Laundry Money

That is my sales goal for now.

To make laundry money every month with my book sales.

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I have meltdowns when thinking about book marketing/advertising and everything else about promotion.  Seriously.  I freak out.  I’ve bought a few books, I’ve taken a few seminars, I’ve discovered I get very angry about then being sold to by email lists I thought were not supposed to treat me like a hick on a used car lot.  It’s really left me flustered.  Flustered?  No… not strong enough.  Discombobulated?  Sure that’s decent.  And angry, because I don’t like being discombobulated nor flummoxed or flustered.

The reason?

I’m not good at it, and if I had enjoyed it, I’d be doing it for a living elsewhere.  I hate sales.  Seriously.  It is anathema to me.  I just want to focus on putting out a good book, and let the chips fall where they may.  I’ll be honest, I have a big ole psychological block about the subject that leaves me contemptuous of the field, and jealous at those who can do it because I wish I could.

I’m a complex little pirate, ain’t I?

Anyway, In my few furative attempts at advertising and promotion, I’ve come to realize that most if not all big hits is completely out of the control of the author or publisher.  That said, I do believe that promotion is in their control, but not something I’m good at either.  The worst part is that it’s a Catch 22 in the end.  You have to promote to earn money, but if you don’t earn money you have to have money first, and if you don’t have that… ummm kinda stuck.  See, I’d rather hire someone to do this for me because of how angry/stressed/discombobulated I get.  But, that costs money on a budget I don’t have because right now… I’m covering laundry money.  That’s it for now.

I do expect in the future this to change though.  When book 2 comes out, I hope to be making GAS money every month from both books.  And then when the 3rd one comes out, I hope it’s going to cover my utilities too.  By the time the 5th book comes out, I better be making rent or I’m going to wonder what the heck is wrong with me.

Ultimately, what I realized is that this all takes time.  The get rich systems/plans is just Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir sold by street-corner mountebanks designed to separate me from my hard earned money, not help me.  I don’t think all books or seminars out there are that way, but ohhhhh 85% possibly are.  Of course, I’m biased and cranky about it, so YMMV.

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But I really would love to hire someone who both loves and is skilled at marketing/promotion.  Farm out what I suck at to someone who’s good at it.  I did it with my cover.  I don’t care what people say about doing it myself.  I cannot do it as good or as fast as a real pro, and I think it shows with my cover.  Why not do the same for marketing/promotion?  Sure, it saves me money, but… is not my time better spent doing the one thing nobody else can do, which is write my books?

Tada!

But… someday… when I make more than just laundry money.

Stupid Catch 22s.

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In the Mire

I’ve been struggling mightily to write lately.

Not because I couldn’t make the time due to work or life, but because mentally I was not there.  The story was not jelling.  Pieces were missing that were critical to make things go together.  For me, plausibility and motivation are big.  If they do not work in my head, I know they won’t work for the reader.

So I’ve been thrashing about.

Not to mention I’m still stressing about book sales and getting ready for the print release of book one (Yes that’s still happening soon) and just all the other stuff in life.  It’s been overwhelming to my brainal like substances.

With that being said, last week has been quietly good.  I’ve done a lot of research on medieval life and culture.  It has had lots of points that are transferable to my setting.  I have also gotten some good feedback from a reader or two, so that’s a plus out there too.  My head likes maps and seeing the location of things as well as understanding some of the subtleties of a culture.  A single piece of information that came was just sort of a toss off on one bit of research became critical for me.  That piece of information?  In the middle ages, people believed insanity was contagious!

Ta Da!  Tons of problems solved.  Don’t get me started about balancing the humors.  I still don’t quite get that and am grateful for divine healing in the setting.  Just ick.  Even the word “Black Bile” does me no favors.

So now, I’m on the verge of the surge in writing.  I just have to clear my space of distractions… (see you later Guild Wars 2)… and focus on putting out more content.  It has been helpful to talk things out with a few people too.  Simple things even like tonight.  I mentioned my struggle about the setting of the village of Kynligrspiejl and one word helped push me past it all, and that word was ‘artisan’.  And that was the term that helped me bootstrap into what I need to fix so I can start another plot line that is required to weave into this tapestry I’m making.  Where ALRDW was more of a thin braid, this is a tapestry.  Very big and audacious.  Many themes that will set up the rest of the books will be started and enriched.

