Planning Again

It’s time to restart my planning posts for a bit, probably just until I get settled into another book. First I need to push to finish that novella I’ve had on hold, and then I want to start right into another novel. I’m still working on my major goals: increase my daily word count average and publish more regularly and frequently.

So today I’ll be writing up a planning post as soon as I finish reading my previous novella in the series and what I’ve written of this novella… Hopefully it won’t take too long and I’ll end up with plenty of time to reach today’s quota.

Update: This turned into a no-go kind of day and I don’t exactly have a good reason for that. It feels like procrastination. So, I’m going to try this again tomorrow. But I think I’m going to make the plan now, so I can get up and get right to it without distraction.

Out of Sorts and I Need a Goal

I’m out of sorts again. I finished that second book of 2014 last week and I must say, this is the worst part of the whole thing, that time just after I’m done and I feel a bit lost. I don’t know what to write next, could even imagine not ever writing anything again, just spend my days reading books someone else wrote.

I … don’t think I’m a particularly great author. I’m an okay writer, for sure, but I don’t do the author stuff very well.

If I didn’t write fiction, what would I do? I actually have no idea. I’ve given it thought before, thought I might end up with a website empire where I write about books and television I love, but that didn’t work out.

I need a goal. A monster goal. Something that’s absolutely huge and that depends only on me to be reachable. I need to focus on something besides the worry over whether this book is good enough, or this book is going to sell enough. I need to focus on something so far out, so far up, that it’s impossible to get bogged down in today’s or this month’s successes and failures because they’re only stepping stones on the path to whatever this massive goal is.

So, I’m going to come up with a massive goal. I’ll let you know what it is when I figure it out. (I figured it out.)

Reading Log: Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities

I bought another book! Why do I keep buying books when I have so many unread books?

I started yesterday evening out with a different book but after three chapters I knew it wasn’t working for me, so I ended up on Amazon, and lo and behold, there was a follow up available to a book I read back in January.

So this morning I finished reading Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities by Lyn Gala. I really liked it. The truth is, I like these shorter novels a lot.

Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities - Lyn Gala

NOTE: I decided to make an effort to read more books this year. And since I have so many unread books, I set a goal to read at least 60 of the books in my backlog by the end of the year. I’m even keeping a log. :)

Reading Log: The Mistress

I can’t remember what number I’m at in my reading challenge and don’t want to look it up at the moment, so I’m abandoning the numbering in my post title. The reading log will keep me updated. :) I’ll add this book to that page momentarily and then I’ll know. Also, it’ll make writing future posts easier because I won’t have to check first. That’ll be a help because I plan to read a lot of books in the coming months!

The Mistress - Maya Banks

I just finished a Maya Banks book called The Mistress.

It’s a reprint of an older book from Harlequin, but man, I forget sometimes how much I loved these little Harlequin/Silhouette books. ;) All that melodrama! I love it. I mean, real life it ain’t, but these are fun stories and they’re quick reads. So enjoyable.

That said, I don’t have warm, fuzzy feelings for Harlequin the way I used to when I was younger and gobbled up their books. Their publishing practices and contracts aren’t good for most authors’ careers.

That makes me sad, but I avoid buying Harlequin books these days. This was a library loan through R.E.A.D.S.

I need to quit surfing the R.E.A.D.S. website when I’m avoiding writing. I keep borrowing books when I already have too many books to read!

Reading Log: When I Met My Duchess

I forgot to note a book I read early last week, or maybe it was last weekend. When I Met My Duchess by Caroline Linden.

Seven Wicked Nights - Bundle

The story is in Seven Wicked Nights: A limited edition box set of sexy historical romance novellas which I picked up on sale at .99. I don’t normally find myself tempted by these kinds of bundles, but this was right after I read that Tessa Dare novella, after starting that other Tessa Dare book that I just now realized I never finished reading. Crap. It’s a library loan so I’d better get back to it soon!

I plan to read several other books in the set, but … we all know how easily I forget my plans. Books I don’t read immediately get lost in the piles. Sigh. I’ll find them someday, surely.

(I forgot to mention that I liked the book, but it really should be a given that if I finished a book, I liked it. I have no trouble abandoning books I don’t like.)

Aha! I Am Definitely Older than I Used to Be

I crashed early last night, after a long night the night before and too little sleep over the last week. I thought I might be coming down with something. Turns out I’m probably just getting old. :D

Too old for all-nighters anyway. My birthday’s coming up soon, and I’ll have reached the big 4-0. Yikes. I can’t decide whether I want to be amazed or horrified at the prospect that my life is probably half lived at this point. I’d love to imagine living a century but my family history doesn’t support that. I have only one grandparent still living and she just had her eightieth birthday a few months ago. My other grandparents died a very long time ago. I wasn’t out of my twenties when I lost the last of the three. I never even met one of them. My maternal grandfather died when my mother was seven. Cancer.

