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I’m not dead!

Hello, hello, new year!

I know, I know… I haven’t updated my blog in.. centuries. Forgive my literary hibernation, stuff happened. :(

Among those things –
-I transferred and started school again. Woots!
-I spent 4 months trying to write Redhaven #2
-Scrapped it
-Started again
-Said fuck it, pushed the plot from the original book #2 to #3
-Nano’d book #2 with a new plot.
-FINISHED BOOK 2. FUCK TO THE YES.
-Started edits and rewrites. Blurgh.
-I also started taking my health seriously and dropped 50 lbs in 5 months. (Go me!)

But yes! Things are going… slowly, but at least they’re going now. The changes and edits for Book #2 of the Redhaven Saga (tentatively called Blood Rites) are pretty much locked, so it’s just a matter of getting through the edits. Cover is underway, too, so expect some previews in the next months or so! (I say this with the utmost vagueness, because who the hell knows when it comes to book publishing. It’s done when it’s out, haha.)

But yes, book #2 is underway, fo’ realz this time. Vampires and demons and werebats, oh my!

I also did some compiling, and found out I have anywhere between 14-17 series/one-shot novel ideas in my little folder of scraps. That’s a ton of projects. I’m going to focus on Redhaven first, of course, but geez! I’m glad I write down my ideas… I’m sure my future self will thank me for it, but still. Most of the ideas are fantasy in some variety. Actually, I think all of them are, but still. They range from high-fantasy to post-apocalypse to… well, other stuff. I’ve been thinking perhaps I could alternate and work on a few things here and there at the same time, but I don’t want to spread myself too thin. Still, it would be nice to take a break from witches and werebats and venture into apocalyptic shenanigans. Could be fun, no? We’ll see… Really want to polish up Blood Rites and get it out. If I wrote the first book in a month, surely I can get the second out in two. (…I actually wrote book 2 in a month too, but… you know what I mean.)

I’m sure there’s other things I could update about, but this is good for now. Just wanted to let the interbutts know I haven’t died or anything. I just took a writing hibernation.

 

<3 :D

Writing the Next Chapter: An Adventure Into Book #2

Oh, the headache! Writing a sequel isn’t as easy as I thought it’d be.

 

Crazy, right? Book #1 just got published on the 1st of March, and I juuuuust finished two and 1/2 chapters of book 2. And you know what? It’s freakin’ hard!

The first book is special – you’re doing everything for the first time, finding your style, your grove, your writing schedule… everything is new. With the second book, it’s the same thing, only… not. Does that make sense? Kind of? I’ll elaborate.

With the first book, it took me FOREVER to plan it out. I was creating an entire world, with it’s own laws and rules and (in some cases) physics, even. I had to create whole, entire people, give them histories and motivations, personalities…. favorite foods. >_> I had to start from scratch. There was a TON of planning involved. Even after it was finished, I had to find an appropriate cover artist, and figure out formatting and channels, and whether or not I wanted to take advantage of KDP-Select.

Not to mention I had to, you know, build an author base and junk. (Tweet me!)

With a sequel, I don’t have to do as much work. I’m not baking from scratch with this one, I’m using a mold. Which is, as I said, less work but in some ways more difficult. I don’t want my supporting characters suddenly acting or sounding differently. Lucy can’t suddenly be mopy and stoic. I have to keep the plot threads continued, and everything too.

All of that said, I -did- manage to get book #2 outlined and fleshed out in a couple of weeks. Not bad, if I do say so myself. It’s still giving me a headache though… Mostly with the beginning, but this is was first drafts are for, right? Right. It’ll all shape up nicely in the final draft. I hope.

Anyway, my point is this: sequels are not like the original! It’s another new adventure, but I’m hoping I’ll get this down to a science in no time.

A quarter done, and I’m already afraid.

When did that happen? I’m just about at 20k of my 80k goal for my first book. In the words of internet memes, “Well, that escalated fast.” Seriously though, I didn’t even see it coming. 20k in just under two weeks. (If my calendar and math-y skills are correct).

Small milestone, perhaps, but still. A fourth of my book is done… minus the hours going to be spent on fixing holes and crappy writing, and the black, soul-sucking void that is Chapter 7. However small this accomplishment may be, and however silly it is to write a post about my small accomplishment, it’s still a motivator. “I’ll be done with this in no time!”, says the happy part of my brain.

The one thing that keeps bugging me at the back of my head is all the things I’ll have to do when I finish. I have never taken a marketing class, I don’t know what on earth I’m going to do to format this thing when its done (I don’t even know what that entails! Help!), and I can’t even count the amount of social networking sites and stuff I’ll have to do to get it out there when it IS done.

I think this is another one of those jumping-the-gun-things (I tend to do that a lot), but it bugs me when I don’t know the exact plan for something. I think there’s a word for it, but I can’t think of it right now. Either way, I’m pretty scared that I’ll trying really hard on the whole marketing thing, and then fail horribly. All authors want their books to SELL SELL SELL, but so many of them don’t. I know the point of writing a book (for most people) isn’t the money aspect, but it would be really nice if I could make this my career. (You know, the whole dream-job-life thing…)

AAAAAAHOMGPUBLISHINGHOLYSHITMARKETINGWHATDOHELPWHAAAAAAT?!

Are you guys tired of hearing about my anxiety? I sure am. :I

Repost – Ten Tips for People Thinking about Writing a Book

I found this post, and I liked it so much, I decided to repost it. I don’t own anything, and the original page can be found here. Original article posted by Guy Kawasaki.

If you checked the list of what people want to do before they die, you’d see that many want to write a book. This is a good thing because the more people who write books, the more enlightened the world will become. It just so happens that technology has made the process of writing a book easier than ever. Still “easier than ever” is not the same thing as “easy.” I wrote a book called APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur to help you write your book. Here are my top ten tips.

