Recording the adventure of being an indie authour.
|Still trying to get my book into paperback. The person I hired for the formatting failed miserably. So, learning how to format it myself. Lesson learned. Never use anyone on Fivver who isn't a Level 1 or 2.|
|I'm sitting in the waiting room at the garage. Head down, typing away on my NEO. Shawn the mechanic/owner comes in.
"So whatcha doin'?
"Working on my fourth book for the year." Type. Type. Type.
"Really. Whatcha readin'?" I grin to myself.
"I'm not. I'm writing it."
"Really!" Shawn the mechanic turns and walks out the door. He immediately comes back in. "What are you writin' about?"
"It's historical fiction." He gives me the thumbs up and leaves again. Takes one step out the door, comes straight back in. "About what?"
"My Uncle Henri when he was in the Civil War."
That was this afternoon's conversation while I waited for Shawn to work on Mom's car. It's funny how a simple conversation, filled with enthusiasm, can get your creative juices flowing. In an hour, I wrote over 2,000 words on my story. :)
|Wow! My book sales have been really low all summer. I've been running Amazon ads and discovered that in June, in under 5 days 655 ads ran for "The Ghosts of Springhollow." This month, I did another week's worth of ads and in under 5 days - less than 100 ads have run. That explains a lot! Last month, I had sales - this month - my sales have been made off-line.
If you're not familiar with how the ads work, it goes like this. Ads run whenever someone types in a keyword that's in your list for your book. So, last month, people were putting in those keywords like crazy. This month, hardly anyone is. It'll be interesting to see what happens in August.
|It's been forever since I've been on here. I've been working on "Revenge of the Turd," and "The Squirrel and the Frenchman." I'm blogging the rough draft (and boy is it rough) of "Revenge" on my blog: http://picklesandpipermysteries.home.blog I'll probably put "Squirrel" on here.
"Squirrel" is my first attempt at historical fiction. It's based on my great, great, great Uncle Henri Wehrung, also known as "The Frenchman," and his time in the Civil War. He really had it tough. The other soldiers didn't like him because he was French and they refused to follow his orders. He was mustered in a Sergeant because he'd been one in the French military, but went out a Private. He got so sick of the brats that served under him that he asked to be relieved of duty. They docked him for it.
Yesterday, my cousin Paul (retired military) helped me work out some details about Uncle Henri's service time. In 1977, I got copies of his war records. Paul was gobsmacked that none of his superiors backed him. Which means they were as bad as the brats who were under my uncle. For me, it's added a whole new dimension to the Civil War.
Anyway, I'm telling the story through the eyes of a squirrel. :) He becomes my uncle's buddy. :)
Yesterday, I picked up a couple books to help improve my writing: The Rural Setting Thesaurus and The Emotion Thesaurus. I wished I'd had these books when I was writing my other books! They're priceless! And not too bad in the Kindle edition, only $5.99. Totally worth it.
|Wow! It's been a heck of a long time since I've been on. It's been a wild ride. I was trying to get the van ready to travel for the summer, but the darn thing broke down 5 days into the trip, and that put me back on the farm. I was also trying to get "The Ghosts of Springhollow" finished and published, and that took up the rest of my time.
Happy to say, I published it on Kindle a couple of days ago. Still trying to format it for paperback. Ran into some problems trying to transfer the manuscript from Scrivener into the template on Open Office. Thankfully, I joined a Scrivener group on FB and got some help with the issue. :) Anyway, battery is about to die on the laptop, so signing off. :)
|This sounds like a whack-a-doodle blog post. LOL But, this afternoon I was wrestling with a scene I'd written. I could hear people complaining that I was name calling in it. The scene is where an old man with the onset of dementia starts shooting at his grandkids who are in their tent thinking they're trespassers.
So, I went for a walk and talked out loud asking one of my nephews, who is nowhere in the vicinity, what he would do if his dad opened fire on his son who was camping in a tent on the hillside. I knew exactly what would happen. He would let off a flurry of cuss words, yank the gun from his dad's hands and give him what for. He wouldn't care that his dad might have the onset of dementia. The only thing he would be caring about is his son. Justin would run through a field of landmines under enemy fire to rescue him. He's that kind of dad.
I went into more detail with the scenario with my missing nephew than I've added here, but this was the gist of it. Suddenly, while talking through the scene I realised I'd left a really important piece out - I only have Grandpa shooting. Growing up on a farm I know full well he would have been yelling, "TRESPASSERS! GET OFF MY PROPERTY!" and then proceed to open fire. But, I left that piece out. I also discovered other important pieces I'd left out of the scene - like ways to make it more dramatic. And, I realised I also need to decide if he's shooting an M1-carbine or if it's a 16-gauge shotgun. I hadn't thought about it until I walked about and talked it out with the missing nephew.
