editing

Release Date Lessons

Untitled design (2)

The last post I mentioned that I wasn’t at home when First Time Out released, but I obsessively checked the internet, and you all made this the best release I’ve ever had. So awesome anniversary present everyone, thank you so much! 🙂

Lessons I’ve learned from this release that will hopefully make the next ones better.

I really, really, need to make a checklist of things to do before a release. I’m fairly certain I remembered everything, but the anxiety and constantly thinking I’d forgotten something was annoying. A list will help that.

As tempting as it is to do, I shouldn’t check my sales and reviews as frequently as I was doing. It was incredibly exciting watching bars and numbers grow, but if they didn’t, I took an emotional hit. Not every release is going to be this good, and I don’t need to put myself through that emotional roller coaster.

Taking a vacation during a release might not be the best way to handle things lol. I don’t know, maybe it was. I was distracted a fair amount of the time, but I had people emailing and texting, and I might not have been as attentive to my family as I should have been. Since my husband was just as excited, he didn’t seem to mind, but it wasn’t fair. Maybe one day I’ll get to a point where release day is no big deal? Probably not lol

Pre-orders are awesome. So much of the usual work was already done by doing things this way, and I really loved that. It made it possible for me to actually leave things be on the day, so release day was not as stressful as it could have been.

I’m so excited to finally be back writing and releasing books. I’m also incredibly happy with the momentum that First Time Out has had, I hope it continues that way, but if it doesn’t I feel like I’ll emotionally be able to handle it. Which is progress!

Anyway, I’m waiting to get the final edited copy of Love on Strike, and I’ve been working on Course for Adventure book 3 in the meantime. I’m starting to wonder if each successive book in the series is going to get longer and longer. We’ll see lol!

For all of my readers not on Amazon, the final book in my Fringes of the Universe series is out of Kindle Unlimited, and I’m working on getting the entire series on other retailers. Before I do that I’m going to get them edited again. I haven’t had any complaints from readers with them, but I’ve never been happy with their level of edits. I don’t believe another pass through will hurt things at the very least and it won’t change the story, just make it a better read. There will be commas.

Update on the erotica dungeon, unfortunately, Amazon did not rule in my favor and Abducted is stuck there. I don’t have any kind of appeal that I can make so there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m watching my other books, and so far there haven’t been any other changes, but if it does happen, I might re-think writing romance. Apart from the release date of First Time Out, there has been a noticeable drop in the downloads of Abducted, which has led to an overall decline in income. It’s already difficult to get your books in front of readers eyes, but then to be put somewhere that lowers your visibility further is very frustrating.

In other news! I’ve started a quilting project. Recently while playing Minecraft and trying to decorate a boring room, I started making a design and then next thing I know I was thinking, “This would make a cool quilt.”

I’ve never quilted, but I’ve wanted to for a few years now. On our vacation, I found myself in a quilting shop, and then there was a fabric called Bedrock that was perfect and then BOOM fabric bought. So I kind of have to make it now. I’ve been able to cut up all the fabric into 5-inch squares, but I get the feeling that was the easy part. I’ve been posting updates on Twitter so if anyone wants to follow that lovely process just follow me over there.

Advertisements

Amazon Erotica Dungeon, Editor Auditions, and the Inevitable Delayed Schedule

Untitled design (1)

So it’s been a super busy week for me on the writing and self-publishing front. Editing for the second book in my Course for Adventure series has ended up taking almost three weeks longer than I anticipated. I rewrote the first couple of chapters, twice. Something I’ve never done before, but I’m happy I did. The beginning is much better now, and after two more passes, I’m finally satisfied with what I’ve got.

Which means it’s ready to be sent to my editor. The editor I used for the first book in the series is fantastic. She’s got an excellent reputation, I’ve used her before and work well with her, and I just all around love working with her. All of that, though, means that she’s at the very top of my price range. So I thought I’d try and find someone new. Which is what I’m currently working on, I’ve gotten several samples to review, and I’m also waiting to receive an estimate from my preferred editor. Basically, it’s a lot of money, I’ve already spent a lot of money, and I have no way of knowing if this series will even sell.

Helping things immensely (not lol) after I updated the cover for my book Abducted Amazon decided that it was erotica and put it in the erotica dungeon. Which means that it will be harder for people to find my book, which is an already difficult thing for people to do organically. I’ve been lucky enough that Abducted has stayed in the top 100 for Free Sci-Fi Romance for the last few years, but with the switch over to Erotica, it’s been removed from that list. Just after one day, I’ve already seen a drop in downloads. I’ve contacted Amazon, but they’ve told me it’s going to take about five days to review my case.

I’m playing the waiting game right now, and I hate waiting. To distract me I’m finally starting on Course for Adventure #3. I’ve got quite a bit of notes for this book, and it’s the one in the series I’ve really been looking forward to writing. So I’m going to focus on that excitement and try and ignore all the other things going on.

