Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday Fun Facts: A New Book

Well, I started a new work/project/book a little over a week ago, and I'm happy to report that I'm making steady progress and meeting my word count far...I wanted to write 2000 words a day - not impossible, certainly, but that definitely requires the Butt-in-Chair-Hands-on-Keyboard approach, since it takes me anywhere from 1-3 hours to write that much.

What's the story? It's tentatively titled Beacon of Love and it's about the host of a travel show, Sophie Smithwise, who comes to a small town in Connecticut to do a piece on the haunted lighthouse there. She meets Mitch Thomas, all-around good local guy, handyman, volunteer firefighter, and sometimes-cameraman. He steps up when one of her cameramen gets sick - but the real conflict here is that the fifty-year old murder-suicide that took place inside the lighthouse, and supposedly began the hauntings, belongs to Sophie's grandparents.

Something like that.

I haven't planned out the entire plot - unusual for me - but I'm just writing and letting the story happen. So far I like where it's going. I mostly like how the hero and heroine are interacting. She's a smart ass, and he's low-keyed but keeps up with her in more ways than one. I also like (and this always happens, such a great part of writing fiction) how the characters do things I would never have predicted, or how plotlines turn based on conversation that I didn't intend when I sat down at the keyboard.

Okay, I have 2000 words to go write. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Writers' Wednesday: Self-Publishing Still the Kiss of Death?

Self-publishing: to many people, it's still a red flag. In a nutshell, some think if you can't get your book published through traditional channels, then it probably isn't good enough to be published at all. Thus, if you decide to take on the kiss of death and self-publish, you're trumpeting to the world that your book wasn't good enough to make it any other way.

Or are you?

These days, it seems, ebooks and the ease of digitally self-publishing have taken away that stigma, at least to some degree. Lulu, of course, has been around for a while for authors who want to self-publish a print version. But that requires a certain amount of cash up front, that authors may or may not recoup. But Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing program (as well as Barnes and Noble's PubIt) allow authors to upload a file, format it, and have it available in digital form almost immediately - with very little financial output (excluding, of course having an editor go over your work and/or having a cover artist design your cover). Royalties through KDP are 70%, which is higher than you'll find with any other publisher. Of course, keep in mind that you are solely responsible for all marketing of your work - and that can be hugely time-consuming, especially if you don't have a reader base already established.

But what if you do? This is where things get a little interesting, in my opinion. What if you're a published author, with a fairly solid reader base, and you have a work or two that either doesn't fit with your current publisher, or is a backlist title that you have the rights for, or is simply a short work you want to have available to readers in between releases of your full-length works?

I'm friends with an author who's in just that situation, and last year she formatted and uploaded one of her previously-released books when her publisher folded and she had all rights returned to her. She spoke of the process as being very easy (esp. since the book had already been edited, and she's savvy enough to create her own cover). I emailed her last week to ask about the whole experience, and she couldn't recommend it highly enough. Since then, she's uploaded 3 of her works (2 previously released and 1 new work that had been rejected in a few places - yes, established authors get rejected too), and along with her regular sales through her publisher, those titles have brought in a solid chunk of cash.'s something to consider. For a new, unpublished author, self-publishing through one of these channels might be a way to test the waters, or a way to finally get that work out in the public eye. For published authors, it might be an interesting way to supplement your backlist, especially when you don't have anything releasing for an extended period of time. Am I thinking about it? Maybe. I'll keep you posted!

Until then, I'm interested in anyone's thoughts or experiences with KDP or B&N's program. Done it? Recommend it?

Monday, July 04, 2011

Monday Mentionables: Happy 4th of July!!!

Happy Independence Day, to all my friends and readers in the United States!

Wednesday I'll be back here to talk about self-publishing through Amazon's Kindle program - it's becoming more and more popular, for already-established authors as well as new, unpublished ones. Is it something to explore and consider? Seems like maybe it is....I welcome your thoughts!