, really enjoyed writing them. And now that I've written a few of them, it's easier. Same with the medievals. The research is not as intense as it was with the first two books. Another secret to writing fast--write in the same general setting.

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    8. Tarzan goes to the moon? LOL okay, that's truly weird, and I did LOL

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    9. Melanie, I think you hit on what's so important for success in the indie world: series. Readers love them!

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    10. Yes! It's going really well! I was even able to quit my day job last year - not that I worked or made much, but it's nice to be able to write full time!!! (Today, I spent hours working on a book wiki for the new "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Carol Moncado's Fictional Universe" site... Tonight, I write!!! Then sleep in tomorrow because I'll write late because I CAN sleep in!!! :D)

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    11. Carol I don't even know what book wiki is. You're really exploring all sort of new worlds!!!

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  22. I could probably put out a flash-fiction story a month and do a good job editing and coming up with new ideas in between, but a novella, let alone something a little longer? Yikes! It might be kind of fun to do a short story a month, though, just for writing practice and waking up creative juices. There'd still be time to work on longer works at the same time. And at the end of the year, you'd have an anthology of short stories!

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    1. I nominate Rachael to do this then report back. They can be any length, I'd think. I mean maybe people would complain if they were 1000 words, but within reason there is no overarching authority except YOU.

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    2. Rachael, I think that would be a good way to boost creativity.

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  23. I think something like Catherine Coulter's FBI thrillers w/Dillion and Sherlock would be a great way to go. These 2 agents are in every book, but each story revolves a new hero and heroine w/the agents in the background.

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    1. Connie, I've read these. I love them. I need to go find the first one again when Dillon and Sherlock meet.

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  24. There probably not as much distractions as there is now. I can't imagine even reading that much let alone write that many.
    jennydtipton at gmail dot com

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    1. Jennifer, I'm sort of a book-a-holic so I can' imaging reading that much...but if I had to WRITE that much, then would I have to stop reading???
      OH NO!!!!!

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  25. I have something to ask that may be slightly controversial, but I don't understand why authors write novellas. Do they make money for you? Do they get you new readers? It seems to me that your time would be better served writing a novel than writing three novellas. I haven't heard anyone talk about this, so if anyone wants to clue me in as to why writing novellas is a good investment of time, please do.

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    1. I can tell you why I do it, Melanie.
      I have contracts for two full length books a year.....but that's not quite enough to keep me busy.
      I also don't write more full length books for some other publisher because am contractually exclusive to them for full length historical fiction.
      So novellas fill the gaps.
      Yes I get money.
      I hope to reach new readers if I team up with other authors.
      Also Bethany has asked me to write several novellas and the sell well and pay decently...not great but not bad either.

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    2. So if I write a novella and it's packaged with Karen Witemeyer and Regina Jennings and Melissa Jagears...then maybe their readers will 'discover' me and my readers will discover them.
      They sell well so Bethany's all for it.

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    3. Thanks for explaining that, Mary! I can see how that would work, and I'm glad you are making money off them. Makes total sense.

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    4. Yeah, for me, they've been a fun way to potentially find new readers as well as a little extra income. They were also a nice way to dip my toe in indie publishing. :)

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    5. I can answer as a normally novel writing indie...

      People (in general) like shorter reads for Christmas and to some extent summer. I do a lifeguard summer and a teacher Christmas novella most years (no lifeguard this year). I've also done a couple that were either inbetweenies or prequels where the stories didn't demand a full novel. I've done a couple others I probably shouldn't have for various reasons.

      Do they make money? Some more than others. Nothing to shake a stick at. They're worth it, especially for someone like me who can write a Christmas novella in a long weekend. They don't make TONS of money, but for me, I also tend to stick them in boxed sets where other authors' readers can find me where they hadn't before. (The rules on those have changed some but they do still exist.)

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  26. I don't mind novellas and how awesome it would be to produce so many in a year, but I have also noticed that when authors write so many in a year and especially when they self publish that there are a lot of errors in the work. I can look over most of the errors but not every reader can.

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    1. Wilani, errors...and I can typo most anything...are off putting to readers, especially if they are overwhelming!

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    2. I meant to add I have not found this true with the Seekers who self publish. You all are so awesome. I didn't get a chance to post until now because of a storm with lots of rain and high winds that took out my Internet for several hours. I hope you have all had a great day.

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  27. I think I like Cary Monnealy lol. Thanks for a lot to think about today!

