A few final odds and ends tonight before we switch to a new topic tomorrow:
I have a quick question before we totally leave the website topic. How do you know which ending to use? For example: .com .net .info
My husband thought .info was best for my site because it’s not a commercial site.
Randy sez: I prefer the .com ending. I think .net is second best. The fact is that when people are trying to guess your web site, they’ll guess .com first and .net second. This is not such a problem as it used to be, because most people will just hit the search engines if they can’t find you on the first guess, and many of them will try Google before even guessing. But .com has a more professional feel to it than .net or .info or .name or .biz. I don’t know if it’ll always be that way, but for now, my advice is to grab a .com ending if you possibly can.
Currently I’m immensely busy at the office. I come home and there’s tons of stuff to do before I can even sit down and take a moment. Then, tired from a hard days work, I like to just relax for a while and “space out” (I think the expression is). Then all of a sudden, it’s time to go to bed. Lately I find no time to write. How do I make this work? My fingers are aching, itching to go back to work, but I’m just too tired when I get home to focus.
Help me, Obi-Wan Randy. You’re my only hope.
Obi-Wan Randy sez: Welcome back, Christophe! We’ve missed you. I don’t have an easy answer. Sometimes, you’re just going to hit a stretch where “Life Happens” and you have less time to write. There is nothing you can do about this. Eventually, things will calm down a bit and you can write more.
The goal, of course, is to run your life as efficiently as possible, so you’ll have time to write. This is why I’ve made such an effort to manage my time better, and also my money. Time really is money. The more money you can earn with the same level of effort, the better, because then you can trade money for time.
At a certain point, I went to my boss at my former day job and asked for a 20% reduction in hours. Of course, that also meant a 20% reduction in money, but I was willing to pay that price. When I moved on to a different employer, I made it a condition going in that I’d only work at 80% of full time. Because I had worked hard to make myself a valuable employee, they were willing to do that. Eventually, I asked for another 20% reduction, and got that too.
There is a price to this writing life. The price is that you will almost certainly always be stretched thin, you will always have less free time, you will always have less money. That is grossly unfair, because we Great Artistes deserve better, but that is the fate the uncaring universe has dealt us.
On that happy note, let me point you all to my friend Chip MacGregor’s blog. Chip used to be my agent before he went over to the Dark Side (temporarily) and became a publisher. He’s now back agenting again, and he has a great blog at www.ChipMacgregor.com.
In the last couple of days, he posted some interesting data on the top-selling books from last year. There were only 4 books last year that sold more than a million copies. Another 15 books sold more than half a million copies. Chips sums it up by saying that there were 250,000 new books published last year, and only 19 of them hit the big time.
That may or may not depress the living heck out of you. But it’s reality. We need to be realists. This is a tough, tough career choice we’ve made. Hence the need to use our time well, be frugal with our money, and market the daylights out of our books.