Tag Archives: publishing

Writerly Wednesday – Nuts & Bolts Edition

I drafted most of this last week before I found out my kiddo was on his way to the ER. Obviously, I didn’t get to the publishing part of it then.

****

You may or may not know that as an indie-published author, I am not raking in the dough.

I’ve published two books this year (with a third coming out in…checks the countdown clock in the sidebar…less than 48 41 days *cue panic*). In order to publish a decent book, there are a lot of things one must do in addition to being a decent writer.

One must hire a professional editor. This is not cheap. Nor should it be! You want quality! One must have a proofreader. Preferably someone who is not also your editor. Because the more eyes, the better. One must, if they are not graphically inclined, have a cover designer.

Seriously – if I was in charge of my covers, they would look like this (real sketch I shared with my cover designer):

I still have the original if you want a signed copy of this. hahahaha. My kindergartener can draw better than I can. (Full Ruby Blade Pinterest board if you click!)

You can see why I pay cash money for a cover designer, right? There are other expenses, as well. ISBN numbers, formatting (I’m fortunate that my formatter takes Amazon gift cards), copyright filing fees, and the biggie…advertising.

Advertising is something that I’ve not quite figured out the magical formula for, but I can tell you right now, that’s the second largest expense I have (after my editor).

I am not making the big bucks. I’m new, I’m unknown, and I don’t have the backing of a publishing powerhouse for promotion. (There have been two days this month where my daily GROSS was less than $1. I am not even kidding a little bit.)

All of this isn’t to complain – not in the least. I knew, more or less, what I was getting in to. I expect that as I keep publishing, I’ll get a little more traction, attract a few more readers, and get more reviews (I’ve heard that 50 is the magic number on Amazon, and I’m almost half-way there with The Cardinal Gate).

Maybe there will be a day in the future when I’m not squeezing in my writing and editing time around my dayjob. That is my ultimate goal, but for now – only two (almost three!) books in, that’s impossible. Where you run into an interesting problem is when you think about how often it’s recommended indie authors publish to stay in the readers’ minds. I’m publishing three books in a calendar year this year. Three books that average 100,000 words each. It takes me roughly 2-3 months to write a draft of that length when I’m working full time and editing on the side. Then, another 3 weeks for a second draft. Off to the beta readers, a few days to incorporate their feedback, a couple rounds of editing (that’s 4-6 weeks of work for me) and proofing (another week), final changes and readthroughs. Formatting. Uploading and reuploading and swearing. My writing calendar looks like this:

The Ruby Blade is Red (of course), book 4 is Orange, Editing is purple, blogging is yellow, novella/sekrit project stuff is green, and that’s just the writing calendar. I currently have five active calendars. FIVE.

As you can probably imagine, that’s a lot of juggling – especially since I do occasionally enjoy having a social life and because I do have a kiddo 1/2 time (which is just not enough…sigh).

**this is where I left off; talking about my 1/2 time kiddo who is awesome, but accident prone**

I’m starting to book a fair amount of editing clients, and I really love it. I love writing. I hate editing my own stuff, but it’s part of the process.

My dream – my ultimate goal, and the thing I’m working towards – is financial freedom. I don’t know how realistic that is. I know people a few years ahead of me who make enough money writing that they can also do a fair amount of travel (yes!) and others who have more books published, but are still reliant on secondary sources of income (such as a day job or a partner with a good day job or some combination thereof).

If you asked me where I wanted to be in five years, I’d tell you it’d be 100% debt free (thanks marriage, divorce, and master’s degree!) and making enough $$ writing and editing that – at the very least – I’m able to cut down to half time. (I kinda like my sweet, sweet health insurance, and if the ACA goes away, there’s no way I’d be able to afford insurance on the open market. Mental illness is a horribly expensive pre-existing condition and is the reason I’ve gone without insurance the few times I didn’t have a job that offered it.)

Ultimate dream? Doing the writing/editing and living in a country where you just get health insurance because it’s a fundamental right and not a privilege of the wealthy! (I’m not harboring any illusions that this country will be the US, of course. For a country that has such a vocal contingent declaring it a “Christian Nation” we’re sure awfully stingy about taking care of the poor and sick (Matthew 25:41-46).)

For now, though, it’s a slog. I work at my day job where, for the first time since I was 22, I’m an hourly employee which means if I take off an hour to pick up a sick kid, I don’t get paid. I spend my evenings after Bean goes to bed with my editing clients (not actually with them; I do not provide that level of service) or writing. I try to hang out with friends and Beer Guys regularly. And I’m still not making a profit. Yet.

I’m confident I’ll get there, but this is hard, hard work. It’s the best hard work I’ve ever done, but I’m not rolling around in my piles of money, laughing maniacally yet. (YET!)

 

As soon as I make it big, I promise to take a video of me making a money angel.

pinky swear

 

SaveSave

Eleanor Morgan and the Case of the Noisy Chimney Koalas

I slept poorly last night. I was restless and plagued with weird dreams. We currently have a family of birds who’ve built a nest in our chimney and the babies are newly hatched and loud AF.

Because the bird noise is near constant right now, it’s invaded my subconscious, and last night I dreamed opened up the fireplace and found: two dozen hummingbirds, some rabbits, a hawk of some kind, baby owls, opossums, raccoons, stray cats, and a koala.

Hopefully, I’ll get more sleep tonight and the baby birds can adequately learn to fly in our chimney so they can get the hell out and we can make a chimney hat or whatever to keep future critters out.

