Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2016

No one is perfect

Hey! It’s Monday! And, like most, there’s been a glitch or two. Hoping the ISP tech being dispatched tomorrow can figure out why we’re not getting the speed we’re paying for or why it’s been intermittently dropping. And not just the wifi. My desktop was disconnected for about 20 minutes this morning, even though the router/modem said all was good.

What’s the point of sharing all of that? It reminds us we’re not all perfect. While we hope that things proceed according to our plan, sometimes they don’t. Because characters choose to do different things, react in strange ways.

No first draft is perfect. We all have to go back through our work, do some editing. Rewrite entire pages. Add some detail here, move it from there so it doesn’t become redundant. Sometimes even rearrange the order of paragraphs. Why? Because it has to happen.

One of the biggest things that can kill your novel faster than anything is failing to recognize that you have to do rewrites. That edits, from an objective third party (aka not your best friend who will never tell you anything besides ‘it’s amazing!’), are a necessary step. They’re not evil. Changing a single word will not make or break your manuscript.  But refusing to believe that your story isn’t perfect from day one WILL.

Glitches happen in life. Whether it’s internet not connecting, a busted phone, or cracked tooth. We learn to roll with it, accept that some things are out of our control, and get them fixed. Your book should be no different. I approach a rewrite and editing feedback as an opportunity to fix those things that I’ve missed. Add that level of polish that a first draft doesn’t always have.

Believing in your work is fine. And, at some point, you have to let it out into the world. But skipping rewrites or fighting your editor? That’s your pride and ego. Authors are too busy to let their ego dictate their future.

By the way, the first draft of ‘Wielder of Tiren: Book 3 of The Raven Chronicles’ is officially done. Rewrites started on Saturday! Yes, they give me headaches. But the book is that much closer to being ready for my publisher now. And I’d rather do the rewrites now and make the job easier on the editor than make her curse my name.

BB

Read Full Post »

Morning, everyone! I know, it’s Tuesday. I didn’t post yesterday. There was a reason. Any post I would’ve made would’ve been whiny, petulant, and a pity party. You see, for all my preaching about staying upbeat in the face of bad sales, etc, even I fall off the wagon and have a bad day. Yesterday was one of them.

I write good books, worth the money it takes to purchase them. Most are $0.99. The most expensive ebook, Daughter of Hauk, is $4.99.

You try to tell yourself not to take a bad sales day/month personally, but it’s hard not to. Authors pour our souls into these creations for the enjoyment of readers. Most books take months to write. Add into that editing, proofreading, etc. If you don’t have a publisher or aren’t self-publishing, you’re adding onto that time searching for the right home for your book. It’s almost impossible for an author to sit down for a couple hours at night, finish the first draft, and start revisions in a single day. A short story, under 10k words, maybe. A 60+ k word novel? No way.

I’m back on track today. For a variety of reasons. One being I may well be making an appearance at Book Expo America in May now. Should that happen, I want to have The Raven Chronicles trilogy done and up for sale. And I won’t get there by sitting on the couch with a pint of ice cream letting bad sales determine the worth of my writing.

Now that I’m off the pity train, I have questions for every single one of you that follows my blog. What makes you buy a book? If you’re following this and haven’t bought one of my titles, why not? I’m not looking for you to rush out and buy one, but honest feedback. Most authors never hear what doesn’t work. They just see zeros on a royalty statement. Here’s your chance to help me grow my marketing focus. I can’t know what’s not working if I don’t know why my books aren’t selling. So, tell me. LOL. What’s kept you from taking the step from following my blog to buying even one of my titles?

BB

Read Full Post »

Hello.

I can’t really say good morning, because it’s not. I learned of David Bowie’s passing when I woke up this morning. The world has lost a creative genius, and the afterlife’s ongoing party just had someone new grab the karaoke mic.

I did not ever have the pleasure of meeting him. Nor did I see him in concert. My exposure was solely through his music and acting. ‘Labyrinth’ came out the year I graduated from high school. His music was the soundtrack of my teenage years. Even though we never met, we have one thing in common now.

We’re both immortal.

All creative souls are. It doesn’t matter if you sing, compose, paint, act, or write. It’s not dependent on sales or awards. The moment you make something and share it with someone else, anyone else, you become immortal.

Those words may well be read by someone decades after you pass away. The song could be played at weddings for generations to come. The really low budget indie film that you helped your friend make in college? Even if it was never shown at Sundance, it exists.

Creative souls aren’t always recognized for their craft during their lifetime. Mr. Bowie was fortunate to have been. I for one am glad I walked the earth at the same time he did. Along with many other great artists, both musical and literary.

One measure of an artist’s success doesn’t get measured until they pass into the next realm. It’s how the world mourns them. They tributes, how they’re remembered.

So, before you rant about sales being slow or your genius not being recognized, think on that. Would you like to be remembered fondly? Or as the jackass who was never satisfied? Because the latter won’t get invited to join the party.

And I’d rather sing with The Goblin King and Freddie Mercury.

BB

Read Full Post »

Good afternoon! Hope everyone had a great holiday!

2016 is on us, like it or not. Typically, it’s a time to reflect on accomplishments, set goals for the year ahead of us. This is important for authors in a few ways.

We constantly have to evaluate how we present ourselves to our readers, our publisher. If you truly feel your publisher is hiding royalties/sales from you, then you need to find a way to gracefully get out of your contract without burning bridges.

Most publishers are not in the business to cheat authors. A few are, yes. And those bad apples are why you need to read your contract and research a house before you sign.

If you’re with a traditional publisher, don’t get bent out of shape if they choose to list your book on a site you didn’t approve of. Why? Because most contracts state that sales venues are under the publisher’s control. Not the authors. Oh, did you forget to read that part of your contract? What about the one where they get final say on your cover art?

Glossing over your contract before you sign it is NOT an excuse. You haven’t earned the right to complain six months after your book goes up for sale that you expected it to be on WXT.com and demand it get put up immediately.

Publishing has changed. It’s no longer old school editor and agent lunches or drinks. There is no guarantee you’ll be retiring to the Bahamas in three months. You can’t sit back and expect the world to discover your book if you can’t even bother to spend five minutes on FB telling anyone you have one up for sale!

The stark reality is that there’s no magic formula for sales. It takes time. It takes dedication. It takes patience. It takes reviews (Amazon, as I understand it, won’t help promote books by putting them in email recommendations, etc, unless they have at least 25 reviews. Shameless plug to please go review a title or three of mine if you’ve read it, because I need those reviews badly!).

It takes not whining in public, to readers, your publisher, fellow authors, about how bad your sales are. Readers don’t care if you only sold 2 copies last month. Your publisher will remember your attitude when your book is up for renewal. And inevitably there’s another author who would DIE to get half of what you got in sales that month.

So, suck it up buttercup. You don’t deserve to complain if you didn’t bother to check the rules out before you started the game. You don’t deserve to be treated like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling with your first book. And it’s not necessarily your publisher’s fault.

If that was your attitude in 2015, I hope you rethink it. Or you’ll be just as disappointed with 2016.

BB

Read Full Post »