Dragonverse Origins now stands at 91,048 words. I estimate I have around 4 chapters left to write. Even though I set my word count goal at 85,000 words, that’s the low count I like to hit. Peacekeeper 2 came in at around 93,000 words and I believe Dragonverse Origins is going to come in at around 100,000. But, this is the first draft.
I’m not sure if you could tell, but I was a bit down on myself in my last post. Everyone has their up and down days and I just happened to have my down day on the day I wrote my blog. There are times when I look at sales and the blog view stats and I get a little discouraged. Writers have the itch to write because they want their stories to be read. I know my writing income will never be able to replace my day job but, that does not matter to me at all. Sales, however, are what drives writers to write. If sales had always been very poor, I would never have continued to write. I would have found another activity to keep myself busy. But I've had good sales and when you look at the long-term, sales have actually been good.
There are days when the writing flows and others when I sit staring at the screen wondering what to type. Every writer out there goes through the same ups and downs. It’s such a wonderful feeling when you’re “in the zone”. It’s a form of natural high. I get there at times when I’m writing computer programs. Time slows when you’re “in the zone” and before you know it, you’ve written hundreds of lines of code or thousands of words and hours have gone by without you even knowing it has passed.
On March 3rd, I had the honor of sitting on a self-publishing panel at the Madison Public Library. There are several libraries all within less than an hour’s drive from my house. Two of them are known for heavily supporting local authors. The Madison Public Library has a section devoted to local authors and they routinely support events to help local authors meet the public. The self-publishing panel last week was one such event.
Even though it was a snowy evening, at least 20 people showed up for the event. I was the only science fiction author on the panel. The others have written fiction as well as books dealing with local attractions. The evening went very well and I had a great time. There were plenty of questions and great discussions on several topics. I handed out my simple guide to self-publishing (also available on my website) and (more importantly) I learned a few things.
I love interacting with people looking to get into writing. Before the event started, I had an elderly gentleman come up to speak with me. He was working with CreateSpace to produce his book using one of their paid programs. He’s 92 years old! Another individual sat in the far back of the room. He listened intently and (as did many others) made notes of what was said. I’m not great at guessing ages but I believe he was in his 20’s. It doesn’t matter how old you are; if you want to write – you write!
A few weeks from now, I will be back at the same library. The event is called “Cooks and Books”. Authors are provided a table to set up shop and sell their books while others set up around them and sell baked goods. I went to this event years ago when I had only a single book published. I’m looking forward to doing it again as an author with a lot more experience under my belt. I'm also planning on making it an annual event.
The other library I know of that is a heavy supporter of local authors is the Willoughby Public Library. It's about a 45-minute drive from my house and I haven't been there in years. I haven't had time to check it out, but they host a large author signing event that has gotten the attention of the local news in the past. As soon as I post this I plan on doing the research to learn more about this event. It's a few months off but it fills up quickly and now is the time to apply.
There are some authors out there who don’t believe events like this are worth their time. I don't believe in this philosophy. I did not expect to sell any books at last week's event. I went there expecting to answer people's questions. I did come prepared and I sold two books, but that was not the purpose of the event. If I get to talk to people interested in meeting authors, then it was worth my time.
I can understand that authors such as Steven King might not want to sit at a local library because they would be inundated with people. It would also detract from the other authors trying to make a name for themselves. But, if you’re a run-of-the-mill author with a face or a name that doesn't cause a crowd to form no matter where you go, then take the time to support your local library. The administrators work hard to provide a place where the public can come and enjoy themselves. If you’re not an author and you’ve never set foot in the library just down the street – then perhaps now is the time for you to do so. Pick up a flyer, get on their mailing list, and look to see what programs they offer. You might find something that interests you.