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    1. The moustache was surprisingly easy to add, Sally. Just google...add mustache to picture.
      Yes, the world is weird

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    2. That was so fun! The mustache reminds me of Snidely Whiplash in Dudley Do Right with Brendan Frazier lol.

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  28. You know how fairy tales have lately been about the villain? Malificent? Wicked?
    How about telling Nurse Rachett's story? How about you work in a loony bin and some patients...well, they'd wear on a woman.
    Let's lift her up in a series of novels.

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  29. OH MY GOSH, MARY -- 16 NOVELS A YEAR??? That's in Carol Moncado's league, I think! ;) I got to visit with Carol when she came through Osage Beach over the weekend, and She's got something like over 20 books out in two years, so she's one of the fastest modern-day CBA gals I know, and she's killing it too, so you go, Carol!!

    But seriously, 16 novels a year??? Fred sounds like a role model to me, WOW!! I just had to go look at the page count on some of his Westerns, and the three I checked ranged from 103 pages to 212, but even so, that's pretty amazing productivity. Gosh, hope he didn't have a love life or he wouldn't HAVE a love life!! ;)

    And I absolutely LOVED Dr. Kildare growing up -- talk about a squeaky clean-cut hero. He made Ben Casey look downright bad boy!! ;)

    Fun post, Mare!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Julie, I'm not sure what this says about me, but I liked Ben Casey far better than Dr. Kildare. Aren't the names fun? Casey worked on cases. Kildare was tempted to kill? Naw, just being silly.

      What was the name of that young doctor who lived on top of his dilapidated RV? He was cute too.

      Janet

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    2. I loved Dr. Kildare...and had a Dr. Kildare blouse/shirt. Anyone else? So stylish in the day! :)

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    3. Debby, was it the side button shirt doctors wore?

      Janet

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    4. Yes! 20! But 7 are novellas (all new). Of the 13 novels, 7 or 8 had a full first draft done before I started publishing. I'm to all new stuff now... :p.

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    5. It was SO GOOD to see you Julie! I'll have to get Matt to bring me by more often!

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  30. Mary, fun post and discussion. I've always heard that writers have characters and stories in their heads just begging to get out. Not me. :-( Does that mean I'm a fake?

    Janet

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    1. I think you're good, Janet. That aspect worries me, too. Coming up with ideas all the time. Thinking of it like a TV show helps a little, because you'd have your setting and characters in place and just need that one short story each tie. Still!!!!!!!!!

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    2. I would love to see my stories in my head like a movie or TV screen before I wrote it. Think how much faster the writing would be.

      Janet

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  31. hi Mary
    may I say you are BRILLIANT?
    I'm a sci-fi pulp fiction aficionado. If I could get my brain in gear, I wouldn't mind trying out your idea. Alas, too, being a good mommy for the Gupster is time consuming as well (baseball and boy scouts = no mommy solo time).

    I would gladly volunteer to do book covers for a serial writer. Find a good partnership and who knows what can happen?

    As for the peeps who want to do the serials (the twenty parts 'til complete story). How about you do the monthly installment on your blog/book page, then sell it via Amazon once it's complete. A freebie story for your fans for the duration of the writing (they can even write back for the stray typos or opine on what's happened). Then, once the story is complete (give or take a week for editing/formatting) *ba-da-bing!* it disappears off the blog site and appears as an inexpensive book on Amazon or elsewhere. That melds the best of both worlds perhaps?
    I've known some authors who've sort of done that (a lack of indie pubbed on Amazon) - well, not traditionally pubbed authors... mostly wanna-bes, but still.

    This is a VERY COOL post, Ms. Cary/Mary, whoever you wish to be. I'd plop down 99cents for pretty much any Seeker Lady novella in a heartbeat.

    Just sayin...

    Again... Brilliance.

    Also, waiting for a certain Vince opinion/take on this. He'd be my go-to guy for the marketing ideas...

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    1. I did this once with a free prequel to the Trouble in Texas series. I posted it free chapter by chapter on my blog, then put it in one of the Seeker collections.
      You know this because you helped with my cover but others might not, but it doesn't matter because it's down now.
      Not available. Maybe I should publish it solo huh?
      Oddly enough it never occurred to me until this minute.

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  32. Wow, I never thought about this, Mary. I think coming up with that many ideas so quickly would be a real challenge. But having one character, knowing that character well, and having ideas of how to get them into (and out of) trouble could make it easier to try this.

