Category Archives: writing organization

August Goals Review

Moonday Mania

a blog where we surge past the goal posts (or not)

The last hazy days of summer. Time to laze around the pool, get in those last hiking trips, and try not to think about the craziness of fall. Or, you could do what I’ve been doing: working my butt off working on editing Prince by Blood and Bone, book two of Tales of the Black Court, my spicy, new, fantasy romance series. And it’s coming out December 2013.

That’s right, December 2013.

I’ve set myself some crazy publishing goals for the latter half of this year and believe it or not bringing my first full-length twisted fairy tale: The Dark Huntsman to market is not the most difficult or the craziest. It turns out bringing out book two, at the same time I’m bringing out a Christmas novella, and promoting The Dark Huntsman, is the craziest.

So, I decided it’s time to review my yearly goals and see where I am, then I’ll add at the bottom my crazy production schedule for the rest of the year. You’ll be able to see why I have nothing scheduled for 2014, other than bringing out book three, Broken Mirror. I’ll be taking a long quiet vacation somewhere and trying to get my pulled out hair to grow back.

Here are my goals. I posted them back in January HERE and revisited them in March HERE.

Jessica Aspen Goals for 2013

Overall Organizational Goals: 

  1. Continue to set and review monthly goals, set daily goals based on monthly goals Always in progress!
  2. Write five days per week, 3 hours per day. This summer I’ve been hitting the editing at least 3 hours per day, on the days I manage to get to writing. Yeah, summer does mean spending a lot of time doing other things, but it’s all been good. 🙂
  3. Goal is 3k/day Currently I’m editing, so I’m trying to move through my ms at a rate of finishing five chapters per week. That is a seriously challenging goal and I’m doing okay. Every day it is a struggle, but I am determined to get Prince by Blood and Bone finished and off to the editor by the end of the month. 
  4. and edit 15-20 pages per day Only on the days I’m not writing. And there are editing days when getting 5 pages deep edited is AMAZING! Yeah, see number three for this one.
  5. Keep up with personal site, blog 2 days a week Of course!
  6. Self-publishing class in January (taking a fabulous class on Author EMSwith  Amy Atwell and Kelli Finger!) This was a fabulous class, if you are at all seriously considering Indie Publishing, then take this class. You will absolutely understand the costs, labor and rewards involved.
  7. Tax class in February from Colorado Romance WritersYep! Done! Another great class, but I don’t know when it will be offered again.
  8. Market 1-2 hours per day Not sure I’m getting in two hours, but I do spend a lot of time researching marketing right now, and that counts in my book.
  9. Attend CRW Writing Retreat in September Hot Mojave Knights. UPDATE Instead of attending the CRW writing retreat like I have for the past two years, I’ll be going to Hot Mojave Knights, a reader convention, in October. WOOT!

Writing Goals

  1. goldi and the bear by jessica aspenFinish editing Goldi and the Bear by January 18th I think I was a few days later than this, but it is done and turned in and I” it came out on AMAZON on July 22nd.
  2. Polish Goldi and the Bear  by January 30 Done!
  3. Write rough draft of B&B (second book in TQH series) The rough draft was finished in the spring. WOOT!
  4. Edit rough draft of B&B Working on this, plan to be finished by the end of August.
  5. Start thinking about 3rd book in  TQH series
  6. Outline 3rd book in TQH series
  7. Superhero goals: Edit BW and outline first book in that series Not happening. This entire series will be pushed off until spring 2014.

