Writing

Pantsing Vs. Plotting, Writing Plan, and Stuff

To get it out of the way, I do both, I’m a plotter and a pantser. Currently I have the next two books in my series roughly plotted out, as well as the book I’m currently working on. However, while I’m writing stuff pops up that I’d never considered that ends up working perfectly. It’s actually really weird and awesome and I love my subconscious mind, it figures things out before I even realize there’s a problem.

Anyway, I bring this up because right now I’m writing Book 2. I have book 3 and the crossover book 4 loosely figured out. I also have a Christmas short planned that isn’t in either series. The rest of my year and the first month of next are taken care of. With the rest of life’s obligations (Family, TV, House) two thousand words a day are my max so I will not be writing anything else. However, that has not stopped me from looking ahead.

I like Sci-Fi Romance. I’m slowly building up a mailing list (Whoohoo 42 people want to read more!) and I’m creating a BRAND. I want more though. I want to be where the people are, I want to—sorry almost broke out into song there. (Little Mermaid in case you were curious)

I want magic! I want more world building and less sex (sorry)! I want mystery and intrigue and – Damnit I want to write a Paranormal something. Whether it’s a cozy or a romance or something else entirely I want to do it!

So I’m going to. I’m really hoping for some crossover between the Sci-Fi romance and paranormal people and I think there will be but then I read horror stories of authors who changed genres and lost EVERYTHING! Of course if I lose everything, that wouldn’t be much.

So here’s my plan, cause I know you guys are waiting with baited breath. I’m going to write a Paranormal something starting in February. I’m going to shoot for something longer than my current works (Yeah world building!) and see what happens. Maybe I’ll flip-flop between the two genres, PN then Sci-Fi, PN then Sci-Fi. We’ll see how it goes.

Of course doing this completely throws me off schedule wise and I would end up not publishing anything for two months, so that’s kind of scary. People will forget about me I just know it! Only trad published authors can release books twice a year and still survive!

Dude, self-publishing is hard.

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July 2015 Numbers

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Word Goal:                                                    26000

Words Written:                                             16834

Days I didn’t write but should have:           4

 

My goal this month was pretty ambitious since I also had to edit another book and get it published. As you can see I did not meet that goal. I was hoping to be able to write while I was editing but I was completely drained by the editing and not able to force out words most days. I’m a bit disappointed but I should be able to catch up in August.

 

Sales                                                                107

Pages Read                                                    40272

Free Downloads                                            18

 

This month I took a huge hit across the board. I ended up running a bknights promo at the end and that accounts for almost half of my sales. I won’t know until the fifteenth if 40k pages read is good. I’m estimating about $.0058 per page which makes this my worst month since I re-published my Sci-Fi romance.

It’s really difficult to write as I see my numbers dipping. I’m not writing completely because of the money, but it certainly motivates and helps since I’m not currently working at a “real job”. I was actually able to buy tires with my most recent Amazon payment and that felt like a huge milestone. Now if I can just get a more consistent income.

 

Goals

My goal this month is to finish the current book I’m writing. I’m just over a quarter of the way through so that’s going to be pushing it. I would like to also edit the book and a short story so that they can be published. I’m shooting for a publication date of September 1st for the book and August 25th for the short.

To meet my goals I’m going to have to write 2k a day which is not impossible but it isn’t a pace I’m normally able to keep up. I’m going to have to really focus and not slack off. I’m pretty motivated though.

I’m also working on marketing. I would like to market the first book of each series I have every month. I updated my covers to hopefully be more appealing to Bookbub but still no go. I’m also still waiting to get accepted by ENT. I’ve found a couple other places I’m going to try out every month as well. It would be nice to spend about $100 on ads a month, per series, but we’ll see how that goes.

June 2015 Numbers

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Words Written:                                                                29710

Goal:                                                                                     25000

Days That I Didn’t Write but Should have:                  4

 

Well I beat my goal which is always nice. I ended up finishing the third book in my Sci-Fi romance series yesterday and now it’s resting for a couple days before I start editing. I’ve already started on the next Sci-Fi romance, this one is in a new series but it still ties in with my old so hopefully there will be crossover readers.

I would love it if I could write 2-3k every day but that just doesn’t seem to happen. My lowest day, other than the zero days, was 883. I can normally manage a consistent 1k, but when I push myself past that I end up having a zero day. My problem is that I see those 3k days and think, “If I could do that every day I would be able to publish a book every two weeks. That would be incredible, and maybe one day I’ll be able to manage that, for now I’m trying to be happy at what I was able to accomplish.

