Write a Novella in—30 days?! (or, I Must Be mad, I Tell Ya— Mad!!)

Write a Novella in—30 days?! (or, I  Must Be Mad, I Tell Ya—Mad!!)

So—

Can I write a novella in 30 days? Well, we’re about to find out, people!

I’m both excited and of course, terrified over putting this kind of declaration out in a blog post. Knowing it can be seen and that perhaps others might hold me to accomplishing this goal, that I might fail—well, is pretty darn scary.  But—I’ll do my best!

MP900387781-MO Goal in dictionary

A goal!

Does writing happen for most writers without making some kind of targeted mission plan? Isuspect not. Goals do hold us accountable don’t they? I’m thinking what better way of closing in on this writing objective than making a public pronouncement of the one I’m expecting to accomplish in the next 30 days.

I’m going to finish the first draft of my novella DEACON’S GARDEN, the second volume in the LOVE BLOOMS SERIES, by —

MP900309636- calendar 4.15

It’s funny, I was thinking of using March 15th as my starting date, and April 15th as my crossing the finish line one.  I was waffling a bit on the dates until I went looking for a picture of a calendar to dress up this post and found the one above highlighting April 15th! You know I just had to take that as my beyond coincidence confirmation that the universe was giving me the go ahead for me to follow through on the impulse of doing this 30 day challenge. Sign from God? Yes, to me it definitely felt that way. And it will take some divine intervention for me to fit this in to my life’s schedule that’s full of busy and stress-filled work days, and most every night spent hanging out with my dad at the nursing home he’s in for eight weeks of rehab. Most days I’m getting home at 10 or 10:30, spent and more than loopy.

I know I said a while back I was going to switch my attention to indie-pubbing my WIP novel, I SEE YOU coincidentally I churned that one out during another 30 days challenge come to think of it! So yes, I do have firsthand experience –this 30 day turnaround is a realistic target!  Just FYI–the last time I did this y’all I was in the middle of a total bathroom and kitchen remodel.

I’ve slowly been revising my novel,  got through about 13 chapters on a first round of revisions and  I expect I SEE YOU will hit about 28-30 chapters– a pretty hefty-size novel once I’m done with it.

But this guy-

h

Yep, Chase!

‘Member him? The character I told you about who insisted his name was Chase, not Wes, not Luke, or any other cowboy-sounding name I could come up with. He’s the male lead (hero) from my novella DEACON’S GARDEN and the dude just won’t leave me alone! I’ve got to get this story out of me, or I’ll always find him pulling me back to it, and leaving me to feel flustered and unfocused.

The other thing is—

I’ve been blessed with a round of five star reviews and some other positive feedback over the last months for my short story BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE.

Comments like these:

This short story is a refreshing change from the usual IR fare.

The characterizations and dialogue (internal and external) was spot on! I look forward to reading more of this author!!!

Keep up the excellent work and please keep writing!

Not only have these kinds of lovely comments made me grin and dance around like a fool—they’ve also triggered a logical conclusion in my head. Made me grasp the concept that the wise marketing thing for me to do as a new IR writer on the scene it to ride this tide of positivity by bringing something else to the market sometime sooner rather than later.

Anybody up for a challenge? Wanna get the writing juices flowing through you like wildfire, or go ahead and try that no-carb detox you’ve been thinking about, got a junked up room in your house you’d like to give all your extra time and attention for 30 days and turn it into a room of splendor? Let’s do it! Join me and put something on your calendar for the next 30 days. You don’t have to make a world wide proclamation, you know–just a quiet ‘tween you and nobody else challenge is cool, too.

Oh, and I’m going to lose five pounds, too!

I don’t know if this burst of energy is spring fever or winter madness—either one, I’m pumped!

~venice

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236 and counting! Did I Tell Ya I Hate Math? (Indie Writer Ramblings)

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Here we go, as promised– my sales numbers! Finally. I don’t really hate math. I’m just not a huge fan of doing anything that constantly raises a pointer to the limits of my intellectual capacity…sigh. Anyway, what I’m saying is — ya see any blatant errors, just kindly whip me out a private email and let a girl know if she’s got something obviously screwed up that most any elementary kid might have caught. Okay? Thanks!

I indie published BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE on October 8th in 2012.  I honestly didn’t do much marketing. But I did hook up with a few Interracial Romance forums, and I think that helped me out a lot.  As a reader, I’ve discovered the IR genre is a small enough world that the news of new releases travels in a pretty natural flow, through word of mouth. It’s a great advantage when you’re writing to a niche audience if you know where to go to just get your face or words out there, fellowship– and make friends. I wish I had more time to do more of that kind of stuff, as I thoroughly enjoy chatting with other lovers of IRs! I especially love running into other readers and writers who are diggin’ and searchin’ for sweet IR reads.

Anyhoo—here’s what I sold:

On Amazon/KDP

October  — 68

November – 66

December — 28

January — 30

February — 15

207 sold @ .45 cents royalty per ebook = $93.15.

***

Barnes & Noble/Nook Sales:

5 sold @ .52 cents royalty per ebook  = $2.60.

