Author, Blog Stuff, Books, Fiction, Marketing, My Books, Novel, Promotion, Publish, Writing

Just when I thought it would never happen!

If you have a WordPress blog, you’re probably aware that they choose several blog posts a day to appear on the WordPress front page as Freshly Pressed. Months ago, I lamented that I had given up hope  my blog would ever be so honored. Then Wednesday morning arrived.

As I usually do, when I awake, I made a cup of tea and sat down to check my email. I had scheduled a new blog post to publish at a few minutes before I usually wake, so I hoped to see one or two comments arrive in my inbox. As I watched dozens—DOZENS—of comments flood in, my first thought was that my blog had somehow been hacked. I had visions of all those cheap prescription drugs and porn messages bypassing the spam catcher and sullying my beautiful blog.

But when I pulled up my blog, I was puzzled because there were only three comments on my new post. I rechecked my inbox and saw those other comments were on a post I’d published over a week earlier. That’s when it hit me. I flew to the WordPress front page and there it was—my post, Freshly Pressed. Oh, the excitement!

For thirty-six hours, I was almost famous. My blog received 8,929 hits! Over 200 new comments were posted—and, because it’s what I do, I replied to every one of them. I also gained 143 new blog subscribers and some new Twitter and Facebook Page followers. I was agog—AGOG, I tell ya.

So, thank you WordPress. And welcome new friends. You’re just in time for the announcement that my novel The Brevity of Roses is available now on Amazon (also on Amazon UK.) This is the Kindle version. The Nook version could be up on Barnes & Noble by the end of the day. Smashwords will have other versions in a day or two. And the beautiful print version will be available, I hope, within a week at Amazon and B&N.

My goodness! What a week this turned out to be. I’m a little bit happy.


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Blog Stuff, Fiction, Novel, Publish, Social Media, Writing

How not to disappear into your writing

I need to get out more. Not outdoors, at least not while the pollen is blowing, but outside my own blog. Not only did I comment more on my friends’ blogs, but I used to seek out at least one new blog every day. I learned a lot and made new friends.

But I got overwhelmed with revisions, and my virtual borders shrank.  Then, I started down the road to indie publishing, and they shrank some more. I used to post faithfully, three times a week, but now that’s become a bit erratic, though I do keep up with replying to comments. I owe a big thank you to those who’ve stuck with me.

It seems the last I remember it was November. Can that be April at the door? Some of you have probably written two novels and ten shorts in that time. I’m totally out of touch. I miss the fun side of social media. I haven’t had a silly day on Twitter for ages.

Have you ever seen grass that bleached out because it’s been under something flat for a few days? That’s sort of how I feel—deformed and pale. But my self-imposed isolation is almost over. The e-book files are formatted and I’m waiting on the proof print copy. The Brevity of Roses will soon be out there in the world.

And so will I—virtually, at least. Watch for me. I’ll be that pale, lumpy, woman grinning and waving like crazy.

Photo credit: Dawn M Schiller – Odd Fae and Autumn Things
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Author, Blog Stuff, Family, Fiction, My Books, Novel, Publish, Real Life, Writing

Rewards

Every Wednesday, throughout the school year, I spend an hour hurtling forward encased in a metal and fiberglass box with a flammable fuel powered engine. In other words, I take the freeway across town and back.

I’m rewarded for this two ways. First, I get to spend time with my granddaughter, Emily. And second, I get to see a postcard-perfect view of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Both rewards remind me there’s life outside of writing. It’s not a life I’ve spent much time in during the last three months.

If I’d truly believed the warnings about how much work was ahead of me, I don’t know if I would have embarked on the self-publishing journey, at least not now when my funds are too low to hire out some of the grunt work. But I’m nearly done. When my last proofreader sends me her notes, I’ll make any changes needed. Next I’ll format files for Kindle and Nook, then submit the print version and order a proof copy.

It’s getting very close to the day The Brevity of Roses is available to the public. As you might expect, my emotions are mixed. I doubt I’m prepared for the next stage as much as I think I am. I don’t know if any debut author can be fully prepared. But I know I will be rewarded … in one way or another.