Marketing Goals 

  1. Submit Goldi and the Bear to PIP by January 30 Check!
  2. Decide what to do with HH Novellas This  big news. I’m releasing my first Haunted Holiday’s Novella, Ghosts from Christmas Past, in Novemeber. Fingers crossed. For this to happen the moon, and stars, and my keyboard, all need to align.
  3. Continue to submit TDH Check! As many of you know I went through the ups and downs of rejections and finally an acceptance of The Dark Huntsman, but finally decided to bring it to market myself. And so it will hit the shelfs (okay, e-shelves) in October. The goal is for the Print version to be up October First and the e-version to come out October 14th. Fingers crossed!
  4. Market all books (Little Red. S&S. GoldiCheck!
  5. Enter Little Red in  contests Check! Red finaled in the Golden Quill and received a Holt Medallion Award of Merit. Woot!golden quill finalist desert rose rwa
  6. Enter TDH into contests I ended up not doing this, but I will be entering contests with it this fall, and in spring of 2014.
  7. Increase presence on Goodreads
  8. Work on All Romance Exposure
  9. Figure out how to increase presence on reader sites/loops
  10. I’ve joined Pinterest. I don’t have many pictures up, but I’ll be working on it slowly and adding them as I go. I’m not sure what the best way to work it is, so I’m a little slow. But you can check it out HERE.

Now on to the big production schedule that will make me type like crazy for the rest of the year.

  1. Finish edits on Prince by Blood and Bone by 9/1/13
  2. Finish writing Ghosts of Christmas Past by 9/15/13
  3. Edit Ghosts of Christmas Past by 9/30/13
  4. Bring out The Dark Huntsman in Print on 10/1/13
  5. Bring out The Dark Huntsman in e-book on 10/14/13
  6. Work on the edits my editor sends back for Prince by Blood and Bone finish by 10/30/13
  7. Work on the edits for Ghosts of Christmas Past finish by 11/15/13
  8. Send both to proofreader for edits, then apply those edits
  9. Publish Ghosts of Christmas Past on 11/18/13
  10. Publish Prince by Blood and Bone December 26th, 2013

Oh, and I also am planning on some blog tours, cover reveal tours, and all kinds of marketing shenanigans!

Fall into a collapsed heap on January 1st, after attending Margie Lawson’s annual New Year’s party!

How are your goals looking? Have you looked at your overall goals for the year recently? Did you revamp them mid-year? Share with me where you are and I’ll commiserate or celebrate with you!

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Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Jessica Aspen's Books, writing organization

Finding time Part II with author Lynn Cahoon

Thursdays Bite

Guest blogger extraordinaire!

Welcome back to author Lynn Cahoon. Lynn’s post on finding time was extrememely popular and I’m thrilled to have her back here with not only more on the same topic but a second fae paranormal book to  follow up her fantastic first paranormal, A Member of the Council. Lynn is one of the amazing members of my GaimX5 Goal setting group, and I’ve loved watching her this year as she comes out with book after book. Congrats Lynn on your huge success this year and on managing your time!

Last visit (https://jessicaaspen.com/2013/05/09/finding-time-with-author-lynn-cahoon/) I talked about cementing your dream – What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

This visit, I thought we’d get down to some detail work or how to plan what you’re going to do.

First, let’s set a goal – After signing my first two contracts last March, I knew I wanted to write the sequels to both series while the editors still knew my name.   Return of the Fae was my summer project. Although I wasn’t contracted for either of the two sequels, I set deadlines for myself.  And both books were completed and sold.

I want to write a book.

Good goal, but how will you know when you’re done?  And how are you going to start? Let’s try again.

I want to write a category length book by the end of the summer.

Okay, better but still that’s kind of vague, let’s tighten it up a tad.

I will have a completed first draft of a 55,000 word book by the end of September.

Much better.  This one is specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-based – or SMART.

Now that we have our goal, we can look at our calendar and figure out how much time we have to write. Starting today there are 21 days left in July – 31 in August – 30 in September. (You can subtract days here if you’re going on vacation or can’t write on Sunday’s but for now, I’m leaving them all in.)  So 82 days until I am done.

55,000 words (the average size of a category romance) divided by 82 days equals 671 words a day. Or 4697 words a week.

Totally doable.  Or, if that’s not reachable for you, you’ll have to kick out that deadline.

