Two posts in one, more or less!
Black Wolf, the novel
Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t do a post here when Black Wolf was officially released on Smashwords!!! Of course, I spent a large part of that day re-uploading it, trying to make the inexplicably cranky formatting behave itself, and I desperately hope that it’s now doing so for readers. I have to admit to walking away that evening not wanting to think about it any more for a day or two. So, belatedly:
Black Wolf is officially released, as of Hallowe’en!!! For info on how to get a copy for yourself, drop by here: http://prysmcat.com/black-wolf/
Now Yin-Yang isn’t sitting out there all by itself! And there’ll be a third sibling for them this spring, if all goes as planned – an other-world fantasy, rather than another urban one.
Moonblood, the serial
Now, finishing a novel leaves a hole, a space that’s full only of potential: what shall I work on next? The fastest way I know to sabotage myself is to choose based on what I can complete the most quickly, because I’ll lose interest in it rapidly. However, there are a few projects that were previously released here and have been removed for revision before official publication, and they do have some claim on being near the top of the list. With Lamia still in limbo (I seem to find more that I’m unhappy with every time I open the file, even though I adore the characters and it has several of my favourite scenes I’ve ever written), that pretty much leaves Moonblood.
Moonblood‘s a bit of an odd one, though. It’s not really a novel. It’s a set of characters having adventures in another world, each of which is largely complete in itself, though the first few do have an overall loose arc. Some of those adventures are fairly substantial at 20k+ words. Some are much shorter. It was intended to be open-ended, potentially able to go on indefinitely, swapping through the characters that part ways, have separate adventures, and recombine in varying combinations as time (quite a lot of time) passes. I have considered turning the part that encompasses the arc into a collection, in ebook and print-on-demand forms, and I still probably will. But… between now and then, I think I’m going to try something different.
I resigned myself to making my ebooks entirely free, rather than inexpensive and accessible, thanks to the US IRS. I live in Canada, and having them take 30% of the little I expect to make made it seem rather pointless. The info on the Smashwords website as far as dealing with this leads into paperwork and fees that made it equally pointless – why spend more than I expect to make in order to have people pay for my books?
I don’t expect to earn much. That actually isn’t a main motivation for me, something I’ve discussed elsewhere. Essentially, I know myself well enough to know that if I try writing for a living on the grounds of making said living doing something I love, then sooner or later, probably sooner, I’ll find myself making said living doing something I used to love but that is now just an obligation and a chore. However, making enough to cover ordering test copies of print-on-demand versions, for example, would be nice.
A friend pointed me to a wonderful article discussing exactly this problem for non-US independent authors. http://catherineryanhoward.com/2012/02/24/non-us-self-publisher-tax-issues-dont-need-to-be-taxing/
As of less than an hour before this writing, after a fairly brief phone call, I now have an EIN. I still have forms to fill out for Smashwords and Lulu, and I’m told it will take about two weeks for my info to percolate through the IRS system, but it should in fact be straightforward from here.
So. If you’re not in the US and you’re planning to publish independently, I strongly recommend that you take a look at the article above. It has an easy solution.
Now, off to clean up the final version of Black Wolf and get going on the formatting, so I can release my second novel officially!
I’ve been madly and obsessively working on a heavy-duty edit of BlackWolf roughly since my previous blog post. First a detailed comb-through by myself and repairs on all the things I flagged, then reading it aloud to my patient Jackie and repairs on all the things we noticed that way. It’s now reached the point where anything else I try to do myself will be more harm than good, so I’ve sent it off to my wonderful test readers. Based on their feedback, I’ll make whatever further changes are needed, and I’ll release it this summer – in July sometime, if all goes well. While its in their hands, it’s time for me to switch focus to other things. Writing-related things, of course. Housework? Don’t be ridiculous! I don’t get a massive creative adrenaline high from housework!
Something interesting happened in the process with BlackWolf, but it’s long enough and sufficiently different from the rest of this post to deserve its own, which I’ll do in the next couple of days.
Several other books are clamoring in my head to be the next on the list for “official” release. I believe Renegade gets that honour. Even though I originally wrote it rapidly and simply as an experiment, I’m actually too pleased with it to leave it to languish in the shadows. I’m already working on editing that, and finding that it’s relatively easy to do compared to the older works. Why? Because it’s all new and clean and shiny, written based on an old-old idea but otherwise entirely with my current skills. There’s much less repair work to do because, well, it’s put together properly the first time! That’s making me feel rather optimistic, actually, that perhaps the process of editing will be less exhausting once I get the old ones cleaned up and released and can move on to newer ones. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve spent some time over the past few days, around the things mentioned in my previous post and especially yesterday after that post, reworking Lamia as the next formal release. While this experience is probably very good for me as a writer, it’s currently rather frustrating. Somehow, a single major flaw with three consequences has been slipping past me ever since I finished the first version in the late 90s. Since I’ve now spotted it, I’m going to have to un-weave and re-weave an extensive amount of text – I’m unsure just how great the extent of the damage is or what it will take. *sigh* I’m grateful that I saw it before putting it on Smashwords, but given that I’ve been proud of Lamia and have considered it fundamentally complete for over a decade, it’s turning into a lesson in humility as well.
In fact, since I’m currently considering approaches to how to fix it (that’s a polite way of saying, Idunno what to do yet) I’m probably going to set it aside and take a look at BlackWolf instead with an eye to revision for official Smashwords release – although since I wrote BlackWolf several years before Lamia, I have to admit, that idea is making me a bit apprehensive. Alternatively, I could try taking Renegade more seriously.
So… as I mentioned in a recent previous post, it’s a tough balance between writing for yourself and wanting an audience. After all, once you’ve put hundreds or thousands of hours into something that holds a slice of your soul, there’s an urge there to have people actually share it with you.
While I’m not particularly good at social networking to begin with, let’s face it – having my work available via two sites only, one a WordPress blog and one an independent site, really doesn’t help.
So, I’ve finally decided to take the steps into official self-publishing.
I decided, partly on the recommendation of a trusted friend who uses it and partly on my own research, to go with Smashwords. While I’m not entirely happy with a few limitations as far as file types I can upload as (although they do say they’re going to be expanding that), it otherwise looks to have a lot to offer. Rather than my trying to summarize, I suggest you check the link for yourself and get the full list. Among other things, they make it clear that you retain all rights to your work, they distribute to a variety of major ebook retailers, and they don’t charge any up-front costs, only a small percentage of what you make (if anything). Read the rest of this entry