Website Launches

Champagne ToastHappy New Year!  2009 is in full swing; vacation’s over.

Have you made any resolutions? I don’t normally (who keeps em, right?) but this year is an exception.

I’ve resolved to maintain a website for showcasing my writing, as many authors do. Primarily I’ve been inspired by this by Brandon Sanderson who not only keeps a blog, but publicly reports progress for his current projects.

My purpose for emulating him is two-fold:

Primarily, I intend to keep myself honest, motivated, and focused. If my blog is publicly tracked by my parents, friends, co-workers, and my wife, then I can hardly shrug off inquiries about my latest projects per the usual procrastination. They’ll know if I’ve been writing. And (hopefully) they’ll pester me for the completion of interesting projects.

Secondarily, every writer needs an audience. I find I’m most motivated to finish a story when I picture printing the hardcopy and handing it out, or emailing it to the few readers I have already. A website automates that process. My mind’s eye constantly pictures the website’s readers, even if they’re only immediate family, as people for whom I am writing. This encourages me to take the stage with gusto.

Welcome to Jason R. Peters dot-com. I hope you enjoy my work.

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  • Brandon

    Prominent game programmers used to regularly update their .plan files in this way. Not being one to blog about my life, this has always seemed like a good balance, especially once I realized I avoid mentioning projects to friends just so I never have to give (disappointing) updates. Out of curiosity, how are you linking your document length to the sidebar? Manually?

    As a future idea, you could link these stories to one of those independent artist websites where you basically set a “buy it now” price for the whole world. Fans contribute as much as they want until the total is hit at which point the work is released and is free forever after. If you scrap the project, everyone is returned their contribution.

    • Jason R. Peters

      Progress Bars: I have to manually edit the number changes, but I’m using a fairly automated WordPress plugin for the rest. I’ve already experimented with half a dozen or so plugins for the same purpose; I have yet to find one as elegant as I’d like, but so far these will suffice.

      I’m not sure about the independent artist thing; it sounds like a fascinating way to make money (legitimately), but I’ve considered a number of online self-publication options, and rejected them for only one reason:

      I want to see myself in print. (And you can’t sell First North American Rights twice, and if you’ve published the story — even for free — you’ve already used them once.)

  • Mr. Snuggles

    I definitely like the look of this site. Good job.

  • Brandon

    I’ve only just done a bit of reading regarding book publishing and such so this could be way off base but it seems you could self-publish and then do contracts with distributors/printers. Yes, you’d have to pay from your own pocket and for small print runs at that but I bet the economics are already close enough to make it plausible for the right candidate.

    I agree, I would rather own books by you that are bound paper. That alone shouldn’t be enough to how to publish though. And why not change the model I described above a little; you’ve already published the story yourself online and it is popular enough. Now instead of auctioning the story (it’s already out of course) you ask a distributor (not publisher) for the cost for x ‘fan copies’ + y ‘hopeful shelf sales’ and set the auction price near that (personal income and risk factored in however you want). Leave it up for a year and maybe the fans will have bought themselves a printing of the book.

  • Jason R. Peters


    I haven’t ruled self-publication out entirely. But it has such a stigma, both inside and outside the publishing industry. Just picture Homer Simpson at a self-hope course where the guy is also selling copies of his book, and Homer excitedly notes, “Ooh! Published by KINKOS!”

    To a large degree, writers who self-publish (any method) aren’t taken seriously. It’s a simple enough way to make money, but money isn’t the only equation in a writing career.

    The alternate model you describe though may be a good candidate for a side project I don’t have larger hopes and plans for. Brandon Sanderson, for example (already makes plenty of money as a novelist) is writing a free online book or series just for his fans. It won’t be published the traditional route either. (But he’s already proven his worth in that arena, considering not only the amazing success of Elantris and Mistborn, but that he was asked to finish the Wheel of Time series.)

  • Beth

    Before you ever resign yourself to self publish, If you’re ready to submit something let me look it over and send it to the publisher I worked for. he’s a small publisher but he will agent out work to bigger publishers– and it would be a start at least. Many times a book will start out at a small publisher and then a larger publisher will buy the rights, print it and acquire the author.

  • Jason R. Peters


    Self-publication seems like a writer’s way of giving up.

    “Nobody will buy my work so I’ll just buy it myself.”

    In spite of not ruling it out absolutely (I try to keep an open mind), it’s nowhere in my radar.

    And it’s often more about who you know than what you know.

  • Beth

    I wasn’t talking about self-publishing. I used to work for a real publishing house and I still do screenplay consulting for them. In this case I was offering a “who I know”. It’s not Tor or Scholastic, but it is a Publisher.

    • Jason R. Peters

      …I understood that.

      You wrote: “before you ever resign yourself to self publish”
      I replied, “Self-publication seems like a writer’s way of giving up.”

      I know what you were saying. I was responding to it. I was glad of “who you know”.

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