Cancer got them all, in fact.

I try not to think about it too much, tbh. I would definitely prefer to live to see my kids hit middle age. :D

I’m still exercising daily, and my fatigue issues have been getting a lot better. Spacing my meals out 5 to 6 hours apart and not eating between them has made a huge difference in how I feel.

But there’ll be no more all-nighters for me. Yesterday really brought home to me how hard it is for me to recover after a few nights of too little sleep. I’m just not that person anymore. Going to bed late isn’t a problem; going to bed late when I have to be up at 6 am so I can get back to work to meet a deadline is the problem. And I won’t be doing that anymore.

I’ll just have to plan my life around getting a good night’s sleep every night. ;)

I feel good today. I took a quick break from my read through of my last book to type this out, and now I need to get back to it. I’m sure I’ll be back later. I’ve been in a blogging mood the last few days! :D

Should’ve Given More Thought to Paperback Book Sizes

I just found that I’ve sold seven copies of a $19.99 book through the expanded distribution at Createspace and five copies of two $17.99 books this month. I don’t sell a lot of paperbacks in general, and I’m sure my pricing doesn’t help that, but I like expanded distribution, and because of that, I won’t under price my books.

If I had it to do over again, I would have chosen to size my books at 5.5 x 8.5 instead of 5 x 8 so I could cut the price a bit and keep my profit, but I didn’t, and I don’t intend to redo my entire catalog’s paperback formatting any time soon so I’m stuck for the time being.

When I start a new series, though, I will definitely be going for the slightly larger books. It cuts down on pages and makes the books cost less to produce. (I refuse to cut my font size, leading, or margins, which would also cut the number of pages, but that’s a sacrifice I won’t make.)

I chose the smaller size because my first books were quite short. But then I got stuck in that size, because I don’t want different books in the same series to be different sizes. It just doesn’t seem as professional to me to change that mid-series. Of course, maybe it’s silly to worry about that, but I do. I want my books to be pretty! ;)

So here’s my advice for anyone trying to decide on paperback book sizes.

Page count matters. Createspace creates trade sized paperbacks. Don’t try to pretend they’re mass market and go for the smallest size you can, because you’ll still have to charge trade prices and the book will look less valuable as a small book. And if you have a long book, that small book is going to be much too fat to be any more comfortable to hold than a larger book.

But… if your book is short, a small book will help pad the pages. ;) But again… if you do the font right and use an attractive leading and attractive but generous margins, you can accomplish the same thing and have a very professional looking book.

No one likes itty bitty fonts in a print book. Just don’t do it, no matter how tempted you are or how much you swear you like itty bitty fonts best. It’ll make your book shorter, but if you need a shorter book, chose a bigger book.

But the publishers use little bitty fonts, you say. So what? Aren’t there enough people complaining about how publishers have made fonts too small to cut their costs? Why would you want to emulate that?

I’m actually in the middle of formatting my last book for Createspace and yes, I’m stuck formatting it for an 5 x 8 sized book. But hey! I have a very practical reason to keep my books from turning into doorstoppers. :D

Guess I Finished Just In Time

I guess I finished that book just in time, because I think I’m getting sick. Of course, a lack of sleep can make a person feel sick, so maybe a good night’s sleep is all I need.

I’m trying to figure out how I can be most productive this evening—keep working and try to get as much done as possible or crash and get an early start tomorrow.

If I’m actually getting sick, then tomorrow isn’t going to be any better. If it’s just sleep deprivation, I might feel like a new person tomorrow, ready to work and get stuff done in half the time. It’s certainly a quandary… Sleep deprivation is winning at the moment.

And… that was a short battle. Bed time it is! I need to be at my best for some of these tasks and right now I can’t even type a single sentence without a typo.

Trying Again to Finish the Book

Here goes another push to finish that book. I wrote 2,966 words yesterday and I’m now 2,897 past the word count goal I had for this story. There’s good new though, because I am seriously just about done. :D No extra twenty-something thousand words for this one. Yeah!!

Anyway, getting busy this morning. I have lots to do, and only part of that “lots” is finishing the writing of this book. :)

Note to future self: NO MORE PUBLIC DEADLINES.

I don’t mind personal, private deadlines, but these things that are sitting out there mocking me in public? Yeah, I think I’ll pass on that next time. I keep saying no more deadlines and I keep setting them anyway, but this time I really mean it! ;) REALLY.

Update. I used a 1 hour timer and I finished right on time but the ending doesn’t feel quite right. I’ll wait and see if it’s just me when I do my read through. I might just be having trouble letting go of this story.