June 25, 2011

The Great INDIE Summer Read Giveaway

I'm happy to be participating in the Great INDIE Summer Read Giveaway, a promotion currently running on the Coffeemugged website until July 31st. Over 100 books are up for grabs during the giveaway! You enter by filling out the entry form, and then you can earn more entries by following the daily posts and performing the activities described, such as commenting the post or following the authors. Go check it out! With so many chances to win, what are you waiting for?

June 23, 2011

JK Rowling, self-publisher

If self-publishing wasn't getting respect before, it should now. JK Rowling will self-publish her Harry Potter books in eBook format. Rowling will initially sell the eBooks on her new site, Pottermore, instead of using e-tailers like Amazon.com.

I visited the Pottermore website (which doesn't officially open until October) and watched JK Rowling's video. It sounds like her eBooks will be more than just digital reproductions of the printed books. There will be some level of interactivity with the readers. This could open up new possibilities for other authors and platforms to consider if it proves successful for Rowling.

June 21, 2011

John Locke sells over 1 million Kindle eBooks

Amazon announced that John Locke has become the first indie author to sell one million Kindle eBooks. Although I've never read any of his books, I've read a lot about John Locke because of his success. What is notable about him, aside from his books constantly being on the bestseller lists in the Kindle bookstore, is that his novels are priced at 99 cents. All of them. All the time. Some say that he's leaving a lot of money on the table because of the price, and they may be right, but as I understand it, Locke is more interested in having people read his books than to get rich off of publishing them. Either way, I can't complain -- he has a lot more credibility than I do. I'd be ecstatic to sell one million books, even at 99 cents.

June 17, 2011

How I Write

I read an interesting article on Karen McQuestion's blog about her writing process. Before commenting on her blog post, let me describe the process I'm following for the book I'm currently working on:

1. Outline the story - done
2. Determine from the outline what the chapters will be an write a synopsis of each chapter - done
3. Write a first draft - in process
4. Edit, fix, and improve
5. Repeat step 4 until satisfied
6. Done

For some (OK, for many), this sounds like overkill. In retrospect, it probably was, but that was how I thought writing was supposed to happen. After reading Karen McQuestion's blog, in which she experimented with writing quickly, I find that process to be appealing. I do it now with short stories. I don't outline or over-plan the short stories I write. Perhaps I shouldn't do so with a novel either.

I'm going to finish my first novel by following my original plan, but I'm going to try writing more quickly with my second novel. I don't think I can skip the outlining phase entirely, because I need to figure out in advance where the story should go, but I want to try letting the story lead me along more than I allow it to now. It was comforting to know that when Karen McQuestion wrote quickly without all the self-analysis, only 10% of the book needed to be re-written.That sounds like a more natural and faster way to write, and maybe the story will turn out better too.

June 8, 2011

Is it taking me too long to write?

Since I published Number Plus Four in the Amazon Kindle store, I've been participating in the Kindle Forums. For authors (and Kindle readers) out there who don't know about the forums, I recommend stopping by. There's a lot of good information and discussion going on. One topic that caught my eye was "How Long Does It Take You To Write A Book?" As expected, numbers range across the spectrum, from weeks to years. Most fall into the three months to one year timeframe, although it's unclear whether that involves just writing the first draft or whether it's from start to finish. I shouldn't feel too bad taking a year to write my book then. I'm still expecting to finish my first draft by August and publish it by December.