Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Monday, June 27, 2011

At last, progress on the writing front

After a very long nonproductive writing lull, I am back in business, baby! I never really worried. (Too much.) After all, when your mom dies and you have a major move to a new home shortly after, really it isn't the time to stress over word count and delayed projects.

But I am now happy to report that I am very close to having my BuNoWriMo draft complete by June 30!

And something else-- House of Diamonds is heading to the typesetter this week! A cover concept is being finalized, and the release date has been set for fall. I'll be organizing a blog tour to promote it, something I never did for my previous books so I'm excited about that too.

What it is about:

Two sisters, one approaching opportunity, the other tragedy. Marcie McGill moves towards realizing her dreams, while her sister Cindy faces heartache.  Can their bond endure? 

House of Diamonds give voice to a beloved baby who had none. And shows the incredible power that comes to families when they pull together to overcome challenges. At these times, a house of pain can become a house of diamonds.  

It will be the last novel about Marcie and Shawn McGill, and Marcie's sister, Cindy. (My next one is completely different, although also women's fiction.) But I still had some things to say using these particular characters. House of Diamonds is as much Cindy's story as it is Marcie's

I have some last-minute editing to do. This is why I love having an editor. When I think it is done, she finds some issues that, once resolved, will make it so much better. 

Also, Uncut Diamonds has been dropped to .99 on the Kindle, to prepare for the launch of the (sort of but not really) sequel. You can get it here here here!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Riding that Train to Publication

Why a train? Not a plane, that's too fast. Not a car, that's too comfortable. Not a bus, that's just gross. A nice Amtrak train, that's how I see it. If you've never ridden Amtrak, you should try it at least once for the experience.

Now that we are settled into the train to publication let's play that traveling game, "I'm going on a journey and this is what I'm taking." It's supposed to be alphabetical, where everyone goes round in a circle taking something on the journey with the next letter of the alphabet, but I'm changing the rules because I'm one person playing alone hoping you will join me if you can. And the word alphabet stresses me out ever since April.

So here goes!  I am going on a journey to publication, and this is what I am taking---

imagination           persistence         time       dedication           procrastination             frustration           hard work       

my laptop!   
   pens and paper         books!     

quick and easy meals         long walks        naps
 commitment        determination            the internet   a positive attitude           
writing friends

and don't forget those unwelcome passengers on my journey-- 

depression          disappointment         discouragement             despair           doubt   disillusion

Who are these people, and why do all their names begin with D? They must all be from the same family. They should be banned from the train. They make the journey so unpleasant, driving others away with their misery. Go away D- people!

Let's play! What will you bring along on your publication journey?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Good day, Bad day

I must have celebrated too much on my birthday, because I seem to have the flu or something coming on. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can feel well enough to get some serious word count underway on my new WIP.

Have you ever noticed how days go in cycles like this? Good day, bad day, etc etc. One of my sons, when he was little,  would start out smiling. Then when something went wrong he would howl, "And I thought this was going to be such a good day!"

Yep, this is him, all grown up, having his head licked by a baby giraffe in South Africa.

Okay, I'm going to bed. Catch you all later.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Checking the Stats

It's fun to see what kinds of phrases bring the random visitor to my blog. Here were some samples of search keyword's this week:

fantasy pen name

I self-published my kids book and now I would like to submit it to a publishing company

It's not that our aim is too high and we miss but thats

karen gowen blog

karen jones

list of million dollar uncut diamonds

movie involving reclusive behaviour

print vs. ebook

query competition

symbolism clear in misery stephen king

The only one of these that actually wanted my blog is probably "karen gowen blog"

How often do you check your stats?  One thing they do is show that people are viewing my blog even if not always commenting. I find that encouraging. How does viewing your stats help you?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's not about print vs. ebook or bookstore vs. online sales or small press vs. large

I came across this statistic the other day that shows where the real competition is in the publishing industry--

- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [English Language Edition], the seventh and mostly widely read book in the series, sold 44 million copies over three years.

- The video game Bad Company 2 sold over than 5 million units in one month, while Modern Warfare 2 sold an estimated 10 million in four months.

- With a US audience of 116 million, the average time spent on Facebook is over 7 hours each month and growing.

- And, of course, while watching videos (on the internet and TV) accounted for 9 hours per month, it was more than made up for by Americans watching TV 84 hours monthly.

These kinds of numbers tell why books keep shrinking in value (and sales). Because the reading public is shrinking. Especially kids, with all the other entertainment options out there, too many are no longer picking up books when they have free time.

Yet more books are being published than ever before. Books are everywhere, in every format. Is it any wonder that free and .99 has become standard for self-published ebooks?  Look for publishers, especially the smaller ones with lower overheads, to start following suit on that trend.

It is sad when books become devalued in a society.