Sick house

I’m still kicking myself for being so sick yesterday that I could barely function. My husband had to stay home and take our daughter to her appointment. Poor thing has an ear infection in both ears. Apparently she tripped and fell in the parking lot at the doctor’s office and skinned her knee.

Except she was more upset about tearing her tights. She’s the oddest combination of girlie-girl and tomboy. Priorities of a 3-year-old? I promised her this weekend we would go get her some new tights and she’s begging for green and blue ones (the set torn were black).

I’m just glad that it seems she’s outgrown the febrile seizures. Plus she’s old enough to be able to tell us clearly what hurts.

Though shortly after taking her medication last night, she was bounding up and down the house. This kid doesn’t let much slow her down. Her story about tripping and falling is getting ever more elaborate.

As for me, I’m trying to get back to work, but I can’t seem to focus. Probably not the best idea to be editing, but I feel really bad about missing yesterday and I’m feeling the deadlines looming ever closer. So much to do and so little time…

To never grow

Recently, I worked on a couple of critiques for a group outside of my normal one. Marked up both quite a bit. Tried to pour everything I’ve learned into helping these writers.

And got blown off.

Granted, it was only one of the two, but when I’m saying the same things as the other seven people at the table, these might be recommendations worth listening to. I think the only reason it bothered me greatly this time is because earlier, this person was claiming to be there to learn and get better at her craft.

The responses from the writer came off as excuses or that she made stylistic choices. Now I don’t want to talk about the piece itself because my issues with it were written all over the submission in pink ink (shush – I like critiquing others work in odd-colored pens). But to basically blow off the entire group’s suggestions made me want to pull my hair.

And yes, hearing that things are wrong, especially seriously wrong, is so hard. It takes a lot to be able to accept criticism with grace. But when we gather, whether it is this group or my normal critique group, everyone is aware that we are there to help the writer. All sunshine and rainbows won’t help anyone grow. I try to put positive things into my critiques so that the writer knows what is going right and just plain old awesome points, but, and heaven only knows I’ve held back tears on feedback I’ve gotten, I’m there to point out the issues.

No one is perfect to start. Multiple drafts are common for a reason. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve edited Twisted Magics (it also received a complete rewrite fairly early on). I’m planning to rewrite the second book to try and get things to work out better. And I’m always learning. Trying something new, seeing if it works, fixing it if it doesn’t. I don’t ever want to stop learning because then I’ll stop growing as a writer.

Unrealistic Deadline?

So I’ve been in just about an all out panic at my husband’s deadline for launching the first book. I don’t think I can get everything done in time.

I’m still editing. Right now I’m working with what my beta readers have said. Then I plan another pass through before printing it out one more time and attacking it with a red pen. The reason for the two is I tend to catch things in print that I don’t necessarily on the screen and vice versa.

Now, I was planning on taking the rest of this month to get through it before printing and then March to take that one last final comb through. Figure sometime this summer, right?

He wants to shoot for the beginning of May. I felt like part of me died that moment. “Have it before Rendezvous” …I don’t even know when or if the conference is running this year.

I don’t know what I want for a book cover and while I know which cover designer I want to approach, I don’t want to without at least a synopsis written. I need to figure out how to do the formatting. And there’s still more.

I realize that this post is very similar to my IWSG post. Mostly I need to get out my worries before I end up huddled in a corner, rocking and whispering to myself. It’s making it hard to focus on editing and everything else I need to take care of.

Pricing

So part in parcel, pricing is obviously on my list of things I need to consider as I trek the path of self-publishing.

Recently I received an email about one of my favorite authors who is coming out with a new book soon. It was a sure-fire sale because I’ve bought all of the other books in the series.

And suddenly it wasn’t. This particular author is traditionally published and I’ve noticed an upward trend in the prices of the ebooks over the years. I stopped short at $13.99. I had to make sure that wasn’t the price for the hardcover (no paperback version will be available yet).

There was another announcement of another book of hers now coming out in paperback (that I’ve already read) and I did a double-take on the cost of that versus the ebook version and they were the same price.

Now, I know people need to make their money and whatnot, but the pricing from traditionally published books has gotten to be ridiculous when it comes to ebooks. I trend towards ebooks personally for the sake of space, though I do love the feel of a book in my hands. It looks like I might be getting myself on the long list at the library to borrow that particular book.

It hurts to not directly support this author who has taken me on some fun journeys so far. If the ebook was priced at even the same amount as a paperback version, I would have happily pre-ordered. I just can’t support the publisher pushing these prices. Not when I’m considering selling my ebook versionĀ for over $10 less.

Self-publishing for dummies? #IWSG

I should spend more time at the library searching this stuff up. It is far too easy to get lost in the clicking of links – hoping and praying for a direct answer.

It isn’t for a lack of online resources, however…except to the questions I currently have. After deciding to shut down my other business and change it over to handle publishing my book(s), my husband, who is extremely supportive of this measure, has been asking questions that I don’t know how to answer.

Business questions. Wanting numbers and figures. It’s got to be the accountant in him. But the more I delve into the self-publishing industry, the more I become lost and confused.

And sometimes the responses I’ve gotten are less than helpful. “Don’t bother with print.” Well, I’m vain and I want to hold my baby in my hands. “You don’t need a business.” I thought I did if I didn’t want the imprint to say CreateSpace (where I’m currently planning to go). I half-wish Rendezvous was here so I could volunteer and listen to all the great advice from people.

Probably only to be confused again.

My husband wants me to push to have everything done by April and I’m just sitting here like “WHAT?! Do you know how much work I have to do? And I don’t know if [client] is done with me yet which may push off that business change even further. And I can’t talk to a cover designer until I choose a trim size and this and that and the other thing…”

With all the weight of everything and so many unknown variables, I guess I’m starting to question the sanity of my decision. Right now I’m trying to take things one step at a time, but my husband is already talking about how many to order to sell directly. Of course that only brings my thoughts to marketing and talking to bookstores, what to do for a launch, how to set up a signing. And then the ever-present worry of will anyone care?

GAH!

2016 has been an odd year to start, that much is for certain. How it will progress, only time will tell. The look ahead is exciting and scary. I’ve been struggling with the second book, but I think my critique group has got me on the right path. I need to finish my submission for them for the month, then pull Twisted Magics back from beta and get to work on that. One step at a time, right?

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