Tag Archives: publishing

72 Hours to go…

I know, I know, I’ve been terrible about finishing it up, but this time, it’s official:  as soon as I get final approval from whoever it is that amazon has do this stuff, Curdled Cuisine will be available.  The cover gave me no end of trouble, mostly because I have no artistic skills, but it’s finally done.

I swear, it’s on its way.

And, after I take care of a few personal matters, I hope to start work on book four in… like… two or three months.  So, who knows how long it will be until Delicious Detritus hits the market.

However…

I’ve got a couple of short stories centering around Walter and his ilk that I will be making available over the coming months.  Please keep coming back here so I can tell you how to get your hands on them.  I have to say, I’m very pleased with how they’ve been turning out.

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Impatience

My book, Awfully Appetizing, was released in e-format in the middle of June.  Since then, as I may have mentioned on here a couple of times, my book sales have been less than spectacular.  Part of that is because I suck at promotions, I freely admit that.  Part of it is because I have never really been a social butterfly.  I don’t have the network of friends, kind of friends, acquaintances and such that some people do.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but it does make it a little harder to get that big push of sales when you start out.

But one of the big things that I really believe is holding me back is the lack of print books.  A lot of people these days have e-readers, certainly, but one of the exciting things about a friend writing a book, at least to me, is having them autograph it to you.  I love having my own copies of books by my writer friends.

Plus, there are promotional opportunities that only exist when you have print copies.  I was going to do a book giveaway on goodreads, but apparently they only do that with physical copies of the book, which makes a lot of sense.  And I’ve had several times when I talked to people about my new book coming out, but when they expressed interest in it, I had to say, ‘sorry, it’s only available for electronic readers.’

It isn’t my publisher’s fault.  Winlock press, and Monique Happy in particular, have been great about keeping me up to date with what’s happening and when.  But apparently Lightning Source has buggered things up and we’ve ended up pushed back to the end of the queue.  I’m annoyed.

And I’m impatient as hell.

The Sophomore Slump

Have you ever noticed that amazing first books are often followed up by mediocre second books?  I mean, not always, but often enough to be worth noting.  For example, I consider Fool Moon, the second book in the Dresden Files, to be the low point of the series.  In that particular case, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. The book was still better than half the crap I’ve read, but still, of the sixteen or so books in the series, number two is the one I am least enthralled by.

Patrick Rothfuss’s debut, The Name of the Wind, got widespread praise, and rightfully so.  His second book, however, was generally considered to be a bit of a letdown.

I think I’ve sorted out why.

My first book, Awfully Appetizing, is the work of years.  Not to say that I spent every waking hour working on it.  Not even close, sometimes I went weeks without touching it.  But the thing is, I never had to work on it, so if I wasn’t feeling inspired, if I hadn’t sorted out whatever problem had made me stop working on it before, I simply left it alone, letting everything percolate in my head for a bit longer.

But my second book is supposed to be sent in by September.  There’s a time limit on it.  I’m on the clock.  If I don’t feel like working on it today?  Tough luck.  The work needs to be done.

Now, fortunately for me, I have a publisher who has indicated that she is open to pushing back my due dates a bit.  Fingers crossed that’ll hold true, but however understanding she is, I don’t think she wants to push release days back years, so the shift is still there.  I spent years working on book one, polishing it, sanding the rough edges, looking at it in different lights… compared to that, book two is going to be a rush job.

The Reviews Conundrum

I have long held that writers should not read reviews of their books.  What it comes down to is that reviews are not written for the author.  A review is simply a conversation between one person who has read a book, and someone else who is thinking about reading it.  As such, a review is not meant to contain information that is useful to the writer.  Where a good critique, which is intended for the writer, will note both positive and negative elements within a book, a review is essentially an argument for or against reading the work, and will mostly contain information designed to support the initial argument.

A critique, generally, will be specific in its points, identifying, not simply where the story fails to work, but why it fails to work, and what can be done to make it work.  A review doesn’t have these elements because there’s no reason for it to do so.  When an author reads a critique they will hopefully emerge on the other side with an idea of how to better themselves.  When an author reads a review, they will emerge on the other side either thinking more highly of themselves, or pissed off at the person who wrote it.

It is a no-win situation.

But authors, especially new authors and authors who have not achieved the level of success that they want, will inevitably read their reviews.  Because reviews are one of the best indicators of a books future success.  Did you just get twenty praise-filled reviews in a row?  Well, chances are those people are telling their friends.  Did you get a dozen one star reviews?  Good luck getting someone who stumbles across your amazon page to randomly purchase that.

So our eyes are locked on it.  We are fully invested in that next review.  that next comment.  that next X-star….

Every once in a while, one of my writer friends will post a story about a writer who replies to a bad review.  Inevitably, things go poorly.  No matter how bad a review is, how much we think that they just didn’t understand, writers have to learn to keep their thoughts to themselves.  The truth is, we’re listening in on somebody else’s conversation.  They aren’t talking to us, so bursting in and screaming at them is unacceptable.  After all, if they bought a copy of the book, then they’re entitled to share their opinion of it.

Sorry, just had all of this running through my mind while I wait for Awfully Appetizing to get its first review.  I have to remind myself that I may not like what they have to say.

Then again, maybe I will.

Either way, the truth is, I shouldn’t read it.

But I will anyway.

Incremental Progress

So, my website is now, technically up.  www.ldfitz.com.  If you’re reading this the same day as I post it, don’t bother actually visiting the site just yet.  What is there is essentially a placeholder.  The real content, such as it is, will be up in a couple of days.

My friend, who knows a billion times more than I do about computers, is frustrated with me for using godaddy to host my site.  To be fair, I know about as much about website hosting as I do about heart surgery.  I’m sure there are options and I’m sure that some of the options are better than others, but the only way I’m going to find the right answer is if I trip over it.

Anyhow, he had to do some finagling to get just that much up.  And believe me, I appreciate it, because if my history with websites is any indicator, what I would put up would likely cause seizures, and possibly result in a third world war, somehow.

But the situation with my website is a lot like my situation with my manuscript in so much as it is vitally important to me, and yet I have no real power over it.  I am sitting here, practically shivering with anxiety and anticipation, and there is nothing that I can do to make things go faster or slower, better or worse.  I’m just waiting for the next thing that will have a massive effect on my life to happen of its own accord.

Well, that’s life for you, I guess.