RS: I Haz Planz 23/04


Sooo . . . first of all:

MEOTFS Complete dialogue box

BOO-YAAAAH!

. . . followed swiftly by:

CreateSpace buy page for MEOTFS

YUSSSH!

^_^

Moving on . . .

Actions Last Weekblank calendar from OpenClipArt

~Add five entries to the book reviewers/spotlight spreadsheet per day (even if they go in the ‘no good right now’ section I need to add them in)
No. I think I managed five. The news from Breathless Press aside, I notice a trend when it comes to ‘marketing and promo’ activities. I- don’t- like- them. So I need to start smaller and work my way up. We’ll see about that in a tick

~Mail one reviewer/spotlight blogger from the list per day
Two. -_-

~Publish ‘Meeting Each Other: The Full Story’ paperback version
See above. ^_^

Activities For This Week

  1. Add ten to the book reviewers/spotlight spreadsheet over the course of the week (even if they go in the ‘no good right now’ section I need to add them in)
  2. Mail three reviewer/spotlight blogger over the course of the week
  3. Decide what to do about the Slippers & Chains series
  4. Write and set up my Twory idea

Thoughts…

I can’t send one promo-type message a day. I don’t now if that sounds defeatist or not, but I can’t. While I acknowledge that I do need to do these things, I can’t put my heart and soul in it the way I do with other things.

In light of that, I’m going to reduce the focus there. I’m going to shift gears and concentrate on my Twory. Something that people can engage with and follow and enjoy over a period of days. This, hopefully, will be far more effective as a marketing tool and also be fun, which is what I want.

Slippers & Chains needs a new home. I won’t know what to do with the ‘Second Base’ beta comments until I figure that out and I won’t know what to do about my ‘Sugar Dust’ cover art either. So I need to start making some plans.

How has your writing week been? As we near the end of the first third of the year, I’m keen to know how you’re all getting on. :-)

Raven's Signature In Black

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RS: What The Hell Do I Do Now?


I hinted at this briefly on Facebook earlier in the week. For those of you who don’t know, here is the announcement made by Breathless Press a couple of days ago.

Facebook announcement of Breathless Press closure

. . . sad face . . .

So . . . yeah. I knew about this. Or I knew it was coming. One thing (among many) that I can say about the folk behind Breathless Press is that they have always been open, honest and frank about everything going on behind the scenes, choices being made and the reality of what is going on around us.

That being said I did hope for a different outcome. Of course I did.

Sugar Dust Cover artAnyway . . . what do I do now? ‘Slippers & Chains: Sugar Dust‘ is currently in their hands (though my rights will be back very soon) and ‘Slippers & Chains: Second Base’ is with a beta reader. I was readying myself to send that to my BP editor by the end of May. Can’t do that now.

I have several options, I guess, but looking back at the state I was in last week, most of them aren’t very attractive to me at this point.

Choices:

  • Send to alternative publishers to see if they will take on the novel. Go through whatever editing process they have and sign up new contracts.
  • Self publish under Little Vamp Press
  • Stop the series completely and start something new

. . . well that last option can sod right off. It’s an option, but I know there are people who will be devastated to learn that there will be no more of the ‘Cage Story’ as it was so lovingly dubbed. More than that, I love these characters and the potential mileage they have in them.

Middle option? A bit like Ileandra with ‘Silk Over Razor Blades‘ it was always my plan to do exactly that until the Funk Master said I should submit it. So this route is viable. And it’s not like I haven’t done it before, right?

The first option is the most scary because I have no idea how these new publishers will treat me. If they’ll even take the novel on. If I’ll have to do a whole ream of new edits to satisfy the style of a new publishing house.

. . . Basically, I don’t know what I want. I have no idea.

It’s maddening because this year was all planned, but doubly so because every rational bone in my body says shiz like this happens all the time and that the strength of character shows not in avoiding it but dealing with it. -_-

I had a little cry – not for me, but for all of us, because the BP family is lovely and I adore them and I’m so sad that this has happened to all of us, not just me – and ate waaaaaaaay too much food on Monday. On Tuesday while DSB was recording for the podcast I spent sime time on the BP Facebook page chatting with other authors about the options. Yesterday I spent an hour gabbing on #writingchat and felt very much better.

Today? Well today is a new day, isn’t it? And I need to make some decisions. The Sprogs are at nursery now (they started their new one yesterday) so I have the day largely to myself. It’s time to take that snotty horse by the reins, leap back into the saddle and show it who the hell is boss.

I’m not used to be lost and adrift. Being unable to make decisions. That’s not me. For a short while . . . this song described my life.

