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5min- Publishing

It’s been a wild ride this year. I’m getting ready to publish my fourth real book. When I say “real” I just mean that it has more than 50k words in it and qualifies as a full novel. Most of the books I have up are short stories and novellas with the three main books that are full novels.

But I looked today and I have actually published 40 short stories. Not all separately, some are in anthologies. But, dang, that’s a lot of short stories.

Trying to figure out what I should be doing with those short stories. They don’t sell a lot of copies, but I give them away a lot. I get some reviews, and a lot of comments from people that read them. I am considering giving them away as a Patreon reward, or a reward for subscribers to my newsletters. Or both, maybe?

It’s the little things, though. Setting up the publishing details. Starting to do the print book set up. Considering where/how I might advertise it when I finally get it done. But! it’s at the editors now and I’m all set to go from here.

Of all 46 stories I’ve written over the years, and publishing so many books, I am so happy that I’ve continued on this journey. It isn’t always easy, it’s a lot of time, energy, and sometimes tears getting out all of those words. But the stories are worth it. Having the books on my shelf, or having something to show to others, or even the audio books, are all worth the trouble it took to get here.

And that’s my five.

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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in On Writing

 

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End of the Year

It’s almost the new year. Christmas is coming and everything is coming to a close. It’s time to asses what I’ve done with my writing for this year.

Last year, 2013, I wrote a total of 211,727 words. 14% of which was this blog. That’s not bad.

This year I’ve already written 226,665 words. 125 of which was this blog. That means I wrote a lot more in my books, and less in this blog.

I finished writing, and published one short story this year. Footprints back in April, and another chapter of Absolon. I’m kind of disappointed in that because last year I published 17 short stories and three novellas. Yes, it’s true that I was working on most of them for part of 2012, and completed them during 2013 to publish. It’s also true that this year I have almost completed a trilogy of full length novels. One is about to go to an editor, and the other two should be three months apart.

It just feels like I didn’t accomplish anything with my writing. I know I’m being harder on myself then I should be. I wrote more then I did last year, and have three nearly completed NOVELS. That’s nothing to sneeze at. But not enough publishing going on here. This is why a writer can’t judge themselves solely on published works.

So… I’ve got two weeks till the end of the year, and I’d like to do something to close out the year with a little bit of a success. I’d like to finish with a good 250,000 words under my belt. That’s just 23,335 words to go. I think I can do that. It will be a lot of work, and I’ve got a few things going on, but it’s one hell of a challenge. (This is including blog writing too, so not as difficult as it sounds. Not like NaNoWriMo which is just the novel.)

Next year I want to actually PUBLISH the damn novels. All three of them. Plus a few short stories. I’d also like to up my word count to 300,000 for the year. That’s only a little over 800 a day. I CAN DO THIS! Heck, if I’m really good I’ll stretch it to 500k for the next year. Let’s see where this can go!

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2014 in On Writing

 

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Another Day, Another Paragraph

I’ve been working on “Mermaids Curse” a lot lately, trying to get it finished. The plan is for the end of the month, and I think it might be close. It is currently 56,000 words long, and I’m trying for a little over 80,000.

I always have this trouble when I get the majority of a large word done. The bones are there, the pieces laid out, and all the easy sections are written. Now I just have to fill in the little sections in between. I suppose if I wrote more linearly this wouldn’t be a problem, but I’ve never had a very linear mind to begin with.

“Zombie Swarm” is on hold right now as I push forward with “Mermaids Curse”. After getting “Forgotten Ones: Eternal Tapestry” edited, and seeing how well it turned out, I am really excited to have a finished full length novel, and getting that edited. Even a pro cover.

Once I have “Mermaids Curse” finished I will probably go back to the “Eternal Tapestry” trilogy and finish the other two books before going back to “Eversword Saga” and digging into the rest of the ten book series. (I have the bones of at least 4 more books finished, I just need to go in and build up the rest of it, so hopefully I have more published by the end of the year.)

So much to write, so little time.

Look for another exciting episode of “Story Telling Podcast” monday at 8pm PST.

I also did another Indie News Bites, this time with four news stories. I am going to try to make a new one each week now that I know what I’m doing, and have got it down to about two hours of production. It will go even faster once I’m more comfortable in front of the camera.

 

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2014 in Updates

 

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FAQ: How Long Should My Story Be?

Word length, like many other FAQ’s, does not have an easy answer. It really depends on what you’re writing, what the genre is, how the plot and pacing go, and what the story wants to be. In this digital age we have lot more options. When once novellas were shunned because publishers just didn’t take them. Now they are everywhere because we can publish on our own.

