Posts Tagged ‘Publishing’

Wild & Crazy: Publishing Updates

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Howdy all! It’s been a long time since I posted to this blog. Primarily because I’ve become so busy with multiple projects it’s a bit scattered. Not complaining at all. Much of my busy is a good thing.

Publishing, if you’ve been in this business long enough, throws punches. Last year I had two publishers close and early this year another closed. I’ll have books at Liquid Silver Publishing, and I plan to self-publish as much as possible. What this means is I have a lot of books waiting in the queue to be released again. Here’s my loose plan.

  1. Publish A Little Bag of Horrors, Volume 1 (Horror Anthology) probably sometime in March.
  2. Publish the Hot Zone series again. Some of the series has been in limbo for almost a year. Not sure of the time line on that, but I’m thinking before summer. I have covers, I need to format the books and they’ll be ready to go.
  3. Publish Wait For Me, a short romance/suspense novelette. I hope to do that before this summer. It’s a new story.
  4. Publish a collection of three short stories that are romance/suspense oriented. The titles have been changed, but these stories were out before. I haven’t done a cover or covers yet. I’m thinking because they’re so short they need to be in one volume.
  5. Publish my Dead Days series. These four novels are set during a zombie apocalypse. They’re told from the first person point of view of the heroine in each story. They’re definitely romances set in an apocalyptic setting.
  6. Publish (again) Dark Deadly Love, For A Roman’s Heart, and Before The Dawn. The great news is that Samhain Publishing is giving me the covers. I’m hoping to publish them by April or May at the latest. These are three huge favorites of mine, so I can’t wait to get them back out there!

I am also working with Happy Catastrophe Productions on more than one television series, and for the first time ever I’m writing a screenplay for a horror movie. It’s also possible it will be a book one day. Wish me luck!

Last but not least I would love to finish my Krakatoa story which I think I started way, way back in 2014 and never finished. GASP! I know. It’s rare for me not to finish a story, but it does happen. Since I love writing historicals, I really want to finish the as-yet-untitled story.

That is all I can think of at the moment, though I feel like I’m forgetting something. No worries! Talk with you again soon!

BagFears2

Publishing: Adapting & Surviving

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Gratitude is sometimes hard to cultivate, especially if you’re rolling with the punches, whatever those punches might be. I’ve been busy, busy the last few weeks, but it’s all pretty much been good stuff. Even though I have a million things to be grateful for, I’m like everyone else. Sometimes need to remind myself to do a check in and say, “Hey idiot, look at the amazing things you’ve got in your life!” Having an incredible writing career is very much one of the top spots in that gratitude list.

Like every writer at some point in time, I’ve had to jump through hoops and adapt. One of my more recent adaptations is creating more straight horror stories whether they are short stories or full-fledged novels. I’ve always enjoyed writing paranormal romance, but I realized that horror writing had grabbed me by the throat (pun intended) and was begging me to get more involved. (I recently joined Horror Writers Association as an example). Rather than strangling that desire, I am jumping in with both feet. I can tell that my creativity needs it.

So where am I going with this?

A writer, in order to survive the publishing world, has to be willing to adapt.

Over the last several months I’ve seen many authors say they’re quitting writing. Everyone has different reasons. For some it’s been as simple as transitioning into a new career they prefer or feel drawn to at this point in time. They may have been writing thirty years or twenty years and they feel there are other things they’d rather do now. If they can leave the writing career with absolutely no regrets, with a sense of “this is right” in their gut, I say more power to them. Some, though, aren’t feeling it is right in their guts. They aren’t relieved, calmed or settled. They’re profoundly sad and torn up.

Some are quitting because they are discouraged. They might be burned out and blocked. For those individuals they may need some time away from writing to recharge, reassess, and discover through self-analysis what is required to reboot their creativity. These people often come back to writing with a whole new energy, even if it is months later. Many have worked with me in my capacity as a creativity coach. I love helping them discover their way back to writing.

Then there are people who have stopped writing because at the end of the day, if they can’t get accolades, money, and significant recognition for their writing…well that’s the end game. They’re unhappy because they’ve been writing five years or ten years or even twenty and they haven’t become a NY Times best seller and they aren’t making much money. Or maybe they were a NY Times bestseller and they used to make money hand over fist. Just like anyone who used to make money in a career and no longer is, it is understandable they might feel disappointed and discouraged. Some of these writers will stop writing for a while and realize at some point they really were writing for more than money. But if you truly can’t and don’t want to write unless the bucks are rolling in, there is no shame in quitting.

I’d encourage you, though, to consider the fact that making a lot of cash in the writing world has never been guaranteed and has never been particularly easy. Learning to deal with that reality so that you can either move on to another career or to find a brand new way to keep writing in your life…that is paramount. Keep asking yourself why you started writing in the first place. If it was purely for fame and fortune so be it. If it is for the amazing love and satisfaction that can come from creating, and if that creation brings you a high, then maybe money isn’t your honest reason for doing this writing thing. Maybe it’s time to explore adaptation and discovering how to reboot that creativity and keep writing in your life.

Think about that.

Writers: You Always Have A Choice

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Choice. Many artistic people, whether they are writers or in another creative field, are prone to thinking that is destined to cause them significant grief. It is the same thinking even those outside of creative career fields are prone to believing. The belief that they have no choice.

