sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I haven't been posting as much lately. I've been doing most of my posts lately just to let my lovely and talented wife know what's going on in my head. (I'm the silent type.) But I've been talking to her more, I think.

I'm seeing a therapist. My lovely wife urged me to do so, believing (correctly, as it turns out) that I've been depressed. I've been seeing the therapist for a couple of months now, and I think it's helping. Some days now I feel both less depressed (able to do more, get more writing done and get more job-hunting done) and more depressed (in that I am FEELING depressed now, and like I don't want to get out of bed to face the job search). But then, nobody likes job-hunting. It's demoralizing.

On the other hand, I've had three--count 'em, THREE--responses this week to my blizzard of emails and resumes lately. Which is a much better rate than I had been getting. I haven't changed what I'm doing, so I wonder if maybe the job market is actually picking a little. I didn't get one job (I'd have heard today if they were offering it to me), but I am still waiting on a second interview for another, and have lined up an appointment for a third job this coming Monday.

The therapist is also working with me on digging into some of my less-than-helpful behaviors. Things I do that cause strife between the wife and me, and which are not helpful. I don't like the results. She doesn't like the results. But I keep doing them. So we're working on identifying why I do them, and how I can learn to use more constructive behaviors.

I'll be in Lincoln City for four days this coming week, attending a writers' workshop on Thinking Like A Publisher for those of us who are writing and publishing our own work electronically (or in POD form). I'm looking forward to it. Hanging around with other writers, and learning from them, is always inspiring. I expect to learn a lot next week, and hope to put it all to use as I slog (slowly) toward the day when I can make a living (then a decent living, then ultimately a very good living) from my writing.

Speaking of writing, I have seven short stories published through Cobblestone Press. They were my first seven sales. At this point, I have two dozen other stories (from shorts to novellas to one full-length novel) self-published on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and other sites. I am currently getting more sales (and making more money) from the self-published works than from the stuff I published through my epublisher. Not that I'm making a lot, but...I'm making even less from Cobblestone. I suspect that had I sold to some of the much larger epublishers, I might have done better. Or maybe not.

In any case, my contracts for the works published there are for three years. They also have a clause allowing me to reclaim the works after they've been available via the publisher's website for eighteen months, if I notify the publisher via registered mail. I've been thinking about doing that. Those stories, along with a few new ones, would make for some nice short story collections--but I can't collect them while they're under contract. Plus, I think I might do better self-publishing them.

Or that was my thinking until recently. Cobblestone has recently made a deal with Amazon, so my stories (and everyone else's) are now available on Amazon, where they are much more likely to be seen by potential buyers than before. (In fact, just tonight I looked at my author page on Amazon and found that "Flying High", my first Cobblestone sale, was the third or fourth-ranked of my stories on Amazon now, nestled amongst my self-published stories.) Which suggests that they may sell better now that they're on a much, much larger platform.

Plus, Christmas is coming. And with it, if 2011 is anything like 2010, a huge boom in ebook sales as people who recieve a Kindle or a Nook (or some other ereader, but mostly Kindles) start looking for fiction to buy and read on their new toys. Since I have to give my publisher 90 days notice of my intent to reclaim my works, and it would take days or weeks for new versions of the stories I self-publish to propagate to all the various web sites, it would be counterproductive to do so now, when Christmas is less than three months away.

So I've decided to hold off on that. I'm going to wait to see how they sell for the next few months, both before and after Christmas. Eventually I'll reclaim them, even if it's when the contracts expire.
sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
So, yeah. It's been 11 days since I posted my goals for the years. I'm changing them. The goals are originally presented:

So, it's 2010 and I've rededicated myself to writing. Among my goals for this year:
Write, finish and mail a story a week.
Write, finish and mail 3 novels by December 31, 2010.
Learn as much as I can about writing; mostly via the Carnegie Hall route (practice, practice, practice), in part by reading writers I admire as well as books on how to pick up my game.

What am I changing? I'm dropping the weekly short story goal and I'm going to concentrate on writing and submitting novels. Which is not to say that I won't be writing any short stories. I just won't be thinking of them as a goal. Recently I learned that in the last six months, of 80 new SFWA members, 14 achieved that status via short story sales (and it requires three professional story sales to qualify) and 66 (SIXTY-SIX!) managed it with a first novel sale.

There is simply a vastly larger market for novels than for short story sales. And since novel sales are more lucrative (even at first-novel advance rates), it seems like I'd be better advised to pursue that avenue since it's where I want to end up eventually.

To that end, I've started a second novel. I'm only three days into it at this point. I have doubts about it, of course, which is only natural. I'll continue to work on it, but I'm also doing a lot of thinking about why I have doubts. It's not just ego defense--I think I'm missing something, but I don't know what exactly. I'll figure it out, and then I can fix it.

