I was reading through the comments from a couple of days ago and found a question from Jerry Brandt:
How do you make any money with the snowflake method?
The question is just a wee bit ambiguous, at least in my mind. It could mean:
- How does a writer make money writing novels using the Snowflake method?
- How do I personally make any money as a result of being the “Snowflake Guy”?
I’ll answer question #1 first. I’ve written six novels. I wrote the first one using some organizational methods that weren’t quite the Snowflake, but which were close. That was fun and easy to write. Then I wrote two with a coauthor, John Olson, who is a bit more on the seat-of-the-pants end of the spectrum than I am. We did map out the book plotwise in advance, but not so for the characters. And each book took about 15 drafts.
After that, I devised the Snowflake because I had a tight deadline and needed to get the book done. And that book was a joy to write. Honestly, the Snowflake saved my behind, because my deadline was outrageously tight. Had I written 15 drafts, I’d have been 6 months late. Instead, I turned it in on time. Ditto for the next several books I’ve written. So in that sense, the Snowflake has been absolute gold for me.
Please note: it is not gold for seat-of-the-pantsers! A true SOTP needs to just sit down and write. The Snowflake may be useful afterwards to help analyze the story. I have an SOTP friend who hates the Snowflake. And yet she creates very detailed character charts and character histories, just like I do in my Snowflake documents. What she hates is the preplotting. That’s fine. That’s her style. Everyone needs to write their own way.
Now I can answer question #2. If this is the question Jerry was in fact asking, then it’s presumably a response to my recent Special Report on how to write “Super Performing Articles.” And the question then is how my free Snowflake article could possibly generate a dime for me. Well, it got everyone talking about me, for one thing. In other words, it captured mindshare and fame for me. That in turn generated a lot of requests to speak at conferences. Writing conferences typically don’t pay big bucks, but it’s always better to be paid to go to a conference than to pay to go.
Secondly, the widespread interest in the Snowflake prompted me to develop other teaching materials. Some of those are free, but I have to charge money for products that take dozens or sometimes hundreds of hours to produce. Those products have done well precisely because I’m the Snowflake Guy.
If I was a smart marketer, I’d have planned all that out in advance. But I just lucked into it. Doesn’t matter. My plans for the next few months include writing a few more SuperArticles. Now that I know how, I understand the huge benefits. Some of these SuperArticles will be about writing fiction and some will be about novels that I’m working on now.
Amazing final comment: Last Saturday, May 5, the Snowflake page got 5299 page views. Yes, in one day. That’s a SuperArticle for you!