Small news

Long story short: It’s the holidays. I’ve seen more sales in Kindle than any other format of my books, including print for all the traditionalists. :)

So!! If you have a Kindle, read Kindle books, or just plain want to help a girl out, all three of my books are now at 99c each! I will keep this sale going through the holidays, and maybe a bit longer.

Link here: http://amzn.to/ogCVcl

Happy shopping!

K.G.

Whew.

The past 72 hours have left me more than a bit exhausted. The one topic that never, ever fails to get me to bristle is politics. And, unless I absolutely must – as in the case of Rep. Giffords; I could not ignore something that was affecting people to this degree – I try to keep away from hot-button topics.

So, now is the time for me to touch back onto my writing, and when I woke up this morning, I realized: only twelve days to go until the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards.

Yes, it’s that time again. I feel my nerves twisting into Cub Scout knots at the thought of it. And, come to think of it, I missed the Nashville Book Festival for 2010.

Book 2 is effectively ready to go as far as ABNA is concerned, but it requires a reformatting for submission. The three steps to ABNA are the pitch, the first 5,000 words as an excerpt, and the full manuscript. I have the last two and, as always, have major issues with the first. Which, considering I have absolutely no problem in working with music promo, doesn’t bode well for this year’s ABNA.

At the time that I entered last year, I hosted a contest: you give me a working pitch, I give you a copy of Book 1, and a copy of Book 2 as soon as it became available. Thinking about it, I’m considering going the same thing with the synopsis of Book 2, and offering a full set of Book 1 through 3 (Book 3 is to be released by April 15th). Doing a literary pitch is a lot more involving than pitching a music show and, considering I’ve written this piece, it’s a very strange case of an actor-observer bias in tossing this thing out to the public in a paragraph.

That and I won’t lie, there is some concern to be had about the reviews. Round 1 is the pitch. Round 2, excerpt reviewing. Book 1 was entered as YA, and did not garner the best of reviews, which I expected. However, the reviews I did get surprised me. The first review was up front in saying, “Good story, but I’m not into sci-fi, so I cannot judge.” The second one just said that the piece needed work, and not only didn’t stop to clarify where it needed work – the one thing I can’t stand is when someone says “it’s shit” and when someone asks them to clarify, the follow up answer is “it just is” – but also said that the use of profanity wasn’t necessary, which only made me ask, “What profanity?” Seriously. Book 1, I hate to admit it, but I sanitized that one, if only because the original target audience was in the teens.

You may read the reviews, and my reaction to them, here: ABNA Reviews 2010

Book 2 is definitely a new ball game altogether. For one, it’s the first time I had an editor, and here I tip my hat to Gayle for her steadfast patience in teaching and reteaching me the various subtle nuances of the written English language. For two, the main storyline starts to take shape, and there are some rather interesting new characters. There’s a lot more amped-up excitement going on as well, which I hope will catch the reader much more readily than the convolution in Book 1. So I look forward to using it as an entry, if only for the fact that with this one, things are a lot less scary. I’ve been through it once before.

Now, tomorrow’s a snowstorm again, and I hope that I can dig myself out of Photoshop long enough to throw the pitch together. Tonight, though…blankets.

K.G.

Back on the grind…soon…

With one week to go to deadline at Day Job, I’m already laying out the battle plans on how to continue with my books.

So I was browsing the AbsoluteWrite forums (which I recommend to any aspiring author, if even for lurkdom purposes; it’s an absolute information goldmine) and I had an interesting realization not too long ago: because I’ve decided to go the self-publishing route, it may very well be that agents will not pick up the book for a traditional publication because of the first-publication rights belonging to me. That’s a bit of a pickle. They do pick up self-published authors, but only if they sell at a certain threshold.

(Ahoy, readers of mine – help your lady author out! Just doing a shameless plug here. If you see the CreateSpace links, click ’em and buy the books!)

Ahem. Shameless plugging aside, though, here’s my checklist.