1. Write for the right reasons. Writing is an art form, and a book is an end in itself—don’t write a book solely because it is a means to an end. The good reasons to write a book are the desire to enrich people’s lives, to further a cause, to achieve an intellectual milestone, and to get something off your chest. The bad reasons are to make a lot of money or to increase your consulting or speaking business.

2. Use Microsoft Word. It’s true that Word is a bazooka, and you may only need a fly swatter, but everyone in the industry uses a bazooka. You can save a few bucks and avoid the Microsoft hegemony when you’re in the writing stage, but when lots of people (editors, reviewers, designers and online resellers) need to use your file, you may regret using another word processor. Two fine points: first, save your Word documents in the .doc, not .docx, format so that people using old versions of Word can open your file. Second, format your entire book using Word’s “styles.” This will make layout and conversion much easier down the road.

3. Write every day. I’ve written twelve books. If you had asked me if I thought I would write twelve books back when I started, I would have told you that you were hallucinating. How did I do it? Writing a little bit every day. Don’t ask yourself, “How will I ever get to 60,000 words?” because it will make the task seem insurmountable. Just write something every day—even if it’s only a paragraph. One day you’ll wake up, and your book will be done. If you wait for that perfect time when the kids are asleep and making straight As, you may never start (much less finish).

4. Build your marketing platform. The hardest part of making a book successful may be marketing (not writing) it. Unless you have a great publicist with a powerful publisher, you are the “vice president of marketing” of your book. It takes a year to build a marketing platform, so get started at the same time as you’re writing. If you wait until your book is done, it’s too late. My recommendation is to spend two hours a day writing and one hour a day on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

5. Start with a Kindle ebook. First, Amazon’s Kindle service might amount to 80-90 percent of your sales. If your book is successful on Amazon, it will succeed elsewhere. If it’s not successful on Amazon, it probably won’t succeed elsewhere. Second, start with the ebook format. If it takes off, then you may want to go to print. But there’s little reason to go to print immediately unless you are writing, for example, a photography book.

6. Tap the crowd. The crowd is a beautiful thing. It’s full of people who know more than you do and are willing to give of themselves freely and unselfishly. They will provide content ideas, editing, and word-of-mouth marketing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many people will contribute to your efforts for the intrinsic joy of helping a writer. The crowd will help you finish your book, which is another reason to start building your platform immediately.

7. Hire a copyeditor. If you’re going to self-publish your book, the worst way to try to save money is by not hiring a professional copyeditor. Copyediting is a specialized and refined skill—to use a medical analogy, only a fool would self-diagnose and self-medicate in an emergency. The goal is to produce a book that is as good as, or better, than a book from a large traditional publisher. You cannot do this without a professional copyeditor.

8. Hire a cover designer. The second worst way to try to save money is by designing your book cover. Like copyediting, design is a special skill that takes years of training and practice. People are going to glance at a postage-stamp size image of your cover next to ten others on Amazon. You have less than a second to convince them to click on your book to learn more and read reviews. They won’t click unless your cover is effective.

9. Test your ebook. In a perfect world, what you upload from Word and what online resellers deliver as an ebook would match. Every page, image, line break, and font would be right. This isn’t a perfect world. The bugs and glitches that can appear because of the conversion process from manuscript to ebook will shock, depress, and enrage you. You need to test your ebook on every platform that people will read it on: computer, tablet, reader, Macintosh, Windows, Android, and iOS. Don’t assume that any conversion process is 100% accurate.

10. Never give up. There are qualities that every published author shares: first, they wanted to give it all up. Second, they didn’t give it all up. Writing a book is one of the most difficult tasks in life. Fortunately, or maybe because it’s so difficult, it is also one of the most rewarding tasks in life. When you feel like you can’t type another word, can’t re-read another draft, and can’t face another rejection, remember that every author goes through these phases. It’s only the successful ones who never give up.

Guy Kawasaki is the co-author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur–How to Publish a Book with Shawn Welch. The book’s thesis is powerful yet simple: filling the roles of author, publisher, and entrepreneur yields results that rival traditional publishing.

 

I started a vlog to document my journey to publish my book. (I keep calling it a journey, but I cant think of any other suitable synonyms… project maybe?)

Either way, here’s me talking about stuff and things.

Kicking myself in the butt.

Or, I need to anyway. I’ve been very lazy about my word count today. Granted, I also had a final exam, but… who cares about final exams when there’s books to write? (Thats not true. I care. But still.)

I think it’s because I’m still in the early stages of this whole writing thing. I need a personal trainer, but for writing. Someone to punch me in the ass when I started floating over to Pinterest for my books board, or looking at the Facebook page for it. I dunno. Maybe I have natural lazyness? Am I afraid? Probably. I think I’m just the kind of person who needs absolute peace and quiet to really churn out the good stuff.

But I do like my book so far. I’m having these weird moments where it sort of just writes itself. Some random cool idea will wiggle its way in without me even trying. It’s very cool. Ask me about the Tank sometime. Bloop.

In other news, I’m still distracted. There’s a lot of ‘promotional’ stuff to do. Facebook pages, and vlogs (if I ever get up the courage), and a Pinterest board, and a whole bunch of other junk. I think I may be getting ahead of myself, though. This is the kind of thing you should be focusing on -after- a book is finished, not before. I think I’m just too excited for myself, or something.

I think I will keep up with this blog, just for the sake of documenting my progress and my ups and downs and stuff, but I dont think I’m going to do anything majorly besides that. I did some napkin math type planning, and if I stick to around 3k to 4k words a day, I should be able to finish the first draft in about a month. Perphaps. That’s the plan anyway.

I really hope I can do this. I know I can do this, but I really hope I actually do this.

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