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Grand(mother) Finale

Happy DanceDespite having my grandson here for part of the weekend, I have FINISHED my book. It is finally done. Finé. Terminé, already. I’d dance in my chair if I didn’t think I’d either sprain something or break something, either my body or the chair.

For the most part I’m pleased with the story. It’s not perfect and it’s not going to be perfect. I’m trying to clear up typos and the like, and any glaring grammatical gaffes. In general though? I ain’t gonna go there again. I’d be able to edit this thing ’til the cows come home and I’d never be 100% happy with it, but I’ve hit the point that I can walk and call it a day.

The real irony is that of all the things I’ve written over the years, this didn’t come easy for me and it’s not even my normal genre. I don’t care.  Once it’s out there I’ll go on to the next story, which I’m hoping will be much shorter and flow more smoothly.  It has a dramatically different history, in every context of the word. I write original works, so if I can slam out a 40K-50K word novela, maybe I can still throw it up on Amazon for publication and offer it for a smallish amount and still bring in a bit of something.

Next comes the hard part. I hit my word threshold with around 83K words, so it is theoretically fit for a publish through the traditional outlets. Not sure the traditional outlets are the way to go, though. Going through that means shopping the thing around and wading through rejection letters all in hopes of one that’s a buy-in, then waiting umpteen months longer while their editor rewrites and there’s a new cover design and then MAYBE it gets sent out to the stores.

I can format it for Amazon (which shouldn’t take more than a day or two), design my own cover (ditto for the timeline) and take it live within a matter of a week of fixing the last dotted i. The publishing houses aren’t going to promote my work anyway, especially not a first-time writer.  The only advantage to going the circuitous route is that it hits bookshelves in addition to Amazon. Given the decline of traditional bookstores, I’m not all that sure the advantage is worth the trade-off.

There are people who pull in close to a million a year from their original stuff on Amazon, and the profit margin on Amazon is not too shabby.  I’m going to have to pin down a price if I go that way, make it realistic for an unknown author and still make it worth the time it takes me to market the heck out of the thing.  I know most authors on Amazon pull in less than $500 total for their books; I also know having more than one story up always helps bump up your total income, and not just because the same people are buying the different stories. Having more titles gives your name more weight, on that basis alone. A lot of people who sell lots of books put them up for 99 cents. I can’t make myself go there to start, but neither am I starting at 30 bucks a pop. There’s got to be a happy medium.

For anyone out there who does Kindle, what would you normally pay for a new author’s work? I don’t even know what I’ll ask if I put something up.

I dread the promotion part. I am so not a social animal. Not even a little bit. This blog, with its handful of readers and a few long-term friends, is about as social as I get. It’s like pulling teeth for my kids to get me to go to their parties. I go, but I don’t like it. The prospect of having to go social butterfly gives me the heebie-jeebies, and I know I have to bite the bullet and just do it. Nike will have to forgive me for swiping their long-time mantra.

A lot to consider for one very fried writer’s brain. I’m going to be editor for my buddy for the next few weeks, and trying to help G with another project that’s resurfaced after months of inactivity.

Darling Hubby wants me to help him write a book, too, in my spare time. Translation: he has an idea for something he wants me to write. I’m not opposed to that, necessarily, especially since he’s been really patient with me while I have written this never-ending opus. (That’s finally done!  Yay!) However since he IS perfectly literate himself, I’m going to throw things back at him and actually make him write his own book. What a concept, eh?

Somebody get me an extra-large bottle of Xanax and an inhaler, please. I’m gonna need them.

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