Monthly Archives: July 2011

WIP update: July 25-29

 

This week was a good week, but not as good as I hoped it would be.

As usual, Monday is a little hard, since I don’t write Saturday and Sunday. I have to read the last chapter or more, before start writing. And this Monday had a little other things stressing me … nothing to worry about.

Thursday was also frustrating. I decided to star a link list of very useful links for writers to add as a page on my website. I worked on it for over 2 hours and I’ve gotten only half the links down! My list is way too long! Which is good, but then I got frustrated I wasn’t writing and dropped it to write. I’ll get it down soon, but I won’t disregard my writing to get the link list done.

Monday = 1022 words

Tuesday = 3051 words

Wednesday = 3509 words

Thursday = 2026 words

Friday = 3773words

Total week: 13,355  words

Total WIP (GH #1): 36,345 words on July 29 2011

 

Next week, I’ll receive my E.L. #1 MS back from my editor and I’ll probably work on it a little.

I wished to aim for 15k words for next week, but, since I’ll be revising EL#1, I’ll aim for 10k words on the GH#1. Hopefully, I’ll surprise myself and get much more down.

 

Cheers,

 

E-book pricing poll

My question is: How much are you willing to pay for an e-book?

WRITERS, this is not a question of how much will you price your books. I want you to answer the question as readers. READERS, how much would/will you pay for an e-book?

At the right sidebar, you’ll find the poll ——————–>

 

Seeing as I love to over explain everything, here I go …

Nathan Bransford had a poll on his blog about the price of e-book based on the hardcover price. Here are the results.

My poll is different because I don’t want you to consider hardcover price. Lately, many small presses and indie authors don’t have hardcovers out there, only e-books and POD paperback. For those who don’t know, POD means Print On Demand, which means the book (paperback usually) is only printed when bought by a reader and in the quantity bought.

I also found this poll on David Maine’s blog. He asks how much you would pay for the e-book of an author you never read before, which is somewhat like what I’m asking.

The writing/publishing market changed SO MUCH during the last 2 years. I’m doing this poll more out of curiosity  to see where readers stand now.

Let’s take me, as reader, in consideration (the following are thoughts of mine that may or may not be correlated):

  • In August, Richelle Mead will have 2 books out. Their e-prices are $9.99 and $10.99. In November, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini will be released. It’s kindle price is $13.99. I’ll buy these 3 books because I’m a huge fan of Mead and Paolini, but I’m not happy about the price their books are set.
  • The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa is priced around $6-$8 … a much more interesting price range, though it still isn’t comparable to indie books priced around $0.99-$2.99. Also, I think The Iron Knight, the next on the series, will be around $10. I’ll buy it, because I love the series, but I would rather it was priced like the previous ones.
  • The Hunger Games, a very famous series, is priced between $4.70 and $7.70 … I like the pricing here.
  • I’ve read several books priced at $0.99 and $2.99 but most were recommended or from authors I had heard/knew about … when it’s from a brand new author, with not many reviews to let me know if people are liking or hating it, I don’t buy. Nor yet, at least.
  • Some small presses (most are digital-first) are pricing their books around $8-$9 and they have a lot of debut authors. Would I pay $8 for an author I don’t know? I’m not sure. Probably not. I would have to read tons of great reviews or receive a direct recommendation of someone I know, and I would still think a hundred times before considering it.
  • About 2 months ago, a friend asked me suggestions for a few books on the genre she likes. I gave her a huge list, and soon she came back to me complaining that some books were more expensive on e-book format than on paperback. She gave up buying them.
  • I read an interview with Angela James (Executive Editor of Carina Press) where she states “the company found that at $6.99, the books no longer sell.” So, if that’s true, then why the Big Six price their book almost twice that price line? I don’t get it.

As a writer, I wouldn’t like to have my books out for over $7, I think. And perhaps even $7 is too high these days. If I ever self-publish, I’ll probably price my books around $0.99-$2.99. But what if I don’t go indie? Will my books be read/bought if their prices are not that cheap?

To me, readers are more important than money (very interesting article on the topic here), but writing is also my job.

What do you have to say about e-book pricing, as a readers and/or a writer?

Cheers,

WIP update: July 18-22

 

Here I am, to fulfill what I promised: to update the status of my WIP every Friday.

Let’s see.

I’m working on two manuscripts right now.

 

DESTINY GIFT, a 80,000 words New Adult paranormal romance, is almost, almost done. Right now, it is with my editor being copy-edited.

 

G.H. #1, a New Adult Urban Fantasy, is being written.

It doesn’t have a name yet. So far, I’m calling it G.H. #1. Don’t ask me what G.H. means, I’m not gonna tell. Not yet.

Last Friday = 4.5k words

Monday = 2007 words

Tuesday = 3223 words

Wednesday = 3320 words

Thursday = 1019 words

Friday =2522 words

Note 01: Monday is always hard to start over since I don’t write on Saturdays and Sundays.