Time to go back to being that person. Strong. Assured. Confident. Trusting in my ability to make the right choices for my career.

Rawr.

Raven's Signature In Black

Posted in Raven's Posts, Slippers & Chains | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

IY: Mah Plans 20/04


Football goal posts from OpenClipArtNice day today. I feel better than last night too, when my body was a bit achy from all the working and I couldn’t stop myself feeling guilty over not getting the work done because of fatigue.

This is a new day. A new week. A new start. I’ll go through how I did last week, but after that, my focus is all on this week.

Let’s see . . .

Actions Last Week

Write 10k words of ‘On A Knife Point’ (so total word count 82k)
Check. Just hit the 82k mark.

Order new ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ proof
Done. With super fast shipping (ouch! my bank account!) it should be here within a couple more days.

Write this month’s newsletter and distribute
Sorted. Only two (I think) sections more to go of the current free story people are getting. Remember, if you want that story, or any of the other news that subscribers get, sign up for the mailing list today. All subscribers will be in with a chance to win a signed (if you like) copy of ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ by the way.

Prepare for April Fox Bites
Hehee. I had fun, but it didn’t quite go as planned. I’m not sure if the football put people off, or our promo just wasn’t as good this time around, but the audience was a little thin. o.O In light of that our readings will get shifted to May instead.

 

Activities For The Week

The last big thing on my list for this month (that I can currently affect in any way) is the draft of ‘On A Knife Point.’ So my focus is that this week. Bring it all on!

  • Write 10k words of ‘On A Knife Point’ (so total word count 92k)
  • Check new ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ proof for issues and decide on final release date

Thoughts…

I’m crossing my fingers that this next proof will look the way I want. The biggest thing is the cover art. It’s so, so beautiful on screen, I really want the colour that’s finally printed to match the one on screen. You won’t get the full effect unless it does.

This is something I have no control over at all, so all I can do is wait and hope.

But, if that comes out well, then I’m ready to go and I’m loving the circular nature of that. Finishing the draft of the third novel just as the first one is ready for sale. Though that does mean I need to have something else in the wings for when ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge’ is published.

Ha, thinking ahead, girlie. Thinking ahead.new ileandra signature,

 

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IY: Back On Track


Yes. I am.

The second proof of ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’, complete with new edits, new formatting and new cover is finally on the way. I expect to see it by Wednesday. ^_^

This means I’m so close to the finish line I can see the ripples in the tap as it flutters in the breeze. Im right there! All being well with this proof, I can finally settle my release date (so far around mid-May) and start prep work for the release the same way I did in December.

It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be busy. I CAN’T WAIT!

Funny, but I don’t seem to have the same problems as Raven. Probably because I’ve been sitting on this book for so long and become I’m drafting the last in the trilogy. No, I’m excited and eager to get this thing for sale. I’m looking at the current proof and stroking the cover, cooing at the artwork and I know that it’s going to look better in the next version. The novel has been edited to within an inch of it’s life and then copy edited by a fantastic professional who has looked after me for some time now.

I know there’s nothing else I can do. This is it.

This time next week I’ll have a release date for you. And perhaps a fun set of teasers to get you in the mood. *eager hand rubbing* You’ll see . . . it will all be worth the wait.

new ileandra signature,

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RS: I Haz Planz 16/04


No. Before you ask, I still haven’t hit ‘publish’ since this morning’s post. But I’m gearing up to it. I have my CreateSpace account open if that counts. I can see the dashboard. :-p

Actions Last Weekblank calendar from OpenClipArt

~Send newsletter for this month
Sorted. It was a fun one to send too. I gave away another freebie and furthered the Raven’s Diary: The New Pet story. Remember, if you want to be in with a chance to enjoy either of those things, you need to sign up! Do it using the link above.

~Devise marketing plan that can be run through Twitter since that is primary means of doing so these days
I’ve kinda known this for a while, but I’m going to write a Twory. This is an idea totally nicked from DSB‘s friends over at Caladria, so if you want to know what it’s about you really should check out their Twitter. It’s a laugh riot, believe me. And I hope I can get similar results with something so fundamentally fun to do.

~Create spreadsheet to record book reviewers contacted including when, where etc, etc
Yep. I’ve even started filling it in. I’m doing one week of adding at least five sites per day, then next week I’ll . . . well I’ll tell you about that in the actions.

