Tag Archives: Chapter heading debacle of 2010

One Year

It’s my indieversary!¬† And stop haterz, self-publishversary just doesn’t sound as good, okay? ūüôā

Whatever you want to call it, I’ve been a published writer for a year! A year that started and ended just before my birthday, so, to me, age 35 will always be the year I got my act together and finally started doing what I wanted with my life.

I’d like to thank my readers for buying my books, writing reviews, and helping me realize my dream of making a living from writing.

A big awkward girlie high-five to all the book bloggers who have reviewed my books, interviewed me, spread the word and held contests.¬† I appreciate the support you’ve given me and I hope you all know how instrumental you are in helping to build my writing career.

To all the writers I’ve become friends with this year,¬†let’s have a convention or something.¬† And by convention, I mean a¬†big party where we all drink beers, quote Buffy and get to hang out in person.¬† You guys are the best.¬† Thanks for showing me the ropes and commiserating and having my back.¬† Thank you for writing books that don’t suck and feeding my reading habit as well. ūüôā

Soooooooo¬†many thanks to Sarah, my BFF. Thanks for the editing and suggestions and chats on FB and all the Busch Light/ Masterpiece Theatre evenings.¬† If you like what I write, then I know it’s good enough. ūüôā

Eleventy-billion hugs and kisses to my sister for lovingly and repeatedly telling me to get off my ass and write a book already.  Thanks for believing in me!

And to my family – my crazy kids, my long-suffering-at-his-horrible-job-so-I-could-make-a-go-of-being-a-writer husband, my fantastically supportive parents – I love and appreciate you all more than you could know!

I don’t really have anything brand spankin’ new to give away right now, but if you all would like an e-copy of Day of Sacrifice Vol. 1-3, simply leave your e-mail in the comments and I’ll send you the Smashwords code.

Thanks to everyone for making my first year as an indie author a fabulous one and here’s to the next year being just as great!

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Thx

I seriously need one of those things that you speak into and it types for you.¬† After pre-Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas, the girl’s birthday parts 1-3, and finishing Rebellion, I have an awesome case of carpal tunnel.¬†

Dear Toy Manufacturers:¬† Enough with the impossible tape and 75 twist ties per item in each hard to get into box.¬† Enough with the miniscule parts that “click” together (only when I stand on top of them)¬†and the picture directions with confusing arrows that don’t actually tell me how or what order to put things together in.¬†

¬†I have enough toys in my house to start a daycare.¬† My kids are very happy with everything they got, but I’m pretty sure they would have been happy with half as much.

Next year we’re going to give our money to Matt Damon and let him build some wells on our behalf in Africa. ūüôā

Of course, all my kindle “next page” clicking could be contributing to my owie wrists.¬† This is the time of year when I read a lot.¬† As you may have gathered, December stresses me the fuck out, so escaping in a book for several hours each evening is a must.

Last year I got my kindle for Christmas and by the 29th was probably on the¬†second Outlander book.¬† I straight abandoned my family for a month reading those.¬† I needed extra escape last year, I was pretty bummed.¬† I’d¬†rewritten Glimpse and received about 40 rejections at that point.¬† I was going into 2010 asking myself, “What happens when you write a decent book and you can’t get anyone to read it?”

After I finished the Outlander¬†books I was on the lookout for other things like it-something with romance and adventure that was kind of sci-fi/fantasy.¬† I didn’t realize this was an actual genre.¬† I delved into the House of Night books and Vampire Academy.¬† Great books, but YA and at $10,¬†kind of expensive for e-books. (To her publisher’s credit, the Outlander books are all about $5 for an 1,000 “page” e-book, a more reasonable price I think.)¬† That’s when I found Kept by Zoe Winters.¬† It was 99 cents.¬† Devoured it.¬† Loved it.¬† Needed more.¬†

But who published her books?¬† I couldn’t figure it out.¬† I stumbled on e-publishers and submitted Glimpse to a couple of them. Met a great author named Ashlynn¬†Monroe who helped me navigate the submission process.¬† More rejections, but nicer ones and this time with notes!¬† Apparently, Glimpse was a YA novel in the making, not a family saga like I’d thought.¬† Query redo!¬† More submissions!¬† More nice rejections with contradictory suggestions!¬† I started writing Glimmer to get my mind off the madness.¬† Then, yay! A publisher requested specific rewrites for resubmission…and then turned it down.¬† By this time I’d figured out that Kept was self-published.¬† Really?¬† But self-published books supposedly sucked and Kept most definitely didn’t.

