“If you wish to be a writer, write.”
Up to 77830 now, and decided to drop an entire sub-plot that I’ve been struggling with for a while. It just won’t fit, so I’ve tucked it away. Maybe it will be useful next book. Onward.
Comic Con was wonderful. We had a great time. The panels were quite good; the crowd-handling was terrible. We came home exhausted.
The novel is now at 77291 words, which is 2862 more words than I reported on May 21. Slow to the point of embarrassment. I have shifted the meter to 100,000 words, making myself seem even slower. I will slog on.
At least my tomatoes are very happy. I have many flowers on all of them, and small fruits on a couple. This makes me happy, too.
I am still determined to finish this book, edit it, and get it published this year. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
I’m off to the Denver Comic Con for the weekend. Lots of writing and publishing panels, lots of gamer and geek fun. I’ll report back if anything useful comes up.
Other than that, I continue to slog along on the novel, which once again is finding scenes that I didn’t realize would be there. Always so weird when that happens. I think I’ll have to up the target word count again, to 100,000 from 90,000. The thing keeps growing as I write it.
In the meantime, I wanted to point to a blog post by Melody Simmons, on stock image uses, especially on rights granted by the various stock photo services. On the Resources for Self-Publishers page, I list a number of stock photo sites where you can license artwork for your book covers and web sites. It’s important to note that not all the sites license the same rights, and to know what you need and how to get it (as well as what it can cost you). Melody’s post explains it all very well.
See you next week, friends!
The changes aren’t mine. I had a ordinary week last week. I wrote 2088 words on the novel, which is average for me though slow for many others. That brought me to a total of 74429 words so far. I worked in the yard and garden enough that my knees are very stiff and sore. I went with Mr. Jnfr to see Ironman 3, and enjoyed it very much.
So my personal world is plugging along, being ordinary in its usual wonderful way. The world of publishing, on the other hand, had some very interesting changes come to light last week. In fact, an entire segment of the publishing business shifted in a way that promises to be very good for independent authors. Here’s what happened.
First, understand that self-publishing is not all about ebooks. Paperbacks are still a large share of the book market, at least 60% in most categories, much more in non-fiction. But the big print distributors — Baker & Taylor, Ingram’s — have always segregated print-on-demand books into a separate section of their catalog with relatively terrible purchasing terms, and so most self-published and small press books never make it into bookstores in print (because most of us use print-on-demand exclusively).
In response to this, Katherine Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, who have been involved in writing and publishing for decades, decided last year to set up a separate distribution outlet especially for those books that B&T etc. were doing such a poor job of distributing. This outlet was Ella Distribution, and with a lot of indie authors hitting the best-seller lists with their ebooks, a better distribution channel for indie books in print looked very promising.
In a blog post titled Shifting Sands, Kris says that B&T started following all their social media channels as soon as they began to develop Ella Distribution. Ella had great feedback from the growing network of independent bookstores, and went live in February.
Right away, Kris and Dean noticed that the books they were distributing were starting to get loads of paperback sales, but not one order came through Ella. So they investigated, and that’s when they found that B&T had integrated print-on-demand and self-published books into their main catalog, with terms equivalent to those given to books by corporate publishers.
This is incredible news for indie authors, since it breaks wide open a whole distribution channel that was closed before. And sad news for Kris and Dean, since they had to shut down Ella. In less than six months from concept to market change, the big distributors had out-maneuvered them.
Dean also has a post up describing their experience, Books Into Stores. Read it for more details.
I’ve been following their progress with Ella since they first mentioned the project. It’s quite a shock to see it collapse so suddenly. It’s also remarkably good news for all independent authors that our print books will now be more widely available on decent terms for all bookstores to buy.
So remember: self-publishing is not just about ebooks. Don’t neglect any potential venue for getting your work into readers’ hands.
By mid-week last week I had written 1798 words on the novel (total: 72341) and was making decent progress, when I made a strategic error. One morning I took a notion to work on an old story that needs a bit of editing and revision before I can publish it. It is a story I wrote some years ago, and it’s set in a different world than either “Last Night” or the novel I’m writing now.
And that was a mistake because I couldn’t get my mind back into the novel after working in this other world. So that’s my personal lesson from last week: don’t try to switch fictions, because you are not capable of that.
I’ve taken a few days away from both and intend to stick with the novel until this draft is done. I have to get through it, and I’m already behind on my goal. Not hugely behind, but a few thousand words. And the book is turning out to be longer than I’d expected, in addition. That’s something I have to work with, since it can’t be stopped while drafting. But no more getting my mind off-balance! Okay then.
Yes, we have a spring rain today. I filled the bird feeder and brought my tomato seedlings back inside so they don’t catch a chill. I’m still waiting to make the new raised beds for them, since it’s been too soggy to dig so far.
But I have done a little bit of writing. Only 868 words last week, for a total of 70543 on the novel. Not sure why I felt so stuck, but I did. This week is better already.
I aim for slow-but-steady, and I’ve made progress. Already this year I’ve written more than all of last year, and last year I didn’t write at all until November’s NaNoWriMo challenge. That’s when I started the novel I’m working on now.
I’m happy to slowly increase my word counts, but that’s not how the most successful indie authors work. I wanted to point out two different threads over at the KBoards Writers Cafe, where two different authors, who have both sold a ton of books to many happy readers, talk about their process as working writers. Both write like crazy, more hours a day than I can imagine. Both give clear and challenging descriptions of how to publish and promote multiple novels a year, and why readers love it.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep writing. And maybe tomatoes soon.
After two slow weeks, I had what is, for me, a good writing week. 3022 words done, for a total of 69443 on the novel. Very satisfying.
It is hard for me to tell, when I have these tough writing periods, whether I’m actually procrastinating or scared to write, or whether my sub-brain is working out plot details without telling me. Sometimes it seems like both, and I don’t know until some story parts finally burst through.
Weather has turned lovely here, and my tomato seedlings look great. I need to do some digging this week, as well as some writing. Fingers and toes crossed for a productive week on all fronts.
Over the past two weeks, I have only written 2331 words total. The novel stands at 66421 words, and the non-fiction at 4865. So I am not getting done what I need to get done.
Still, this is another week, and I will write some more. Aiming for a lot more, and have high hopes. I know that getting through the last quarter of this book is hard, and always was going to be hard. But there’s no way but through.
Pretty ordinary week last week, with 2201 words written, all on the novel. Total words stand at 64591 now.
Laying out the plot in a spreadsheet is working well for me, and I think from now on I’ll have a worksheet ready as I begin a story. I am what we generally call a “pantser”, in that I write by the seat of my pants and don’t outline before I begin. I usually start with a character or two, a location, and maybe a general sense of what might happen, but honestly I have to write my way into the story. I can’t see it from outside.
But novels are really long, and they have a lot of moving parts to keep track of, so by the middle I feel pretty bogged down and uncertain where I’m going. Keeping track with a list of scenes, chapters, characters, and so on, helps me see where I’ve been. Then I continue figure out where I’m going.
Anyway, on to another week of slugging my way through to the finish. I’m slowly getting the parts nailed down.