Tag Archives: business cards

Time for my 2015 business plan

It’s time for that business plan that I’ve been hinting about. The Happy New Years, and resolutions have all faded. I waited since I didn’t want this one washed away in the stream. Warning: I’ve been trying to keep the word count down, but this is a longer post. It’s important stuff to me.

I’m going to recap 2014, briefly. My goal was to self publish four older stories. I achieved this in October. I never expected a ton of success, because I was completely unknown. Still, success was there. Outside this blog, and the Rave Reviews Book Club catalog, I didn’t do any promotion.

The unexpected things were the most fun of all. When Lisa was named best character of 2014 by Karen I about fell off my Bantha. I know how much Karen reads, and this was the highlight of my year.

I was asked to guest post on several other blogs, and these are a ton of fun. I was also asked to host a few people, and this works out well too. I’ll be doing more of this in 2015.

I was surprised by my first fan art, which involved Lisa the robot at a comics convention. Lisa also appeared in a fan fiction with my blessing. I also won a spotlight author spot with Rave Reviews Book Club. I learned a lot from this experience.

I really enjoyed loaning some of my characters out and would do so again. Appearing elsewhere in 2014 were Doubt the Raven, Lisa Burton the robot, and Lorelei my Muse.

It’s time to formulate a plan for 2015. I’m going to be informal about this, because writing is my leisure project.

I have a manuscript that’s ready to go. I want to give The Cock of the South a bit more time as the newest book, because it deserves it. It’s a good story, and it’s too close to the blog tour to cut it off at the knees. The publishing goal is late winter/early spring.

This one is a return to paranormal, and it’s called Will ‘O the Wisp. I’m not going to just plunk it on Amazon and walk away. I’ve learned some things from 2014 and want to apply them.

I’m willing to send out advance reading copies right now. All I ask is that participants have an honest review ready to go by publication date. Those reviews are uber important. If you want one, hit me up in the comments. I’m willing to reciprocate with many genres. I can forward PDF, ePub, Word, or Pages formats. Just let me know.

WOW is set in the 1970s and involves a teenage girl whose very life is in danger. She’s perfectly prepared for the wrong challenge. This involves me writing in first person from the POV of a 15 year old girl. Challenging? Yup. It may also be the best story I’ve ever written. It’s suitable for young adults.

I also have a rocking cover for this book, and will forward it to those who participate, providing you keep it top secret. I’d prefer to offer WOW to my blog followers first, but might have to approach some new people depending on numbers. I’m going to ask the cover artist to reveal it on her blog first. Then I can reblog the heck out of it.

I’m going to write a dozen or more blog posts for WOW ahead of time. That way I can take it on tour without all the deadline stress. I may hire 4Wills to handle the blog tour, I may try it myself. I’ll decide later.

I also need to sweet talk S. K. Nichols into sending me the name of that promotional company she used. I like to try new things, and she had good results with them.

I have a second story I’d like to put out in the fall. If I can get it ready, I’ll follow the same recipe as above, unless I learn something better.

I need to improve my social media approach. Social media takes a lot of time, but it must be done. I still have no interest in Facebook, but I’m going to give Goodreads a try. I’ve heard good and bad about it, but everything is that way. I’ll blog about it when I’ve done it, and am accepting all tips right now.

I also have a fun idea for promotions on my blog. I’ve already entered a contract with my Wild Concept cover artist for some custom pieces. More on this later. Maybe I can coerce him into a guest post.

This might be a guy thing, maybe not. I hate giving up the front and regrouping. I’ve learned so much since my older stories were written that I’m pretty sure I could do a better job today. The Army never goes back and puts the knickknacks back on the shelves. They keep moving forward. Should I revisit my old stories at the expense of my current work in progress? This might help me with points in the author world, but it would make me unhappy. Thoughts? Suggestions?

I think I need business cards. My wife and I go out quite a bit. Leaving a card along with the tip, could be beneficial. Pinning it to a bulletin board could also bear fruit. I’ve heard from other authors that this stuff helps. I’m open to any hints from the writing community.

There is a ton of research I intend to do. I own some valuable old hardbacks that I need to browse once more. I wrote a vignette about some people in Africa that keeps calling to me. They have everything they need except a story. Some of my books are Death in the Long Grass, Green Hell, Man-Eaters of Kumaon, Man-Eaters of Tsavo, Bell of Africa, and Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter.

