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Posts Tagged ‘publishing’

I said in my last post I was finally finished with Fire Wizard. Now I’m in edits. It’s weird, but I’m loving this story. That never guarantees everyone else will, but I keep thinking, if I like it this much, if it entertains me even though I know what happens next, surely someone will like it. 🙂 It’s been a long time since I wrote the part I’m editing right now, so it’s almost like reading something new.

I hope I can get this published in about 3 weeks. It depends on my beta readers and also on my cover artist. Anya said this cover is kicking her butt. LOL. But that’s because she wants it to be GOOD. And when you’re dealing with FIRE….

Soon, I want to start on my mystery. I still can’t decide if I want to publish that one under another name. There are reasons I want to, but everyone already knows Lauralynn. I would have to sort of start over. I’m not sure that’s necessarily a bad thing since I’m not selling squat right now. I guess I’ll decide after publishing Fire Wizard and seeing how that goes.

I hope everyone is having a happy Sunday!

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Is is REALLY time for Round 2? Seriously? It seems like just yesterday….

Anyway, I’ve tried to find a doable word count goal. I’ve done those in the past, and I’ve done time goals. Daily goals, weekly goals, on and on. It’s so hard to find a good fit. Then I saw these spreadsheets. Word Count Spreadsheets. How can you not love a spreadsheet with Sam and Dean? I have my own word count spreadsheet, but these spreadsheets are full of awesome! And if you’re more into fantasy, check out THESE. It got me thinking about a MONTHLY word count. That way, if I have a bad week, I can still make up for it with a good week. I’m going to give that a shot and try for 15,000 words per month. The spreadsheets have all kinds of bells and whistles, letting you know how you’ve done, what you still need to do, percentages, etc. This website is also where I got my word count meter.

Now on to another thing. I have an idea for a…hmmm, what shall we call it? Cozy mystery? Romantic mystery? There will be a romance and a murder mystery. There will be food involved. And it will be okay, because it’s part of what the shero does, so no one can say I’m talking about food too much. I’m looking at you, Pink Hammer. Bwa ha ha. And this is where I have to decide if I’m going to use Lauralynn or my real name or another pen name. I’ve been seriously thinking about creating a publishing company so I can publish under that imprint for two different names. The only drawback to doing this is that I would need to buy my own ISBN numbers instead of letting Smashwords (for ebooks) and CreateSpace (for print books) assign the ISBN, which would show those two entities as publishers. I would like some opinions and feedback on this. If I understand the process correctly, you have to have one ISBN for print and another for ebooks. But I THINK you can use the same ISBN number for the ebooks at all retailers. You just can’t use the same one for e and for print. Is this correct?

So that’s all for now. I would love to hear your comments!

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I’ve missed a couple of updates because there wasn’t much to report. I’ve been out of town, and if you want to see pictures, check out my previous post. Anyway….

I finished edits on Hearts of Evil. Here’s the publishing holdup. My two beta readers strongly disagree on a chapter I inserted close to the beginning after the book was written. One beta thinks I should take it out, the other thinks I should leave it. They both have VERY valid reasons for their opinion. And I just can’t decide. So I’m having a couple of other people take a look and see what they think. I know the ultimate decision is mine, but it’s hard when both beta readers could be right for different reasons. The good thing is, they both really liked the story. 🙂 Another thing that’s holding me up is I want to do a FB release party, but I have to get all the prizes together. Luckily, I have most of what I need since I can’t afford to buy anything else right now, but it’s the putting everything together that will take a little time. I want to thank Ruth Ann Nordin for giving me some good ideas about questions to ask for the release party.

Now on to my other project. I sat down and wrote the first chapter of Fire Wizard last night. I don’t know why I always have this fear when I start a book. I’ve done this a dozen or more times, but I’m always scared to death when I start. Well, I didn’t used to be, but I’ve felt that way for the last two or three projects. I need to get over this silliness!

I hope to get in about 5,000 words per week now that I’ve actually started on the book. I hope you all are doing this with less fear than I am!

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To finish this stinkin’ WIP!!!

Oh, maybe I shouldn’t have said it quite like that. But I’m kind of frustrated with myself because I’ve let other things take precedence over my writing. Some things SHOULD have taken precedence, but not everything. I did do some writing on Saturday. I churned out over 4,000 words on a short story for an anthology I was invited to participate in. All proceeds go to Unicef. More about that later.

I’m going to try to write at least 3,000 words per week until I get this book finished. I have the last few chapters figured out, but there are about six chapters in the beginning of the last half of the book that I have no clue about. I’ll get there, though.

Here’s hoping this round will be more productive than the last two. I’ve been with ROW80 since the very beginning. I was one of the first sponsors. I’ve loved this writing challenge for the almost three years it’s been in existence, and I plan on sticking with it as long as Kait keeps it up. I used to be so much more productive, and I really hope I can get that enthusiasm back. I think part of my discouragement is book sales. I’ve talked to other authors, and most of them are really struggling with sales. There are so many more ebooks to choose from than there used to be. I think the key is to just keep writing and publishing so I’ll have more books out there. I think another thing that’s keeping me from churning out words like I used to is that my plots are getting more complicated. This is all an interesting journey, isn’t it?

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I was going to upload SoaV during lunch today. Then I realized I needed a blurb. Duh. Then Amazon says KDP is not working and to come back later. Seriously? So, right now, SoaV is up on Smashwords only. Here is the link. Soul of a Vampire. Hopefully, Amazon will be up and working tonight so I can upload. And I plan to do B & N tonight, too. Right now, I’m off to file several reports to several different states. Stupid day job. (Just kidding…I actually like my day job!)

