Showing posts with label Self Publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Self Publishing. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

So, this is the New Year


What a year it has been. Personally, and professionally it's been a year of some stellar highs and some lows. I'll be glad to have 2014 in the rearview. I'm also excited to see what 2015 has in store. On a more positive note these past few weeks have been really fantastic in regards to my novella Ghost Box.

The early reviews have blown me away. It's truly humbling to have strangers showing such a strong connection to your work. It's more than I could have ever hoped for. On Christmas day I ran an experiment and made a thread to promote Ghost Box and to see if I could stir up some interest in it. I'm very happy to report that it was a huge success -- and not from the number of books sold, but that I met a lot of new readers and we chatted on Reddit for most of that morning and afternoon. The conversations ranged from great feedback on my novella, our favorite books, stories we like, giving books as gifts, etc. 


It's been really cool and very unexpected to be engaging with people who like what you're doing. I've also been blown away by just some of the in-depth conversations I've had around the craft of writing and even getting feedback from what readers look for and what draws them to download something. 

I had never considered Reddit as an outlet before, but I'll definitely be looking to use it again.


I have big plans for 2015. I'm presently working on a new project that I hope to tentatively have out in March/April. I'm excited for people to see it.

Also, I'd be remiss not to share likes to a couple interviews I've done for Ghost Box in the past week. First, I spoke with blogger Dawn Napier for her website to chat about my debut novella and writing. That can be found here

And then I sat down with a good friend and fellow writer, Kyle Rader, to talk about inspiration, early beginnings, and all things Ghost Box and writing. You can check out the interview here

I hope everyone has a good start to 2015. Thanks for reading as always and supporting this writing habit of mine.

Till next time...

-Derek-

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Casting Off


Hi there. It's me again. I hope you're doing well. I'm literally waiting for a pizza to arrive at my apartment and figured I'd work on something in the interim. Thanks for indulging me. So, as of late I've been hard at work on a new story. It's an idea I've had for a long time and it's seen many iterations over the years. For whatever reason I was never able to see the bread rise on any of the directions I took on it previously.

This happens to me from time to time. I try to figure out what it is I'm trying to say and what story the characters are trying to tell me. I wasn't able to crack the story until I was driving home one night and the solution just drifted into my head out of no where. I don't think there's anything better than when you finally solve a long standing problem you're having with a given story. 

Because I knew of how many issues I had in the past with this story I really wanted to change up how I worked on it. I wrote in new locations, listened to different music during editing, etc. The biggest change I made was deciding to cast the main characters. A process I had never attempted before, but decided to experiment with.

The idea behind this is to fully visualize who is playing each "role" by using actors to cast each of the parts.

I have to admit it was a lot of fun and definitely added a new energy to the project. It's not an approach I'm sure if I'll use again, but was a fun experiment to help work through some droughts of writer's block. If there's any interest perhaps I'll post my cast list at some point once the story is released. 

Shifting gears for a bit ... I'm part of an anthology that's just been released entitled STORIES ON THE GO and features 101 works of flash fiction from -- you guessed it -- 101 authors. All the stories are quick reads. I definitely recommend checking it out to support indie authors. Also, it's FREE. So there's no reason not to pick it up.

Okay, so there's pizza I have to eat and a movie to watch. 

Till next time ... 

Be excellent to each other.



Friday, August 1, 2014

Camp is over



Hello,

Step inside out of the sun why don't you and grab something cold to drink. You don't have to stay long as this will be a relatively short post to update what I've been working on.

Yesterday was the official end of Camp NaNoWriMo (I'm sure not going to miss spelling that out all the time), and I have to say not only was I impressed with how productive it was for me, but that I also got to meet some really cool, and awesome writers in my "cabin."

The past few years I've tried to do NaNoWriMo in November, but always found myself losing steam by the time the holiday rolled in. I spoke a bit in my last post or two about how I had to change my writing habits and so far it's really paid off and having all the support from the other writers who I did NaNoWriMo with was huge.

Also, committing to write everyday was a challenge at first and I had to remind myself to stay productive even on the days the words just weren't there.

So, what have I got to show for myself?

A 20k+ word novella call "Ghost Box."

I ended up hitting my NaNO goal early in the month and used the last few weeks to get through another pass on the manuscript. Then I started sending it out to some beta readers so I could get feedback. I'll be honest I'm super excited about this project and really enjoy the direction it's gone in so far.

