Archive for May, 2006

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006
What it Takes to be a Working Writer

There’s been an interesting discussion on an author’s list about what it takes to be a full-time writer. Most authors will tell you, and rightly so, that you should never quit your day job until you have a healthy backlist. Sometimes even that doesn’t help and you have to stay with the day job. Let’s face it, that’s the most likely scenario.

I know every writer dreams of leaving the rat race to pursue their dream full-time, but what does it really take to do it? How many books must you publish? A lot of things factor into the answers to these two questions. One is your current lifestyle. When I left the airline, we took a HUGE financial hit. For two years, it wasn’t pretty in our household, but I have NO regrets. Things eventually settled down, but we’re still not back to the position we were in before I left. Luckily, my dh had health insurance benefits. (Another BIG thing to think about when you consider leaving the stability of a job.) Now that you’ve factored those two things together, you need to think about backlist.

I only have nine books published, seven from Ellora’s Cave and two from Kensington Brava. Although I made decent advances on the Bravas, I haven’t seen a dime yet of royalties. Not sure I ever will. Never have counted on it. On the other hand, Ellora’s Cave didn’t give me an advance, but they have paid me monthly since I first published with them in 2003. Am I rolling in the dough? Hell no! But I’ve made the equivalent of a part-time job for years. Could I have made more? Absolutely. It was all dependent on my productivity. I could look back and wish that I’d have busted my butt to write more books those first two years. It would’ve made a huge difference now. But I didn’t and there isn’t jack I can do about it.

Contrary to recent AAR list discussions, e-book authors can and do make good money. Some make extremely good money. It all boils down to the backlist. I’m going to give you an example. This will be the one and ONLY time I’ll ever discuss money on my blog. And no, I will not be listing specific numbers. My book, AQ1: The Arrival has made five figures to date. Did I make all that money upfront? No. Am I still earning on that title? Yes, and I am in NO way at the high end of the EC earners. My guess is I’m smack dab in the middle, maybe even lower. Hell, I may even be at the bottom. I have no idea. I haven’t consistently put out releases like a lot of other authors. This makes a big difference too. Never underestimate the power of keeping your name out in front of the reading public.

Now I’m fortunate because my dh makes enough money to support us both. My income is ‘extra’ and is used mainly to pay for writing related expenses…and my nasty book habit. *g* I could probably support myself with the writing, if I managed to get another fifteen books released. I’m not saying that to depress anyone. I am just giving you what ‘I’ would need to live above the poverty line. Am I going to hurry up and write fifteen more books? No.

I’ve discovered something about myself over the last seven months. As much as I want to be a ‘working’ (ie constantly selling) writer, I’ve realized I can’t force my imagination into the box needed to obtain this goal. Can I write commercially? Absolutely. Do I want to? Certainly not all the time. It’s going to take a little longer to sell my next few books. Perhaps years. I’ve accepted that. It’s the price I have to pay for scribbling so far outside of the lines. Will my patience be rewarded? I hope so, but if it’s not, I’ve still had a great time playing in these worlds. In the end, only you can decide what you can live with and what is going to make you happy.

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006
Another Work Day

I know my blog has been boring as hell lately. It really can’t be helped. I’m in a ‘finish the book’ zone right now and I just can’t think of anything clever to write here. Today, I’m meeting a friend for brunch. We try to get together about once a month. She’s the sweetest woman and is currently training for a marathon. This will be her third or fourth I believe. It’s truly impressive. Afterwards, I’ll swing by the store and pick up something for dinner, then head home and write, write, write. I managed to get in 17 pages yesterday. I will surpass 300 today. That will leave me with about 55 pages to write. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. And as the old country song goes, o’ Lord I hope it ain’t a train. *ggg*

If you went to RT, what did you learn? Anything cool and groovy? Now’s the time to share. 🙂

Monday, May 22nd, 2006
EC & Other News

If you’ve been over to visit Sylvia Day’s blog today, then you’ve probably already heard. Apparently, Simon and Schuster has purchased the subsidiary print rights to Ellora’s Cave books and they’ll be released as Pocket trades. Could’ve knocked me over with a feather. 🙂

In other news, I’m down to two more workouts, then I’m done with fitness boot camp. Of course, I have no idea what I’m going to do to replace it. Seriously. I’m not sure the treadmill will cut it after this class.

