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Greetings

G’day, eh.  Welcome to my blog.  Never having blogged, this should be interesting. Update on Surveyor (for those that know about it), the back cover and spine are being completed, and I expect to have it up on Amazon by the end of the weekend.  Still having some issues with the Kindle version, but hope to have that resolved soon.

Cute photo below.  I think it reflects the second book, Trekker.

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75K +

On Monday I posted that I was back in the groove and hoped to hit 70K in Trekker before the weekend. Well, here it is Friday morning and I’m already approaching 76K.  I’ve pretty much set up most of the today through Sunday for writing, with the intent on wrapping this up at about 90K. Point of reference, Surveyor is 102K (originally, it was 126K but I chopped out a whole lot of detailed stuff, which I liked but others didn’t). I don’t expect to be doing as much chopping with Trekker.

65K on Trekker

So, yesterday I posted about finally getting back into the groove and hoping to hit 60K. Quite the change since then. Today I made some significant progress and crossed the 65K threshold. Not sure if I’ll be able to keep this up the rest of the week (something to do with having to do my “day job”), but I’ll give it a try. Next goal – 70K before the next weekend.

Progress

Well, it’s been a while since I posted. For good reason. I’ve been busy. Along with checking out colleges for the youngest spawn (I believe she’ll be attending Digipen Institute of Technology in the fall – so buy lots of copies of Surveyor, tell your friends to buy lots of Surveyor, and if you want to be on the pre-release of Trekker, shoot me an e-mail with Trekker in the subject heading) I’ve been working, teaching, and writing (and watching the odd stupid movie, like Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (a totally stupid move that I thoroughly enjoyed!).

Speaking of Trekker, I decided to deviate from my usual chronological writing style, and jump forward into the story to get the creative juices flowing again. That seemed to do the trick, as I’ve pumped out several thousand words this week, and should be over 60K by the end of the day.  Don’t expect Trekker to be as long as Surveyor, but you’ll find it to be more action packed. No spoilers.

On the road again….

So, rather than sitting down at my computer, I just spent the last five days in the Bay Area (that’s San Francisco Bay Area for those of you not on the West Coast). Youngest spawn is checking out colleges (man, am I really that old?). That meant leaving Trekker at home while I traveled. Buuuuuut, I did start  a new series, mainly YA (Young Adult). Same timeline, some of the same characters, but a different plot. The goal is to knock out about 3-4 40K novels in this series while completing Trekker and Explorer (or should I focus on Openings?) Decisions, decisions.

To Joe and Clairese – yes, I’m still working on Trekker.

Norwescon!

For the second time I’ll be attending Norwescon – “the Pacific Northwest’s Premier Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention” (per their website – http://www.norwescon.org). Looking forward to it. Always lots of interesting workshops and panels. Not sure if I’ll be seeking a publisher for Trekker or continuing to go the Indie route. We’ll see.  If you’re there, let me know. I’ll have books, cards, and a pen 🙂

Last year I went alone (and learned a hell of a lot that pushed Surveyor forward, along with the genesis of Openings – the prequel that the prologue of Surveyor opens with). This year, it turns out the entire fam is going – my wife is working on a memoir, youngest spawn is working on fan fiction (apparently has a larger following than do I!), and who knows what eldest spawn is working on – probably a screenplay.

Anyhow, doubt I’ll get any writing done over the next four days (but you never know – I’ll bring my tablet with me, regardless.

The True Value

Somebody on Facebook suggested I drop the price of Surveyor “a couple of bucks.”  Here was my response:

I know many people want to only pay $2.99 (or less) for a book, but isn’t several hours (8-11) of entertainment worth paying more than a Starbucks Latte? Heck, you can’t even get into a movie theater (two hours of entertainment) for less than what you would pay for the paperback version of Surveyor.

Let’s think about this for a bit. Everyone (including me) wants something for nothing, or at least as for as little outlay as possible (I’ve been called “Cheap Charley” so many times I sometimes think that’s my formal name). But, what is the value of something? As most of us know, the more we’re willing to pay for something (car, house, education, etc.), the more we’re invested in it and the more we value it. Basic economics. So, should I reduce the price of my book, which took a year to write and cost a couple of thousand dollars in art and editing fees to produce, to a point where it’s practically valueless to the reader? I think not.

 

Promoting the books

As I learned with the Simple Shower, it’s not good enough to have a great idea – you have to get it in front of people, show them how great it is, and then convince them that the either need or want it. So, how does an author do that? First, start by looking at what others have done. Of course, this always costs money, but what the hey, it’s only money.

BTW, for those that have never published a book, that can add up to quite a bit. Artwork can cost upwards of $1,000 (and heaven forfend if you have to make any changes!) A good editor also costs bucks (once again, your price could equal or exceed $1,000). There’s also a cost involved if you decide to make up paperback copies to disseminate to beta readers (with the attendant postage – there and back, as you want their comments). Yep, self-publishing ain’t cheap.

So, once you’re done, how do you get readers interested? A good blurb (back of the book), e-mails, connecting with reporters, advertising, etc. But from all I’ve learned, the best way is word of mouth (especially if the word is another author with a large following).

Anyhow, if you enjoyed Surveyor, please tell your friends and write a review on Amazon.  In the meantime, back to Trekker.