****

I spent a lot of time with The Ruby Blade over the weekend. Saturday was definitely my most productive day, with Friday coming in second. Yesterday was not so great. I finally managed to get things moving in late afternoon when my friend RJ started bribing me. Every 500 words, I got another page from her current WIP. It was very effective!

I’m hoping that one more week of focused, intense work, and I’ll be able to wrap this draft up and send it to my beta readers only a week late.

This weekend’s writing supervisor is checking my work.

 

****

I feel like I haven’t had much time with my kiddo lately. He’s been at his dad’s since last Wednesday (the 26th), and the previous weekend, he was at the coast with his grandma. The Beer Guy and I got out there for one night, but it feels like it’s been too long since I’ve gotten an adequate amount of Alvie Bean snuggles. I can’t wait to pick him up tonight and I’m even more excited to spend the weekend with him. (Please remind me of this at 3:30 pm on Saturday when I’m updating my Etsy listing because he never. stops. talking.)

****

I actually had a wonderfully productive weekend, even beyond the writing. I did menu-planning and got groceries for the week (although I know we’ll have to restock the bananas midweek), went to pick up my new glasses, got my car washed and the oil changed, got a massage, and brought some of my books to a local book store where they are currently on sale. In addition, I’ll be doing a book reading and signing there on August 10 at 7 pm. If you come, you can ask me anything, buy paperbacks of my books, and get them signed. I’ll also try to convince you to come have a beer with me after (my treat).

Meh. And also blah. With a side of blech. (And way too much TMI)

I’ve been so, so good at staying dairy free. SO GOOD! And on those rare occasions when I’ve broken down and had a cheese item, I’ve doubled-up on the lactaid. The result? My stomach has been much more pleased with me the last few months.

Enter Saturday: I was out and about much of the day. I had a tattoo consult, and an eye doctor appointment, and other random stuff. I stopped for lunch at about one, and even though I texted the Beer Guy that I would cheerfully kill someone for a melted cheese food item, I had no intention of following through (with either the murder or the cheese).

Instead, I ordered a meat pasty. (I literally just typed “cheese pasty” and had to go delete. I am obsessed with cheese.) It was delicious. I felt a little off that evening, but attributed it to having skipped breakfast (mostly) and it being several hours since my 100% cheese-free lunch. The beer guy & I went out to eat, and I ordered my wrap sans dairy, but continued to feel not quite right.

The next morning (yesterday), I woke up and was miserable. I told the beer guy that I felt like I’d eaten cheese, but couldn’t figure out how that’d happened. After all, I’d been so careful. And then I looked up the menu for the place I’d gotten my pasty to prove how careful I was. Second listed ingredient on the menu item I ordered? FUCKING SWISS CHEESE. How I missed that when ordering is beyond me.

So yeah. Yesterday was a barrel of fun. It’s really depressing that cheese–the one food item to which I have devoted more time and energy (and money; I have a lot of cheese making apparati)–has betrayed me this way.

 

ANYWAY – finally my stomach ache went away, and I was all yay! AND THEN THERE WAS FURTHER BETRAYAL.

My left ovary tried to kill me. It was so evil that, after a vicodin, I decided it needed a name. I googled “evil name generator” and the first name on the list was Cat.

As you may or may not know, Cat is also the name of my PSM. Obviously, I texted her immediately to know I’d named my evil left ovary after her. (I’m not sure if she hasn’t responded because of the time difference or because she’s just backing away from our friendship slowly or because she hasn’t seen it yet.)

(I also texted her that I was planning on becoming a vicodin addict, which is probably no longer true as I had a really hard time falling asleep last night, but also couldn’t get out of bed to do anything else.)

So, long and extremely TMI story short – my body hates me and wants me to die. My left ovary is named Cat. Cheese is my best frenemy. I’m probably going to name my right ovary Xyla. The jury’s still out on what I’m going to name my uterus.

My goal for this week is to remain cheese free and be as active as Amy-ly possible, whilst also getting at least 12-15K words down. I need to finish this rewrite by the end of the month so The Ruby Blade can get to my editor in *gulp*   six weeks. That sounds like such a long time, but it really, really isn’t. (PS, if you would like to give me a great deal of money to stay home and write, I would appreciate it!)

Indian khanda sword…

Yay! Friday!

After not sleeping much last weekend and a whirlwind week of author giveaways on Facebook, plus my current promotion (you can still get The Cardinal Gate for freeeeeee on Amazon), I’m ready for the weekend.

You know, when things slow down!

hahahahaha

Tomorrow is set to be pretty busy. I need to dig deep into rewrites of The Ruby Blade so I can get it to my editor in just over a month. (ACK!) I need to run. I have a tattoo cover-up consult. An eye doctor appointment. I need to drop off books at the bookstore that’s going to put MY BOOKS on the shelf. For people to buy!

So – this is me, asking for a wee tiny favor. If you read my books, regardless of how you personally felt about them, could you head over to Amazon and give them a review? (Honestly, I’d even be thrilled with a 1-star review on the Cardinal Gate, because I’m missing that one, and I want a full set!)

 

Three Things Thursday

  1. The Cardinal Gate is free on Amazon today and tomorrow! Go forth and grab your copy while you can!

  2. The Summer Time Lovin’ book giveaway is still going on. So many exciting gift baskets (mine will go up tomorrow!) still available to win.

  3. Instead of working on rewrites of The Ruby Blade, I’m diving deep into “It’s Not in the Cards,” the first in my Oracle series set on the Oregon coast. FYI – this is all my evil editor’s fault. Somehow. (I’m a writer, I’ll figure out a way to justify that eventually.)