~Order new ‘MEO:TFS’ proof
Ordered and received (I asked for mega speedy delivery this time). Yes, as I mentioned this morning, it’s ready. I just need to do the deed. o.O

Activities For This Week

  1. Add five entries to the book reviewers/spotlight spreadsheet per day (even if they go in the ‘no good right now’ section I need to add them in)
  2. Mail one reviewer/spotlight blogger from the list per day
  3. Publish ‘Meeting Each Other: The Full Story’ paperback version

Thoughts…

I’ve nearly completed all my goals for the month. I’m in a good position.

I also want to test how it feels sending one promo-type message a day. It’s not too much to handle at once, so I shouldn’t get overwhelmed, but it does get the message out slowly, slowly. That’s what I want.

Also, the Twory is another way to get eyes turned in my direction, while being simultaneously entertaining for readers and fun for me. That’s what promotion should be, if you ask me. Otherwise it’s just spam.

As for goal three . . . I have time. But the end of April takes me very close to DSB‘s LARP so really it should be done sooner rather than later. I just can’t yet.

*head desk*

We’ll see. It’s all I can do.

Raven's Signature In Black

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RS: All That #AmWriting Has Made Me A Big Fat Coward


Hi everyone. This post is a little late as I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. But, as I sat down I realised I had the perfect subject for this morning. And I want to share it with you.

What’s Kicking Off?

Road runner 'go' meme

Meep, meep!

The next proof of ‘Meeting Each Other: The Full Story’ is here. It arrived yesterday and it’s perfect. Perfect I tells ya. There’s nothing wrong with it – at least that I can pick out. So I should (finally) be hitting ‘Go’ right? Right?!

But I haven’t yet. I keep staring at the book and saying ‘One more read. One more check.’ As if I’m not at the point at which words start to blur into one icky mess. So why can’t I get the book out there? It’s not like there isn’t an eBook version already for sale . . .

This Is The End

cover art for Vicki & Lara ebookI’ve been working on this series for almost three years. ‘Vicki & Lara’ released in September 2012. The other books followed in pretty regular patterns and though it wasn’t as quick as I wanted, it was still pretty damn fast. I know many folk who are stunned at the speed at which I’ve released these six titles. And this IS the end. A project that consumed me wholly and marks the start of my career as an indie author and our (Ileandra, DSB and myself) career as a publisher too. Part of me doesn’t want to let that go and it’s pretty easy to see why.

Well . . . What’s Next?

I’ve touched on this briefly, but if I’m brutally honest, the answer is I have no frikkin clue. Sugar Dust Cover artI was so utterly consumed by ‘Meeting Each Other’ that I’ve given no thought to future indie projects. Sure, I have ‘Slippers & Chains’ to be working on, but that series has a home with Breathless Press. What about me flying solo (which I love doing, so, so, so, so, SO much). The thought of not knowing where to go terrifies me, but as long as this project is still ‘open’ I don’t have to worry about it too much. So I put off completing it.

I need to spend some time thinking about this, because whatever I chose needs to be realistic as a whole project. Can I write it? Can I edit it? Can I afford cover art?

Yes . . . big question that. Can I afford XYZ? Well, so far ‘Meeting Each Other’ has utterly drained my dedicated bank account and I have nothing left to work with now. I need to make money to produce more of my own books.

What Do You Mean There’s No Money?

openclip art - money, notes and coinsWhat? Didn’t I tell you? This indie publishing gig isn’t the ‘get rich quick’ scheme that people seem to believe. It takes lots of work, lots of time and at the end of it, because you’re a one man operation without the marketing budget of our friends in the Big Six (Five, now?) then no one is going to know you’re there. Ergo you’re unlikely to make buckets of money.

I always hoped that sales from one release would fund the next one. I’m yet to break even on the funds I poured into making ‘Vicki & Lara‘ the best it could be. Let alone the ones that followed.

So why again am I doing this? Why am I pouring time and money, not to mention my heart, soul, sweat, blood, tears and sanity into a project that has no return? Shouldn’t I just get a ‘real’ job and sit behind a desk or swipe groceries or teach sproglings how to count? Wouldn’t that add more value?

*sigh*

We have this debate all the time. DSB will probably talk about it soon, but I, in particular, feel the pressure because I’m the one with titles for sale. Ileandra isn’t under quite so much pressure yet.

Because I do feel pressure. I feel a burning drive to succeed and provide for my family and give The Sprogs everything they want and need. That is one of my inner reasons for writing, I won’t lie about that.

But so far I haven’t been able to do that. My monthly earnings from ‘this writing gig’ don’t even fund my coffee shop habit. So I certainly can’t buy clothes and food for The Sprogs with it.

So, what if it IS a waste of time? What if I’ll never get what I feel I want from this whole thing and prove right all the naysayers (because they’re out there, believe me. Some among my relatives, others elsewhere)? At least while I have an unfinished project, I can’t be expected to rake in the £££ right? After all, it must be complete before it can start earning. Right?

