Jeanne: May Progress Report

Sometime last month, I realized I completely skipped my April progress report, so this update will stand in for both.

Goals for April:

  • Write 15,000 words on The Demon Wore Stilettos.

That manuscript is currently sitting at 11,275, so even now, two months later, I haven’t hit that goal. There’s a reason for that, which is that I got distracted cleaning up my Contemporary romance, Girl’s Best Friend. It’s currently about a week’s work away from being ready for my beta readers.

Being ADD (undiagnosed) does not help in meeting project deadlines.

  • Prep my first-ever newsletter to go out May 1. (If you’re interested in receiving it, you can sign up here.)

Okay, so that didn’t happen either. It would have gone out June 1, but when I looked at my MailChimp account, I realized it included my home address. And while I realize that anyone can Google my name and find my address, just sending it out felt like a bad idea. So I arranged with another local author to split a PO Box.

It will go out this week–to a grand total of 19 people. All the experts assure me that a newsletter is the best way to grow my mailing list, and that may be true, but the best way to grow my fan base is to actually start publishing books.

Which will happen September 1. I’m 95% sure of that, because The Demon Always Wins currently sits with the proofreader. From there it will go to the formatter, who has promised me it will be ready to load onto Amazon for pre-orders by July 15.

  • Design updated business cards with my branding to take to Denver for the RWA national conference in July.

Decided not to do that. I’m not sure how much value business cards really have these days, and I have existing ones (that aren’t my branding). I decided not to spend the time and money.

  • Decide on some swag to put in the Goody room at the RWA national conference.

After much soul-searching and discussion, I elected to go with bookmarks. Spark Creative Partners, the lovely people who created my website, are working on them as we speak.

In addition to these accomplishments, I also received The Demon’s in the Details back from my editor, Karen Dale Harris, who had surprisingly few edits. By “surprisingly few,” I mean her edit report was fifteen pages, compared to the thirty-pager I got for The Demon Always Wins.

Goals for June: (there should be background music with drums thudding louder and faster as we move toward the wire.)

  1. Buy ISBN’s. (You can read about that here.)
  2. Study up on how to load a book to Amazon.
  3. Finish this draft of Girl’s Best Friend and hand it off to some beta readers.
  4. Figure out how to address the issues my editor raised with The Demon’s in the Details. (I said she had fewer edits. I didn’t say they were easy.)
  5. Get ready for the RWA National Conference in July. As a GH finalist, I will be attending a reception with agents and editors, as well as the luncheon where the awards will be presented to the winners. Since my post-retirement wardrobe doesn’t have a lot of fancy clothes, this requires some planning and, possibly, shopping.

What’s on your agenda?

8 thoughts on “Jeanne: May Progress Report

  1. (-: Good job moving forward!

    This double-punch of accountability had me spinning with doubt and unhappiness, but when I sat down to make a comment on Nancy’s post, I realized that I had been doing some work, and that I had a few unspoken goals for this month. So, thank you both of you for posting about accountability. Sure, there’s that horrible fear that one is failing one’s own self, but then again, there’s the pleasant surprise that the abyss isn’t as deep as one feared.

    (-: I feel so cheered that I may even get some new work done after the revision. It’s a summer story, and the time is right!

    • Excellent! Some of us are spurred on by accountability, but some of us find it overwhelming. Each person needs to figure out what motivates her in a positive direction. Sounds like you may have done that!

  2. You’re making progress and that’s what matters. Yay you! (And I’m totally with you on the ADD distractability thing. My nemesis…*ooo! shiny new thing!*)

    I spewed my accomplishments for May on Nancy’s post yesterday. This month, I don’t have much planned because of summer vacation travel, but I will be attending a Damon Suede workshop(s) at the end of the month — plotting, characters, and branding. It should be a busy day. Otherwise, I have to get my storyboard finished this week so I can hand it off to my editor when she comes back from vacation on Monday. I did get some website issues fixed yesterday, which is nice, but until I have time to get the MailChimp problems figured out, I’m not going live.

    As to your 19 subscribers, I have 5, and 3 of them are me. 🙂 The advantage of having a lot of email addresses!

    • What kind of problems are you having with MailChimp? Mine is just that I don’t know how to use it. Also, I somehow lost the email template Spark sent me, so I just had to ask them to re-send.

      I hate learning curves. Actually, that’s not true. I love learning new things. I hate feeling time-pressured to learn, though.

      Nothing but good times ahead!

      • Most of my problems on MailChimp have to do with the image that I posted (I created my own website design and am borrowing that for the header on the sign-up form). When viewed on a mobile device, it’s smushed. There’s probably some box I can tick somewhere that says “resize,” but I haven’t found it yet, and likely won’t worry about it until after we get back from our trip at the end of June. But those problems are JUST for the sign-up form. I still have to
        –create a newsletter template,
        –figure out how to get MC to link to my blog posts, so when I post a new blog/news, it goes out through MailChimp rather than WordPress, and
        –link the free downloadable story I’m giving away if you sign up for my newsletter through Book Funnel (and put that in the thank you email that goes out through MailChimp). So there will be a Book Funnel learning curve, too.

        I don’t mind learning new things. I’ve used Constant Contact through my kids’ school when I was helping with the newsletter, so it’s just a matter of setting it up and making it work. But the testing involved in making sure it works is what I’m not looking forward to. I’m grateful right now for my tech writing/QA testing background. I suspect it will come in handy. LOL.

        If I can get everything set up and ready to go by the end of July, I’ll be happy.

        Nothing but good times ahead!

  3. Pingback: Elizabeth: By Age 35 . . . – Eight Ladies Writing

  4. Sounds like you have multiple series going, Jeanne. That way lies madness! But I have no doubt you can balance all of it. And book 3 might be hanging out under 12k words because your brain knows it still needs to cogitate. Sometimes our subconscious minds are smarter than we are ;-).

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