Note 02: on Thursday, I probably wrote much more than 1010 words, but I spent a lot of time fixing the pace and the plot’s course. I added paragraphs, took out some, re-ordered … Those 1019 words were from a new scene, making it easy to count (using word of course). The rest, spread out here and there, I didn’t count.

Note 03: on Friday (today), I had 2 appointments away from my laptop, which ended up reducing my writing time a lot.

Adding up everything, the G.H. #1 has 24,163 words so far. I’m expecting it to be around 70-75k words.

Hopefully, next week I’ll get even more words down. If I can keep this speed, the first draft should be ready in 2 or 3 more weeks.

 

Ugh, my head is so full of ideas (and the IDEA doc file in my laptop too) that I wish I wrote as fast as my thoughts swirl inside my mind. I would have a new manuscript every day!

 

Cheers,

Staying Focused

 

I’ve found out about Focus Booster on Amanda Hocking’s blog back in March.

On the post where she talks about Focus Booster, Amanda Hocking said it helped her … and it is helping me.

Focus Booster is an application that counts time. Yes, like a timer. It stays over your doc file, or whatever other window you have open on your computer, and counts time. You can set it for how long you want and you can pause if needed.

Why it helps?

Normally, I start writing, and after every scene or chapter or, sometimes even in between paragraphs, I check the internet … emails, twitter, Facebook, my website, GoodReads, whatever … and that steals my writing time and disturbs my concentration.

With Focus Booster over my doc file, I managed to stay offline. Really. The timer is counting and I’m like “okay, I gotta get this done. Till the time is over, I need to write and write and write.”

I know, the app is simple and it sounds almost stupid, but it really helped me. Really. Last Friday, I got down 5k words in 3 hours. To me, that was awesome!

Yesterday (Monday) was a bit more complicated because, since I don’t write during weekends, it gets me a couple of tries to get down focused on my story again. So, yesterday, I got 2.5k words in 2 hours (not counting here the hours spent in research and outlining–just the plain, old hands-on-keyboard writing).

I turned off TweetDeck and closed my Google chrome page and wrote. If I needed something off the internet, like a research item or the name of a place, I highlighted it and searched for it later, so I would not stop writing. I felt like I was in an exam, with a hard-shelf teacher, where the time was limited to answer all the hundreds of questions and I needed to pass. Just awesome!

How about you? What do you do to stay focused? What helps you stay focused and off the addicting internet?

Cheers,

 

Challenges and goals

 

I know. It’s pretty late into 2011, but so what?

Like that common saying, better late than never.

Well, the ones of you who read my last post, know there are days that I simply can’t concentrate. Then, what better than a challenge to spicy things up? Everyone feels more compelled with a challenge, right?

I have two CHALLENGES up right now: the 1000 words a day challenge and the reading challenge from goodreads.

The first one was created by writer and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Sometimes I think 1000 words a day is too few, but, seeing as there are there days I write 5k and others I write none, it seems like a good challenge.

In her website, Debbie ask writers to display this badge on the side of the site (as you can see on mine right there —>) if you’re really trying to write a thousand words each day for at least 6 days a week. The thing is, I can’t write 6 days a week. I write 5. My family demands my full attention during weekends, and hey it’s my family, so I happily agree. Seeing as my intention is still true about writing 1000 words each day for 5 days, I will leave the badge there (I hope Debbie allows it).

If I can get 1k words a day, that’s 365k per year, which could lead to 4 or 5 novels! That’s a great number … I hope I can keep up with it.

The other challenge is from Goodreads. The widget for it is also on the right side of this blog —>

I set it up to read 36 books this year. That’s 3 per month. I can do more. I normally do more … about 48 (4 per month) or 60 (5 per month) … but, in case this year I didn’t get close to that for one reason or another, I set a lower number.

Now, for my GOALS.

I have a few.

First, I’ll try to post on this blog twice a week. On Tuesdays (or a day before or after) I’ll publish a normal post, about writing, reading, publishing, about me and whatever is going with me, etc. On Fridays, I’ll post about my WIP, ideas, outlines and editing/revisions.

Posting about my WIP also entices me to write more … imagine how embarrassing it will be if I get to Friday and I’ve only written 500 or 2000 words for the whole week? Yeah, I don’t want that to happen.

My second goal is to get 2 or 3 more manuscript ready (that means critiqued, line-edited and copy-edited) by the end of the year.

I want to get published. Soon. How, I still trying to figure out. I constantly think out going indie. But trying a e-first small press also crosses my mind. However, I don’t think about trad publishing anymore. The problem I see: the price of the books (more on that on a future post).

