I wrote an article about my experiences both before and after I took up the indie author lifestyle for thestoryreadingapesblog. I enjoyed writing it and I’ve had some lovely, appreciative comments for my honesty (Rafferty’s family wouldn’t be impressed!). If you’re contemplating the indie life yourself, you could do worse than take a look. Here’s the link:
I”m delighted to announce that Deadly Reunion is published today. Deadly Reunion is my eighteenth novel and the fourteenth in my humorous Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series. Here’s the blurb:
But now comes the real work. What? You thought you’d done
the work and that now came the pleasure? Ha! Think again.
Everyone knows about the signings and the crowds of people who come to each. But everyone would be wrong. Unless you’re very
put himself to the trouble for a writer that no one’s ever heard of? For a writer who’s unlikely to sell more than one or two books (and one of these purchases will probably be made by the writer’s partner)? What happens most often is that the writer sits behind a desk with a pile of his/her books and no one comes. That, believe it or not, is the harsh truth of most book signings. You don’t need to take my word for it. Watch this video made by writer Parnell Hall and have a laugh while the sober truth sinks in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZoJ5OKmEJY.
So what can you do? There are other things. Libraries are always welcoming to the idea of your giving a talk. Ring around a few libraries, ask to speak to the librarian and introduce yourself and your new book. You should get an invitation or two to speak. No good at speaking off the cuff? Don’t worry. It’s perfectly acceptable to use notes. I do myself as my short-term memory is shockingly bad and I’m hopeless at speaking without a crib. You may even sell a few books.
There are also other things you can do to draw attention to yourself. I’m in the middle of preparing for a seventeen-date Blog Tour in February. It’s a lot of work as you have to prepare posts to go on other people’s blogs and you won’t be too popular if you repeat the same blog on several people’s sites. You’re expected to be original and, as I said, originality brings a lot of work.
How did I organise this? I’m a member of a number of writing/book sites and I checked on the File listing of one of them: Yahoo Group’s MurderMustAdvertise, for those members who were prepared to host other writer members and contacted each one. You’ll need to be organised and create a Blog Tour folder on your computer where you can store the emails listing what you’re to do. You should also set up a folder in Documents with docs for each of the separate posts you’ve been asked to make and note in your diary the names, email addresses, dates, blog addresses and what your post is to consist of. If you don’t do all this you’ll get in a hopeless muddle. I could have arranged more Blog Tour dates if I’d contacted members on other book or writing sites, but I thought seventeen gigs was as much as I could cope with. This is my first Blog Tour, after all, and I didn’t want to over-reach myself.
I’ve written several question and answer sessions, prepared a few different excerpts of Deadly Reunion, my latest Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel which comes out on 24 February, with links to the other excerpts. Deadly Reunion is the reason I organised the blog tour.
What else have I written? Another blogger asked me to produce a post about my writing ‘Made it Moment’. LOL! Shows how deluded one can be! One asked me to supply my Top Ten Tips for writers. Another wanted me to write a post about my ebook experiences since I’ve published two of my Rafferty novels to kindle et al. They all wanted a short bio and brief synopses of both Deadly Reunion, my latest hardback, and Dead Before Morning, my latest ebook. Another blogger wanted me to tell her readers about how I set about making my various video book trailers. I did it The Hard Way, I thought! The first one was made from a basis of total ignorance. Boy, this marketing mallarkey is a very steep learning curve. I’ve also collected up the links to various reviews, to my youtube video book trailers, to amazon and, of course, my blog and website. I’m still working on some posts. But when I’ve finished, I’ll put up a list of all my Blog Tour gigs and you can follow me through the Tour if you wish. You’ll probably be asked to provide a few prizes. I think the most usual is that, at the end of the Blog Tour, a drawing is made of all of those people who have made a comment during your Tour. It’s up to you to check on each of the blog sites for the comments and to note down the details of each so you can make the draw.