On to the fun stuff! I just finished watching The Boys on Amazon. It was a bit depressing, had a predictable twist, but I liked two of the characters a lot, and I’m always up for more Karl Urban. Still playing Minecraft, always playing Minecraft. I wish I could get into a game that actually had an ending. Reading wise…honestly, I’ve had a bit of an issue getting into books these last couple of weeks. I’ve tried reading two, from authors that I enjoy, and just not getting into them. I’m hoping that changes cause I miss reading.

And we’re back to editing.

 

I feel like I was just here and I guess I was, but here we are another book so more editing.

The common advice I’ve been reading right now, regarding self-publishing, is that you have to put out at least a book a month. I am unable to put out a book a month. It would be lovely and I’m kind of close, but unless something changes and I’m able to do this whole writing/self-publishing thing full time, it’s not going to happen.

If that’s the case, apparently, you’re supposed to hoard up books and then release them really fast. Some people say once a month, some people say once a week until you’re finished. While I can understand their reasoning for such a fast pace release, and I can’t deny the results a lot of people have, I can’t seem to tolerate the idea of putting out an entire series in less than a month. It’s taken me months to write all of them and then I’m just supposed to throw them all up at once or staggered over four weeks? Then go down to once a month. Which I’ve already stated I can’t do.

Taking all of that into consideration, what I’ve decided to do is have the first two books written and ready to go. Release the first, then a month later release the second. While I’m waiting for those release dates I’ll continue writing at my current pace and it will take a few months to get back up to over a month between releases. My hope is that by then my readers will be willing to stick around. Time will tell.

In other news, the last couple of days I’ve been working on the blurb for my next release and so I decided to look at the top 100 books in Sci-Fi Romance on Amazon. Once I weeded out the books that aren’t really romances and show up on the list for algorithm reasons, I discovered that a vast majority of the books in the category are…well, nothing like what I’ve written. Somehow since the last time I looked at this list, which was a few months ago admittedly, an overwhelming trend of books about domination have taken over. I’ve now lowered my expectations for my release and I’m worried that I’ve wasted my time.

It’s a lot of work this self-publishing thing.

Edits Back!

Oh my goodness y’all I got my edits back from Anne Victory!! You have no idea how excited I am to correct all my mistakes lol. Even though the turnaround was surprisingly fast my anxiety had started to attack. I had decided that they were probably going to tell me that it wasn’t ready to be published and needed a ton of work. All of which I have heard happens from editors, though, never to me. Thankfully, that is not what they said, at all.

Cue brief period of relief before diving in to see exactly where I fucked up.

One of the things I love about them is that they include resources where I can get better, so I thought I’d share these here.

Understanding English Grammar, Eighth Edition

http://www.chompchomp.com/handouts/commatip07.pdf

https://www.dailywritingtips.com/the-royal-order-of-adjectives/

I promise, I will try to read them and implement them, but I’ve read a few grammar books at this point and only so much sticks at a time. Maybe one day…

Alright, I’m back to edits and working on the sequel!

Editing

So I’ve done what I can with the book I was writing. It is now in the hands of the amazingly capable and talented crew over at Victory Editing. Until they send it back I’m going to work on the next book. The fun never ends!

Before I do that, though, I thought I’d write a bit about my editing process. It’s been pointed out that I have issues with commas. I either use too many, or not enough, and basically, I’m very aware that with a gun to my head I would not use them correctly. There are typos and I will use the wrong word, even when I know what the right one is, and sometimes I’ll use an incorrect spelling. It’s madness! So I hire editors as well as go through several rounds of drafts and my own personal edits.

A good editor, like Victory Editing, is expensive. They are definitely worth the expense because I can always tell that my words are so much better once they’ve gotten their hands on them. Occasionally, their tips and tricks even penetrate my thick skull and I learn some things.

However, I am not always in a position where I can afford the services of an excellent editor. I have a couple other options that I’ve used, some better than others, some I will never use again. At a minimum, though, I try to at least get a proofread done, as well as all the things that I do myself. In a perfect world, I would do more, and if I ever win the lottery I will be going crazy, but until then I do what I can.

Because of this, though, I often struggle with self-doubt, with whether or not my books are worth reading, worth buying, or worth even finishing. I’ve written several books in the last two years, and it’s because of that self-doubt that I haven’t published anything. I think I’m probably always going to feel like what I’ve put out there is not good enough or that I could have done more. Maybe not, but we’ll have to see.

Alright, enough reflection!

I am currently reading Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente, it’s highly entertaining but not really a fast read for me. Incredibly creative and I end up getting lost marveling at the words.

I finished watching Good Omens (FREAKING AMAZING) and haven’t really picked up anything else. Really need to finish the last season of Supernatural…

I have also been sucked back into The Sims 4. E3 revealed the upcoming expansion and everything was on sale so I thought I’d give it another shot.