So, with 3 or 4 manuscript ready by the end of the year, I can start self-publishing … or, if I change my mind, while writing the second and the third, I can try and send the first to a small press. I have time to worry about that part later … right now, I’m all about WRITING!!!

What do you think of my challenges and goals?

 

Cheers,

 

Can’t concentrate!

 

With everything that is going on in my life, I think I’m doing a good job with my writing and reading schedule. At  least I hope I am.

What bothers me is that I know I can do much better than this … but how can I concentrate and totally immerse on my books when so much is going on around me? Other thing that bothers me: those “events” that disturb my concentration are out of my control and still I wish I could do something …

Let me explain a little of what I’m talking about: I moved from US to Brasil in May 2009. In November 2009, my husband had been promised to go back to US in November 2010—it’s July 2011 and we’re still waiting. And we’ve been living in between 2 houses (2 hours apart) for the last 17 months (too long to explain why now).

There are times things seem to progress and our hopes go up. Yes, we’ll go back to US! Then, other things happen, or nothing happens at all, and we loose hope and start talking about staying … See, staying in Brazil is not bad. We are Brazilians, our family is here and we love the food … but we adapted too well to living in the US. We made good friends. We miss it terribly!

Moving up and down and all around, not having my organized writing space and a normal routine, makes me crazy and spoils my concentration.

I feel like my life is pending …

There were times when I was super focused on my book, really pleased with what I was writing, then something would happen, some news would come and ruin my day … and my writing!

I’ve written 2 manuscripts this year so far. I dropped 2 others because I lost interest in them—I think so many things happened while writing them that it messed with my mojo. And I lost the inspiration to write them.

I know I’m capable of more than 2 manuscripts in 6 months—and that bothers me!  I could have written 3 or 4 if I had my own desk, my own corner, one home and no travelling around, and not expecting life-changing news.

I know my life will never be smooth and calm and perfect. Nobody’s life is. Everyone is always complaining and wishing for more. Otherwise, where would be the fun in living if everyone was static and satisfied, right?

But this indecision—going, not going, move to a new apartment, not move, talk about staying, not talk, etc—drives me crazy. I like more regularity, more stability. In the last 7 years, we’ve moved 5 times! That’s just too much …

I’ve been trying to win my anxiety over … I’ve been trying to make tea (I love coffee but try to avoid it), turn the music on and loud (I can’t do anything without music), and just write … even if I’m not in the mood, even if an upsetting news has just been delivered, even if my head is spinning …

Unfortunately, I don’t always succeed.

But I’ll never stop fighting.

And when this situation settles down—when I find out if we’re really moving to the US or staying here and choosing only 1 house—my anxiety and concentration will be under control … and that will make me very happy, cause it’ll mean I’ll be able to write more and more =)

 

Cheers,

The Terrifying First Blank Page

 

 

I started a new story last week.

Each time I start a new story, with that first blank page staring at me with its terrifying brightness (laptop screen!), I feel like I can’t do it. I can’t write anymore.

How do I start? What if my story is lame? What if my first pages are trash? What if my characters are not intriguing and relatable?

And the possibilities? Gosh, it’s endless. You can right ANYTHING about ANYTHING! For example, you could write about a polar bear who lives in a suburban house in the middle of humans–and that would be normal in your story. And he has a porcupine girlfriend who is a socialite and hate animals. The polar bear could love to cruise in his convertible and do a little magic in which he makes coke bottles appear (coke ads?). Then, a comet could crash right in his backyard and little aliens could come out of it. You see? ANY crazy shit could happen. It’s your imagination, after all …

Anyway, back to the topic …

Then, I think my writing is not that wonderful yet, that I should take more workshops, watch more webminars, read more books about writing. If I surrender to that, I won’t ever write. There are too many books about writing out there, too many websites giving tips and promising to make you a better writer … If I let myself believe I’m not ready and postpone my writing because I think it’s not ready and I need to study before actually writing, then it sure won’t ever be.

My writing will only get better once I start writing. To become a better writer, I must write, write, write, read, read, read, write, write, write and so on. And, even when my manuscript is ready and good to be published, I won’t be done. My writing, like any other writer’s, will keep evolving and getting better forever.

Did you ever notice how the Harry Potter books get thicker and thicker and thicker? It’s not only the complexity of the plot. It’s the fact that J.K. Rowling got better at writing each time she wrote her books. And it’s easy to notice her writing improving from book one to book two to book three … At least I noticed it (perhaps only one with a writer’s mind would notice that?).

So, after a few moments of panicking while staring at the first blank page of a new project, I shake it off and just write … whatever scene comes to mind, or, if I have a set outline, I try to follow that … later, I come back and tweak the beginning since it won’t be terrifying anymore.

And, once I get started and move past the second page, I relax and my writing comes out naturally …

… till the next first blank page!

Cheers,

Hi! I'm Juliana Haygert,

Author of New Adult fiction.

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