I want you to quit your day job
This is Dauntless Writing: Fearlessly organizing, crafting and marketing fiction.
I’m going to level with you. I’m not an author-superstar with millions of book sales under my belt – yet. But I’m working on it. This website is an honest transparent expression of my drive to be a full-time author of fiction, without selling out. It is my intention to pass on the lessons I learn via the content of this site and any other non-fiction material I create.
There are plenty of other great author sites and marvelous author run sites out there that dip their fingers into the collective cookie jar of helping others becoming great authors, but none addressing more than superficially the struggles of the writer who’s just decided to get serious.
I’ve been spinning my wheels trying to get from the 9-5er with a dream of writing to the full-time writer. This website will document my journey to that goal: Full-time income from what I love doing – fiction writing. I may stretch as far as to include income from non-fiction sources, because I love talking about the back-end gears and sprockets of stories almost as much as telling stories.
The point is, I want what all writers want: To have the ability to write full time with a roof over my head, coffee in a mug and to not have to get out of my jammies to get to work.
I have no idea where this journey will end up. Sooner, rather than later, I will be showing you a strong income stemming from my writing.
Why am I doing this? Well, I’m tired of not being sure whether the guy I’m taking advice from walks the walk. Sure he can pop out an e-book on the business of writing, but is he living off that business? Is he just making money off the non-fiction but none from the fiction? If I show you what I make in both spheres from taking my own advice, and how I went about obtaining that, won’t my information be of more valuable to you?
With that out of the way, time for introductions:
My name is Richard Wheeler, my fiction going under the pen name Richard T. Wheeler and my non-fiction going under the pen name R.T. Wheeler.
I have sold books to strangers through Createspace, Amazon.com, and Smashwords, so I know that I can make money happen. I am also sure that not all of the copies sold went to my mum. However, the revenue did not come even close to paying for anything consequential, so I am currently also working a full time job. It’s administrative, and dull as dirt. I would like to stop doing that to be a full time writer.
Not very inspiring. So why listen to me?
I won’t tell you what to do, I’m not your real mom. But I am struggling up the same self-publishing hill as you are. I have big plans, and big dreams. A veritable BHAG that I am planning to accomplish. I dream the same dreams that you are. And I have a plan. This site is part of that plan. I will be dauntlessly sharing my road with you, with transparent accounting.
I am also not completely without ability. I have experience in what works and what does not work in Online Entrepreneurship, a whole three years of thoroughly examining what doesn’t work. And I am a fiction writer, like you. I’ve spent about 10 years practicing my craft, and learning how to organize myself. This is the knowledge that I will put in to practice and bequeath unto you. The drive to write comes from inside you, I just provide tools.
The reality is, that although luck has a part to play in online publishing, or any publishing, there are always ways to stack the deck in your favor. This is not Law of Attraction bollocks, this is practical, immediately implementable strategies brought to life through grit and determination. Rule number one of success in anything is showing up. Showing up day after day, doing the thing. That’s what being dauntless is about.
The question is, why am I doing this?
Shall we get philosophical?
In Stephen Covey’s wellspring book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he espouses an approach to learning which rang true with me. Learn with the intention to teach. I’ve taken that philosophy to heart and have presented two wildly successful workshops on the craft of writing in the last year. This website takes that goal to the next level, where I make what I learn available publically. My goal is to be a great novelist, and according to Stephen King (what’s with all the greats called Stephen? Hawking, Jobs, maybe I have the wrong pen name?), in order to be a great writer you have to read a lot and write a lot. So I’ve been reading with the intention to teach and now I’m writing about it.
The logical next step is to apply that knowledge gained in a real world scenario and see what works best, and that is what you will find on this site. Here I will show the application of the knowledge as well as a rendition of what I’ve learned, colored by my experience and personality. Much of what I will put here will not be brand new, but I will test it out there and show you my results. If you can make use of it, by all means, I’d love to be able to help others through what I do.
So what form will that take?
