This past week has been a lot of crazy up and down. I am still trying to juggle all the writing as a career pieces–publishing, marketing, editing, writing and more writing–along with the stuff of life: keeping the jungle in the back yard from taking over again, running youngest to physiotherapy, work, and appointments, doing housework, and attempting to get the house back to go before school.
So far, the results are mixed. The back yard is not a ten foot high jungle like last summer; it is only a half a wild jungle. The house is kind of OK. I’ve been doing things like putting in new lighting in the bathrooms, and then convincing my dad to come fix the mess I made trying to wire in the safe plugs. The living room is full of stuff. I tell myself this is because youngest has started to sort her things to take back to school and has nothing to do with the fact I worked my way through one and a half courses on writing and marketing (knitting the whole time), transcribed a novella and another story, made a new website and figured out how to set things up to sell my books on Kobo and iBooks. Youngest and her stuff are my excuses and I am sticking to it.
I am pretty sure my muse is running from project to project because she cannot quite believe that I really mean I am going to keep letting her play. She isn’t convinced even though the plan is five shorter pieces and two novels in the next year.
The novella I stuffed into the word processor is set in the same universe as the last novella about a hundred years later and has dragons, psychics with the overlord gifts, and magic. I started thinking about character arcs and how the characters develop through the story to a satisfying end point. Then my Inner Hundred Pound Editor started asking those pesky why questions. Why would the male protagonist kidnap his bride instead of asking her to come along? Why would the dragons appear out of nowhere? Why do I say the main characters love each other, but not show it? Why don’t the dragons show up at the beginning of the story? The more questions my inner editor asked, the more I realized I needed to add scenes and change details to make the story clear and coherent. My inner editor threw the whole timing piece out the window.
At the beginning of the week my plan looked like this: share the novella with the editorial team on Monday. Work through suggested edits next weekend, plan a launch for the first week in September. Truthfully? I have added almost 5K words to the novella in the last two days and I am not quite done. I am not sure the manuscript will manage to get to the editor by Monday. I am still going to do my level best to ‘make it so’ but I have at least that much more to go of new stuff before I get to the edits of the work that is there now. Since my brain will only write for so long every day the two story collections and the Cardonne episode are currently languishing as the novella takes up my muse’s play time. It is all about balance, right?
On the marketing side, I finished Michael Hyatt’s Get Published. (excellent with a lot of great food for thought, and started on ‘Your first 10 000 readers.’ Your first 10 K Readers is about marketing in a smart, friendly way. It is the first course of its kind I’ve found that works through the marketing of Fiction in a way I can handle. Honestly? There are all these people who are telling you that they can help you make lots of money writing. They all have this amazing system that makes money without a lot of work (that they will sell you for lots of money, sometimes making me wonder if that is really how they are making their money). The cynic in me discounts the words ‘easy and fast’ pretty quickly.
I am halfway through 10K. I have gotten farther than I have ever gotten with setting up the things I need for marketing. His step by step lessons are thorough, logical and helpful. My author website is set up,. I created a mailing list (with a subscribe page even) and I started to work through some of the systems that need to be in place for marketing. I even know what my sign up bonus will be for my subscribers.
This means, dear Reader, you will soon find me over at eliwinfieldauthor.com.
In September I will blogging about writing at my own little piece of the internet universe. If you want to watch all the changes as my author website gets set up, please come on over to Eli Winfield Author and follow me there. I am excited and a little bit scared. This blog feels like home. I don’t know if I can figure out how to migrate all my blog posts from here to there. But my new website has a proper book shelf page and subscribe buttons and all these other awesome things. And it is mine.
Still, my bottom line is all about story. No matter how much I learn about marketing, about finding and connecting with readers, and writing as a career, none of it will make a difference if I don’t have any stories to sell. Published authors, authors I admire and read and reread, have more than one book to sell. This mean I need to do all the things to have books available for you, dear Reader, to buy. Which means I need to write, edit, launch, release and repeat…
There are people who make money at this crazy thing called writing. In my first month with book 1, I have done pretty well all things considered. With book 1, I did not do all the things I know that will help sell more books–like creating a proper launch, finding the right key words, having a mailing list, doing advertising, and all that jazz. But, I still made enough to have pizza a few times a month. With youngest becoming an engineer on my penny, I need to write and sell enough to make decent money but my bottom line is the story.
I want to write and share stories that I love. It is fun to have others enjoy playing with my imaginary friends. We all know my muse jumps from story to story with glee, picking up and dropping her toys across the floor faster than I can usually keep up. I will not promise to put all the books I write in one universe. I will never be that writer who writes forty-five books in a series with the same characters, but I will try to keep the first few in the same universe. A hundred years apart or so, but in the same universe, with dragons and psychics and magic…