I started reading Zoe’s blog posts (I caught her at a time when she was super rah rah indie and on the internet constantly) and¬†gleaned everything I could from what she was saying.¬† Damn.¬† I was inspired.¬† So, I took my 8 times revised Glimpse and I self-published it as an e-book.¬† A month later I put out the paperback with Createspace and I waited.

Twelve people bought my book.

I could not effing believe it.

I started posting the blurb on the kindle message boards (only in the appropriate places!!) and got a Goodreads account.¬† A writer named Jess C Scott and I traded review copies.¬† This one chick, Amanda Hocking, and I did the same. (How funny to think that there was a time when either of them had to ask for reviews!) V.J. Chambers randomly found my blog¬†and liked Glimpse-I geeked¬†out on her books.¬†I signed up for Twitter and met Susan Bischoff, who knew my roomate¬†from college, Christel, who knew Zoe Winters and Kait¬†Nolan, who knew Claire Farrell, and Belinda Kroll, and Lauralynn¬†Elliott, and Reena Jacobs, and Imogen Rose.¬† It just keeps spiraling, I’m meeting and reading more awesome authors, like, every freaking day.

So, this December 29th is a lot more hopeful.¬† I published two novels and a short story this year.¬† Wrote another short story that will be out next week.¬† Signed up to be a sponsor in ROW80. Met a ton¬†of wonderful writers and book bloggers that I now consider friends.¬† Found a community.¬† And as of this morning, I’ve sold nearly 2,500 books.¬† Sure, other writers sold more, in some cases A LOT more, but when I think of myself at this time last year, having not sold a single book, 2,500 is a great figure.¬† (This sentence is dedicated to Sarah for my extreme and probably inappropriate use of commas.)

When my husband gave a long rambling toast at our wedding, my first duty as his wife was to interrupt him and say, “What he’s trying to say people, is, thank you!”

Readers, writers, bloggers: What I’m trying to say people, is, thank you.

Typoe’s

Nobody likes them, everybody makes them.¬† Even though I’m gonna read this blog post four times before I publish it ¬†there will be typos in it, it’s almost guaranteed. (Maybe in that sentence I just wrote.)

Two things happened to me yesterday: I got an e-mail from Emily at Super Reader Girl Reviews¬†with a list of typos she’d found in Glimpse and another e-mail from the owner of Orange House Press, a letterpress business in Seattle, hoping I would stop publishing under that imprint because she’d just bought the Orange House Press domain name.¬† My first thoughts regarding both e-mails were, F**K.

Then I got my head on straight.¬† The list of typos Emily sent me weren’t¬†just some misplaced commas, but several missing words and screwed up tenses.¬† Stuff that needed to be changed.¬† Now Glimpse has been edited about a billion times-by me, by Sarah, by betas, by agents, and small press publishers.¬† It doesn’t even resemble the book it started out as.¬† The similarities between the current version of Glimpse and the original are the character names and the climax of the story.¬† That’s it.¬† The original was written from every characters point of view.¬† That’s why I have mountains of backstory, because it used to be part of the book.¬† So, I assumed that it was fairly typo-free when I self-published it last April.¬† Then the e-mails started coming in.¬† And believe you me, I have a love/hate relationship with those kinds of e-mails.¬† I wanna know, but I don’t wanna know. I revised it.¬† Then I revised it again.¬† Then I said, “F**K it, this baby is done.”¬† Then came the Great There/Their Controversy of Summer 2010.¬† I revised that mutha AGAIN.¬† You get it, right?¬† You understand that for me reading Glimpse makes me want to claw my eyes out?¬† But I know you all don’t feel that way and you deserve to have the best version of Glimpse I can give you.¬† I owe that to you.¬† I also get that.¬† Therefore, I went through and edited Glimpse this morning with Emily’s notes and reformatted it and republished it on Smashwords, Pubit, Amazon, and in print. (The print version I was actually happy to do because it needed a refreshing format-wise.)

And here’s the thing: I found a couple more typos that Emily had missed and also forgot to change one in all of my e-book formats.¬† If this doesn’t effing prove that I’m the most fallible¬†human of human-y humans that ever walked this planet, I don’t know what will.¬† So, please, if you find any typos in Glimmer and feel like telling me about them, I would appreciate it very much.¬† My e-mail is staceywb@frontier.com .

As for the Orange House Press name?¬† I’m in the process of removing it from all my books-Amazon is going to take the longest because, well, they just take the longest, but I feel like my good deed for the day is done.¬† Sure, I could have screwed her over and told her that the name is splashed all over everything I’ve written in the past year, but why?¬† It’s on there because I live in an orange house and thought it was cool, not because it was my life long desire to have a business called Orange House Press.¬† Plus, guys, letterpress is pretty kick ass and this lady is just an artist like my sister trying to make interesting and aesthetically pleasing things.

