The Journal, Monday, 10/30

Hey Folks,

This morning, in a piece I was reading online, I saw this: “In my opinion, less is more, just as it is when you’re writing, period.”

Oh dear god. I can almost see him primping.

Every time I hear a writer say “Oh, in writing, less is more,” I want to suggest they write nothing at all then. Based on their reasoning, their canon of work should expand exponentially.

But I can’t bring myself to do it. The vacant-eyed, slack-jawed stare that would ensue as the moron wondered whatever in the world I was talking about might be just enough to send me over the edge.

Hey, carpe jugulum.

And either the author of the article (James Ledbetter) or one of the bon vivants featured in the article tossed in a “try and weed out” where he or she meant to say “try TO weed out.”

The preposition “to” followed by a verb forms what is called an infinitive. Now, class, what do we call the conjunction “and” followed by a verb?

Yes, that’s right. A blatant illustration of ignorance.

Yeah, I know. Picky. But these things matter. You’re either a professional or you aren’t.

And the truth is, you don’t have to write a word of fiction to prove yourself a pretentious, condescending snob, uttering ridiculous platitudes that have zero meaning beyond the rhythm of the syllables themselves.

Hey, anything to add emphasis to that pinkie raised alongside the teacup or wine glass, eh?

Then again, the article was in the New Yorker, so maybe pretentious and condescending fits.

At any rate, I’ll ‘try and’ ignore my desire to hold the writer responsible for what he puts on the page. Instead I’ll ‘try and’ understand that he knew what he meant to say and so should I. After all, if the reader misunderstands, that’s the reader’s fault, right? Right? (Umm, no.)

Oh, the name of the article is “When British Authors Write American Dialogue, or Try To.” Perhaps it should have been titled “When American Essayists Write in the American Language, or Try To: Illustration of a Failure.”

Maybe before the New Yorker continues paying Mr. Ledbetter the big bucks, they should require him to ‘try and’ learn how to use the language.
***

I actually wrote fiction today. I’m not sure why. I thought I’d look back at the novel I started, read over it and see where it goes.

It went pretty well, actually, within itself. But I still don’t get a feeling that it wants to run to a full story.

Since today is the 30th and I have one more day in this month, I’ll give that one more day to this same story and see what happens. If it doesn’t take off, maybe I’ll shelve it and begin something new.

I really enjoy writing the two major characters currently in the WIP but I don’t know that they enjoy being written. Know what I mean? Maybe I’m intruding and they aren’t ready to tell this story yet.

Who knows… maybe my subconscious, realizing it’s under the gun, will cough up some good stuff. (grin)

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Some interesting stuff in Dean’s “Some Clutter Gone” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/some-clutter-gone/. For my money (at the risk of the pot calling the kettle seared), he fiddled around with his website as an excuse—albeit a worthwhile one—to put off writing until his challenges begin.

Via The Digital Reader, see “Checklist: Eight Items to Include in an Author’s Book Listing” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/29/checklist-eight-items-include-authors-book-listing/.

Also via The Digital Reader, see the rant-starting “When British Authors Write American Dialogue, or Try To” at https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/when-british-authors-write-american-dialogue-or-try-to/.

Fiction Words: 2834
Nonfiction Words: 550 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3384

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… 2834 words. Total words to date…… 13071

Total fiction words for the month……… 15296
Total fiction words for the year………… 449442
Total nonfiction words for the month… 14770
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 167453
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 616895

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 701 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, 10/25

Hey Folks,

Well, trying to use the camping trailer as a writing hovel just isn’t going to work. It’s constantly too cold or too hot and there are myriad other problems I won’t go into here.

I’m just gonna have to bite the bullet and do my writing in my office. I’ll have to let the separate small desk and the separate, dedicated writing computer constitute my “space,” and that will have to be enough.

I think I’ll also add a different, dedicated chair. Sitting in the same chair to write fiction that I use when I’m browsing the Internet can’t be a good idea. I know it seems only a very minor difference, but what seems minor in the conscious world can be huge trigger to the subconscious.

Went to bed early last night and got up late this morning to make up for it. In all, I slept, mostly, for 10 hours. I don’t remember the last time I did that.

I’ve written quite a lot over the past few days. But none of it interested me after the initial scene. Still, it feels as if the break in the dam is getting closer.

There have also been a few times when a strong idea popped into my head when I was in the middle of doing something else. Each time the idea left before I sat down to write it.

I’m not worried. I’ll do what I do when it’s time to do it. Until then, I’ll do other things. Like read.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

All of the following are via The Passive Voice:
See “California Rescinds Autograph Mandate for Booksellers” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/california-rescinds-autograph-mandate-for-booksellers/.