    I'll be very curious to hear if people try this. :)

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  33. This is a very interesting idea. Man, very interesting. I'm tempted, I'll admit I am. But I think I should focus on getting some of my full length novels written first, and maybe get a few series I have been working on for longer written before I even consider this. I have a series that I hope to write someday, which while the novels would be too long to be pulp fiction, is planned to be eleven books long... with a second series after that which focuses on the characters from the first series as well. I just love those characters so much and can't wait to write about them.

    When I was younger my brother and I played games where we were the adventurers Mark Antonious (I had just learn about Mark Antony in history) and Alex Stouffer (he got his inspiration from a box of mac and cheese). Or there was Cliff Canyon (to be completely honest, even if I came up with the name when I was like eight I still love it). I would probably write pulp fiction about those characters.

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    1. Also, no need to enter my name for you book. I already own it (thanks so much for that by the way).

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    2. Thanks for getting my book, Nicki. Save this idea then, to always have something simmering!

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  34. Writing fast is a good exercise. Not sure about consistently writing fast. Developing the characters and storyline takes time. But having a formulaic outline for each story would cut the brainstorming time down. Still, I'd need some space to breathe in between stories. Musing...

    Good for Carol M!!!

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    1. Honestly are these guys writing any faster than Nora Roberts? five full length books a year and she's been doing it forever.

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    2. We don't think of her as writing pulp fiction, just writing FAST. And even more than fast, writing fast steadily!!!

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    3. Glad you brought up Nora, Mary. She's amazingly fast and writes strong stories. At least the ones I've read. She has a town nearby with a B&B, a bookstore. She and Debbie Macomber have brought their book settings to life.

      Janet

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  35. Mary, you always make me smile :) Thank you for another great article!

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

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    1. Thanks, Phyllis, glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  36. MARY, thank you for the interesting post! I believe authors have enough pressure on them to write as it is...no need for more!

    Please toss my name in the cowboy hat for a copy of Long Time Gone. Blessings and ((((HUGS))))

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    1. Hi Caryl. Sorry if I'm raising your blood pressure. (Yours and fine writers everywhere)
      Mary "Pressure Cooker Life Coach" Connealy

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  37. Thanks for sending me over here, Mary!

    I did have a LOVELY time with Julie the other day! YAY! My husband drives almost right by her house once every other month or so - I think he needs to drop me off sometimes ;). This time was on my way home after a state band competition for my oldest. I got to drive through all the insane nastiness that is Missouri the last few days.

    I'm not sure I'm quite fast enough to be considered pulp - at least not the 'original' pulp. Maybe today's version, I suppose, though that's not how *I* would think of myself.

    That said, I do write fast and have more ideas than I know what to do with (literally - like when am I going to find time to write my space Medieval knights series?!) and writing full time these days helps a lot.

    So does God. Seriously. I had book #20 come out yesterday. I wrote it in 17 actual writing days. 3K words an hour at times. I've never done that before, much less more than once.

    I think it boils down to the Ruthy philosophy though. Consistency. For someone who works full time (or like 87 full time jobs like Ruthy), a K a day consistently is minimum 3 books a year, depending on length. For me, who is writing full time, when I'm fast drafting, it needs to be more than that, but I need to be working several hours a day whether it's fast drafting or editing or whatever consistently. That's what gets books done and out regularly.

    It is much easier to do that kind of schedule as an indie, though others make it work. (Hi, Mel! Look at you with three separate series going!) I have first and second readers who look for plot issues, a process to do most of the rest of the editing myself, and a proofreader I trade services with (content edits because that's far more my wheelhouse). I do my own covers. Some are better than others, but sometimes good enough is good enough, too. I learned to do my own formatting then bought Vellum and a Mac Mini because it was worth it. It will save me DAYS of work per year. I spend VERY LITTLE besides time, though I'm at the point now where I'm starting to invest more in having others do stuff for me. If not for Vellum, I would probably be about to the point of hiring out formatting (and I do attempt to hire my kids for my paperback formatting).

    Someone asked if indie can be expensive and it absolutely can be. Or you can trade services (if you can find someone to) or learn to do it yourself (like formatting) in which case it will cost you more TIME than money because you're doing those things and not writing new words.

    It can also be fantastically successful. I'm not sure how or why, but I managed to find a niche that has done wonderfully for me. I'm not sure what the number is off the top of my head, but between books sold and KU books read, I've at FAR MORE copies than I would have DREAMED possible.

