Here’s How Hugh Howey (Bestselling Author of Wool) Writes The bestselling author of Wool, Hugh Howey, has become the patron saint of empowering authors to take their publishing straight to the people. His own successes with self-publishing have recently placed him squarely in the spotlight as both a fierce advocate and savvy internet entrepreneur. And Mr. Howey wants you to write a lot. He is endlessly quotable on the subject of the author as start-up … You are a start-up … The next great business is you. He engages his readers on so many social media platforms that it is hard to imagine he has any time to write his bestselling novels, and yet he has sold nearly 1 million copies of his books and recently achieved a feat few traditional authors have … Mr. Howey inked a print-only contract with major publishers and retained the electronic rights to his own books (meaning all of his Amazon ebook sales are still his own).
And, as a tireless proponent for the pure craft of writing, he has built an intensely loyal following. Join me as we examine the file of Hugh Howey, writer … The DIY work ethic Mr. Howey’s most recent novel Dust (the third of his Silo Saga trilogy), hit The New York Times combined bestsellers list at #7, and Hollywood director Ridley Scott has optioned the film rights to the first novel in the series. Hugh’s own story is fascinating. Working for near-minimum-wage in a bookstore, he banged out the first draft of (the now wildly popular) Wool — in a storage room between shifts — within a few short weeks. And now, as he watches his back catalog Phone Number List adapted into movies and comic books, Mr. Howey continues to offer very grounded advice to writers of all skill levels and genres. His DIY work ethic, and humble yet innovative take on the business of writing, make him somewhat of a phenomenon. His message is simple: I found success because I wrote for the love of writing. I self-published simply because I wanted to own my work. Not every self-published work will be a bestseller, but anyone who cares enough to put in the grueling work of publishing something remarkable can benefit from Mr. Howey’s workman-like advice. He has been featured by NPR, Wired, Variety, and The Wall Street Journal to name a few. I encourage you to seek out his writing, in all forms, both fiction and non. Enjoy. About the writer … Who are you and what do you do? My name is Hugh Howey and I make up stuff for a living.
What is your area of expertise as a writer or online publisher? Fiction. Though, expertise might be pushing it. I’ve only been doing this for four years, and I still feel like I don’t belong here. Where can we find your writing? Anywhere that books are let in without checking their credentials. Some bookstores carry Wool; the rest of my stuff is available online. You can check my website to see what I’ve written:The writer’s productivity … How much time, per day, do you spend reading or doing research? I spend two or three hours a day reading. I read the paper in the morning and relax with a good book in the evening. Before you begin to write, do you have any pre-game rituals or practices? I eat a bowl of cereal, because I can’t write hungry. And I make sure the doggie door is open, because my pup always knows when I’m in a good flow, and that’s when she begs to be let out. Do you prefer any particular music (or silence) while you write? Silence. Sounds pull me out of my make-believe. How many hours a day do you spend writing (excluding email, social media, etc.)? I spend 4-5 hours a day writing. A lot of that is time spent staring at a blinking cursor, but I count those hours. Do you write every day or adhere to any particular system? Every day. I feel empty on days when I don’t get any writing done.
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