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Tag Archives: self publishing

It’s all about the little things

For the last week I’ve been setting up all the print files for my trilogy. I had to redo the one book I already had out because I rewrote three chapters, and the other two I had been putting off till I had “time.” You never have time. It’s just not there, never is, and I should just stop kidding myself. Something needs done? Do it.

Anyway, I got everything put in, ordered copies so I could see them, and then today I did the virtual proof just to take a look…and there was an error. Not like an error with the words, or with the cover. No, I was missing a page. A BLANK page even. But that one page made a huge difference. Without that one page right after the table of contents the rest of the book shifted. The first page wasn’t on the right hand side. The margins were backwards because they were formatted for being on the opposite side. And everything just looked WRONG.

I had to open the file, add one blank page, and resubmit everything.

Little things can matter, even blank pages. Sometimes you’re staring at that blank page wondering what the heck you should write, and you get an idea. Other times you stare at it, type a few words, delete them all, and try again.

I’ve had a lot of new ideas lately, but few of them get completed. That’s just another thing that gets in the way of following your dreams. But I don’t want to be just a dreamer. I want to be a finisher. I want a stack of books sitting on my shelf, all of them with my name on the spine.

So I finished editing the book again, and republished it. Now I’ll wait for it to be proofed, and order another copy. And it will finally go up on Amazon in a few more days. No big.

Because of one page.

It really is the little things that make your dreams into reality. I’m going to go write a page in my novel now.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2016 in Writers Block

 

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Dragons? Where?

I’ve been really busy the last few weeks plotting and writing the first few chapters of my new series: “The Half-Blood Sorceress.”

I am so excited about this series! I first got the idea back at NorWesCon in the art gallery. I found an artist that had absolutely magnificent work. I mean he does paintings for several of the big publishers, he was that good. And at the bottom of his display was one loan painting. I overheard him talking to someone else about how he just had to paint that one night, even if it hadn’t found a home yet, be he was sure that the right author would come along to give it a story.

“You could write that, you know,” Gregg said.

“No, that covers too awesome for me,” I said, and kept walking.

Three feet down the hall and I looked up at him and said “You suck!”

“See,” he said, “told you that you had a story for that picture.”

Not a story, as it turns out. A whole SERIES! All based on this one painting, or rather the girl depicted there.

Of course, I asked the artist how much it would cost for me to use that as the cover… As it turns out, WAY more than I can afford at the moment. However, this painting is the one I need for book six, so there is still a chance I could do it. I just have to get writing, and see how things work out.

So what is this story about? A half-blood sorceress? What does that even mean?

Well that’s coming, but today I’m going to tell you a little bit about the world. First: a map. I’ve been working on it on and off for a while, but the world has no name yet. I would absolutely love my readers to name this world for me. And no, I won’t be naming it Mappy McMapface, sorry.

Dragon MapWhat should you know about this world? Here there be dragons! Four of them, in fact.

Nyasama – Earth dragon
Anulaer – Air dragon
Ningirsu – Water dragon
Alshadu – Fire dragon

Together, the four dragons created the world, then slept in various places around the new planet. Every now and then the dragons wake and travel about the planet they created in human form, interacting, causing mischief, or doing something extraordinary.

This book isn’t about the dragons, though they do have an influence on the world at large. No, the first book is about Sybel. She finds herself in an awful place in time, watching the mother she loved waste away, and then learning a horrible secret that thrusts her out into a world filled with magic and darkness that she did not know existed.

I am currently seeing how the first book goes. I’m already 14k into the initial writing, and loving the way it’s going. I want to write one book a month, with a month for editing, formatting, etc. I just have to see how I can handle it since I’ve never pushed myself to do something this massive before. I’m only looking at 50k words per book, but I haven’t even gotten a third of the way into this one so I have no idea if that estimate will fly right out the window.

All I know is, I love this world. I love the characters. And I love the story. I’m more passionate about this story than I have been about anything in a couple of years. I want to see it live, and I want others to love it too.

