Free Form Question + Odds and Ends


Hey Guys!

Sorry for my absence. My schedule has been very strange because my kids have been home from school so much. We’ve had holidays, inservices, illnesses and parent teacher conferences. My son keeps telling me he only has two full weeks of school left. The rest of his weeks all have a day off. Noooooooo!

They are older now, but I still don’t like to ignore them completely :)

All of my writing time has been dedicated to getting another episode done and another episode published. I don’t recall if I told you my complete publishing schedule for the year, but I essentially have something coming out every month. In April I have two stories coming out, which was not in the original plan but added on by me after our yearly meeting. So far I’m staying up with the schedule, but it’s pretty intense. I’m already thinking the story due out in July is not going to happen. But if I stay on it for six months, I’ll be pretty proud.

Something I’ve noticed that is getting worse while I’m writing fast is my descriptions. I never want to stop the action to fill in the description of the surroundings. I know we’ve talked about this on the blog before, but it’s an area all writers have to deal with and be good at so I think it’s worth covering again. So today’s free form question is about description. I’ll post everyone’s answer in the main blog on Sunday or Monday. Feel free to get a long discussion going…I need help! 😀

How do you fit in description? How much description do you enjoy reading? I used to read Marilyn Stewert books and she had quite a bit of description in her romance suspense, but when I started reading her Merlin books, the description became too much. I don’t like pages and pages of scenery. What do you like and what do you do?

Self Publishing or Small Press?

I know most of my readers are going the Big Publishing House route, and that’s fantastic. But if any of you are debating small press or do it yourself, you might find this helpful.

Advantages of small press:

1. They take on all the costs of editing, cover design, formatting and publicity. If you’re broke, going with small press is very compelling because then you’re not out of pocket. I have yet to make back the cost of covers on any of my books, I’m sure that includes the ones published at a small press, though they might get better prices than I do. I also am fortunate that my editor and publicist work on a percentage of what I make. When I make it big, so will they, but right now they are making nothing :(

2. They take on all the time of editing, cover art design, formatting, publicity and uploading. Self-publishing takes a huge amount of time. I just thought I would be writing, writing, writing. I did not realize how time consuming filling out the cover art forms, uploading the books, designing the Call to Actions with all the right links, blogging consistently, tweeting consistently, Facebooking consistently would be. Small presses take care of a lot of that, though the blogging, tweeting, etc. is still on your shoulders. Uploading is a bear. Smashwords in particular is very finicky and I’ve spent near a whole week dealing with their grinder and I’m still not 100% published there.

Advantages of Self-publishing:

Complete control.

Really, control is the main reason to do it yourself, and I think it’s worth it. Yeah, I’ve spent a ton of time last week linking all my books together as I continue to put out new episodes for my serial, but as I mentioned last week, I’m finally starting to see a trickle of sales. I feared after I posted last week, it would stop, but it’s continuing! If the trickle continues, maybe I can turn it into a stream. I have to keep producing. I have to keep spending the time uploading and linking, but this way, my books don’t stagnate.

Another part of control is pricing. A small press sets the price, and that’s pretty much it. The book never goes on sale unless the vendors put it on sale or unless the small press decides to put their catalog on sale. But I can lower or raise my prices and experiment to see what works. I can put books in a bundle if I want for a limited time and try and get new readers that way. Really, whatever tricks I come up with, I can give a try. Because I have nothing more to lose.

Except time. I do have to be careful that publishing doesn’t take over my life.

Authors and Time

I was talking to a friend of mine about writing last night. He’d read a blog where the author stated that the amount of time we spend writing compared to the amount of money we recieved makes our word counts worth $0.00. It’s a hard fact to acknowledge.

I’m struggling to make any sort of money from it at all. In fact, I’m way in debt  when looking at writing lessons, covers, illustrations, ISBN numbers (heads up if you go into self-publishing: ISBN numbers are a huge expense), advertising, blog and website maintanance fees and so on.

I keep waiting for it to all pay off monetarily. I think my persistence is a great asset, but every author is persistent. It doesn’t make me unique or stand out in the writing world.

As far as talent goes, I’m right in the middle. Not good enough to write a Hugo award winning story or even in the style of previous Hugo award winners, but I think I’m a better writer than the Fifty Shades of Grey author. In the middle doesn’t seem to make money either.

My husband says to keep putting books out there and name recognition will kick in. I hope he’s right because otherwise I’m running out of ideas.

My one idea I have left is to go back to submitting short stories, but not as many as I was. Getting that Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest got this blog noticed for a day or two. I’d like to submit a story to Writer’s of the Future, one to Beneath Ceasless Skies and one to Unidentified Funny Objects before the end of March. It’s hard to make short stories a priorities when I’m setting deadlines for publishing novels, but maybe I can get one out of three in.