Tag Archives: publishing

Release day is ALMOST here!

I was hoping to get Darian’s War released earlier this week, but that didn’t happen. However, I’ve proofed both the print and e-versions, and am just waiting on the final files and artwork files, then however long Amazon and Createspace take to process. I haven’t seen the boxed set stuff yet….. I realize other people celebrate Thanksgiving, too, so I’m trying to be patient! (Not my strong suit!)

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving, and that you’re not killing yourselves trying to shop. I don’t shop this time of year, since I don’t like crowds, but my daughter’s in-laws were out in the wee hours of the morning. Stay warm and safe!

Christmas-Countdown1I’m going to have some free days and sales going on around Christmas and New Years, so stay tuned!

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Do you have to know your genre to write?

10 steps to being a better writer copy

Since Camp NaNoWriMo is starting on the 1st, and since I completely forgot about it until a couple of days ago, I took a quick gander at the Campfire Circle forum on the NaNoWriMo website. (Gander, for those of you not from the South, means “look”.) One of the questions got me thinking, I think because I’ve been in the indie publishing world for a while now. Things are different — in a good way — in indie land.

Here’s the question: “I need some help identifying my genre.” Then the poster put a synopsis of her story up.

There’s nothing inherently wrong in asking the question, but it really reminded me of one of the best things about being an indie author. GENRE DOESN’T REALLY MATTER! Sure, once you publish, you have to select your genres on Amazon and B&N and Kobo… I get that. But you certainly don’t need to know what you’re going to check off before you even write the thing. And honestly, some of the best work coming from indies are cross-genre stories that would never get picked up by traditional publishers for that fact alone. Traditional publishers want to quantify you. Many traditionally published authors who want to branch out into other genres aren’t allowed to by their publishers, or at least not in their own name. That’s a shame, and something that the indie market is doing better than the legacy guys at the moment.

I will grant you that it’s easier to market yourself if you write in one, carefully defined genre. Since I don’t do that, I can attest to the “starting over” phenomenon when you have a new book out in a new genre. But still, the point of writing is (or should be) to write the story in your heart. If that story is romance, or suspense, or police procedural, that’s great. But if, like me, that genre is Young Adult sci-fi dystopian fantasy… Well, that’s okay, too. Will most of my action adventure treasure hunt readers cross over? I doubt it. Does that mean I’m starting from scratch? Yep. But I started from scratch when I published Solomon’s Throne, anyway, and it’s selling at a pretty steady pace, so it’s doable. And worth it, to write what I want.

If you’re doing Camp NaNo next month or in July, or you’re going to sign up for the big event in November, relax. Have fun. It’s a first draft. It might be terrible. That’s okay! You have to give yourself permission to write crap. Work on your story, your characters, your settings. Research the details. Let your mind take the story where it wants to go, and don’t worry about genre. Once you’ve written it, edited it, sent it to beta readers, and edited some more, then you can think about it. If you decide to go the traditional route, you can figure out which genre it fits best when you start sending out queries. If you decide to go the indie route, it won’t matter until you’re in production. Either way, that’s a long way off from the first words of the first draft.

Relax, take a deep breath. Write. Think. Dream. Imagine. For now, that’s all you need to do!

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Publishing, Self publishing, Writing

What is your “Next Thing?”

adventure

My husband and I coined an acronym during a particularly bad period in our business history (we found out that our office manager had embezzled a ton of money, cooked the books, screwed up the accounts on purpose, we were broke, and in the process of figuring out what we wanted to do to reinvent the company in a way we could live with). It’s TNT – The Next Thing.

Since that time, we’ve had two other periods where we were constantly talking about TNT. One of those is now. We’re in a period of happy transition, and honestly, a lot of things are still up in the air. Like where we’re moving later this year. Some things aren’t. We’re transitioning completely out of the aforementioned business, which will be wonderful. Right now it’s very part-time, thanks to the restructuring we did after the “recent unpleasantness” of 2008, but if you own a business you have business pressures, even if you’re not very involved. Being done with it will be a huge relief after more than twenty years.

We’re writing like crazy people, as I’ve mentioned several times in this blog, and have started the publishing company to better organize and structure those efforts. Our days are spent writing, editing, and thinking about writing and editing. After being in the business world and dealing with employees, equipment and ever more stressed clients, it’s a glorious thing!

I’ve also decided to get into the freelance world a bit. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve done ad copy before, along with business writing, and what I’ll be doing will basically combine those two things into a (theoretically) reasonably well paid career. I’m also good at dialogue and voices, two things you use to craft good copy. The cool thing about this is that literally everyone in my family has the ability to do it. My husband used to work in advertising and is very persuasive with things he believes in. My daughter who is graduating from college in May and marrying in June has won competitions using similar styles of writing. And my teenage son, who is graduating from high school in May, has enough natural ability to be taught. So… We may have another family business on our hands!

Obviously, you’ve all been impacted by this “new” economy. Many have lost their jobs or lost part of their income. You’re in the same boat as we are, having to reinvent yourself and figure out how to make a living in 2013. We’re 47 (me) and 53 (my husband); we certainly didn’t expect to be doing this at our age. But as it’s turned out, we’re more excited and more passionate about our Act II than we ever were about what we were doing for a living in Act I. (Okay, I may have these acts wrong… Let’s say Act 1 is early career, Act II is mid, and Act III is – hopefully – fabulous retirement in some lovely warm place with long, desolate beaches and many days of sunshine.)

It’s a little scary. We’re purposefully taking a pay cut to get out of our business, and right now that might seem crazy. But our kids are at a place where we can do it, our lives are at a place where we’re willing to try it, and, even at our “advanced” ages, adventure still calls. If nothing else, it won’t be boring!

What about you? Where are you in this journey? Act I? Act II? Maybe even Act III? We only get this one life – don’t forget to live it!

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Filed under Publishing, Writing