About Me · Dreams · Editing · Indie · Observations · Positivity · Publishing · Writing

The Long Road Ahead

The beginning of a rough draft is always exciting and magical–like unicorns and fairy dust. Somehow, that random spark of an incredible idea seems to settle in our minds and then (usually at night when you’re trying to sleep), the spark grows and flares into a huge undeniable story. Such an instance happened to me last night when I was trying to get some shut-eye. I needed to flesh out the idea I had for the third novel in my Tales from Niflheim. Of course, a bevy of ideas began to fling themselves at my mind–vying for my attention. Somehow, I was miraculously able to remember them this morning. It’s a good thing, too, because I was way too tired to get out of bed and write them down.

So, despite waking up feeling kind of sick, I sat down and was able to start the very first page of the first draft of  my sixth novel (I say sixth, because I wrote four manuscripts last year and one so far this year.) Words always seem to fly from my fingers on the first 1/3 of manuscript. Things typically get tough in the middle (can I get an “Amen”?) and then by the last 1/3, things are back to flowing again. It’s sometimes hard to remember on the first few days of a new novel that there is such a long road ahead.

For some people, this keeps them from attempting to write a novel. “It’s just too hard to finish!” they might whine. For me, I think the long road ahead is an adventure to be experienced, returned from, and shared with the world. I love every aspect of writing a novel. I love the tingling beginnings of an idea in the brain…the cemented relationship of drafting and editing…the formatting and prep-work for publishing…I adore it all. That’s part of why I chose to go with indie//self-publishing. I like having my hands in it all–getting them messy and covered with wordy goodness. I love making cover art and learning about the marketing process. I may not always love these things, but for right now, they’re just a part of the long road to producing a book and getting it out to the public.

For you, does the long road of brainstorming, drafting, editing, and prepping seem daunting or exciting? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

Regardless of what your thoughts are on it, I truly hope you enjoy your writing! Happy Friday!

Thanks for stopping by!

~L.M.

 

About Me · Editing · Indie · Writing

Moving to Paper for Some of the Day

Good morning, all!

Well, yesterday was an extremely busy, but productive day. I was able to finish the first draft on the sequel to the novel I’m currently prepping for publishing. I also finished the 5th edit on THAT novel. *Whew*.

Today, I’m moving to notebooks and pens for the morning. I need to start some planning for the next novel I’m writing and get some overall “universe” brainstorming done. 🙂

I’m mostly a pantser like I’ve said before, but for the beginning, I tend to plan out a few things before I jump in and see where a story takes me! 🙂

I hope you all have a fantastic morning! I’m off to get my writing done! 🙂

Blessings,

 

~L.M. ❤

About Me · Dreams · Editing · Indie · Publishing · Reading · Writing

Changes to the Blog!

Happy Saturday, all!

WOW. I slept in really late, due to the fact that I stayed up past 1 AM reading a Zoe Winter’s book. I am coming to you (sleepy-eyed) this morning to announce some fun and exciting changes to the blog!

“But it looks the same!” you might protest. Look closer. You’ll see on my pages above the entries that there is now a News! page and a Books page! As well, in the drop down menu beneath Books is the Tales from Niflheim page. Time is quickly moving towards my deadline, which is August 31st! My first book should be available on Amazon and the Smashwords distribution sites by Fall 2012! As soon as I know it’s available on those sites, I’ll be having some release week excitement on the blog!

Now, these pages are not super thrilling at the moment, because I am still gathering the material I’d like to put on those pages. As soon as I’m ready, though, I’ll update them and make them look shiny (yes, that’s a Firefly reference.)

Also new is the Facebook Fan Page link to the right on the sidebar. It’s underneath the Twitter feed. Go ahead. Go check it out! You know you want to. 🙂

I am in sort of a surreal state of mind right now. I am actually on track to meet my deadline, I am actively prepping my novel for publishing, and my life-long dream is about to come true! SO exciting! *little girl squeal ensues*

Have a very happy Saturday!

~L.M.

About Me · Dreams · Editing · Indie · Positivity · Publishing · Writing

Developing a Plan

For many of us dreaming, pre-published authors out there, getting a book published would be on up there in the list of “life goals”. For those of us who are self-publishing through Amazon, Smashwords, or some other program, that dream is realizable. However, it is still work. In fact, it might possibly be more work than going the traditional route. When you’re writing on a shoestring budget (or no budget at all), you’re it. You’re the cover artist, you’re the editor, you’re the formatter, you’re the marketer…the list goes on an and on. Of course, for some the hope is that once they get published, they’ll be able to make enough of a profit to keep doing what they love and be able to hand some of the prep work batons off to someone else. I don’t know about you, but formatting MSWord documents for Kindle and Smashwords sounds a bit daunting. I’m fully prepared to give it a shot on my own, but that might be something that I’ll pass off to someone else one day. Maybe. We’ll see. 😉

Even if you end up loving every single aspect of prepping a book for indie publishing and want to end up doing it all yourself forever, there are methods that can help you maintain your sanity and put out excellent books.

