ebooks

Murderers

In the story I was working on before I decided to take the plunge and publish myself this year, I had created a character that I absolutely loved.

It was my first story with two male protagonists. There will be a female protagonist but she doesn’t make an appearance until much later in the story.

These two male characters were wonderful to create. Their relationship and back-story was even more compelling (to me, anyway) and I absolutely loved the dynamic between the two of them.

It was by about page 50 when I was writing that it hit me.

“Ah….” I thought, “He’s going to die.”

I knew almost right away that one of the main characters was going to die. I even had his death pictured vaguely in my mind.

It’s a very sad thing, when an author is going to kill off a character that they truly like and enjoy. It reminded me of another story I had written years ago that I had shared with a friend.

In that story I had killed off a semi-main character. After she read the chapter she called me in tears, blasting me for taking away this character’s life.

I felt bad, but it wasn’t my fault. That’s how the story needed to go. The first time I ever killed a character I felt slightly depressed. I mean, come on! Writers spend so much time with their works and the little lives and worlds they create it’s hard not to get attached. But sometimes the story calls for it and unfortunately, people need to die.

In the story I’m going to publish at the end of this month, there is the death of a main character, but it brings closure to the world that I had created.

I hope, that if you decide to read it when it’s out, that you enjoy it and won’t be too upset with me 🙂

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

End of April

So the more I work on my story the more I have to accept the fact that I will most likely be finished and able to publish by the END of April.

I was sort of hoping for the beginning or the middle, but when I think realistically and I account for the time I actually have to edit, end of April will glean a much more polished project.

Right now my editing time is lunch time at my Day Job. My husband leaves within the first few days of April for work and he’ll be gone for a month. That will free up some evening time after the little one has gone to bed. Weekends will most likely be out of the question because the Boy does not nap on the weekends.

But that’s okay. It’s better to put something off and then present it later so that it’s complete than put it out there early and have it be a disaster.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

Expectations

As I’m editing away and reviewing and rewriting my story until it meets my satisfaction (speaking of which, there’s a fight scene to clean up and some character development to throw in), I start thinking about the people who might actually buy my book and read it when it’s finally published in April.

Honestly, I don’t want to be super famous or be a best-seller. I don’t want people throwing themselves at me and telling me how great my work is. You know why? Because I just want someone to ENJOY it.

I don’t want people freaking out over it and thinking it’s so great. I don’t even think it has the potential for a reaction like that. I don’t think it’s crap, or else I wouldn’t even try to publish it. Friends who have read it in it’s most raw form have told me that they like it which is why I want to put it out there.

But I just want someone to truly enjoy it. I want them to become emotionally involved with the characters (maybe, that’s asking a lot) and I just want them to feel satisfied when they finished reading. Hell, I want someone to be able to get to the END of the book.

It’s taken me so long to even try to put my stuff out there because every story is like an extension of me. A part of me goes into this work and there is a piece of me in every character. So for someone to be rude and badmouth it would feel like a personal attack.

Yes, not everyone who reads it is going to like it. Of course not. That would be insane. But when it comes time that people are actually writing reviews I just want them to be constructive. Don’t compare me to other people and don’t just say it was shitty but don’t say why.

Although I’m pretty sure someone out there will write a review like that.

I just want someone who I’ve never met before to just say that they enjoyed it. Is that so much to ask?

I hope not.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 5 comments

And the winner is…!!!!

Smashwords!!!

The reason I decided to go with Smashwords over Kindle Direct Publishing is because of how easy they make it.

Sure, I have to set up a PayPal account and yeah the tax thing seems complicated and frustrating, but I would have had to do the tax thing with KDP anyway.

Plus, with Smashwords I can reach more users as they make the ebooks available on multiple platforms.

Now I just need to finish editing so that I can begin formatting so that I meet my goal of April.

I never did say WHEN in April, just April 😉

GET READY!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 1 comment

The Battle Rages On

I’ve been talking with some non-American writers to get their feedback between publishing with KDP or Smashwords. Since we aren’t American’s there are a lot of extra things to do in terms of tax information etc in order to make sure we’re doing everything right.

So far, KDP is winning…….

The war isn’t over yet, though, folks!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Smashwords vs KDP

Okay, so as I toil away in editing hell, I’m still torn between these two publishing companies.

Smashwords seems really easy to use, there is a lot of support and guidelines. A few people I have come into contact through this process of whoring myself EVERYTHING (although I’ve met most of them on the twitter) have used or are planning to use Smashwords.

KDP(Kindle Direct Publishing for those who aren’t sure what the hell I’m talking about), once they finally got back to me, also has a lot of support, the FAQs are easy to read and now that I have everything clarified I know exactly what I can and can’t do.

Part of my issue: I’m Canadian. So this means I’m a foreign writer to these two places. Both have made it seem very easy for foreigners like myself to get set up. The tax information is very comprehensive and I SUCK at anything involving numbers so that means a lot.

I’m looking for feedback from other Canadian or non-USA writers that have used these two services to get some idea of what their experiences have been like.

If you could please either comment on this post or e-mail me directly that would be kick-ass! If you want to just read and ignore the question, I suppose that’s cool too. Can’t really stop you.

