an update: commitment issues, owls, and books to look forward to

Most days, I feel like a flopping fish.

Thing #1: EWTF is 8 months old now, which is a thing in of itself. I kept planning these blog entries — EWTF is 3 months old! Or, EWTF is 6 months old!!! The half-birthday seemed like it should have been a pretty big deal, but then I didn’t do anything for it. And here we are, 8 months after and I still mostly don’t know what I’m doing. From what I hear, the book has not done badly for a first book by an unknown self-published author. It has done average. Average is okay, I’m telling myself. Especially for an unknown self-published author. Especially for a work of self-published literary fiction.

The reviews have ranged from lukewarm to made-me-cry-they-were-so-excellent, and I know that could definitely be much worse. I have 9 of them on Amazon and 10 on Goodreads, and with no use of KDP Select and very little promo, 94 people have bought the book with their own money, which is something.

So I’m pleased. Yes, “pleased” is a good word to describe my progress at this point. And thankful to everyone who bought the book and left those lovely reviews. I am so, so glad to have not been one of those self-published authors who dropped a new release and heard nothing but crickets, because believe me, that happens much more often than not. So thank you! <3 <3 <3

I’m not doing much promotion outside my immediate circle. I did one paid promotion, and it WORKED, for its time! How do you get more promos? I don’t know. I’d like to know. I’d like to pay someone to do my promo for me. Yes, that would be nice indeed!

The thing to do next is write another book, which is what everyone says. Which feels kind of odd, that this first book basically becomes automatic backlist, with very little celebration. By the time I gain any traction at all — if that ever happens — I’ll have released 2 or 3 or 4 books. Probably 4. Maybe even 5. And all of these early books will have been read by only the wonderful, beautiful, generous people whom by the stroke of luck or fate or whatever, happened to know me or know of me at the time.

Thing #2: I am writing again, at least. I’m flirting with several stories, and though I have a feeling which ones will stick and in which order, I’m having, um, commitment issues.

Leslie’s story, Windows, will probably still be the next out the door, if only because it’s smallish. I am resisting the research I need to do to complete a couple last scenes. I need to kick myself in the ass. It has a cover in the works though, so look forward to a cover reveal in the near future.

I’ve been picking at the Lakeside Heights stories, even though they have no business being written yet. They’re still a few years off, at least, because I do not want to be one of those writers who dives into a new genre without having read much of it yet. I have a lot of reading to do. But I suppose there’s also a lot that needs thinking out before I start hammering out the words, so maybe this is okay. World building, they call it. This is science fiction, after all, so this is rather new to me. Ain’t no world building in chick lit, lol!

Nine Nights with the Studly Buddha is in the works, starring Corbin and a bunch of his girlfriends. I’m going to consider it official since I have ideas for all 9 of the stories now, an ending, and some of them are drafted. It’s going to be small, but FUN! Complete ridiculousness in this one. Not a literary bone in its body. Okay, well maybe one literary bone, but that’s it. The rest is all boners, lol!

^ She said “boners”. 😉

Thing #2.25: That reminds me of a short story I once started called “Bloodflow for Boners”, which was more comedy than erotica if you could imagine such a thing. I’m gonna have to see if I can do something with that one.

Thing #2.375: Leila’s novel, at the moment titled: A Thousand Simple Truths, still feels strong to me, and it’s still bubbling under the surface, growing slowly. Or maybe it’s not growing *that* slowly, but because it’s meant to turn out so BIG, every little bit feels slow in comparison. She’s up to 45K words now. Aiming for 90K in the 2nd draft. You’ll certainly be getting the two shorter ones before this one is finished.

Thing #2.44: Following Leila’s novel, I’m working on a 9-book novella series that I am SUPER excited about. Shiny new ideas are always shiny though, so it’s probably too early to talk about it.

As always, you can read working blurbs for any of the above on my WIP page, which is long and ever-evolving.

Thing #2.5: I am writing again only because I am ignoring reviews and submissions and promo and everything that makes me feel neurotic. I am writing my blog stories again, here and there, which feels familiar and comfortable, like coming back home to my best friends. It reminds me why I’m doing this. And…

Thing #2.75: EWTF does not sell better or worse whether I read reviews or submit to book bloggers or read forums full of promo ideas. I might as well do more writing. Because new writing breeds new sales, they tell me — and I suspect this is true because my readers have told me so before. They find my blog stories, they read them, they enjoy them, and then they buy my book.

So, New Indie Author Commandment #1: Write more books. I am on that.

Thing #2.825: Because I would just rather not do much promo, you know? And that’s my choice, right. I just don’t want to. I don’t feel like it. And I’m an indie author, I can do whatever I want, and that’s not something I want to do. So I won’t. I’d rather just put out more books, and if people want to talk about them, they can. And if not, that’s fine too. And maybe only 94 people will ever find my book and I’ll have to be okay with that.

So be it.

But even so, I think a few more will probably find it, eventually. Maybe I’ll make it to 100 sales some day. 100 would be really cool.

Thing #2.99: Some vague and flimsy release dates, because I’m hopeful like that. And putting them out in the open lights a fire under my lazy ass.

Late Spring 2013, Windows, a novella — Leslie
Winter 2013/14, Nine Nights with the Studly Buddha, a novella in stories — Corbin & girlfriends
Spring/Summer 1014, A Thousand Simple Truths (working title), a novel — Leila/Matt/Corbin


Thing #3: if you have eyes you will have noticed the cover changes for EWTF. Partly, I don’t know what I’m doing. Partly also, I have book cover commitment issues. Partly the third, because I had misguided intentions, trying to fit into a genre that I don’t really fit in. Let’s be straight here — the book is not stock chick lit. It’s not stock romance. It’s not stock women’s fiction. It’s not even stock literary fiction when literary fiction is almost without guidelines anyway… It is, itself.

At the moment, it’s sporting a revision of the 2nd cover — I am drawn to having five of them on the cover rather than three. Yes, there’s a bit of a love triangle in the book (but not the kind most people expect, if you note the reviews), but mostly the book is about all of the friendships, less about the love triangle — or it’s actually everything about the love triangle, but it’s not a stock love triangle, if you know what I mean. So friends, warmer in tone, sunrise, and with some pretty little hand-drawn birds.

Fly on, silly misfit book. Fly on.

Thing #4: if you’re a fan of machinima comics (a.k.a. in this case, Sim-illustrated stories), I have a brand new project under way. It’s a slow-going, low-pressure web series full of some familiar characters and some new ones too. I don’t think you’ll need to have read any of my other stories to read this one, though some of the characters will cross over, as is the nature of this universe. And it doesn’t have anything to do with the Sims, so you don’t need to play that either to know what’s going on.

StorySkippers Anonymous is random and weird (much more random and weird than my previous Sim-illustrated stories, if that’s possible), but you’re welcome to read it if you want. Episodes post ~weekly/bi-weekly (subject to RL chaos) on Monday afternoons.

Thing #5: I’m taking art classes – beginner’s drawing. I don’t know why except because I want to. Because it’s fun. Because I need to leave my house and have a reason to put on clothes that aren’t pajamas. Because it’s yet another useless skill I can add to the pile in case I ever need to find real work. I’ll be able to write fiction and draw pictures of owls. What job can that get me?

Here, have an owl: