Sometimes, when I’m feeling down, I take a look at what other authors have dubbed the Brag Shelf — a shelf full of books I’ve contributed to. It gives me a lift, not only from the sense of accomplishment, but also from the wide variety of material I’ve worked on over the years.
The vast majority of my published work has been in the gaming field. I wrote about this last week (see ‘Game of Life: http://billbodden.com/2020/01/27/game-of-life/) so I won’t delve much further into the gaming aspect, except to say that there’s a bunch more that isn’t represented here: mostly, this is because the community content works I’ve written so far are not, by the various sites’ stipulations, to be made available in print form. Also missing is the copy of GURPS Horror 2nd Ed. I wrote a tiny sidebar for way back in the late1980s/early 1990s. My part was small enough that the credit was purged from subsequent editions. I regret getting rid of my copy in a fit of pique when trying to clear space in my closet, but so it goes.
The five books on the right of the picture are split between fiction and non-fiction. The two ‘100 Best’ books both include essays of mine, and the other three are anthologies that include fiction I’ve written. Again, this isn’t complete either, as one anthology I’ve contributed to is hosted on the White Wolf community content site (the Storytellers Vault) and so is not available in dead-tree format.
The publishers of every one of these books has already paid me everything I’m going to get for my work. Most tabletop game companies contract for work as work-for-hire, meaning no royalties are owed once the work is paid for at the contracted rate. The exception within this slection WAS Sidekicks!, which delivered tiny royalty payments regularly until the publisher succumbed to financial difficulties and closed up shop. My community content work continues to deliver solid royalties, which is one of the reasons for writing for those sites.
Nearly everything I’ve written is available on Drive Thru RPG/Drive Thru Fiction. While I don’t get another penny for sales on most of them, it’s still gratifying to see there several of them have sold extremely well, including, in the case of Ghouls and Revenants for Vampire the Masquerade, that it sold fantastically well despite the publisher’s doubts that it was a viable product. Here’s a link to my work that’s still available on Drive Thru: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?author=Bill%20Bodden
I’ve been less than aggressive in seeking out paying writing work for the last year, but that’s changing. I have a story under consideration right now, and just got notes back from the editor of changes she’d like to see. Unfortunately, even with the changes, there’s no guarantee my story will make the cut; much depends on the quality of subsequent submissions. Still, there’s a lot of room for hope, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my revisions will knock it out of the park, so to speak.
A reminder: I’m transitioning away from Facebook as one of my main places to promote myself and my work. I doubt I can get rid of it entirely, just because it’s where the people are, and I can’t afford to cut myself off from it completely. Still, I encourage my readers to follow me elsewhere: here, (there’s a box on the right side of the page where one can sign up to receive an email whenever I put up a new blog post) on Twitter, (https://twitter.com/BillBodden), or Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1857208.Bill_Bodden) I am well aware that Twitter and Goodreads are problematic in their own ways: I have to take this one step at a time.