See “First, forget inspiration” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/first-forget-inspiration/. Short, but oh so sweet.

See “John Grisham reveals his biggest money mistake” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/john-grisham-reveals-his-biggest-money-mistake/. I would still be pursuing that agent.

Via The Passive Voice but at The Digital Reader, see “Seven WordPress Plugins for Author Bookshelves” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/25/review-roundup-seven-wordpress-plugins-author-bookshelves/. Wish I’d seen this a few years ago. (grin)

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 340 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 340

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 12960
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 165643
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 612251

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 696 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Monday, 10/23

Hey Folks,

I was going to talk about Dean’s age-based challenge frenzy, but you can see it for yourself in “Of Interest” and draw your own conclusions.

I’ll turn 65 in a few weeks. I tried to set up an interesting goal that has something to do with the numeric designation of my age, but I kept coming back to “Why?”

I mean, if setting such a goal increased my actual productivity and made writing fun again, that could be something.

The closest real challenge I could come up with was to write 52 short stories (one per week) during the year. Add 13 novels to that and I would have 65 publications.

But that goal has serious flaws. For example, I could as easily fulfill the “65” requirement by writing 13 additional short stories.

Okay, so the most salable length for short fiction according to most sources is 3,000 words. If I wrote 65 3,000-word stories, that would still be only 195,000 words (that’s 535 words per day). No real challenge there, eh?

But what if I wrote only the 52 short stories and then compiled 5 10-story collections and 10 5-story collections? That would bring my number of publications for the year to 67.

I could even toss in an omnibus collection of all 52 stories and make it 68.

But including the collections would feel a little like cheating just to beef up my numbers.

Besides, I’m not into writing short stories right now. The only reason to write all of those would be to reach that arbitrary number, and that just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe because in my story-a-week streak, I reached 72 stories before I broke it.

Now 65 novels in a year, that would be really something.
***

I rolled out late, a little before 4, did a lot of online reading, then wrote a lot of this.

After my wife went to work I started setting up the camping trailer as a writing office. The Internet out there is iffy at best, but I’ll carry a flash drive with me back and forth just in case.

(When the Internet’s working, I just save things to my Dropbox and they’re uploaded on my office computer by the time I get inside.)

Anyway, not surprisingly I ran into some problems, so that will be the rest of the day. When I was writing at a kitchen table out there, the Internet was fine. When I moved my little writing stand in there—it’s two inches lowerat 27″—the Internet became iffy.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

From The Digital Reader, see “From eBooks to cBooks…” at http://www.talkingnewmedia.com/2017/10/20/ebooks-cbooks-new-ebook-format-combining-best-book-film-exciting-new-story-platform/. Reminiscent, in an odd way, of silent films back when “movies” first started.

Also from The Digital Reader, see “199+ Plot, Name, Story, and Other Generators” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/22/199-plot-name-story-generators/.

From DWS, see “My Two New Challenges” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/my-two-new-challenges/. Personally, I’m more interested in following the 30 stories in 30 days November challenge.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 500 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 500

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11770
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 164453
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 611061

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 693 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Friday, 10/20

Hey Folks,

I love finding new resources, and I was handed one yesterday. A guy who represents another guy sent me a link to the second guy’s work and asked me to look it over.

There are so many scams in this world, at first I thought this was just another one. It wasn’t.

I looked it over briefly yesterday, then added two links to my website, one on Character Development under Writers’ Resources and one pointing to Jerry Jenkins’ website. That one’s under both Writers’ Resources and Quick Links.

Then this morning I spent a couple of hours reading different things on his website. It was time well spent.

When you have time to browse for awhile, check out the website of NYT bestselling author Jerry Jenkins.

Check out his Courses while you’re there, and maybe even his Writers Guild. But whatever you do, be sure to check his Resources tab. Some great stuff there.

His website is https://www.jerryjenkins.com/.
***

Not even thinking much about fiction today. I’m just gonna allow myself the time I need to drift through this major change. I have to admit, I didn’t think it would be this disruptive.

But regardless of expectations, what happens happens and it goes the way it goes and we deal with it.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “A Book Ban Like No Other” at http://blogs.ncte.org/index.php/2017/10/book-ban-like-no/. The utter idiocy of some people is simply unbelievable.

Visit Linda Maye Adams’ blog for some great items of interest at http://lindamayeadams.com/2017/10/20/adventures-around-the-web-october-14-20-2017/.