All Romance Ebooks: (60% royalty)

(just started selling Blackout on that site on 1/8/13)

24 sold @.77 cents royalty per unit = $18.58

Total sales/profit for Blackout = $113.81

236 ebooks sold.

Now, have I gotten any of this money yet? Nope. I suspect a check from Amazon should be showing up someday soon here (I believe there’s some mention of 90 days turnaround). I’ll follow up on the payment part of this indie pubbing experience in another post one day soon. If anyone has any info about Amazon’s payment turnaround, I’d love to hear from you!

The money I’ve made covers the cost of cover art, proofreading and formatting for Blackout– and the lil bit leftover might put a few bucks in my pocket.  The experience is worth gold and so is all that I’ve learned. I’ve had the joy of finishing a story and sending  it out into the world, and mostly getting  very nice reviews (except for the single star one I got, which I want to talk about ‘processing’ that  bad rating  I received in a post here, too.  Probably it will be sporting a title like– “I Indie- Published and the Worst Possible Thing Happened and– How I Survived It” or “Oh Lawd– Whyyyyy???” Something like that.

So other newbies– like me, it’s possible your first publication may not stuff your bank accounts with the 50k or 100k you’ve heard others proclaim as their return on the hours spent writing a story. Yes, I know Blackout was a short story, I’m happy to have sold as many as I did, but my heart and writing spirit isn’t put off.  I’m ready for the next adventure and challenge of putting what I’ve learned about writing and publishing to work on my next project. Make it the best read possible, and okay, I might let myself fantasize – just a little bit– about making tens of thousands of dollars and moving up the ranks on Amazon– I’ve got that kind of imagination, ya see.

But–I’m not discouraged, and I hope that anyone that has a mind and soul to give their words to the world won’t be turned away from their dreams because their first book(s) didn’t sell in huge numbers. The thing is, I am finding quite a bit of comfort & satisfaction in the journey so far.  I made a move, put some  real action behind it, and made something happen! Very satisfying feeling, and now since I’ve honed my skills—hey, anything is possible for me. And—anything is possible for you, too! Let’s just keep it going, right?

Somewhere over the rainbow and all that good stuff!

🙂

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(Next time around- What Is My Next Project, Again?)

Let’s do a little celebrating!

Let’s do a little celebrating!

Yes—

I’m a published indie author!

And if that’s not special enough—today, November 14, I have the honor of being interviewed by my good friend Mae Clair over on her blog FROM THE PEN OF MAE CLAIR.

Mae has been in my corner from the beginning. She’s encouraged me to pursue my dreams to write and taught me so much. We’ve been friends for years, cheered each other along the way, finally deciding that 2012 would be the year we’d both take the leap into becoming published authors. Though she went the traditional route and I went indie—we both ended up debuting on the same day! Amazing, huh?

Mae Clair’s paranormal romance, WEATHERING ROCK is published by Lyrical Press, and getting rave reviews. I’m celebrating for my friend, too! She’s a wonderful writer, but she’s also a terrific marketer. The woman has become a social media wizard!

She’s also featured a lot of amazing writers on her blog, and I don’t mind telling y’all that  I am doing a pretty funky Snoopy Dance over getting an invite to hang out with her to chat about  indie publishing, writing, interracial romance, sweet romance, BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE, what I have in the pipeline and some other great stuff!

So please pop over and join the celebration. Drop by to read, comment, or um…dance with me and my pal Mae Clair over at her blog

FROM THE PEN OF MAE CLAIR. It’s gonna be a blast!

~venice

 

 

Sixty-four and Counting! (Newbie Indie Writer Ramblings)

Sixty-four and Counting! (Newbie Indie Writer Ramblings)

How are things going?

I’m up to 64 ebooks sold of my short story  BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE on Amazon. Yes, I know that doesn’t put me anywhere near Amazon’s top 100, but you know that’s alright. Sixty –four people out there have read my short story, and I can see the real magic in that.  I’m a published author, and I’ve sold something I wrote. Sixty-four somethings!  It breaks down to an average of about me selling around 2.7 ebooks per day since I published the short on October 7th.

I also uploaded BLACKOUT to Kobo and B&N Pubit.  I sold 4 ebooks on Barnes and Nobles Pubit for a total of $2.08 and have absolutely no action at all going on over at Kobo so far. Actually I didn’t see that many IRs on Kobo, and I haven’t quite figured out how folks can even see my story.

Since I’m selling Blackout on Amazon for $1.29, my profit margin is just 35%. On B&N I’m making a profit of 40% for each ebook sold.

I looked into Smashwords –which would distribute it to other major online retailers like Apple, Sony, the Diesel eBook Store and others. I guess I will also upload it there too, at some point.

My October sales:

Blackout in the Garden of Love: $30.88

I have no plans to make Blackout in the Garden of Love a freebie yet. Maybe I’ll consider doing so when I publish TENDING DEACON’S GARDEN, as a way of generating more sales for TENDING DEACON’S GARDEN. I’ll keep y’all posted on that, and continue to report to you how Blackout is selling.

I’m testing the waters here as an indie writer, and if you’re a writer thinking about sticking a toe into the indie publishing pool, come on in and join me. If I can do this, I know you can.