Sometimes I feel like I'm a method actor, at least on this piece. The subject matter of the book is pretty heavy and the last few days I've been going over another pass on it have really left me feeling drained by the time I've finished. It's worth it though and I like to think the book is better for it.

The goal moving forward is to have a book cover designed and to get the manuscript fully edited for content and to clean up any typos.

Then it's on it's way to the readers where hopefully it'll thrive. We'll see.

What will I be doing? Well, writing the next thing of course.

See you guys soon!

Authors Note: This is more of an observation, but when will the ice cream man realize that no one carries cash anymore? Talk about a buzzkill. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Slush Pile (Part Two)


Welcome!

I hope you're enjoying the new look of the place. I thought since I was making more of a concentrated effort to be more active on here that I would change up the look a bit.

Any and all feedback welcome.

You might also notice a few other changes to the site as well. For starters, I've added a sign-up for my newsletter. I hope to use this more in the future once I'm generating content on a consistent basis to send subscribers free stories and some other cool things, like first looks into the stuff I'm working on.

To the right you'll also see that I added a word counter for the current story I'm working on for Camp NaNoWriMo (more on this in a moment). I figured this was another way to keep me honest in finishing up the project and getting it self-published.

Okay. Back to Camp NaNoWriMo. If you don't know what this is and you're a prospective writer I can't recommend this highly enough. Here's the deal, every year in November writers sign up for NaNoWriMo and try to complete a 50k word novel in a month. Each year I tell myself this is something I'm going to do, but get about a third of the way and just finally tap out. It requires a lot of discipline and a pretty rigorous schedule when it comes to getting your words in.

So, when a friend recommended giving Camp NaNoWriMo a shot I felt that it was a much easier undertaking. So far I've been right. The word count can be whatever you want it to be and the pressure to finish isn't as extreme. In addition, prior to the start of "camp" you can join writer cabins to keep everyone motivated. I think this has been my favorite part as everyone in my cabin is churning out a lot of words and inspiring me to work twice as hard.

The project I'm working on is called, "Ghost Box," a creepy tale about a guy named Boyd Dwyer who has made some bad decisions and hasn't ever really had to answer for them. I think a good ghost story is one where the past doesn't go away, it just bleeds into the present. I like characters who are forced to explore whether or not they can get away from the things they've done and who they were.

All right, that's about as much as I'm going to say on that. Hopefully look for it soon.

In my last blog post I talked about dedicating more time to writing and trying to be more disciplined with it. I can report that two months in things are going pretty well. Now, I've named both these posts "Slush Pile" for a reason. Part of my decision to be more focused with my writing came another decision to start self-publishing my own work.

I came to this decision from two different avenues. The first was I was visiting a friend in New York who is an assistant editor for a small publishing house. As we were getting ready to leave for lunch I noticed in her office that her ENTIRE desk, and the floor next to her desk, was covered in thick envelopes. Not to mention there were boxes filled to the brim with the same type of package.

I inquired about these and she told me they were manuscripts she needed to read for work. The kicker was that those were just ones that had come in over the last few months. She also mentioned that just about all of them would be rejected and maybe 5% would make it onto her boss.

I kept trying to wrap my head around this. 5% is pretty small compared to the number of manuscripts there. I thought about the work in the past that I've submitted for publication and I imagined my work sitting in a box with a thousand others that made up the slush pile.

The second avenue was I really started to do some research into the benefits of self-publishing. It is something that I've long been against. I think I fell into the common misconception that it wasn't legitimate, but after doing some research into it I discovered that it offers everything that traditional publishing doesn't.

What appealed to me the most was the chance to be in complete creative control of a project. Everything from choosing cover design, editor, and supplemental material. For someone like me who grew up listening to punk rock, I instantly fell in love with the DIY aspect of it. As a writer there's nothing I want more than to build a readership. I never got into writing for any monetary reasons, I just did it because I love it. I think self-publishing gives me a chance to do that.

I'll be exploring more of this in future blog posts as I'm sure the path will involve a lot of trial and error.

Till next time, have an A1 day!

Author's Note: Between writing this blog post I went to get some groceries. The cashier I had was griping about how she doesn't have A/C or a pool and is contemplating tying little fans under her armpits to keep her cool during the summer. No idea why or how she thinks this will work, but I figured I'd share all this with you. You're welcome.