Those aren’t all set in Africa, but I can snipe from them. I seem to remember one about Karamojo Bell hunting for the Battleship Konigsburg. I think that one was corrupted into The African Queen. Better re-watch that too. I should probably brush up on the Boer wars while I’m at it.

Those ought to provide my Muse with a jolt of adrenaline. Obviously, this would be an historical piece, with some of my weirdness of course. Maybe I can get some ideas for one of the other vignettes I posted about the guy with a talking yak.

Speaking of research, does anyone know of a decent book about alchemy? I don’t want an encyclopedia, more of the “for dummies” version. I think the world could use a mad science story. I don’t have a specific plan, but it can’t be all about the philosopher’s stone. It seems to me there were some Frankenstein type projects too. Send me some recommendations.

I’m bouncing back and forth between two ideas. One is a book of short stories. I could separate each story with a Macabre Macaroni type page. The other idea is to publish a bundle with one each, science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. I could let it run for 30 days at 99¢ then unpublish it. I may do both, or neither. Has anyone out there got any data on success with these methods?

***

I know some of you have published bundles or books of short stories. I know some of you live in Africa. Some of you are Goodreads members.

I love the comments I get on this blog, but this time I want more. I really want to hear from you guys on this post. Do you want an ARC of Will ‘O the Wisp? Do you have any Goodreads tips? Have you found a good alchemy book that can kick my Muse in the pants? Have you read any of my archaic old collectables? Would you re-edit your old stories at the expense of forward momentum? Who has experience with business cards, good or bad? Let me hear from you.

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A day of Doubt

This weekend didn’t allow for any writing. We’ve been gone so much that everything else demanded our attention. The old pit bull is on the mend. He’s eating like a horse now, and drug all his toys out. It was an infection, and a bad one at that. He’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 years old, and I know he won’t last forever. I’m glad we could get him some strong antibiotics and make him happy once more.

After I called my parents I slipped out to the writing cabin. Lisa* was dressed for work, but stayed off in her own little world.

I opened my iPad and finished a read through of The Cock of the South. This is the last of my older works to spruce up for Amazon.

Doubt**, the raven, flew from his perch and landed on the coffee table. He croaked whenever he thought I should change something. He was usually right and we got along pretty well. He caught many places where I could delete a dialog tag, because there had already been a character action in the paragraph.

I keep an editing document and went to work on my sin words. These are words that indicate telling, spelling errors, or simply get overused. You know the kind: saw, knew, thought; it’s vs. its, there or their or they’re. We got along well until I searched out the word “was.”

Most of the time I rewrote the sentence and came up with a better one. Sometimes I just deleted “was” and the sentence still sounded right.

There are two places where I drew the line. The first is dialog. People (and dwarves) have to sound like real people. They use “was” more frequently than I’m allowed to. e.g. “Hey, I was just down to the trenches and…

The second one is more up for debate. Sometimes I don’t want to use a paragraph to describe something basic. Example: The wagon was red. I used four words to get to the point. To me it’s better than, “A wagon, the color of dried ox blood, made its way slowly down the trail.”

Sure the second one is more descriptive. I agree with that, but it’s not that important to the story. It’s part of the scenery, not the substance. It’s a sesame seed, and I’m going for a Big Mac.

Doubt debated mightily on this point. He pecked the back of my hand until it was raw. In fact that’s why I stopped today. I only got a third of the way through the manuscript on my “was” pass. It’ll still be there when I open it back up. With Apple Pages, I won’t even lose my place.

I have company coming next weekend. That will mark about three weeks since I opened my current project, The Playground. My next decent writing day is September 17th.

We went to Staples this afternoon. I got the crazy idea that I should have business cards for each of my books. I could pin them to bulletin boards and leave them at restaurants. I bought some card stock and created a masterpiece on my computer. Guess what; my printer can’t handle card stock. Some days you just can’t win. At least I have fresh color cartridges loaded in the printer.

I’d like to hear from the writers out there. How do you feel about the use of the word “was?” Condemn me, agree with me, or suggest something better, I’d really like to know.

*Lisa is the main character in my book, Wild Concept. She’s a robot and helps me around the writing cabin these days. She did not appear in this story.

**Doubt is a raven. He was a gift from my Muse and is supposed to be helpful. I have no idea what the Muse was thinking.

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Filed under Muse