Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coming out of the writers' closet

I recently went to a birthday party where I got to catch up with some old friends and workmates. Since I've been writing seriously, I've only told a handful of people about it. But since I've been published and the article about my book came out in the local newspaper, I've been getting the questions. Like these (I'll include my answers):

  • Q: Do you set aside a specific time to write? Like 8 to 9 in the morning? 
  • A: I usually write between 8 and 10 (or 12) at night. I'm most creative in the evenings. 
  • Q: Are you making enough money to quit your day job?
  • A: Sure! Well, no. I haven't made back my expenses yet. But it's only been a few weeks.
I'll add to this as they come. I'd like to keep track of them. 

Meanwhile, come over to Mae Clair's blog for my interview and excerpt. 

Have book will travel...

I'm over at Mae Clair's blog today. Come on over for a visit, an interview and excerpt. http://maeclair.net

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Needing the Nibble


January is nearly over. The first month of a new year is traditionally a time when minds turn to resolutions. Some of the top resolutions: Diet and Exercise. Although I gave up writing down my resolutions years ago, every New Year I restart my resolution to lose weight. Some years with success, more without. 

The hardest part for me is getting through ‘needing the nibble’. When I’m writing my mind and hands are fully occupied with the story and needing the nibble doesn’t become an issue. But when I’m editing, revising, researching, in other words, using my left brain, I need the nibble! Maybe it’s because I’m a right-brained person and when I have to go into left-brain mode I become insecure and my need to comfort myself with nibbling  becomes overpowering. I recognize that it is a procrastination technique. —Procrastination... that’s another topic for another blog.— Recognition is the first step. I recognize that I’m putting off the harder tasks of editing and revising by leaving my desk and haunting the pantry. Luckily, there’s not much in there to snack on, as I have pretty good resistance at the market. 

This new year I’ve rededicated myself to using my digital calorie counter. I use LoseIt!, but there are several out there for mobile devices. Being mobile is the key because you can track your calories in and out as you go, instead of a the end of the day when you learn too late that you’ve gone over your goal. I’ve had success with this method in the past and want to do it again. 

The next step? Find a way to break the need to nibble, to reduce the need to procrastinate, gain confidence in my ability to edit and revise

Do you have new year’s resolutions? Are you still sticking to it in the last days of January? 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Authorpreneuring vs. Knitting




 I’ve spent most of my spare time the last few months working toward publishing, plus the last seven years learning the craft—a never-ending experience. And now, as a rebound from the computer, I’ve pulled out my knitting bag, dusted it off, and I’m really loving it. I’m not a very experienced knitter, so once in a while I take a class at the local knit shop. This collar cowl is the latest class I took. (Shawl Collard Cowl by Alana Dakos at nevernotknitting.com) I really like it, it's warm and comfortable, but I wish it covered more of the back and shoulders. So I tried modifying the pattern. That didn’t really work... now I have a really bulky knit collar cowl as the part that was supposed cover the shoulders and back just bunches up around the neck. 

The first one was made in 100% alpaca wool making that the most expensive neck warmer in the universe after adding the cost of the two skeins of alpaca yarn, the class, the pattern and the buttons. The second neck warmer I made is 20% alpaca and about 1/5 the cost.

I found a knitting forum online and while perusing the pictures of what others have made (OMG, some are so beautiful and complicated!) I found a shawl called Wingspan. It’s so different, and because it uses a stitch I learned in the collar cowl class, I figured I could do it. For this I used a yarn I had bought a couple of weeks ago with no project in mind, a 30% alpaca. I had two 100gm balls and the pattern called for 1-100gm ball. But I know so little about yarns and gauge and all that, I can now see that with this yarn and the needle size I am using (9), this pattern is going to take about 4.5 balls. I bought another ball, but it was the last at the store. Hopefully, it will be in stock next week so I can finish this before winter ends. I need to knit 2-1/2 more triangles to finish it. It drapes very nicely over the shoulders and fastens with a shawl pin. 

It’s very relaxing to sit with my mom as we watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, then HGTV, History, or the Travel Channel together. After being isolated in my office every evening pulling my hair out and saying bad words to my computer as I navigate the indie publishing world, knitting is a comforting pastime. But my number one de-stressed is still reading romance. And reading in a hot bubble bath is my favorite winter de-stressor. 

What is your favorite de-stressor?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

When good intentions backfire.

Because my book, Her Scottish CEO, has interior illustrations, I decided to give readers a choice between an eBook, an Enhanced Edition trade paperback with black and white interior illustrations and a Full Color trade paperback edition with color throughout. Upon doing a search on the title at Amazon all three editions showed up.

Then I thought that some readers might not understand that the paperback selling of $8.50 has b&w interior illustrations so I had a subtitle added. Whoops! Now, doing a search on the title brings up only the full color edition and with a price of $37.49 I know most people will cruse by and not notice that there is a link to the other edition that costs less. I didn't even notice it at first. So I had a subtitle added to the full color edition hoping that would cause both editions to come up on a title search. Not! Still only the full color edition comes up. Next I had the subtitles taken off both editions. Waited the 3-5 business days for it to take effect and... Argh! Still only the full color edition shows up. 

Therefore, I just took the full color edition off Amazon. Hopefully, this will do the trick. I'll keep checking. I hate to lose sales because shoppers see only the more expensive edition and don't realize there is another more affordable edition available. 

The full color edition is still available on the CreateSpace store.

Along the same lines... I've taken my ebooklet, Pet Rock Sex Manual, A Parody, off Barns & Noble PubIt! and I'm going to put it into Amazon's KDP Select program, to try that out.