Wordy Wonderland


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Re-release: GROWING STRONG

growingstrong_coverNow that the rights have returned to me and I’ve had a bit of free time on my hands (haha), I took some time to re-release Growing Strong. There are no textual changes, just a second edition with a new cover and it’s available in ebook AND print.

Blurb:
A chance—and embarrassing—encounter bring Hunter and Chase together, but it’s patience and kindness that keep them there. Through a slow-blossoming friendship and a series of misunderstandings, Hunter finds himself fighting an attraction he thinks isn’t returned. But with the help of his roommate, Tony, he may just be able to take the leap and confess his feelings.

But love isn’t Hunter’s only concern. With his sister’s upcoming nuptials, he also must learn to face a family that hasn’t quite disowned him for his sexuality. With Chase by his side, it’s going to take strength for Hunter to stand up for himself and to hold on to what really matters.


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Into Uncharted Waters…

Not necessarily for everyone, but definitely for me. And by this, I mean the world of self-publishing!

At the beginning of January I finally received nullification of my contract with my previous publisher, which landed my two stories in my lap much earlier than expected. I have mixed feelings, since I would have preferred the books stay with a publisher, but I also would have preferred to get royalties from that publisher. Either my books did terrible or accounting was…lacking. Either way I imagine they didn’t make a ton, so I’m not heartbroken.

And now I have the opportunity to step into self-publishing. While I may go the more traditional route with new books, these titles have the advantage of having been edited, so all I need to do is make a cover and load them. I’ll be doing KDP select, which means I only have to deal with one vendor, and I’ve heard authors have relatively good experiences there. I doubt I’ll do as well as some of them, but it doesn’t really hurt me to have them there either. (Plus I can buy a few hardback versions of the novel that should have been in hardback (per length) but was never.)

I’ve already put together one cover, and the second is mostly done (just need to sit and see if it still looks good tomorrow. One file is loaded, and I’ll make an announcement then. No blog tours or anything for these, I don’t think, since they’re (rather recent) reprints. And then I’ll see the results of just joining the program, with minimal advertising.


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In between writing and publishing

I’ve been in an in between place recently, and I’m trying to make decisions, which I hate to do. My publishing experience hasn’t been bad, but it hadn’t really given me the feedback/reaction/interaction I was looking for. And part of that’s on me, since I’m not particularly active. Part of it’s on my publisher, who it seems sent out an email saying they’re closing (…I didn’t actually GET an email, I just saw it on Twitter, which is another bag of worms).

I like writing. My goal with writing was to write, get my stuff out there, maybe find some people who like to read my stuff, and write for them as well as myself. But my first two pieces didn’t get much attention (and I don’t know if it’s just because it’s my writing or lack of publisher push).

Part of me thinks I should just fade away and write just for myself. Part of me considers finding an editor, a cover artist, and publishing through Kindle Unlimited–which would get my work out there with limited overhead. Maybe that’s what I should do with the rights that are going to revert back to me

But a big part of me wonders if I should bother. The devil that says my stuff isn’t any good and no one buys it and no one cares. Right now that devil is really loud. So I guess we’ll see what the next year brings.


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How to Become a Famous Author

And Other Misleading Blog Titles

Warning: No mysteries will be revealed. This is mostly contemplation.

My ponderings don’t even dwell on the big-name authors like Steven King, JRR Martin, JK Rowling, etc. But within niche and smaller genres, how do authors become popular/famous/well-known? Whether they deserve it or not is another story, but authors are out there being well-known and purchased. How do they do it?