If you’re interested in the upcoming “Orionid Meteor Shower 2017” see https://www.space.com/34373-orionid-meteor-shower-guide.html.

Almost forgot to check Dean’s site. He says he’s coming “Back To Regular Programming” (soon) at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/back-to-regular-programming/.

Via The Passive Voice, see “An Exemplary Mouse” at http://www.thepassivevoice.com/2017/10/an-exemplary-mouse/. I still have the very first wireless mouse I ever bought. I’ll stick with that one for now.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 310 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 310

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 10400
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 163083
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 609691

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 690 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, 10/18

Hey Folks,

Not sure what the day will hold. I’ve been a bit depressed lately, mostly because I’m allowing myself some remembrances of a camaraderie I’ll never know again. Sigh. I miss it like air.

I mentioned this to an acquaintance a few days ago and he said, “Well, at least you have the memories. Not everyone has them.”

Well duh.

Of course, what he said is true, but it didn’t help. Not that it was intended to, I suppose.

When he said that it reminded me of the scene in Men in Black in which Agent J caught Agent K looking at a Google Earth image of his wife in her garden.

Agent K quickly closed the scene, and Agent J began with, “Well it’s better to have loved and lost than—”

And Agent K turns on him with some simple but profound advice. “Try it.”
***

The coyotes were yowling out around the home place this morning. My little girl stayed close. Good girl.

Well, it’s late morning and thus far all I’ve accomplished is messing with my Android phone (an old Motorola Razr). It’s already been degraded so a lot of stuff won’t work on it, but because I use it primarily as a TELEPHONE I don’t mind.

I’d almost talked myself into getting a new phone soon and being “connected” all the time, but why? I don’t want to be connected all the time.

The other day I went to the store (about 10 miles away in the next town) and forgot my cell phone at home. When I realized I didn’t have it with me I actually felt FREE.
***

Weird. I haven’t even looked at the WIP for the past several days. Haven’t even opened it to look at it.

I guess I will when the time comes. Until then, I’m not going to worry about it.

Of course, the novel-per-month thing is in the back of my head. But that doesn’t really bother me either.

I think maybe it’s kind of a been-there-done-that sort of thing. I know it’s possible to write a good novel-length story in less than a month (even two, if I pushed) because I already have.

So there’s nothing there to entice me other than simply writing the story. And that can be done in any length of time.

Possibly part of my current fugue is due to my cigar cessation endeavor. Mixed in with the other stuff, of course. Not a big deal. Just indulging in a little self-psychoanalysis. (A buddy in Dallas and another one in Tucson, having read that previous sentence, thought “emphasis on ‘psycho’,” I’ll bet.) (grin)

Anyway, back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “The delusions continue” at https://madgeniusclub.com/2017/10/17/the-delusions-continue/. Excellent article.

Also see, for a bit of SF history and even instruction, “When Science Fiction Grew Up” at http://conceptualfiction.com/whenscifigrewup.html. There is also a series of essay links vertically along the right side of this article.

Still wondering how to publish an ebook on Amazon’s KDP platform? Honestly, there’s nothing difficult about it, but if you need to, see “KDP Jumpstart Guides Authors…” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/17/kdp-jumpstart-guides-authors-steps-publishing-book/.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 530 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 530

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9580
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 162263
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 608871

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 688 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, 10/12

Hey Folks,

First, welcome to “fan2orcas,” the most recent subscriber to this Journal. Glad to have you aboard. I’m going through a personal transition at the moment, so not a lot of substance here for a few days. But hang in there. It will pick up again soon. (grin)
***

Woke up to good news this morning. I have another book, The Platinum Blond Perturbance (novella), in an upcoming bundle from BundleRabbit. I’ll post details on the website as they become available.

The request for that book caused me to look at my other similar books. I realized I have two series characters going. City police detective Lou Galecki and the PI Stern Richards. Hmmm. Wonder how they’d work together?

Actually, the last novel I finished, the one I recently got back from my first reader, has Stern Richards and a police detective, but it isn’t Galecki. Maybe I ought to change the name of the detective before I publish that one.

And that reminds me I haven’t published that one yet. I need to do a cover and get that thing outta here. I’ll do that today.

More notes on quitting smoking…

Feeling a little better this morning. Intellectually I know it takes three days to flush out the poison, but that’s not much more than an annoying little factoid when you’re actually going through it. (grin)

Wow. I started creating the cover at around 5:30. That and uploading the book to D2D, Amazon and BundleRabbit has taken 3 hours. The entire process usually takes an hour or less. Still operating through a haze.