So look for more snippets about the world, and maybe some snippets from the actual novel soon.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Personal Notes, Stories

 

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FAQ: Making money

Question on reddit today: Just wondering if an income of $500 a month would be an attainable goal for an average self publisher.

My answer:

$500 a month is doable. I know several people who make more than that on average.

If you price the book at $2.99 that’s about 250 sales needed. If it’s at $5.99 that’s about 120 sales. That’s not out there in the realm of possibilities.

The trick is to write a good book, then white another one, and keep writing good books for a while.

I’ve been at it for two years now, but I’m a really slow writer so I only have two novels and a bunch of short stories out. I’m getting better sales all the time, but it’s a slow process. Don’t go in thinking you’ll make it big off one book. There are some lucky people who hit the market just at the right time, but the vast majority of us have five books in a series before we start seeing some traction.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2015 in On Writing

 

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Witch’s Curse… a release date?

witch2Remember just three months ago when I put “Witch’s Sacrifice” out into the wild and many of you had an opportunity to read it? The squeal, “Witch’s Curse”, is almost here.

I didn’t know if I could actually do it. For the last three months I’ve been working on it, and it kept growing. “Witch’s Curse” is about 20,0000 words longer than “Witch’s Sacrifice.” It had some pretty big scenes in it too. At times I felt lost, and didn’t know what I would write, or how I could write it. Now?

I do have two chapters to finish, then the editor is suppose to take over next week. But with editing, and all the formatting, a release of August 1st, exactly 3 months and one day since the release of “Witch’s Sacrifice” is looking great.

As for the third and final book in the trilogy, “Witch’s Stand”… I want to have it finished in three months as well (which would be a November release,) but no promises. It is only half finished, and I don’t have a cover for it yet. I also have to rewrite a few things that changed during the writing of book two.

Once the Witch’s Trilogy is complete it’s off to finish a few of the Eternal Tapestry books. I currently have four more planned, and will probably end up with a lot more if people enjoy it.

I also have one more project that I will be doing for NaNoWriMo. A completely new world that I can’t wait to unveil. I already have a really solid plot for NaNoWriMo, and a cover idea. However, just getting the trilogy out this year is enough of an achievement. I will be thrilled to have this new piece out at the beginning of next year.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Updates

 

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Podcast Recommendations

It’s been about a year since I shared my favorite podcasts. Some of them have ended, others have been created, so I’m sharing my favorite podcasts that involve writing with you here.

Author Strong – fantastic 30 minute episodes interviewing and talking about writing.

Sell More Books Show – Five tips, and five top news stories in publishing. Quick, and to the point podcast.

Self Publishing Podcast – One of the original podcasts. Three guys discussing their journey through indie authorship. Not always safe for work.

Rocking Self Publishing Podcast – Interviews from authors, marketers, and others.

Authorpreneur – interviews with authors, marketers, and others who talk about the business side of writing.

Creative Penn – Interviews from authors from every walk of life.

Self Publishing Roundtable – usually interviews with authors who are selling a lot of books.

Grammar Girl – A girl bent on making the world a more grammatically correct place.

Literary Roadhouse – Every week they read and discuss a short story.

To Be Read – Weekly discussion of the books they are reading, and what they loved or hated about certain books.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in On Writing

 

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Why not both?

book vs kindleWe see it a lot these days, “Ebooks are killing print books!”

They pull up stats, and show us how ebooks are starting to outsell physical books. Physical book readers fight back and say how awful ebooks are. Then we get more stats from publishers saying print books are outsold ebooks. Back and forth like an endless yo-yo.

Why can’t we have both?

Ebooks are convenient. I love the fact that I can take my kindle filled with a thousand books anywhere I go. I can read on the bus, at the park, poolside, or just during my lunch at work. The text and e-ink are easier on my eyes then the computer screen or smart phone, and I have a paperwhite so I can read in bed with a low level of light if I really want to. If text is too small I can adjust that. If text is too big I can adjust that too.

