Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Mass Reorg AKA Progress!

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Over the weekend I did my first big reorganization of My Immortals 7. This time around, I’m trying to keep some vague keeping track of stuff in Scrivener, because it’s a great tool for that, while doing the actual writing per usual. Scrivener was very helpful in allowing me to structure, label, and organize the story the way I wanted to.

I don’t write in scenes. At least so far I don’t. But I have chapters that must move together, if I do move things around, because they’re linked by time or story flow. And Scrivener made that easy.

But it does mean I didn’t write as many words as I’d hoped. On the other hand, because the new order makes me happier and because now everything flows and is paced better, it was easy to see how and where I would up the ante.

I’m off to do that now.

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Stuff! That’s Going On!

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Well. Did you notice that it’s 2015 already? What the?

I’m working on My Immortals 7, which is Kynan and Maddy. I have 21 chapters so far. Everything is in the wrong order at the moment, but that’s actually fully expected. I’ll be doing another Regency novella scheduled for summer, too. After Immortals 7 and the novella, I start work on the Dark Elf story — the world for the story The King’s Dragon, with Mair and Dal Atul.

So. Here is a picture of  a rose I took back in November.

 

Bronze rose, Honey Dijon by Yours Truly

Honey Dijon by Yours Truly

Allow me to restate. I didn’t take the rose. I took the picture. Just in case you were wondering.

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Resolve?

Monday, December 29th, 2014

As we close out 2014, I’ve been thinking about resolutions. I figure I have 6 weeks where I might actually follow a resolution. So, I need some good resolutions. Assuming that “Be a better person” type resolutions are a given, along with “be smarter about money” and “Eat Less Exercise More” here’s a few that come to mind:

1. Read more stories;
2. Look in the mirror before I leave the house (possibly disqualified for falling under the “be a better person” category?);
3. Get that body piercing I keep thinking about;
4. Take ALL the risks with the stories I write;

Anything else I should add?

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Dead Drop is On Sale Now!

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Dead Drop, My Immortals Series, Book 6. Demons and Witches for your Reading Pleasure

A hot, sexy, shirtless demon against a blue background. He's awesome. Dead Drop by Carolyn Jewel

Cover of Dead Drop

Palla is a demon warlord’s deadly assassin who has no idea how to behave around humans. Wallace Jackson is a pacifist street witch with power she can’t access. He’s desperate to unlock her magic because only she can help him rescue his former lover from unending suffering. Their unlikely, volatile partnership transforms their lives and their hearts.

This is NOT the novella version. This is rewritten, reordered, and significantly expanded. Go forth and buy. And read. And enjoy. The print version is ready, too. Who wouldn’t want demons and witches to read about over the holidays?

All Romance | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Nook | Print

 

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The Self-Publishing Delusion

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

So, there was this article: Second Thoughts about Self-Publishing over at Publisher’s Weekly.

This article is an example of what I call the Self-Publishing Delusion. It goes like this: someone who did not do anything like enough research into the new publishing landscape self-publishes a book and is disappointed that he’s not a NYT Bestselling author. Follows from this, an article all about how Self-Publishing isn’t all the thing after all.

As is the case here. The author, in 2012, decided to self-publish his novel. In print only. A novel he seems to have marketed only to friends and family and only using traditional methods to gain attention. His second novel did not do as well as the first and now he is sad and disappointed because apparently books must be marketed. My God, the crass commercialism.

Dude. Are you serious?

Who the hell, even in 2012, would think self-publishing = CreateSpace? Five minutes of mediocre Google-fu should have uncovered the limitations of CreateSpace as a vehicle that reaches traditional outlets OR readers. If you want to be an author, then there is no justification for not doing due-diligence. And due diligence would have meant a month or more (and you’d need less, to be honest) researching the heck out of your publishing plans. The kind of research that justifies making any dollar investment in a business decision should have included things like, who are the leading self-publishers and what/how/why are they doing?

If he’d done that, here’s what he would have found out:

  • CreateSpace does not = traditional print publication.
  • By doing ONLY a print book, he did not each the core avid reader, because they read digital.
  • By choosing ONLY CreateSpace, he was unable to get into traditional print outlets.
  • In 2012, the dual strategy of CreateSpace and Lightning Source was still a viable work-around to the Book Store problem. The fact that he did not do enough research to find Alan Shepard’s site is a huge red flag.
  • Writing careers rarely have trajectory after only two books. Research beyond what’s said in the traditional publishing space would have uncovered that his expectations were unrealistic in any publishing venue. A self-publisher should reassess after 5-10 books under-perform. Not two. (Snarky aside: a traditionally published author won’t have that luxury.)
  • If he’d paid any attention to what traditionally published authors experience in the business he would have found out that all authors, traditionally published or self-published, carry the majority of the marketing burden.