🙂

~venice

What’s Happening?

What’s Happening?

Well, I’m officially a one week old indie writer–that’s what’s happening!

  • I’ve sold 38 copies of BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE.
  • My debut short showed up on Pat Crowell’s IR List for the week ending 10/13 report. The site is very popular in the interracial romance community. Pat is a doll to keep us all up to date with what new IRs are coming out and where to find them. Thanks, Pat!  I was doing my regular perusal down the new books published – and ‘POW’ there was Blackout!! Very nice!
  • I added my author’s profile on Good Reads, and even threw a few books on my shelf, I’ll review later on.
  • And… I also uploaded Blackout to the Barnes & Noble site on Saturday, so it’s also on sale there. Um, well it’s there, not exactly selling anything yet.

Not bad. If you would have asked me on last Monday, if I thought I’d take on the author profile on Goodreads and publish on B&N, I sure would have said, “Nope, I’m fine with getting through pubbing to Amazon.   Now I’m looking at the pros and cons of selling on Smashwords vs Lulu vs Kobo vs… oh boy, there’s no turning back now.

The main thing is I’m learning a lot. I was beginning to doubt my choice of debuting with a short story, instead of something more substantial and plot-twisting. But this is a great way to get some hands on learning, like doing a trial run. Maybe, I’m not making the big bucks this time around, but how fortunate that I get to learn how to do this indie-publishing thing while making some cash. Most important though, I don’t have to be moping around, sulking, and wondering how all these other writers were living out their dreams.

I’m amazed that I’ve been able to do this!

Oh, and I’ve posted a Freebie Short Story, check it out here.

Twelve Again? (Newbie Writer Ramblings)

~Newbie Indie Writer Ramblings~

Well, twelve appears to be the magic number. Twelve kindle editions of BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE– sold! Yep, that’s 12, not 1200, not 12,000. Am I disheartened? Nah. Am I disappointed? I’m not sure. I’m still totally jazzed over the fact I’ve got a book (short story) up on Amazon. That I’m a ‘published’ author. And when I do a search for my first book, it keeps popping up, and my name is right next to it. 🙂 I don’t know how those twelve folks came to decide to click that ‘Buy now with 1-Click’ button. Point is – Woo hoo!—they did! Truth is I haven’t done a lick of marketing. Definitely going against everything I’ve read on what you’re supposed to do when you indie-publish a book. I haven’t even blasted a proud shout-out that my new book is available for purchase on the two IR forums I’m active on. Interesting. I’m busy with work, and caretaking an eighty-four old year dad, who every day reveals to me and my sibs a new reason why he needs to be ‘supervised’. But– I could have scrambled to do at least some of that critical marketing other writers are out there doing. For me, this first book has been more like taking a deep cleansing breath while looking out at the journey before me. I have a lot of road to travel, I get that. It’s only just recently that I started feeling like I could own this ‘being a writer’ thing. It might be the reason why I’m here. Not on WordPress, blogging–but in the world. A good friend asked me today—so how does it feel? Being a published writer? Despite the fact I haven’t hit the internet highway to sell my wares, and done all of the marketing I should have – I’m at peace for now with what I’ve accomplished. I was blessed to be led back to my gift after decades of neglecting it, and to be returning to it during a time when a newbie can step out and live their dream to be published, is a wonderful place to be.

I know there have to be a few other writers out there, like myself, green as hell—but slowly making their way. Who are stumbling, and going off the Indie publishing 101 script because their days are full of the unexpected. You guys feel me, right?

BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE was a private victory lap. Someday I hope it’ll hit sales of 1200 – or 12,000!! But for right now, to these twelve people who have bought BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE, I just want to say – Hey, come back around, I’ve got more and better stuff comin’ your way! And what are you twelve folks waiting for – LIKE my book and give me a few five star reviews, too while you’re at it, will ya? 😉

~venice

Twelve Hours

Twelve Hours!

That’s how long it’s gonna be until my first indie published book, a short story titled BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE shows up for sale on Amazon.

Wow!

My intention, when I first started this blog back in March, was to talk about my journey to indie publishing. As you can see, it didn’t exactly happen that way. But—I did end up publishing something in 2012!! Amazing! It’s been a few months of one thing after the next working to distract and put mental and physical roadblocks in my way, so I don’t mind admitting that I’m a bit shell-shocked that I just hit that publish my book button.

I’m wise enough to understand this is a single step. I hope, of course, lots of folks buy and read BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE—hey, I’d love that!!   BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE was supposed to be an entry for a short story contest for a new-on-the-scene interracial romance publisher.  I went back and forth weighing if as a new writer, I’d have a better chance to get publish by looking for publisher or if I should jump on the bandwagon and go the indie publishing route.  That new IR publisher sending out a call for writers didn’t appear to get off the ground, and well— that fallout was the last bit of encouragement I needed to leap into the indie pool.  In some upcoming posts, I’ll share more about writing BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE, which is Vol#1 in my new series called LOVE BLOOMS, which I’ll be talking about, too. I just had to put a marker – right here and now that, sigh—I’m twelve hours to officially becoming a published author.

How cool is that!

~venice