The morals of this tale are these:¬† I can’t spell or punctuate, but I can write. I’m not a total bitch. And, I’m so not gonna make my word count for NaNo today.

Rain makes me happy. Sorry, rest of the world.

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  It is definitely Fall here- it poured rain and was super windy yesterday and I fell asleep at 9 pm in my recliner while reading The Passage and watching Caprica.

I¬†had a fun and productive¬†weekend. We went to a pumpkin carving party on Saturday night at my friend Julie’s house.¬† Every year Julie opens up her awesomely decorated house for all of her friends kids to come over and destroy.¬† A good time was had by all!¬† Kids +candy+knives always equals fun, don’t you think?¬† I also FINALLY settled on a web site design that I think will stick for at least 6 months.¬†¬† If you don’t like it, don’t tell me or I’ll hold you responsible for the 10 pounds I gain worrying over it further. ūüôā¬† I also added a few things to the blog, like my books!¬† With links to purchase them!¬† Duh!

Day of Sacrifice is continuing to pull in great reviews!¬† Michelle from Indie Paranormal Books Reviews gave it 5 stars!¬† I gotta say, I didn’t expect DoS to do as well as it has been.¬† I just wanted to write a fun story, but everyone’s enthusiasm for it has got me seriously pumped for the rest of the series.¬† I started Rebellion yesterday and I’m into it, y’all.¬† It seems my laundry room door is going to have to wait a little while longer.

The Glimmer e-book is selling well, definitely better than Glimpse had at this point.¬† I got a great (what I would consider) compliment yesterday-my friend Lori downloaded Glimmer onto her husband’s phone for her daughter to read in the car and Lori said her daughter was quiet¬†the rest of the car ride home.¬† When they would ask her for updates, she told them that she was reading and they would just have to read it themselves to find out what happened.¬† I’m always stoked when kids are engrossed in reading and even better when they’re reading one of my books!

The Glimmer print version was sent off again this morning.¬† I screwed up the interior file, so I had to redo it.¬† Apparently I thought it needed to be the size of a coffee table book.¬† (Not really.)¬† Once again, I was showing off my awesome computer skillz. ūüôā

On Wednesday I’m the featured post on Amanda Hocking’s blog.¬† Check it out-I’m¬†giving away all kinds of bookage.

Time to go pick up the boy from preschool.  Have a great rest of the day!

Be October now.

Do months have more days in them than usual this year?¬† Holy Christ on a cracker it seems like¬†the last week of every month lasts 10 days.¬† I’ve nothing too substantial to report today, just a little bit of business.

The newly formatted Glimpse is up on Smashwords, Amazon, and Goodreads.¬† It costs $2.99 now, but it is as typo free as it is ever going to get and the chapter headings are actually at the top of the page instead of at the bottom! (On the Amazon version at least.)¬† This was all supposed to change October 1st, but Amazon is on the ball for once and it’s already done.¬† There can be no perfect planning for these things.

If you’re beta reading Glimmer, I’m going to start editing and formatting it next week.¬† Please get your comments and corrections back to me by next Monday at the latest.¬† I’m more than anxious to get Glimmer good to go! (I heart the letter G.)

I’ve been working like a mad woman to get Day of Sacrifice done in time to give away a couple of copies at Zombiepalooza over at Amanda Hocking’s blog.¬† There is going to be awesomeness happening the entire month of October.¬† My guest post and giveaway will be on the 27th.

That’s all for today.¬† The girl has a playdate and then I’ve got to take my transcription final for the second time.¬† Wish me luck!

Six degrees of awesome

It has been the strangest last couple of days.¬† I’m living in a house without a kitchen, getting my picture taken in said shell of a kitchen for the local paper, reconnecting with a friend I haven’t seen since the mid 1990’s, and striking up friendships with other authors who live across the country from me.

If you’ve tried to purchase the e-book of Glimpse from Amazon, it is currently in review and I hope to have it back up again by tomorrow morning.¬† You can still find it at Smashwords and Goodreads¬†in e-book format, and on Amazon in paperback.¬† I took it down to fix a couple of typos, (Damn you Alright paranoia-thanks ZW!) add some contact information at the end, and add an excerpt from Susan Bischoff’s upcoming title, Hush Money.¬† I’ve read the excerpt, of course, and the first two chapters are super good.¬† I can’t wait to read the rest!¬† Hush money should be going live in the next few days.¬† Check out her website to read the first chapter.

