Help! I’m trapped in the ’90s

Technology has moved on from the ’90s. My book tastes, apparently, have not.

As I’ve previously reported, by backlog of books hovers right around 400 – a number that is very, very heavily Star Trek novels. Seriously. I picked up over 100 off my mom when my parents moved to a new house, and added about 100 more off of eBay in a spending spree. If I read 2 Star Trek novels a month, I still won’t be done this time in 2030.

My eBay spree brought into focus a few elements of my reading habits.

  1. I love big Sci-Fi universe tie-in novels… probably too much. Of the 311 novels I have logged on Goodreads, 128 are Star Wars. The galaxy far, far away accounts for 41% of all books I’ve even read. I LOVE Star Wars, but that percentage is way too high.
  2. Star Trek is shaping up to be every bit as overrepresented by the time I’ve read all this stuff.
  3. Other eBay purchases include Hardy Boys Casefiles. (Published late 80s.)
  4. And I’m reading the Animorphs.

And I realized…. Holy Shit, I’m stuck in the 90s. The last few months, I’ve been too deep in my happy comfort bubble of older fiction. I like to think I’m a pretty open and honest guy. I can call myself out when I think I should course-correct.

I’m not going to make myself feel bad about liking what I like, but I realized while I attack my absolutely absurd TBR pile, that I need to address how I balance it. (BTW – I do my Laterpress book reading almost exclusively on weekends, when I’m not already committed to 8 hours of screen time from work.)

I’m the community lead for a publishing platform looking to champion the cause of the WIDE indie author. I myself will be a wide indie author with the Planar Gates as the books are completed. I need to be greatly increasing my diet of CURRENT INDIE AUTHORS, versus over-indulging in media tie-ins from 20+ years ago. There’s a few obvious reasons this is needed.

  1. To study what my peers are up to. From the perspective on what is being written, its quality, how it is being marketed, etc.
  2. Build up my personal / professional network of people walking similar publishing journeys to my own, and doing so from similar genres. I firmly believe indie publishing is a TEAM SPORT, not a competition. People read more than one book / one author. Together, we can lift each other up.
  3. Wide authors making money is good for me, whether they ever use Laterpress or not. It’s late at night, so forgive me for the logic being a little fuzzy, but the way I see it, more wide authors making money = weakening the supposed necessity of publishing in KU = more potential interest in Laterpress and what we have to offer + greater general perceived legitimacy for all of us who haven’t shackled ourselves to Amazon.

So, starting in June, I’m making it my mission to read an absolute MINIMUM of 1 indie book that is either Fantasy or Science Fiction, and IS NOT IN KINDLE UNLIMITED, per month. Two indies is even better.

I’ll be observing my usual rule, that I don’t review books. If I didn’t like a book, I’ll just quietly move on and not say anything. But I resolve to give more shoutouts to indie books I like. We all need all the help / exposure we can get.

There’s no naked self-interest here. I won’t be praising any indies in an attempt to get them to publish on Laterpress. We’re not pushy like that. I think our value proposition speaks for itself. This will be even more true in 6-8 months when many more of the features in our roadmap are live. I’m also not expecting anyone to turn around an promote my book. I believe in positive karma. Do good for others, and good will circle back to me from one channel or another. People are happy to help people who prove themselves to be givers, and don’t approach relationships with a “what can I get out of this” attitude.

HOLIDAY WEEKEND PLANS

#1 GET THE WORDS ON THE PAGE SON! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!!!!

I’m now off until next Wednesday, June 1. One of my friends is having a wedding ceremony tomorrow, so my Saturday afternoon is booked. But the rest of the weekend is all about writing, writing, and still more writing.

My outline for Welcome to the Nexus calls for 59 chapters. I’ve published 44. #45 is done, pending editing, and I’m 1k words deep into 46. A perfect weekend would get me done with everything short of THE FINAL BATTLE. Tough, but maybe possible?

#2 WRITE DOWN ALL THE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TWITTER

For a while, I thought my tweet was going to be a bust, but indie author twitter came through for me, and my notifications got absolutely blown up today with mentions of various indie authors writing fantasy or sci-fi who aren’t in KU.

I have the memory of a goldfish. If I don’t preserve this information in print in a venue outside twitter, I will forget the vast majority of it.

So, job #2 is to make myself a Google Doc with author names / books / site links that I can refer back to at my convenience. That may be an activity for Saturday and Sunday when I need to come up for air (take a mental break) between writing sessions.

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