On the manuscript front, I think I have about 77 pages to go and then I’ll be done with the first draft of my near-future paranormal suspense. Yah!!! Keep your fingers crossed for me that I can hit a zone this week and plow through it.

On a personal front, my nephew graduates from high school today. Oh, sigh, I remember that day well. To make it even better, he received a 75% scholarship to college. Congrats! We’re so proud of you. 😀

Sunday, May 21st, 2006
Whirlwind Weekend

I’ve only managed to write a little this weekend. I think it’s because I’ve been trying to do too many things at once. We found a program to redo my website, so I’m going to play with it today to see if I can manage it without dh’s help. (Okay, without much help. *g*) You’d never know that I’ve taken several web design classes. Dropping head in shame.

Today, I also plan to type in the changes I made to the chapter I wrote on Wednesday. I think I’ve made it better and hotter, since it contains my first love scene. Once I get it done I’m going to attempt to finish the next chapter. I started it yesterday, but didn’t get very far. It’s an ODD chapter that incorporates voyeurism and murder. Like I said many moons ago, this book is a departure for me. *ggg*

The Romantic Times Convention ends today. Hopefully everyone had a terrific time. I think my word count for the week is going to be 10K+. How did everyone else do?

Friday, May 19th, 2006
Jordan+EC chat=0 word count

I’ve done the math and it ain’t pretty. Luckily, I’ve written enough this week to make up for yesterday, but it in no way gets me closer to reaching my goal of three hundred pages by the weekend. Today will have to be a MONDO writing day…right after I take a nap. Hope you all had a better writing day than I did.

I really enjoyed the chat yesterday. The lists were quiet with everyone out of town, but that was kind of nice. Gave away several books, so hopefully I’ll gain a few new readers. The ladies made me feel very welcome. I will have to do that again, when I don’t have a book to finish. *g*

Dh and I were up late (for us) putting together the office. Let’s just say 5:00am came early this morning. Ugh. We’re back from boot camp and still have a few more things to do to the room, but it’s coming together. There’s definitely going to be more space than we had before.

I haven’t watched CSI NY or CSI Vegas yet. I’ve heard the latter left a lot of questions unanswered. They’re all coming back, so I suppose we’ll know soon enough. Have I mentioned that Supernatural is coming back? Okay, I know I have, but it’s worth saying again. 😉

Thursday, May 18th, 2006
Chatting at the Ellora’s Cave Reader’s List Today

I should’ve mentioned it yesterday, but I’m not organized enough to do that. *ggg* Today, I’m chatting on the EC reader’s loop, trying to finish rearranging my office, and attempting to get my word count in for the day. LOL!

I did managed another 2K last night. I’m going to try to hit three hundred pages by the end of the weekend. I have forty pages to go. 😀 If I accomplish this, then I’ll only have 60 pages left! I’m thinking that if I can keep up this pace I may have the book finished my Memorial Day weekend.

How is everyone doing?

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006
Banner Day

Yesterday, I was smokin’ with the writing. I managed to finish 4K or 22 and a half pages. Woo Hoo! I’m over halfway through chapter 16 and hit page 250. I plan to finish the rest of the chapter today.

I also have a new desk coming. I was hoping it would give me more work top space, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen, since my computer will have to sit on top. (It doesn’t have a drawer to hold the computer.) We’ll have to wait and see. Dh and I are rearranging the office, so that it’s cleaner lined. Exciting, I know. *g*

I officially have four more days of fitness boot camp now that I finished this morning’s workout. It was good, but it’s definitely tough. It’s been a long time since I ran laps. College to be exact. We won’t talk about how long ago that was. LOL!

Sent my application into Novelist Inc. I have no idea if they’re going to allow me to join. Apparently, the entire membership decides. I guess if anyone is against your application, then you’re out. :-O Scary odds that. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait and see.

Speaking of ‘seeing’, did anyone watch the finale of NCIS last night? WOW! I sure didn’t see that one coming. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but in my gut I feel that he will return. I’m just not sure what it’s going to take to get him back.

Strictly for fun.

Okay, it’s confession time. How is everyone doing with the writing?