A Fleeting Idea, Or Not?

Common to my seemingly ADHD writerly mind, I have come up with another idea.

I have about 20 viable ideas ready to outline in my notebook with some character ideas for 5 or 6 more.  I know there are writers just like me out there, who have the ideas but are worried that a scarce time frame or a lack of commitment to follow through (as happens to me quite often) will keep this story from being told.

The Idea

I recently ran across an interview of the enviable James Patterson.  Yeah the guy that hatched Alex Cross, Maximum Ride and all of those fantastic series and is starting yet more.  His secret is his co-writers.  In this interview, he said he was going to finish 13 to 15 books this year alone.  Seriously.  His name will appear on as many books in one year as some people write in a lifetime.

Also, I realize the importance of a writer to keep his name out in front of the readers with something new, very quickly.  From John Locke to my friends Cara Michaels and Jason Halstead their stories are hitting shelves on Amazon every few months or so.  I will be launching at least four this year myself starting in July.

Where Could This Happen?

With this knowledge, I have wondered about a place where a team of writers can get together to brainstorm and co-write for profit.  The website has already been built.  I have been using it for years.  WeBook.com has a specific chapter and synopsis related forum feature for every post.  Most people never use this feature.  Which is sad, because they do the group writing all the time for their poetry and writing prompt contests.

The book could be conceived, outlined, roughed, drafted, arced, paced, mechanical’d, proofed, and compiled to a doc for an editor to look at; all from the comfort of one website, all by a controlled team of people on a site that could be a social site if nudged a bit.  I am currently looking into a group of indie film people with connections to do theater-friendly book trailers.  My brother is a composer and remixer and I play all kinds of rock music.  I also of course have a moderate proclivity for doing book covers.  The possibilities are endless.

I am starting to be followed by indie publishing houses and book reviewers.  A quick and painless push to smashwords and in just a month or two a book is born to start making money for the two or three people involved.  Just don’t depend on the services that WeBook offers.  I was working through Page2Fame but it isn’t worth the money spent.  There are better critique sites and certainly better critique partners.

Anyone interested?

I would love to admin, or co-admin a project like this that might go as deep as two or three books at a time.  Hit me up on Twitter @sirkeystone or

comment here, but I would also like to know why you don’t like this idea.

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About sirkeystone

This dude lives and slaves in the Siloam Springs Arkansas area, where his day job is a flooring installer. For now. An author, artist, guitar repair guy, and loves to play with cars. Not just HotWheels either. Guitar, Bass, and vocals for local False Hope band, an Indie/Country/Rock band that used to be a classic rock cover band.

Posted on April 12, 2012, in writings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This is very interesting, but I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it. For me the loss of control would be a major problem. For Patterson it’s not a big deal – he wields the executive hammer when it comes to what’s in his books and what’s not. He calls them co-writers but in reality they jump when and where he tells them.

    It sounds to me as though you’re advocating sort of a blended anthology. It’s a good idea, to be sure, but if you’re at least partially established it’s hard to sell a writer on receiving 20% (or even 50%) of the royalties when they could write it themselves and earn 100%.

    I co-wrote something with someone a few years ago and have tried it a couple of other times as well – the end result was that the project took longer than it would have to write it myself. Granted, it could be a matter of establishing a process and adhering to it that could streamline and speed things up.

    It’s definitely an intriguing idea you’ve got there though! Something that could help a struggling writer get his or her feet wet too. It’s harder for me to justify it based on a revenue stream though – sales are hard enough to come by, splitting them up amongst multiple partners and being successful at it would require a lot of volume.

    Then again, it might be fun to try out sometime too. Worth thinking about, at any rate!

    • Thanks Jason. It was an idea born of the fact that I know a good many authors now who are in a cycle of only writing short fiction. Not because they aren’t inspired, but maybe, lack support.

      As someone who does not get much support from more than a small handful of people in my home circle (my wife not being one of them, I believe, “waste of time” has come up) I had a hard time hitting that publishing button the first time.

      As it turns out maybe I shouldn’t have because now two books are on the market, that while I love the story, I hate my writing.

      Anyway, I’m not advocating Patterson’s exact way, I’m thinking of possibly blending his methods in with yours, John Locke’s, even Cara Michaels, methods. Such as the book doesn’t have to be a full length novel to qualify for a 99¢ novel. 20 – 35,000 words are sufficient to tell a good story.

      I’m not 100% on where I want this to go, I just had the brainstorm and was racking my head over how to implement such a monster, and well, the website already exists. And what’s sad, webook is now mostly being used by angsty kids for writing vampire books.

      Thanks for the comment though, and I didn’t think that someone who was already headed for an established niche in the indie pub world would be interested. You have a good, solid plan. I wouldn’t trade that for anything, unless a co-write meant a possibility of get your name on one or two more books, with only 1/2 the effort. Of course, the loss of total control (making it feel more like a traditional publishing contract! LOL) and half the profit, but also half the work, if you have a cohesive relationship to the other author.

      • I’ve got tons of people raving about my Vitalis books (the 20k – 35k range), but a few people complain about the volume for the price ($.99).

        With that said, my only novellas are the Vitalis novels. Virtually everything else is 50k+. In fact, I make 50k words my price cut off – I won’t ask 2.99 or more for anything under 50k. That’s my personal creed though, not something based on market research or feedback.

        Angsty vampire books…ugh. I tried writing a vamp story a while back but I realized I was going out of my way to make a brutal character that made Satan look like a lapdog. My intent was to punish all the sparkly vampire lovers out there. I cancelled the project at that point. 🙂 A few months ago I ended up revisiting the vampire novel idea, except I put it into my Voidhawk series and it ended up turning out great.

        I’m rambling – sorry. Back to the co-writing topic. In my limited experienced with it, I did the majority of the writing and my “co-author” served more as an editor or someone to bounce ideas off of.

        I have such a relationship with my characters that I think I’d be upset if I let someone else write about them. I’d feel like they were cheating on me! Sad, I know, but they’re all perfect in my mind the way they are (even if that’s perfectly flawed), and having somebody else manipulate them would ruin that perfection. Yeah, I’ve got issues. It’s okay, I’ve accepted it.

        Very sorry to hear about the lack of support you’ve got. I used to feel that way, or at least I felt like I was being humored until I realized it wasn’t going to work. Then things started happening for me. In my case the support staff believed I could do it, they just didn’t imagine how it could be done or that it would happen inside of another ten of twenty years. The answer, my friend, is to just keep plugging away at it. Sure, you’re first books may suck, but those are your most valuable ones. Those are the ones you learn the most from. You can always go back and revise them – I know I’ve done that with my initial ones and occasionally still do. It’s more important to get out there than it is to hit a home run.

      • That’s kinda what I was thinking for my price points to actually, but then I might have gotten that idea from you, I don’t remember, heheh.

        Loved Voidhawk BTW, and of course you know my feelings on Wanted, looking forward to having the money to pick up a few more of your works…

        I plan on the plugging away part. And I do have a really good pair of critique partners, my brother is great at giving me his initial thoughts in the way of a readers thoughts, and then he gives me a more indepth version because he already knows my arc for the whole series.

        And I picked up my second Crit partner almost by accident, she’s an English teacher from the Ukraine so I have three of my bases covered with her: Russian life, Russian language, and the fact that she can hit me over the head when my younger characters start acting too old.

        I have yet to feel like my new series is ready for an editorial eye though. Maybe within the next month or two. So far I’m pretty sure I can hit at least one of my books on my July deadline…

        And thanks again for confirming the getting out there, rather then hitting the home run.

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