Day 106

Spoiler Alert! May contain planning-stage plot/character details or other spoilers!

13 Jun 2016

Contains affiliate links So I managed a good four weeks of separation from the manuscript; that’ll have to be good enough. Time to get this show on the road!

What I’ve been up to:

  • reading articles about publishing… and deciding to switch gears from traditional to indie/self-publishing based on that research. Retaining full rights over my own work and making high royalties per unit are the main motivations. It’s a tough switch, especially at this point in the game, but it makes sense. So. Now I need to track down a great substantive editor and a cover artist (and pay them!), learn the publishing industry, self-market and get this thing launched. Just a few small details, right?

  • harassing friends about publishing… as it happens, all that research made me curious about how well one could use systems and networks to publish, so… I’m launching a one-woman indie publishing house/consultancy to help (a) an old friend publish her travel writing, (b) another friend publish her art in a co-produced picture/storybook, (c) republish my great-grandparents’ stories (if I can get rights and material), and (d) republish a bunch of history and memoir books from the Cariboo and around BC, again, if I can get ahold of someone with the rights to publish. Partly this is all in service of learning the ropes of self-publishing, building a brand and (hopefully/probably not) making some money so I can keep playing with books for as long as possible, but there’s also some pure fun involved (helping friends get published), some wish-fulfillment (since I never did make Editor at one of the NY publishing houses) and a desire to preserve stories that are going to be lost if no one digitizes them.

  • reading books about writing/editing/publishing… and realizing that I have a LOT of work to do in the rewrites. Specifically,
  • Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain was hugely beneficial to framing intent and direction, and of course the classic The Elements Of Style (2011 Edt.) by William Strunk. On Writing by Stephen King was amazingly encouraging; the more I read about other writers’ experiences, the more I feel like I’m not a lazy-ass, insane freak sitting at home wasting her time. Namely, because apparently every other published writer ever has had the same fear… I have another book on editing and rewrites on the go (Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne), but I’m feeling the time crunch, so I’ll plan to do rewrites in the mornings at least, in order to keep things moving along, and then portion out the afternoons for research, marketing etc.

  • setting up a website and starting the social media swell… hand coded, of course, because why do anything the easy way? Actually, it’s super-cool; lightning-fast because it’s all just html&css with a minimum of server queries, responsive layout that works great on mobile on up, and not entirely hideous. Content-wise, it’s pretty light, just a shell, really. It did force me to ‘blurb’ my own stories, which was somewhat informative (read: terrifying.) The social media stuff is miserable - I hate posting regularly - but I’m at least getting a rhythm down; daily Instagram post replicated to any or all of FB/Twitter/Tumblr, so far mostly of drinks I’ve made, but I’ll branch out eventually. Photos do seem to be a little less effort (and get better responses than) text-based content.

  • travel and people stuff… spent an extended weekend traveling up north to my mom’s family; forgot to take postable photos

  • freelance/job stuff… bookmarked a couple more sites, realized that I can probably make the most money simply doing copywriting, even though coding is the sexy thing right now, drooled over job postings with heritage societies in the UK (would I make a good interpretive guide to a historic site? There’s opportunities in the Orkneys!!) and generally despaired over the not-so-slow drain on my bank account that having no income entails

  • oh yeah, and I turned 29, which yet again ratchets up the compulsion to prove myself. Even though I’ve pretty much figured out that my life goes better when I’m not trying so hard all the time. But yeah, taking a year out hasn’t been great… although it’s done wonders for my pride (lol).

  • </ul> So, the proving time; do I have a story here? Characters that people will care about? Good (read: appealing, readable) writing that is more than simply self-indulgent? Strong, measured plot and pacing? In essence; a book that will be read and bought, and which will enable me to write the (very necessary) sequel? Time to make it happen. Note: Days 101-106 were devoted to research and promotion; no journal entries were made. Monday Start time: 9:30 am Location: bedroom

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