I like planning by the week because if I know I won’t have time to write on a Monday (day job deadlines, soccer practice, guitar lessons) then I just have to double up my words on another day (usually Saturday) and I can still meet my goal.

I know what you’re thinking – Sounds good, but it will never work for me.  And if you are thinking that, you’re right, it won’t work.  Before I said the magic is in the work. And I believe that. You have to find your own rhythm and how the process works for you.

And if you’re not meeting your weekly word count because you’re too busy?  At least you have something to show for the summer.  Half a book is better than an idea floating around in your head.  If you don’t meet your goal, adjust it.

Final word on the subject?  Write. Write hard. Write often.

What’s your favorite goal achieving tip?

return of the fae by author lynn cahoonReturn of the Fae

A witch in training, a hunter on the prowl, and a world in jeopardy.

Learning the rules of being a witch takes years, but Parris McCall needs to master them in only weeks. Ty Wallace is going mad with his desire for Parris, but she’s a distraction in his quest to find Coven X before they take The Council and everyone he knows down.

The couple searches for Ty’s mentor, but he’s disappeared. Their only clue comes from a banished witch. When they return, not only are their own lives threatened, but a new life hangs in the balance.

Available at Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Return-of-the-Fae-ebook/dp/B00DJVH8V6

lynn cahoon authorBIO – Lynn Cahoon is a contemporary romance author with a love of hot, sexy men, real and imagined. Her alpha heroes range from rogue witch hunters, modern cowboys, or hot doctors, sexy in scrubs. And her heroines all have one thing in common, their strong need for independence. Or at least that’s what they think they want.

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Filed under Fae, guest post, Thursdays Bite, writing organization

To Write Faster, And Beyond!

Moonday Mania

a speedy blog

I’ve dedicated the month of April to exploring how to write faster. You can check out the first post on The Speed of Writing HERE, the second post, Writing at the Speed of Rachel HERE, and last week’s post Writing Even Faster, Zoom! Zoom!, HERE.

We’ve covered why we might want to write faster, some simple steps I’ve borrowed from Rachel Aaron including managing writing time in a different way and managing your planning in a different way, but we’ve missed Rachel’s third step: enthusiasm. Rachel found that she wrote faster the scenes that she truly wanted to write. You know, those scenes we writers think of in the car, driving way too fast, and you’re so excited you can’t wait to jot down a few notes, but you have to wait. In fact Rachel had to wait until she’d covered obligatory parts of the book first.

But wait, what obligatory parts of the book?

You know, those introductory things, back story, important plot pieces that if she didn’t write them then the reader wouldn’t get the story or understand the exciting parts. But then Rachel had an epiphany. If she was bored by those obligatory scenes, wouldn’t the reader be bored too? So she stared not writing those boring scenes. She changed them until she was excited about them. And a funny thing happened. Her writing speed increased!

So, how do we do this? How do we decide if a scene is important or how do we even know it’s exciting before we are deep in the bog of writing a boring scene?

This is what I’m going to work on next. I’m going to try to look ahead to the next day’s scenes and see if I’m excited to write them. I’m going to try reading my notes just before bed and lie down and see if I can’t stop plotting and planning the possibilities. And see if I’m excited about the scene and maybe if I am my unconcious mind will work on those scenes during the night so when I sit down to write I’ll know if they’re exciting, and I’ll have imagined all kinds of amazing new fun ideas during my dreams.

Getting excited about her writing is what pushed Rachel Aaron the final push to 10k per day. So maybe it can be the push that gets me to 3k per day.

Writing fiction for dummies by randy ingermansonNow on to some of the tools that have helped me speed up. The first one is Scene and Sequel. We’ve all heard of it, some of you even use it. I first was introduced to it via Margie Lawson, but she pointed out that Randy Ingermanson has summed it up succinctly. Randy Ingermanson is the genius behind the snowflake method and he helps you write easily in his Writing Fiction for Dummies. I’ll leave it to Randy if you want a more detailed summary, but basically it’s deciding if the scene you are writing is a scene or a sequel.