Non-fiction e-books on the business of being an author-entrepreneur
Since I’m reading to teach, I will condense the information that I’ve gathered into short e-books. I’ll do my utmost to deliver in a professional, informative, thoughtful manner to best address both the needs of the reader and to facilitate my study of the subject matter. I’m thinking win-win with these books. The reader gains my learning in this regard and I’m gaining in depth learning that will benefit my own fiction writing business.
I am an author-entrepreneur though, so I will sell these e-books (barring free promotions), but never exploitatively. The goal is to be a fiction writer full time, so I’ll keep separate track of each facet of the business to avoid cross contamination or confusion of income. I aim to provide more value than what the monetary expenditure engenders with each book, so expect no rapid fire Kindle Gold Rush style books. In fact, I’ve read up on what Steve Scott (another Steve? Seriously?) terms ‘value added services’ in his amazing, industry standard e-books, and will be following suit.
Reviews on books that I’ve read on being an author-entrepreneur
There is a wealth of knowledge out there on all the aspects of creating fiction and then successfully selling it. I’ve, by now, read a fair chunk of those books. I will write reviews on each of these books in order for you to be able to make informed decisions on whether or not to buy the book for yourself. The wealth of knowledge gained is curtailed by the material wealth that I’ve spent on these books, so before you fall into the same pitfall, I’d like to give you an informed appraisal.
Again, I am an author-entrepreneur who wants to do this full time, so I will be including affiliate links into any book that I feature on this site (usually to Amazon). I take pride in my writing though, so I will not sell out. I will only recommend books that I have personally read and found informative. You will find no sponsored books here. Worst case scenario would be someone giving me a review copy, but those I will treat as if I’ve bought it and only if I find value in it.
Articles on my experience as a newbie author-entrepreneur
I’m bound to make hilarious mistakes. I’m going to be brutally honest about them. Hopefully someone can learn from my failures (hopefully I will). There may be successes as well, and I will write about those too.
Comments and links to industry articles stumbled across on the web
I read a lot, am subscribed to a lot, and take in a lot. I will attempt to make sense of that information overload by linking industry articles and commenting on them.
What you will not find on this site:
I’ve got an author site for those only interested in my fiction, www.richardtwheeler.com. It’s where I will be employing what I’ve learnt. You might not be interested in my actual novels, so I’m not going to punt them here. I’ll be doing plenty of that on my author site. There might be some overlap, but I understand that my fiction readers may also not give a single hoot about the craft of novels or the trials and tribulations of trying to pay for coffee or a cover design with food stamps.
What goes onto this site is what I have personally experienced. I’m going to go as much into depth as I can with the 24h per day time constraints that we all share. That includes paying other people to write for me. If I have guest authors for anything, they can at best expect to be paid in coffee, even if I have a contract with Random House.
I’ve mentioned it before, but it actually goes into this section. I will not do paid reviews either. My main business is making money through fiction, not selling my soul piecemeal.
I may consider others joining this site and sharing their experiences, but that will probably be much later and only if they also join in on the spirit of the operation.
There will be no humor here. I am a humorless write-bot cobbled together from left over code from the Illuminati’s failed world domination AI and some intern from MIT’s sexbot.
TL:DR: DauntlessWriting.com – Fearlessly organizing, crafting and marketing fiction.
Fear is all that stands between being able to live the writer’s life full time, and wasting away in a 9-5 you hate with a slowly dying dream in your heart and a few half-finished stories in your Dropbox folder.This space is dedicated to the dauntless pursuit of creating and selling fiction and all that entails.
On this site and in his books, R.T. Wheeler provides practical guides to the organisation, the craft and the marketing of professional novel writing, using his own experiences as an indie authorpreneur with a day job to manage as a basis. Unlike other guru’s and professional writing teachers out there, his content focuses on a ground-up, step-by-step approach to firstly creating a salable manuscript and then getting it into the hands of readers and turning them into a loyal, sustainable fan base.
When not reading and writing fiction or about fiction, Richard spends time in the gym and dreams of the day that he could write that “Dear Boss” letter.