If you’re not a writer, you can feel free to skip this post.

But if the curious pastime of stringing words together is an important part of your life you might want to read on. There’s a chance you might find it helpful.

If not, you’re out the couple of minutes it takes to read it, and then—I can but hope—the time you choose to devote to thinking about it. Worst case scenario, you might wind up parting with fifteen bucks.

But let me save us both a thousand words by supplying a picture for you to look at:


There you go. Ten books, available for another week or so as a StoryBundle. You can get them all, ten books by ten outstanding professional writers, downloaded to the eReader of your choice for the price of your next three Skinny Lattes. (And we’re not thrusting a tip jar in your face, either.)

If you’ll study that thousand-word-picture, you’ll note that the books have something in common beside the fact that they’re by writers and for writers. They’re specifically about various aspects of the business of being a writer. Now that may hold no interest for you. You may be the verbal equivalent of a Sunday painter, writing for the pleasure it gives you, writing for the satisfaction of sharing your work with your friends and family. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that—and if your field is poetry, such an approach is nothing less than realistic.

But most of us want more than that. We want to be read, not only by friends and relatives but by people we don’t know and will never meet. And we want to make a living out of the stories we dream up and the words we write down.

There’s no guarantee that any of us can do that. There are schools you can go to in order to learn a trade, and when you’re done you’re likely to qualify for a job in that field. It doesn’t work that way in the arts. You can take every writing course you can find, you can earn an MFA and hang the diploma on your wall, and you may never write a page that anyone will read with pleasure. This, alas, is the risk we all run.

But even if you write well, even if you turn out work that pleases those who read it, you have to embrace writing as a business and approach it in a businesslike fashion. You don’t need that kind of approach to determine what you write or how you write it; that’s up to you, and I’d argue that you make a mistake if you let commercial considerations weigh too heavily here.

See, once the damn thing is written, you really have to switch hats. Toss the beret; put on—well, whatever chapeau best suits a CEO. (A fedora? Now why do you suppose that would come to mind just now?)

I see one of the books is yours. Writing the Novel from Plot to Print.

Yes, and I was hesitant about including it. That book came out earlier this year, a greatly expanded and updated edition of one in print continually since 1978, and it’s been selling very well at $9.99 in ebook form, $16.99 in paperback. Why would I want to give it away in a deal like this?

I had to think about it, but I decided it would be to my advantage in the long run to reach more people. And, although it’s largely about writing a novel, much of the new material is very much about the business of writing. The chapters on ebooks, on the pros and cons of self-publishing—this material meshes well with the offerings from my nine fellow writers.

But the numbers are wrong. I see ten books, but only nine writers. Dean Wesley Smith is in there twice.

Technically true. But if you’ve read any of what Dean Wesley Smith has to say about writing in all its aspects, you’ll be more than happy to count him twice. Ten books by ten writers, two of whom are Dean Wesley Smith. There. Happy now?

I guess so. But is this StoryBundle just for fiction writers?

Certainly not. It’s for anyone who’s ready to approach his or her craft as a business, with the intent of making money at it. Fiction or nonfiction makes no never mind. I would even recommend this deal to the poets among you. Could it help? Well, let me put it this way: What could it hurt?

Okay. I don’t want to oversell this. I said earlier that parting with $15 was your worst-case scenario, and I’m going to urge you to click here now and do just that.

Truth to tell, I’d call that your Best-Case Scenario.