1. Compose a marketing plan.

I’ve been slacking on this since September of last year, mainly because of traveling, work and editing. Drat. This is what I get for losing sight of the goal. Well, back onto it. I need a bullet-point list of what presence to establish where and how to go about it.

2. Weigh the options of a distributor and a wholesaler

Barnes & Noble, which too has been poking at my brain as a potential selling spot, recommends a wholesaler with the submission of their “sell your book with us!” packet. I’ve been thinking about it, but always thought it was too early. A distributor is a very good idea at any stage of the self-publishing game, but a wholesaler is a different ballgame. I’m part wondering if CreateSpace has a wholesale service available, because they do have expanded distribution, which is working marvelously. I’m available in the UK, on B&N.com, thanks to that, but the physical distribution is something else.

3. Get reviewed by in-print magazines.

This is iffy. I would love to get reviewed by Publishers Weekly – and will query to that effect! – but I would think that there’s a good degree more of reviewership to be done in blogs, websites and community channels. As such – *cracks knuckles* gotta get to work. I have a few reviewers I want to follow up with from my earlier gamut of sci-fi/fantasy blogs. So there’s more to come on that front.

4. Start a physical mailing list.

I don’t mean just the blog. I’ve been toying with the idea of book postcards for a while, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do much in that regard. I’m definitely thinking of bookmarks to distribute to stores – hey, cheap way of marketing!! – and other mailable material that basically says, “Hey, The Index is worth reading!”

5. CafePress

Jenna’s art needs to be showcased. It’s perfect for merchandising. No need to say more.

—-

So yes, there’s a ton to do. I cannot wait till after April 15th to just get to cracking.

And I will definitely reenter the Nashville Book Festival, but this time, with Book 2.

K.G.

Please welcome, Book 2: Secrets

As of 12:45 am, March 24th, 2010 – it is released.

Purchaseable at: http://www.createspace.com/3395268

If it doesn’t show up yet, it’s ok – let the CreateSpace/Amazon machine do its work. I will upload a digital reading copy in due time. I’ve already submitted it to Self-Published Reviews for opinion and look forward to yours on Amazon.com and here.

Of course, this also signals that I have to think about Book 3. It should be minimal basting, and I hope to have its release coincide with that of Book 1’s anniversary: August 15th.

Again, big thanks to Gayle Moffett for her editing mojo, to Jenna Bacci for the cover art, and to the places where I hung out at the bar, or at the table, or at a show and scene-mapped away into the night. This installment would not have happened otherwise.

And now, I sleep!

K.G.

Minor updates

All right, just a couple of things…

1. Book 2 URL is now available. The release is definitely on or close to schedule; I’ve made the corrections and submitted it for pre-proofing. Only a couple of formatting errors and a missing word, which had since been fixed. I think that I will be able to release it on March 24th, provided that that’s when the proof arrives. If not, then end of month.

2. Only 3 days till I see Chuck Loeb at the Blue Note, and 6 days until my departure to Berks Jazz Fest, which I looked forward to for ages. I cannot wait till either. Geez Louise, I didn’t even PACK. Must do so ASAP.

3. Book 3 will begin its editing process soon. Gayle, m’dear, get your mojo ready. That book should be easy enough to overhaul; by the time I finished it, I had a pretty solid grasp of both the story and the syntax. Of course, when you’re trying to pump 50,000 words in a month, you pay a visit to The Department of Redundancy Department (ha!) one time too many. Hence editing.

4. Book 4…I work on that, effectively, whenever I have the time. Which, lately, isn’t often.

5. No sleep.

6. Coffee aplenty.

But this is just me being silly now. On the real, the series is coming along swimmingly; I have a very solid grasp of my characters and their back stories are itching to be told over the course of the next two arcs. I should definitely revisit my CSI: Crime Scene Investigation DVDs for storyline ideas. I had a mystery in mind but if anyone wants to point towards an arc idea – be my guest, please! My audience has a voice that is meant to be heard.

I may link this blog to my Facebook, but that’s for another discussion.

