I’ve spent most of July being a businessman. I’ve been shopping group insurance coverage for my editors and me, trying to find someone reliable to handle payroll and corporate taxes, and running board meetings.
Most of the writing I’ve done recently has been on a formal business plan. Fun.
But it’s all to the good. You might remember how glad I was to stop working out of Starbucks and start working out of an office. That office was a tiny, temporary space just to get me a desk. Now that we have editors on staff and are working to hire a whole handful of new folks, we need more space.
And we’ve found the perfect space. It’s a two-story open retail space in the midtown/arts district. We’ve drawn up plans that include a public art gallery, a little bookstore for our products, a wide open work area for our Writers and Programmers, a raised studio with direct sunlight for our Painters and Photographers, and (eventually) a dedicated recording studio for our Musicians.
It’s gorgeous. It’s also a huge financial commitment. So I’ve been very busy crunching numbers and making best guesses (and worst-case scenarios) and planning for the future. I had to convince my board of directors that we could (and should) afford the place, and now I have to convince the building owners to take us on as tenants.
It was an interesting board meeting. Once we’d finished the agenda items, it settled into more of a casual discussion as one of the directors asked me how I planned to handle the conflicting job responsibilities of producing new novels and running the company.
I smiled sweetly and explained that I’m still producing new novels in my free time. I’m a full-time CEO, and it’s everything I can do to manage that job.
This experience is so far from anything I ever expected for my life. It’s incredible. It’s stressful and tedious at times and often incredibly uncreative, but it’s also big. It’s important. I’m not just telling stories; I’m building a new media empire.
That’s not to say I’m done telling stories. Hah! I am still producing new novels in my free time. I’ve been hard at work on a short story in the World of Auric, a dragonrider novella featuring Daven, and a brand new epic novel (which I hope to get written this fall) featuring Daven’s son Damion.
I’m also hard at work as publisher and coach. In just the last week I’ve helped workshop Courtney’s sequel to Rethana’s Surrender, Joshua’s epic viking fantasy Myth Reaver: Downfall, and Jessie’s adventure fantasy, The City of Orphans. And then there are the dragonrider collaborations. But that’s a story for another time.