“Tattooed Writer” or “TW” for short, is a pen name for an author who writes under many pen names! In this episode of the podcast, we talk about how over just the last few years he has managed to see consistent sales of 400-600 books per day. We look at his inspiration for getting started in self-publishing, how he chose what to write, and how he actually puts together his books.
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The Secret Lair – Where TW posts about writing. No book or website links to share this week because of the pen names.
Armcast Podcast – Long form author interviews from Armand Rosamillia
Office Space – Great movie
TW writes under pen names. This is so that he doesn’t have to worry what people he knows thing about his work. One of his pen names has hit the USA Today bestsellers list, the only problem with that is that he can only attach that credit to that one pen name.
TW started writing in the 1990s with Westerns. These were short pieces for a publisher. He submitted them to a publisher, they accepted, and from there he wrote two more. This is what he describes as his “writing practice” and where he learned to put a longer story together.
A decade later he was self publishing but in the meantime he wrote some articles for magazines and failed to get some other stuff published. In 2011 he realised what was going on in the self-published world seeing the success of Amanda Hocking and decided to start afresh.
When TW started he heard that Amazon was favouring authors that had more books on the site. He thought that by writing short he would get more attention and sell more books. He wasn’t sure in the end that having many books was helpful, so started writing longer form stuff. Longer form writing became more possible after leaving his job.
Immediately after quitting he started writing a huge amount in a panic that money needed to be made. The panic subsided after a while and production slowed to more sustainable levels. Before TW quit he was doing 15k words a month, today he is writing about 50-60k a month.
Started writing serials, but has moved to series. The serials were particularly useful when he was working a job as it allowed him to get work out without having to wait long times between releases.
TW writes in many genres, and does this because it keeps him interesting in the writing. He bases what he writes on two things 1) what he is interested in, and 2) what is selling on Amazon. In regard to factor two, he always aims to add a spin to the genre that will make it interesting for him to write.
Currently he is thinking that thrillers are going to be a big thing in indie writing soon, he currently thinks they are underrepresented. Thrillers are typically in the novel length so he knows that in order to test the market here is going to have to write at least one novel. In fact he says that he thinks he wouldn’t be able to know whether it is successful or not until there are three books on the market. This makes testing the market a pretty big investment of time and money.
Writing Craft and Rules
TW and I talk for a while about the Lester Dent Plot Formula, and Heinlein’s Rules. Rather than rehash them here, I’m going to link you over to two resources:
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