I’m Aaron Pogue, international bestselling fantasy author. I self-published my first book in 2010, founded an indie publishing company with some of my best friends, and sold more than 100,000 books in our first year and a half. I’ve just agreed to a traditional publishing deal that will see my books in bookstores (and probably on the New York Times bestseller list). I’m living my wildest dreams.
Two years ago I had abandoned those dreams. I was working a full-time job as a technical writer for the government, writing stories in my free time with no expectation (or even plans) to ever share them with the world. I’d done the math and given up on ever “making it” as a professional novelist.
The difference was Amazon’s Kindle, and the e-book revolution that has completely changed publishing. Last summer, I dusted off my first serious novel, a fantasy epic called Taming Fire, and added it to the short list of sci-fi titles I had already published. Taming Fire took off. It started selling before I’d even announced it, and within a month I’d sold more than a thousand copies. Within six months, I was making enough on book sales to quit my day job and dedicate myself full time to writing and publishing.
Artists and the Public Domain
In the middle of all that, I spotted another opportunity, too. I saw how much my little publishing company–a handful of talented artists–were able to change our lives and make our dreams come true thanks to the digital marketplace and the opportunities it provides. I tried to imagine what we could do if we applied our creativity and ingenuity to the technology and networks available today.
Out of that consideration came the Consortium, an organization dedicated to finding, training, and supporting artists under a new patronage model. We’ll provide artists the security and benefits they could expect from a “real job,” and they get to spend their time and attention perfecting their craft. It trades the lottery system of publishers and record labels for the sanity of a service-industry job.
And then, because we’re the good guys, once we own this work-for-hire created by our full-time artists, we plan to release it into the public domain. Our motto is, “Support the artists to support the arts.”
It all sounds a little pie-in-the-sky, and I really wouldn’t have expected any of it to work, but the internet has been very, very good to us. Incredible things are happening, and as long as the market keeps supporting what we’re doing, we’re going to do our best to turn this vision into a reality.
Now for all the reference material:
- I coach new writers and talk self-publishing at my writing advice website, Unstressed Syllables.
- I talk about my books and my life as a bestselling writer here at my personal website, AaronPogue.com.
- This site also features a list of all my books.
- The website for my non-profit arts organization is ConsortiumOKC.com.
- We really did dedicate our bestselling books to the public domain.
- And we hope to release more, so we’ve established a Public Works Fund.
That’s me from all angles. Thanks for stopping by!