Apr. 30th, 2017

Daily life: Wattpad, Tuesday Serial, and word count

"More than anything else, I think writing is just a lot of fun. It's a great way to revisit that rollicking, playful space where we spent our days in as kids. Back then, making up stories was our chief occupation. Give a seven-year-old a blank piece of paper and a marker, they're good for hours. There are a lot of adventures and people and animals and kingdoms and trucks and battles and princesses in a piece of paper.

"Somewhere around adolescence, though, most of us stop visiting those imaginary worlds. We get self-conscious. We see that other kids are much better writers or artists than we are, so we cede that creative space to them. And they in turn cede it to others who are better still. The blank page stops being an invitation and becomes intimidating.

"But the impulse to create and make and dream is still with us. It doesn't go away. It just waits, patiently, for us to find a way back to it again. For some adults, it happens through art classes or music lessons. For me, it was through NaNoWriMo. However you get back there, it just feels pretty incredible when you arrive."

--Chris Baty.

What I did this week )

Mar. 2nd, 2015

Daily life: Oh, my. There actually *is* a life offline.

"Housewives were the people who put Trick or Treat for UNICEF boxes in millions of small hands. They were, of course, thrifty (thrift is the signal virtue of the housewife), but many of them were also high-minded, convinced that people ought to help one another out. George Harrison may have held a Concert for Bangladesh, but it was the mothers on my block who sat down and wrote little checks—ten dollars, fifteen dollars—to CARE. Many housewives shared a belief in the power of boycotts, which could so easily be conducted while grocery shopping. I remember hearing my mother's half of a long, complicated telephone discussion about whether it would or would not undermine the housewives' beef strike of 1973 if the caller defrosted and cooked meat bought prior to the strike. Tucked into the aforementioned copy of The Settlement Cook Book, along with handwritten recipes for Chocolate Diamonds and Oma's German Cheesecake, is a small card that reads FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR J.P. STEVENS WORKERS. The organizers of that long-ago boycott understood two things: first, that if you were going to cripple a supplier of household goods (J.P. Stevens manufactured table linens and hosiery and blankets), you had to enlist housewives; and second, that you stood a better chance of catching their attention if you printed your slogan on the reverse of a card that contained a table of common metric equivalents, a handy, useful reminder that 1 liter = 1 quart and also that the makers of Finesse hosiery exploited their workers."

--Caitlin Flanagan: Housewife Confidential: A tribute to the old-fashioned housewife, and to Erma Bombeck, her champion and guide.

A note to my readers: If you sent me email before April 2014, please resend it. Due to a computer mishap, I've lost all my email between 2008 and April 2014.

If you sent email after April 2014, and I haven't replied to it yet, feel free to resend it. It should be in my inbox, which I'm still plowing through, but there's no reason you should have to wait any longer than you already have.

My professional work this month )
My reading this month )
My decluttering and homemaking this month )
My personal life this month )

I've saved the best news for last:

I stayed mostly offline in February.

Let me repeat that: I STAYED MOSTLY OFFLINE. If you don't understand the full import of that, let me repeat what I wrote in my last journal entry:


It's the web that's the problem. And it was a very serious problem by the time that I pulled the plug in mid-January - against my will; my body went into a state of collapse, and I ended up with the flu.

Before that happened, do you know how long I'd been online? Five days. I got nine hours of sleep during that time.

So I've now officially moved "web usage" from "medical problem" to "medical emergency."


So hurrah, yes, major progress in having an offline life. Which is why I actually have accomplishments to list in this blog entry.

Jan. 3rd, 2011

Book covers, Part 3

Comments by Hopeofdawn that I'm replying to.

My reply )

Jan. 1st, 2011

Book covers, Part 2

Carrying my discussion with Hopeofdawn forward. Anyone else is welcome to chime in.

Includes spoilers for 'Blood Vow' )

Dec. 31st, 2010

E-book covers

Hopeofdawn, for some reason LiveJournal is garbling my reply to you, and this is a pretty long post anywhere, so I'll respond here to your comment.

Cover talk galore )

One last try at coherency

I realized last night that I posed the exact wrong question in my original post in this series, and that I was bound to confuse folks who were familiar with the standard self-pub/small-press path to publication. So I'm going to make clearer where my foundation as a writer lies, so that I can ask the proper question.

My goals as a writer, and where my identity as a writer lies )

I know that there exist some people who originally posted their online creations for free and who have continued to keep their creations online, yet who have managed to make money from their creations. (I'm also aware that there is lots of controversy over whether one can make money if one gives away one's creations for free. You can take for granted that I've read tons of articles on this debate.)

My question: Given that I am online fiction writer, is there a way in which I can make money from my stories?

Here's some ideas I've run across:

Some possibilities )

That's what I've been able to come up with on my own. So I thought I'd turn to advice from you guys.

What would you pay for that I could provide you with? What techniques have you seen other writers in my position try?

Dec. 30th, 2010

More thoughts on the previous post about e-book sales

For some reason, this post of mine didn't cross-post to IJ last night. As I said in a follow-up comment at DW, I spent much more time in this post discussing my disagreements than my agreements with the folks I was responding to, which was the exact reverse of what I should have done. So just to clarify: I'm mainly in agreement with the people who commented on my earlier post, and I'm very grateful for your suggestions. This post is primarily an elaboration on side issues that tantalized me as I reading your comments.

Okay, we've got overlapping comments here in response to this post, so I think I'll address several of you folks at once, if you don't mind. I'm sorry I'm so wordy in my reply, and I'mreally sorry I'm so defensive, but as I've explained to multiple long-suffering beta readers, the way I figure out whether I'm wrong is by saying, "This is how I see it," and giving other people the opportunity to shoot holes in my arguments. So shoot away, guys. :)

Free fiction )
Website design )
Covers )
Prices )
Calling myself a slash writer )
WIPs )
Buy buttons )
Blurbs )

Thank you to anyone else who posted replies to my earlier post; I read up to Hopeofdawn's comment before writing this entry.