The general guidelines for lengths according to wiki:

Novel over 40,000 words
Novella 17,500 to 40,000 words
Novelette 7,500 to 17,500 words
Short story under 7,500 words
(Not on wiki, but under 2k is considered flash fiction by most people.)
This is not necessarily typical for what I’ve seen posted elsewhere. Usually novels are quoted as 60k and over, while novellas are 10-60k. This, to me, seems like a ridiculously large variance.

Another consideration is genre. In romance, 60k is normal, while in sci-fi and fantasy it’s more common to see 80-100k+ novels.

E-books have given us a lot more latitude, though it still is proven that people buy longer books more often. In that case, 80k seems to be a “magic number” in word length, as much as anything is “magic” in the publishing world.

But how long should your story be? Ask your story! Does it have a lot of twists and turns in the plot? Then go longer. Is it a simple vignette, a window into a world instead of the whole world, then go short. I’ve seen stories that are as short as 100 words that are worth a read.

The Egg“, a rather wonderfully poignant short story, has hit the front page of reddit several times, and been shared, remade and reused often. “The Last Question” by Issac Asimov, also comes up a lot. Both of these stories are only a few pages long, and yet people are going to be analyzing and rereading them for years to come.
So yes, you should probably write some longer pieces if you are trying to sell books. But, I would caution you to let the stories tell themselves when you can. Sometimes they are going to be shorter, sometimes longer. This doesn’t necessarily make them wrong. It’s only wrong if you don’t stay true to your story.
 
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Posted by on February 2, 2014 in Stories

 

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New Year is Around the Corner

Christmas is tomorrow. The presents are under the tree. Stockings are filled. Lights are up. And everyone is looking forward to a big meal, followed by a long sleep.

And I am considering the last year, the progress I made, and what I want to accomplish next year. (Not waiting for a new years resolution.)

For 2013 I had no real plan except to start working through my old stories, and get as many of them finished and published as possible. Most of them were short stories (20 short, 3 novella) and I am rather pleased with the turn out. 2013 also gave me a huge start on some novels, and other short stories that I want to continue working on.

Sales were … okay, I suppose. I was actually really encouraged by how often I got sales, and while I can’t track my sales daily yet, I am doing so monthly, and that’s a huge step in the right direction for me.

Every sale just encourages me to write another book, and there is nothing wrong with that.

This coming year, 2014, I want to continue writing and publishing stories. I’d like to have at least two, if not three, 60-80k word books out. One is already half finished, so I have a nice jump on that.

I’m also going to work on short stories. Two a month seems like a good plan, because finishing something gives me a good sense of accomplishment, and bolsters my resolve to keep writing. Keep creating. “Make good art.”

I do, however, want to put more emphasis on the longer works this year. I need full novels, not just short stories.

And… sigh… I’m going to have to learn to market and get reviews, even though I hate that part of writing. But, since I’m doing this through the self publishing route, it is even more important for me to figure out the marketing side of this business.

I think once I have a couple of full length novels out I will feel more comfortable pushing the marketing. But only slightly.

So… here is to the new year, and a lot more story telling going on!

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2013 in Commentary

 

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A Conundrum

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As you can tell from this picture…. the blue is spreading.
A while back I shared this list of my stories in progress. There were a couple spots of blue (marking published) and a lot of orange (marking almost done). Now it’s the opposite. Lots of published, not as much “almost done”.

My publishing schedule, up until now, reflected the fact that I had a lot of short stories that were almost done, or done and needing an edit. It is a lot faster to finish, and edit, a 5000 word short story, or several flash fictions, then to complete a sprawling 30-80 thousand word book.

I can’t capitalize on that anymore. Most of the “almost done” drafts I have started are 20-50% of a 20k word novella. That takes time to finish.

This is a good thing in the long run. I wanted to get a lot of little things up and expand into longer works. I wanted to have a variety of lengths available.

It means I’ll have to slow down publication, or write faster. Hopefully write faster. That’s what I am pushing for at least. Probably both.

It’s incredible how far I’ve come in the last eight months. Osiren’s Tears was written last October. It was published in February. Since then I have written or completed 18 short stories, 2 novellas, and published them in 10 books. Two of which are also available in print.

That’s a lot in eight months. I’m kind of proud of myself for sticking with this and following my dream.

I have 12 more short stories waiting to be finished, and a lot of novellas and novels. I may not be able to get something out every week now, but I will definitely keep people posted.

Expect “The Camera” out later this week. As well as the print version of “Small Bites the Complete Collection”.

Pax is also next month. I will have stickers and buttons available. If you can’t get to Pax and you would like a button and/or sticker then just write a review for one of my books and tweet about it. I would love to send you one.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Stories, Updates

 

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