Tag Archives: Wins

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Month Seven as a Full-Time Author

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Ah, July, my old nemesis. You did not get the best of me! Well, mostly not. I mean, I got a few things accomplished. Despite all your efforts to thwart me.

 

 

Wins:

  • Released Spoiled Gambit, the very last novella in my Jagged Scars series
  • I blogged every week
  • I finished New Vision (New Sight book 3) and sent it to my editor.
  • I put quite a bit of time into my next series. YA Space Opera. You’re going to love it!
  • I helped three friends out by reading their books/novellas as a beta reader
  • It was my birthday, and for my birthday I asked for 43 reviews on Fractured Memories by the end of the month. That worked out! (Unless Amazon takes some of them down, which it does sometimes.)
  • I hit triple digits in sales for the second month in a row!

Not so much wins:

  • I will be at FanX (the event formally known as Salt Lake City ComiCon) in September. In order to receive hard copies of the last book of my New Sight series, I had to have it out to the editor this past weekend. This whole process—coupled with several other things going on—left me with a two week long migraine that still hasn’t quit.
  • Marketing flew out the window. Like a bird.
  • I broke my Flash Fiction Friday streak last week, because I was spending 10 hours a day working on New Vision.

I knew July was going to be tough going in. Between family stuff, holidays, vacations and some community service that I do every July, I only had something like fourteen writing days to work with. Considering twenty or so is the usual amount, I started out in a bad spot.

Still, I got some things done. I didn’t get other things done. Thus it is in the life of Author Jo.

 

Stay tuned this month (or early next month) for a few things:

  • New covers for New Sight and New Powers
  • The release of New Vision—the third and final book in my New Sight series
  • The release of Fractured Sea, a collection of five Little Mermaid retellings in which I have a super fun one-part high school anime and one-part Harry Potter story called The Academy. Several people that have read it have already have asked when the next one will be out. My lips are sealed…

Don’t forget, Fractured Sea is on pre-order for $0.99 until the release date of August 31st.


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Spoiled Gambit is Here!

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The very last novella of my Jagged Scars Series, Spoiled Gambit is out today and will be $0.99 for one week only!

Pick up your copy now!

 

Cal screwed up. He trusted the wrong guy. Wendy almost died and Shelter fell. In an attempt to assuage his own guilt, Cal joins a dangerous mission to lead the Primate’s people away from the survivors.

While laying a false trail for the Primate’s Skinnies, Cal discovers some old friends, but he also finds an enemy even more dangerous than the Primate. Now the group must decide if their objective has changed. Cal will do anything to prove to the others, and maybe himself, that he’s not a traitor. But will it be enough to keep his friends safe?

 

Three-and-a-half years ago, after I finally finished a good draft of Fractured Memories, I did as I always do, and sent it to my beta readers.

Beta readers get a version of the book that is good, but not great. No matter how long I work on a draft, it still has problems, and that’s why I bribe my beta readers to help me out.

Well, they came back with a few comments about the characters in the book.

Now I thought my characters were fine. And they were, in my head. But on the page a couple of them fell flat. One beta reader even asked, “Why is this character here? She doesn’t do anything.”

Okay that hurt. I loved the characters, but I had somehow missed making them shine on the page. After a few minutes of pouting, I pulled out the book I often turn to when I’m struggling with characters, and I flipped through it until I found what I had been missing.

The side characters didn’t have wants and needs. Most of them weren’t really struggling with anything, they were just there to accent my main character.

Well, I decided I could fix that.

You know that scene in Fractured Memories when the teenagers talk about their dreams and ambitions? How Arie wants a piece of the council and Cal is in love with movies? Yeah, that wasn’t in the original draft. Neither was the fact that Kev is dyslexic (which I never say, by the way, but it’s shown throughout the series) and Arie loves art. None of that depth was there, and I’m so glad that my beta readers forced me to put it in. Each of these factors play through the entire series.

While it makes me sad to leave these characters behind, I’m excited to be moving on to a new project.

 

 


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Progress Made – Month Six of Being a Full-Time Author

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I had such high hopes for June. I had a great plan. I even gave myself extra time for everything, but in the end, it didn’t matter. Life blew up a few times and I barely got through the musts of the month and left many of the would-be-nice things in the dust.

A writer at a conference I went to once said that you should pad all of your time by 20%. I’m starting to believe him, and I’m also starting to believe that my number should be 30%. Because, life happens.

This past month my hubby’s family has all been in town. It’s been five years since that happened, so we’ve been spending a lot of time with them. In the middle of that, my dad ended up in the hospital for five days. My mother is incapable of taking care of  herself for more than a few hours, so my two sisters (one of which is recovering from an infection in her leg on top of a recent knee replacement) and I tag-teamed taking care of them. Seriously, the schedule was a thing of beauty. And I may have got my mom hooked on fancy sodas from Sips. Oops.

Like I said, life happens and we all get to roll with the punches. Am I right?

That being said, I’m going to list my wins:

The Jagged Scars Box Set is out! All five e-books books available on Amazon at a great price, if I do say so myself. I’m still really excited about having a completed series.

New Sight 3 (the final book of the trilogy) is with beta readers.This was two weeks behind, but I did get it out before the end of the month. Which, trust me, was nothing short of a miracle.

I managed to keep up with both my blog and my Flash Fiction Friday. Although I did end up writing one Flash Fiction on the Friday it was due. I really try to avoid that.

I ran a couple of promotions that ended up being quite lucrative. I sold the most books that I have ever sold in a single month. So that was awesome!

 

Most of my quarterly goals got juggled, but I managed to pull most of the big ones out at the end.

As usual, I wanted to get more done, but life did not permit. Not without losing sleep, which isn’t a great idea for me. Not if the people around me want to live.


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Progress Made-Month Five of Being a Full-Time Author

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As usual, I started the month off with way too much to do.

I’m like a kid in a candy store whose eyes are bigger than their stomach…

Ooh, a novel to finish. Ooh, a novella to edit. Ooh, covers to pick. Ooh, another novella. Ooh, a rough draft to write. Ooh, an anthology I could write something for. Ooh, two new projects. Ooh, marketing (okay, it’s more like “ewe, marketing”).

I knew there was too much. After four months of missing my goals, I decided I wanted to set reasonable expectations. You know, so I might be able to celebrate at the end of the month instead of being frustrated again.

I went so far as to write down everything I wanted to do, then cut it back to everything I knew I had to do. Then I went through everything that had to get finished and assigned hours to it. (I know, I know, not very creative, but there you go.) Then I calculated how many writing hours I had in the month. Then I compared them.

The hours were exactly the same.

And I know myself. Something always comes up, so I knew something would slip.

I moved forward anyway. I put everything that didn’t need to get done this month on the back burner, prioritized what had to get finished and in what order and dove in.

Guess what?

Almost everything got done.

I’m so excited!

Finally. Finally. Finally I have something to show for five months of writing. It’s been a long road, but I have to tell you that it’s been worth it!

Book five of my Jagged Scars series is out. I finished two novellas and have them ready to go. I’ve started advertising. The wheels are finally moving.

Have sales rocketed? No. But they’re steady. And growing, which is good.

So I guess this is my new process for my monthly goals. I already laid out this month, and it looks good.

 


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