Thursday, February 28, 2013

Well, this was a surprise

First, a few bits of business before I get to the surprising thing. This afternoon, Load was finally approved for premium status on Smashwords.com, so it's available on the Nook and many other platforms as well as the Kindle. Readers who want to buy a copy should be able to get it from B&N and iBookstore soon, if it's not already there.

Currently working on the formatting for Fifteen Minutes. I'm hoping to have it ready within a week or so, assuming nothing goes horribly wrong before then.

Also working on a new story...possibly a novella or novelette, depending on how things go...which I might put on Kindle and Smashwords exclusively. We'll see how it goes....

And now the surprising thing. I've been putting a rough draft of Elsewhere on Textnovel.com before polishing it and putting it on FanStory.com and Sofurry.com, then polishing it again and putting it on Kindle Direct (and later, I hope, on Smashwords and affiliates). Earlier this evening, just for the hell of it, I looked in on the stuff I've been posting there, and discovered that Elsewhere was given the Editor's Choice award, just a few hours ago.

Check this out: 

"Congratulations! This story has been selected as an Editor's Pick on Textnovel. We pick these stories based on writing quality, originality and publishing potential. Plus we think your story is an example of the type of story that has a shot at a prize and possible publication."

I wasn't expecting that at all, but it gave me a much-needed reason to smile. Been a bad day--still looking for a job, running out of money, worried about paying the rent tomorrow, and have a stack of bills that I can't pay...so this was most welcome news. Just the kind of surprise I needed to distract me from my constant panicking for a few minutes.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Publishing Venues

So, a few days ago I attempted to upload my first two books to Smashwords, figuring I'd be able to get them to a lot of different platforms that way, and gain readers who don't use the Kindle. If there's one thing I need to do soon, it's start pulling in some money. Well, I uploaded it, and the conversion failed, apparently because of formatting problems with the book. Eventually, I realized there was only one way I'd have a chance to fix the formatting--paste the whole book into Notepad, removing all formatting in the process, then copy that back into my word processor of choice, and go through the entire book and add italics and whatever else where they're needed.

So in addition to my (unsuccessful, so far) job hunt, I've been trying to get this done as quickly as possible. I'm about halfway through the first book.

Then there's the cover. I was using a plain black cover for both books, with the title and my name on each, but that's probably one of the reasons it's not selling as well as I'd hoped. I couldn't spare the money for a proper cover back then, and even more so now, not having a job and therefore money at the moment. Still, I'm thinking about at least buying a stock photo to use as the cover, if not commissioning one. One the one hand, I can't really spare the money, but on the other, it might catch a lot more potential readers' eyes if the books have quality covers that fit the plots. I keep bouncing back and forth on whether to just go for it or keep using the plain black covers to save money.

Guess I'll figure that out when I get there.

In other writing news, I'm working on the next chapter of Freelancers and mulling over some ideas for a new serialized story that I might make exclusive to Smashwords (and therefore Amazon and all the other sites Smashwords distributes ebooks to). Just as an experiment to see if anything comes of it. The story will likely be a series of novellas or novelettes. I figure I've got enough free content out there (and with Freelancers, Enemy of my Enemy, and other free stories I'll continue posting), there's a lot more to come. So that might be enough samples of my work for readers to take a chance on some premium content. And I know that Kindle Direct, at least, has an option to return/refund ebooks you don't like, so there's really no risk involved.

As I said, it's something I'm thinking about trying out just to see if it works. If not, I'll see if I can figure something else out.

And finally, I'm still waiting on the contract for Chaser, so nothing new to announce there. I figure it takes a while for things like that to be worked out. I'm just eager to see the last twenty-two years of trying finally pay off.

And now, back to the hundred or so things I'm trying to do at once.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Back Online


Kind of a long story, but I finally caved in and had home internet service hooked up. Basically, being a hick from the Oregon coast, I'm having trouble dealing with some of the highways here...keep making wrong turns, getting lost, and almost getting hit by other cars while trying to get back on the right track. I'm usually pretty shaken up by the time I get back home, so I decided, screw it, I'll get the net hooked up here and then I'll be able to do the job-hunting and other stuff without putting myself through all that crap.

So...got a ton of stuff to catch up on, in addition to finding a job so I can keep paying the rent. O_o

Monday, February 11, 2013

Made it


Getting to Tucson took almost twice as long as I expected it to. Been here nearly a week, but didn't have a chance to get to a place that has public wifi until just now. It also cost a lot more than I expected, so I'm running low on money and it'll be a while before I have internet service at home. I'm still getting a little writing done, but I have to concentrate most of my effort on job hunting and getting set up here (getting my phone switched over, getting an Arizona drivers licence and plates, that sort of thing). Mostly, I'm just worried about paying the rent and bills and buying food. I always hoped I'd be able to land a job quickly here, but I can't help worrying. I don't mind admitting that I'm getting scared....

I did get one bit of good news, though. Friday evening I got an email from the publisher I sent Chaser to. She really liked it an wants to publish it. She asked me to go through it one more time to fix typos and whatnot, then she'd send me a contract ASAP. I sent in the revised draft about an hour ago, and now I just wait.

Over twenty years I've been trying to get my foot in the door, and now it's finally happening.