Jeanne: The First Pancake, Part Two

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about how self-publishing your first book is kind of like making your Pancakefirst pancake–it may turn out just fine, or it may be a scorched, runny mess, depending on how good a job you do of making the batter, setting up the griddle, etc.

I managed to get The Demon Always Wins set up for pre-order on Amazon on July 31. As of last night, I had 59 pre-orders. That may not seem like much, but according to Kameron Hurley, the average self-published book sells only 250 copies in its lifetime. And while the average traditionally-published book sells 3000 copies over the course of its publication life, 250-300 is the usual first year total.

So, with two-and-a-half weeks remaining till my book actually becomes available, I’ve already hit 22% of average lifetime sales for self-pubs and of first-year sales for traditional books.

So yay!

Continue reading

Nancy: Just 20 Pages

As regular readers here know, several months ago, I finally gave up my high-stress, pressure-filled, deadline-driven corporate consulting job and set up my own high-stress, pressure-filled, deadline-driven writing and publishing plan. It’s a much better gig! However, one good thing about a corporate job is the structure. (That, and cake. People randomly bringing in cake. Why do my new office mates, aka the cats, never bring me cake? But I digress).

When you enter the full-time writer world, your time is suddenly your own, even with a very firm stake planted in the ground somewhere out there in Future Land. When it comes to publishing schedules, suddenly you’re thinking in terms of months or even years. Gone are the daily and weekly due dates, the guide rails that keep you plodding along on the straight and narrow. Take the girl out of the corporate world and chaos follows. At least, that’s what happened to schedule- and spreadsheet- and calendar-loving me. Continue reading

Jilly: Vicarious Thrills

Regular readers of this blog will no doubt be aware that our Jeanne’s debut novel, The Demon Always Wins, is now available for preorder on Amazon and will be released for sale on 1 September. Squee!

Some of the 8 Ladies have been published before, so it’s not technically our first book, but it’s the one Jeanne was working on when we all first met (virtually) in class at McDaniel College. When she said it was a re-telling of the story of Job as a paranormal romantic comedy I remember thinking, “that’s interesting, and different.”

Because we spent a whole year in class talking about our stories and critiquing each other’s scenes, I think we all feel a certain sense of ownership of this book. We got to know Jeanne’s dark, snarky, funny voice. We saw her delete a fantastic opening scene only to replace it with one even better. We watched her polish her manuscript until it became a Golden Heart winner, and then take it up another level with the help of rigorous professional editing. Continue reading

Michaeline: Nothing on my mind

feet in hot lake water

My travelling companions find the hot spot in the hot sands next to the lake. (photo by E.M. Duskova)

Nothing much on my mind this week! Today, I’m touring around some volcanic lakes, and I’d like to pretend I’m filling the well for some grand short story about fire demons, but actually, I’m soaking my feet in the hot sands of Sunayu in Hokkaido, Japan. Ahhhh!

This area is very cool, though. Lots of museums and crafts by the native people of Hokkaido, and this particular lake boasts of a sea monster! Kusshie of Lake Kussharo.

How is your summer going? It’s almost gone, so let’s take advantage of it!

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

I was at the store yesterday and they had a display of Halloween costumes out already. That’s just crazy. There’s still more than a month of summer left. I guess it’s lucky they didn’t have Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas trees out already too, though I’ll admit I wouldn’t have minded if they had decided it was time to bring out the pecan pies.

Yum!

This weekend I’ll be heading off to a festival where there will be delightful things like apple fritters, fresh pressed apples, and vendors selling all kinds of things that I absolutely don’t need, but may very likely still buy.

Before that, however, it’s time to make sure I still qualify as being a “writer” by actually sitting down and writing something (other than blog posts). I’ve been working on my contemporary mystery manuscript all week – I’m hoping to get a few more scenes finished on that before Monday. As a precursor to that, I think I’ll wake up my creativity with a session of writing sprints.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Kay: Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

from wisegeek.com

I’ve been reading the Ladies’ posts—you know which ones I mean—the ones where everybody talks about their development editors, proofreaders, graphic artists, cover designers, blog tours, FaceBook friends, Twitter followers, and advertising campaigns. I am totally in awe for the time, energy, commitment, and planning all this work requires. I admire them beyond words for what they’re doing.

I’ve never done any of that.

Not that I’m proud of it. Far from it. Mostly I’m just super lazy. And I’m an ex-editor by trade, so when I think my manuscript is as good as I can make it, I get a cover, and I publish it. Done. And sometimes people buy my book and leave a review, so overall, I’m fine with my career, as low-key as it is.

However. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Name that Series

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been hanging out with new stories.

Again!

Sure, I’ve got three manuscripts in varying stages of completion and a goal of getting them all buffed and polished so I can enter them in the next (and final) Golden Heart contest, but there are new, seductive story ideas all around, just clamoring for my attention.  Who am I to ignore them?

Maybe all of the reading I’ve been doing in recent months (a book-a-day anyone?) has kicked my imagination into gear, or maybe the editing project I just finished triggered some new creative brain cells; who knows.

Actually, I’m pretty sure it was Jilly. Continue reading