Monday, June 29, 2009

Peer Pressure

I have twenty-four hectic hours to think about my goals for this week. Some are things I must do so there's extra incentive to get them done. A few depend on the weather so I might have to provide alternatives.
I like to put my writing goals first and all the other things second though that's not always the priority they fall realistically. By putting them first I can dream I'm a full time writer.

#1. I'm going to finish the artwork questionnaire for One Good Woman, Book Four in The Solonian Chronicles that I just contracted with New Concepts Publishing.
#2. I'm going to start work on Tiger's Mate, the second book I hope to contract with The Wild Rose Press. It follows the book I have with them, To Tame a Tiger.
#3. I'm going remove the wallpaper from my bedroom walls OR I'm going to put up two new sections of fence around my pool. Whichever the weather allows.
#4. I'm going to finish the cross stitch I've been working on over a year and take it to Michaels to get it framed.
#5. I'm going to vacuum and wash my car until it looks as good as it can look.

I love hearing how other writers set their goals. Add yours to my list and we'll help each other get them done.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shoot, Score, Goal!

A very busy week has passed since I set my goals last week. The good news is I scored a 4/5 on completing them.
I did finish Beneath the Mountain, book #4 in The Futhark Chronicles from Medallion Press. I did have a lovely over night visit with my mother where we stayed up too late talking and drank too much coffee.
I did work on that last, weedy, messy flowerbed. Looks better and I didn't get any more poison on my legs. Yippee.
I did try a new wine, well, a new Zinfandel. Isn't my favorite but the good news is I drank most of it anyway so I'll splurge for another new one this week sometime.
My lone failure was in working out five days out of seven. I only managed three though I could count the two hours I spent in the pool as a fourth. I used all kinds of muscles to keep my balance on that raft. Okay, it was only three workouts.
I'm going to wait until tomorrow to set my writing goals for next week. I have to thing which project I'm going to do next. In the meantime, I always celebrate finishing a book by reading something from my TBR pile that I've been putting off because I want to read it too much. Big decision. I have about four of them sitting there.
Another thing I always do after finishing a book is clean up my writing area. It's not too messy right now, but I can't really see any desktop either. So while that fourth book is transferring from my AlphaSmart to my computer, I'm going to shove some papers around. Thanks to my friends for the encouragement to reach my goals.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Back to Goal Setting

For a while this spring, I was all about goal setting. Writing them down and posting them here really helped me stay on track. It's like a public confessional. So I'm going to do it this week because I really need to get back on track.

#1. I'm going to finish 'Beneath the Mountain,' book three in The Futhark Chronicles from Medallion press.

#2. I'm going to do an overnight visit with my mother who lives about 2 hours away and do it without guilt for all the work I'm leaving behind at home.

#3. I am going to finish the one last flower bed that I haven't weeded and tan-barked yet this year even though it's the biggest messiest one.

#4. I'm going to work out at least 5 days out of seven.

#5. I am going to try a new wine this week. Don't know what kind yet but I'm going to browse for it. (I won't drink the whole bottle in one night)

That's enough goals to get me started this week. I hope my friends put some pressure on me to stay on top of this. Hope you all have writing buddies who do that for you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Promotion Dollars

I was quite excited this week when I googled my forthcoming book from Medallion Press, The Keepers of Sulbreth, and found the retail catalog they send to booksellers online. I've heard they do a great job with it from someone who works in a bookstore. On my books page in the publication, the promotion my publisher will do for the book was listed. Among the venues listed were the online and print editions of Publishers Weekly. There were a few more places where they will promote my book upon its release. How thrilling for me.
My romances are published by wonderful small publishers who deal mainly in ebooks. All the cost of promotion are my own. With no advance how do I decide how much I should spend on promotion? This was especially true with the very first ebook I had published. I didn't know if my royalties would be in the thousands or the single digits. Yet if I didn't do any thing for promotion, I was assured of low sales numbers. And where could I turn for guidance? Even fellow authors are reluctant to talk about numbers when it comes to expenditures and profits.
Another difficulty is how to measure the effectiveness of my dollars spent. Sure I can check the hits to my website that come directly from a site where I'm doing promotion, but do those hits translate into sales? So far I've refrained from buying ads in major romance magazines like The Romantic Times. But with my first fantasy novel coming out next January, I'm tempted to join fellow authors in an ad appearing in the Realms of Fantasy magazine. Should I or shouldn't I?
It's a dilemma for sure. I wonder how authors in my situation decide what works, what doesn't and how do they decide how much to spend?

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Ruthless Good in Print

Today my third futuristic romance from New Concepts Publishing, A Ruthless Good, is available in print. I know NCP sells more ebooks than print, but it is so cool to hold them in your hands. Also, I'll have another book to sell at booksignings.
A Ruthless Good continues the saga of the Solonians and the Realm warriors as they overcome hardships in a futuristic Earth after an asteroid has destroyed most of the world's civilizations. Claudia Turan, introduced in The Lesser Evil as the hero's warrior sister, has her own story in this latest book. Claudia does things her own way and it only makes sense she'd find her man by discovering an entirely new colony. And what a man he is!
In this book, earlier characters such as Juston Steele, Brady Gellot and Cara appear to help Claudia find her dream. I hope you can stop by and visit my website or better, yet, stop by my publisher and read an excerpt.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What I Meant to Say

I've been trying for the last three days to finish reading over the final galleys for To Tame a Tiger. Why just trying? I made an entire list of things to describe the chaos of my life but Vicki Smith does it so much better than I. I think she's been living my life. (Isn't there a country song about that?)
Anyway, hop over to Vicki's blog and see all my excuses. But I did finish the galleys and sent the changes back to my lovely editor. What a relief. Now I can get back to writing, Beneath the Mountain, Book Four of The Futhark Chronicles.
Now as to what I wish I was doing this week visit my blog friend, Lori Myers, over at The Susquehanna Writers.
I really hope I have a vacation to write about this summer. But with two in college this fall, it ain't lookin good.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Working out or Working it Out?

I blogged over at The Susquehanna Writers yesterday about my time management during the summer months and how it stinks. One thing I do manage better in the warm months is working out. I love to be outside. When I have to be on the treadmill instead of on the road or the track, I have to have music or the TV on to keep my going.
Not so outside. All I need is one sticky plot point. Today it took me fifty minutes to work it out. Not only did I figure out the dialogue, but I put some scenes in order in my head. Now I know exactly what happens next. So my heart and legs got maxed out and I'm ready to pound out more mileage on the keyboard.
Is there an activity you do when you're stuck? What mindless activity provides the distraction you need for your creative side to start producing?