I remember, before I took up cigars, there was a certain extra-clarity in everything: thoughts, vision, hearing, all of it. It isn’t that way again yet, but because I remember I know it will be. Clinging to that knowledge keeps me on task.

I was telling a friend this morning that I’ve discovered quitting cigars is considerably different than quitting cigarettes.

Actually, I expected it to be different, but I assumed it would be easier, maybe because I didn’t inhale smoke from cigars, there weren’t as many, etc.

But I’m finding the resurgent cravings are just as frequent but a LOT stronger. There are times when all I can do is sit and focus on taking the next breath.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I won’t give in. That simply isn’t an option. But it’s interesting (to me) to note these things as I’m going through them. It’s a kind of research, I suppose.

Interestingly, today (Day 3) seems as rough as Days 1 & 2, so I’m also wondering whether it might take longer than three days to flush the poison out of my system this time. I guess I’ll know more tomorrow. (grin)

Hope you don’t mind me sharing this stuff as well as the writing stuff. If my experience helps someone else, it’s all good. And I guess if you DO mind, you can just skip over the parts you don’t like. (grin)

I’m just looking forward to getting back to writing. A few days from now I’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about. I hope.

I’m feeling… different. I’m going to take one more day off. I have a feeling I’ll be fully back tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader, see “The great writers forgotten by history” at http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20171010-the-great-writers-forgotten-by-history. (I was disappointed when I tried to order the ebook and found it was available only to customers in the UK.)

From Linda Maye Adams on Dean’s site, an article on how the mega corporations get writers to write free at http://authorkristenlamb.com/2017/10/welcome-to-the-matrix-you-work-for-free-there-is-no-payday/. Though I must admit, I got lost after awhile. My be my mental cloud or it might be the article going on and on or maybe both, but I still don’t know a) how to unplug or b) from whom or what to unplug. Sigh. I was so looking forward to being unplugged.

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 630 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 630

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057
Day 7…… 1180 words. Total words to date…… 10237
Day 8…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 12462
Total fiction words for the year………… 446608
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7000
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 159683
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 606291

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 683 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Friday, 10/6

Hey Folks,

Well, another long post, but one I think you’ll find is worth it.

First, while searching for something else, I ran across an article titled “Master of Magic Realism Harvey Stanbrough is Offering a Free Short from His Collection of Cantina Tales.”

You can see the brief article at https://davidjrodger.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/master-of-magic-realism-harvey-stanbrough-is-offering-a-free-short-from-his-collection-of-cantina-tales/.

I remembered I had left a ‘thank you’ note in a comment below the article. I never received a reply or a follow-up comment.

This morning I clicked the home page of that WordPress.com site, and I learned that David J. Rodger passed away the same day that post about me went public.

I had never heard of David before he was kind enough to mention me in his blog.

I haven’t read any of his work, but I intend to order some today. To read a bit more about David J. Rodger and his books yourself, please check his main website at http://www.davidjrodger.com/.

Guest Topic: Pricing in 2017

The following is excerpted from Dean Wesley Smith’s blog post this morning. You can read the full article at the link in the “Of Interest” section below.

Electronic Pricing… Novels

Genre matters. Range from $3.99 to $6.99, with romance being on the lower side, mystery on the upper side.

Length does not seem to matter at all.

All the studies have shown that you get above $6.99 and you start hitting price resistance for electronic books unless the book is something really special.

You go below $3.99 and you leave yourself no room for discounting or short-term sales.

You get down into the 99 cent area and you are in a trash ghetto.

And yes, I do know about the stupidity of ever-free. Just say no.

[….]

Electronic Pricing… Short Stories

[….]

A general rule of thumb of short fiction… Genre does not matter. Length does matter. Exactly opposite of novels.

Under 3,000 words, 99 cents or $1.99. I would favor the $1.99 to stay out of the trash pile.

Over 3,000 words, $2.99. (I know some writers who are doing $3.99 and making fine money on short fiction, but I like the $2.99 as a good balance.) [Editor’s Note: The $2.99 or higher price point also gets you a 70% royalty at Amazon too, vs. 35%.]

Over 10,000 words, $3.99 and above 20,000 words price it as a novel in the genre and call it a short novel. [….]

Paper Pricing… Novels

The old general rule of $2.00 profit in extended distribution in CreateSpace has become meaningless. [Editor’s note: If you remember, I mentioned this extended distribution only a day or two ago. Ignore what I said, and go with this instead.] Get your price down as much as you can. Under $10 is the best for trade paper. $12.99 is fine as well. Above that you hit resistance unless the book is longer.

