Archive for August, 2011

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
So Close I Can Taste It

I just finished calculating my ebook sales for this month and I’m twelve copies shy of a new record for me. I don’t know if I’ll make it with only one more day left of the month. So frustrating…

As many of you know, I started on the self-publishing of my backlist journey in Jan/Feb of this year. It’s been a slow journey for sure. My goal in the beginning was to out earn my e-publisher checks. Thankfully I have done that. It occurred rather quickly–like within the first few months. I now have twelve books up for sale with three more on the way. I’m by no means selling a lot of ebooks. (Understatement of the century. *ggg) That said, this month is the first time I’m actually beginning to see decent numbers and they’re far lower than most authors I’ve read about. I’ve been averaging around 300 copies a month (sometimes more, sometimes less). Like I said, not very good. Suddenly this month I’ve had a jump in sales. I don’t know if it’s because I just released three Atlantean’s Quest books back to back or if readers are just now beginning to find me. I’ll be curious to see what happens next month. Until then, I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I sell 12 more books between today and tomorrow. I really want to hit a nice even number. Come on internet, you can do it. 🙂

UPDATE: I want to thank the readers for helping me reach my 12. I really appreciate it. WOO HOO!!!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
Found A New Author

Like many of you, I’ve kind of burnt out on certain genres. For the longest time, I had difficulty reading any new paranormal romance. I could read old favorites, but new work was tough. On a whim the other day, I picked up a book called Mate Set by an author named, ‘Laurann Dohner‘. I’d never heard of her, even though she has quite a few books out. I’m about halfway (or a little more) through the book and really enjoying it. So much so, I went back and picked up several of her other books. (She appears to have various series happening and I wanted to give a few of them a try.) There’s something about her writing that reminds me of the ‘golden days’ at Ellora’s Cave. Several of the reviews liken her to Lora Leigh (back in the day). I can see what they mean, but her style is quite different. For some reason, that I’ve yet to pinpoint, her writing has struck a cord with me. (Much like D.B. Reynolds and her vampire books.) I’m just truly enjoying reading the story. I hope it’s the beginning of a trend. (Especially given how many of her books I’ve bought in the last two days. LOL!)

Is there anything you’ve given up reading? If so, why? Do you think you’ll ever return to the genre?

Friday, August 26th, 2011
Words, Words, Words…

Finished edits and printed out the next fifty pages. Will start on them tomorrow. 🙂 Working on this book has definitely taken my imagination in new directions. Obviously when I wrote it, I thought it was cool and different from the stuff I’d seen published. Certainly different from what I’d written in the past.

I was telling dh the other day that I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to ‘come into my own’ writing wise. I thought that when I sold my first romance that I’d achieved what I’d always dreamed of. And I had… I still love romance novels. But it’s taken me writing several of them and switching genres multiple times to figure out where my strengths lie. I wish it hadn’t taken so long for me to discover that it’s not in romance. Part of me is still sad about the realization. Yet I can no longer deny the truth that’s been staring me in the face for a while. My strength, my voice really shines when I’m able to write action/adventure stories. (I’m sure some of you are thinking, ‘well, you could just write action/adventure romances’.) It’s true, I could, but I wouldn’t be playing to my strengths. Unless I’m writing shorter pieces, I find it very difficult to ‘fit’ a romance into my work. I can do it (obviously), but it always feels like I’m shoe-horning it into the bigger story. Romances shouldn’t be that way. The story (whatever romance you’re writing) should be the focus of your book, everything else should be secondary. I think that’s why I’ve gradually cut down on reading romances (other than re-reading keeper-shelf stuff) and switched to reading UF with romantic elements.

I think what I find the most amusing about this discovery is that it’s happening when the industry is in utter chaos. I could’ve picked a better time to have these revelations. Or perhaps not, perhaps now is the best time to discover what I truly should be doing. If not now, when?

Have you discovered where your strengths lie? Are you sure? 🙂

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
Technical Difficulties

Sorry about the technical difficulties happening here at the site. I haven’t been able to access my site since last night around 10:00pm. We’re hoping to get everything straightened out soon.

