Saturday, February 8, 2014

Short Stories Don't Just Happen

As I’m sure you can understand, security regulations prohibit me from offering in-person tours of my short-story writing and publication facilities. However, I decided to use this month’s blog post to do the next best thing.

What follows is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at my self-publishing empire.

A brief summary is given of each department and its role in the development and publication of a story. As with most things in life, teamwork and communication are critical.

Research Department (Me)
Most story ideas start here after painstaking research into current issues in higher education and college sports.

Writing Group (Me, myself, and I)
This is where the actual story writing takes place. The door is usually closed, and from the outside you can hear periodic sounds of ping . . . ping . . . . ping. These are crumpled sheets of discarded manuscript pages being tossed across the room at a tin trashcan. About one-third actually hits the can.

Art Department (Only me)
Cover designs are created here. I have to admit there is some creative tension between the Art Department and Writing Group. It seems the Writing Group wants more input into cover designs.

Legal Department (Little ole me)
This department must sign-off on all stories before publication to ensure we don’t get sued. (I had to jump through all kinds of hoops to get approval from the Legal Department to write this summary for my blog.)

Marketing and Promotions Department (Me and only me)
This department handles all pre- and post-publication marketing. The most mundane dribble is made to sound interesting and exciting.

Accounting Department (Just me)
Bean counting takes place here. This department continually hounds me about the cash flow challenges created by offering free stories.

Quality Assurance (Yours truly)
Everything is checked here before it goes out the door. This department is always saying Quality is everyone’s job. I’ve never understood why we need a separate department for this.

IT Department (No one but me)
All technical issues are addressed here. This department lets everyone know we can’t publish an eBook without them. All my technical support requests seem to be greeted by the same refrain: Are you sure it’s plugged in and turned on?

Unlike most business entities, we don’t have morning staff meetings. Instead, we opt for happy hour around 5 PM. We hash out our differences, mend fences, and get back after it the next day.

That is, unless it’s a bright and sunny day.

Then we all hit the golf course or the lake instead.



  1. I enjoyed this post, and can relate to it intimately!

    The best of luck in your endeavors!

    Shawn Montaigne