This in a video interview I did for The Lit Chick Show. This is my first attempt at doing a video interview – well the first one that I actually put up on youtube! In the previous attempts to capture this video, my mind went blank as I tried to find what I wanted to say. In the next effort, my head kept almost disappearing off the side of the screen. And then, my husband unaccountably forgot how to speak, and in the next he had a coughing fit. This one is the best of a bad job! See what you think. Laugh at my husband’s attempts at doing a posh, literary accent. I did.
Well I’ve finished all my proofreading. I’ve done the proofing for both Deadly Reunion, my next hardback for Severn House and Dead Before Morning, my second ebook, which will shortly be up for sale on kindle, iBookstore, nook, sobo, android, etc. Deadly Reunion is due to be published on 24 February 2011.
It’s such a relief to get both lots done and finished. It’ll be a joy to get back to the creativity of actually writing rather than the boredom of checking. Do you hate checking proofs? I know they have to be done if your final book is to look as you intended, but God, it’s a chore!
To change the subject – how are your Christmas preparations coming on? I’m feeling pretty smug. Not only have I bought all my Christmas presents, I’ve got the damn things wrapped as well! Next, it’s the Christmas cards. They seem to take longer and longer each year. But I’ll get to them; I’ve got Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn’s work ethic in spades.
How are your Christmas preparations going? Have you ordered your turkey from the butcher or do you buy a frozen one from the supermarket? We bought a fresh one the other year, but it’s so expensive, we’re switching back to frozen. I can’t say I find the taste any different.
Better go. Those Christmas cards are calling…
Well, I’m halfway through the first draft of my latest Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel. Hit a snag with the subplot. Going to have to rework it. Luckily, I’ve come up with a cunning plan! At least, I hope it’s cunning. Time will tell.
Not entirely happy with the main plot, either. Gawd! What to do? Scrap the lot and start again? But I’m over a hundred and fifty pages in, so I’m reluctant to do that. I think devilish ingenuity will save it. I often find first drafts a bit lacking. But they’ve generally been rescued in later drafts. Must be true, otherwise why would my copy-editor for Deadly Reunion (out February 2011), say I handled the character development ‘superbly’? Love that man…
With first drafts, of course, you have so much to think about, you just want to get the story down; the characters, the plot development, the subplot (grrr!) and the rest. You haven’t got any brain to spare to get it right. That’s what later drafts are for. When I think how many drafts I had to go through for Dead Before Morning, my very first crime novel, I’m amazed I finished it. But I did finish it and I’m still proud of it these many years later.
The problem with the subplot I should have seen coming. I would, too, if I could add two and two. Though I might have been all right if it had only been adding. But this was subtracting – a whole different ball game. The problem was obvious from the word go. The problem is one of time. Eight bloody years of time! Way too long a time period to smudge over. But not to worry. As I said, I’ve come up with a way round it. Will wait to see what it looks like when I get it down on paper.
To divert from the work in progress, my last post was an interview with David Wisehart. I’ve posted it here on my blog (see below), I’ve posted it on my website, on Twitter, Facebook, CimeSpace. The trouble I find, is trying to remember where else I should post it. Must make a list. Another one. I’m always making lists. I find them essential or I’d never remember anything. Memory’s going, alas.
One of the problems with the main plot is I have one hell of a lot of characters. Admittedly, a lot of them only appear once. At least the suspects are limited, which is the main thing. I often wish I could have my characters marooned snowbound somewhere, as Agatha Christie did, with the telephone lines down and no signal for the mobiles. Trouble is my novels are set in the fictitious Essex town of Elmhurst, not the Scottish Highlands. Could always do as Raymond Chandler advises and have a man come in the room with a gun, I suppose, and shoot half of them. That would be a solution, I suppose. Not a good one, admittedly, but- No, no. Must resist the temptation, if only to keep Dr Sam Dally sweet. He’d be none too pleased to be presented with as many bodies as in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Have you hit snags with your latest novel? Why not post a comment about it? A trouble shared and all that…
Must go. I have to get the copy-edited pages back to my editor. Then I have to wrestle with my latest Rafferty & Co effort. It’s not all fun being a writer. But a lot of it is. Better than my many day jobs, certainly.
Till next time.