Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blog on my wayward son!

New month!  
In 2010, I made only two blog posts (Also I realize that I had made that long ago.) 
In 2011, I made only two blog posts. (I thought I made the site in 2011) 
In 2012, this will be post 3! (Goal 24 posts) 
I’ve added myself to I can’t tell you how giddy I have been the last few weeks to see other sites recognize me an author. Puts a little boogie into my walk! It's a great feeling to say "Hey I'm an author!"  It's even better when other people say "Hey he's an author." 
It's a nice ego stroke to be sure. I mean it don't really sound like much but when the mail came through that said "We have upgraded your account to author." I had to be pealed of the walls. There is something to be said about being easily amused. 
The week of the 16th found myself spending a lot of time at home because of the bad weather and because of it, a lot of time in front of my computer. I worked a little on my Facebook timeline picture, I wanted something that showed how my mind feels sometimes. I like how it turned out. I may remake it down the road with a much better camera. What you are seeing are all my author notebooks with the laptop that I write on stacked atop. If I were to add one more layer it would have been a kindle. :)  

Also during the winter storm I finished the last page of my manuscript for "The Devil n Jack" it ended up at 97,300 in it's current form. It needs another read through where I can clean things up and blend the chapters together. I like how the story ended and I think that all the characters stayed true, once that's done I start the fun of looking for an agent for it. I'm still a little lost on where the best place to start will be, but that will come a little later, for now it gets put up to marinate. I want to put my focus into getting Corporate Policy ready then this fall's release. Then I'll come back to work on Jack again.  

This means that I start work on the rewrite of Corporate Policy, the exciting next chapter of the Electric Disease story. It's only been a few months but I too, am starting to miss the high jinx of Dan and Clara! I think that this next book is going to go a lot smoother than book one. One, I have learned a lot from the many rewrites of book one. Two, I've been able to see what more affective for getting things ready.  I'm currently finishing this blog post in Vegas and I'm also editing the Vegas scene in my book. I've been sitting out on benches where the scenes happen to get the feel of the ambiance as I work through these first parts. SO DAMN COOL! 
One of the comments that I get when I talk to people about Electric Disease is that everyone really loves the cover. It's my wife that did it and she's always been awesome with art. She has agreed to be the artist for book two so I'm super stoked. I'm sure she'll feel the same pressure for the second cover the way I did for writing a sequel that is at least as good as the first. 
I always say that sequels can never be as good as the original. For one, you don't have the same shock of NEW. You have a set world, set characters, and a history you have to stay true to. That leaves you having to build out new experiences that will keep the reader turning pages. It was a daunting task for me this time around. I talked with one of my teachers and she gave me some pointers that make me feel much better about what I wrote.  

We have some goals that I should update!  
With the grand help of my good friend A'mee I was able to get a press release made! I'll put a link to it on my website soon, it will be in the about section. While getting this ready to go I made a "about me"  doc that I want to clean up and add to my website as well. 
I'm setup to do my headshots with Candice on Feb 4th, so once I have that I'll be able to add them to my bio and I'll have as good a press kit as I can have right now, I think.  
While I was working on all this, I found that I could put an ad in the book that will be handed out at Norwescon. As I'm paying for the ad out of my own pocket I had a little fun with it, I'll post it soon too. I hope that it works out to get me a few sales from new people.  
I don't think I'll add any more goals for now, that is about all the advertising I want to push before I settle in for a long rewrite and edit. 

On one last note I was going to try out for an MLS team, the Seattle Sounders, but because of the weather it was canceled. I'm a little bummed about that, I was looking forward to the experience. Not many people can say they tried out for a professional team before. If they do it next year, I'll have to try then. 

See you all in a few weeks!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Progress and shopping

I'm starting to wrap up work on my longer full size novel that I have lovingly named "The Devil n Jack" It was a book that I started thinking that I had a lovely 50K story and found that no, I really had a 100K story and if I really wanted to get into some details it could be closer to 120K. I don't know how it happened that I could work the plot this long, but it did and I'm shocked, but at the same time, I'm ever so pleased.
There has been some questions in the book that will have to be figured out, the Devil has been trying to out smart me and almost won twice! It's been hard on me!

