Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, we only have 21 days until the New Year. That means wrapping up a few things,
freaking out because my writing time is suddenly gone because of Christmas, taking time to enjoy the holidays, and figuring my plan for 2020.
My books are technically done. I’m waiting for my proofers to get through them all. One is almost done with book two, the other is closer to being done with book two, and this leaves me with what I’m going to do with beta-ing/proofing/editing moving forward. The two proofers are friends of mine, and they volunteered. That means I’m working on their timetable, and they both know how impatient I am. When you hire someone to help you, you are working on their timetable, too, being sandwiched in with their other clients, Hopefully they feel they must work a little faster to keep their clients happy. This isn’t a brag at all, and I’m sure other indies who write quickly are in the same position: I write too fast to depend on free help anymore. So in 2020 I’ll be looking for an affordable beta- reader/proofer in my genre who can help me polish my novels before publication.
In the meantime, I’ll put out the quartet with the resources and friendships that I have and decide what I’m going to do with the 1st person trilogy I’m writing that will be released under a pen name in the early spring of 2020.
As far as the quartet covers go, I received good feedback on the mockup for the first one, and I will definitely be keeping this couple as I haven’t seen them on a cover of a book before. (If you have, don’t tell me!) I have a few more couples bookmarked on Deposit Photos, I just need to see how they look shoved into the template. I thought I found one, but the way he was positioned put his nipple in the exact center of the front cover. Once I saw it, I couldn’t unsee it, and I know a lot of people would have noticed it too. Finding couples is hard!
I’ve been looking at fonts and buying a few to try during the holiday sales to replace the bad Scriptina font, and at work one day I did take about six hours to brainstorm titles for all of them. I just need to find the notebook they’re in now. Jeez. Blurbs are next, and I wish I had 1,000 dollars to hire Bryan Cohen and his blurb writing business to crank them out for me. I also need to get going on the blog posts a writer character writes for her newspapers blogs. I haven’t gotten many of them written yet, and I don’t know how many I’ll do. With what goes on in all four books, there is a lot of subject matter to choose from.
I should just make a list and get going because I missed the deadline of when I wanted to start publishing these. But taking my time will be worth it. I don’t want to have to fix anything after these are out in the wild. And feedback is pretty important, too.
It seems surreal to me I started writing the first book in the series around this time last year, trying to get as much done before my surgery as I could. Now they’re done. I worked really hard this year, and I’m going to have to think of a special way to celebrate once they’re all ready to go.
First person trilogy
I’m experimenting with first person for my next romance, and I’m going to publish under a pen name. I know authors who go back and forth with POVs under one name, but I’d like to keep them separate. In the little research I’ve been doing, it feels to me like the audiences are different (first person present readers seem younger to me somehow) and that might affect how I do some marketing. Eventually I might reveal what my pen name is, but the plan is to keep the launch separate and see what happens. Vania Rheault doesn’t have much power anyway, so it’s not like I’m missing out by not using my readership to launch a new trilogy. Joanna Penn and her mother released Penny Appleton books without telling anyone. Joanna just used what she knew of marketing, and it sounds like she did okay. I feel like these are better for the market right now, so I won’t be shy with throwing a little money at the first book’s launch and see how they do. I’m excited to try this different path in my writing career. Stay flexible!
Other Bits and Pieces
It’s cold here now. It seems like winter decided to smack us in the face a little earlier this year.
It makes the winter months drag, and I’m already tired of the bitter cold and snow. Seasonal/situational depression sucks, and there’s nothing you can do except keep chugging along and trying to take more good out of the bad. I’ll be writing as much as I can, of course, trying to go outside when frostbite isn’t a sure thing, and just trying to keep my sanity until the weather warms up in four long months.
This time last year I was also dealing with two sick pets, and my kitties seem to be doing okay now. Blaze and Harley still don’t get along, and that will always be a stress in the back of my mind. (If you want to see pictures of them on a fairly regular basis, follow my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vaniamargenerheault/ where you’ll also see I have a penchant for martinis.) Harley’s stress made her pretty sick, and 2,500 dollars later she seems to be okay. So I can count my blessings in that regard, anyway.
Still thinking about doing a newsletter, and looking at aggregators for that. MailChimp still seems to come out on top because of their free service up to 2,000 subscribers (even after their changes) but I’m also hearing good things about Mailerlite. Mailerlite is free up to 1,000 email subscribers, and that seems to be the one a lot of indie authors use. You
can change aggregators, but I would prefer to choose the one I’m going to stick with for the long haul. I know that my blog is for indie writers looking for publishing advice, and a newsletter needs to be for your readers in the genre you write in. So I need to decide if I can scrape up content for a newsletter that would go out about twice a month and still have the time/energy/brainpower to keep my blog going. I love blogging. It gives me a chance to switch gears from fiction to nonfiction. So in 2020 we’ll see what happens.
I suppose that’s about it for now. Just wanted to catch you guys up. I’m still working really hard on the quartet, though things seem to be at a standstill as I wait. There are background things I should be doing, and I’ll focus more on those in the coming weeks. My second book in my first person trilogy is at 63k, and I have to admit, I work on that when I shouldn’t be; I’m just having so much fun! I have about 15,000 more words to go and it will be done. I know what I need to write, I just gotta do it. I primarily write that in longhand at my work so I don’t think I’ll have a problem finding the time to finish it before the end of the month. Bits and pieces of the third book come to me, and I’ll have to plot that out a little more when I’m ready to write it. Writing in 3rd person and 1st person are very different, and writing 1st person (to me) seems easier. But, if it’s any good remains to be seen! Ha!
I’ll have more of my Written Word Media survey blog posts coming out in the coming weeks, too, so look for that. If you missed the first one, you can read it here.
Thanks for checking in with me, and I will talk to you soon!