Now, how this all came to be is a sort of crazy story.¬† Susan recently became friends on Twitter with a writer named Christel.¬† When Susan purchased Glimpse from Smashwords, she tweeted that she’d bought it and Christel saw this and recognized my name.¬† Well, she would, we lived together or very close by one another¬†for most of the¬†early to¬†mid¬†nineties.¬† First in the dorms at U of O, then in an old house we used to call “The Maxi Pad,” then in a duplex, and eventually up here in Portland we worked together at Bee’s Dry Cleaners.¬† We lost touch after I moved to Los Angeles, had brief contact on Myspace¬†when I moved back to Oregon, but we¬†literally haven’t seen each other since 1997.¬† So, Christel friends me on Twitter and I see all these tweets between her and Susan and before you know it, Christel and I are catching up,¬† and Susan and I are Twitter friends, and lo and behold Susan’s BFF and crit partner is Kait Nolan…Susan reads Glimpse, I read Kait’s¬†Forsaken by Shadow and Susan’s Hush Money excerpt, we all read Christel’s poetry and phew!¬† Are you still with me?¬† I basically had my own cool chick indie author fest over the weekend.¬† Yee-freaking-haw, people.¬† Too much fun!¬† So, when Susan suggested that we put excerpts from each other’s books in the back of our e-books, I thought, “why not, we’re practically internet related at this point?”

That’s what I spent yesterday doing.¬† The DTP has changed since the last time I uploaded Glimpse, so I had to figure some things out again.¬† I’m still cursing myself for putting DRM on it, because you can’t take it off once you’ve put it on.¬† Oh, well, that’s what Smashwords is for and I certainly won’t be doing that for Glimmer.¬† It’s a learning process. ūüôā¬† After that, I read Forsaken by Shadow on my kindle.¬† It was great.¬† Sexy characters, fresh story, vivid description-all for $1.¬† Hells yeah.¬† Speaking of hell, do you think I’m going there because so far I find The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo kinda boring?¬† I know, blasphemy!

Today is a big writing day and I need to get started.  Enjoy your Sunday.

I think I’ve been listening to my MIL talk about AA too much.

Last week was a busy, stressful, celebratory, crazy week and I’m ready to get back on some sort of schedule.¬† I’m like a 2-year-old that way.¬† Now that Mother’s Day and my birthday are over, I can get back to my regimen of transcription in the morning, writing in the afternoon, and play practice at night.¬† I expect this system to work 77% of the time.¬† I haven’t worked on *Glimmer* in five days and I’m feeling it; too many ideas bouncing around in my head that needed to be out days ago.¬† I have done quite a bit of necessary upgrades to Glimpse-changing the cover on most of the versions, sending it to reviewers, submitting myself to “Author Spotlight” features on a couple of websites.¬† The new FB ad is doing great…at least I think that’s what the graphs and charts are telling me.¬† It received 3 times as many clicks as the old ad did.¬† I’m not sure if those clicks were by actual people who were interested in reading Glimpse, or what.¬† The traffic on my website doesn’t correlate.

I’m starting to get just the tiniest bit frustrated by the lack of sales, but am hoping that the release of Glimpse in paperback will spur more people to purchase it.¬† I’m also considering changing the price to $.99.¬† Many books are offered for that price and it seems hard to¬†compete with similar offerings in genre and page count.¬† I’m still mulling it over, though.¬† $3.99 is not a lot to pay for a book and when the print comes out…I had to offer it for $7.99 so I didn’t have to pay every time someone bought it.¬† I think the discrepancy in price is already pretty large and I’m not sure I want to make it larger.¬† Also, through Smashwords, Glimpse is about to be available at the Apple Bookstore, Barnes and Noble, and Sony.¬† It takes several weeks to two months for titles to update at these venues every time you make a change to them, whether it be content, cover design, or price.¬† That’s a lot of time for it to be taken down, just to change the price because I’m almost getting desperate.

Most likely, what I need to do is be patient.¬† Glimpse hasn’t even been for sale¬† a month yet!¬† When it’s what you think about most of the day, it can seem a lot longer, that’s for sure!¬† I do have a coupon for Glimpse on Smashwords right now through June 13th-the¬†code is JS24D, so perhaps that will make for a new reader or two.¬† Also, getting a couple of half decent reviews under my belt from people who aren’t my friends or relatives will impact sales for the better.¬† Yes, I just have to be patient.¬† Which, is like, the hardest thing for me to do ever!!