Scene has the following three-part pattern:

  1. Goal
  2. Conflict
  3. Disaster

Sequel has the following three-part pattern:

  1. Reaction
  2. Dilemma
  3. Decision

So I break my scenes up into these sections and Ka-Chunk! They fall into place. Now this brings us to the next tool I use, Scrivener. Scrivener is basically a word processor, but unlike Word I can break my chapters up naturally into individual scenes. But another tool of Scrivener are these beautiful sections of the screen that hold a notecard right next to your writing. I write my Scene and Sequel notes there and while I’m writing I know, this is a scene. The Goal is to get the chalice, the Conflict is the Nazi’s want it too, the disaster is just when I think I’ve found it my father is about to die. Okay, this is the scene from an Indiana Jones movie, but you get the picture. My notes keep me on task, but my imagination has room to take flight.

That’s it, that’s how I’ve increased my writing speed and how I plan to increase it still further. I’ll keep you posted. Currently I’m not writing fresh words, I’m working on my rough draft of the second book in the Tales From the Black Court series. But in the fall I plan to be writing book three and I will be reviewing all my notes and diving into my goals of three thousand words per day.

And let me know how your writing speed is going. Are you writing faster? After reading how easy it is, do you want to?

Want to explore some more? Here are some links for you:

http://www.write-better-fiction.com/writing-systems.html

http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/blog/2007/12/12/on-writing-faster/

http://www.amazon.com/Write-Faster-Better-Time-saving-Non-fiction/dp/1582972869

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Filed under Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing craft, writing organization

The Speed of Writing

Moonday Mania

Blogging on the speed of writing

This is the first of four posts on how to improve writing speed I’ll be posting on four consecutive Moonday Manias during the month of April. But before I get to the blog post I have to brag, if you didn’t see my brand new cover for Goldi and the Bear on my Facebook page, then click HERE to see it on my Goldi and the Bear page. But come back for the post, because I can’t be the only one who wants to write faster.

I’m a super (crazy) goal setter. You know the type: the kind that laughs at SMART goals and just sets the bar WAY high.

One of my crazy-go-for-it! goals for the year is to write 3,ooo fresh words per day. (That’s working days, sorry folks I take weekends off.)Whoa! Three thousand words per day? I couldn’t even finish my spicy paranormal novella Goldi and the Bear during National Novel Writing Month and that requires a speed of 1,667 words every day for thirty days. And I didn’t come close. Why is that and how can I even consider trying to reach 3k per day?

And why would I want to?

Well, for starters, I’d like to write more than one full length romance novel per year. I know that the editing is the thing that takes me the longest, so if I’m taking a long time writing the first draft (and then I’m spending several months on editing) that means that I’m taking a very long time to finish a book. But I want to write fast and write well, so where can I speed up?

Writing faster comes down to three things, and that’s what the next three blogs will be about.

  1. Planning
  2. Organization
  3. Time Management

Now these may sound like three variations on a theme, but they’re not. Each one is a specific way I’m increasing my writing speed and if I can make each of these three effective than I think I will be hitting 3k per day without any trouble at all.

Amazed?

I am. But what I’m doing is working. I’m now up to an average writing day of 1,967 words per day that I sit down to write. If I’d done that during last November I would have finished Nanowrimo in twenty-five and one half days. WOOT! Just in time to cook Thanksgiving dinner and not worry about writing a thing.BBQ'd turkey

Imagine what happens if I hit 2,000 words per day, five days per week. That’s an 80,000 word novel in two months. (Not working weekends, remember?) Now of course this is a very rough draft and I still have to go into edits after this, but even at 2k for five days per week I actually stand the chance of finishing two full length novels in a year. But I want to do better than that.

