The Tough Choices (Part I: Silencing the Techie Talk)

You know that blogpost I’ve been promising concerning Rafe, Askana, Billi, and their respective futures?

Make sure you’re sitting down, because this is it.

I could just make it short and sweet, but you all deserve a lot better than that. Also, I don’t think I can do that. I try for “short and sweet” and then, after I say what I have to say about what I really need to touch base on, it’s 3000 words later.

Besides, would you all expect any less from me? After all, if you’re reading this blog, chances are you’ve bought one of my books. Do I have to remind you how big Morevi is?

As many of you know, the previous year came out of the corner swinging haymakers like a wrecking machine. Rough seas had actually hit in 2009, but it was the beginning of 2010 that changed everything for me and my daughter. While I was counting on change in 2010, I didn’t foresee things changing as dramatically and as quickly as they did. I think Pip put it best when she said to me “Life around you is accelerated.”

I felt those G-forces most assuredly last year.

This blogpost is about the professional choices I had to make in 2010, and what is facing me in this new year. Those of you asking about Rafe, Askana, and Billi may not be thrilled with these decisions (Heck, you may flat out hate what I have to say…), but I am considering the grander scale of what I want to make a career. This means tough choices, choices you all as fans of my work should know about.

And instead of slamming you all with these touch choices in one grandiose blogpost, I’m breaking these tough choices up into a series of blogposts. I’d rather not melt your brains with a few thousand words. No need to serve the entrée and dessert with the starter, right?

So, let’s begin with a favorite of Tee Morris fans. Let’s start with where I opened my mouth and choked on my Reeboks.

Second Editions of Twitter books

In a Bird House Rules alongside Doc Coleman, I announced that I would be working on updates for All a Twitter and Sams Teach Yourself Twitter in 10 Minutes. I was really looking forward to doing this as I was insanely proud of both titles, All a Twitter in particular as my voice, opinions, and approaches to the social network rang true. While the market was flooded with books written by people who were all about making a fast buck on Twitter, my book was a book written by a Tweeter, for the Tweeters. (And no lie, it was really me writing this book.) Teach Yourself Twitter in 10 outsold All a Twitter, but All a Twitter definitely received more accolades and shout-outs on both TeeMonster and ITStudios; and considering my love for the 140-character driven network, I was more than happy to give them an upgrade.

However, when I made that announcement on the podcast, I knew I’d probably regret it.

Something I’ve noticed since shutting down The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy: I’m making some pretty serious rookie mistakes. One that I know I covered on that podcast was talking about deals before the ink is dry on the contract. Doesn’t matter if it’s a book deal or Hollywood showing interest in one of your properties, you should never talk about any upcoming projects until the ink is dry on the contract or the advance check arrives. With All a Twitter and Twitter in 10, I had neither. I did have a phone call and an agreement; and shortly after said agreement, I sent in all the paperwork I was asked for. Then I waited for the final offer and deadline to reach my desk.

That was August.

I don’t know exactly what happened; but considering how the non-fiction books, while definitely money makers on a modest level and overall successes they were, didn’t open the doors I thought they would, I concluded that it was time to stop doing these kind of projects. Even with the credentials of a successful For Dummies book, two successful Twitter books, and having spoken on Social Media coast-to-coast and around the world, I was always passed over for the fly-by-night hucksters and Social Media Snake Oil Salesmen with self-published works and somewhat questionable credentials. This was made evident when TwitrCon came to Washington D.C., my own stomping grounds, and I was not invited to speak. The organizers did, however, fly in people from all over the country…but not the local author of two books that actively and professionally practiced Social Media.

Maybe it was because I wasn’t doing the “Make Money Now” dance, or perhaps my take on Social Media was too honest; but after filling a 300-seat theatre in New Zealand with my talk on Social Media, and then coming home to “I’m sorry, you’re who again?” I took this odd silence from publisher and agent that my stint as a computer book author was done. I still think All a Twitter and Twitter in 10 were two solid titles to close this chapter of a writing career.

Besides, I was ready to return to my first love: Fiction.

(NEXT WEEK — Concerning Dwarf Detectives
and Swashbuckling Pirates)


  1. You know, I think the world just wasn’t ready for your level of awesome with those books. What about plans for the Bird House Rules podcast? Will you continue with that?

    (And I totally would’ve read a few thousand words more. Srsly.)


    1. Considering the other two podcasting projects I have in the works, BHR is on shaky ground. Much like with the writing, I have to prioritize my podcasting. What is keeping the podcast in my sights is the fact that normal episodes are only ten minutes in length.

      So, I’ll have to think about that.


  2. Both of the Twitter books were great books. I’m sad to hear they won’t be being updated, but that really doesn’t surprise me. I know your plate is full of fiction, and that in particular is brining me great joy!


  3. You’re a huge tease!

    I’m still hoping a new All a Twitter deal comes through, but the first book still holds up in my opinion and it is the book I tell everyone to get when they try to figure out what twitter is. It’s a fun read, which is a lot to say for a techie non fiction book.

    As much as I love Billi and I know you have yet to actually say anything there, if he goes on the back burner for some Books and Braun action or something else that will advance your writing career I will support it, because when it comes down to it, the more you are writing, the happier we will be


  4. Seems like everyone I know have lost someone (I myself lost my dad and an uncle, and along with it my puppy). 2010 was a rough year for everyone =/ Still, I hope things will go better for you in the coming year. The best you can do is take a step back, a deep breath and then get a good look at things before going to work.


  5. All A Twitter was a great book. I really would have liked a second edition of it. Still hoping it will happen.


  6. I hope you can make time to continue with BHR, or at least find someone you are willing to let continue your vision while you work on other projects.

    At the very least, I hope there is one more episode. Because that session rocked and the world should get a chance to hear it someday.



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