Keep checking back on my blog to see what I’m giving away in honor of publishing Soul of a Vampire. (I’ll post that when SoaV is published on all venues.) All I’m saying is that it’s pretty and it relates to something in the book. 😉

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Where is the time going? It’s already getting close to the middle of October!

I finally finished edits on Soul of a Vampire. Everything is almost ready. I say almost because I always let my mom have a go at my manuscript before publishing. She’s caught things that NO ONE else has. She doesn’t see very well, so I still can’t figure out how she does it. LOL. Also, I think Anya had a couple of questions, so I need to get those from her. So it’s almost time. Publishing should happen this week or the beginning of next week. Once again, I have something going on to distract me from writing stuff. Our church congregation does a little dinner and program for our senior citizens every year, and I’m part of the entertainment. So there’s practicing, rehearsing, then the real thing. I hope I can find a really being pair of overalls. Got you curious now, haven’t I?

So what do the rest of you think of the Author Rank thing going on at Amazon?

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The year 2011 was a good one for me. I published three novellas, one novel (I keep forgetting about this because I actually wrote this in 2010), and made some pretty good money. I didn’t make every single goal I tried for (especially in the weight loss area), but I’m not disappointed in the writing goals I met.

My goals for 2012, Round One:

1. Finish a novel I started last year by writing an average of at least 500 words per day.
2. Work 30 minutes a day on proofing and formatting three novellas that I’m combining in a print collection. (The three novellas are available individually as ebooks.)
3. Exercise (aerobic and/or weight lifting) at least 30 minutes, three days a week. At some point, I hope to revise this goal to include more, but I want to start small so I won’t get discouraged.
4. Work on at least one house cleaning related chore per day, more on Saturdays. It’s not fair that my husband does the lion’s share of the house cleaning. This is a big guilt trip for me.

Those are my goals for Round One. I have a few more personal goals, too, but they are religious in nature, and I don’t really want to state them here. I hope everyone has a great year in 2012 with lots of success. I’ll try to get around to as many ROW80 blogs as possible to give a little encouragement. And I’m always here if anyone needs to vent or has any questions about my experiences in the last couple of years. Good lucky, everyone!

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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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I’ve been on a business trip in Tampa this weekend (yeah, I know, I was just in Orlando), but I’ve found some time to write. On my current WIP, I managed to get 864 words ahead of goal, even skipping Saturday. That was because of the 1500 word sprint on Friday. For some reason, the words just came. I skipped Saturday because I just wanted to rest on my last day here, especially since we’re leaving at 7:00 this morning! Bleh.

Also, while I was manning a booth at a rose show, I was able to finish the short story I started awhile back. I had done about 650 words and stopped. The story is now about 4900 words. That means I wrote about 4250 words while manning a booth! I’ve never written that many words in one day before, and I did it between customers. This story just starting coming out and it felt good, so I did it. LOL. The tentative name of the story is The Beast in the Mirror. I’m going to offer it for free on Smashwords, and maybe if I start it at .99 on Amazon, I can “tell them about a cheaper price” and they will mark it down to free. Or I could give it away on my website. Which should I do? All of the above? I have it with a beta reader right now, and I’m also going to beg Anya to make the cover art for free. LOL.

Question: Did you or are you going to publish the first book you ever wrote? The reason I ask this is that there’s a thinking in the writing world that your first novel has to be crap and it should be just practice. You should never publish the first novel you write. Well, I broke that rule and published my first novel. I have eight novels/novellas out right now, and an author friend asked me the other day if I didn’t wish I hadn’t published the first thing I wrote. The truth is that my first novel has been my third best seller out of the eight for awhile now. And it has a better rating average than most of my other ones. So what’s the downside of publishing it? I can’t see one. I know this is going to have to be an individual choice for each author. So what are you going to do?

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I published my first print book, A Rocky Path, with a vanity press. I paid about $450 for the privilege of publishing with them. At the time, ebooks weren’t an option, and I don’t think affordable places like CreateSpace were available. My biggest beef with this vanity press is that they charge $19.99 for my fairly short paperback novel. The only people who have ever bought one have been family and friends. Since the time I published with them, they bug me constantly, wanting me to pay for this or that, mostly marketing. But how do you market a $19.99 book by a fairly unknown author?

The advantage of using the vanity press was all I had to do was send them a word document and a picture that I wanted on the front cover, and they did the rest. The inside looks fine, but the cover wasn’t that great. I had my cover artist redo the cover for the ebook. When I published a book recently with CreateSpace, I had a great cover done by my cover artist and I did all the formatting myself. And it only cost me $39! And it wouldn’t have cost anything, but I wanted the expanded distribution.

Anyway, what got me really going on this today was that I got an email from them saying they would do a book trailer for me for ONLY $999. Yeah, right. And not long ago, they offered to pay half for shopping my book for a movie deal. My half was only $1500. How can I make these people leave me alone? I don’t answer my phone when they call, but they keep trying.

When I published with this vanity press, they assured me that I could remove the book at any time since I had all rights to it. But I wonder if that will be as easy as it sounds. I’m filled with a sense of dread every time I think of dealing with these people. I want to republish it eventually with CreateSpace after I have all of my other ones done. Has anyone else had any experience with taking down books from vanity presses, or are all of you so young that other options were available when you first published? 🙂

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