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2014-10-19

Self-Publishing

My wife (my proofreader) is nearing the end of her job. There are only a few chapters of Peacekeeper 2 remaining for her to review. She hoped to finish it yesterday while we were at B&N but her sister popped in and that meant socializing and not proofing. Family does come first though and I am not complaining. She should be done very soon and the manuscript will be sent off to one more person to read--maybe. I say maybe because this last person is currently in the hospital after falling at home. She's okay but they are working on a possible heart issue which might delay her return home. The plan is to prep the book for publication while she takes a look at it. I'm still hoping for a release by the end of the month. Cross your fingers!

My free time has been split between reading several books and writing a small guide to self-publishing. An acquaintance of mine, Christie Yant (@christieyant on Twitter), guest-edited a special edition of Lightspeed magazine titled Women Destroy Science Fiction. This book has been receiving considerable praise from around the world. I've only read the first 5 or 6 stories so far but all have been quite good. I've also been working on a guide to self-publishing.

I was surprised when I started work on Self-Publishing from an Indie Point of View to learn that I seem to know quite a bit about this aspect of the industry--more than I realized. Figuring out how to put everything I know into a handbook and in what order to put it has been a challenge. My plans are to make it available for free if possible. That might be a challenge because you can't give anything away for free on Amazon. I might be forced to sell it for $0.99 which is the lowest price Amazon allows. I will send it out free to everyone on my mailing list when it's done. If you're interested, get on that list!

Nobody correctly guessed the origin of the photo that was used to create the cover for Peacekeeper 2. It's a photo of Mars taken by one of the orbiters. My friend Heather Zak did her magic to add the massive beam of destruction and exploding lava to the photo.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time may recall that I have been against purchasing Microsoft Office. Well ... that changed yesterday. I have LibreOffice, OpenOffice, and Microsoft Office 2003 all installed on my systems. The first two are free. Why pay to upgrade when you can use a free program? The answer--compatibility. My niece-in-law came over the other day with a school project she needed to print (their printer was broke). It was created in Word. I opened it in both LibreOffice and OpenOffice and she said the formatting was incorrect. Opening it up in Word produced a correct document. Amazon and Smashwords use the Word format for uploading. I normally use Word anyway to create the final output just to avoid any formatting issues like I saw above. Word 2003 has security issues and is no longer supported. So, I dropped the money and purchased Microsoft Office 365 yesterday. I use it at work which is also another reason to upgrade.

Finally, yesterday, I received an email from Jody Lynn Nye concerning the status of Launch Pad - the Anthology. The original publisher had issues with getting it into print and has transferred it to WordFire Press. It will soon be available in both ebook and print format in the very near future. They will also be promoting this book which will not only help boost sales but it will help Launch Pad obtain the funding it needs to continue its mission. I will let you know when the book is available.

2014-10-12

Strange Coincidence

After posting my blog entry last week, I received an e-mail from my copy-editor. He suggested working on Dragonverse 3. He also indicated he had some ideas. Never one to turn down a possible plot, I asked him to send me what he had. I about fell out of my chair when I read his idea because it was a near duplicate of what I had been thinking about! It was just too strange to be true--but there it was in black and white staring at me on the computer screen. I have never written down my own idea nor have I told anyone else. So I guess, Dragonverse 3 will be next. Well--almost.

I've been gathering thoughts in my head about a short manual on self-publishing. I think I'll be putting that together first. My best friend in Minnesota should be getting close to finishing his novel and I have other friends who've never self-published before but are interested, so writing this will benefit people. It will also be something I can present/use/hand out at WorldCon 2015. This will be my next project and I'm going to begin work on it today.

My wife has made significant progress toward proofing Peacekeeper 2. As proof that I do listen to my readers--I no longer bother (i.e. nag) her about getting the proofing done. It takes what it takes. She is well-aware of the fact that I'm waiting on her before I can format and publish. There is one more final reader involved but she is quick and I should have her feedback quickly. In the meantime, I can work on formatting the book for final publication. I can enter her feedback in the final version just before I send it off to the virtual press.

I will also be copyrighting the manuscript after I have a near final format. It's the words that count when you copyright a novel. This is something I've talked about in the past and highly recommend copyrighting your work. Click here to see the start of a short chain of posts about my copyrighting experience or just do a search for 'copyright'.

Yesterday, at the writer's meeting at B&N I read a chapter from PK2. The feedback was positive and I got some good ideas on some minor changes. I can easily make those changes without impacting the publication schedule because my wife has not yet reached that point in the book. I will be working on that right after posting and sending this out.

Only one other person had something to read and it was so good I told the group that she should collect the posts into a book and publish them at a later date. She is taking care of her mom who has Alzheimer's disease. If you're interested in reading her blog you can find it at: http://rbnrob6.wordpress.com/.

I also wanted to remind those who are interested about my mailing list. Instead of having to remember to go to my blog to read it, you can sign up to receive a very short reminder each week when I post. If you're not interested that week, just kill the email. To sign up, follow this link: http://eepurl.com/VYmMD

2014-10-05

The Next Project

My wife is now about 3/4's of the way done with her proofing of Peacekeeper 2. I think I remind her at least 3 times a day to please try to work on proofing. We have had a very busy week and she has been quite busy. Next week looks to be a bit better. I do tend to get very impatient around this stage of the writing process because I know there are people out there who are waiting to read the book. Naturally, I also want to see it published. But, I need to learn how to have patience. Perhaps next time I will not be so revealing as to how far along my next project is and then I won't get myself into this situation.

I have several ideas bouncing around in my head for what my next project is going to be. I have been working on a YA story involving a disfigured boy and a dragon but I have not yet figured out what the middle of the book is going to be like. I've already come up with some great stuff but right now it's all in my head. I will have to put it into writing soon before it fades into oblivion.

Another possibility is a third Dragonverse. There are some very good possibilities there but I think I would have to go back and clean up the existing novels first. I've learned a lot about writing since then and I can see where the books need improvement. Since they're in electronic format, I can easily make changes and republish.

I've had a number of people ask me to write a sequel to Off Course and I have some interesting ideas there as well. I haven't given it much thought while writing PK2. but I've thought about it in the past.

Finally, I've been giving some serious thought to writing a short guide to self-publishing. Since I'll be sitting on a self-publishing panel at next year's WorldCon I'll be doing some additional research into the subject. I've been doing self-publishing since 2009 and I think I have a good enough background to put together something that other aspiring writers will find useful. I used to be against signing on with a major publisher but today's contracts are actually pretty good for writers - as long as you get one of these contracts. There's also the issue with the SFWA and its treatment of self-published authors. They have their reasons, but I think it's high time they realized not all self-published authors write sub-standard novels.