More Patience Needed

More Patience Needed
I finally managed to get a book off to the editors this last week. Once it’s back, it will be into the proofing process, and then ready for the new publishing approach trial. I’m beginning to get a little excited, and I’m really hoping that I can get something out before the end of March.

With all the time pressure at the moment, I don’t know if that will be achievable, but it is just going to mean that I will have to write harder in the second half of the year to make up for it. What I do know is that I am beginning to get a little jumpy at the lack of progress in my writing due to everything else going on.

Kind of related to it is an attempt to cut back on the amount of caffeine I’ve been drinking. There’s nothing like a massive coffee in the morning to get things going properly, especially when sleep is at a premium. Even though I’m drinking a lot less than I used to, it has been suggested to me that I look for ways to cut back on it and have made some initial efforts to switch to green tea, based on the advice of a few friends.

I could never get the taste of tea and, after my first green tea, I couldn’t work out why those people were my friends...

I did make to the end of the cup, though I did have to resort to milk to make it more palatable (sacrilege, I know). With so much other upheaval at the moment, what’s another little piece of change?

Pushing Through

Pushing Through
Hopefully everyone had at least a pleasurable Valentine’s Day this past week. For me it was a fairly bright spot in a very busy week.

I have a couple of stories that are waiting for editing and proofing that I just have not had the time to get to and send off. Hopefully that will be addressed in the next couple of days and I can get some sort of publishing schedule set up again.

On the positive side, I think I am beginning to see the end of the massive set of projects that have been chewing up all my time and, though they aren’t finished for another few months and the work is only going to get busier, it is a nice motivation to know that my characters and stories will be there waiting for me to get back to them.

A Bit of This, a Bit of That

A Bit of This, a Bit of That
As I’m unlikely to get another post in before Valentine’s Day, a happy celebration to all, however you observe it.

Writing is going a little slower than I would like at the moment. The rest of life keeps crowding it out. It’s not a matter of just making time, there is no time to make at the moment. I have been promised some respite from what’s causing the issues, but that won’t come (and with it time for writing in depth) for a little while.

I am definitely going to have a couple of shorter titles out in the next couple of months, despite the time pressure I am under at the moment.

It is great to be known as a problem solver, until presented with a problem that only you can solve, and which is going to take every waking moment for several months to solve. Especially when it is one for which the risk:reward ratio is insane (on the risk side). Once this problem has had its solution delivered, dear reader, your delightful erotic reading will return to being my number 1 priority.

Even though I may not be getting words down for my readers as much as I want, I am keeping up with what’s going on in the communities I am active in, even if I’m not as active as I want to be. I am also pleased with the sudden influx of Twitter followers - WELCOME! I hope you find something in my back catalogue that you enjoy, and that you hang around to see what I’ve got coming up this year.

New Publishing Approaches

New Publishing Approaches
After chatting with a few other authors about their experiences with distributing books, I will be planning to change the way that my next few books are published. Rather than being available across all major sites within 24-48 hours of each other, the titles will receive a staggered release, with some time between each site getting the title for release. This could be on the order of months, or it could be as little as a couple of days. It all depends on how the staggered release goes.

If the response to this is favourable, I will expect to release more titles in this way in the future.

One of the other things I am looking at is a mini-serialisation approach. There are a couple of short stories that are technically stand-alone, but do work well together. My intention is to offer the two stories separately at first, and then, once I have revised, expanded, and bridged them together, I will likely make the initial books free, and release the blended title as a new book.

The other thing that was a bit weird this week was gaining twitter followers that have suspended accounts, within minutes or hours of checking in...

Hits & Misses

Hits & Misses
One of the reasons why I stuck to writing short stories for as long as I have is that it allows me to make mistakes that aren’t going to be as costly as they would in longer formats. I am completely comfortable with the fact that not everyone likes all of my works and, when writing in a field where the books elicit such a physical reaction from the readers, the risk associated with a book that misses the mark is much greater.

The lesson I’ve taken away from a couple of my flatter releases is that I should be listening to my gut more. There’s a little nagging feeling that has accompanied some of my releases which I should have been paying more attention to. Even when I’ve reworked the manuscript, there’s still a certain “Xavierness” about it that’s missing. Without that “Xavierness” the book isn’t going to work. It might be well written, good character development and all that, but without that spark of “Xavierness” it’s never going to achieve what I want it to.

Perhaps it’s something I should be picking up more in editing or proofing, or perhaps it’s a sign that there are some manuscripts that are only ever destined for a “morgue file”.

I’m not bemoaning the fact that I sometimes write tripe, because there are some readers out there who have absolutely loved my terrible books. I admit that there are some books I’ve purchased which are terrible, terrible books, but which I’ve loved with a guilty pleasure.

Writing is a process of continual improvement and, while it’s possible that having an army of editors, agents and publishers behind an author will help mitigate the risk of the misses making it to the shelves, I can only do what I can to apply the lessons from my misses and try to ensure the next release doesn’t repeat them.