Tag Archives: blogging

Lack of Fanfare Is Good

One nice thing about being an Indie writer is the lack of fanfare.

Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t at all mind a little splash and I did very much enjoy all of the congratulations, fb posts, and texts when I published Murder & Mochas. It was fun. And it was good to hangout with my writer friends last night and talk about it and receive some kudos.

That said, it all seems to be over already and I’m good with that.

You see Sunday evening, the steady stream of congratulations had ebbed and then disappeared around dinner time. My apartment was remarkably quiet and I had a “Now What?” type of feeling.

There wasn’t anything else to do for Murder & Mochas, ebook and print versions were in the can. There were a couple of technical issues pending, but they were in someone else’s queue. So I decided the only thing that really made sense was to have a nice dinner, then get up the next morning and pick back up with Beowulf Chronicles 2 ( BC2).

And that’s exactly what I did. So far this week I’ve added about 3300 words and it is entirely realistic that I will finish it by the end of the year. Yes, Kevin, I know the year ends in thirteen days and I think that’s really achievable. In fact, that’s the official goal now.

Lack of Fanfare Is Good

One nice thing about being an Indie writer is the lack of fanfare.

Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t at all mind a little splash and I did very much enjoy all of the congratulations, fb posts, and texts when I published Murder & Mochas. It was fun. And it was good to hangout with my writer friends last night and talk about it and receive some kudos.

That said, it all seems to be over already and I’m good with that.

You see Sunday evening, the steady stream of congratulations had ebbed and then disappeared around dinner time. My apartment was remarkably quiet and I had a “Now What?” type of feeling.

There wasn’t anything else to do for Murder & Mochas, ebook and print versions were in the can. There were a couple of technical issues pending, but they were in someone else’s queue. So I decided the only thing that really made sense was to have a nice dinner, then get up the next morning and pick back up with Beowulf Chronicles 2 ( BC2).

And that’s exactly what I did. So far this week I’ve added about 3300 words and it is entirely realistic that I will finish it by the end of the year. Yes, Kevin, I know the year ends in thirteen days and I think that’s really achievable. In fact, that’s the official goal now.

Progress Toward Goals – August

Here is how I did in August with my 3rd quarter of 2013 goals:

  1. Create a Monthly Schedule of Posts and Follow It.  Goose egg, again. I got some of my ideas out, but I am definitely still in the “have a lot of ideas” phase.
  2. Increase Average Daily Blog Views to 29. For August I averaged 13 views a day, so a big improvement over July. Mostly, I suffered from not posting enough, again. When I did post I got really good traffic. In fact, I had 4 days over 30 views (3 of those were actually 38+). I just need to post more.
  3. Finish the FINAL Draft of BC1.  Reading this now, I’m not sure if I meant the final draft for the editor or the final version for publication. Probably the latter since when I wrote this I expected my editor to start Aug. 1 and be done 3 weeks later. Instead, he started 3 weeks later and will be done maybe by the end of this week.  Anyway, I had my draft ready on time, so I think that counts. I have actually updated the progress page, which you can find here.
  4. Finish the 1st Draft of BC2.  Minimal progress, but it’s mostly on hold until I finish BC1. You can follow my progress here.
  5. Rehab.  I’m actually doing my stretches and exercises and I’ve finally got 1-2 Physical Therapy appointments per week.

Be Careful What You Write

People might actually read it.

Now some might think people reading what you write is a good thing, particularly for an obscure writer like myself. And for the most part it is. Except when you don’t fulfill your readers’ desire that you write. I guess that’s the catch 22 of being a writer — if you set people’s expectations that you are actually going to write, you better darn tootin’ follow through.

So a WHOLE WEEK AGO I made a post about the dreaded SAS (Superstar Author Syndrome). Then I go exactly seven days without making a post and I get a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot message, asking me if I have fallen victim to SAS.

I guess the truth is that I was already a victim of the dreaded SAS since I would occasionally post as if people were actually interested in my brand of corn flakes. And, to be fair, I have somewhat set the expectation that I would both be posting more often and finishing the fourth draft of my novel. Technically I’ve been silent on both.

As for the novel, tune in tomorrow!

As for the blogging, well this past week I’ve had a couple little family dramas that have soaked up some of my time in the evenings and some of my ability to fall asleep. So my evenings have gotten lost to “dealing” and my mornings to making up for some lost sleep. That said, I guess next time I can’t sleep I should blog instead of tossing and turning or reading. Hmm, I think I will actually try that next time.

Soooo, to my reader — thanks for keeping me honest and here’s an update for you.

It’s Fun to Connect with Readers

I DENY having SAS (Superstar Author Syndrome).

First things first, regarding SAS. I read about this terrifying syndrome about a month ago. I believe it was first reported on Jane Friedman’s blog. The symptoms are simple . . . you model your promotional and marketing activities after actual Superstar Authors, though you (insert me here) still dwell in obscurity. You may also recognize this as the dreaded CTS (Corn flakes Tweeting Syndrome), where seemingly well-meaning ordinary people tweet about their breakfast and wonder why no one is following them. In writing about SAS, Toni Tesori emphasized that if you happen to be obscure (like me) that you need to be interesting (corn flakes are generally not interesting) and you need a more focused strategy to connect with a (yes, singular) reader.

