Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013, Are You Ready?

Here we go again, another new year with new challenges. Are you up for it? I for one am looking forward to this year. Our book will be launched in a few months, and I have another one almost completely written and will start on revisions soon. If all goes well, we plan to get that one out in the fall or winter. 

Now that we understand more about creative writing, we hope to be able to get through this next book a little easier. We are also blessed with a wonderful editor, and great critique partners. It is a big plus. 

I will be having our editor on here as a guest this month. I am looking forward to introducing her to everyone, and those of you that are writers can check her out. She charges very reasonable rates and is really good. My plan is to get the word out to my self-published colleagues that this is an important step before you launch your book. 

There is a new group discussion on LinkedIn about this very subject, and although some agree that this is an important step, there are those who believe their book is up to par enough to publish it without an editor. My look on it is even the big publishing companies have editors go over their clients book before publishing. There must be a reason for it.

Now that the book, Fable, is at the editors, my sister and have been working on the dreaded social media. That is the next part of my plan, to understand all the in's and out's of building our fan base. Basically, a nightmare, for me anyway. 

The reason I don't like it is I'm not that great at computers and there is a lot to learn. I know, it's a must, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. At least I am doing it and know the importance of it. 

We set my sister, Toni, up on Pinterest, and Twitter, and we started building the fanpage for Facebook. I am very excited about the fan page, and I am excited to get my sister introduced out there to all my new friends. I know she will be a major asset and I hope she is welcomed by everyone.

We will be working on this Saturday and probably the next month. I hope to learn all the new ways to reach our readers and hope that when the book is launched, they will check it out.

We also met with the artist, Mike, who is creating the cover and map for our book. It is coming along nicely! I love it! I will put up a picture of part of the map so far so you can check it out. 

And, just to let you know, I rewrote the poem, and it looks much better. Thanks to everyone who left me comments. They got me thinking and working on it. It is now at the editor's, so we will see what she thinks. 

Last, but not least, I will be having more guests in the coming months. More writers, and authors, and I will try to have more that are in my own genre. But, I will have writers from other genres as well. I think books are the best way to get away, no matter what you prefer to read, or even to write. 

Until next week, I hope that you are all working on whatever it is you plan on to have a wonderful and prosperous new year. leave me a comment and tell me your goals for 2013. I would love to hear them!

Love, Lisa



  

14 comments:

  1. I don't believe social media is a must, myself. In fact, I barely use it myself. Facebook I've reserved for my real friends, only about a fifth of whom know I am an author. I can't stand the idea of Twitter's microscopic messages that force you to either split your remarks into several tweets or become unintelligible.

    I have a website on Wordpress.com that sees very few hits, none of which coincide with sales of my books. Sales just magically appear out of the blue (which is awesome, by the way). One series here, the soon-to-be-finished trilogy there.

    I suspect that if I start a bit of marketing, I can increase my sales by an order of magnitude, but I really can't be bothered. You see, I am always brought back to the WIBBOW test. Would I Be Better Off Writing?

    You have to answer that yourself, but for me, the answer is almost invariably yes (except when I'm doing cover art, editing, or publishing). I would, at the very least, like to finish the series and the trilogy I am working on. I have a standalone novel that's been in my drawer since October of 2010. I intend to make that my first print novel, along with the print edition of the trilogy. Then, perhaps, I will do a little bit of advertisement (beyond my occasional blog replies).

    I look forward to seeing information regarding your editor. While I have been content to let beta readers, a collection of custom tools that point out my common errors, and text-to-speech narration point out any issues in my shorter works (it's amazing what errors you can pick up on when something is spoken aloud), I have every intention of having professional eyes on my longer works, especially those headed for print.

    Also, that is an awesome map. Your artist has done a wonderful job on it. I look forward to seeing the cover art.

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  2. I don't believe social media is a must, myself. In fact, I barely use it myself. Facebook I've reserved for my real friends, only about a fifth of whom know I am an author. I can't stand the idea of Twitter's microscopic messages that force you to either split your remarks into several tweets or become unintelligible.

    I have a website on Wordpress.com that sees very few hits, none of which coincide with sales of my books. Sales just magically appear out of the blue (which is awesome, by the way). One series here, the soon-to-be-finished trilogy there.