I want to have flexibility. Time to work with my editor on my books that are already finished as far as submission is concerned, but need a final polish for publication. I want to take vacations. I want to not write every day during every week for the whole year. And still complete two novels per year.

Hence striving for 3k/day.

At 3k/day that 80,000 word novel gets finished in just over five weeks if I write Monday through Friday. But what if I don’t? What if I take a sick day, or my kids have a day off school, or my mom needs me? That’s the way my life has been going lately. If I hit five days of writing full time it’s getting to be unusual. So do I give up on my goals or do I just write faster?

Well, you already know the answer. WRITE FASTER, BABY!

My post next Monday will address time management, so tune in next week to see where I found my “write fast” inspiration and how I’m implementing that into my daily word count.

How fast do you write? Do you want to improve your writing speed? What about quality versus quantity? Are you a fast draft person like me, who spends tons of time on edits later. Or are you the kind of person who works that chapter until it’s perfect before you move on to the next one? Do you want to shift gears and work a different way? Or are you happy with the way you write? Are you willing to try something new? Or maybe two or three new strategies to improve your writing speed? What if I told you that the days that I really sit down and apply this I’m almost hitting the 3k mark, would that change your mind?

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Filed under Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing craft, writing organization

IndieReCon Rocks

Moonday Mania

A Free Con for all!

Like almost every author I know I’m always thinking about self publishing. Should I or shouldn’t I. What are the benefits? What are the costs? This year I’ve decided to explore it in depth and figure out not only am I interested, but create some serious plans to evaluate how interested I am. So I’m up for almost anything that will help me make this decision, not just for this week, or next month, but moving forward into the rest of my career.

Last week I attended the first ever IndieReCon, an absolutely free online conference all about the ins and outs of indie publishing. There were blogs and chats from Joanna Penn and Bob Mayer and CJ Lyons, just to name a few and all for free! I had a great time darting in and out of posts and trying to keep up with the flying fingers of all the chatters. Okay, I pretty much lurked, but it was good quality lurking.

There was advice on marketing, what’s worked and what hasn’t and where do they think it will go from here. Articles on mistakes newbies make and articles on everything from YA to NA. What’s meta-tagging and why should you care? Mailing lists and reaching readers. Branding, audio books and international sales. If you want to know about something there were posts on everything.

In fact, there were so many posts that I didn’t check out all the information I wanted to. And that would be really sad, except they are leaving them up! Yes, you too can go hop from post to post and discover all you ever wanted to know about indie publishing and more. So hop on by and check it out! Although you did miss out on the drawings for prizes, those are over and I didn’t win anything! Too bad for me, but good for all the prize winner attendees out there. 🙂

If you visited the site which were your favorite posts? I have to say I really enjoyed the interview that Joanna Penn did with CJ Lyons. The video was entertaining and I learned a lot. Do you indie publish? Do you have questions about indie publishing? What would be the one question you would want information on if you could ask any of the presenters?

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Filed under Moonday mania, self publishing, writing craft, writing organization

Changing Goals for the New Year

If you’ve been reading my posts you’ll know one thing for sure about me: I love setting goals even more than I love buying little boxes for organizing my stuff. And almost as much as my label maker! But like the little boxes and label makers,  goals are nothing if you don’t use them properly. If I waste hours making labels for my little boxes but I don’t ever get around to cleaning up my piles of stuff, or worse, compiling new piles while I’m making new labels for even more boxes….well, I’m sure you see what happens. Chaos!

Looking in

Or, the tools simply become another way to avoid true organization. Now, that’s procrastination at its finest. Looking like you are organizing while creating more obstacles to getting things done. True Genius!

Goals are like this too.