Recently I read a post on social media that prompted me to write this blog because as an author and creativity coach, I don’t want anyone to lose their creative drive. The social media post hit a nerve with me, I’ll admit. It was one of those posts where one author tells other authors what they should be doing with their career, which publishers to submit to, etc. Advice is fine, and everyone gives advice to other people sometimes. I’ve given advice to other authors in blogs and in person. What worries me is when anyone insinuates that there is one right way to approach a career or a creative endeavor. “You should” was stated in this social media post over and over.

All of these shoulds give the impression there is only one way to have a writing career. Numerous articles, magazines, conference workshops and various other situations give authors continuous advice on the ins and outs of a publishing career.

If shoulds destroy creativity, what do you do? You have a choice. Always. Define for yourself what maintains your creativity. If you don’t have your ability to create, if you allow other people (no matter who they are) to define what you want to happen in your writing life, you’ll never be satisfied with your writing life. You’ll constantly be following trends, chasing someone else’s dream because you believe it “should” be your dream. You’ll stop writing because something bad happens in your career. You’ll throw your hands up and give up. Maintain your creativity. Fiercely defend it agains the shoulds.

You always have a choice.

Publishing Shoulds?

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I’m reluctant to tell other writers how do anything. How to craft a book, how to plot (since that’s not how I originate a story), POV, characterization…yada yada. There’s a lot of give and take in that what works for one author may not work for another. Lately I’ve noticed a few things, though, that give me pause. One of the reasons I’m reluctant to give advice to other authors is because my advice isn’t always conventional. In the points I’ve noted below, I think I am giving conventional advice.

1. If you’re self-publishing and offer a print novel, consider offering an electronic version as well. Many readers are going to electronic readers and refusing to buy print books. Just a thought. Many of my books aren’t offered in print right now, but I’m far happier knowing there is an electronic version available than if only a print version was available.

2. Get a professionally done website. If you’re going to spend money on anything in promotion, I think that’s far more valuable than hiring a publicist. A great website makes a great impression.

3. Put excerpts up. Yep. Give readers a look at your work so they know whether they’ll like it or not. I know that if someone wants me to buy their book, I’ll want an excerpt first. If you give me a blurb that’s great, but it doesn’t always tell me if your writing style is something I like. If you don’t have a website with excerpts, I won’t buy your book.

4. If you are self publishing, make sure your cover looks as good as anything you’ll see in the traditional print houses.

Okay, that’s all for today. 🙂 Just a few things that struck me as publishing shoulds in this day and age. What do you think?

Writing For Love or Market: Why Do You Write?

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

The question of why a wordsmith writes is as varied as why an astronaut wants to go into space. For that reason, the question keeps getting raised. Why do you write?

The average Joe on the street, especially if they aren’t of an artistic bent, won’t understand. If they’re a real left brained person, it may be incomprehensible and maybe even seem silly to them. Most people won’t get it, and so writers are left with talking to other writers to get that understanding of what we do.

Even then there is a division.

Authors don’t all do things the same way. Many new writers (as yet unpublished), don’t understand this. They take workshops, they try to learn the craft, and it’s all good. No one tells them that just because Susie-New-York-Times-Bestseller does it one way means it’s the only way to “do it.” Maybe the way Susie writes isn’t the way you should write because it doesn’t work for you.

Over the years I’ve had authors try and convince me that if I would only outline and plot ahead of time, I would have less trouble writing a book.

Ah, no.

I tried that early on. More than once. I was freakin’ miserable. What I wrote was not only stilted and lacked creativity, it just wasn’t good stuff. I’m mostly a by-the-seat-of-the pants writer, and there I shall stay. It’s what works for me.

But I digress.

Even though I’m an author, I also ask myself why I write, especially when the going gets tough. I’m a published author, but would I write if I wasn’t getting paid?

Yes.

(By the way, this in no way excuses ebook piracy…there are people out there who say writers/artists shouldn’t be concerned or whine about ebook piracy. I say, quite bluntly…bollocks. There is no excuse for stealing royalties out of an author’s pocket. None. Stealing is stealing is stealing.)

I was writing and loving it before I considered publication. So I know the desire to write always lies within me. I think most writers, published or not, do so because they love it, and there’s something within them that is compelled to tell a story. It’s a part of who we are. There are also authors who write for money. They wouldn’t write if they weren’t getting paid. They say they couldn’t afford to write otherwise. They write to a market with the idea of going where the money is. And some of them are very successful at it. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s a concept that’s hard for me relate to. If I wasn’t compelled to write deep within, I could be something else. I could flip burgers and be guaranteed of making as much money as I sometimes make (or more) than I do writing. I could go back to being a secretary and make more money than I sometimes do writing. I’d hate both of these careers but I could and would do them if I had to.

Instead I write. I do what I believe I was born to do.

My ideas, in order to be created with and sense of enjoyment and fulfillment, have to be something I’m drawn to create. For example, I could write about vampires, fae, shape shifters, demons as heroes, etc. I could write steampunk. But ya know what? None of those ideas blow my skirt up right now. I have written about vampires. I even have a werewolf trilogy that is part of the way written that is waiting to be finished (and died a lonely, gasping, begging breath a few years back when it wouldn’t come together). I may finish those werewolf books at some point. Never say never. Instead, I’m writing what really compels me. For me to create the best stories I’m capable of, I have to write ideas that aren’t always mainstream romance and aren’t always popular. As we say these days, it’s the way I roll. Through long experience, I’ve discovered writing to trend or market is often a betrayal of who I am. It isn’t me. It isn’t authentic. It doesn’t talk to me. I’m not here to tell you that you shouldn’t write to market or trend. I’m prompting a question for you to consider.

Why do you write and what  makes you happy? If you’re not sure, maybe you should start asking yourself that question.