    I suspect that if I start a bit of marketing, I can increase my sales by an order of magnitude, but I really can't be bothered. You see, I am always brought back to the WIBBOW test. Would I Be Better Off Writing?

    You have to answer that yourself, but for me, the answer is almost invariably yes (except when I'm doing cover art, editing, or publishing). I would, at the very least, like to finish the series and the trilogy I am working on. I have a standalone novel that's been in my drawer since October of 2010. I intend to make that my first print novel, along with the print edition of the trilogy. Then, perhaps, I will do a little bit of advertisement (beyond my occasional blog replies).

    I look forward to seeing information regarding your editor. While I have been content to let beta readers, a collection of custom tools that point out my common errors, and text-to-speech narration point out any issues in my shorter works (it's amazing what errors you can pick up on when something is spoken aloud), I have every intention of having professional eyes on my longer works, especially those headed for print.

    Also, that is an awesome map. Your artist has done a wonderful job on it. I look forward to seeing the cover art.



    Posted by Ryan Fitzgerald to Lisa's Djen Den at January 3, 2013 10:09 AM

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  3. Hi Ryan, I think you need to post in your google acct. For some reason it doesn't like you otherwise lol! I do love your posts and appreciate your feedback.

    First, I wish I didn't have to do social media, but I want to get the word out about my book to as many as possible. I hope to build a big fan base. I am following you too and I am interested in your book. I do think, however, that reviews are a big thing when you publish. I have been hearing alot about their importance.

    I do like your WIBBOW test though. There is something to that! I decided I'm not going to get too carried away witht he social media, but I will be putting up my fan page tonight and do a web page once my book is published. I want to do a trailer too. Are you friends with me on facebook? If not, invite me so i can be your friend there and to send you an invite for my fanpage.

    My editor will be on in a few weeks and I'm glad that you look forward to checking it out. I think it's well worth it! Also, join my blog where it says 'join this site above the pictures of people. I would love to get to know you better and maybe have you as a guest on my blog!

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  4. So strange, since I did post using my Google account. That is most peculiar. We'll see how well this one works. Maybe it's time to switch to Wordpress. In case it's not obvious, I prefer Wordpress. ;)

    I definitely share your wish in not having to use social media. While I'm technologically inclined and have no issue using the services, I'm not much of a people person and would rather stay holed up in my basement writing books. I cringe when I read blog posts suggesting I should be ENGAGING with my fans. Gives me nightmares, I tell you.

    Thank you for following me. I've got your blog in my RSS feed reader, so I will keep up to date with your posts. I consider that private following. You don't know I'm following you. Seems kind of stalkery, I know.

    I have mixed feelings regarding reviews, actually. On the one hand, I have purchased books based on recommendation. On the other, it was never a review that persuaded me to make my purchase, but simply a friend saying, "I think you'd really like this." Then I read the product description and if I'm not quite sold, I read the sample. If that works for me, I make the purchase.

    I don't personally pay attention to reviews (and I know I'm an outlier as an author) because I've seen how many negative reviews amount to "it's not my cup of tea." I've never understood why people feel the need to tell people what they didn't like about a book when their gripes are personal taste. People all have different tastes.

    As an author, it is important that I do not read reviews of my own books (and Amazon apparently doesn't much like authors reviewing books at all anymore--some overreaction to the paid/fake review scandals of some bestselling authors). The one review I did read (my first review) was quite similar to those I described above.

    Fan pages aren't too bad an idea. I think one major page dedicated to all your writing would suffice, but that's just my methodology. One size, alas, does not fit all, lest we'd all be bestsellers. Keeping social media to a low is a good plan. I know of a few Indie authors who have ended up shutting off all social media, except for one day a week (or a month in some more extreme cases) because it takes up too much of their time or they get in such a huff about this or that (e.g., negative reviews that are personal attacks, insults on social media, etc.) that they find it difficult to write.

    I have never been particularly fond of book trailers. I know a few Indie authors who have had them done. They look cool, but I've never found them practical. Who watches videos to get excited about a book? Maybe I'm weird.

    I look forward to that guest appearance, and I'm already following via RSS feed. :)

    I'll see about adding you to Facebook when I get home from work.