Develop a plan. That’s right. If you never do anything else to help guide yourself along this path, start making a plan. This plan needs to include how you will handle editing, beta reading (if you will at all), cover art development, marketing, building up your reader platform, money you’re willing to spend to get your name out there, which publishing programs you will approach, formatting for those programs, etc. The list is much larger, but you get the idea. Having a plan for how you will tackle these things will be of great help to you in the long run. It may even save you some of the major headaches of not having thought about these things on down the road.

Is it possible to become a success without at least refreshing yourself on the aforementioned list? I don’t know. I’m not published yet. 😉 However, my goal is that I will be published before the end of 2012 and I, myself, am definitely making a plan.

Some resources I’ve been using to help me develop this plan are:

>>J.A. Konrath’s Newbie Guide to Publishing blog

>>Writer Unboxed

>>Amanda Hocking’s specific posts here and here

>>Zoe Winter’s: Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author

Sure there are countless other links I could give you, but these are the ones that I continue going back to over and over and over again! Check them out. I hope they will be helpful to you. For those of you who are going the traditional publishing route, I feel the advice is the same. Know what you want out of your writing career so that you are better able to communicate with agents, publishers, and editors. This is your dream, your passion! Be aware of how things are flowing in the writing world! Educating yourself on the art and craft of writing and selling your books, will be a huge help in your journey!

Thanks for stopping by! Go get yourself a plan! 🙂

 

~L.M.

Editing · Indie · Publishing · Writing

Got the Formatting Blues?

Fear not! I have some really great site suggestions for you! I found myself researching around the web this morning for great walk-through tutorials and tips for prepping a manuscript for ebook publishing!

This post will mainly concern folks who are trying to take a manuscript from MSWord to Kindle format, but I’m sure it will be helpful to others as well.

*Ahem* Without further ado, I highly recommend at least poking around in the following places for information on formatting:

>>How to make your own Amazon Kindle ebook in just hours

>>Smashwords Style Guide

>>Kindle First Line Indents

>>Creating a Table of Contents

>>Steps to Clean Up MSWord and Publish to Kindle

>>Building Your Book for Kindle (linking page on Amazon)

>>Kindle Direct Publishing Simplified Formatting Guide

>>Kindle Formatting Guide with Pictures!

>>How to Format Ebooks for the Techno-Challenged

>>Kindle Boards Thread on Easy Formatting Tips

 

*Whew!* I have saved all of these links to my own bookmarks bar and I suggest that you find the ones that work for you and do the same. We indie self-publishers gotta stick together! I hope these were helpful. If not, I’m sure you can Google around and find the links that you need. Also, the Kindle Boards are full of great pieces of advice and people who can point you in the right direction!

 

Have a great Tuesday!

 

~L.M.

Editing · Indie · Publishing · Writing

Jittery Tuesday

Today was a day I could have stayed in bed until noon. I was so sleepy! I rolled out of bed at 7:55AM, filled my large plastic cup with lemon water, and set to work in my pajamas. I did my 2,000 words for the morning and then took a break. I’m back for the morning and am trying to stay focused. I feel extremely jittery today, though. I use the word “jittery” in place of anxious or stressed, because I’m not feeling negatively jittery. It is an, “Oh my gosh, I have forty thousand things to do before I can get my book published” sort of feeling. That’s a fun, exciting feeling (if not a tad bit scary.)

What’s on my mind today? Formatting. I am not quite ready to start formatting my MSWord document for publishing, but that day will soon come and I want to be prepared. Just for fun, I put my current manuscript version on my Kindle and freaked when I saw how much work needed to be done. First thing that I noticed? Indents. They were HUGE! I found several good tutorials online for how to fix stuff like that (which I will share in a following post), but it will still be quite a task to get all the formatting errors fixed before publishing.

All throughout the morning, I kept thinking, “I need to research formatting. I need to research formatting.” So, I did take some time to do that, but more importantly, I thought, “I need to learn how to create an ebook friendly manuscript in MSWord from the very first word, so I don’t get myself into pickles like this again…”

Anyone find this all very familiar? If you, too, are having troubles trying to figure out how to format your manuscripts for publishing, fear not! There are many great resources online that can walk you through it. I will be doing a post in a few minutes containing links to several excellent sites that have suggestions, tips, and tutorials.

Have any of you ever successfully converted an MSWord manuscript to a Kindle or other ebook format? If so, I’d love to hear what resources you used and any tips you might have. 

Blessings! Thanks for stopping by!

 

~L.M.