Length not only matters, it causes [your cost] to go up. You have no choice, but try to keep the [price] down as low as possible.

[B]ookstore distribution [is] a folly in 2017 because as Author Earnings have reported, almost 80% of paper books are sold online these days.

[….]

Keep the price low as possible, especially in romance. Very price conscious group.

Paper Pricing… Short Stories

Yes, why not do a paper edition of your stand-alone short story? It’s free to do, easy with Vellum to lay out, and makes your $2.99 electronic price look pretty good with the $4.99 paper there linked. [….]

Audio Pricing

Not getting anywhere near audio. You are on your own. But do realize there are new players on the field in audio. Go slow and learn them and give them a chance to grow some.

That’s it.

2017 sure has made things a ton easier. The drive of pricing to hit the bottom leveled out a few years ago and now we are stable.

And if we indies keep our prices in those ranges, it makes those traditional electronic prices look downright stupid. And more readers will go to indie books.
***

A couple of quick, related things — In the original post, Dean talks about using IngramSpark to try to get Ingram to list your book IF you follow his advice and don’t go with Extended Distribution at CreateSpace (so you can keep your price low).

So One, I guess IngramSpark is a thing and that it’s part of Ingram. I stand corrected (and surprised).

Two, if you DO still go with Extended Distribution (and the required higher price) at CreateSpace, your book will be offered in many more stores than “just Amazon.”

Most of my sales are in ebooks and most come through Amazon.

Now, you might think I’d visit CreateSpace later today to lower the prices on all of my paper novels.

Nope. I’m gonna leave them right where they are and in Extended Distribution.

So will my books be overpriced, even for trade paperbacks?

Sure. But price also goes to perceived value, and mostly I publish in paper only so readers will see the price comparison between paper and ebook when they look up my books.

In other words, I use paper only to drive the purchase of ebooks. I think I’ll continue in that vein.
***

I found Dean’s thought on pricing longer fiction very interesting, that genre, not length, is what matters. I have a question in to him via email.

After I hear back from him, I’ll post my own new pricing guidelines in case you might find them of interest.

UPDATE: Dean responded, and he said pretty much what I expected. I’ll post my new personal pricing guidelines as a topic in a day or three.
***

Today will be a light writing day probably. My son and his family are coming to visit for the weekend, so I have preparations to make. Grocery, laundry, stuff like that.

Finally back from doing chores just before noon. Now to the novel for a little while. There are also division baseball games on today, so… (grin). But I’d like to advance the novel a bit before I go to that for the day.

Okay. I got the story back on track. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

See you then.

Of Interest

See “Pricing Silliness and a Learning Lesson” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/pricing-silliness-and-a-learning-lesson/.

From The Digital Reader, see “Author Website Checklist” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/05/author-website-checklist-2/.

Fiction Words: 1407
Nonfiction Words: 1000 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2407

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650
Day 6…… 1407 words. Total words to date…… 9057

Total fiction words for the month……… 11282
Total fiction words for the year………… 445428
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5090
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 157773
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 603201

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 677 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Thursday, 10/5

Hey Folks,

Well, another long post today. Sorry about that. (grin)

It turns out I wrote quite a bit yesterday, considering. I revised the total yesterday before the Journal posted, and today’s numbers are current.  I don’t remember the last time I had such a great day as yesterday. It’s like someone turned on a light.

One thing I realized was that my current WIP isn’t “just” a PI-noir novel but a PI-noir suspense novel. That’s what it was wanting to be, and that’s where I took the wrong turn.

Topic: Writing Environment

The post by Nate Hoffelder in “Of Interest” yesterday keyed this post. It started me thinking (again) about my own writing environment.

As most of you know, I like the idea of a dedicated writing computer without Internet, games, etc. Why? Because when you sit down at a computer that’s dedicated to your fiction, it keys your subconscious that it’s time to play.

But when writing fiction I also enjoy the ease of hopping online for a moment to check a reference, etc. And I am able to do that without being drawn to check emails, Facebook etc.

For the better part of two years I did that in a structure I call The Adobe Hovel. It’s basically a stacked-mud storage-room structure about 150 feet from my house.

I put a LOT of short stories and novels through my dedicated writing computer out in that Hovel.
Unfortunately, the distance combined with the 3-foot thick walls, put the Hovel JUST outside the range of my WiFi.

So to “jump online” I had to use my phone’s hotspot, and that takes time, another distraction. It also involves data, and that gets expensive. Then a family of scorpions moved into the Hovel and I moved back to my home office.

I also have an outside desk, a plastic-coated wire-frame desk just outside my office window, where I write quite a bit. Of course, it’s within range of WiFi, so it’s all good.

