November 28, 2011

"So Much for Cyber Monday"

Sooooo... my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, and I told him I want my books offered in paperback. You should see the look I got! I think he was expecting something easy like, "A Kindle Fire?" Click-click-click and he's done shopping. Not so fast, baby - you should know by now I'm not that easy. (Hmmm... a Kindle Fire... have I been good enough this year to ask for two things?? I'm not sure...)

I haven't offered the books in paperback before now because the price point for POD (print-on-demand) books sucks. To make the same thing I'd make on a digital copy (offered at $2.99), I have to charge $11-12, which I think is a little crazy. That said, it would be kind of cool, and the people who've been asking me for it would be happy.

All like five or six of you. :)

November 26, 2011

Good For You update #2

I got edits back yesterday, and am planning to get those kicked out quickly, plus the final few revisions. We're still on track to upload on December 16th. (As usual, it's anyone's guess after that when it will pop up for sale on B&N and Amazon. Authors are told it will be 24-72 hours from upload to going "live," but it was very quick last time - less than 12 hours for both.)

I began writing Good For You in April 2010. It's been forced to simmer on the backburner of my brain many times over the past year and a half while I revised Between the Lines and wrote Where You Are, but in some ways I've been working towards telling this story the entire time. I'm a whole lotta nervous about releasing it, but also excited.  I hope you'll like it.

November 20, 2011

Good For You update

Good For You has been sent to my kick-butt, perfectionist copy editor. When she gets it back to me, I'll make corrections/revisions as necessary, and then pass it on to my wonderful and equally perfectionist programmer. We're on track to upload to Amazon and B&N on December 16th.

I'm still struggling between two possible next projects, making notes and jotting scenes. Though both want to be written, neither has firmly pulled out front. One is a stand-alone that will definitely be written - it's just a matter of when. The other is a fourth (final) installment in the BTL series that I may or may not do.

Meanwhile, my To Do list includes a critique of the final-in-a-series manuscript from one of my critique partners (the incredibly sweet Elizabeth Reyes). She warned me that this last of her Moreno Brothers series is long, and OMG it is. Her fans should be all happy-happy-joy-joy about that. (Insider information: So far, I'm liking this story about Sal, the most enigmatic of the bunch, a LOT. Eli told me she cried while writing it. True story.)

Also on my To Do list: entire family coming over for Thanksgiving... and I've been so caught up in getting Good For You ready that I haven't planned a single part of it. Oops. Unless we're having frozen pizza, I'd probably better get on that.

And last but not least, I seriously need to catch up on my reading. The only reason I'm a writer is because I'm a reader. My nightstand stack is looking pretty solid, but isn't teetering - thanks to lots of purchased-but-not-read stuff on my Kindle. So in addition to critiquing, I'm going to be reading. (You wouldn't believe how excited that makes me!) If you follow my reviews on Goodreads, prepare for some activity (finally!).

November 11, 2011

Let's Be Independent Together

One of the joys of being an indie author is having the complete freedom to choose which of all of those magical projects wandering about in your head to work on next.

One of the issues with being an indie author is having no authoritative guidance when choosing which of those millions of projects wandering about in your head to work on next.

Merriam Webster defines independent* as: not subject to control of others; self-governing. Independence equals freedom. And with freedom comes responsibility. (How many times did I hear that growing up, and how many times have I said it as a parent?) If independence = freedom --> responsibility, then to whom are independent authors responsible?

I would argue that all authors are responsible to their artistic vision, their readers and their careers. I suppose it's up to the authors themselves, individually, to choose the order of those factors, but if we're aiming for being happy and successful (and who isn't), then all three of these need to be important. Unfortunately, there are times when those factors seem opposed to each other. None of those times are more frustrating for me than deciding what to write next.

I've heard traditional authors speak about their publishers putting the kibosh on a proposed book project. This idea is usually met with a sort of artistic horror amongst writers, because the main (only?) reason a publisher would do that, especially with an established author, is the desire to go with a perceived sure thing - if there ever is such a thing.

Independent authors don't have anyone telling them what that sure thing might be. Honestly, I don't think an independent author stands a chance trying to second-guess the market like traditional publishing does - with their years of experience and their statisticians on staff to check minute trends in the marketplace. We have to use intuition, as much market savvy as we can muster (blech), and failing everything else, our best guess.

Soooo... if I don't have my next WIP chosen by the time Good For You goes to the copy editor, my decision may involve a dart board.

*Pointless aside: Whenever I hear this word, it makes me think of Hermey the Elf.

November 9, 2011

Overrated

I've decided to stop rating books on Goodreads. (I still intend to review, when the spirit moves me, but I'm borrowing The Story Siren's example and removing the star ratings from all of my Goodreads reviews.)

I began writing book reviews several years ago on Visual Bookshelf (now defunct - I moved to Goodreads a couple of years ago). Initially, I joined VB just to keep up with the books I read. After writing a few reviews, I found I liked doing them - especially for books I loved and wanted to share with others who might also enjoy them. That said, I've always been a bit too do-unto-others to be very critical of someone else's creative work, even before publishing my own. I decided I'd leave the bloodshed to those who don't have my hangup, even if that makes me look like I love everything I read.

In actuality, if I'm actively disliking a book while reading, I either put it back on my To-Read list (if I suspect my mood is the problem - and that does happen occasionally) or I remove it from my Bookshelf list altogether. There are too many awesome books in the world to make myself finish the ones I'd rather light on fire... and life is too damned short to spend my hard-earned free time writing reviews of books I wanted to (or did) throw when I finished them.

Under the best circumstances, a review spells out the reviewer's emotional reactions to a book, what the reviewer brought to the table when reading, what he/she was looking for as a reader, and whether or not that desire was met. As a reader, these things are what lets me know if I want to buy this or that book. Since I'm officially an author now, reviewing-not-rating also dissolves some of the conflict-of-interest issues and frees me to (hopefully) write reviews that are as gushing or critical as I want (and yeah yeah, the latter will never be all that harsh because I'm a frickin marshmallow).