I’m looking forward to that, but it’s making my life a bit crazy because it’s been like dragging a boulder behind me.   I wonder if I’ll have to do a fast again?

ANYWAY!… move we shall.

Hopefully more reviews come up soon.  I like hearing what you have to say.

So time for sleep, then awake, get the chores out of the way so I can sit down and write again with a clear mind.

Therefore, toodle and oo!

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Moving blindly out.

Wipeout

Yep.  I’m wiped out.  I pushed too hard again, am facing a possible setback that I won’t get into yet, and just am burned out at the moment.  What’s worse is that I want to start working on book 2 but just cannot find the handle I thought I had, so I may have sunk too deep into the philosophical and just need to say “Screw you, plotline!  I’m pantsing the hell out of this book too!”

It’s even affecting my posts as I have now shelved 3 of them I’ve started that got too deep into the philosophical end of the pool and I realized I didn’t know what I was babbling about.  So you get this one instead.  Maybe I’m just trying too hard.

I know where I need to be at the end, I just don’t know where to start or how to get there.  It’s like waking up in the trunk of a car at an unknown airport.  I know I need to get home, but first I have to figure out where I am and then how to pay for the tickets without a wallet.

On a positive note, my copy of The Story Grid showed up and I’m reading it.  Some good stuff which will probably help me out of this hole relatively quickly.

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Heavy Lifting and Other Trials

Lifting heavy physical objects is easier.  You can always put them down.

Lifting heavy mental objects is a lot stickier, and often you don’t know how or cannot put them down when you want.

I have been working on my 4th then 5th edit of my manuscript.  I have a wonderful new title, a book blurb, an improved map, and thanks to absolutely incredible work by my aunt Jane who turned the full force of her professional teaching experience on the manuscript a mechanically cleaner, smoother, more glossy copy than I ever had before.

All this to set up for a professional editor.

So now the terrifying step of finding a pro to tear into my work again.  I have been so focused on this product, I am sick of seeing it.  I love it, but dammit, get off me!  It’s just like when my lovable doodlebug wanted to sit on the couch with me and I couldn’t put up with her laying on me anymore.  I love you dog, but you’re too heavy and hot and stinky and drooly.

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I also started a 99designs competition to design a logo for Akiniwazi.  It’s in progress at the moment, but I’ll leave that for another update.  I will say this though, 4 days is too short a time to accept submissions.  Too short by far.

But now, I need to get my mind off of my first book and writing, but I know I can’t because I want to do my next book.  I want to move the story forward, but right now, I’m so bound up, I don’t know how I’m going to pull that off.  So I think I’ll just focus on getting an editor, scheduling it and focus that way for now.  There are so many other things I can be doing that are related to writing.

There it is.  5 drafts in the can.  The beta reads have been absolutely wonderful to go through.  So many things that are done right, but to see my work laid open like it was… wow… I see why some writers dread hearing back from their editors even though, like surgery, it makes you whole again.

Forth Draft Sweep “B” Begins

It has been very humbling to learn I can tell a great story, but suck rocks at grammar!  LOL… well not really lol… unless you mean lol like this:

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Then sure.

That said, I have enjoyed to some extent the editing process, though it may make my eyes want to bleed at times at how many missed commas, passive pronouns and verbs and ugh….  Just… ugh.

Can you tell I’m ambivalent about this process?  I so want it to be done and send to an editor and start focusing on the next book.

But I can see how much stronger it is making the writing so for every time I have this kind of a moment:

 

And I smile because I fixed it, and can that means a better book for y’all.  Hope springs eternal that this draft, and it’s subsequent structural fixes that I must do with it (yeah, I have 2 scenes that need a nice tune up and will increase the drama greatly towards the end) is all for the best.  Now… I NEED TO MAKE MY DEADLINES!!! ARRRRRRRGH!!!!!

 

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