Oct 2, 2014

So Long, September

Words Written: 44,091

I managed to hit my month goal, which was nice after several months of low word count. It’s amazing how much things like formatting and marketing can get in your way… and oh yeah, that little thing called life.  I do have to be careful though… when I get too engrossed in meeting counts when I’m uber busy, I can and have found that I’ll forget to eat. Bad writer.
Drafts Finished: 1

I powered through a rewrite of what is probably the fifth draft of a short story that will go up in January. I’m so much happier with it this go around, and it’s finally at the word count it needs to be at.

Books Revised: 2

The first revision was my first (or maybe second?) pass of the next Flynn Novella, the second was the input notes from beta #1. In all, I added a scant 2,845 to the two books and sent them off to their next reader. It’s like manuscript hot-potato over here.

Print Books Accuired: 6

Ready Player One – Earnest Cline
This went on my list after I interviewed Jason M. Hough and he chose it as the book he’d like to wipe from his memory so that he could read it again. It was on my radar before that, but any book that gets a recc from that question goes to the top of the buy pile.

World War Z –  Max Brooks
One of my closest friends has been extolling this book for years and I’ve always believed her… I’ve just never taken the time to pick it up. Now I have.

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
I’ve been tiptoeing around this book for the longest time… but I found it for next to nothing, so I decided to give it a try. We’ll see if it lives up to expectations.

Doll Bones – Holly Black
This book.
I considered leaving it at that, but let’s just say, I’ve been looking forward to this book for too long to have waited to buy it for as long as I have.

Untold – Sarah Rees Brennan
You’ll see the first book in this series on the next list. I reviewed it last week and the book was wonderful enough I bought the sequel even though I know I won’t be able to buy the third for a year (a hard back copy would mess up the continuity of the series on my shelves)

The Iron Trial – Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
I would have bought this book anyway, but this article made me more eager to pick it up. So when I chanced upon it this weekend for a decent price, I grabbed it and added it to the pile.

Books Read: 5

Storm Front – Jim Butcher
Timepiece – Myra McEntire (Review here)
Unspoken – Sara Rees Brennan (Review here)
The Rifters – M. Pax
At Empire’s Edge – William C. Dietz (Review here)

Other Things of Note:

I’ve been fighting with the print cover of TRTH. The color was coming out all wrong which was really depressing. I get yet another version tomorrow (or maybe today if the transfer from UPS to USPS doesn’t get messed up again) So hopefully I’ll have that available SOON!

October has some pretty lofty goals! I hope I can get them all done.

Oct 1, 2014

IWSG: Advice on Writing, Publishing, and Marketing

This post is part of  the Insecure Writer's Support Group

Writing - Make it a Habit and Keep Yourself Accountable
Twitter and cat videos can be fun, but they don’t get any words on a page. Setting daily goals, making writing a habit and keeping yourself accountable are all keys to getting where you want to be. The goals don’t have to be huge, your habit doesn’t have to consume your whole life.

Start small if you need to. Get up a half hour early in the morning and tap out 500 words in one go, or snatch them whenever you can. Get in the habit and write down your accomplishments.
Tangible evidence will always help spur you on to your next day’s goal. Keep these notes in a spreadsheet or in a journal. Make lists or write out what you wrote and how those scenes made you feel.

Publishing - Always Do Your Research
Publishing a book is a job. You want to do it right – the first time. Whether you’re taking the traditional route through an agent, or wading into the murky water of self-publishing, you need to do your research.

With the traditional route you need to make sure you’re looking at (and potentially signing with) the right agent. This applies to two things. 1) making sure you’re subbing to reputable agents who will steer you in the right direction, and 2) finding the right agent for you and your book. Not all agents are created equal. Sometimes an agent is amazing… but not the right one for you.

When you’re diving into self-publishing, you have to do more work. Now you have to research platforms and cover artists and editors and formatting – or you have to research how to do all of that on your own which is even more of a daunting task. You have to research target audiences and release strategies.
Take the time and get it right.

I suppose you could write the book, slap on a cover and throw it to the proverbial wolves. But lighting strikes aren’t something you want to count on.
Marketing – If You Don’t, Who Will?
This is perhaps the most daunting of all the aspects of being an author. Getting the word out there. If you’re like me, you love writing and telling your stories… but the idea of being in the spotlight has you searching frantically for the nearest shadow.

Unfortunately it has to be done. You have to step out into the light and tell people what you’ve done. If you don’t, who will? No one is going to be your advocate (unless you pay them or they’re your mom) and no one is going to know your stories as well as you do. You have to do the leg work.