Just remember, that by doing so, you are making a grown woman cry *sniff*

For shame……….

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

Editing Woes

One of the major problems I face as I try to become a more ‘professional’ writer and get ready to put my work out there in the big wide world is editing.

I HATE EDITING.

It’s one of the major reasons I would lose points on papers I wrote in school because once I write something, I’m absolutely exhausted from it and I don’t ever want to look at it again.

That’s why it’s taken me 4 years to look at Black & Red and work on editing it. I wrote it in such a flurry and with such passion that I couldn’t touch it again.

Now that I’m working through it again and attempting to dress it up and trim off the useless parts and expand on the parts I glossed over I’m finding how tiring it is.

This is also because I don’t have REAL TIME to work on it. I get up, I get ready, I take my kid to the day home, I drive to work, I work all day, I pick up my kid, I come home and I am deflated. I barely edit during the week when I get home. Most of my editing is done during lunch time at my day job. Not the most ideal situation, but at least I have the proper tools to do it.

(On a side note, don’t EVER use Polaris Office if you want to keep your formatting….I learned this the hard way. Not cool, bro).

It’s hard to have my personal work available at my day job because at times when it’s slow, all I want to do is bring out my story and just devote myself to it. Which would most likely get me in HUGE trouble.

So I don’t.

But I waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I actually rolled in to the office way earlier than normal (hey, 10 minutes early is still 10 minutes) so I can justify working away for half an hour.

Another thing about editing: trying not to change a lot of what’s there or adding on things that don’t need to be there. This is why I plan on doing 2 edits before I put my work out there.

Now if only I could decide on who I’m going to publish with………

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

FINALLY

So Amazon FINALLY got back to me from the correct department to clarify my questions. Only took two weeks 😛

Now I have a  new decision to make: Do I go with Kindle Direct Publishing, or do I go with Smashwords? I suppose I could go with both, but to be honest, I’d rather go with one at first and then branch out if I want to.

I’ve already decided what the title of my book is and my husband and I were working on cover art last night. He went to school before he joined the military to be in graphic design so it was fun watching him trying to remember how to do some things.

I managed to do some serious editing last night and now I’m on page 20/375! Although I might go back once more. I plan to do one run of editing, hopefully by the end of this month, and then another run while I’m formatting in March so that I can publish in April and make sure it is the best damn thing I can produce.

I just need more time. Time seems to be a commodity that is rare and valuable. It’s like a secret item in an RPG that you can only get after you defeat the second-last super boss of the game. And you can only defeat that boss if you are at the appropriate level and if you aren’t, you better just run away and come back another day!

Things eating into my limited time:

  • My Day Job
  • My commute which is causing me to go to bed early so I can get up at an obnoxious time
  • Trying to determine that fine balance between working on my book at home while still spending quality time with my family

Ugh.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be done. If I’ll just give up and put it to the side as I have so many times before.

But then I remember my resolution for this year:

“Finish What I Start”

And I have started working on it, so I WILL FINISH IT GODDAMN IT!

Even if it KILLS ME or deprives me of sleep I WILL FINISH THIS PROCESS FOR AT LEAST ONE BOOK THIS YEAR!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Self-Publishing Platforms

During my adventures in publishing, I am also checking out various platforms to do this on.

At the moment, I have been seriously considering Amazon Direct to Kindle Publishing. It is free to do, targets a massive market, but the major drawback is that it is restricted to those with a Kindle. And now that I am having such a problem getting part of the agreement clarified, my excitement is dying down rapidly.

I know there are other places I can do this through, but with Amazon being such a huge and ‘trusted’ name, it’s hard to look at something I have never heard of before and seriously consider it.

One site I have checked out is called SmashWords.com. They seem legitimate and their market is broader than Amazon as they can publish on various eReading devices and are affiliated with other stores such as Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, Apple iStore etc. This would allow me to reach a bigger audience but they are also a place I have never heard of before, so I am skeptical as I’m sure many people would be.

I have been told that Indigo offers some sort of service like Amazon does and as a Canadian I would like to explore that, however I have found very little information regarding this.

As many new authors (or indie authors as I am hearing them being referred to lately) I am not swimming in money. That makes options like those presented by agencies such as AuthorHouse interesting, yet expensive. While I do believe that you should be investing in your craft, I of course want to do as much for free or close to free as possible. I have put a lot of my time, blood, sweat, and tears into my work already. As for money, I have paid for this website and I currently have an artist working on an image of myself that I will be posting as an avatar or representation of me to the world once completed. I will be paying for that also. Which I am fine with. She is extremely talented and I feel as though she has undercharged me anyway.

So while I edit, apply for copyrights and hope for Amazon to get back to me in a timely fashion I am also hunting for other self-publishing platforms.

For those established authors out there, or even those who have self-published even one book, any information or advice on this topic would be most appreciated.

Thanks everyone! I promise I’ll start posting more fun things tomorrow as I am going to start talking about my book. Even if I can’t release teaser chapters at this time, I can at least talk about the story and the characters to get you all involved, right? 🙂

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 10 comments