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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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How can I pick a favorite Christmas memory? Through the years, there have been so many things that I could add to my favorites list. So here are a couple.

Christmas at my Grandma’s

My mom and dad divorced when I was very small, but I always maintained a great relationship with my paternal grandparents. I remember they used to have this silver Christmas tree, and there was a color wheel that shone on the tree and it would make the tree change colors. I always thought that was so cool. My aunt would always make a cheese ball and serve it with Sociable crackers. Then there was the dinner. My grandma could really cook! My grandparents are gone now, but I’ll never lose those memories.

Christmas Party with Friends

One of my friends and I always take turns hosting this Christmas party. There are always four couples and their kids that get together, and in the past few years, we’ve added my mom and and a friend’s mom. Sometimes a few other people show up. There was always some kind of gag going on. One year, a friend froze some slugs and when Christmas came around, she took then out of the freezer and put them in Jello to bring to my house and gross everyone out. Little did she know that freezing the slugs wouldn’t kill them…and they started crawling out of the Jello! This year will be sad because my best friend died back in May. There’s a part of my warped brain that wants to make a huge blow up picture of her and sit it in a chair so she can be there with us. 🙂

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If you got an email with a Christmas Memories post from my blog, and then it wasn’t there, it’s because…well, it’s really a long story. It will be back up on December 10.

Did everyone get the KDP Select email from Amazon? If anyone is thinking about this, make sure you realize that it says your title has to be EXCLUSIVELY on Amazon.

AT&T U-Verse is finally available at my house! I ordered the internet today and it should be installed Monday. I didn’t do the TV part yet because I haven’t compared it to my Directv line-up to see what channels I might lose. Maybe later. But high speed internet! And I won’t have limited data usage anymore! Take THAT, Verizon! (Unfortunately, I’m still locked into Verizon for another year, but I can just use the internet card when I go on trips when I don’t have internet service.) My husband won’t complain about the lagging when he’s playing a card game with other people on Pogo. And Netflix! I can have Netflix!

I haven’t gotten even a tenth of my Christmas shopping done. And my tree has no ornaments. How about the rest of you? Ready for the holidays?

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Home Stretch!

I’ve gotten about half of my last Libby Fox book proofed and edited. Novellas are so much easier to edit than novels! Did I really say I was going to concentrate on novels instead of novellas for awhile? Yes, yes I did. But I digress. Anyway, I hope to finish up the editing tonight, then it will be off to a couple of beta readers (one read it kind of as I wrote it). I hope to have this ready to publish in a couple of weeks.

I got my print proof of Starfane back. CreateSpace is so fast! I had the proof about three days after I ordered it. It all looks good to me, so I approved it and it’s already for sale on its on page on CreateSpace. It should be available at Amazon within a week.

Next on the printing front is a compilation of three of my earlier novellas, Club Blood, See Me, and Guardian Vampire. I jokingly told everyone I should call it “Loving the Dead and the Undead”, since there are two vampire stories and a ghost story. Surprisingly, a BUNCH of people actually liked the title. So I might use that. 🙂

How is everyone else? Are the holidays making you crazy while you’re trying to write?

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