Must Try Harder….
… or something. Despite best intentions, I have not managed to blog for nearly six months (groan) after two posts in July, one of which represented a lot of research into book covers that I thought people would find useful, so it was disappointing not to receive feedback.
Never mind! This isn’t meant to be a right old moan. Instead, I want to do a catchup to cover what I’ve been doing writing-wise, which isn’t as much as I wanted, due to health issues. But I did at least manage NaNoWriMo in November, which I did as a rebel, because I wanted to continue the edit of the first novel I am intending to self publish. That went well and I ‘won’ with a healthy margin to spare, despite lagging behind initially. I even managed to do a bit more after taking the screenshot above, so overall was pleased with my progress.
After that, I started to go through the novel from the beginning again to try to see if certain nitpicking grammatical and passive tense type things have been addressed. Unfortunately, preparations for Christmas got in the way, and then a dose of ‘flu, as well as other issues. So I haven’t got back into it properly yet, though I am trying my very hardest.
Other things have been distracting I must admit, such as following forums on Goodreads, and a great forum I discovered, SFF Chronicles. I don’t know where authors are meant to find time for such things as FaceBook, Twitter and you-name-it. And whether it actually rewards us in proportion to the time and effort spent away from writing. But if anyone is interested in the reviews I have posted of books I’m reading in an attempt to declutter (paperback fiction), you can find them at Goodreads.
As well as fiction, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, mainly online, about marketing, promotion and the new buzzword, discoverability. In fact, I am part way through reading a very good book about the latter, in its Kindle version – Discoverability by Kristine Katherine Rusch. Although it is aimed at people with several books already published, and would undoubtedly benefit those with a range of novels, it also has some sage advice for writers who have not yet dipped a toe into self publishing, for example, on the importance of defining the correct categories to use when tagging your book in Amazon. Quite a few of its lessons would benefit people just starting out, and I hope to apply them and be able to draw more benefit from the book as I am able to bring out more of my novels.
Just realised I’m in time for the beginning of a new quarter of ROW80, Round the World in 80 Words. So I need to set out some goals:
- Return to the edit and get at least the first 4 chapters rechecked for the nitpicking edits, in the next fortnight
- Continue the edit and get it done by end March (fingers crossed)
- Work out how to format a Kindle book including the front and end pages and what to put in those
I forgot to mention that I did complete one of my July goals: to submit ‘Rian’ to the Hodderscape Open Submission. So far, I’ve heard nothing back, but according to an update on their website, anyone who did not hear back by the end of 2015 is actually having their submission read for the second time!
Anyway, to showcase those nice folks at ROW80 –
Sometimes life happens, but glad you were able to get back to blogging. I was a bit of a rebel for NaNo this past year too. I had a few different WiPs started, so I worked my way through finishing them.
Good luck with your goals for this round.
“Trying Harder” is what success is all about. You never fail until you stop trying. Don’t beat yourself up too much for past in-consistencies (we’re all inconsistent and imperfect). We can only control the present and (to some extent)the future. Focus on today and plan on making 2016 your best year ever.
Thanks for mentioning your “Book Cover Research” article. I just read it and bookmarked it in my book-design file for future reference. I didn’t see a “Leave a Reply” prompt at the bottom of that page, so that might have been the reason you didn’t get much feedback at the time. You can always re-post the article.
I’ve been working on my book-covers, as well. I write “Sword & Sorcery” heroic fantasy, so my covers can’t be easily done with stock-photos. Fortunately for me, I have some (semi-talented) drawing skills, so I’ve been creating drawing-reference poses in Poser (3D model posing software for artists) and penciling some cover-designs. Later, I’ll have these pencils digitally colored. I’m also creating my own custom book-title font, using 3D modeling software and Photoshop. It’s a lot of up-front work, but will payoff in the future.
I wish you well in 2016!
Thanks John. I think I must’ve turned off the option to leave a response after some time, as the advice is to do that with old posts to prevent spam. That’s interesting about how you are doing your covers; I wish I had some drawing skills!
I did try to leave a comment on your blog, but Blogger always seems to ‘eat’ my comments 🙁
I will have to look for the “discoverability” word as I haven’t noticed it before. Your NaNoWriMo progress of nearly 2000 words/day (average) looks impressive to me. Like you, I am not consistent. I have to find joy in the times I make progress. Good things can happen when we try.