Living Write

How to Launch Two Books at Once (Or Four)

Posted on

Publishing Your Own Book is Lots of Work

A few years ago, I worked with a small publishing house and had Lydia, Woman of Purple published. I had already self-pubbed a children’s book, Pockets, and was ready for the BIG TIME. since then, I’ve been writing frantically to get a few more projects finished, edited, and ready for publication. I’ve weighed my options and decide to return to indie release for a number of reasons. It takes a lot of time and tears to get something as perfect as humanly possible. And just when I think I have my second Historical Christian Fiction project ready… my Lydia publisher informs me that he’s closing up shop, and I’ll have my rights back March 1st. So if I want to keep it available, I need to get it re-released. Lots to do. I fixed the typos that slipped by the first time, as well as a few other little blips. I commissioned new cover art. I formatted. I reviewed. I reviewed again, and again.

It’s a Little Like Having Twins

I don’t have twins, but I like to equate birthing two books at once with that experience. Only without the pain and screaming. Well, there has been both pain and screaming, so maybe it is similar. I figure if I’m formatting and reviewing one, I can probably do another at the same time, right? Oh, and while I’m at it, I’ll add a devotional study guide for each book, too. That’s four at once. Maybe I’ve lost my mind. But I had two full novels written and edited, and the study questions for one finished, all I need is the study guide for the second book. I figure I can use the copy from the first as a template for the second.

The Process is the Thing

  1. Gather the edited manuscripts.
  2. Paste them into notepad to strip formatting.
  3. Copy and paste them (one chapter/section at a time) into the CreateSpace templates. I use CreateSpace.
  4. Assign each MS an ISBN. I get mine from Bowker.
  5. Submit the interiors for review, and work on the cover.
  6. Submit the cover. Wait for approval.
  7. Work on pricing, distribution, and all the little details.
  8. Repeat all these processes for each book. You can sort of turn it into an assembly line if you have it all ready.
  9. Plan your launch party. Mine will be a virtual Facebook launch.
  10. ENJOY your success! You did it!

Okay, so the biggest part of the job is the writing and editing that goes into the work in the first place. Learning the publication process is a bit difficult to start, but gets smoother as you go. That’s why the assembly line works so well; you don’t have time to forget how to do it.

And Away We Go!

Thus begins my Quadruple Book Launch on March 1, 2017. If you want to join my book launch party, please visit my Facebook page by CLICKING HERE!

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave me a message.

 

 

 

Living Write

My Weird Writing Rituals

Posted on

I’m a writer, which already pegs me as a little odd. I make stuff up. Crazy stuff, sweet stuff, scary stuff. I write down my dreams and nightmares and build worlds around them. Weird.

But to get to the actual business of smearing thoughts across white space, I have a few rituals I practice. Some of these are absolute MUSTS, others are just when I’m having a tough time with motivation.

Always, I get started with coffee. Not weird; lots of people do that, whether they are writers or not. Coffee is important. Not only does coffee wake me up and energize me, the taste and aroma sort of work like a time machine, transporting me to wherever else I need to be. It’s magic.

Sometimes I listen to music. It can be the perfect way to get into the needed emotions of a scene. I don’t do this every day, because if my playlist shuffles badly, I get distracted. Nothing worse than having the Goldfinger theme song stuck in your head while you’re trying to write a story about a Bible character. And Song of India is too relaxing to sufficiently inspire a fight scene. My playlist is extensive, so I get pretty picky about that.

I prefer to be alone when I write. That means when people walk in to chat or ask a question, I will minimize my story. This isn’t really a ritual, but it keeps everything secretive, and that mind-set helps me write. When I find myself being interrupted too much, I declare a National Get Out of My House Day, and that usually fixes the problem.

When I first begin writing each day, I go back to my last chapter or last page, and read for a minute or two. I want to get back into the “feel” of the story, so the next part develops naturally. I don’t edit, but I like the more organic approach, as opposed to reviewing my outline (I use that term loosely) or checking a to-do list. Also, I cannot stop writing until the chapter or scene is finished. Walking away from my keyboard mid-scene is not an option. If my house catches fire while I’m writing I will probably die.