In the mean time, I have to work on binding and gagging my inner critic while I continue to write. I can edit later. It's an uncomfortable feeling, wondering if I can do this...while knowing that I can. I've already done it once, for the NaNoWriMo project in November. I can do it again.

In the worst case scenario, I finish this novel, clean it up, and send it out and it never sells. It's still practice. I'll learn from the experience, just as I learned from the first one. And the next one will be better. Carnegie Hall, baby, Carnegie Hall. How do I get there? Practice, practice, practice.

In other news, today was both a good day and a bad day. I got a rejection--SnipLits bounced "Home Invasion". I haven't sent it back out yet, but I will. On the other hand, my fifth Cobblestone Press story, Three On A Rooftop went live and now available for purchase here.

Stories in Circulation: 11
Rejections: 25
Stories Accepted: FIVE

sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
Yes. Yes, it is. November was eventful.

I wrote a novel. Not a good novel, but a novel nonetheless. From now on I can speaking the next novel, because now I've written one. It was a interesting (and sometimes uncomfortable) experience. While I knew, intellectually, that writing a novel is simply a matter of eating the elephant one bite at a time, emotionally it was a much bigger deal. I was anxious before and during the Nanowrimo project, at least for the first few days. At some point it really sank in that, yes, if I simply sit down and write on it every day, I can and will eventually reach the finish line.

And I did, on the eighteenth of November, a little over halfway through the month--an average of 2,777 words a day. Not that I wrote every day. Some days I didn't write at all, most days I did 3,000 words or more. At that pace, a full month's work would net me roughly 83,000 words--and that's in the ballpark for an actual, publishable novel. Fifty thousand words isn't really long enough for a novel. But 80,000 words? Now we're talking.

On the flip side, I haven't done any writing to speak of since the week of Thanksgiving. Little or none prior to Thanksgiving, then none during Orycon, and none this week while I've been dealing with con crud. (Although, in retrospect, I suspect I picked up this bug from the grandbaby on Thanksgiving rather than at the convention. I started feeling puny on Sunday, which would have been fast work for a bug I picked up Friday or Saturday.

I got an email last night from Cobblestone Press. They've accepted a fourth story--Three On A Rooftop. That's the working title, which I'm not entirely happy with, but unless I come up with one I like better, and soon, it's probably what we'll stick with. I just signed and emailed back the contract for that one.

I also learned that "Queen Bee", which I figured would come out in late December at best, or more likely in January, will be published in December 16th as part of their Twelve Days of Christmas--a story a day for twelve days leading up to Christmas. Go me!

But lest I get too full of myself, I got an emailed rejection for "Ink" from Shock Totem today. But I've already turned it around and sent it out to the next market on the marketing list. A hint from the Kris & Dean show in September has been very useful.

To wit: when a story is ready to mail, sit down and make a list of the top ten markets you want to send it to. Send it to the first one. When and if it gets rejected, just send it to the next one on the list. Lather, rinse, repeat. If necessary, when you get thru that list, list the next ten markets and keep going.

It's not quite that simple, in practice. I always check to make sure the market in question is a) still active, b) accepting submissions (a lot of electronic publications, in particular, have "windows" when they're accepting and when they're not), and c) hasn't changed their focus so they're no longer an appropriate market for the story. But once that's done, I send the story out. And it really does make it easier than researching potential markets for each story every time it comes back.

And speaking of stories in circulation, I've taken one story ("Unconventional") out of circulation. I've exhausted the markets for it in its current form, but I think with a little reworking, it would likely find a home elsewhere. So that's on my to-do list, along with getting back to writing every day. I have several story ideas I need to write (or finish) and get out there, several for Cobblestone Press, who seem to like my stuff.

Oh! And I got a review for each of my first two stories at the Got Erotic Romance website. You can see the reviews for Flying High and Bound by Convention at these links.

Stories in Circulation: 11 (one has been shelved for reworking for a new market)
Rejections: 21 ("Ink" rejected by Shock Totem, now off to the next market on the list)
Stories Accepted: FOUR! <--Yes, another acceptance by Cobblestone Press.

Cover Art!

Aug. 16th, 2009 01:50 pm
sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I received the proof for the cover of my yet-to-be-published story last week. I had a couple of minor comments to make on it. This morning I received the modified promotional art. I have the complete cover in several sizes, a banner, a half-banner and a square button to use as an icon (see the icon on this post).

I don't yet have a publication date for the story, and there may well be a little editing before it's completed and ready to go, but I have art. Yay! I'm very pleased by this.

Yes, you may note that that author name on the cover is different from mine. It's my Nom du Erotica. Anyhow, check it out!



sinanju: The Shadow (Default)

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