I also started early work on a new book idea, more details next time, I'm still playing with it.
I'm also exited because by the time that we next talk I'll be started editing on Electric Disease : Corporate Policy! I know I have a few people out there that are looking forward to the further adventures of Clara and Dan. I too, look forward to rewrite, I miss them as well! :)
I got to talking with a friend of mine how the brick and mortar stores are all dying, and he told me it's a real shame that they are. I thought about his comment a moment then shook my head. "I don't really think it's a shame at all. I mean, if people aren't going to shop there, but they are buying things online, then apparently people aren’t going to miss them."
People don't want or need to test drive their products anymore. My friend said that was something that he always liked to do before he bought a camera or any of his electronics. I on the other hand I told him about how I'd bought my projector for my house. I'd done the loop around the county with my brother. We only found one projector, it was at Best Buy. What they hand was just a gutted display model and it was just sitting on a shelf where I couldn't even see it in action. The only place that comes to mind where I might have been able to see and projector running, would have be Magnolia Hi-Fi (Now owned by Best Buy) but the only one that I know of was a good 30 mile jaunt and beyond my willing effort.
So off to the webs I went. I found, after about an hour of reading reviews that if you are going to buy a projector, you really ARE shopping online because no one carries them (good to know). Searching more reviews I found a few of the better models, I have to say these people really seemed to know their stuff. I knew after a little bit of reading I really wanted to get my hands on a Panasonic and so thanks to my trusty Amazon I had one delivered next day (with my prime account it was only 4 bucks extra on shipping) and was playing with it less than 24 hours after I'd put my money dollars for it. My two thousand dollar order didn't go to a brick and mortar store and thanks to some great reviews I've been very happy with my projector and I don't wish I could tested them side by side in the store.
So this is what I've come to believe, retails stores are dying because of the following things:
  1. They don't have what I want in the store.
  2. If they carry it at the store it's out of stock.
  3. When I do find something I want to buy I have to deal with having turn down 2 different magazine subscriptions and a frequent buyers program (that might or might not be free).
  4. Web stores are 24 hours, every day all day.
  5. Price tag. Not always a deal for me, but it is for most and I can't blame them, money is money.
This is really just a long winded way to say that I'm missing book stores! One of the stores are that are dying with them is book stores. I know that t don't sound like it, but after showing you that you can do well with internet shop. I do enjoy browsing books; the feel the weight in my hand. There aren't many left out there and while e-readers are out selling books I still love the idea of shifting through stacks of books finding the next thing I should read. I love having a large shelf filled with spines to browse.
I'm a real contradiction here, after all, no one is going to want me to sign their Kindle? And there are some REALLY cool bound books out there. If you ever get the chance to find the first edition Myst books Rand and Robyn Miller, you'll have to admit that the pages are a real treat to admire. Oh yeah, the story is great too. :)

All this boils down to it takes a lot more to be an author these days!
I have been working at my goal that I have set for the year and...
While I have been writing, I have also been spending my time building a website and looking at places to promote my book in my ongoing goal. Promotion time! Getting my name out there. Also I have an author email and looking at places to promote my book. So far with the website up and my blog going and just one post to one ebook forum I've sold 0 books in January!    (CORRECTION: I've sold 1 Yes!) Yes a rocky start indeed. -_-
On my list of things to get done for the next two weeks for my post:
  • Get some head shots of me done. I have a friend that wanted to help with this, but we have to firm up a time.
  • Get a press release biography done.
  • Put press release on press release like websites!
On the other side of the coin, coming home on Tuesday to find the large pile of books sitting there waiting for me, they tell me just how much my reading has been backing up. While I have been enjoying my books on tape for my commute, all my free time has been spent writing and not reading. Part of me wonders if that is really a bad thing or not. I mean a large portion of the craft is reading what others have wrote, it's suppose to be insightful or something. I do agree with this, now that I have been writing more, I look at how others write and use it to improve my own style.
See you in February!

Monday, January 2, 2012

STOP, don’t do it, when you going to promote it! When you want to come?

It’s now 2012, do we still need to keep putting the 2000s on everything, or are we at the point where people are comfortable dropping the first two digits again? I mean there are about 10 people still alive from 1800s that the 1900s VS 2000s could be confused on.
I don’t know when we dropped the first two digits last time; maybe one of them could post and let me know?

It’s time for me to start doing the thing that I have been dreading…It’s time for me to start promoting my book.
I rub my face with both hands, not just one mined you.  This is a two-hand kind of stress job.

I like to talk about how awesome I am and I love to think that I’m all that and the bag of chips that you forgot about, in the back of your cupboard behind the coffee beans. You know that bag you never reach for because you never think of it while making coffee. Well that’s where I am, just this side of my expiration date.

But really the truth about me is, I rather just toss my stuff out there and hope that it floats on it’s own. This might work for the Stephen Kings of the world but the Robert Dufalo (who’s last name isn’t in MS Word’s dictionary) has to get off his butt and make sure that people buy his book. I’m not saying this because I want to be rich. In fact I can say that my goals for the most part have been accomplished.
1. My name shows up in bookstore. (Amazon)
2. People have read my book
3. People have liked my book!

This is all that I set out to do, and I’ve done that. Still, as I sit here I think that it’s time to expand my roll a little.
I’m still not a published author with any publishing house, I have no agent, and I have no contracts for me to write other books, and no company yet wants to spend money to print my book on paper and ship it to the last great glass and mortar bookstores of the world.

It’s a new year and its time to sets some new goals. :)
1. Get an agent.
2. Sell a book to a publisher.
3. Do a public book signing.

I’m not saying that to be an author that you need to do these things. No, I believe that I am an author now and I also think that I’m rather successful at it. Just for me, and who I am I always need to take things to the next level. I’m sure that I’ll have another goal once I meet the next three on my list.

Now where was I…
Oh right promoting my book.
I’ve purchased the URL for my book (Now that I’ve told you this I really should put up a website around it)
I’d done the social promotion of the book through Facebook, the only true social site that I use.
I then thought that I would do a few searches on promoting self-published books and I found that I wasn’t really happy with the advice. 
It gave some of the same things: Use social media, use a blog, make a website. 
Some of the other things that it says to do is use free press sites or even post to writers forums. I’m skeptical of the people that follow these sites for what they are going to read next. I mean none of the people that I know follow these and if they do, they aren’t talking about it.
The last one that came up and I’m eyeing with distaste, is doing a press release. I don’t seem myself spending much money to have to pushed so I’m not sure that it will even ben looked at. But I’ll make a crack at it over the next two weeks in the hope that I can make something that is useable.

So this is my project for the next few weeks; to see where I can promote my book and see if I get more sales. For science; I will track the numbers and see what comes back.