I’m always more talkative when I just finished a book. So I thought I’d take advantage of that!
Writing in general is going much better for me this year. I’ve completed two stories (both 50K ish), completed a proposal, and have plotted/prepped at least 2 others. I have *too* many ideas again, which is actually a good thing for me personally. I feel creative. I’m dipping into the wellspring daily and finding my characters and their words waiting on me.
I continue to grow in other ways too. I fine-tuned some of my formatting processes with Scrivener. I’m not 100% happy and long for a Mac and Vellum – but that will be a goal for another year. I’m extremely happy with the re-release of the Connaghers and the covers that Kanaxa created for them.
I’m trying new marketing and growing my newsletter again. (I had turned it off several months ago because I felt I was growing too fast without the systems in place to feed and interact with my list.) Promos I’ve participated in the last few months have increased my newsletter by almost 1/3 again. Granted my open rate has fallen a bit, but still respectable in the 40-50% range. I’m on a schedule with my newsletter, rather than only sending when I had a release – which isn’t a way to build a rapport with readers. I’m *finding* content to send to you, even if I don’t have anything to say about me, which is a good thing! I’ve automated my welcome and delivery of free/newsletter specials and made it easier to send ARCs out too.
I’ve tried a few different planner systems the last year+. I use the Passion Planner for family and work stuff, but I’m finding a simple traveler’s notebook with a Tomoe River paper insert the best for writing. I love the paper, I love the leather smell of the wrap, I love using colored InkJoys, or just the thin micron black pen. Added in some stickers from Bree (@totallybree) and midliners to color my sprints, and I’m finally liking how I track my progress. I just don’t like spreadsheets for word count. Coloring the squares by hand is much more fun, and the stickers save me from trying to draw anything (I can’t do a straight line even with a ruler). (Some examples)
I’m using the notebook as more of a story bible, edit tracker, and for research notes too. I put all my edit notes on QUEEN TAKES KNIGHTS into the notebook this time around, including a timeline, character list, and scene list. It makes it so much easier to track down the correct file in Scrivener when I’m reading the file on Kindle and find a typo or paragraph I want to tweak.
I’m taking the last quarter of the year to try and push through as many new projects as I can to get my income back up to a respectable amount. That income will fund the new covers I need going forward to continue to grow. I owe one more proposal to Entangled that I’m working on, and still waiting on the other from Carina.
Otherwise, I’m trying to finish up books I already have covers purchased for to minimize my expenses and maximize my earnings. That means you’ll see QUEEN TAKES KNIGHTS this month, and if all goes well, THE MUMMY’S CAPTIVE WITCH. This was a Zombie Category Romance cover I purchased *years* ago and never wrote. There’s no better time to work on a zombie/witch story than October, so that will be my push. I also have a cover for THREE CUTS DEADER already purchased. I’ve been stuck on the plot though so I’ll have to see if things come together or not.
I’m intending to do NaNoWriMo this year. Actually – my goal is to NaNo every month from here on out until I get “caught up” in my mind. I haven’t decided for sure which book will be my focus in November. My brain wants to work on QUEEN TAKES KING, the vampire follow-up story, but I won’t have the cover until Dec. at the earliest, and likely not until Jan. Funds trickle in too slowly. It makes more sense to do THREE CUTS DEADER first, but my writer brain isn’t always smart about what project it wants to work on. If it comes down to things are working on project C or D but not A or B that I intended to do, I’m going with C or D.
I don’t intend to lose my words again.