Set too many, too high and you can become lost in a sea of unachievable can-dos. Set them too low and you are a dillitante in the goal setting world, bragging about all you’ve done without really achieving anything. I’ve done both in my life, although I tent to err in setting too many, rather than too few. SMART goals are supposed to help this. A smart goal is:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

You can spot my downfall in that list. Realistic gets me every time. And this year is no exception. I want to do it all! That’s one of the reason’s I am approaching my goals a little differently this year. It all started with this POST by Dean Wesley Smith. Dean is a straight shooter on the warpath of self-publishing and I love his rants posts. This series on achieving your goals hit the mark.

follow your dreamsMy Ah-Ha moment: All my goals were based on my top goals: my dreams of what I wanted to accomplish, not true achievable goals.

In order to figure out what is a dream goal and what is a realistic goal I have to figure out how fast I really work, and throw in some extra time for curve balls. Because life always sends a curve ball to mess up my goals.

So, my first goal for the New Year is:

Figure out how fast I write, edit, and how much time I really expect to spend doing that.

Then, base the remainder of my goals on those numbers.

Next, I’m going to apply Margie Lawson‘s approach to goal setting. This comes directly from Margie Lawson’s class on Defeating Self Defeating Behaviors, and is only one small nugget of gold in that class. I highly recommend the class for restructuring your life and goals and truly deciding what is important.

For my daily goals I do this already. I divide my goals into WINNER and SUPERSTAR. (Actually Margie uses superstar, I tend to label mine SUPERHERO. Comics and anime rule our house.) But I’m going to apply it to my yearly goals this year. What do I truly need and want to accomplish to further my dream? Those will be my WINNER goals. The ones I feel driven to try for will be the SUPERHERO goals. I’m hoping this will satisfy my need to go into goal overdrive and set unrealistic goals. If I get some of them done, well at Margie’s next New Year’s party, I’m sure she’ll be handing out stars!

How are your goals? Are they S.M.A.R.T.? My Achilles heel is achievable, but what’s yours? Do you even set goals for the year?

If you enjoyed this post, check out last week’s post Goals Past and Present and see how my goals went last year. And check back next  Monday for my updated goal list for 2013 and see how wild and crazy a goalsetter I can be!

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Filed under About the Author, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing organization

Discover Progress! and how to track it

Moonday Mania

a blog for writers on writing

I’ve started Nanwrimo this week and I’ll be posting my progress on my NEWS page. And just to make it fun I’ve started a counter to keep track of my progress. Here’s what it looked like on day one, Thursday, before I had written a word.

And here’s what it looks like now that I’ve been writing for five days! (IN case you can’t figure it out, this is the “shocked” look.)

If you are curious as to where I am and what I’m feeling as I go through the NANOWRIMO process, just check the meter!

Oh, and if you want a meter for yourself (and I know all of you do!) the code is on the Writertopia page HERE. Thanks peeps at Writertopia!

spreadsheet from jamie raintree

Another terrific way I’ve been keeping track of my wordcount all year is the amazing spreadsheet by Jamie Raintree. Jamie has done what I (in my Excel inept fashion) would never be able to do. She not only put together a year long spread sheet with a calendar and space for mulitple projects that does all the math. It looks fantastic too!

Here is another picture. I’m hoping she does this again for 2013 because I certainly don’t have the know how. If she does I’ll post the link for you, but in the meantime Jamie has some fantastic writer helps. And if you want to check out some free quality women’s fiction, she also regularly posts her writing. The Stretch Mark Club rocks!

http://jamieraintree.com/2011-writing-progress-spreadsheet/
How do you track your writing? Do you have any fun tricks up your sleeve like Jamie or the peopple at Writertopia?

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Filed under Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey, writing organization

Think You Know What Your Book is About? Think Again.

Moonday Madness

a blog for writers by a writer

What is your genre? What sells to your readers? How do you know?

One of the issues facing authors today is that we have the burden of much of the marketing of our product. Since many of us are not marketing majors, this can be a huge handicap. We need to find out who is reading our book and what they think our book is about before marketing it.

Little Red Riding Wolf by Jessica Aspen

Little Red Riding Wolf

For instance, my books are… well… hot. Spicy hot.

