Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Business Side of Writing

Good Morning. Writing is my job. It's what I do for a living. For those of you who don't write, it's not just sitting down at the computer and pouring my guts out on the page. I have a business plan, and pretty much it's laid out for the next five years. When I first started publishing five years ago, I had a plan and achieved everything that was on it. That being said, in March I wrote a new one.

We've all heard that traditional publishing moves at a snail's pace. It's true. It could be three years from the time you write a book to the time it gets published. (And that's with an agent and publishing house.)

In self-publishing, you're only as limited with time as it takes you to write, edit, proof, and upload your book. With some caveats. If you can write a book in three weeks, hey more power to you. Unfortunately, I can't (unless I'm totally engaged in the story). For me, it's more like three months, barring any unforeseen circumstances, illness, prior commitments, and the weather. (Yes, the weather.)

However, having said that, there's also the business side to writing you can't ignore. Foreign translations, paperbacks, audio versions, marketing, publicity. That cuts into writing time. Just THINKING about all those things takes away from writing time. I spent two hours on Friday researching translation companies for the Reluctant Grooms.Foreign Translation means I'd be reaching readers who wouldn't know about my books in the first place. I'm a storyteller first and foremost. What good is a story if someone wants to read it and can't?

Also, because I write and publish in other genres, I need to develop those stories as well. I have a detective series I'm working on, as well as two more books in the contemporary romance series I started in 2012, and another woman's fiction I started last year.

Regency romance is only one facet of Shore Road Publishing, (my company)  and for the last several years I've pushed all the other work aside to finish the Reluctant Grooms series. Now that's it's done, I need to concentrate on everything else.

Which is not to say I'm giving up on the Dunbury series. I'm not. I just need to set it aside for a little while. Until I can give it the time it deserves. The Dunbury series is a lot more involved than I thought it was going to be, which I knew a long time ago, and more recently when I put all the notes and outlines together. However, after looking at it again, I will need to immerse myself in that world for a long time, and right now I just don't have that time. Also,  One thing I learned about writing a series is that readers don't really want to read books in a series until the entire series is complete. Or at least there are several books on the market. I know that's how I feel. Why bother investing time, energy, and money in something if it's not finished. I hate waiting for the resolution.

And you may be wondering why I'm telling you this. Partly because for those of you who receive this in your inbox, and partly because of new readers who may stop here after reading one of my books. This blog was never meant to be a "writing" blog. My writing blog is at Piedmont Writer. That's where I discuss writing on a personal level. This blog was supposed to cater to my readers. However, if I'm not writing Regency romance, why bother filling you in on what I'm doing. You don't care.

Therefore, this blog is taking a hiatus. Again. Yes, I know. For those of my fans who want to know when the new series will be out, I can't say right now. I'd like to think my schedule will permit by Christmas with at least two or three books in the new series. But maybe not. It all depends on my daughter and my commitment to her school. (I'm very active there.)

However, if you've read to here on this post, I can tell you, I will be hosting a Goodreads Giveaway for the paperbacks that have just come out. It will take a few weeks to get all the components ready for it, but I will be doing that. I'm hoping by September.  I'll let you know through Twitter @gallagher_anne and this blog with a quick blast. If you're not signed up to Goodreads, please do.

Also, if  you've read my books, I would appreciate a review for any of the books you've read. I've never asked for reviews in the back of my books like some authors do. I've always felt icky about that, but as a writer, we all appreciate a good review. Reviews are the glue that hold the author together. It makes us feel all the hard work writing it was worth it.  So, thanks in advance if you care to write one.

So yes, there's more to writing books than meets the eye. There's a business behind it that most readers don't get. I know when I want to read a book, I just find it, buy it, and read it. I don't care how long it takes to write or format or publish. I don't care if it's traditional or indie pubbed. I just want my "fix" from that particular author. But for those of you who read this blog who are my readers/fans, I thought you deserved  an explanation for my absence over the next few months.

I didn't want you to wait for the new series and find out it wasn't happening as quickly as you wanted it. That wouldn't be fair to you.

Thanks for reading.

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Paperback Versions of The Reluctant Grooms are Finally Published

I know I said I would have them ready by the end of June, but I lost two, count them, 2 laptops within a week of each other. Yes, I went into a blind panic. Yes, I hyperventilated until I passed out. Yes, I speed dialed my cousin who's a computer genius, and yes, he fixed them. Whew. ( I had to take the unexpected trip to Charlotte, but it was totally worth it.)

I had forgotten how much I hated formatting for paperback. (Which is the true reason why I put it off for as long as I did.) Yes, I do all my own formatting, which is why there are no fancy goo-ga's, or special effects contained amidst the pages. It's not that I can't do them, I can, however, if I make a simple mistake, it could cost me several hours of frustration. Let me tell you how much trouble I had just inserting page numbers. Yes, there is a simple button you click and voila, there they are. Yet, the computer gods laughed at me and turned the task into a nightmare. I kid you not. Click, Center, Insert. Yeah, not so much.

And you would think by doing all 5 books in the same day that each would get easier as the day wore on. Again, no, not so much.

I also updated the books that were already for sale, so in the space of two days, I actually formatted 10 books. And let me tell you, I'm done. Done with formatting for quite awhile.

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to format WHEN ALL HOPE IS LOST. That will have to wait.

I will have the links on my header bar as soon as I can. Sorry for the delay.


In other news, I've not written anything on the new series in quite a while. Not because I haven't wanted to, but I was sidetracked by a shiny new idea and wrote that story instead. A mystery detective novel, not something I've ever done before, but the characters wouldn't get out of my head and just to shut them up, I wrote it down. 17 days from start to finish.

And then I painted my office. I'll have pics soon. (As soon as I get them off my phone.) The office seriously needed help, and I'm glad I did it. That took 6 days, So there went the month of June.

However, I also want to say I did finally get the covers for the new Regency series and I am totally in love with them. I wanted something different this time. And different they are. I scrolled through Amazon and Smashwords looking at the covers of Regency romance novels, and I can honestly say, none of them look like mine. So for that I am particularly proud. My cover designer is on vacation, but once she returns, I'll have her do her magic and make them spectacular. (I'd show you the ones I did, but I'm superstitious about things like that. I have to at least have the first book finished.)

Also, I'm sure you noticed, I changed this blog's tone from green to red. I don't know why. I've wanted to do something different with it for awhile now, but just didn't know what. I took some time this morning and just did it. Funny, I didn't notice it until the 7th time I adjusted it, but the background is exactly the same color and texture as the chaise the lady is reclining on. Lucky me.

That's all the news I have thus far.

What do you think of the new color scheme?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2015