Confessions of a Self-publishing Author

I grant you there are days when I wonder why I do this. But the question doesn’t linger with me for long. Because the answer is I like challenges. And writing and publishing and designing my own book covers provides enough challenges to keep me both busy and entertained.

Plus I just flat out enjoy being an entrepreneur. I like biting into my hamburger at night, knowing that I’ve truly earned it. I thrive on exercising my wits in an effort to put myself and my book in front of an ever increasing number of eyes. I groove on hanging out in self-pubber’s chat rooms and lists and forums. I lap up the mantra with relish that self published authors are going to take over the world. (Even if I think we’re unlikely to accomplish that goal.)

My only true weakness is keeping my fingers at work on the keyboard long enough to pump out the-next book. It’s so much easier and more entertaining to jump onto the web and do all the above-named stuff. But I know the novel’s the thing. And somehow, I eventually manage to pull another one out of somewhere.

And that’s the mysterious part. Where do these books come from? Where are our characters born? Of course, that’s not the singular province of self-published authors. That act crosses the great divide between us and them. (You know, the writers with contracts and deadline handed down by somebody else.) But no matter how different our outlooks or methods might be, we’re all engaged in the same game. Tapping our creativity and putting books out there in the most entertaining fashion we can.

There is a great deal that divides our two camps. But there’s a great deal that unites us as well.

For my money, though, I get a hoot out of going it alone.

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The Rush to Write More Content

To paraphrase a little ditty making the rounds in the US, more is apparently better. Take digital publishing. It’s up to its eyeballs in quick output. That according to an article running at Digiday. It points to commercial blogs and news outlets for proof:

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In recent years, new players like The Huffington Post burst onto the scene by pumping out a dizzying amount of content each day. The company has 532 full-time editorial staff producing about 1,200 pieces of content per day (and that’s not including the 28 full-time blog editors who oversee the 400 pieces of content per day coming from its blog). All this content generates 43 million pageviews per day, per Comscore. The pageview race now stretches far beyond HuffPost, as many publishers combat low ad prices with high volume.

Even old publications, like Forbs, are taking part in the pageview race. It has 50 on its editorial team. However, it also has about 1,000 contributors. Between the two, Forbes puts up about 400 posts per day and sees 4 million pageviews per day, per Comscore.

Read the rest of the article here.

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But it’s not much of a leap to fast forward this concept to ebook production. I can’t tell you the number of writing posts I read where the mantra is produce, produce, produce. Nothing sells your last book, they say, as well as the next book. And they’re probably right.

I recently increased my daily word-count goal. And, I’m please to say that I met it. Then, after finishing the novel, I went in to start editing and that’s where my speed fell to the pace of a snail’s. One day I spent more than two hours editing a very short scene. But if even the ‘big boys’ are playing this game I guess there is something to it.

So it’s back to my word processor to sharpen my editing speed. But I wonder, can this pace be maintained?

Loving My Leading Ladies

I’m in the closing days of prepping and cleaning and editing and revising my second novel. And I’ve suddenly realized I’ve fallen in love again with my heroine. Lucky me. I adored the first one, too. I think both woman are brave, gutsy, and determined.  Even when they don’t think they are.

Maybe this heroine fixation of mine stems from all those years of reading Nancy Drew books. Or maybe, deep down, I believe women are stronger than they give themselves credit for being. Who knows. I only know I enjoying telling their stories. And that’s true even though the two women aren’t much like each other.

School teacher Jessica Chase was my first heroine. Somewhat passive, fairly unsure of her strengths and skills, it takes an outside force and a friend to push dear Jess to her feet. My second heroine, Victoria Cross, is used to standing up for herself. She’s first introduced to the concept as a child by her four, male cousins. The idea is then reinforced by her marriage to a husband who is devoted to his work. This leaves her in a position where most family responsibilities fall on her shoulders.

Both women are forced to come to terms with their strengths and weakness after experiencing a murder. How else? After all, I am a mystery writer as well as parent to my beloved heroines.

My first mystery novel was Murderous Relations. The second one is Murderous Decisions. Murderous Relations is out and available at many select etailers. Murderous Decisions is due out any day now.

Stay tuned.

Rusch Foresees Good Things for Indies

USA Today Best Selling Author Kristine Kathryn Rusch is bullish on the future of print book sales for Indie Authors. That’s an abrupt turn around for Rusch, who along with her best-selling-author husband, Dean Wesley Smith, was ready to start a distribution network of their own for indies to access brick and mortar books stores only a few short months ago.

Read the full details at her blog: Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Once Written, Now Sold?

Beyond the challenge of writing the novel comes the uphill climb to sell what you write. You’ll find lots of advice to help you. And much of it’s worth reading. But few posts or even books match the straight talk of this post by Russell Blake. He writes thrillers. And isn’t shy about saying his goal is to sell what he’s written. I hope you find his views as published via his blog as worthy as I did.

And to all of you now struggling with a WIP, carry on!