Rachel, writing

All things novelling-related as I embark on my self-publishing adventure

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

I won! Now for some work…

I finished another draft novel yesterday, hitting the 50,000-word target at Camp NaNoWriMo. Will I do the regular NaNoWriMo in November? Quite probably! Nano is a useful exercise because it forces you to write, write, write and edit later. How many of us have started Chapter One, honed and honed it within an inch of its life, and never got any further? I also find that I’m more productive in my academic work if I’m writing regularly.

So it’s back to work on The Syndrome Diaries. I’ve had feedback from my beta readers who have been wonderfully picky and wonderfully encouraging too (sorry, they’re mine! You can’t have them!). I had specific requests not to change too much, but there are some things that need tweaking, so that will be completed in September.

If you’ve visited this blog before, you might also notice its name-change and some new pages across the top. I’m trying it out as a web presence on the recommendation of several people. I’m also trying to get out more in an online kind of way, which means reading more blogs. There are so many people out there with great blogs, entertaining and full of ideas, and I need to do more visiting. It often seems like an indulgence, but I know that it’s also motivating and creativity-boosting to see what other people are doing.

I need to set up a Facebook page for my novels, and also tweet more. I’ve no intention of doing those ‘Buy my book!’ tweets that make me unfollow people (see my blog on promotion a few weeks back), but I do want to be on people’s radar. It feels slightly dirty confessing to all my platform-building activities, as if I should be striving for my art and letting its quality do the rest, but this is the real world. And I said I’d blog what I was doing.

What do you think is the best way of raising awareness of your work without inviting unfollows and unfriends?

 

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Question Time

I’m currently reading The Best of Catherine, Caffeinated: Caffeine-Infused Self-Publishing Advice by Catherine Ryan Howard, which is a fascinating insight into Catherine’s experiences of self-publishing Mousetrapped, a book she wrote about her experiences working at Walt Disney World. She describes the process she went through to upload her book, the different e-book channels she used, the sales she made and her income, along with what went wrong. I can thoroughly recommend it if you want some insight from someone normal rather than a “You can make a gazillion megabucks tomorrow” type of guide.

I’m hoping to do something similar to Catherine’s book with this blog although my experiences will differ from hers in that my book is fiction. I thought now would be a good opportunity to ask if there was anything people particularly wanted to know. Obviously sales figures and income generate the most curiosity, and I’m quite happy to dish out details. I’m also going to blog about the publishing process along with any steps I take to spread the word.

My timetable is:

August/September: work on the final edits. I’ve had feedback from 3 beta readers, and notes on half the book from the 4th and final beta reader (she’s still reading it). It’s generally been positive, so the editing I’ve yet to do will be polishing rather than any major rewrites.

September: formatting, pricing, uploading to Amazon. I’ve got some idea of what this involves, but I’m not sure exactly how long it will take. I’m hoping another of Catherine’s books, Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing will help me out here. No, she’s not paying me to put these links up – I just like her books.

October: The launch!

Is there anything particular you’d like to see me blog about during this period? And what do you want to see post-publication? Let me know, and I’ll do my best to post the information you’d like.

One month, one 50,000 word novel

Right now, I’m at CampNanowrimo. It’s a virtual summercamp where campers do just what they’d do in November’s ‘full fat’ version of Nanowrimo: write a 50,000 word novel in a month. The trick is to write, write write: no editing, no rewrites, no tweaking things about (that comes later, before anybody thinks I’m going to clog up Amazon with a raw brain-dump). And, of course, August has one more day than November, so it’s a smidge more relaxing. If you want to join in, visit the website. It’s only just started, there’s a weekend ahead and catching up is still realistic. You can find details of my nanonovel, complete with a short, hardly-edited extract, by searching for Raich on the Campnanowrimo site.

The beta version of The Syndrome Diaries – which started life as a Nanowrimo novel nearly 2 years ago – has been sent off to four readers. I’ve had feedback from two of them and it’s been very positive. These are two people who will be as critical as they need to be, and one of them is a published author who has given some great feedback during the honing I’ve been doing over the last six months. I still have to do some more editing to make sure the book is as good as it can be, but there is no radical reworking involved, and an Autumn release for the ebook looks realistic.

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