(Insert smooth transition of some sort here.) I’m pushing back the release date on *Glimmer* until the end of the year instead of the end of the summer.¬† I was being far too ambitious.¬† It will be finished by the end of the summer, but I need to take my time editing .¬† I’m not just trying to turn out crap as fast as I can, I’m actually trying to produce professional looking books that people can enjoy reading without the distraction of a typo every ten lines.¬† I think it’s great if you can work fast and clean, but like in cooking, I like to clean as I go and check the oven constantly. ūüôā¬† It’s an annoying lesson to have to learn over and over again, but finding how to take things one day at a time really can be useful.

Jinx

Remind me never to blatantly declare that I’m going to slack off for a day and read, because it pretty much guarantees that I will end up doing something else entirely.¬† I didn’t get to start Burned until 9 last night, which was okay because LOST was a repeat and I can watch GLEE on Hulu, but I only got a few chapters in.¬† Not to mention I was distracted while I was reading trying to figure out how they’d formatted it to make the chapter headings all look so good.¬† Is¬†self-publishing going to ruin reading for me?¬† Acting certainly ruined plays for me, so it’s not unlikely.

What I did end up doing is joining Scribd and putting the first 6 chapters of Glimpse on there.¬† As of this morning 24 people are reading it, but no one’s bought it or subscribed to me yet.¬† Which, hey, it’s been a day! ūüôā¬† I also am working on a website from which I can sell Glimpse, some of the hubs poetry books, and other things we write.¬† That’s gonna take me a while, but I’m not in any big hurry, nor are there customers clamoring at my door.¬† However, I did write a FB ad yesterday that is supposedly going to be shown to almost 4 million people, let’s hope that brings in a few more readers!¬† The ad will run from May 1-14 in honor of Mother’s Day and uh, my 35th birthday, I guess.¬† I don’t know, I like May, it’s coming up…

I would tell you what I’m going to do for the rest of the day, but I don’t want to jinx myself. I hope you get to do what you want!

The smartness of my brain

I’ve been working on *Glimmer* a bunch today and am really happy with where it’s going.¬† Now that all the plot points are thought out, I just have to write!¬† Finally figuring it out has also led to a better idea of where Glow (Zellie Wells Book 3) is going to go.¬†¬† Let me just say, for the 2 people who read this blog, it’s going to be kinda epic!!!¬† Z and the gang vs. The Society.¬† Aw yeah.¬† Perhaps G’luck, bitches would be a better title.

¬† Instead of doing much writing last night I used the smartness of my brain and formatted¬†*Glimmer* while it was still¬†at 80 pages.¬† Much easier than crazy Glimpse at 256 with a tab every 2 lines.¬† I have to go back and italicize, but it’s not like I’m not going to read through it 700 more times in the next few months, so there’s plenty of time for that.

That’s about it writing wise.¬† I checked my stats on Amazon this morning and it FINALLY reported that the 5 people I thought had purchased the book had purchased the book.¬† It said 3 for days and I was getting really annoyed, knowing that 5 people had bought it.¬† Smashwords still says 9 people downloaded Glimpse, 2 purchased.¬† One was my writer friend Ashlynn and the other was my mom.¬† (Who actually really likes the book and we both just pretend like there’s no making out in it what so ever when we talk about it.)

Back to more work on *Glimmer*, I’m at a turning point for Zel and Ben.¬† Then maybe some more marketing action later this evening.

Glimpse mania! Uh, catch the fever.

Glimpse is for sale on Amazon!¬† AND it only looks mildly craptastic!¬† Who the F knows what happened to the chapter headings-some are in the correct place, some are in the middle of the page, some clear at the bottom-but other things I worried about, like the letter Zellie’s grandma writes to Zellie’s mom showing up because it’s italicized, look great!

I could not be more excited.  I am the mayor of dorktown. I saved my receipt from Amazon when I bought my own book for my own kindle which I already had it on.  I know.  No.  I KNOW.  Huge dork.  I mean, I self-published it, what did I think would happen?

Now the hubs-who is also a writer, er poet-wants to start our own e-publishing outfit.¬† I said sure and have been looking stuff up on the Internets about it.¬† First things first-my ass has to learn how to format properly so that the “chapter heading debacle of April 2010” as I’m going to call it, doesn’t happen again.¬† I’m thinking we should publish YA, Chick Lit, Poetry, and Romance.¬† No erotica, there’s enough other pubs for that.

Ack!¬† I’m spazzy and all over the place and absolutely filled with reckless abandon!¬† What of *Glimmer*?¬† I’m in the zone on that puppy as well.¬† On the mornings the hubs gets up with the kiddies, instead of sleeping in I lie in bed and think about books.¬† I know exactly what’s going to happen in *Glimmer* now.¬† Just gotta keep plugging away and writing out a few quality pages a day.¬† Exciting stuff!

And now I have to go figure out what to make the kids for lunch.