BTW: I sent out the first edition of The Brevity Insider Newsletter today. If you’re on the mailing list, but did not receive it, let me know. If you’d like to be on the mailing list, sign-up here.

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Craft, Critique, Editing, Editor, Fiction, Novel, Publish, Revision, Writing

Once more down that editing road

Thank you all for wishing me well on my indie-publishing venture. This being my blog, you’ll be subject to reading about my failures and successes as I learn how to turn a manuscript into a real, honest to goodness book. I’ll try not to bore you with too many details, and I’ll ramble about other things too, of course.

My first step toward publishing my novel is to read and edit—again.  Again.  I confess I expected to have an agent’s input before this book went to an editor. Now, it will be just me. One more time through, and then I’ll pass it to my editor. After I make the changes she suggests, I’ll learn how to format the manuscript for the print and various e-reader versions. (Easy to say; harder to do.)

I think—but you never know—my closest focus on this edit round will be my first chapter. You may remember that after I wrote, edited, revised, pampered, primped, and polished my manuscript, I demoted the original first chapter, and wrote a new opening. The new Chapter One is good, but I’m concerned I left it in foster child status.

In the two and a half years I’ve worked on this book, I’ve had much good advice on what to cut, add, and revise from my critique partners. Now, I will be taking full responsibility. The power is exhilarating, but sobering. I can’t blame anyone else if the type, or layout, or book cover is a failure. Those are minor worries though.

The big worry is that I’m responsible for the story. It’s a story I love. I’ve told it as well as I could. While it’s still in my possession, I can dream about how many others will love it. Once I publish …


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Advice, Fiction, Marketing, My Books, Novel, Opinion, Promotion, Publish, Questions, Reflections, Writing

Could I live without a hardcover?

From some of my recent posts, you may have gotten the idea I’d already made the decision to end my quest for traditional publication. Decision making is always a long, complicated process for me. I think I have a few extra convolutions in my brain. Or something.

I read pros and cons. I listen to the experienced. I think and think and think and find myself not much closer to taking a stand than I was at the beginning. I hesitate in a thousand ways. I like to think of this as thorough research. More likely it’s just fear of the unknown.

In my last indie vs. traditional post, I concluded that a book published by one of the big NY publishers carries no guarantee it’s a better book, in any sense, than an indie-pubbed book. Yet the stigma of “lesser quality” still attaches itself to the idea of self-publishing. I confess, I’ve been guilty of that prejudice.

I have another book prejudice. I love hardcovers. If cost were never a factor, they would always be my first choice. Alas. Because I’m on a budget, I’m okay with trade paperbacks (soft-cover.) But I loathe mass-market paperbacks. If I indie-pub, my book won’t be in hardcover. End of dream.

So, let me consider other advantages to having my book traditionally published.

More publicity: Or not. Nowadays no matter how a book is published, for the majority of debut authors most of the task of publicizing it will fall on their shoulders. Still, that Big Publisher’s name does carry some weight. This is almost a draw.

Wider distribution: Yes, for a while. According to the latest I heard, the typical debut author will have a book on the shelves of brick and mortar bookstores for about 2-4 months. After that, it’s reduced to special order status. As an Indie author, I would not get the thrill of walking in B&N and seeing my book on the shelf, though if I choose the right options and self-pub as POD, my book could also be a special order by those stores. Safer to assume it would sell only online. I’d say the scale tips toward traditional—except I wonder, where do YOU buy most of your books?

More profit: True—if I received a $5,000 advance. Is that likely? I don’t know. I know there are Indie authors who make buckets of money every month, but they are not debut authors, and most of them are non-fiction authors. However, my self-pubbed novel might sell quite well. Or not.  Even if I received only a $2,000 advance from a traditional publisher, I might come out ahead profit wise. Toss up.

Those are all logical considerations. However, as a writer—as a person—I’m not always logical. To be honest, “always” is probably stretching it. I feel more than I think. So, what are my feelings? *sigh* I’m still working on that.

Your turn: I know some of you have already made the decision to become Indie authors. What was your deciding factor?


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