Jeanne: The Stages of a Manuscript

quill-175980_640Stage 1: This is a brilliant idea! Once this thing is published, it will make me instantly famous and very, very rich.

Stage 2: Okay, it’s a good idea, but how in the world am I going to make this work?

Stage 3: Whatever possessed me to think this was a good idea? Joss Whedon himself couldn’t figure out how to make all these pieces come together.

Stage 4: Okay, okay, I think I see how it can work. I really am pretty smart.

Stage 5: But I SUCK as a writer. This has to be the most boring pile of manuscript crap ever committed to paper.

Stage 6: So that was a pretty good scene. Clever banter, a little humor. Maybe not every reader will abandon ship on page 1.

Stage 7: I have a book! It didn’t turn out quite like I thought it would (or, it turned out nothing like I thought it would), but there’s a worthwhile story here.

Stage 8: Okay, it’s out in the world. How do I make people aware of its existence?

Here’s where I am with the first three books in my demon series:

Book 1: Stage 8

Book 2: Stage 7 (with sudden trips back to Stage 3 as I work through my editor’s feedback)

Book 3: Stage 3

How about you?

Nancy: Accountability Thread and…Free ARCs!

It’s the first Monday of the month, and that means accountability here at Chez Nancy. However, today I have something else to share first, and since I used the titillating word “free” in my post title, I’m going to start with that. You see my novella book cover over/up there in the image? That cover and the words attached to it (aka my book) will be released at the end of November. Yippeeee!

Now it’s time for me to think about the care and feeding of Too Clever by Half as it goes out into the world. In this day and age, a big part of a book’s survival is garnering reviews, primarily at booksellers that carry it (mine will be Amazon-exclusive for a bit), secondarily at popular reader sites like Goodreads. To get the review party started, authors give away advance review copies (ARCs) before release, with the request that recipients post a review in the first few days of a book release.

Starting today, I’m looking for my ARC readers! If you think that could be you, you’re just a few clicks away from requesting one. Just go to my author website contact page, where you can choose to email me (please include ARC in the subject line), or continue onto my FB author page to message your email address to me. Easy peasy!

A few important deets: I’ll send out a limited number of ARCs on a first-come, first-served basis. ARCs will not include the pretty pink cover you’ve been seeing for the past few weeks, so don’t be surprised by that! I will NOT collect your email address for nefarious purposes or, well, for any purpose other than to send you the e-ARC and a quick note with the basics about ARC reviewing, and a follow-up reminder to post your review on or after release day.

Now, back to Monday and that accountability thing… Continue reading

Nancy: October Accountability Thread

Me on September 30 (which I thought was September 29)

Okay, first things first. For the first several hours of the day, I had no idea we’d entered October. Somehow, I thought it was September 30. Thus I was working on a post about the incredible writing experience I had this past week at the WFWA annual retreat, which was taking longer than expected because I was including examples of some of my workshop exercises.

Now that I realize it’s the first Monday of a new month, we have some accountability to discuss, and my WFWA squee will have to wait until next week (which means better examples, anyway). So, first up, my September recap.

September Progress

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Continue reading

Nancy: September Accountability Thread

Welcome, September! Happy Labor Day to those who celebrate, and happy Monday to those who don’t. It’s the first Monday of the month, so it’s time for some accountability all up in here! As a reminder, first I’ll go over what I planned to do in August and report on how close or far I was from each goal.

August Progress

1) Write the short story prequel for the Harrow’s Finest Five series. Well, I’ve thought about it quite a bit. Does that count? Can I get a half credit, or maybe a quarter, or…OK, this one’s going to have to show up in September. Continue reading

Jeanne: July Progress Report

20180725_084520Nancy’s accountability thread yesterday reminded me (as it frequently does) that I’m committed to posting a progress report each month, too.

Goals for July:

  1. 1. Complete my revision of The Demon’s in the Details and send it off to my copy editor on August 1, as scheduled.
    • Done. Exactly on schedule, as it happens.
  2.  Get The Demon Always Wins loaded into Amazon for pre-orders before I head for the RWA® National conference, so that I can invite people to pre-order.
    • Good news: The ebook is available on Amazon for pre-order. I ran into some  issues in work I’d contracted out, though, so it didn’t happen until July 31st.
    • More good news: As of this writing, I’ve sold 51 books! Woo-hoo!
  3. Get through the RWA® National Conference.
    • Done.
    • The basket of apples and bookmarks pictured at the top of this blog is a recreation of the one I set up in the Goody Room at the conference. I gave away maybe fifty bookmarks and about three dozen apples over the course of four days.
    • The honor of taking home the necklace (aka “winning the Golden Heart”) went to Kay Hudson for Jinn on the Rocks. On the plus side, I did meet a couple of agents at the GH reception and they requested submissions of my contemporary romance, Girl’s Best Friend, when it’s ready. So now I’m trying to figure out how to make that happen without losing momentum on my paranormal series.
  4. Work with Barclay Publicity on my release campaign for The Demon Always Wins.
    • I’ve been working diligently to grow the following for my Facebook author page  and to acquire more Twitter followers. Both of which I’ve made progress on–452 FB page likes and 536 Twitter followers. Neither of which is anywhere near what I need for effective marketing, but it’s an improvement.
    • I’ve also been working with Barclay on identifying the optimal item to reward newsletter signups. More on that in a separate post.

Continue reading

Nancy: August Accountability Thread

I’ve been pondering the theoretical physics of time recently, wondering how time applied to the 24-hour news cycle proceeds at such a glacially-slow slog, while time applied to my writing goals and deadlines moves at warp speed. Alas, my only conclusion is that time and the current universe in which we live are weird and unfathomable. Regardless, time waits for no one, so let’s get on with our accountability thread on this fine August Monday.

July Progress

1) Finish the Story Genius foundational work and revise/polish the first 50 pages of HFF Novel 2. Done! Plus, I’ve written the ‘aha! moment’ scenes (that’s a Story Genius term) and the final scenes from the POV of both the hero and heroine, so I have something like a quarter of the book out of my head and down on paper. Bonus: I’m having so much fun with this story! It’s a bit more of a romp than the other books in the series thus far. Continue reading

Jeanne: June Progress Report

Okay, let’s see how the month stacked up:

Goals for June:

  1. Buy ISBN’s. (You can read about that here.)
    • DONE! I was waffling about this, because it required spending a chunk of cash for something that’s not that fun, and that’s never easy, but then Eight Lady Justine forwarded me a promotional email offering 10% off if I bought them that day, which was just what was needed to spark me into moving.
  2. Study up on how to load a book to Amazon.
    • Um, not yet.
  3. Finish this draft of Girl’s Best Friend and hand it off to some beta readers.
    • I got to the finish line, only to realize I didn’t buy the ending. And with release dates looming for The Demon Always Wins (September 1st–eek!) and The Demon’s in the Details it was time to put GBF down for a nap and focus on my main goals. I have since (I think) figured out how to fix the ending and if I get a couple of free days, I will.
  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.)
    • I am, as of this writing, just shy of being halfway through the manuscript, and several days ahead of schedule. There may, of course, be more surprises to come in the second half, but the way my editor generally works, the most difficult stuff usually shows up early.
  5. Get ready for the RWA® National Conference in July. As a Golden Heart® 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 this actually required was taking a dress I bought 25 years ago at a vintage clothing shop (that’s right–it was old when I bought it a quarter of a century ago) and replacing the ostrich feathers around the hem, (that’s right, it has ostrich feathers) which had turned brown with age, with new ones. I’m as certain as a woman can be that no one else will show up wearing the same dress.jeanne-in-dress.jpg

Continue reading