Now, this scene is gonna rock! I just have to tame it a tiny bit for kids. :)
|I'm amazed at the number of people in writing groups who desperately want a publisher. They see the success self-published authors have and yet they look down on the thought. The thing is, while you're "desperately" looking to get published by that big ol' publisher - the rest of us already are. :) We have a fan base. We have people buying our books. We're invited to author books sales at libraries and such. Our books are already in libraries! Meanwhile, you're still crying about not having a publisher, because you think self-publishing and Amazon are beneath you. It's really sad.
It reminds me of the author who came to our writer's group last week. He's published 14 books, most of them through a traditional publisher. He insulted those of us who self-publish through Amazon by saying it's for beginners. I thought of what Amit Offir, who has sold over a million books, and others would say to that. It wouldn't be very nice.
Amazon is for anyone who wants to share their stories with as many people as possible, and they make it happen. Without Amazon, books by authors like Amit Offir, Daniel Mark Brown, Nathan Meunier, Vitaly Ostepetz,Itay Mashiach, H. J. Shalev, and more, would not exist. It would be a great loss because they're all fantastic writers!
Arrogance will only hold you back as a writer. Step up to the plate and publish that book of yours on your own! Go for it!
|Here's what needs done:
1. Membership site finished
2. The Ghosts of Springhollow edited
3. Pre-campnano research done
Here's what also needs done:
1. Van cabinets painted
2. Flip up table made
3. Doors for lower level of cabinets made
4. Painted crates switched out
5. Stuff in containers under bed organised: keep, toss, or off to Goodwill
6. Top made for plastic dresser drawers
7. Van sanded and painted (rusty areas)
8. Solar panel attached to roof
9. Roof rack painted
10. Pick up all the hardware I need at Lowes
Getting ready to travel April 28 for the summer keeps absorbing my thoughts. Must focus on the writing business!!!
|Been a few days since I last blogged. I've been remodeling the inside of my van and been sick. Still not back to full steam, but getting there.
This morning, I did a livestream on FB. I showed off part of my new remodel, and how I cook in my van. It's not the best kitchen set up in the world right now, but until I come up with something better it will have to do.
I'm also waiting to get full feedback from my beta readers on "The Ghosts of Springhollow." Meanwhile, I'm doing more editing on it.
I've also changed which story I'll be working on for Campnano. I was originally going to write the first book of Fink, but decided I need to finish the P & P trilogy first, so I'll be doing the draft of, "Revenge of The Turd."
And that's pretty much it. Gotta get the dishes done, edit a couple chapters, and get the van ready to go. Having the captain's seat fixed today and the passenger seat removed so I'll have more room. :)
|For the past month, I've been super excited about our guest speaker coming to speak to our Writers' Guild. Last night, I got to meet him. As a person, he was funny, and I enjoyed him. As a speaker...well...let's just say in over an hour of talking to our Writers' Guild he was all fluff, and not an ounce of substance. Ten minutes in it became obvious that he hadn't prepared at all. He was stopping, staring at the floor, and trying to figure out what he was going to say next. At one point, he tried to sound impressive by saying, "I love to go where the spirit leads," and continued to stare at the floor because he didn't have a clue what he wanted to say next.
This was pretty sad from a man with 14 books, a Ph.D., a teacher, and a member of the speakers association. What was interesting, though, is I'd just heard someone say that if someone comes to speak for free you're going to get what you "paid" for. In other words, the speaker is not going to give it his best because he has no incentive. Our guest speaker proved that last night.
On the bright side, I realised I could do a much better job than he did. So, my new goal: By this time next year, I'll be doing writing seminars. It won't be fluff. It'll be all meat.
|I acquired my writing buddy quite by accident. We originally met up over crocheting and discovered we had a lot in common. We both loved to crochet, make patterns, art, and writing. Chatting with her on messenger always inspired me to try harder in my knitting/crochet business. But as time went on, my hands couldn't take the beating anymore, so I switched to writing.
Now, we challenge each other with writing. Every morning we meet up on messenger and let each other know what we'll be doing that day. We do check-ins throughout the day. The funny thing is, we never planned it. It's just something that happened over time. And it's been great! It's one of the reasons I was able to push past barriers and publish both of my books.
Right now, it's 2:56 PM EST. My goal is to edit 4 chapters today. I still haven't done it. The local Writers' Guild meets at 6:00 tonight. The pressure is on. I refuse to confess at the end of the day that I didn't meet my goal. So, I'm off to edit. :)