Oh, and 4 days till Round 3 of ABNA is announced. I am trying not to get my hopes up; being in Round 2 in and of itself is excitement enough. But if you can cross your fingers…do so. ASAP.

So, this so far, is how things are.

K.G.

Aaaand contest time again!

Similar, if not same, to last time: write me a blurb, people – for Book 2. You get both books, signed, and credits if you win. The About the Series page is what it currently is and, of course, I aim to change it.

If you need a summary, I can provide. Spoiler meter is high.

Book 2 is approaching release… I’ll be starting on the proofread/copyedit tonight.

K.G.

In news and various things…less than two weeks until the third-rounders of ABNA are announced. Pins and needles? Yes. A lot. I’m calm with the exception of the fact that my heart rate is somewhere between marathon runner and jet engine.

In addition, I’ve finally started taking some time out to just sit down and read a book and I’ve been nose-deep into fellow ABNA/NaNoWriMo author Jessica Nesland’s The Untold, a story about an accident victim who tries to rediscover his past and discovers more than what he bargained for. The review of that will be posted as soon as my work-life calms down a little bit – racing against a deadline here – and I get myself into the pace needed to put this up and get it running.

Proof of Book 2 is going to be in my hands Monday. By the end of the month, I’ll be able to make any last-second changes and push it through to release. Of course, Kindle edition will be available, likely a lot faster than the paper version (now that I know how to work the digi-platform at Amazon).

And why do I have a feeling that Berks Jazz Fest will double as my own personal book release party? I think so!

It’ll be fantastic if I go on to round 3 of ABNA. If I do, I can guarantee you guys, you’ll hear the exclamation of joy halfway ’round the world. Still, I won’t speculate. It will be what it will be and if I won’t make it, I will cheer on anyone I know off NaNo forums who does.

K.G.

Joy!!!

Gayle, you rock my socks a hundred times over.

Yesterday, I received the edits of the final chapter of Book 2. Just a moment ago, I submitted the formatted files for the book for the approval prior to the second proof order.

I must admit, this is miles of improvement above the first book. Having an editor aboard makes for a miles-better editing process. I had my share of sleepless nights on this book as well, but the eye-cross factor had been at an all-time low, which is an immeasurable relief. I encountered some problems with the page numbers being where they shouldn’t…like on a blank page!… and maybe I should try and format the entire thing in InDesign after Word, but Adobe Acrobat took care of that.

Dare I hope that, unlike Book 1, I can only get away with two proofs before approval???

(For the record, Book 1 took ten proofs before I deemed it ready, and I didn’t get anyone else to take a look at it until the last moment).

So, a massive thank you to Mme. Gayle Moffet for her excellent editing mojo on Book 2. Note: check out her craftwork.

So, a quick reiteration:

– the slated deadline for release of Book 2 is March 31st, 2010

– March 23rd, 2010 is the announcement of who goes on to Round 3 of A.B.N.A. – and Book 1 is in the running!

Book 1 makes a great gift for a sci-fi/fantasy fan! Why yes, it’s a shameless plug. :)

K.G.

Sort of stalled on the Book 2 production, if only due to the fact that RL obligations are pulling me away from writing. I’m plugging away at the edit of Chapter 11, Book 2 when I can. It’s National Novel Editing Month (NaNoEdMo – 50 hours, 1 month) and, of course, I’m doing my due diligence in that regard.

I will likely be done with Book 2 for EdMo and get through the scene-blocking for Book 3 edits. Book 4 is almost done (the muse is finicky as ever, but it’s present), so I’ll use that to fill in a lot of gaps in the priors.

In other news, 20 days until ABNA round 3 winners are announced. It finally sunk in that I’m at Round 2 – kind of, the entire thing still feels incredibly surreal! – and now I’m anticipating the next round. This is definitely going to be an interesting ride.

Work is work, for the time being, and tonight I may well continue with the edit and I hope Mme. Muse stays around long enough for me to wrap up Book 4. Syntax aside, I need the plot completed…at least for the arc.

K.G.