Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Book Pimping

Aaaaaaand we're back! Another trademark long absence. However, this one has been due to a potential career change (sadly, not writing related), that I'm keeping close to the chest for now. Suffice to say it has drained the writing resources (read: time), but I've considered it acceptable losses. For now.

But enough about that. Hopefully more soon.

My real post is about book pimping. I know, *groan* everyone talks about that at some time. Well, for one, there's no guarantee of originality in the header is there? Exactly. I'll save the original brain cells (there's a few I've stashed near the back, just past the visual cortex for just such an occasion).

Why do I want to talk about book pimping? Because just recently I've done it, and it really hit home that what many author/bloggers go on about is that word of mouth is one of the best ways to sell books. I'm not going to say I have any credibility as a marketer. Nor am I a bookseller, but today it struck me just how powerful it can be. Example:

The junior project engineer was looking for a new book to read. He figured I had a few titles I could suggest, as we both seem to enjoy fantasy and SF. Fine. He said he just finished one of David Weber's books, and I said 'here, try this series (the Honor Harrington, starting with On Basilisk Station - there, you've been pimped!).' That was Friday. I get an email this morning saying he finished the book and is starting book 2, and it was awesome. I agree, but I'm digressing. This was the first time I've pimped a book cold, on someone who wasn't in my 'inner circle' of friends, and had the same reaction as they had.

As an aside, I think I've been a key player in Mr. Weber's royalties from the greater Toronto area, but again, I digress.

So far I've given/pimped those titles to at least a dozen people, from family to (now) co-workers. Of course, it does rely on the author writing a good book, and me liking it, etc. etc. However, I suspect that word of mouth - and booksellers can be the best of them - can sell more books than a print ad.

Then again, what do I know?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

New eyes

Hello all. This time it's not a trademark disappearance. I've been avoiding screens for a while, as on April 19th I had my vision corrected with the Lasek procedure. I'm trying to get some stuff cleared up around the house, but a bit later I'll fill you in on the whole deal. It's pretty cool, and the procedure is interesting. Then I just got busy at the ol' day job, after taking a week to recover.

Otherwise, writing has ground to a steady halt. Of course, after a while I go cross-eyed looking at a computer screen for too long doesn't help. The healing process continues, and I should be putting out words soon.

More details later.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Back at the keyboard

Back at the keyboard, 979 words stronger today. Not much, but my usual average for an hour's work. The perfect culmination of a weekend of household tasks. Of course, there was that novel I finished reading on Saturday. One of those grab you by the shirtfront and not let go. Author Mike Shepherd's Kris Longknife series. Some military science fiction along similar lines as the Honor Harrington series by David Weber (also highly recommended). Interesting characters, great action, and the dedication in book 3 is the best.

Aside from that, it's been a weekend of laundry, accounting and other boring yet necessary tasks. Not to mention finding a way to get the birds out of our vent humanely. Before they have chicks.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hello all

I'm still around. Of course, after carrying on about my consistent word counts, I then go off the grid for entirely too long. However, I will admit to being preoccupied with a potential career change and various and sundry other things that would bore anyone to tears. Toss in a dash of procrastination and there it is. Typical, trademark long absence.

On the bright side, things are in the pipe and my potential day job change is out of my hands now. I'm heading back to the keyboard with renewed vigour. Since the day job isn't going anywhere, I figured I'd resculpt it to better suit my desires. However, until anything is solid, I'll put that away for now.

Next up will be a quick review of where my story is, and back at it. The challenge will be not to edit anything. I'm trying to get back on the forward progress, rather than going back.

At any rate, must go as the little one is paging us! I'll be back soon with more wit (or at least more ramblings and ravings, didn't you read the byline at the top?).

Sunday, January 07, 2007

7k Total

After ten days of writing, I've managed a substantial 7421 words. I've stuck to 1 hour minimum per day, and I seem to be able to crank out from 700-800 words. Not bad. I'd love to increase that, but I'm happy to roll with a steady total for now. Once I've been able to produce that on a regular basis, then I'll up the ante and shoot for more.

I've found the hour/day target reasonable, as it allows for the day job, household tasks that can't be moved, and time for my family too. I only wish I could forgo sleep completely. That would free up lots of time.

The one thing I noticed, was that I took Friday off. I made up for it on the weekend, piling Friday's slot in the rest, but this may be a trend. Friday seems to be the one night where the whole week comes crashing down and I'm just bagged. Then Saturday morning I have loads more energy. We'll see, but I think it's a promising start. That whole journey of a thousand steps starts with one idea.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Another day, another hour

Another successful hour of writing. That's been my goal. Spend at least an hour a day writing. Ass-in-chair kind of work. So far it's paid off. You could call it a New Year's resolution, though I generally don't make those. I figure, if it's worth resolving, then it's worth doing it as soon as you think of it. I think the holidays just gave me a recharge from the day job, which helps ease the general fatigue of full-time work.

I've managed to pull anywhere between 600 and 800 words per hour, with few revisions. I'll pull a word here, tuck one there, but I try not to go back. I've re-read only to find my place again. I've already seen some places where I'll need more description. I'm focused on action, dialogue and trying to get my characters' voices out. I figure that's what revision is for. Only when the whole thing is done will I go back (unless I find a glaring continuity error, but let's burn that bridge when we come to it).

So far so good. Feels like being a 'real writer.' Now, off to the elliptical trainer. Must continue training for the ski season. Then offerings to Uller for snow.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Welcome to 2007

Hello all, and Happy New Year!
Welcome to 2007. I'm still wondering where 2006 went, but sometimes that just seems the norm.
I hope your holidays were good (and good to you). I hope those of you who are aspiring writers like myself made your word counts, finished those projects, or met whatever goals you set.
Me, I didn't meet all my goals, but I feel I made good progress, and learned a great deal. I'll list some of those learnings in a future post. Right now I've made my words for the day, and am just getting coffee, lunch and various and sundry other things ready before turning in.

I have found, though, that I've had to push for discipline. Both before I started the prose of the novel, and now that I've waded my way into chapter 2. It is definitely difficult to sit down and work hard at something when you've already put in an 8 hour (or more) day. That is something I'm still pushing, I'll freely admit.

The other is the nature of writing. I've managed, now that I've spent some time writing the prose, to finally send my internal editor to the back seat, and let the words come. Now, I tend to fight that editor's tendency to constantly thing "it's crap" and keep plunging on. I tell my editor (the demonic little wretch) that he can have his say in revision. I have avoided going back over what I did previously, except a skim read to catch up on and regain the groove of the scene.

So far, it's working. That, and my desire to prove I will do this. Not for anyone else but me.