Pffft! Yeah, Right!

We Can Do It!

I CAN do it!

Fortunately I know better than that.

I know that hard work, perseverance, a willingness to believe in my own self and my ability will get me much further in this chosen profession of mine.

I know successful indie careers start slowly, build gradually and, for mega successful folk, appear to blossom over night, when in fact they are the product of years and years (and years!) of hard, non-stop work.

I know that huge five figure earnings aren’t the norm and that it’s far more likely that I’ll occasionally pay a bill with what I earn from anything I write.

I know that three years in, I’ve achieved so much to be proud of just as things stand and that I can (and should) hold my head high and feel good about it.

I know that.

So why can’t I hit ‘publish’? *head desk*

Fear Cripples

I’m scared, is the long and short. Those reasons and more tell me that putting a lid on ‘Meeting Each Other’ ends the only thing I was sure about. The one thing (writing-wise) that I have full control over. My ‘little baby’ will be out in the world without me to protect it and left utterly open to the opinions of readers that I may or may not get.

How is that not scary?

But the simple fact remains this: if I don’t do it, I’ll always wonder. If I don’t do it, then the work I’ve put in to date really will be a waste.

Next Steps . . . ?

Raven with meeting each other proofI will publish this book. I will.

I just . . . don’t know when. I would set it as a goal, but that feels like undue pressure. And it’s already a goal: by the end of this month. So I will do it. I will (I WILL).

I’ll take that (actually no-so-irrational-fear) and throttle it into submission. But not yet. I can’t. I need more time. I need to remember how to breathe through my nose and eat without feeling sick. I need to convince myself that I don’t need to organise a huge launch party or Facebook event. I need to chill the hell out and remember why I started writing, even if the reasons I continue are slightly different.

Once I do that . . . it will be a pleasure to click ‘publish’ rather than something scary and pointless.

Raven's Signature In Black

Posted in Other Writings, Raven's Posts | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

IY: Mah Plans 13/04


Football goal posts from OpenClipArtMonday again. Boy it goes so fast! Can’t even keep up with it right now. Feel like my head is going round and round in lil, diddy circles.

Maybe I should see someone about that, eh?

. . . Moving on!

Actions Last Week

Write 10k words of ‘On A Knife Point’
Eeeerm. *checks* 17k.

I know . . . I know! I can’t get my head around it myself, but it doesn’t add up otherwise. The scrivener document is currently sitting at 72, 723 words, and I’m (half) certain that the last time I checked it, I was only at 55k. So . . . count with me. That makes 17k (give or take 100 or so, right?).

I can’t figure out how I’ve done this with a full day off in the middle of the week when we went to Dorking, and lots of evenings off for feeling crappy. DSB recorded podcasts and worked on Caladria and read and binged on Buffy so, personally, I have no clue how I managed to write so much. But numbers don’t lie.

This week, however, I’m actually going to put a figure in the goal so I know what I’m aiming for. I think that will help me stay on track with where I am in words per week.

Order new ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ proof
No. And I’m ready, so, so ready, but the modified file for the cover art is still with my illustrator. He’s yet to send it. So I can’t order the proof yet.

Activities For The Week

Well . . . there is somewhat less time to work this week but there will be less upheaval (hopefully) so I should be able to go back to my usual scheduling. Let’s see:

  • Write 10k words of ‘On A Knife Point’ (so total word count 82k)
  • Order new ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ proof
  • Write this month’s newsletter and distribute
  • Prepare for April Fox Bites

Thoughts…

Ooo! Yes, I forgot about this. Remember last month I talked about the new author reading event in town and how I’d been able to read? I’m still waiting on video files, though that’s neither here nor there. No, no. I want to tell you I’ll be reading again this month!

wpid-img-20150221-wa0013.jpgI’ve decided to go for another snippet from ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ and I’ll have the proof with me this time, so that will be nice. I was really (really!) hoping to have the book for sale by then, but there’s just no way to arrange that or even have a pre-order link available. So I’m just going to have to suck it up and wait.

But . . . ! If you’re a Leicester person and you’re in the area this Saturday, pop over the Cafe Malveen at around 3pm and listen to a bunch of local writers read their words. It’s looking to be a great event!

As to my goals and the like, I seem to be on track. I have occasional slow periods with ‘On A Knife Point’ (not that you’d know that from my last word count o.O) though I know that’s because I’m reaching the end. Just like any other footrace I always seem to slow down at the end. But I’ll get there. I know I will.

Have a good week people! *kisses*

new ileandra signature,

 

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