Then there is break time, which is about doing chores (How would my main character feel about washing dishes?) or getting a little exercise. If there is music, I will dance. I’m not a great dancer, but that’s never stopped me.

If I get stuck in a scene or situation, I jump to my Pinterest board for the story in question. Here is where I have cast my story and pinned all the research links I might need. Sometimes just reviewing the “facts” gets my stream of thought back on track. If I’m really stuck, I will stare at the photos of my characters and ask them questions. You would be surprised how often they answer. Some of my favorite chapters are the result of this technique.2015-09-11 15.27.09

Another thing that I find myself doing– when I’m working something out in my mind’s eye– is playing with my earrings. Because I do this fairly often, I keep myself focused by wearing earrings that coordinate with my story. What? I know it seems silly. I’m discovering that I do quite a lot of silly things. Yes, in the morning while I’m getting dressed I ask myself which story I will be writing today. Little Black Dress is set in Paris, so I put on my Eiffel Tower earrings. Shooting Stars Traveling Circus calls for my pistols. Her Most Precious Gift is about Mary of Bethany from the Bible, so I wear my favorite cross earrings. When I start fiddling with them, they become inspiration. My fingertips, which usually hop from key to key, now explore the edges and form of real symbols from my stories. Sometimes the tactile bond is just what I need to keep going.

As I look over my list, I’m noticing something that has never occurred to me before today. All of my quirks, my weird little writing rituals, revolve around my five senses. I suppose these are just some of the methods I use to make my story real.

Would you like a glimpse into the novels I’m writing? Here are a few links to my Pinterest boards. Follow me!

Little Black Dress Novel Research

Shooting Stars Traveling Circus

Her Most Precious Gift

 

Living Write

Need Coffee…

Posted on

Hey, friends! If you visit here often, you may have noticed a few changes in the look of my site. Simpler layout, easier navigation, and more fun– those are my goals. I’m looking for some feedback from you all on ways to improve and offer you a better experience when you drop in.

I’ve also revamped my email subscribers’ list, so I’m offering you all a chance to win a prize just for subscribing. When my subscriber list reaches 150 fans, I will give one lucky friend (drawn at random from the list, US residents only) a $25 Starbucks gift card. The winner agrees to share with me their snail-mail address, so that I may send the card directly to them.

Click here to jump to the Subscribe Page!
Click here to jump to the Subscribe Page!

 

In return for signing up, I promise never to overload your inbox with boring emails or endless marketing. I will, however, keep you posted when I have a new book release, or have another fun give-away! (SPOILER ALERT: I already have a fun Star Wars T-Shirt picked out for this December’s give-away!)

So… let me know if you find any buttons, tabs, links, or widgets that aren’t working. And don’t forget to subscribe to my email list by clicking the menu tab above!

You all are the BEST!

 

Living Write

Who Wants to Be a Better Writer

Posted on

Click to purchase this cute card holder!In this post-modern world where everyone is encouraged to express their opinion to the universe—in 140 characters or less on occasion—we should all strive to be better at articulating our thoughts in writing.

I laugh along with everyone else at the cartoons about the Grammar Police and the proper use of “there, their, and they’re,” but why is it funny? When did poor grammar become a joke?

I recently was interviewed about a fundraising event our writers’ group is hosting. It’s sad to think that we needed a fundraiser. Why would a non-profit organization that promotes better writing not be filled to the brim with members? You can’t throw a stick without hitting a blogger.  Most people do some sort of writing every day in their job.

Whether one writes reports, articles, direct mail copy, blogs, marketing material, novels, instructional pieces, web copy, emails or even personal correspondence by hand (gasp!), it’s important to present oneself as an intelligent person.  We rely on spell-check and grammar correcting programs too much.

Being part of a group that teaches when to use “further” instead of “farther” helps to make you a better writer. It makes for better reading, too. It’s not about looking like a smarty-pants. It’s about making the reader’s experience more enjoyable or more informative, without making them get out a red pen to correct you.

When a reader decides they know more than you, they stop reading. Period. Your article, blog, instructions, or story is no longer relevant to their needs.

If you’re a writer (and you certainly are) join a writers’ group. Take a class. Learn, grow, and improve. If you’re the one who already knows it all, then join a group to help others. Please. The universe needs you.