Yesterday, I released Atlantean’s Quest 4: The Return. Sadly, I think I forgot to put the blurb up on Amazon, so I’ll have to go back in when it allows me access and update it. Doh! That’s what I get for trying to speak with dh on the phone while uploading manuscripts. *ggg

Today I went to see Fright Night with a friend. It was as entertaining as I’d hoped it would be. Not quite Lost Boys, but very close. Lots of great lines. Made me chuckle. If you like fun, snarky, witty, creepy vampire movies, Fright Night is for you. Colin F. and David T. definitely steal the movie. I still haven’t caught Rise of the Apes. Hopefully this weekend. I haven’t decided whether I’ll go see Conan. I’m really tempted because I like Jason Mamoa.

Work is chugging along. Not as fast as I’d like, but is it ever? I have three more novellas to put up, then I’ll be officially done with my backlist and a few of the projects I’ve had laying around in my drawers. (Yes, I still have a few more things in files that may or may not see the light of day. I haven’t quite decided.) My focus at present is to finish editing my YA, which is the first book in a series, and start the new YA series that I’m excited about. That should keep me plenty busy for the rest of the year. 🙂

What do you want to get done this year?

Saturday, August 20th, 2011
First Fifty-Five Done!

I finally finished the edits on the first fifty-five pages of my young adult novel. I haven’t typed all the changes in yet because that will take a while. I’ve added a LOT–thanks to the great suggestions given to me. I do think once I get all the changes typed in, I’m going to put the manuscript inside of Scrivener. I haven’t used the product yet, but with all the cutting and pasting I’ve been doing I think it would help a lot. Also, I have a ton of notes that I’ve scribbled/typed/stickied and would like them to all be in one spot rather than spread all over my desk. Right now, I have two YA’s on my desk and I can no longer see desktop. I need all the organizational help I can get.

On a personal note, I lost another pound and a half. I’m hoping to add to that loss by next week. It’s nice that the scale is still moving in the right direction. 🙂

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I’m going to try to catch Fright Night on Monday or Tuesday with a friend. I can’t wait. 😀

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Rolling In The Deep

Doing these edits for my YA has really brought a lot of things about the business of publishing to the forefront for me. Although I’m by no means making a ton of money in self-publishing my backlist, I don’t think it’s financially feasible for me to sell anymore romances to N.Y. (Harlequin being the only exception.) One, I don’t think I’d get a big enough advance to make it worth my while and two, given the lovely distribution problem happening, it could do more harm than good. (i.e. lack of distribution means sales drops, which in turn means no more Jordan Summers’ books)

So what does this all mean? It means that I’m only taking my young adult and urban fantasy titles to N.Y. If I can’t sell them, then I’ll self-publish them. It also means that my list of agents/agencies will change some. If I’m no longer looking for an agent to represent my romance work, then I can add quite a few new agencies to the list and remove several others. Once this book is edited, I have no idea if I’ll be able to find an agent. Like the publishers, a lot of them are hurting and aren’t interested in taking on new authors who are firmly entrenched in the midlist. (And yes, in this case, I would be considered a new author since I haven’t published in YA yet.) I’ve been hearing horror stories from well-established authors who’ve sold steadily about how agents/agencies aren’t interested in them because they aren’t ‘bestsellers’. So I have no doubt the search will be a trial by fire. Luckily, after three agents, my body is covered in dragon scales and I always carry an extinguisher. 😉

Sunday, August 14th, 2011
Feeling the Changes

For the last couple of weeks or so I’ve been loosely following a work schedule. I gnashed my teeth when I first considered the idea because I’m ornery that way. *g But then something changed, I was actually getting work done and even more than that, I’ve been getting a lot of craft studies in. I’ve felt the shift in the latter most keenly. The way I look at my prose is changing. I’m actually remembering the suggestions from Word Painting and incorporating them into my writing. The fact, I’m editing my first YA probably helps, but it’s more than that. I feel myself changing as a writer, moving up so to speak. It’s both frightening and exhilarating.

I thought when I put together my urban fantasy romance partial that I was excited about the story (and I was), but not as much as I am about these upper middle grade YA’s that I’m working on. For the first time, I feel free to immerse myself in the story and I am getting a kick out of the worlds that I’ve created. Are they hard to write and edit? You betcha. They are truly challenging. Are they worth it? Hell yes. I’m coming up with new ways (for me) to tell a story. And it’s really cool!

As an aside, I’ve finished the edits on Atlantean Heat. I will put it up for sale tomorrow. It should be available within a couple of days. I think Frauke did a great job with this cover. What do you think?