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Archive for December, 2011

I want to start by saying this post will probably relate only to independent authors, since publishing schedules for traditionally published books are usually out of the author’s hands. And traditional publishing usually takes a long time.

I don’t usually give too much advice on my blog. The biggest reason for that is I have an author friend who used to give lots of advice, hoping to help other authors and keep them from making the mistakes she did. And what did she get for it? Lots and lots of criticism. Other authors slammed her for “telling them what to do”, etc. So I really hesitated about writing this post. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, though, and I’m just going to jump into it, and if I make someone mad, I’m sorry. That’s not my intention. Remember, this is MY blog, so it’s only MY opinions. 🙂

I’m going to take off my writer hat for a moment and put on my reader hat. This whole topic was inspired by feelings I have as a reader more than a writer. I’ll start with a personal story. I found a book that I really, really liked. It was well written and kept me interested through the whole story. When I was finished, the first thing I did was look for another book by the same author. There wasn’t one! This was her first novel, so I thought I would wait awhile and check again. And again. And again. After several months (maybe a year), I gave up. Now I can’t remember the name of the author. This means I’ll probably never read her next book. I was disappointed that I couldn’t read anything else by this author, but I had to move on.

As a reader, that story was just mildly annoying. As a writer, it worried me a little. It made me wonder if I was publishing fast enough. Some authors write much faster than others. That’s just a fact. Some authors who have been writing awhile won’t have to have to edit their books as much as those who are newer to the business. Some authors write a pretty clean first draft. There are so many factors involved in writing and publishing, so there’s no set rule as to how often you should publish. I’ve heard authors that take a year claim that no one can write a good book in three or four months. I’ve heard authors that write quickly claim that there’s no way it can possibly take a year to write a book. Sometimes, I just get tired of hearing authors criticize other authors. But I digress from my original point. I personally think it’s important to publish as often as you can as long as you can maintain quality. I had a reader email me recently, asking when my third Libby Fox novella was coming out. She was getting impatient because she actually wanted to read something I had written. It made me feel good, but something like that also puts pressure on an author. It had only been three or four months since I published the second one. Then I got a text from my uncle who lives about 600 miles away telling me I needed to get writing because he had read all my books and wanted another one. He said after he would read one, he had to pick up the next one and start reading. Again, a compliment, but more pressure. But if people want to read my next book that badly, shouldn’t I make an effort to give it to them?

If you’re not publishing at least two books a year, what’s holding you back? Is it fear? I know for a fact this is the case for some authors because they’ve told me so. But what are you afraid of? If you’re afraid someone won’t like your book, then you’re right. Lots of people won’t like it. But lots of people will. How will you know unless you take the plunge? Maybe you’re not publishing because you’re a “tweaker”. No matter how many times you go over your book, you find things you aren’t satisfied with. The thing is, after you publish, you’ll STILL be finding things you aren’t happy with. I certainly do. But you have to publish it sometime. Otherwise, what was the point in writing it? Or are you a lazy writer who only dabbles a bit here and there, but don’t really want to put in the effort it takes to actually write a book? If you’re just doing this for fun, that’s okay. In that case, your goal isn’t necessarily to be published.

I published three novellas during ROW80 this year (I probably would have written one more if my mom hadn’t had the heart attack in February). In fact, it was because of ROW80 that I was able to do it because I am just a little bit lazy as a writer sometimes. ROW80 kept me accountable. My goal is to produce at least two full length novels during 2012. I don’t want my readers to have to wait a year on my next book. I would love to write even faster than that, but with a full time job, that’s almost impossible. And there are other factors, I know, that can hold up writing and publishing. Life just happens. But I feel like my goal should be to put as much out there as I possibly can…without sacrificing quality. I don’t want a reader to forget my name because they couldn’t find my next book.

What about you? What are your writing and publishing goals? Why have you set the goals you have? I would love to hear from you, even if you disagree with me. I’m always open to comments and I love to hear what my fellow authors think.

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These were my goals for this round:

1. Write at least 500 words per day as an average. Did it!

2. Publish the third Libby Fox novella during Round 4. Done! Title: Search for the Vampires’ Curse

3. Publish Starfane in print sometime during Round 4. Check.

4. Publish a collection of three of my novellas in print during Round 4 (if my cover artist and I can get together on this one that soon). I didn’t get this done, so it will carry over to the next round.

5. Exercise at least three times a week, for 30 minutes at a time, so that I’ll feel better and get my writing goals accomplished more easily. Massive fail!

The first three goals were the most important to me, so I feel like I did okay this round. Now I need to think about my goals for the next round, which will be stated when that round starts. It’s been fun!

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Happy Birthday, Anya!

Today is the birthday of my good friend and cover artist, Anya Kelleye. I won’t say how old she is, but…well, she’s a lot younger than me. LOL

Happy Birthday, Anya!

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ROW80 Check In 12/18/11

It’s going to be short and sweet today. I published my novella, Search for the Vampires’ Curse, and my free (.99 on Amazon because you know why) short story, The Beast in the Mirror last week. For more details, check out my previous two posts. The strange thing is that I’ve actually sold 3 copies of The Beast in the Mirror on Amazon, even though it’s under 5,000 words (which is clearly stated) and it’s .99. It’s free on Smashwords and I’ve had 196 downloads. My whole reason for publishing this short story was to give something to my readers for free. I never dreamed anyone would really pay .99 for it on Amazon.

My next print project is going to be making one book out of my three novellas, Club Blood, See Me, and Guardian Vampire. This will be a little more challenging to format than just one novel for several reasons.

So much holiday craziness! I can barely concentrate on writerly things!

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Both of my new releases, Search for the Vampires’ Curse and The Beast in the Mirror, are now available at Amazon. SFTVC should be available at B & N soon, but I’m going to let Smashwords distribute TBITM so it will be free. I hesitate to tell Amazon about a lower price on The Beast to get it to be free since you have to sign in to do it. But anyone else please feel free to do that. I really wish Amazon would let us put free works on there so we don’t have to jump through hoops to make it free. 😦

Search for the Vampires’ Curse

The Beast in the Mirror

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I finally got my novella and my free short story published at Smashwords last night. It was so late when I finished, and I was so sleepy, that I decided to wait until tonight to publish at Amazon and B & N. But I was very surprised and pleased when I got an email from Smashwords this morning saying someone had reviewed The Beast in the Mirror. I clicked over there, not sure what I would find, but what I saw was a very nice 5 star review. I loved this little short story, and I was so glad to find that someone took the time to give it a good review.

You can find The Beast in the Mirror here and Search for the Vampires’ Curse here.

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ROW80 Check In 12/14

It seems like forever since I’ve posted an ROW80 update. Here’s where I am.

Starfane is now in print on CreateSpace and Amazon. I need to put a link to my paperbacks on my book page. Right now I only have my ebooks linked (and I didn’t have all of those until Kait busted me on it), and suddenly I’m like, duh, people MIGHT want the paperbacks. I have sold a few paperbacks of Haunted Lake, so that proves some people still like books in their hands.

The last novella in the Libby Fox series, Search for the Vampires’ Curse, is ready to be published. I’m also publishing a free short story, The Beast in the Mirror, on Smashwords. I haven’t decided if I’m going to put it on Amazon for .99, then tell them about a lower price so it can be free. I’m afraid someone will buy it at .99 then be mad when it goes free. We’ll see. Now that I have U-Verse internet at home, I can actually publish from there instead of trying to rush to get it done during my lunch hour at work! 🙂

In anticipation of the release of these two stories, I’m revealing the covers right now. These are designed by Anya Kelleye at Anya Kelleye Designs

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