Matthew Wayne Selznick http://www.mattselznick.com author and creator Sat, 27 Sep 2014 01:12:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Big Pivothttp://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/time-to-pivot/ http://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/time-to-pivot/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 22:49:44 +0000 http://www.mattselznick.com/?p=13306 When the actions you take fail to bring the results you need, it's time to try something different. It's no different for indie authors and creators.

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I used to make fun when a company announced their second or third pivot. I thought it was a desperate act, or a signal that the entrepreneur at the helm couldn’t admit failure.

That was a long time ago. I have a much better understanding of entrepreneurship than I did back then.

That I scoffed at companies and entrepreneurs that pivoted is a little embarrassing.

Especially now that it’s my turn to pivot.

What Is A Pivot?

pivot_diagramEric Ries, the man credited with coining the term in the context of entrepreneurial endeavors, provided the following definition of a pivot: “a change in strategy without a change in vision.”

In Ries’ book The Lean Startup (recommended reading for creative entrepreneurs of all kinds), he provides an expanded definition: “(a) structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth.”

You can think of a physical pivot as a nice metaphor, too: changing direction with one foot firmly on the ground.

Why I Need To Pivot As A Creative Professional

Simply put: what I’m doing is not bringing the result I need.

If I keep handling my creative career as I am now… well, remember Rita Mae Brown’s adage from Sudden Death (often mis-attributed to Albert Einstein): “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

I’d be crazy not to change. Not to mention irresponsible. And cowardly.

The Foot On The Ground (Vision)

The vision has been the same my entire adult life: to earn a living from my creative endeavors.

I defined it in more concrete terms when I issued the Transparency Challenge in July of 2014:

My goal is to earn at least $3,000.00 (the current minimum required to meet my financial obligations) each month from my own creative work or related sources (not including my work as a freelancer for others).

Earlier this month, talking with my girlfriend, I wasn’t trying to articulate my vision, but it came pouring out of my mouth in a rush, more or less like this:

“I want to make things without worrying about everything. I want you to be able to do what you want without worrying about everything. I want to help people without worrying if I can afford to take the time or make the effort.”

That, right there… that’s what I really want from my creative career. Everything else flows from those three things, and everything that’s important to me—the DIY ethic, storytelling, community, and all the rest—is contained in that flow.

And the way things are now… it ain’t happening.

The Course Correction

I know what I want.

I know that my current strategies and tactics aren’t working.

I know what I want to try next.

My pivot is coming. I’m setting the pieces in place right now.

As is my wont, I’ll be as transparent as possible about it all, both here at mattselznick.com and in messages to my mailing list community.

If folks are willing and interested, I’ll be talking about it a lot of other places, too. I think it’s… newsworthy… especially for the independent publishing and indie creative community.

Right now, though… I just wanted to let you know things are about to happen. And to hopefully have a little conversation:

Is It Time For You To Pivot?

Whether you’re an independent author, an indie musician, an entrepreneur, some kind of creator… or just feeling it in your life… is it time for you to stop doing the things that aren’t working? Do you have a plan to change?

Maybe you’ve already made the change, and have a story tell?

Let’s talk about it together in the comments.

This post, The Big Pivot appeared first on the website of author and creator Matthew Wayne Selznick. If you liked it, please click through and comment, or subscribe to the mailing list for a free e-book! Thanks!

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Write Better Fiction With Live Help From Matthew Wayne Selznickhttp://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/write-better-fiction/ http://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/write-better-fiction/#respond Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:53:30 +0000 http://www.mattselznick.com/?p=13262 Writers! I'd like to help you write better fiction. I've added a new creative service to the MWS Media toolkit to do just that! Join me for a live, one-on-one, personal video session, where we'll...

This post, Write Better Fiction With Live Help From Matthew Wayne Selznick appeared first on the website of author and creator Matthew Wayne Selznick. If you liked it, please click through and comment, or subscribe to the mailing list for a free e-book! Thanks!

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Writers! I’d like to help you write better fiction. I’ve added a new creative service to the MWS Media toolkit to do just that!

Join me for a live, one-on-one, personal video session, where we’ll get to the root of your story and I’ll offer specific suggestions on how you can make it the best it can be.

It’s all done on the Google Helpouts platform. Check out this one-minute video I put together:

How It Works

We’ll start our Google Helpout session with your ten to fifteen minute synopsis of your story. During that time, you’ll fill me in on any specific issues or problems I can help you solve.

For the remainder of the session, we’ll have an conversation driven by my open-ended questions. The whole idea is to strengthen and enrich your story, so be ready to take notes!

At the end of the Helpout, you should have new insights on how to improve the story at hand… insights that will help you write better fiction going forward.

And hey! Your first thirty minute Helpout session is free!

Why Should You Ask Me For Help With Your Story?

As you might know, I’m an award-nominated author of two novels and several short stories and serials.

I’m honored and privileged to have nearly five dozen Amazon.com five-star reviews for my work.

Nominations and great reviews are nice, but the real value I bring to the table is a long history of storytelling and developmental editing in a variety of media. I understand story structure—the bones and scaffolding of character, plot, and theme—and I have a knack for excavating that skeleton and organizing the parts for clear display.

Other people think so, too:

“…doubled the effectiveness of my writing at the very least.” — Eric Braun, Author

“A talented writer, an intelligent sense of humor and an overall awesome person to collaborate with and learn from…” — Danielle Kugell, CEO, Digital Handiwork

“…a masterful storyteller… Matthew brought many compelling creative and resonant ideas to the table…” — J.C. Hutchins, Author and Experience Designer, Canonical

“…a very talented writer…” — Scott Roche, Contributing Editor, Flying Island Press, Author

“Matt Selznick is in the top ten of the new genre writers…” — Paul Fischer, former Director of New Media Programming, BaltiCon

Schedule a Session

You’ve got a story that’s giving you trouble. I’m ready to help you write better fiction. Your first thirty minute session is free. You have no reason not to schedule a session right now:

Thanks! And if you have a moment, please spread the word about this service via the handy buttons at the bottom of this post!

This post, Write Better Fiction With Live Help From Matthew Wayne Selznick appeared first on the website of author and creator Matthew Wayne Selznick. If you liked it, please click through and comment, or subscribe to the mailing list for a free e-book! Thanks!

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A Transparency Challenge From A Bottom-List Indie Authorhttp://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/indie-author-income-transparency-challenge/ http://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/indie-author-income-transparency-challenge/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:00:04 +0000 http://www.mattselznick.com/?p=13159 Effective immediately, and every month from now on, I will post my gross earnings as an independent author and creator. If you're an indie author or otherwise make some or all of your living as an independent creator, I challenge you to...

This post, A Transparency Challenge From A Bottom-List Indie Author appeared first on the website of author and creator Matthew Wayne Selznick. If you liked it, please click through and comment, or subscribe to the mailing list for a free e-book! Thanks!

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I'm an author meme image by matthew wayne selznick
Effective immediately, and every month from now on, I will post my gross earnings as an independent author and creator. If you’re an indie author or otherwise make some or all of your living as an independent creator, I challenge you to do the same.

Why Indie Authors and Other Creators Should Be Transparent About Their Income

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while. As with many things having to do with creativity, my motivations are at once selfish, and in the spirit of teaching.

I hope other indie authors and creators find these reasons compelling, as well:

  • Creators and consumers are peers and partners. Together, we make a community. Through commerce, at the very least, we are in a relationship, and relationships are strengthened by honesty and openness.
  • The big earners in indie publishing and other indie creative endeavors get lots of attention, and good for them. But the top of the list is defined by the middle and the bottom, and it’s important those creators are represented and have their part of the story heard.
  • This one might be more for the bottom-list majority than anyone else, but here goes: if your community sees how much (how little?) you’re making from your creative endeavors, they might spend more money on the things you make. It’s possible—just possible, mind you—that readers could be under the impression that their authors are doing just fine, or that some other person will buy your stuff. Share your gross income and show your community how much you need their financial participation.
  • Sharing your gross income from creative endeavors could keep you motivated. Are you disappointed / dissatisfied / ashamed by the amount of money your books or other indie works bring you each month? Maybe the fact that the rest of the world knows the details will push you to work harder. On the other hand, if you’re one of the lucky few making a decent living as an independent author or other indie creator, sharing your number could be inspiring to your community. Either way, the information is useful. You should share it.

The Transparency Challenge: Indie Creators, Commit To Sharing Your Income Report Each Month!

What do you say, indie author, or musician, or artist, or craftsperson, or what-have-you?

Will you commit to revealing your gross income from your creative endeavors, in public, every single month?

Declare your intention in the comments of this post by providing a link to the income reporting page on your website.

My Monthly Income Report

My monthly income report is here.

It goes back to the beginning of 2014. My goal is to earn $3,000.00 (the current minimum required to meet my financial obligations) each month from my own creative work or related sources other than work I do for others as part of my creative services business. Income earned from my freelance clients is not included.

Included are things like book and music royalties from sales, streams, and subscriptions, patron donations and membership dues, affiliate income from products and services I use in my creative work, and related sources. In other words, anything directly connected to the things I make and the people consuming the things I make.

Take a look.

If you’re an indie creator, how does it compare to your own numbers?

If you’re a consumer of indie creative endeavors, how does it stack up against your expectations?

Let’s talk about it… and please, share this idea with everyone you know!

Let’s make it a thing.

Update, August 23, 2014: Thanks to her interview on the excellent podcast The New Disruptors, I learned about polymath Nicole Dieker’s ongoing practice to post her earnings as a freelance writer, essayist, musician, and copywriter every week! While not exactly following the letter of my Transparency Challenge, she’s absolutely acting in the spirit of the thing. More like this!

This post, A Transparency Challenge From A Bottom-List Indie Author appeared first on the website of author and creator Matthew Wayne Selznick. If you liked it, please click through and comment, or subscribe to the mailing list for a free e-book! Thanks!

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