If you open Little Red Riding Wolf (on sale at Passion in Print for $3.99), or Snow and the Seventh Wolf you need to be prepared for sex. But does that mean I shouldn’t market it under paranormal? Can I enter it in the paranormal category of the romance contests, or do I need to stick to the erotic? Is it fair to say that the heat level is the most important part of the book?

Well the truth is, it’s not up to me. It’s up to the readers. They are the ones looking for books like mine and if they are looking in erotic and I market it only under paranormal, it’s going to get missed. And vice versa. What if the readers think it’s something else, like chick lit? Are they right?

Or is it that I’ve done a poor job of marketing?This is why you’ll see a big change in my covers. I was able to request a spicer cover for the second book in the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series Not that they didn’t offer spicy for the last one, but that’s another story.

Snow and the Seventh Wolf by Jessica Aspen

Take a look at the cover for Little Red Riding Wolf. Does it say erotic? Nope, I don’t think so. Does it say romance. No, not really. Does it say fairy tale and werewolves. Yes, I think we got that.

Now let’s look at Snow and the Seventh Wolf. Does it say erotic? Yes. Does it say romance? Yes.
Does it say fairytale and werewolves. No, not so much. It’s tough to get it all right.

Luckily my titles help. Little Red Riding Wolf says twisted fairy tale, and I hope Snow and the Seventh Wolf does too.

But how about your books? Do you know what genre they fall into?

This question came up this week as I was communicating with another author. She sees the word paranormal as meaning ghosts. A lot of people do. When I hear paranormal, I think of all kinds of things including psychics, ghosts, and supernatural creatures. But what  do readers think? When someone walks into a bookstore (or into the e-store) how do they know what to search for and how can they find your book. If you’ve tagged it as paranormal, but it’s really horror, will that help your readers find your book?

The key is to first know what others think your book is. Have people read it and let you know. Oh yeah, it’s paranormal romance. or Oh yeah, this is so hot, you’d better market it under erotic. or No, you are better off under the horror label, or women’s fiction, or YA. 

Others see our work much more clearly than we do. They are not bound by our preconceptions of what we intended when we wrote the book. They are more in touch with what readers will see.

Another good way to figure out how to label your book is to find other authors who have similar books. Is your book more like Stephen King? Or more like Sherrilyn Kenyon? Is it romance like Thea Harrison? or is it urban fantasy like Jeanne Stein? Find three authors who are similar to you in the same category and that is likely to be your category. Having trouble with this? Ask your friends who read the book. Use a survey and poll them. They’ll be sure to tell you, friends always do.

Why is any of this important?

You’ve written the book, and it’s either out there on sale, or you are trying to market it to agents and editors. Either way you are selling a product. You need to know who will be interested in that product so you can target your sales efforts. There is no reason or reward in marketing a horror novel to an agent or reader who is only interested in romance. Make sure you have the right audience for your book and the right book for your audience.

And then sell the hell out of it! I expect to see all of you rising stars on the NYT bestseller list any day now. I’m looking for you!

Do you know where your book fits? Does it matter to you? How do you sell it to others if you don’t understand it’s place in the world? What do you do to figure out where it fits?

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Filed under Little Red Riding Wolf, Moonday mania, Snow and the Seventh Wolf, writing organization

Five Necessities for NANOWRIMO

Moonday Mania

a blog about the craft of writing

NANWRIMO

National Novel Writing Month. It’s coming up and this year I am at least signed up. Crazy, I know. I’m working full time for at least three of the weeks in November, and there is a good possibility I’ll have edits for my upcoming novella Snow and the Seventh Wolf, but I’m still going to try. Here are some of the things I’m doing to prep.

1. Informing my family that I will be crazy.

What Should I Be For Halloween?

This is number one on my list. Making sure my husband knows I will not be responsible for any food preparation, laundry, or cleaning of the kitchen counters, once November strikes.

