Sunday, June 26, 2011

Is Digital Self-Publishing Viable?

I have one book up on , and another up on - both books are self-published. I am in the process of writing a mystery book, which I will also self-publish (most likely through Smashwords). One of the biggest benefits in getting my work out there in this manner, IMHO, is that I don't need a publisher. I can self-publish in the digital market and distribute on my own.

I am evidently joining a very impressive group of people! Author J. K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series) is at this moment bringing up a new site called "Pottermore". This is a literal Harry Potter universe, and will be the only place that she will market e-book versions of her Harry Potter works. Will other big name authors follow her lead?

I am not only excited about self-publishing, but I am excited about the "Pottermore" site! We don't need to copy exactly what she has done, but it does show us what can be done. We can create a place for our work that consists of more than a book cover and a "Buy Now" button!

Off to join the world of J.K. Rowling!

(c) June 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Monday, June 20, 2011

Time - A Precious Commodity

Time is a precious commodity – especially for writers. It is not very often that we can support ourselves from our writing, which means that we are working a 9-5 “somewhere”, taking care of life’s little necessities (like grocery shopping, doing laundry, cleaning house and paying bills), and trying to fit writing into the “odd moments”.

I am lucky in one respect – I live alone (with my cat, Roger), so no one but Roger has dibs on my time and attention. The problem is that I can seldom say no to a writing opportunity, so I invariably have multiple projects going on: my author’s blog on Monday, flash fiction when I remember, keeping up my Tarot blog, keeping up with Social Media sites (Twitter, Face Book and Linked In), taming my RSS feed , writing deck and book reviews … the list is endless.

What I found works for me is if I have a daily to-do list written out, so that I can check things of as I go along. I do my main writing at night (if I am not too tired after working on the phone line), or during the day, before I go on the phone line. Set time (i.e. 2 am – 4 am Tarot blog) don’t work for me. I know what is due, and when, and I have to keep things mixed up, as in a beautiful tossed salad, so that I don’t get bored.

As of June, I cut back on my outside writing. I loved doing the writing, but I needed to place my focus elsewhere. It was a hard decision, but it is done. I now have the time to map out a plan for promoting my book that is due out in September, write my second Tarot book and finish the mystery book that I started during NaNoWriMo 2010, and have it edited.

Things that I do to help me make best use of my time are:

  1. Write out my projects and project goals a week in advance.
  2. At the beginning of each day, look at what I want to get done, and prioritise it.
  3. If something doesn’t get done, I don’t automatically bump it into the next day. I look at how important it is, at what else I am doing, and at where I will reasonably have the time to finish it.
  4. I do small amounts of research between projects – or in the middle of a project, so that it acts as a break. (Cappie here – work is my normal mode of being!)
  5. When I am writing, and it is flowing, I allow it to extend to a normal breaking point. Then I look at what I have left to do on that day, and what I may have to move to another time, or remove entirely.
  6. I may use a quick drop in on one of my social media site as a form of break – but I consciously limit that break time to no more than 10-15 minutes.
  7. I check in on how I am feeling. If I am feeling stressed, I stand up and move around. At the end of the day I may reward myself with a piece of chocolate and a glass of one. One each – I don’t need to go crazy here!
  8. I try to be understanding – sometimes my schedule goes completely out the window due to one of life’s little occurrences. Believe it or not – I am beginning to flow with this!
  9. At the end of each day, I glance over my to-do list for the next day. This is one way that I keep my so called sanity.
  10. I try to control as much as I can, in as graceful and responsible way as I can. So far, so good!

© June 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lost Before I Am Started

I don't write on this blog very often - the joke here being that this blog is the one that is devoted to my writing! In fact when I went to add a new blog earlier this year, I found that I had been away for so long that my account had been deleted! I am trying to do one post a week - at least, that is my goal. I log in today, and something looks different. I can't even find the links for editing old blogs, or adding new blogs. I am about to panic when I realise there is a pop-up add over that section of my sign on page. Whew! Take that off and the page as I know it reappears, as if by magic!

I am beginning to realise that how I promote my Tarot related work will be different from how I promote my fiction writing. And how I promote my fiction writing will be different from how others promote their fiction writing. In the Tarot world we chat things up in forums, do reviews and interviews, chat on the social networking sites, write blogs, attend conferences, do webinars and teleclasses ... with a bit of Blog Talk Radio through in for good measure. It's all good, and we are all comfortable with that.

I have a wealth of writing blogs on my RSS feed, and with fiction writing they are all promoting the concept of "guest blogging". It is getting so bad that sometimes I think that the person who's blog I signed up for never writes for their own blog! To follow this route I am advised to find blogs written by people writing in the same genre (mystery fiction), and post to their blogs. IOW - Make myself known, so that I don't look like an idiot asking to do a guest blog for them.

I started out skeptical of how this would work for me - I would have to get material to the person who runs the blog in good time, write in the format they want things written in, respond to people who leave comments ... do all the polite things. Now, I am a polite person, but my to do lists would have multiple to do lists of their own were I to keep up with all of this. End result - I have made the decision to not do guest blogging. (You may all breathe freely now! ;-) )

I will have a page on my site for each of my books, a free chapter or two, lots of chatter on Twitter and Face Book, free copies sent to reputable reviewers ... and from there I wing it! I am sure there is more that I can do, but it must be in line with what I am comfortable doing.

We may now all wish me luck!

(c) June 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Accepting The Challenge: Sharing Books

I was very pleased to be challenged on Face Book by fellow author Ruth Stefanowitz to post books that I value over a seven day period. ...