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Presenting a New Website Design

After many months of when-I-had-a-minute tinkering in a super-secret corner of the internet far from prying eyes and crawly bots, I have, at last, finished a new design for mattselznick.com. If you’re reading this via an RSS feed or as part of the mailing list community, click on over to the site and have a look!

First: Where Have I Been?

The last time I did a site re-launch was on Beltane, the first of May, 2019, following a six month absence. This time around, my radio silence on this channel has been ten months, not counting a couple of Sonitotum episodes four months apart.

How did that happen?

Shit. I’m not sure.

I can say that I’ve kept busy professionally. MWS Media Creative Services has a lovely stable of retainer clients, bless ’em, and there have been some meaty, fulfilling, one-off projects over the last almost-year. The usual fourth quarter doldrums in the Sea of Freelancing didn’t happen in 2020, much to my surprise. I was busy as fuck in November, December, and January. I have some money in the bank, and while I suspect I will always struggle with a scarcity mindset thanks to my origin story… things are okay there.

Unlike the 2018 – 2019 fade, I have not been creatively idle. Work on Shadow of the Outsider continues, albeit at a much slower pace than I (characteristically overconfidently) predicted in previous Scribtotum articles and Sonitotum episodes. That’s frustrating… and a subject for a different article or, really, articles. I’ve also maintained writing and publishing regular installments of Hazy Days and Cloudy Nights: “How It All Got Started” throughout.

I’ve been creating. Quietly.

I can say that personal issues and the existential weight of the COVID-19 pandemic certainly have taken a toll. Memento mori continues to push me, and the drive / struggle to remain committed to creating a stable and successful creative life is, little by little and bit by bit, forcing me down a road that, while bumpy, will ultimately take me where I really need to be.

Is that vague? Yep. As I wrote in May of 2019, “I’m all about transparency, but undiscerning transparency is rarely useful.” Indeed, it can be narcissistic and even disrespectful.

I will share what I can, when I can, as it pertains to the mission of Scribtotum and Sonitotum: to reveal my experiences as an experienced beginner building a successful, healthy, and sane creative writing life.

I’ve been away. I’ve been busy, and distracted, and a little stuck, and a little sad.

Concurrently, I’ve been refining what I need, and what I want, and what to do to acquire and achieve both.

My old site didn’t serve that.

This one does.

The Website: What’s New and What’s Different

You can get a glimpse at the old site via the invaluable treasure that is the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, if you’d like to compare. The WayBack machine doesn’t preserve everything, so your experience might not perfectly reflect what actually was.

The new site very prominently features the two sides of my creative life: I am an author, and I help authors. The home page invites visitors to choose a path, right off the bat.

For Writers

I’ve refined my service offerings to emphasize helping writers and authors, including my Your Story Buddy one-on-one live coaching.

That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped doing things for folks who don’t primarily identify as writers and authors, or won’t in the future. It does mean that I’m not actively pursuing or seeking to attract clients who aren’t writers and authors.

But Matt, you might think, doesn’t that mean you risk losing potential clients?

Yes, it does.

It also means writers and artists who peruse my offerings will not be confused by vague language that tries to address everyone who might need my help.

I’m still editing and producing podcasts. I’m still helping non-profits and small businesses. Happily!

But writers and authors? You all are my tribe, my people, and the cohort I am best suited to helping.

How can I help you?

For Readers

This is a big one!

For the first time in a long time, my entire catalog of novels, short stories, anthologies, collections, and non-fiction works is available to purchase directly from me through this site, as well as anywhere books, e-books, and audiobooks are available for sale, loan, or via subscription on the web.

For a while there, I was exclusive to Amazon in the hopes that participation in their Kindlle Unlimited subscription program would bring more net revenue.

It was hit and miss. Also, I really didn’t like having all my authorial eggs in one basket (and having it be that particular basket!), and I was increasingly uncomfortable going against one of my core principles: try not to do anything that limits the ability of people to access your work.

So! Now my written works are everywhere.

Most importantly, you can buy my available e-books and audiobooks direct from me via my partners over at Gumroad. Just click the “Buy Direct” link or button on any of my book pages. Try it out with my latest novel!

Why Buying Direct Is So Nice of You

Buying direct from me is one of the best ways to materially support my creative endeavors. It’s a matter of my net revenue. When you buy something from me by clicking the “Buy Direct” button or link, I earn about 90% of the purchase price (the rest goes to payment processing).

Compare that to my net revenue from Amazon, which is anywhere from 35% ~ 70% of the listed retail price.

Also, Gumroad deposits any accumulated revenue weekly, directly into my bank account.  I have to wait sixty days or longer to receive income from Amazon and all the other online stores.

So thanks, in advance, for your direct patronage!

Some Layout Changes

Looking for how to contact me for any reason (including media or potential client inquires), or follow me on social networks? Scroll down to the footer of any page.

Really enjoyed something here and you want to share it with your friends? There are social sharing buttons right after the primary content on every page.

Read a Scribtotum article or took in a Sonitotum episode, and you’d like to read / listen to related content? Find suggestions just above the footer of any individual Scribtotum or Sonitotum post.

Looking for my overview of recommended tools and resources for writers? It’s in the menu in the “For Writers” section.

What’s Next for This Site?

I have plans for some features to benefit my stalwart and true community of friends and fans (that’s you, right?) that I’m not ready to talk about quite yet… but if you’re part of the community, you’ll hear about it first there!

I am for sure going to be writing more Scribtotum articles, more consistently. I miss talking to you like this, dear reader.

More Sonitotum podcast episodes are a given, but I can’t say when / how often. Podcasting takes time… but please do stay subscribed so you don’t miss an episode when it does eventually drift out into the podosphere!

Meanwhile… if you have a few minutes, take a gander around the new mattselznick.com! If you have anything to say about the new site, or if you discover any quirks or bugs, please don’t hesitate to add a comment, with my thanks!

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