Writing progress

Well, we are just about finished with final edits on the first two books my son and I are writing.  It is exciting! Here is the cover we have chosen for the first one. What do you think?

smaller Katsuro cover


Addition to November reading

I just realized that I forgot one of the books I read last month. Not sure how or why, but I failed to repost on The Magic Bakery: A WMG Writer’s Guide by Dean Wesley Smith.   I am actually happy that I left it for its own post because I found it to be a very important book. It didn’t really change the way I am writing, but it encouraged me to get back and finish these books and get them published. (I am almost done with final edits before formatting of the second book, Once that is done, I will format it and then go back for a final read-through of the first book.) Smith’s point in the book is that you need to have more product available for sale if you want to really sell anything. After all, if you went into a bakery and there was only one pie or only one cake, would you really buy it? He says we probably wouldn’t. So I am working in my writing again, and that makes me happy.

This book also changed the way I look at the books I buy and the books I read. As I have said frequently, I primarily get free books either for my Kobo or my Kindle. I have tons and tons of books I have gotten that way.  Some of them have been great and some of them have been not so great, but overall, I have been happy. Smith says that an author might want to think twice before offering a novel for free, and I understand his arguments. He doesn’t say not to do it, but he raises some good points. He says free should be used to help sales. He seems to favor free chapters of the next book included in the current one or free short stories on your website. In Chapter 6 he says:

The key in sales are LIMITED and SHORT TERM. Keep free short term and limited and never put it on a bookshelf anywhere.

And that makes a lot of sense.  He compares it to the free samples you often see in grocery stores. You don’t get a whole pie there, but you get enough to decide whether or not you want to buy a pie.

He also talks about pricing your work. He talks about new writers who feel they have to give their stuff away or price it at 99 cents. And he says that is wrong. When we walk into a dollar store, most of us assume the low price means poor quality. As a reader, I find myself sometimes feeling the same way. If it is free or 99 cents, I don’t care so much if it isn’t a great book.  But if I pay even $3.99, I expect it to be a good book, a well-told story.

As a reader, I should probably value my time more and demand higher quality books all the time. As I writer, though, I hesitate to think my books are worth even $1.99, much less $3.99! That is an issue I am going to have to come to terms with here soon.

Smith talks about readers like me who (generally speaking, at least) only read free or 99 cent books. He dismisses us as not his customer. And that made me stop and think. I found myself wanting to be his customer. And since I have read many of his books, I think I am his customer. So what does that mean for my addiction to free books?

What it has done is made me decide that I am going to spend more for books. I will buy fewer, probably, but that is OK. I have a lifetime of reading on my ereaders if times get tough! But I owe it to authors whose work I enjoy and those whose work I might enjoy to support them by paying money for their books. Actually, I had started doing this already. I have for some time now spent money for the next book in a series I was enjoying. But now I am more committed to that.

I am also committed to continuing to buy books through StoryBundle and HumbleBundle. That way I support authors and can support charity. I am paying more than I have to now, and it is still a good deal for me.

I don’t think I have adequately explained the way this one book has affected my life, but I hope you can get a vague sense of it, at least. And yes, I really recommend the book to any writer out there who is struggling to get published. All of Smith’s books on writing that I have read have really encouraged me, but this one just came at the right time to have a big impact.



About that…

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything about my writing over the past month. That would be because I have done very little writing. I certainly haven’t written even every week, much less every day. I am disappointed in myself, but that is the way things are right now. I hope to get back to it, but I am not going to stress about it. We’ll just see what happens, I guess.

It had to happen!

Yesterday I did not write.  I had three online classes with my students, my husband left to help our granddaughter, and my son and I went out to eat. And I did not write.  As I went to bed about 11:30, I thought about getting up to post something here — just so I could say I had written — but I decided not to. Eventually, there had to be a day I did not write, so why not yesterday!

I know that the main reason for not writing is that I am completely at a standstill on the book.  When I am on a roll, I have no trouble finding time to write no matter what. But I am not currently on a roll. In my efforts to write every day, I have kind of wandered around to the extent that now I don’t know where I am headed.  I think I need to take a few days, maybe print it out and take a hard look at what I have and what I need to do now.  But I don’t know that I ma in the right place to do that at the moment.

So I guess I need a new writing project.  We’ll see what I can come up with. In the meantime, though, I am going to try to at least do some journaling every day. I like the fact that I am writing regularly again, and I don’t want to abandoned that because I missed one day.  We’ll have to see what happens!

Another month of writing

It seems odd to me to be writing about my writing closer to the middle of the month than to the end of it, but that’s when I set the goal, so it’s when I have to report on progress.

Last month I set what I thought were lame but more realistic goals for myself. They were:

  • write 1000 words every day
  • get third book up from it’s current 8900 words to 35,000

Yes, they were lame, but lame as they were, they were still not realistic!

The good news is that I wrote every day again. That is the main goal, as far as I am concerned. There were a couple days it was a struggle and I ended up writing a couple hundred words at 11 pm, but I did it.

Most days, I did not write 1000 words. Some days I did. In so doing, I took the book from 8,900 words to 22,028 words. Not 35,000 to be sure, but I added more than 13,000 words to it in a month.

So what do I want to work toward in this next month? I think 1000 words a day is still kind of a low bar and one that I will keep aiming for until most days I surpass it. And since I wrote 13,000 words on the book, I want to aim for more than that this month. I think I should strive to reach 40,000 words. That’s only about 5000 more than I wrote this month, so it should be doable.

But like I said, the real goal is to keep writing every day. I am now teaching 2 online classes, so I am a lot busier, but there is really no excuse for not doing it. Let’s see if I can.