An Introduction / by Josh Guess

Hi there.

My name is Joshua Guess, and man, do I like to write. I've had the bug to tell stories for as long as I can recall, but I reached a critical point about a year ago. That was when I buckled down and started working on a fantasy novel. The idea had been in my brain for a long time, and writing it was hard. Very hard.

So, to sort of loosen up my brain and for daily practice, I started writing a fictional blog, livingwiththedead.net. It's a serialized story, told in real time, set in the zombie apocalypse. Funny that what began as an experiment in writing evolved into an almost obsessive passion. Now, because of my experiences writing both my blog and my fantasy novel (which will be released next month), I write all the time. I have dozens of ideas for books.

I am not a full-time writer. I work a regular job, hoping that one day my hobby will become my full-time occupation. Toward that end, let me say a few things that are important...

I sell two collections of my happy little zombie blog on the Kindle store. This one is the first month, for 99 cents. I put it on there first, thinking that it would be a great idea to offer each month in the series so that people who wanted to help support my efforts could do so without too heavy an investment.

Not too long after, though, I started really studying the trends in eBook sales, and learning about the publishing industry. I truly believe that if I am to make a living doing this, electronic media will be the key. People like getting more bang for their buck, which led me to collect six months of story into one handy unit, for $2.99, which is half off. That one is located right here.

I am planning to donate 10% of all my royalties to charity, pretty much forever. Initially I was going to give that percentage from Oct. 31 of this year until Oct. 31 or next year to Patrick Rothfuss's Worldbuilders, which drives for donations to Heifer International. I am actually going to extend that. It looks something like this:

Oct 31 2010-Jan 15, 2011 (I think that's the last day of worldbuilders)--10% of all royalties during this time will go to this year's Worldbuilders.

Jan 16, 2011-Jan 15 2012--one full year of saving one penny in ten to go toward Mr. Rothfuss's wonderful charity drive for next year.

Now, that's for anything and everything I publish on ANY platform over that time. Ten percent of everything I make from writing will go to Heifer. After next year's drive is finished, I will donate money to different charities for each book or series I publish. For example--one novel that is in the outline stage right now has a major character named after and designed from a friend of mine. She is getting to pick what charity I donate to after this time time frame is over for that book.

I think it's a decent idea. Not only will buying what I write help me to get closer to my goal, but in the process you will be donating money to help people in need all over the world, both at home and abroad.

This blog is going to be a work in progress for a while. I have been fiddling with Living With the Dead for most of a year, tweaking this and that until I have it set up the way I want.

JoshuaGuess.com is going to eventually house many things, from my works in progress and published stories to actual numbers on sales and donations. Not to mention being a nice window into the world of the indie writer trying to make a living. I will be writing often about my successes and failures in e-publishing, and I hope that many of you will join me for the ride.

It's going to be interesting.