But I have to admit that my digital collection of books isn’t as awe inspiring as my physical one. I don’t rush to see my own book on kindle, I want the paperback in my hands so I can show it off. I like the smell of old books, and the look of their covers on my shelf. I love having a non-fiction paper book that I can write notes in the margins, highlight, and fold pages. Bookmarks in kindle aren’t quite the same.

The music industry is a fantastic counter example of where the publishing industry is going. They had iTunes, then other music shops open to regulate prices. We had Amazon. They had access to iTunes, soundcloud, and other services where indies could go straight to the public, we had Amazon, then Smashwords, and others. They struggle with the same “go free or don’t go free” quandary that faces writers.

Just as writers can see a correlation with their indie writers, readers can see a correlation to their music lovers. CD’s, and even LP’s, have not faded away to obscurity because of MP3’s. On the contrary, they have become collectible, sometimes specialized to give them greater value to the listeners. While lovers of great music continually search out the new, and fill their technology with MP3’s they are also sharing, buying, and trading CD’s and LP’s.

Why wouldn’t books do the same? Print books aren’t going to disappear into the ether. There will always be those who shun technology, who can’t afford it, or simply enjoy the feel of a good book.But like music book publishers are going to have to be a little more creative in how they market, or stick to the big boys who sell the most books. As print on demand becomes easier, and even more cost effective, fewer bulk books will be available.

One of the biggest markets hit by the change in the music industry may have been music stores. Many of them failed while others changed their model, becoming more specialized and catering to specific crowds. Book stores are doing the same thing. While Boarders disappeared Barns and Nobel adjusted their business model and is surviving.

It’s nice that music lovers no longer care if it’s digital or physical. They’ve gotten past the logistic of how their music gets in the hands of the fans and just gone on to make great music. Hopefully that will soon be the case for authors and readers as well. Then we can get back to the business of writing good books, and getting them in the hands of those who love to read.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2015 in Commentary

 

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Wide Release

wpid-wp-1427063101748.jpegThis is the first time that I’ve actually put a book up on ALL the platforms.

Paperback on createspace, kindle, Koboitunes, B&N, then Draft2Digital also had Inktera and Scribd.

Is it useful? I’m not sure yet. I’ve never had a book on most of these sites. I still haven’t figured out how to post a book to google books. At the very least maybe someone will notice it and pick it up now and then. I’ve had books up on Smashwords and Kobo before, but really the only place I’ve sold many books is Amazon so…I figure it isn’t a bad thing to have them all out there.

Draft2Digital was surprisingly easy to set up and use. I know people have said it was, and after trying to get through the meat grinder over at Smashwords I just didn’t believe them. It was incredibly easy though and everything just went through without a hitch.

So…the book is out, the book is beautiful, and I can’t wait to get my own copy (of the final version) in the mail to stick on my shelf. It even has a map of the world so people can follow along in the journey!

This experience has been all about learning. With the short stories I already have out it was a lot simpler. They are often just one story, no need for chapters, maps, or major formatting. The trick with short stories is about telling a cohesive and compelling story in few words. With long format, like this novel, it’s about immersing the reader in the world, and sticking with that immersion for quite a while. Formatting consistency helps with that. Going from one chapter to the next and seeing the same images and typography. Making sure you don’t accidentally have a type change on the next page.

There is just so much to do. So many little things that can go wrong. And one little thing isn’t too bad, but thousands of them is TERRIBLE and will cause you to fail. So you have to carefully go through everything over and over again until you fix all those little things. Like the name that was spelled wrong even after three edits and my own proof reading. Or the time I formatted it with the wrong page size. Or trying to get the map to lay in the book JUST RIGHT. All those little things and more.

This means that I have to finish the next two books. I’m just glad they are already mostly done, lol, because this process takes a while.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2015 in On Writing

 

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