I'm finding this discussion immensely interesting and am looking forward to everyone's further thoughts, including the longer reply that Catana has promised.

Dec. 29th, 2010

Why don't my e-books sell?

Before we got frustrated by the inherent limitations of 140 character messages, S. L. Armstrong, Catana, and I were discussing on Twitter why self-published e-books sell - a discussion which evolved, under my coaxing, into a consideration of why my self-published e-books don't sell (at least not in enough quantities to allow me take make at least four figures a year). The two possibilities put forward so far have been that (1) my stories are of limited appeal and (2) I give away too much free fiction.

I thought I'd move the discussion over here, not only so that we could break the 140-character barrier, but also so that the rest of you could chime in with your ideas.

Jul. 27th, 2010

Apple reputedly removes erotica titles from iBooks bestseller list

News via TeleRead.

Also, for those of you who have been following the weather news in the D.C. area: I'm fine. Our house is fine. Our street is a disaster zone. I'll give the full details this weekend.

Sep. 26th, 2009

My letter to the Lambda Literary Foundation

. . . in response to their appalling clarification of their change in rules.

The letter )

Sep. 24th, 2009

The Lambda Literary Awards and gender

Lambda Literary Awards is apparently excluding certain previously eligible writers from eligibility, based on their gender and orientation. Boys Next Door has a summary and links to the blogosphere reaction. See also the additional commentary by TeddyPig.

My thoughts, and a quotation )

Jul. 21st, 2009

First glimpse of the "Rebirth" paperback

The PDF file of Rebirth is off to the proofreaders, so I can give you folks your first glimpse of what the paperback will look like. The letters are smudged in this enlarged reproduction, because of the manner in which I placed it online, and of course there's no guarantee that I won't end up revising the layout of this particular page. But you'll at least be able to see what a handsome typeface Hoefler Text is.

Image and grumbles about drop caps )

Anyway, I'm projecting a late August to September publication date for the paperback, which is later in the year than I'd like, but at least it'll be out this year.

Jul. 16th, 2009

My report on the Rogue Digital Conference

This is my summary of and commentary on the Rogue Digital Conference, a presentation on digital publishing that was held today in Washington, D.C., by several folks in the romance fiction industry. The initial quotations in each section are from the official announcement of the conference. If I've misquoted or misinterpreted anything anyone said, I hope someone who attended the conference will correct me. (Incidentally, the conference was officially tweeted, so I assume that the organizers don't mind their remarks being reported in public.)

Read more... )

This was my first real-life contact with the romance community (I've been hanging out online with romance writers since 2005), and I was struck by how similar the conference attendees were to slashers. There was the same sort of immediate friendliness, cheerfulness, good humor, and informal give-and-take. (Also, the same relative lack of men in the room.) In fact, I left the Rogue Digital Conference regretting that I couldn't afford the RWA Conference; if this is typical of RWA-connected gatherings, the RWA Conference attendees must be having a fun time this week.

Incidentally, the first person to greet me - and who had to prod my poor memory for her name - was someone I knew from the Erotic Romance Writers Forum . . . and whom I'd met at the last Con.txt slash fiction convention. Sitting next to her was a woman who turned out to be from Romance Divas, and who recognized my name from my posts at the Diva forums. That was nice, having my name recognized. Unfortunately, that was pretty much the only chance I had to talk with anyone there - other than a brief chat with a representative from the publisher Avon, who happened to be sitting next to me - but overall, it was a fun and informative gathering to attend. I'm glad I had the chance to do so.

Jul. 5th, 2009

Some personal thoughts on authors' giveaways

I had written that I'd want to read a particular author's work before buying a book by them. [info - personal]lee_rowan pointed me to a free short story by that author at All Romance e-books.

My reply:

(*Rushes over to All Romance.*)

However (not to sound ungrateful, which I undoubtedly do), this seems the proper time to explain why free online samples and free short fiction aren't of much use to me when I'm deciding whether to buy a book.

Read more... )

Jun. 11th, 2009

POD self-publishing options: Lulu vs. CreateSpace vs. Lightning Source

As an antidote to a really discouraging day struggling with InDesign, I've decided to put together a guide to the most popular print-on-demand services used by self-publishers. At least two of you folks here might be interested by this information. :)

(Those of you who are knowledgeable, please correct any mistakes I've made.)

Currently, the Big Three are Lulu, CreateSpace, and Lightning Source. All three services take care of printing and distributing books for self-publishers, for fees that range from moderate to zero. All three are recommended frequently enough to suggest that they're reasonably satisfactory services. I've only used Lulu myself, but I've hung out at forums where CreateSpace and Lightning Source self-publishers post.

Lulu )
CreateSpace )
Lightning Source (LSI) )
Running the numbers )
Further reading )

Apr. 24th, 2009

Which slash/yaoi/gay romance books end up in bookstores? My m/m survey of D.C. bookstores

This is long enough that it deserves its own post. I visited a couple of D.C. bookstores on April 22 and compiled a list of all the m/m books with contributions by authors whom I recognized as being from the slash, yaoi, or genre romance communities. (I use the term "m/m" here as a convenient short-hand to refer to books from those communities. Of course there are many authors of gay love stories who don't belong to those communities, but I didn't list their books.) I thought you guys might be interested in seeing how far writers from those communities have made it onto the shelves of bookstores.

Lambda Rising )
Borders )
My conclusions )

June 2018




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