Showing posts from March, 2011

Receiving Reviews and Not Being a Fckwit About It

I would like to thank everyone who bought The Unfinished Song: Taboo on its launch day. You helped make the debut successful, and I'm really grateful. It's really heartwarming to know that there were readers eagerly anticipating the second book in the series. The second book has no reviews yet, and I was not kidding yesterday that I live in terror of receiving reviews on it (what if people don't like it?!). The only thing worse, of course, would be no reviews at all. It's important to keep that in reviews at all is worse than the most terrible review in the world. I think by now probably most of the writing community has seen the pathetic train wreck of an author going ballistic over a lackluster review . For me, it was like rubbernecking at an accident. Although I knew it was a bad idea to keep reading, I couldn't look away. It pained me to read another book reviewer comment, "And this is is why I don't accept self-publish for review.&qu

Cowardice and Sequels

The second book in my series, The Unfinished Song: Taboo , launches today. It's all about being brave enough to break rules if those rules are wrong. Which makes it especially ironic for me to make this admission: I'm a complete coward. I wait with trepidation to see if anyone will buy the sequel, and if they buy it, if anyone will like it. It's ridiculous, I'm sure, but I'm really terrified no one will. What if they people who read Book 1, Initiate , and hate book two? Also, in this book, more than the first, I edge ever so gently toward more controversial subjects. (Book 3, Sacrifice, will be the real dousy, though.) It's all very well to tell myself I will remain true to my artistic vision no matter what anyone else says, but then I am faced with real reader reaction, and I can't help shaking. Like I said, I'm a big coward. It's so much easier to write when you are unpublished and don't have to worry about whether anyone will actually

Taboo Release Date: March 28

I have a date for the release of The Unfinished Song: Taboo! It will be available for sale on Monday, March 28. *Tara does her happy dance* If you buy it on the release date, it will be only $.99. After that, it will return to its regular price of $4.95. (However, if you would like a free review copy, you can still email to receive one.) Meanwhile, The Unfinished Song: Initiate is still on sale for only $.99. UPDATE: Good news, Nookers! Both books will be available for the Nook very soon. A big thanks to my tech team for helping me with this even though it was three am in your time zone.  :D Those of you who would like a print version of Taboo will have to wait a little longer, I fear. There will be a trade paperback edition, but not immediately. In the near term, we are going to concentrate on getting the ebook to all the available platforms, and for all ereaders. There was an Author's Note that was going to be included at the end of Taboo, but at the last minute,

Finding Theme

"This is the first lesson you need to learn about magic, and about life. We all live in the same world, but we each see it differently." --Brena, in The Unfinished Song: Taboo There's a slender but reflective book on writing called The Golden Theme  by Brian McDonald, who argues:  "Stories may have individual themes, such as 'there is no honor among thieves' or 'slow and steady wins the race.' But underneath all stories, no matter what their intentional theme may be, there lies another message--a universal message.  ...A cemetery tells us just one thing. And it does not whisper this truth, but shouts it. The dead tell us this: we are all the same.     This simple sentence, we are all the same, is the Golden Theme that all stories express. I think Brian McDonald illuminates theme exquisitely in his book. I remember reading on his blog a post he wrote, also about theme, in which he said that not all stories have themes, but all great stories hav

The Second Worst Part of Writing

The night before last, I had a dream of climbing a mountain. Near the top, where it was icy and rocky, I was attacked by wolves. They chased me up a tall pile of rocks. I clung to the top while they snarled below, snapping at my feet. Then last night, I dreamt I was chased into a mausoleum by cannibals. Again with teeth-gnashing and ankle-snapping. On a completely related note, I've been scrambling to finish my edits for Taboo. (While also writing the first draft of a research paper for school.) I love most parts of writing. This particular stage of edits, though, is, shall we say, not my favorite part of the job. These are the kinds of corrections that my editor can find, but only I can correct. My editor can correct the mistake where I've accidentally used "to" instead of "too" or forgotten the second 'had' in the past perfect tense. But what if I've said in one part of the scene that it's late at night, but later refer to the position

Will All Books Become $.99?

In general, the cheaper the price, the more inclined the consumer will be to buy. However, when it comes to books, I'm not convinced that prices always drive down. (It's possible economists are laughing at me right now.) But as I tried (badly) to explain on Konrath's blog, I think price pressure can also drive prices up. Suppose the consumer has a flat budget of $10 and a choice between two books, a $10 book by Author A and a $1 book by Author B. If books were completely interchangable, the consumer would always choose the $1 book. But we know that books are not completely interchangable. Let's say that the consumer prefers the $10 book, and so buys that one. The consumer will not have enough money left to buy the $1 book, despite how cheap it is. The author of the $10 book makes $7. (I am assuming both authors are indie and make 70% royalty.) Now suppose the consumer does buy the $1 book. This author, however, only makes $.70. (Actually, it is worse, because on A

Double Covers

For the first time, someone who bought Initiate sent it back for a refund. The buyer bought the UK cover version from the US store. I am wondering if the poor reader discovered they had already the book with a different cover? I wonder if there is any way I can prevent this in the future. On the other hand, since US customers cannot buy books from the UK and vice versa, the only way I can allow the customer a choice of covers is to make both versions available in both stores. In general, I'd rather give people more choices than fewer. However, by having two different versions of the book available, I also risk splitting my sales rank, which on Amazon, is very important in generating more sales. I'm not sure it's wise. What do you think? Given that we are speaking of ebooks, is it important to have a choice of different covers? Of course, I could be paranoid over nothing. It's also possible the customer returned the book because they read the first chapter and re

Updates for March

This is just a quick note to let people know what I'm up to. I've finished the first round of revisions suggested by my content editor for The Unfinished Song: Taboo. Two beta readers are also going to get back to me after critiquing particular scenes I was nervous about. Depending on what they say, I make a few more changes. My content editor will read it, and there may be one more round of content revisions. Then the book is off to the copy editor for what will hopefully be the final revision. After that, the formatting and uploading will also take a few days each. I'm fortunate that both my editors are on board and willing to push this through quickly to meet the deadline, so I am confident we get the book out on time. I don't have an exact date but it will be a March release. The second thing I am working on is long overdue and that's the Nook edition of Initiate. There's been a technical hold-up, namely the color pictures are not showing up right. Sinc

Ebooks and the Ebay Parable

"Women in Water." Yeah, I painted this atrocity. Most people reading my humble blog probably already know about Amanda Hocking, so the the fact mainstream news media have suddenly latched onto her story is not a surprise. I had relatives start emailing me news articles, "Have you heard of this person?!"  "Yes, yes, and the article got some facts wrong, here let me correct you..." You can read her reaction to it all  (and while you're there, check out the new cover of Hollowland -- it's gorgeous); about the fea r and condescension at a mystery writer's convention ; and Nathan Bradford's extremely helpful breakdown   of hardbacks vs ebooks and what the real threat to publishing is. Joe Konrath argues ebooks ain't a bubble , and Harper Collins must agree, or else they want to ride that bubble til it bursts because they finally decided it might be wise to get into the game of digital self-publishing . I have a comparison of my own