    Hopefully this will post properly.

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  5. Hi,
    Here is wishing you a great year for 2013. All the best.
    Ciao,
    Patricia

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    1. Hi Pat! I wish the same for you! How's the writing going? Keep in touch, Lisa

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  6. YAY! This one went through! Maybe it's the second one with you lol! I'm happy to hear you get my blog posts, at least I know I have a good stalker lmao! Anyway, yeah, that's one advantage to being a self-pub author, you can do as much, or as little, social media you want. If I had my way, I would do as little as possible, but I have met some great people on the net. Some have become cyber friends and I have helped a few writers by reading some of their work and a few have helped me. As far as reviews, I never did used to read them until I purchased a few self-pub's that the writing was not very good. One, I couldn't even get past the first chapter. I try to be open minded, but when the writing is stopping me every fifteen minutes, it's time to check it out before I buy. I do wish that these people would at least join a writing group and get some corrective criticism and work on the craft more. All in all, most of the self-pub's have been good stories, just need tightening and less info-dump. I tend to end up skimming a lot.

    No, book trailers aren't practical, but I like them. I only like the animated ones though. The other's remind me of 'B' rate movies. Your not weird, you've just thought this stuff through for you. It would be great to have you as a friend on FB or at least be able to 'like' my FB fanpage. I will be posting the address on it next blog post and hopefully put the badge up for it in place of the one I have now. Thanks for the follow, and we will talk soon!

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    1. Yes, yay. Hopefully this one does, too. Maybe it's my home computer. I'll have to post a first and second comment to another post from home and see if any go through.

      Indeed. My hard and fast rule for self-published material is that I always get the sample before I even spend 99 cents. Sometimes I can overlook mediocre writing (as I'm sure mine appears at times) if the story is good. But that only works one way. You can't overlook mediocre story just because the writing is perfect (though there's no such thing).

      Writing groups can be useful. The trick, however, is making sure there is someone of an advanced skill level. An inexperienced writing group is likely to do more damage than good. The only possible benefit from an inexperienced writing group is if the individuals involved have a good grasp of grammar. Then you at least improve on your writing if not your storytelling.

      I like to keep in mind Heinlein's rule #3 -- you must not rewrite except to editorial demand. I find that rule is geared specifically towards the distinction between writing and storytelling. They are two separate crafts. The story is usually (though not always) right the first time, even if the writing is not. Whenever you critique a book, you should always keep that in mind. Is the writing the point of failure or is it the story?

      I look forward to your next blog post.

      Cheers,
      Ryan

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    2. yeah, those are the kinds of writing groups I mean. The ones with author's and editor's like Romance writers of America, or a national fiction group. They usually have the experienced type writers. Although, my writing coach taught a group through meet-up and that's who I learned the most from. I agree with what you said about critiques. You don't want to change the author's voice. I try very hard not to do that. I will suggest things and they can decide what they want to do. There are certain writers that do a lot of info-dump, but they are good writers. We writers tend to be long winded! Just to let you know, my editor will be on my blog on Jan. 14th, so mark your calendar! See you then!

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    3. Long-winded, indeed. Just look at my replies. They're blog posts in and of themselves. Except this one. This one is pithy.

      Thank you for the date. I look forward to January 14th.

      Now we shall see if my home computer can post to your site properly. Heck, for all I know, the successful posts at work were flukes.

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  7. Happy New Year Lisa! Your map looks amazing. My goal for 2013 is to buy your published book!

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    1. That's a good goal! I will let you know when it's launched! Thanks for the comment and a Happy New Year to you too!

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  8. Lisa,
    Your plan sounds wonderful, how exactly do you do a guest blogger, just write who it's going to be and then have the blogger come and comment on your questions? I know it's probably simpler than I'm making it. I love your blog and now that I can post on it, I will be participating more:) Take care and God Bless.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, and as for your question, I send them questions on a word document. They answer them and send it back, along with a picture of themselves and if they have a book, a picture of the book. Also, I have them send their contact information. When you comment, they check in here and there and answer the comment. That's pretty much it. Thanks for joining my blog, I appreciate your support and look forward to your comments! Welcome!

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