I cheated on my writing goal of 5 short stories in 5 days… last night, after finishing my fungi tale, proofing it and rewriting a couple of parts, I submitted it.
Then my goal was to relax, check e-mails, play some Ravenskye on Facebook before bed, and start the day-four story (a ghost story) in the morning…
Except at three a.m. I finished the ghost story.
An idea had been festering for weeks, and I knew I’d probably use it. Last night I figured I’d open up a blank word doc so when I woke I could dive right in. Except I started free-writing some ideas for it, and suddenly I had a scene, and then the opening lines, and then I was back in the Middletown, New Jersey of my youth and writing a story based on a haunted road that freaked us out as kids.
Four hours later, it’s done. I woke up this morning and decided to do a few other things before diving back into Dying Days 2 (which I’m behind on, anyway) and see what else is going on.
Oh, and tomorrow I need another steampunk tale, but might play with that tonight as well…
Anyway, I read and rejected close to 75 stories this morning for the upcoming Undead Tales 2 zombie anthology, and put the stories for the upcoming State of Horror: New Jersey anthology in some kind of order.
I’m also watching the TV on and off, which is noise in the background. A commercial for this Dragon software came on and I’m fascinated by it. Is it really a life-saver for a writer, or is it another As Seen On TV piece of crap that will be more trouble than it’s worth? My problem is I don’t know anyone who uses it. I think I need to know.
I got my January Amazon sales report yesterday, and was semi-impressed. Impressed because my sales have risen steadily every month and I had twice as many loans in the KDP Select program as December. Semi-impressed because I still can’t live off the money I’m making, and the end of the line for unemployment and pressure from mounting bills is making my head hurt.
My print sales for CreateSpace more than tripled in the month, but it wasn’t that huge to begin with. Still, growth is growth…
Even my Barnes & Noble sales have been better than ever. I can pay the electric bill with it, which will be nice. Still can’t pay the rent or car insurance, but hopefully someday…
I’ve been trying Google AdWords for the six weeks. I’ve seen no real increase in sales of the certain books getting the most ‘clicks’… my Dying Days zombie novella has had great sales lately, but I think it has more to do with hype for the upcoming indie film version of it, rather than advertising. I froze the ad for a week to see, and my sales stayed about the same. Damn, I wanted so bad for Google AdWords to be the magic thing I was missing for thousands of sales each month.
I had the pleasure of talking to several fellow authors in the last couple of weeks on the phone. I love chatting ‘shop’ with someone who understands what it is I’m talking about. I hope more writers feel the need to pick my brain about writing, ask about publishing, or just want to meet me and see how I tick.
I’m getting very fat. Fatter, I should say. I’m hovering around the 300 mark, I’m 6 foot and 42 years old. With my luck I’ll have a massive stroke, die, and then my unpublished stories will rake in millions. I need to walk or do something other than sit here, but I have no motivation.
I feel like I’m in a race to get as many stories finished, as many stories published, and as many ideas down on paper. I don’t know why. OK, I guess I do. With being unemployed it feels like I have a very small window to realize my dream of being a self-sufficient author, but there’s that ‘life-check’ deadline coming up very soon, where I’ll have to go back to mindless retail management, and it is soul-crushing and leaves me no time to write.
There was a time, not too long ago, when I could count on 4 out of 5 of my short story submissions being rejected. Lately I’ve been on a mini-winning streak, with 8 acceptances in a row… since last year at this time I am hitting at a .400 clip, with 12 acceptances in 30 sumissions.
This 5 stories in 5 days will be added to that pile as well… I’m hoping 5 for 5… wouldn’t that be great?
Back to the fungi story… I set it in Mexico, and used the same first-person narrator from my “Rainforest of Bones” short story (set in Brazil) that appears in the Skeletal Remains anthology (the link, in case you’re curious or want to buy 786 copies: Skeletal Remains)… I like the character, and it gives me an opportuniy in the future to write another couple of stories with him set in South America. Heck, even if the fungi story gets rejected I can write another tale or two and put them all together in a short short collection. Isn’t publishing wonderful these days?
Looking at my Amazon Author page… I have 40 items for sale in publishing, mostly stuff I’ve released but some anthologies I am in as well. One gripe I had was having to track down anthologies I’m in, get Amazon to add me to the list of authors, and have it linked to my author page so I can sell copies for the publisher… shouldn’t the publisher be doing this, especially to ensure more sales because fans sometimes buy things from authors they like and/or know? It seems very short-sighted.
There’s also an anthology that listed the two editors on the cover really big and them as the authors on the Amazon page… not even a back-cover mention of any authors. This seems weird to be, like an ego stroke rather than a marketing plan to boost sales. I won’t be submitting to them in the future.
Yeah, I have to go and catch up writing Dying Days 2 before I get too far behind…