11/27/19 Newsletter: Thanksgiving in Space

//SF Author James S. Aaron Checking In//

Hey, how are you?

I’m sending this letter a bit early. I wanted to share a couple neat things I found before the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.

A couple things to talk about during Thanksgiving

I was amazed to learn recently that the holiday is celebrated internationally. Seth Godin shared the factoid in his recent episode of the Akimbo podcast:

11/26 – “Cohesion and Commerce” 

[https://art19.com/shows/akimbo/episodes/5def79d1-6aab-4d31-9c16-2994813862a1/]

Apparently, the origins of Thanksgiving are murky, but its cultural relevance has resisted changes to its dates, foods, and what the holiday even means. According to Godin, this has all been reinforced by powerful marketing forces that tied commerce to the cultural cohesion of the event. It’s an interesting listen, and only 20 minutes.

Funny name, awesome recipe

He also talks about Spatchcocking your turkey, which I recommend to everyone. You’ll cut your cooking time in half and everything comes out evenly cooked. (Sharing this recipe is another reason I wrote early. It took most of the stress out of cooking a turkey for me.)

So what does this have to do with space?

It got me thinking about what Thanksgiving, or the coming together to give thanks, might look like in the future. Seth talks about why we cook a turkey the way we do, why cranberries became part of the meal, and a few other “must have” parts of the holiday that have been added over time for different reasons. We also have Norman Rockwell to thank for cooking turkey the way we do, rather than sensibly spatchcocking it. 

Future Holidays

How will holidays play out on Mars, Luna or out in the asteroid belt? I’m sure they would want to create a new bit of the tradition while hanging onto a few old parts. What if you have to buy different apps for your protein assembler to get just the right centerpiece for your meal? What if somebody hacked those apps? How much fuel would it cost to meet up with other space craft and celebrate out near Neptune? Who controls the calendar? Would pirates take advantage of so many ships meeting in a single spot? Don’t forget how vast and empty our solar system really is.

Here’s how they do it on the International Space Station.

Fun stuff to explore and talk about. Being me, I have to figure out how to turn dinner into a space battle, but there’s a lot of cool culture you could create along the way.

If you celebrate, I hope this gives you something fun to talk about around the table.

Other cool stuff

Until next time, I want to share some awesome SF art I’ve been finding from across the web. I’ve been collecting a ton of it on my facebook page (I’ve cut my facebook feed down to mostly art, and it’s much more relaxing to me.) I hope to share more as I send more updates.

Hope you have a great holiday,

James

jamesaaron.net/books


Please allow images to see the art!

“Repair Mecha, Eryk Szczygieł” [https://www.artstation.com/typhonart]


Please allow images to see the art!

“cruiser spine, Colie Wertz” [https://www.artstation.com/artwork/nQG6x4]


Please allow images to see the art

“Soviet space art by Andrei Sokolov, 1974” [https://vintagetech.blognook.com/2018/12/28/soviet-space-art-by-andrei-sokolov-1974/]

Wordcrafters Class: Multiple Streams of Income for Fiction Authors

Photo by WestBoundary Photography chris gill on Unsplash

Saturday October 19th, 1 – 4pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/477885196096654/

Hey writer, do you like to make money?

If you do, I’m teaching a class about creativity and income.

As a storyteller, you’ve got more opportunities today to create income from your work than you may realize and I’m excited to share some of these ideas with you.

From book sales, affiliate income, Patreon supporters and sharing your knowledge with others, you probably have more chances to make money from your learned skills as a writer than you realize. In this class, we’ll talk about those opportunities, where they are now, and what may be appearing in the near future so you’re ready to pivot with change.

What I do

For the last three years, I’ve been working with one of the best-selling science fiction series on Amazon, and I’ve learned what it takes to build a loyal audience who love and support your work.  I’m the author of nine novels and a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America.

The Class

I’ll share how to build a flagship series with multiple entry points for readers, how to build an email list so you talk directly to your readers, as well as engagement in Facebook groups, how to identify who is not your audience, and to build relationships with readers who are your audience.

We’ll talk about affiliate income from your newsletters, how to build a successful Patreon presence that serves your readers, and even why and how you might run a crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign.

That’s just the foundation. Once you have your series, there are many ways to generate income off your creativity, from audio, merchandising, affiliate income, events and experiences.

Multiple Income Mindset

You also may be looking at your writing career as an either/or situation: You can only be a full-time author, or a full-time employee.

For me, thinking about multiple income streams from my work and in my life helps me feel more confident about my financial and personal decisions.

Take-Aways

This class will give you actionable steps to assess your writing from a financial perspective, build an audience of readers who want to buy your work, and then options on authentic merchandise and experiences to build their loyalty to you and your work.

I don’t teach often (I’m busy writing) so I look forward to seeing you!

Sign up here: https://www.facebook.com/events/477885196096654/

SW 23 – Co-Writing Pros and Cons

September 8, 2019

You may have heard authors talking about co-writing… what is it? Is it right for you? How do you even find co-writing opportunities? 

In this episode I talk about what I’ve learned from three years of co-writing with Mal Cooper in Aeon 14. Spoiler alert: it’s been a great experience that has taught me a lot during this phase of my writing career. 

However, there are pros and cons, like any business relationship.

If there’s anything I didn’t cover, shoot me an email at james@jamesaaron.net

Thanks for listening!

SW 022 – Author Dinners with Fans and Comparisonitus

September 2, 2019

In this episode I talk about dinners with fans.

Spoiler alert, they’re great.

They can help you build engagement, make your series’ world more real, and create priceless experiences for your fans.

If you’re like me and your mind goes blank while talking, you might want to take some flash cards so you don’t forget the name of your latest book.

I also struggled with a bout of “comparisonitus” this week, where I found myself comparing my career in the last three years with other authors I know, wondering if I’ve made the right decisions, and choosing to focus on what’s right for me… even if I haven’t completely figured that out yet.

Also, Google says podcasting is the new blogging, so get on that. Lol.

Thanks for listening!

SW 021 – Refining Plotting and Some Big News

August 26, 2019

What do you do when the baby eats your work space? You prop your laptop on the dresser and record anyway.

I’m back with a quick update, some notes on the current book, and some more big changes in my life that should mean positive things for my writing.

I also talk a bit about writing on deadline and how I refine my outlining process as I write to make sure I’m always heading in the right direction and not wasting words.

Thanks for listening!