Cornflakes

When I read her post, I immediately thought of two people. One of whom is a non-author beta reader who seems to really like my book. Interestingly, the same day that I read Tesori’s blog I wrote some new paragraphs that made me think about my reader and his taste in reading.  Simply because I thought that he would enjoy it, I e-mailed him the following excerpt:

Five minutes later, he was at his truck arming himself from the toolbox Logan affectionately called Thing Two. He strapped a thigh holster to his right leg and pulled out his Desert Eagle .50 Action Express. The Magnum Research Desert Eagle Mark XIX Pistol was a mission adaptable platform. The calibers and barrel lengths could be changed as needed. A scoped ten inch barrel for deer and hogs or a six-inch barrel with night sights for ‘noids. You could switch between .357, .44, and .50 AE in seconds. The versatility is part of the reason Kurt liked the weapon so much. The big gun was only toting its six-inch barrel since he hadn’t actually planned on pursuing any feral hogs or unruly aliens tonight.

He shoved a clip into the gun, slid back on the action to chamber a round, and then pushed the safety on with his thumb. Kurt thrust the gun into the holster. He snapped on his utility belt. Next he placed three spare clips loaded with 300 grain Hornady semi-jacketed hollow points into a pouch on the belt. He hooked the magic wand onto the belt. It wasn’t magic or a wand but the name amused him. It was a nightstick that collapsed down to a foot and hooked onto his belt loop, at full extension it was four feet long and quite useful.

Next he attached the lasso, also not a real lasso, but a real cowboy sure as hell would kill for one. The lasso looked like a thinner black version of Indiana Jones’s lasso. Kurt liked the comparison because he felt like Dr. Jones when he used it. But his lasso was nothing like the fictional archaelolgist’s; it was a nifty piece of alien technology that seemed to have an intelligence of its own. It felt like a thin piece of coiled metal, but it was as light and flexible as climbing rope.

Last, he holstered the Glock 17 in a standard hip holster. Normally he didn’t take the 9mm Glock into the Drift, the first time you see the bullets bounce off an ET you tend to pack a heavier load. Tonight, though, it would make for a useful prop.

(Oh look, I snuck in an excerpt of my as-yet-untitled novel .)

His response: “Awesome!”

This lead to a humorous exchange, in which I told him that I started toying with the idea of building a blog post around the paragraph as a way to put some of my work out there. He thought that it was an excellent way to share some of my work, but I wasn’t sure that this paragraph set the right expectation.

You see the piece is a bit heavy on weaponry and my story is light on weapons and really more of a detective story. So my reader suggested adding a blurb stating that Kurt (my main character) likes to use persuasion, guile, and his inner Sherlock as opposed to firearms. But the Drift is rather lawless and sometimes an open display of large-caliber sidearms is a deterrent to highly intelligent, alien predators that think Homo sapiens are as tasty as applewood smoked bacon.

The funny thing is I thought that last sentence was him quoting me and I liked it enough to use it in the blog. I know that doesn’t sound funny. What’s funny is that he wrote it because he had read enough of my stuff to be able to mimic my style. Unfortunately at this point, I can’t get my brain around if quoting what he wrote, while impersonating my style, because I liked it so much makes it narcissistic. Thoughts?

Now that I’ve figured out how to have some fun turning my interaction with this reader into a blog entry, the other person I would like to connect with is one who seems to hit the Like button on almost every blog post I write. But I’m not quite sure how to reach out to him. Any suggestions?

(This is intended to be the first in a series (Yay Me for starting) of posts on book marketing.)

Progress Toward Goals – July

Here is how I did in July with my 3rd quarter of 2013 goals:

  1. Create a Monthly Schedule of Posts and Follow It.  Goose egg. I am definitely still in the “have a lot of ideas” phase.
  2. Increase Average Daily Blog Views to 29. For July I averaged 7 views a day, but I only managed to make 4 posts (between pushing to get BC1 complete and a vacation). Frankly, I think that having that many views with virtually no posts is a good sign. I’ll take it.
  3. Finish the FINAL Draft of BC1.  Almost there. I’m guessing that I need about 4 more hours. I have actually updated the progress page, which you can find here.
  4. Finish the 1st Draft of BC2.  No progress, but I’m not supposed to be working on it until I finish BC1. You can follow my progress here.
  5. Rehab.  I’m actually doing my stretches and exercises.

I’m Back

Literally just back from Staples, but more on that later.

To catch you up I need to you fill you in on how I did with my last set of goals, what I’ve been up to, and where I stand with the book.

First to the goals! Going into the week (two weeks ago), I had three goals related to the novel. The only one that I hit that week was working out the three big problems. That took me until Friday and required the help of one of my readers over a beer. I can not understate the value of that help as it cleared the log jam and allowed me to get working rapidly again. Unfortunately, I was down to a weekend to work on the novel.

I did not finish the editing of Draft 4 that weekend. Saturday and Sunday I worked all day and evening, but came up about 120 pages short. That working all day and evening bit is also why I didn’t post a blog that weekend. I kept thinking, well I need to work in a proper entry when I have more time — Note-to-self, “I’m busy on my novel” can be a proper entry!

After that, I made minimal progress in my “free” time the following week. Then I went to a family reunion in Pittsburgh (why I didn’t post that weekend) and took my son to New York to be tourists and made about 10 pages worth of progress. But I was totally focused on the right priorities that week. I had a bunch of stuff to do this past weekend, but managed to knock out a chunk of work on Sunday and finished the 4th Draft Monday evening! — Woot Woot!!

I sent my 4th Draft to two readers. One who has read a previous version and one who has not (seemed like the right idea and they both read fast). I took yesterday off from the book. And tonight I start rereading it myself. In fact, in part because I read faster on paper (and I am unfortunately a dreadfully slow reader, hell of a handicap when you’re a writer) and because I just wanted to have the feel of it. I printed it out.

So I have just gotten back from Staples with my fresh copy and I’ve already wolfed down a quick dinner, so I am now going to sit down for an evening with a nice book. My nice book! 🙂

4th Draft.BC1

I hope you like the picture, but the title is just the latest of 47 different working titles, so try not to get too attached to it.