2. Storing up on coffee, chocolate and wine.

I hear that stimulants are the way to go, but since I won’t be shopping I need to be sure the house has coffee, and lots of it. But I’ve also heard that for those late nights, when the brain has turned off, the only thing that really keeps those words flying on the page is wine. So I’m heading to the liquor store. Once again, not shopping during November.

3. This not shopping thing is going to blow my Christmas prep all to hell.

So be it. I will not be the crazy woman at the stores on Black Friday, if I have to have something, I’m sending the husband. Alone. If you’ll be in our area and shopping that day, be prepared for an insane man with a long list and an attitude. I’ll be home with the wine.

4. Did I mention the chocolate?

Chocolate HeartsI think I’ll head to Costco for a bulk package of Nano Chocolate, then I’ll have to hide it somewhere the rest of the family will never think to look. I’m running out of places, but the linen closet might still work. I tried the dryer, that’s no good.

5. Yoga pants

Comfortable clothes are necessary, and since I really shouldn’t answer the door in my penguin flannel PJs I think I’ll shop this month for some super comfy, but fashionable, yoga pants. This way my sister in law will not be sending in crazy pictures to the people on “What Not to Wear”. (And she’d do it too)

That’s it. I’ll be ready this year.

Oh yeah, I’m also plotting my story ahead of time. If you’d like some hints on how I do that check out my post on Snowflaking HERE.

Are you attempting NANO this year? What sort of things do you require to write 50 thousand words in a month? Do you actually think I can do it? Want in on the pool?

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Added #Triberr Finally!

Moonday Madness

a blog on the craft of writing

Promotion. Marketing. Social Media.

We hear all about it, but we want don’t know how to do it. At least not effectively. And when someone tells us about this great new thing, all we can do is moan, “NO MORE.”

But Triberr is different.Triberr image

It’s the real deal, a time saver, not a time sucker. And I have a few friends to thank for helping me out with it.

The first person is the Triberr guru of my small circle of internet buddies, Jenny Hansen. I gave her a blog award a few weeks ago HERE. She is hysterically funny! But she is also very smart and tech savvy. My friends at my Colorado Romance Writing Group think I know it all, but it turns out I borrow heavily from people like Jenny. She wrote a wonderful series on Triberr. The first one starts HERE.

And Jenny said that Triberr would save me time. I did check it out. But is seemed overwhelming and I didn’t know how to make it work, and I was very busy and put it off. My bad.

I even had a group of friends who emailed each other about it. What is this? How does it work? None of us took the five minutes to figure it out. Even though I read Jenny’s post and signed up, that was as far as I got. I put it off till life got a little less crazy. Well you know what happened next. Life never did get less crazy.

Then I went to a CRW meeting and Amy Denim (The Free Book Queen!) said, it’s easy and we’re starting a tribe. Pay a dollar for bones and we’ll get going. I paid my dollar, she sent me an invite. But nothing worked and I gave up.

So another month rolls by. Meanwhile I’m giving up ground on Twitter as my life falls even farther apart, I start blogging less and less. I need help!

Saturday I got it. Amy got out her laptop at our meeting and walked us through Triberr, and my lightbulb went off.

I need this. This will save me. It is not a time sucker.

I went home and figured out that I had two accounts and that’s why nothing worked. Deleted one, fixed the other and got rolling. That took about twenty minutes. Mostly because I had to figure out that I had two accounts. I think getting started really takes about five. See Jenny’s post.

Now what I need is to add friends and some good tribes. To make my life easy, I need my friends to decide that they want to make their lives easy, and spend the five minutes to get started. I know it seems like another waste of time, but this will help you all. Please let me know if you are interested, and I’ll send you an invite.

What have you tried lately that’s new? Did it save you time? Or suck it away? What about Triberr? And check out the rest of that series on Jenny’s site. I will be walking through it myself. (I’m still on week one.)

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