But awhile back, I decided to try to do everything on one computer. My “new” Lenovo. I chose that one mostly because the battery lasts close to 5 hours vs. a little over an hour on my old HP computer.

But I’ve struggled with writing on the new computer. The keyboard has a slightly different feel, the screen is a different configuration, and so on. Just little things, but things that almost continually interrupt my writing.

And recently I’ve realized I’m more prone to spending longer online (email, FB, etc.) or playing a game on the new computer than I was on my dedicated writing computer.

So yesterday I switched back to my dedicated writing computer. And I had the best day I’ve had in a long time.

No doubt part of that was because I took the time to cycle back through the WIP and let the characters tell me where I took a wrong turn. But part of it was because I felt like I was Home again.

I also ran the power cord through the window so I won’t have to worry about the battery. (grin) And once again I can say writing fiction is the most fun a guy can have with his clothes on.
***

I rolled out late this morning after watching the wildcard baseball game last night. Great game.

I was chomping at the bit to get back to the story. I looked it over again. Turns out I cut a little over 2000 words, so a little more than the new number of words I wrote yesterday.

Anyway, I read the revised version to my wife. She didn’t miss any of the stuff I cut during my cycling session yesterday. Some of what I cut probably will make it back into the novel later.

I wrote around 400 new words this morning, then stopped to take a look at a manuscript a guy sent me for which he wants me to provide a copyedit.

Then for some reason my writing ‘puter went glitchy, so I dealt with that for awhile. Finally I restarted it and everything’s fine again, but that ate up a couple of hours.

I was headed back to the novel a little before 11 when I received notes on the previous one from my first reader, Kenneth Flowers. I can’t say enough about how good this guy is at being a pure first reader. If you need one, email Kenneth at krf1952@gmail.com.

NOW back to the novel. (grin) It’s a little after 12.

Well, I’m a little disappointed. It’s not being the big day I was expecting, but good enough I guess. I was so impressed with the technique I realized yesterday that I practiced a lot of the same thing today. (grin)

I let the writing rip for awhile (subconscious), then went back and checked (conscious) to be sure I was applying what I learned recently. Then I allowed myself to touch it on the way through (subconscious again). It’s coming along.

This will definitely be a learning novel, and I think it will be a plateau novel. It will take me to another level. And I’m not bragging here. As with any art form, there’s a natural progression.

A musician learns how to make that particular note, a painter how to create the exact shade, and a writer how to add just enough description (always through the POV character’s senses) without drowning in it.

From what I’ve heard, the first million words of writing novels gets you to the point you’re more or less a “novelist.” After that, if you continue to learn and apply what you learn, from time to time you attain a new level as certain epiphanies occur.

By my count, this will be my fourth transition.

I read a lot, and I judge my own work against that of some of the authors I whose work I read. There are a few who put out a quality I still feel like I’ll never approach.

But at the moment I’m closing in on the quality of craft of one of my favorite authors (James Lee Burke). I’ve surpassed a couple of best-selling authors. I won’t mention those names publicly. If only I were a master at marketing. (grin)

In the meantime, I’ll keep hacking along at whatever speed I can manage.

See you tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Passive Voice, see “Text-only news sites are slowly…” at https://www.poynter.org/news/text-only-news-sites-are-slowly-making-comeback-heres-why. This is VERY good news.

And it might be time to get on Instagram. Again via The Passive Voice, see “The Instagram Poet Outselling Homer Ten to One” at https://www.thecut.com/2017/10/profile-rupi-kaur-author-of-milk-and-honey.html.

Fiction Words: 1193
Nonfiction Words: 1110 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2303

Writing of Pulp Novel 5 (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457
Day 5…… 1193 words. Total words to date…… 7650

Total fiction words for the month……… 9875
Total fiction words for the year………… 444021
Total nonfiction words for the month… 4090
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 156773
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 600794

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 676 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Wednesday, 10/4

Hey Folks,

Well, this is a long post.

Awhile back, Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader mentioned that soon Google will begin prioritizing sites (in search results) that are secure (https vs. http). As a result, I was going to spend part of the day today converting my main website over to https.

But the more I read, the more I suspect SSL is primarily a necessity for monetized sites, which mine is not. Everything on the site itself is free, and anything that can be ordered goes through a secure site elsewhere: Amazon, B&N, PayPal, etc.

The cost involved in installing SSL myself isn’t all that great, but it’s a seemingly involved process that would take a professional web designer two to three hours. So it would probably take me three to four hours.