I’ll be honest, I think a chunk of it is luck. I’m not saying the famous author are hacks, but I also don’t believe that there aren’t other, possibly more worthy, authors out there who never make it big. (No, I do not think I’m one of them 😉 But I think there are definite steps to take to “make it big”:

  1. Write. I know, duh. But the trick is to write. Maybe not every day (that doesn’t work for everyone) but find a schedule or a goal and write. If you aren’t producing stuff, it’s really hard to get stuff published. Along those lines, keep to a set number of projects, and don’t start any others until those are finished. This may be aimed at me, most of all, because I get distracted easily. But that means a lot of stories end up half-finished and nothing becomes of them.
  2. Get out there. Talk to people on social media. Do blog posts. Make friends. Network. It’s an ugly, boring, (hated) word, but it’s important. Obviously you want to be genuine, but just being present (responding to people’s posts, making your own) creates an identity. Something for people to say “Hey, I like so-and-so, I think I’ll check out their next book.” Plus if you get a following, you can get the word out about new books. (Note to self…do this.)
  3. Have a watchful eye. This is sort of related to #2, but watch who is growing in ranks and see what they’ve done. Watch patterns in which titles/stories are popular and write there if you can. Note new publishers (if you’re not aiming for the big ones) and see what they offer you and if it’d be worth spreading your wings and possibly getting a new audience. (Not that you should just dump an old publisher if they’ve been good to you. But it doesn’t hurt to look.)
  4. Keep at it. Don’t lose heart. Yes, only five people bought a copy of your book, and you happen to know one of them was your mother, but if this is your passion, keep at it. You should be writing because you love it, not for the money. Yes, money would be a great end goal, but unless you’re earning your keep this way, remember that you started down this path because it’s your passion. Let the stories out and don’t be disheartened.

That’s all I’ve got. I know, nothing groundbreaking. Maybe I should have called this, “A Letter From the Author to Herself.”


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Cover reveal!

March flew by so fast, I don’t even know where to begin!

I did eventually get my edits for Growing Strong, and turned them around, better than before. I did a complete read-through, and I’d almost forgotten how sweet the story was. It’s super mellow and sweet and very much just a slice of life.

I also worked with the artist and have a cover now! It’s fairly simple, but I like that about it. Simple and clean, just like the story 😉

Growing Strong_cover_500

I hope you’re looking forward to this as much as I am! (Blurb and link and such to come.)


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A Week of Contemplation

I’ve been recuperating from my rush to get my reading edits done and preparing for edits from my editor (which haven’t come in yet), so this week I took it fairly easy. Watched some TV (my friend turned me on to this anime called Love Stage, which is like super cute and hilarious, especially if you’re familiar with boys’ love manga), but mostly did some reading. And thinking.

Since the beginning of the year has been so hectic, my writing and editing has felt less fun and more…like a chore. And that’s not what I want it to be at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love polishing my stories to be the best that they can be! I want to see them pretty and send them out into the world. But I also wonder if I’ll hit a point where the fun is outweighed by the work. I think that would make me write boring stories, and I don’t want to do that to my readers.

So I’m starting to thin about putting out my stories through posting forums (fictionpress.com is the only one I know off-hand, feel free to rec others!) or do some sort of free/self-pub through SmashWords. Publishing through SmashWords seems like it’d be more work intensive, so that’s not likely to happen, but if I can figure out a way to make it work for minimal effort, I may go for it.

I guess I’ve just hit that part of my life where I’m re-evaluating things.


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Research, Research, Research

I’d like to say I’ve spent the last 13 days being extremely productive and doing lots of marketing research. But I don’t want to start this relationship off with a lot of lies…

I have been doing a bunch of writing (and getting some great feedback from the writers’ group!!) and…other things? Summer is so hectic!

As for marketing. I made a spreadsheet. It feels like the first great step in any sort of task. So I tracked down the places where my book has already been reviewed or mentioned (and then kept them in mind for future books), then started finding other blogs by searching for keywords. I found a few more. The spreadsheet is coming around. Progress!

I’m just glad all of this can be done from the comfort of my couch. Now, back in the day I suppose the publisher would handle all this, but with smaller publishers that can’t be promised. And it can’t hurt to be prepared to have to give your book that extra little push, right?