Make a plan, work the plan

This post poses a conundrum for me, because it could fit into Story Empire, too. It winds up here, because it’s partially about my vacation plans. This one is another stay-cation for me. I want to write and just get some down time.

I’ve gotten to a place in writing where I can get a lot done, and there are a few tricks involved. These take time to farm, but harvesting them really speeds things up. First, I have about six storyboards going at all times. This doesn’t leave me pondering what I might write next. This is a common problem among fiction writers. Think of this like a farm, because it’s a long term project. Some boards are complete, others are partially complete, and some are just a collection of loose notes on index cards. Whenever a decent idea hits me, I make an index card and add it to the appropriate board. (Or start a new one.) Today, when I finish one project, I can dive right into the next one.

Next is my Pinterest app. I don’t know too many authors who use Pinterest, because all of the focus is on promotion. I don’t tend to use it like that. I have character boards, setting boards, and more specific ones like Pirates, or The Hat. When I surf through them, I get a lot of inspiration for my stories. It’s nice to refer to when describing a visual aspect of a tale.

Third is my new concept of more than one story at a time. I’m learning that it’s possible, and super productive. My current theory is to make them very different stories. Character traits don’t seem to bleed over this way, and character arcs don’t get muddled because the stories are so different.

My vacation starts tomorrow, and won’t return me to the office until next Thursday. Now I need some kind of plan.

  • I need to cut down a significant portion of my peach tree. This isn’t productive on the writing front, but works well on the staying married front.
  • Hauling the tree residue away has to be part of this mix, and is a chore in itself.
  • I need to buy and read one book. This one is a short read, and ought to work well for me. Then there are reviews to post on multiple fronts, too. Copy and paste helps here.
  • HMS Lanternfish hasn’t even set sail yet. It’s time to stock her with pirates and supplies, then hit the open sea. I’d love to get 30,000 words down, but 20K might be more realistic.
  • I need to get some blog posts written for The Viral Blues. It will be release time before I know it, and I want to be ready. Might hit up some of my favorite hosts to check their availability during my break, too.
  • There is a loose plan for some group promo at Story Empire. I need to dedicate some thought to that, and see what kind of posts I might need.
  • I have the formatted manuscript for Viral Blues in hand. I need to check it on every program I have. Stories about Lizzie and the hat have a few silly graphics as part of the shtick. These can be a nightmare formatting wise. Again, I want to be ready. I won’t know for sure until I push it through Amazon’s machinery, but any errors I can identify now will make that part easier.
  • Blurb writing. (La la la. I can’t hear you.)

I’m probably leaving stuff out, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I’m hoping to take full advantage of the Halloween season for Viral Blues. I’m still waiting on a couple of Lisa Burton promo posters, and should have the last ones in time. This means the easy link for The Yak Guy Project will be replaced by one for Viral Blues. If you haven’t read Yak Guy, all you have to do is click that cover image in the sidebar. He’ll live forever on Amazon, but you’ll have to go looking for him.

I’m still considering a pre-release for Viral Blues. My results with these have been mixed. What is the current consensus with you guys? Do pre-release books gain your attention, or just annoy you?

33 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Writing

33 responses to “Make a plan, work the plan

  1. Pre-release has to have a purpose. You know free Bently with each purchase. I use prerelease as the $0.99 reason to buy early. I then am true to my word and raise the price at the end of the period. I like two weeks cause then you get the expected spike and it is fresh news. (Only 10 days to take advantage of the price) If you are okay with a special price on the intro, I would go with a pre-order.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Wow, you’ve been productive this year! Kensington has been putting my mysteries up before they even have covers. I think they look sort of sad with black backgrounds and white print for titles, but it doesn’t seem to bother readers. I think it works because the books are all part of a series. I’ve never tried pre-releases when I self-published, though, so I’m not very helpful. When you’re ready to promote, though, I’d be happy to host you on my blog. However or whatever you’d like to do.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I usually ignore pre-releases unless I have the money or the price is right.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pre-release books are fine by me because my TBR pile is so long I won’t be reading anything ‘new’ I buy for months anyway. So, go for it.
    Nods to the creepy Silence of the Lambs image you popped into my head… yeah, I don’t need sleep tonight anyway 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I use pre-releases in the hope it will boost my on-the-day sales enough to trigger Amazon’s algorithms so that they promote me. I’m not sure what the minimum threshold for that is, though. Still, I can try. Best of luck, Craig 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. “La la la. I can’t hear you.” I almost spat my coffee on my computer. Too funny.

    Preorders are only effective if you have a marketing machine in place. If you intend to advertise and tour hard, go for it. If this will be softer promo, there’s no need. Either way, you’ve written a good story and I know it will find its audience. (And you know you don’t even need to ask; I’ll help promote.)

    I love that you have a to-do list and hope you get through all of it. Enjoy your time off.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Lists are good. If I don’t have one, I usually swim in circles. Have a great staycation, Craig!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’ve never tried a pre-release with my indie titles, but Kensington has for all of my books through them. I think like Staci said, you have to hit promo hard for good results. Harmony is really kicking butt right now with her pre-release tour on Fallout. I liked John’s idea too, of .99c for a short time, then raising the price. I may try that with my book of shorts and see if it works when the time comes.

    I’m happy to host you whatever you decide. Enjoy your vacation and I wish you lots of writing time!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Interesting to see how you’re juggling everything, Craig, thanks. Chuckled at the peach tree reasoning…wise.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. You left “Relaxation” off your list. It’s supposed to be a vacation, you know!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. D.L. Finn, Author

    I’ve had some sucees with pre-orders and wiill order them , too. Have a fantastic vacation!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Your posts are always entertaining. I can just see and hear you humming the La la la la. As for pre-release, i have no good data to advise on. It think it honestly depends on promotion and price for readers.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You’ve most certainly got a plan (or plans), Craig. I hope you meet all of your goals! I think pre-releases serve a purpose to create an early buzz, but as far as sales, I’m not sure it makes much difference. I think your base audience are the ones who will pre-order. But, you never know until you try. 🙂 Happy Staycation!

    Liked by 1 person

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