Then there’s the fact that my site still hasn’t migrated from my web host (ehost) to the new host (JustHost), to which ehost sold out. Therefore an SSL certificate is not currently available to me, so I can put off this process for awhile.

So the reason I wrote all of that: Does anyone out there have knowledge of SSL and converting a site from http to https? If so, please email me.

Topic: Print (Paper) Books (a word to the wise)

If it’s important to you to put your books out in paper, you have to do so via POD (print on demand) unless you are extremely well-heeled and can afford to send an order (10,000 books or so) to an offset printer.

My choice for POD is CreateSpace. Always has been, always will be. Yes, it’s an Amazon company. I don’t care.

I pay a designer, Kat MaGee at https://daringcreativedesigns.com/ to turn my covers into paper covers and to design the interior layout of my paper books. It costs me $100 per book. It’s an investment, and it’s my only cost. CreateSpace costs nothing. In fact, Kat even uploads them to my CS account for me.

Awhile back, a friend told me he’d heard a speaker say “in public” that books published through CreateSpace are not available at Barnes & Noble and other brick and mortar stores. My poor BS Detector almost exploded.

That is a bald-faced lie. So if you hear that, disregard it.

To make your CreateSpace books available for order by brick and mortar stores, you have only to select Expanded Distribution on CreateSpace. You should also set the price so that you earn at least a $2.00 royalty. (Yeah, that’s a measly two dollars. Not a typo.)

The price will seem high to you, but that’s because you devalue your own work and you’re comparing trade paperbacks (your books) to mass produced mass-market paperbacks.

You can set your price too low, then order a trunkload and sell them yourself, but then you aren’t concerned about whether they’re in B&N anyway. So why not set the price to get Extended Distribution and then sell the ones in your trunk at a “substantial discount” (or not)?

Anyway, that speaker also recommended a printer called Ingram-Spark. That tells me she has an iron in the fire. A dog in the hunt. Maybe stock options. Hey, she might even own the place.

At any rate, Ingram-Spark is NOT affiliated with Ingram, the distributor, and shame on them for leaching off the Ingram name. I have a feeling it’s just another scam aimed at writers.

Now, Ingram (the distributor) DOES have a printer in its family. The name of that printer is Lightning Source.

Lightning Source does pretty much the same thing CreateSpace does, but they charge a fee. CreateSpace does not. (CS does have paid services of which you can avail yourself, but there’s no reason to.)

So if you want to publish your books to paper, I strongly recommend using CreateSpace. If you want to pay money to have your books published to paper, use Lightning Source.

CreateSpace puts out an excellent product. In my case, I publish to paper only so shoppers at Amazon, B&N, etc. can see and compare the print price with the ebook price. In other words, I use print books to drive ebook sales.

This sort of thing really annoys me. When someone sets herself up as an authority figure and then delivers intentionally misleading information, it makes me wanna chew wheels and spit nails.

If I ever attend an event where she says that in public, you can bet I will call her on it. Also in public.

A Brief Factoid

To earn only $1,000,000 (ONE million dollars) in a single year, you would have to work 365 days, 16 hours per day (that 5840 hours). And you would have to earn $171.23 per hour.

Think about that the next time you hear a professional baseball player gripe about the “long season” or the next time you see an NFL or NBA player disrespect the very nation that enables them to be so rich.

(And we can’t really cite “Freedom of Speech” because they aren’t allowed to speak their mind on myriad other topics.)
***

Re my WIP, I don’t have the patience I used to have. My strongest urge is to simply drop it and move on to something else.

But I really like the main character.

So this morning I’m going to review some notes, then read over the WIP from the beginning and try to discern where it took a wrong turn into a dead end.

My main problem is that I’m not trusting the process. Been there before. I’m allowing things I’ve learned recently (conscious mind) to leach into the writing so that I’m watching for those things (again, conscious mind) and allowing the story to grind to a halt as I add them.

So there y’go. Again I find myself wanting to get back to the basics of writing. Writing a story like this is so much fun that grinding to a halt is really annoying.

So that will be today. It’s currently 6:15 a.m. We’ll see how the day turns out.
***

Well, by 10 (while doing several other things) I went back through some of the videos of a recent workshop and even added to my notes, then went over the more pertinent notes.

I also wrote a topic for tomorrow (I’ll count those words tomorrow) and mentioned I’m going to switch back over to my dedicated writing computer and why.

I made the switch today, then had to wait for Dropbox to sync about a b’jillion files. Now it’s almost 1 p.m. and I’m just about to begin reading over my WIP to see where it slipped off the deep end.