And that’s just a response to what he says of his experience in “self-publishing.”

Inform your Decision

You, the author, need to investigate every aspect of the business of New Publishing. You, the author, are solely responsible for understanding the disconnect between what traditional publishers say and what authors say. You, the author, must understand who is succeeding in all spheres of publishing and figure out why and what that means for your strategy.

The traditional publishing space has a vested interest in perpetuating several myths about the business of being an author. Places like PW and DBW put out an astonishing amount of disinformation about that. Likewise, there are people and companies who have a vested interest in selling services to authors. All those claims must be examined, parsed, and dissected.

There’s a reason many, many mid-list authors are leaving traditional publishing or diversifying their careers with both. You, the author, must understand why that is. How can you make a sound business decision without knowing the pitfalls of both?

Of course he did not have the results he wanted and hoped for. If he’d done his research, his self-publishing plan would have looked very different. Instead, he approached the business of being an author as an ill-informed newbie who stayed ill-informed. His lack of research means he didn’t do any of the things known to increase book sales and build a career. He gave up too soon.

In short, he fell prey to traditional publishing delusions about self-publishing.

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Really?

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Agent Andrew Wylie had this to say:

“I believe with the restored health of the publishing industry and having some sense of where this sort of Isis-like distribution channel, Amazon, is going to be buried and in which plot of sand they will be stuck, [publishers] will be able to raise the author’s digital royalty to 40% or 50%,” he said. “Writers will begin to make enough money to live.”

Quoted in The Guardian

[publishers] will be able to raise the author’s digital royalty to 40% or 50%,” he said. “Writers will begin to make enough money to live.

What alternate universe is Wylie living in?

1. ISIS-like? Are you kidding me? We’ll start with insensitive and offensive and leave it there, actually.
2. Publishers have had 80 years to position themselves to pay writers more money. What they’ve done, since before Amazon, is reduce the money they pay authors. Why on earth should any writer believe that the demise of Amazon will mean authors will FINALLY be paid more?

Oh wait. I forgot. Wlyie only represents literary authors whose advances are funded by paying less money to the writers of genres that actually make money.

Let’s see here, continue self-publishing and earning 30-70% of the price I set or …. Accept 40% or 50% of net, maybe. Someday.

Well, gosh. No, sir.

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Seven Wicked Nights is a Bestseller

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Today I found out the the boxed set I’m in, Seven Wicked Nights, debuted on the US Today Bestseller List at #126.

So. I am officially a USA Today Bestselling author. And that is gosh darned exciting for all the authors in the set. It’s a great collection of stories by some pretty wonderful authors. So if you didn’t pick up your copy yet, you should.

Amazon

iBooks

Nook

Kobo

Google Play

Cover of Boxed Set: Seven Wicked Nights

Seven Wicked Nights

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About A Notorious Ruin

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Today, I uploaded the final, final files for A Notorious Ruin at all the sites where I could do a pre-order. The print file is off to the person who does my interior formatting. So, this book is done. You can start buying it Sept 23, 2014.

Now, of course, I keep hearing all these terrible stories about vendors delivering the wrong file … So. If you pre-ordered, and the change log at the very end does not say 2014.09.07: Version 1, then you didn’t get the correct file and you should let me know so I can either send you the correct file or see if the vendor can fix the issue.

I want to say thank you to everyone who has waited patiently, impatiently, and even not-waiting-anymore. All of you reminded me how much people wanted to read the sequels to Lord Ruin. This book is over a year late, and boy. I think it would have been late even if it had been traditionally published, because I spent most of 2013 so sleep deprived I could barely think straight. A worse outcome than late, though, would have been a book that was on time but not as good as it should have been — because when you’re sleep deprived, you think you’re coping OK when you’re not.

This book kicked my ass, but I think that was in part because I was sleep deprived from late 2012 through just about all of 2013. I’m the only source of income for my family. I could not afford to just quit the day job, even though I considered it and kept hoping I’d get fired. I knew if I took a job with a commute– and I was interviewing– I would have lost most of my writing time, and I would have had to give up one of my promises to myself about being home when my son was home.

