Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why I'm putting my book on Kindle Select

When I heard about Amazon's new deal to give authors an incentive to let Kindle owners "borrow" their book, I was initially against it. I didn't (and still don't) want Amazon to create a monopoly for books.

However, after reading several people's positive accounts of the service, I relented. Since the program was announced, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords haven't done anything to make me keep my book up there, and the benefits seem to outweigh the negatives.

I get money if someone "borrows" my book. I can set my book as free for a few days.

If you want to read Flyday but you only have a Nook, Kindle for PC is a free download, and the book is available in paperback, either straight from me, or from Amazon or I'll try this out for three months, and if I decide it's not worth it, it will be back up everywhere on April 19th.

Saturnine is currently undergoing edits, and I still plan to give it a wide release (Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and eventually paperback) as soon as it's finished. Keep checking back for more updates

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fear - and how it affects writers

First off, I did a guest post on my friend Jeff van Booven's blog on atheism. Ooh, ahh.

I am outlining a new book (one of the many I need to finish) and right now I'm in the infatuation stage, where everything reminds me of the book, and I keep thinking of great new ideas.

Who cares if it's a mess of notes, character design, and bits and pieces of scenes? It's my creative mess, and I like it.

But is that really why I'm working on the new book? I could go back and finish editing my last book, if I wasn't so worried over some of the edits.

Fear leads to stagnation.

Stagnation leads nowhere.

Don't get me wrong: lot of writers' fears are certainly right. "Does my book suck?" It's possible. "Will it hit bestseller lists?" Unless you're John Grisham--in your dreams.

Fear can often be grounded in reality. But fear also leads to writers closing Word documents and saying "Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week." Months like November, when people rush to write 50,000 words, are a kick in the pants. Most of the novels--heck, I would say almost all of them--are terrible.

And then there was Water for Elephants, which started as a NaNo book. What if fear kept the author from writing it?

So let me list my fears...
What if people don't like this book?
What if I can't pull off a thriller/YA novel/etiquette guide for zombies? What then?

Normal enough. But why do we, as writers, edit and re-edit and re-edit and worry that our work won't be perfect? Nothing is perfect. Your favorite book will be the next person's novel-thrown-across-the-room. The novel you throw across the room today could be the novel you fall in love with next year.

So take that fear and put it into your work. Don't let it paralyze you. View it as something positive--something to help you improve. You are, essentially, playing around on a computer until you come up with something entertaining. So go do it.

What are your biggest fears as a writer?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Saturnine cover design

Thanks to everyone who entered my contest on S.M. Boyce's blog to win a copy of Flyday. The winner was chosen and I shipped out a signed copy. The contest is still going on for many other books, so go enter!

And as for Saturnine's cover art ... it's here!

Huge thanks to Robin Ludwig, who designed it. I'll keep you all posted about the release when the ebook is ready--won't be long now.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Recommendations for new writers

Awhile back I wrote something up for new writers, but I can't find it so I'm retyping it. I found these books/resources really, really helpful when I started writing.

Things to read when you are learning to write:

  • Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. Buy this book now. You can try to wheedle a copy out of another writer, but I guarantee they won't give it up.
  • On Writing, by Stephen King. Most of it is autobiographical, but several people swear by it so I stuck it on this list.
  • In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet's Portable Workshop, by Steve Kowitt. Read this if you're into poetry.
  • The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. & E. B. White. Classic. Goes without saying.
  • Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. This saved my latest novel.

Things to read if you want to go indie:
  • Becoming an Indie Author, by Zoe Winters.