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Sausages and Writing and Book Covers – Oh My!!

Hi everyone.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m on a bit of a hiatus with the book tours.  They should be starting up again shortly and I’ll be posting here when they do.  🙂

The first thing I’m going to mention here this morning is the fact that I have three book cover projects up for submissions on Crowdspring.  If you or someone you know is a graphic designer/artist, please forward the links on to them.  🙂

They are:

Plugs

Historian’s Daughter

Along Came Jones

Which brings me to the second part of my blog today:  Sausages and Writing.  I can see your puzzled puppy looks… ;D

There’s a saying (I heard it on The West Wing):  “There are two things nobody should see you make:  sausages, and laws.”  I’ve been involved in making both (on the periphery of making laws, but still…) and truer words have never been spoken.  I’m beginning to think “writing” should be added to the list!

Like making sausages, it’s messy, gross and slightly obscene.  While you’re making sausages, you can taste test the mixture and taste test it and still can’t figure out exactly what’s missing.  We’ve spent a lot of time nibbling at a piece of sausage meat going, “I don’t know what it is, but something’s missing.  Garlic?” “No, garlic’s good.  Sage?”  “Sage is good.  Maybe we just need more salt?” Making sausage is best done as a collaborative effort because you need all the taste buds you can get.

Well, that niggling “I don’t know what it is, but something’s missing” has had me derailed for the last couple of months in terms of my writing Along Came Jones.  I love the characters, love the premise, love a lot of the scenes/banter/plot points.  But for the last couple of months, I’ve been trying to read the thing through to smooth out tone/plot/characterization/etc., etc. – and always got derailed halfway through because DAMN IT SOMETHING WAS MISSING!!!

Which would be where the obscene part begins.

I am happy to report, however, that I think I’ve pinpointed the problem (FINALLY!).  It means reorganizing the beginning, and rewriting an entire chapter, which will then have repercussions throughout the story, but well…that’s what happens with the spices in sausages, too:  they sometimes need time to permeate throughout the mixture.

Can I work a metaphor or what?

In the meantime, I’m commissioning a cover for it, along with Plugs and HIstorian’s Daughter.  The latter two have the same issue of “something’s missing” coupled with “OMG – who’s gonna buy these?” but I love them so much that I’m willing to take the risk of nasty reviews and no sales to get them polished and sent out into the wild.  Plus getting them in book form in my hot little hands.  Hey, I named my publishing company “Love of Words” for a reason!

Have a great day, everybody!

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Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Publishing Process Stuff… :D

Over on TeacherWriter, Running1 asked me whether I had self-published or traditionally published, and what process I used to get my book into production.

I self-published A Life Less Ordinary, mainly because I didn’t want the hassle of trying to get it published through a traditional publisher.  (At the time, my patience for jumping through hoops was at an all-time low.)

My first step (after writing the thing, of course – 😀 ) was to edit.  And edit.  And then edit some more.  I shared it with friends and strangers, and corrected the errors they caught.  And then I edited it again.  Editing Hell is, well, hell.  Ugh.

There comes a time, though, when you have say something’s done and you move on to the next step.

When I was nearing the end of Editing Hell, I incorporated a company (Love of Words Publishing Inc.).  A Life Less Ordinary was and is my guinea pig to figure out my business processes.  I want to eventually publish other people’s work as well, but first I have to figure out how all of this is done.  At the time I started, I had no clue what it would take to get the book uploaded onto Amazon, or how (or if!) I could get it ready for printing at CreateSpace.

Thanks to my previous day job, I have a basic understanding of the publishing process, from copyright, editing, graphic design, desktop publishing and contracts, to some very basic knowledge about printing.  I even, if push comes to shove, know people in all of those areas who can give me a hand.  What I didn’t (and still don’t!) have is a very good knowledge of marketing and distribution.  Only the two most important pieces.  *cough*

Now, I did things a bit awkwardly this first go-round.  I created the first cover myself…and it was…oh my God –AW-FUL!!!  It’s still floating around out there in cyberspace and it’s truly horrible.  I didn’t get the current cover until March, after I commissioned it through a site called CrowdSpring (linked through CreateSpace).  I also published the e-book first (in December) and then the print book in March.  I tied myself to an exclusive agreement with Amazon for three months and so the book wasn’t released on Smashwords until late April.  I didn’t start making arrangements for the blog tours until March (when I knew I’d also have a print copy available).

In terms of marketing, I have the two blog tours; I had a free giveaway for five days in December through Amazon (the exclusive agreement I mentioned), and I also did a free giveaway on LibraryThing.  In all, there are almost a thousand free copies floating around in the world, which I hope will translate into sales for the next book.  ;D  I also have a lot of ideas…but very little money at the moment, so some of those ideas will have to wait for a bit.

As I write this out, it all seems very mundane and boring.  So it seems very odd to me that I’ve been having a blast!  With all of it!  Even the really boring stuff – LOL.

The business side of things is very different from the writing side of things.  I write in a very free-flow kind of way.  Whenever I try to describe it, I keep imagining myself skipping through a meadow, strewing words in every direction…which sounds far more disturbing than it is!!  The business side of things is far more structured and linear; I guess it pleases that part of me that’s very Type-A…

So, to make a long story short, I’ve learned a lot about the publishing process with this first book.  Which means the next one will be much smoother, as will the one after that, and the one after that – 😀 .  I’ve also enjoyed every minute of it (even those minutes that annoyed me (formatting the Smashwords version – OMG!!!))

I’m not sure if this is what you, Running1, was hoping to learn about; just drop me a comment if you have questions or if I’ve totally missed the boat!!  😀

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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