I literally do not know how I would have made sure he got to and from school with his zero-hour classes if I took a different job and had to commute into the City. But things did get better enough at the job that at last I wasn’t getting up in the middle of the night most nights, ofte several times, dealing with emergencies.

I wasn’t back up to snuff sleep-wise until about March or April this year, and looking back, I can see that’s about when A Notorious Ruin finally had a spark or two. I had a couple of other writing commitments, too, so twice I had to put A Notorious Ruin mostly on hold for about 4 weeks while I wrote a novella. I wrote the other novella while ANR was in beta.

When I sent the book out to beta, I figured, well, it’s done if by done you mean, there are 80K words that seem to have a progression of sorts. When it came back, I was shocked to realize the book was in far better shape than I thought. (which isn’t saying much) I revised in my usual fugue state and filled in the couple of chapters that said “X will happen in this chapter. Probably” and also wrote the ending. Off to my editor it went.

I revised again when it came back from my editor, added about 15K in polishing up complexifying words, and by then, I said, quite literally, “Holy shit, this book is good.”

And it is. It’s really, really good.

I hope you love it as much as I do.

 

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About That Other Thing — Running for Stuff

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

So, I’m looking at my Google and Talkwalker Alerts and there are more of them than usual. So I look in case it’s something more exciting than another pirate site, and Oh! Yes! There is! !! for good measure.

I am running for the RWA Board, for a director at large spot. I knew Tessa Dare and Courtney Milan were running. In fact, when I saw Courtney at RWA this past July we chatted about that, and I did think it would be pretty awesome to have the two of them on the Board since they have my utter respect in all things business of writing related. Anyway, I don’t know exactly what happened, but I walked away from that chat having decided to run for the Board, too.

It’s not a decision totally out of the blue. It’s been mentioned to me more than once over the years, mostly because I have no shortage of opinions, and an often appropriate response to someone’s strong opinions about stuff is to say, well, why don’t you do something about it?

Over the last two years, the issues facing RWA have been both important and contentious. I think contentious is good — it means people are paying attention. RWA is, in my opinion, currently an organization of writers who hold a unique position in the business of being authors. There is no other organization ahead of RWA and its members with he issues facing publishers and writers today. Not one. Other organizations are behind RWA members. What has happened to and because of authors in RWA is very likely on its way to other writers.

It’s also true that the current publishing environment is one driven by technology. We are potentially looking at a future where the big publishers are not companies like the Big 5 but technology companies. Amazon, Google, and Apple are tech companies, they are not book publishing companies …. except now they are.

I have spent something like 20 years working in tech. I currently work in software development, as a data architect. That’s a job that touches lots and lots of technical areas. I feel strongly that RWA needs at least some Board members who have a strong grasp of what this technology transformation of publishing could/does mean for writers. I’m not the only one with expertise, not by any means. But I am one of them.

This is a crucial time for RWA. So go look at the slate of really, truly, fine candidates and then vote for people you feel should on the board, representing you.

Consider this:


Everyone says publishing is dead. Nobody reads. Three of the biggest companies in the world — Apple, Amazon, and Google — are all recently and aggressively in the book publishing business.

Whatever your take away on that, go vote. It’s important.

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Misha Saves The Queen

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

God love a Glock. Keep a stiff wrist, and they never jam.

Misha shoved his last mag home. Snick.

Firm two-handed grip.

Smoke drifted from the robotics clean room. Fully contaminated now, with half a body leaking blood in the doorway. The guy wasn’t going to get any deader, but a carbon-fiber tentacle squeezed the corpse’s neck with all the joy of an elopus fresh from the cryotank.

Misha flicked the juice. The electric charge that shot up both arms never got old.

The creature bounded out of the lab like a ballerina on tentacles; fast, coordinated, strong. He aimed, locked on three centimeters above its elephant trunk, and squeezed.

Boo-yah, baby.

“Is it always this messy?”

“Your Majesty.” Elopus gore oozed down his left shoulder, but when the Queen walks into a room, you bow, motherfucker.

What the??

A participant in GISHWHES asked me to help her in her scavenger hunt. One of the tasks was to get a published Sci-Fi author to write a story with the parameters below. I qualify, it was felt, because my books in the Crimson City series are Sci-Fi romance. So, I said, sure!

The Instructions

140 word Sci-Fi story involving an elopus, Misha Collins and Her Majesty, the Queen of England.

Boom.

To be safe, I counted hyphenated words as two.

Enjoy.

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