    Is it pulp? Maybe. But that's okay ;). Pulp doesn't mean bad, even if they were sometimes (often?) looked down on because anyone who writes that fast and for that kind of market can't be GOOD, right? I do my best with the stories that come to me. I've done my part learning the craft and the business and do what I can, but let God handle the rest. He's a far better marketer than I am anyway ;).

    Which reminds me I should be working on my website... :p

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    1. I should clarify... everyone's definition of fantastically successful is different ;). For me, someone who hasn't worked full time since fast food in the 90s, it doesn't take much to make far more money than I have in the last half decade or more... so take that into consideration ;).

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    2. A book in 17 days - that's amazing, Carol. No wonder your name kept coming up!

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    3. It was INSANE. A TOTAL God thing. I wish I knew what made it different so I could do it more often :p.

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    4. Carol Pulp does NOT mean bad, like you said. In fact so many famous writers have really great work in those books. Pulp fiction may sound like it's not top ranked stuff but don't let anyone tell you that's true.
      I'm so proud of you and so interested in what you're doing. It's great.

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    5. Laura, I know...a book in 17 days. And 3000 word writing bursts. YOWEE!!!! Way to go, Carol!!!

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    6. as a reader of Carol's books, I say yay for more! I enjoy her stories very much.

      Just sayin...

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  38. Mary, fantastic post. Thanks for putting a smile (glad to say no mustache [that I can see anyway]) on my face. I love everything about you. No need to put me in the drawing, since I drew a copy off the table and you signed it for me already.

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  39. I would LOVE to give it a try!! Maybe when I'm on summer break or something, but it's really hard to create fast stories at this point in my life, but I love the concept!!

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    1. I'm certainly trying to get novels out as fast as I can ;-) I'll have to work more on being short-winded than long so I can get more 'novellas' on the printing press :-)

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  40. Late to the party! :(

    That sounds like so much fun, Mary. When I was a kid my cousins and I used to write "shorts" -- pick a TV program we liked and we'd all race each other to write what they probably call "fan fiction" now. I still have a few of them! :)

    What's your Cowboy have to say about that impressive mustache??? :)

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    1. He's not impressed with the 'stache. He's living in his pick up until it gets shaved off. I promised him I'd do it as soon as I got done with today's post.

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  41. Thank you Cary, of course I mean Mary, for the post that brought out a smile and a chuckle. While I write a first draft rather fast (as I'm wearing my NaNoWriMo winner's shirt from 2014 today!), I edit and edit (maybe too much?!) after I write that first draft. All sorts of writers in the early 20th century did an amazing job when you think about it. Radio writers wrote a different program every week. TV shows used to have 38-40 shows a season, all of which lasted 27-28 minutes. And in the case of My Three Sons, the writers had to write the whole season worth of scripts at once because of Fred McMurray's contract (he would only shoot for so many days each season, the rest of the time they had Fred McMop). And that's far more than anyone wanted to know... Thanks for the fun post.

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    1. I wrote a long reply to this, Tanya, and it disappeared. Can't remember everything I wrote, LOL. I didn't know about the Fred McMurray thing. So interesting. I LOVE old movies and tv shows. Have you ever seen "The Egg and I" and/or "Murder He Says"? Both have Fred McMurray and Marjorie Main, but the movies were not part of the same series. And of course, the fabulous Claudette Colbert was in the Egg and I. My family and I watch far more old shows than new shows.

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  42. Tanya, that's so interesting. Like Fred McMurray would shoot a whole season in just a few months?
    I've never heard that before.

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  43. Oh, this is such an enticing idea! I just may have to give this pulp fiction idea a try. I do have an idea (or two or three), and have the time... Hmm...

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  44. Wow! If all of the authors I loved wrote 16 books a year, even if some were novellas, I would have to read 24/7, and probably still wouldn't get through them all.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  45. So, do novellas slightly fit the bill for quick fiction? I am happy the way things are with my many favorite authors publishing well researched, lengthy, and thoughtful books once or twice a year or less frequently.

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  46. I Loved this post. The librarian in me knew the term pulp fiction and authors Max Brand and Raymond Chandler but I'm not familiar with Lester Dent. They were very prolific authors but I agree with so many others who appreciative a well researched story. One reason I enjoy reading a well written history fiction is the obvious time and effort that the author has invested.
    Thanks and Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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