May 15th, 2010

I know I haven’t been around much at all. I did try to warn you. Things haven’t been particularly exciting. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Trying to figure out what skills I’m going to need in this changing market. (Other than being able to write a great book.) I’ve been fighting it, but I’m going to have to learn how to design my own site so I don’t have to rely on anyone else to update it. I’m also going to have to learn how to upload my work to Kindle. (I don’t think that’s going to be too difficult.) And the final thing I’m going to have to learn how to do is design book covers. If I manage to get the rights back on several of my older titles, I’m going to need to have new covers designed. If I don’t learn how to design covers in the long run it could end up costing me quite a bit. And I don’t want to spend a chunk if I’m not going to be able to earn it back.

I’ve been paying very close attention to J.A. Konrath and his progress with Kindle releases. I don’t have as big a name as he does, but I do have some readers. I also have a few things written that I never submitted anywhere that could work to entice new readers. I’m still editing Gothic Passions. Yes, it’s taking me way longer than it should. I keep doing it in pieces. What can I say? It’s hard for me to read my older work.

None of this changes the work I’m doing for New York. I’m still working on my never-ending story YA. And I’ve been playing with a couple of adult ideas, one urban fantasy and one dark paranormal romance. We’ll see what comes of these projects. At some point, I’m going to have to query agents. At present, I’m in no hurry to do so. My guess is that will happen in the fall after I put together a few different projects. Not many folks in New York are accepting partials anymore. Too many authors have missed their deadlines. Some with the help of editors, some not. So now everything has to be a full. As you all know, it takes time to write a single title book. Hell, it takes time to write a 70 to 80K YA book. It takes time to write a book period. Add to that needing to have a few things put together and you do the math.

So there you have my exciting plans for the summer. I’ve seen Iron Man 2 twice, the Losers, and I’m thinking that it may be an Oceans and Robin Hood weekend. How about you? Any movie plans? I’m just counting the days to Prince of Persia. Can’t wait.

22 comments to “Surprise”

  1. Yay for Kindling your backlist! It isn’t tough to learn to make covers; get Photoshop Elements and just start playing around with it. You can get stock photos from iStockPhoto or similar sites. So far I’m doing quite well on Amazon, and I don’t have anywhere near the name recognition you do. So I’m sure you’ll have great luck with it!

  2. “I’ve been fighting it, but I’m going to have to learn how to design my own site so I don’t have to rely on anyone else to update it. ”

    I can convert you to WordPress. πŸ™‚ You can update it yourself the way I do and Jeaniene Frost does. It’s not hard at all.

    If you drop me an email, we can talk about how you would like it to look and the technical details.

  3. PS:

    Cost me, I think maybe $10 to make?

  4. Haven’t seen a single new film this year. πŸ™

    But I’ve also been following Konrath. πŸ˜‰

  5. Damn Ilona, can I get in on that cover making thing? I’m going to be putting up some stuff on Kindle soon as well.

  6. My summer will be much like yours, except I’m also doing a garden. *g* I highly recommend a Drupal site. You can install your own via Drupal Gardens, I believe, and changing the theme is really easy. Custom work is going to take a learning curve or a pro, but you can do a lot on your own if you have time. The cover carousel on my site was custom coded, but the rest is pretty much out of the box.

  7. Hey Vivi Anna,

    That was a gag cover for Meljean I made as a joke. I mess with images as a way to relax, so if you ever would like a cover, email me. πŸ™‚

  8. Thanks awesome lady!!! πŸ˜‰

  9. Ellen, I found a couple of places to get stock photos. The one you mentioned is one of them. The other is: There are links to stock romance covers.

    Here’s hoping you’re right. πŸ™‚

  10. Ilona, Thank you so much. I’ll definitely drop you a line. πŸ™‚

  11. Raine, You need to get to the movies. There have been some really cool flicks out this year.

    You and me both. πŸ˜‰

  12. Charli, I’m sure it’s great, but I don’t want another learning curve right now. *ggg I already have too much on my plate. I know you’re rocking the Drupal and I do dig your site. πŸ™‚

  13. That’s a great idea about learning to redesign your covers for when you reclaim the rights. I never realized how important the cover can be for sales until I saw a few other authors’ works I thought were great that had bad covers and they flopped. The blurb is what attracts me but an incredible cover will get me reading the sample.

    I’m a fan of the ‘Jesse Stone’ series with Tom Selleck on TV and it was great seeing a new one this week.

    Did you ever get a chance to see ‘The Left Hand of God’ with Humphrey Bogart?

  14. Bernard, That’s kind of the key. You want to draw a reader in so they want to read the blurb. Also, in the case of Kindle, the first couple of chapters.

    I saw that advertised, but I didn’t know when it was airing.

    Not yet. I haven’t actually been watching a tremendous amount of videos. I will definitely catch it sometime soon. Thanks for the reminder. πŸ™‚

  15. I might be able to help you out with the cover art too. Like Ilona, I play with images and stuff for fun.

    Also, like many of you here, I’ll be trying the kindle thing soon too, have to check it out and see if it can bring in some extra $$ and hopefully new readers.

    I agree wordpress is the way to go…If I can update my site, anyone can do it.

  16. Thanks Sasha, I appreciate all the help I can get. My current site is wordpress and I have no idea how to operate it. πŸ™

  17. Jordan! Everything you said sounds so familiar. The fact so many are looking for more than a partial is scary since you have to invest so much time on a project that might not sell. I remember being asked for 100 pages of a manuscript by one editor and I had to put everything aside to fulfill that request, and I still got turned down. It’s a crappy way to treat authors who have to make a living. They should share info on the authors who let them down, but leave the rest of us alone.

    Good luck with everything. Sasha finds some really pretty art for covers. And you will LOVE wordpress.

  18. Delilah,

    They should, but that’s not going to happen. I’ve pretty much decided to take the rest of the year off from agent hunting (pretty easy since I haven’t started). I’m going to use the time to write three fulls. I’ll start my agent hunt after they’re done, but I don’t think that will happen until next year.

    Thanks! πŸ™‚ I just switched to the updated version for this site, but I have to admit I’m still lost. :/

  19. Good for you, Jordan. You’ve got a great attitude and I think putting your backlist on the Kindle is a very smart move. Your readers will snatch up the titles.

    Good luck on your new projects this year. The entire publishing world is shifting around and it’s smart to keep up with the changes.

    Here’s an interesting article from The New Yorker on the Kindle and the Ipad. Five to seven million Ipads expected to be sold this year alone. I’m waiting to see if the Ipad will give the Kindle a real run for its money with book purchases.

  20. Bonnie, Here’s hoping. πŸ™‚

    Thank you! It’s shifting fast. You really have to break out your best balancing moves. πŸ˜‰

    As a family who has two iPads and one Kindle, I’m not surprised. I hope both companies stay in business to give each other competition. It’s in the readers and writers favor if they do.

  21. JMO, but I don’t think the shift to wanting fulls has so much to do with more late books than are the norm (there have always been late books) as it has to do with not wanting any surprises for marketing once the book is done, avoiding acquiring books that will require more editing than another, and possibly compensating for downsizing staff.

  22. Charli, I am sure those factored in, too. But, I know this is the first time that I’ve ever heard of where editors have specifically given talks about the problem of late books to groups of authors. They talked about how much it’s screwing them up and how much trouble they are getting in from the higher ups. I figure if they are saying things like that the problem must really be bad. πŸ™