Oh wow. I found the problem. Major, major critical mind stuff. So I’m cutting a lot. And I don’t really care. I’m just glad I was able to save this WIP and especially this character. (grin)

I’m also writing a little, but I doubt the new stuff will add up to more than a few hundred words. It’ll take a couple more hours to finish going over this, and that’s about all the time I have left in the day.

Okay, so officially I’m calling today a nonwriting day. I’ll include any new writing with tomorrow’s count.

UPDATE: I wrote a lot more than I thought I would, considering. I’ve amended the totals below. (grin)

See you then.

Of Interest

To stir thought, see “What’s the Best Way…?” at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/10/03/whats-best-way-create-distraction-free-writing-environment/.

See “Found: A Lost Dictionary of Slang…” at http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/anthony-burgess-slang-dictionary. I started a dictionary myself years ago and have added to it ever since, one akin to Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary.

From Space.com, see “Best Space Books and Sci-Fi” at https://www.space.com/28973-best-space-books.html. They have five separate lists, including one of the best SF. I’m not on it. Oh darn. (grin) But the four nonfiction lists look pretty good. I added four new links to my website that begin with “Books” under Writers’ Resources.

Two of Dean’s posts made the cut today. See “Novel Structure Workshop Announced” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/novel-structure-workshop-announced/ and “One Time Science Fiction Cover Branding Workshop” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/one-time-science-fiction-cover-branding-workshop/.

Fiction Words: 1840
Nonfiction Words: 1320 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 1320

Writing of “Pulp Novel 5” (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247
Day 3…… 1370 words. Total words to date…… 4617
Day 4…… 1840 words. Total words to date…… 6457

Total fiction words for the month……… 8682
Total fiction words for the year………… 442828
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2980
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 155663
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 598491

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 675 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

The Journal, Monday, 10/2

Hey Folks,

First and foremost, my heart goes out to the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas, and my unbridled rage to the shooter. Damn him.

Rolled out way late this morning. Almost 5 a.m. That’s a couple of hours late for me.
Partly though it was a choice. As I work toward snapping off my cigar-smoking habit at the end of this week, the later I get up the easier it will be to smoke fewer cigars per day so my current stash will last through Friday.

I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see the little monsters go. Since I made the decision over a week ago to stop being so selfish, I’ve enjoyed exactly two of the several cigars I smoked.

The rest tasted, as one friend so wittily described them, like “a rolled up batch of stinkweed held together with duct tape and bailing wire.” (Thanks, DB.)
***

Got a little writing done this morning before 8 a.m. on yet another fiction that sprang hard into my head. It ricocheted around awhile, propelled by a very light discussion of religion (not spirituality) and belief vs. truth on Facebook.

Don’t know whether the opening I wrote will go anywhere. It isn’t any easier playing God in a fiction than it is in real life. (Been there, done that, found it way too much responsibility.)

But it was 800 words of sheer fun (see “God Piece” below). The good news is, if it goes anywhere at all, it’ll be a novel. Far too much to play with to be a short story. Or a short anything.

In fact, I don’t think I could finish it in a month, so I’ll probably save it for sometime next year.

In the meantime, I’ll push it to the side and get back to the for-sure PI humor-noir novel I started yesterday. Onward.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Via The Digital Reader and Open Culture, at “the Flickr account PhotosNormandie, you can browse and search over 4,300 high resolution photographs from the pivotal Normandy campaign.” See https://www.flickr.com/photos/photosnormandie/with/37364227366/. I’m not clear on whether some or all of these are in the public domain or otherwise royalty-free. Browsing some of them brought back memories of my time in the Corps.

Also see “People Are Weird About Books” (and I even left a couple of comments) at https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/09/29/people-weird-books-attempts-improve-fix-books-web-browser-proves/.

Via The Passive Voice, “Remove Watermarks Online?” is an interesting read. See https://artlawjournal.com/watermarks/.

Just for fun, if you think you know the “10 Commandments,” check http://disinfo.com/2010/02/the-ten-commandments-we-always-see-arent-the-ten-commandments/.

Fiction Words: 2967
Nonfiction Words: 430 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 3397

Writing of “Pulp Novel 5” (a Stern Richards novel)

Day 1…… 1080 words. Total words to date…… 1080
Day 2…… 2167 words. Total words to date…… 3247

Writing of “God Piece”
Day 1…… 0800 words. Total words to date…… 800

Total fiction words for the month……… 5472
Total fiction words for the year………… 439618
Total nonfiction words for the month… 770
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 153453
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 593071

The Daily Journal blog streak……………………………………… 673 days
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182