 

Sales:                                                                                    146

Borrows:                                                                             388

Free Downloads:                                                               17

 

My sales were up last month, I attribute that to the ads I ran, though they weren’t enough to recoup the costs I spent. My borrows are down by roughly 70. I noticed a very steep drop off when my first book hit day 55. It was actually really crazy because right before that I had my best day ever, even better than the days I ran my promos, and then the very next day I plummeted.

My third book will be releasing this month so hopefully that will bring my sales up. I’ve got over thirty people on my mailing list now which is awesome. I’m concerned about the new KDP system and even though my books aren’t short anymore I don’t believe I’ll be making what I was, which is sad. We’ll see what happen, I may end up taking my books out of KDP and branching out.

I was able to get my first book uploaded in paperback and because of that when I sent in my most recent Bookbub request when they denied me they said it was due to space and not because I didn’t meet a requirement. I’ll keep trying. I also keep getting turned down for an ENT, I’m going to try OHFB again and see what happens.

My husband keeps telling me that it’s wild so many people have read my books and he’s right, it’s crazy. I’m trying not to think about it, though, in case I end up choking and become unable to EVER WRITE AGAIN.

May 2015 Numbers

Words Written:           19622

I did suffer some lazy writing moments, but I hope that I’ve overcome them. I ended up going back to the beginning of what I’m currently writing and added a couple more chapters from another characters point of view. I think it flows a lot better now, and it’s possibly why I was having a hard time writing. Sometimes my brain just won’t let me continue when it knows something isn’t right. I just wish it was better at clueing me in on the issue.

Sales:                           106

Borrows:                     456

Free Downloads:         29

So, yeah, I really like KDP Unlimited. Those numbers are amazing, the best I’ve seen in the almost three years I’ve been published. I realize I’m technically losing money by being in it, however, after all this time I know that I wouldn’t be getting that many sales if my books weren’t in it. It’s brought me some visibility I wouldn’t have without it. That being said, if the royalty drops too much I’ll take my books out.

I’m really loving a website called BookReport it provides me all kinds of awesome graphs and stats about my sales on Amazon. It’s been great using it this month.

 

What I’m currently working on:

I should finish up the third book in my series this month and if all goes well publish it. I did note in the back of book two I wouldn’t be publishing until July, but I should be able to get it done, just have to get my words in.

I’m working on creating a paperback edition, which is a pain in the ass. I really don’t want to pay someone to do the cover. The whole point of me using Canva.com for covers is how much money I’m saving. I’ve already got my first book formatted, which took a couple hours. The next books shouldn’t take as long.

I’m also trying to edit as I go along, though with a twist. Each week I’m hoping to have written 10k words then on the weekends I’ll edit those words.

A lot of work this month, but the fact that I have to start holding out tax money for what I’m making is really motivating.

Writer’s Block

I don’t know if I believe in writer’s block. I believe that right now I really don’t want to write, I’m not sure why, though. The scene I’m at isn’t boring, I know what I want to say, but when I stare at that document and put my fingers on the keyboard nothing happens.

I’d rather be watching Hawaii Five 0 on Netflix, or reading the Kodiak Point series by Eve Langalis (This is research…research I tell you!), or even working on my part-time job. When I would rather work than write I know there’s something wrong.

I know I need to force myself past this, I need to sit down and just write, and eventually I’ll get past this, but it’s difficult.

Whine. Whine. Whine. Whine. Whine.

Stupid writing.

Also I got my first two star rating, I actually got 2. If I wasn’t already experiencing block I would blame the ratings, but unfortunately I can’t.

I started the week off strong so I’m not sure what happened.

Must push through, must write book, must make money, must feed amiibo/ebook habit.

Bookbub Update

Well I didn’t get in. They told me my book wasn’t long enough. For some reason Amazon is saying that there are only 113 pages. The book is over 41k which isn’t the normal 50k romance novels are but it’s longer than 113 pages. I thought the normal page count was 250 words per page which would make my book 164 pages. Is that not true? Does anyone know how to make Amazon recognize a longer length? Can I increase the font size?

Side note: The KDP numbers are in and I was paid $1.355 for each book which is nice. It’s more than I estimated.

First Bookbub Request Sent

I just submitted my first Bookbub request. It was surprisingly easy but immediately stressful. I honestly don’t expect to be selected, but of course I have a plan if I am. For now I’m working on editing book 2, writing book 3, and refreshing multiple screens.

Self-Publishing is hard work man. I’ll keep you guys updated on my status. Who else has applied? Were you accepted? Was it the best thing that has ever happened to you? Are you now sipping margaritas on a beach?