Big Dreams and Magic
“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood.”
Daniel H. Burnham
American Architect & Urban Planner
I finished the book, set it down, and looked at the cover. Wait a minute, I thought. This is pretty good, but it’s not a great story…yet it’s a national bestseller. How is this possible? I continued to mull over the book, its ideas, and the success it enjoyed. After a few days of pondering I came to the conclusion, I could write a better story. Wait, why stop there? Think big! I decided I would write the next “Hunger Games” or “Harry Potter” series or even the next “Twilight.” When Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg come knocking at my door and want to make a movie from my fantastic story I’ll demand a ridiculously high percentage of the total profits, including all the promotional paraphernalia and insist on being co-director — those years in high school drama might pay off after all.
Cocky? Absolutely! Presumptuous? Definitely. Possible? Well, of course, anything’s possible but I hadn’t even written one sentence and already I was dreaming of mega-success—Doesn’t every writer think this way? My blood was well and truly stirred.
I grabbed a composition notebook and set out to write my masterpiece using a .01 micron pen so I could jam as many words as possible on each page. I wrote daily, except Sunday, during every free moment I could find while still trying to be a dutiful loving husband and father. I arrived at my architecture job early to grab maybe an hour of writing and then for lunch, after inhaling some leftovers, I’d write for the remainder of my break. At night after my family had gone to bed I’d write into the late evening. After a year and a half and multiple re-writes it was done … or so I thought.
Now, how do I get it in front of my
millions … not
big enough … billions — I’d go bigger but Earth’s population hasn’t reached
trillions yet — of adoring fans? I researched. Read books on writing, publishing,
and consulted with the experts. My wife, my kids, and Mormon Mommy Writer’s
Nikki Wilson and her sister. I read about the rejection I would likely face and
the long waiting periods. I learned that a publisher who may choose to publish
my story may not like everything I’d written and they’d want to change some
things or have me re-write even more. And then I found out that my masterpiece
may not be picked by a good publisher and I had to be very careful of those
that would lure me into a contract that turned out great for them but not so great
for me. The final wrecking ball to shatter my idea was the fact that I probably
wouldn’t even be consulted for the cover art of my novel. The Horror! This cannot
be! What to do?
During my research I came across an ebook about digital publication. Ah ha! Here is the answer to my conundrum. I’ll publish it myself as an ebook! After searching their current catalog and finding a lack of print books on this subject the local public library was gracious enough to order several books on the subject. I wondered if they realized they may be contributing to their own demise. After reading each book I formulated a plan and began the learning process of turning my novel into the proper format for Kindle, Nook, and other digital platforms. Finally complete with the irksome process I published online and waited for a call from a movie producer. …
Not one producer or director called or even stopped by to discuss which big Hollywood stars I’d like to appear in my movie. I have the perfect roles for Robert Downey Jr., Will Smith, Anne Hathaway, and Natalie Portman in my epic story.
After several more days of no email, phone calls, or even just a knock at the door, I came to an understanding that mega-success might take a few months. I started to write the next book. Can’t let life’s little potholes wear out your shocks. A day or so later an email popped up. Hey, wait, what’s this? Someone bought my novel and left a review! I was so excited as I tapped out the web address to the site where I could read it. Punched in my username, s-u-p-e-r-a-u-t-h-o-r. Password…password…okay, which one is it? Oh, right, #-1-b-e-s-t-s-e-l-l-e-r. The screen popped up and there it was. Magic time! I began reading. It started out good and went downhill from there…THREE STARS?!! What? Who is this idiot? Doesn’t he/she recognize fantastic literature when they read it? Okay, okay. Get control of yourself. Everyone gets a bad review once in a while, right? At least it wasn’t two or one star. Just keep writing. I told myself. Be patient. Don’t you hate that word? I want it NOW!
Slowly better reviews came in as the book began to circulate and I’ve learned a lot since then. I’m not only writing but I’ve gained some knowledge and experience in marketing, advertising, interviewing, and the rewarding opportunity to meet readers and other talented authors at book signings. I’ve also learned how to design effective posters, flyers, bookmarks, and websites and I even created a book trailer.
Here’s my assessment of Independent Publishing.
Absence of a publishing company.
Absence of a publishing company.
Supposedly the profits of Indie Publishing are higher, but you work for what you receive. The work a literary agent or publishing company does — that’s how they get paid and stay in business — you must do yourself. Fortunately I have a magical literary agent. My wife. She’s a genius at helping me to market and sell books. While I work at my job and write in my spare time she’s out hustling journalists, bookstore owners, librarians, and TV producers. So, while Peter Jackson hasn’t come knocking at my door yet for a movie deal, I’m still waiting…patiently. There’s that word again!
Orson is offering the Kindle version of Book 1 Exodus: Leaving Home in his epic sci-fi thriller series for free (to get you hooked) today only Dec. 14th at Amazon.com.
Book 2 Exodus: Reprisal, is now for sale on Amazon.com Both books are also available in print format.
Orson T. Badger has lived all over the country and in South Korea. He works full time in architecture and writes in his spare time. He currently resides in the great windy state of Wyoming with his wife and two kids at home and has two sons serving missions. He just finished writing the second novel in the Exodus series, Reprisal. A nail-biting, teeth clenching, adventure ride on an ark 1.98 trillion miles from Earth.
Visit Orson’s website here.