Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013

What I've learned:

  • I wasn't sure if writing original fiction would stop me from writing fanfic. My inspiration tends to stick to one story until it's complete, and it doesn't seem to care if that story is original or fanfic. As always, though, if I don't have the majority of the plot thought out, or if the premise itself isn't compelling enough, I don't want to write it and I put it off and work on something else.
  • Formatting and publishing electronically is fairly easy with the software I have.
  • Formatting and publishing through CreateSpace is a bit trickier, but still fairly easy.
  • I have absolutely no idea how to market myself and no confidence in my product, and publishing all by itself using free tools is definitely not the same thing as marketing. I feel rather like I knitted a poor excuse for a scarf, using ugly wool and the wrong size needles and a total lack of skill, and then had the audacity to put it on a low, dusty shelf in a lonely corner of a consignment store. Where it has sat, unpurchased, for quite some time.
  • I've been going through moderate to severe bouts of depression since I published Firebirds. Even pulling up the page to view my awful to nonexistent sales numbers is enough to make me feel sick and sad.
  • I don't think I'm going to stop attempting original fiction, but the only original story I have going right now is the next book in the Unbroken series.
  • I might continue with that series (since it does sell), but I don't know if I'll publish anything else.
  • I receive feedback and appreciation when I write fanfic. I receive little to no money and feedback only when I request it, on original fiction. I'm rewarded more by writing fanfic and receiving no payment for it, than writing original fiction.
  • I'm disappointed, even though I acknowledge that marketing might help improve my sales numbers. I just don't know how, and I don't have any money to put into it. I'm also just as convinced that marketing would be a waste of time, even if it were free, because I don't feel like my writing is any good.
Dwelling on it is just going to make me upset. I didn't want to lie in this journal, though, so I'll be honest about all of it. This experiment didn't go the way I wanted. I didn't want worldwide fame and fortune; I didn't want to be the next E.L. James or J.K. Rowling. But I've failed at this. I'm deeply appreciative to the people who bought or downloaded the books, and I'm grateful to the people who read the books before I published them, for their feedback and encouragement. Apparently though, somewhere along the way, my self-worth has been tied up in this, and it wasn't high to begin with.

I'm not going to monitor my sales anymore through the dashboard, because there's no point and it only upsets me. I'm just going to let this go and try to find something that doesn't make me feel like this does. That might involve continuing to write, but not publishing anymore. I just don't know.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 22, 2013

Really awesome thing: The Firebirds is now available on Amazon in print and on Kindle, and it's enrolling in MatchBook. According to Amazon, once it's finished enrolling (which will probably take a few hours, so it'll be active Monday correction: MatchBook will be launched "in the coming weeks" but I'll let you know when it's live) - if you purchase a print copy, you'll be able to buy it for the Kindle at a reduced rate. I'm stoked they've come up with that.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Firebirds is in print now!

It will be on Amazon (US and UK), but for now only the CreateSpace website seems to have it up: https://www.createspace.com/4419812 .

It's a 6x9 book, which is pretty big.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Firebirds is now available!

Here's a link to the Kindle edition in the Amazon US store. (The print version is in process right now.)

Alison Stuart has one chance. She's worked hard all her life, but ten years after high school, she's a single mother doing her best to keep her head above water. When she's backed into a corner, she's given an offer she's been able to refuse before, but not this time. One night, one stranger she will never see again, one payment that will dig her out of the hole she's in—for now. At least, that was how it was supposed to be.

Owen Munsen had everything he wanted: a good job, a beautiful wife, a daughter he loved more than life itself. Then the rug was pulled out from under him, and he was left staring into the darkness, desperate for a way out. One night, one stranger he will never see again, a connection with someone that will let him forget the pain he's in for just a little while. At least, that was how it was supposed to be.

The events set in motion that night have repercussions far beyond what either of them expected.

Excerpt (beginning of Chapter 1):

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Firebirds cover choices!

All right. I have four six nine choices for this cover. I have the ability to change fonts/colors of words and layouts; I have less flexibility about art, unless someone finds some free for commercial use or public domain artwork. It is, of course, okay for you to say you don't like any of the covers shown - but I would ask that you at least give me some direction on what would work instead.

Row 1

Row 2

Row 3

Row 4

Row 5

Current votes:
Row 1 left: 3
Row 1 right: 3
Row 2 left: 2
Row 2 right: 0
Row 3 left: 1
Row 3 right: 1
Row 4 left: 0
Row 4 right: 1
Row 5 left: 0

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 11, 2013

Just finished the first novel I'm planning on publishing via both Kindle and Amazon CreateSpace print-on-demand, and sent it out to my beta-readers.

I'm kind of excited about that process, but intimidated by all the choices. Covers, for instance. Cover art feels a lot more important for a print book. And choosing the font, spacing, how the page numbers will be listed, how chapter intros will be formatted... so many choices! I have a feeling it will take an entire weekend to plan and finish. On a positive note, I don't think I need a separate ISBN.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 24, 2013

I had such plans for this summer. The time has gone by so quickly.

I had an interesting conversation last week, too. The book I'm currently writing... well, so far it's not fitting neatly into the usual genre conventions as I understand them. I'd like to hope it will find an audience, but I'm also wondering how big that audience is.

But then, maybe five people are meant to read it, and maybe those five people will find it.

Writing with the intention of publishing is a little different from writing and then deciding to publish. I know that I will publish what I'm working on right now, if I'm able to complete it to my satisfaction. But I haven't done the thing that scares me. I haven't studied bestsellers on the Amazon charts and broken down the books into a sort of algebraic equation, tried to follow it, and hoped that the end result would be enough money to help me retire in my mid-thirties. There is a difference between art and commercial art. No one's begging me to publish my books. No matter how long I write, I can't shake the feeling that if I were to stop writing, no tears would be shed over it. Oh, my unfinished fanfic series stories might be granted an unofficial ending by other authors, possibly... but otherwise, it's a little comforting to think that I could safely vanish beneath the surface, unmourned.

My mental state might be informing my writing a bit more than I should want, but for this story, I think that probably works.

Once I have it finished, I'll post the beginning, because I think readers will know fairly quickly whether they're interested and will want to read the rest or not.

And now I'm going to try to get a bit more done before I go to bed... although the book I'm currently reading is really absorbing my attention.