Overwhelmed is my word for this first half of the month.
I’m not typically the kind of person who finds themselves stressed out in a bad way, but there have been a lot of things going on all of a sudden. Some expected, some unexpected.
The short version of everything is that book one, Cursed by Furies, is turning out to be a massive learning experience on how exhausting launching a book is. I only hope that book two will be a much easier process, now that I know what to expect from this one.
Then has emerged the repeated conversation about whether to add a book in between 1 & 2. We’ve talked about both a 1.5 kind of shorter novel, and also have discussed a straight up series bump to where book 2 becomes 3. Given that it’s July that we began this conversation, and book 2 is supposed to pre-order in November… it’s not exactly a feasible option to do a full bump. At least not how I’m feeling at the moment.
I realize that I write quickly, but going through this experience with book 1 has definitely taught me that there are a multitude of other mini-decisions that come along the way. Maybe once I’m more adapted to this, I won’t be so overwhelmed by the process itself and can handle adding in another book at the last minute.
Right now, I’m feeling like that book is only likely to happen as a side book down the road. I think it could be fun, it has lots of potential because it’s a two year gap between book 1 & 2, and there are some great stories I’d like to tell about what’s gone on with Martine and Jonah during that time.
Maybe if I wasn’t so tired right now. That’s always something I struggle with because I’m narcoleptic, but I usually have it well managed so long as I keep to a decent sleep schedule. Unfortunately, the stress of everything going on (both professional and personal) has created some serious disruption there. It’s becoming a daily event for people to find me asleep at my desk, and driving out to deliver the mail every day is requiring a lot more effort to make sure I don’t doze off at the wheel. I’ve even had a couple of days of my ‘narco insomnia’ which hardly ever happens.
All that said, I’m not complaining about everything going on. Just trying to keep it real and open. This part is exhausting. I’m a sprinter type, not a marathoner. It’s why I can write 100k in 2-3 weeks. I like big bursts of activity followed by long gaps of relaxation. This isn’t that.
In the meantime, things have been happening!
My manuscript for book 1 is getting final edits and looking very beautiful. I’ve been informed that I have a massive tendency to echo words in my writing, which is a phrase I’d never heard before. Basically it means that you’ve just used the word and it’s still echoing around in your brain so you use it again in the next line or two. So that had to be fixed, as well as some words and phrases I tend to use too often in general.
My blub is getting final marketing tweaks, and I have Eileen Hammond to thank for taking my long ‘blurb’ and cutting it in half while magically not losing anything important!
The book cover for Cursed by Furies received an awesome title font & some minor changes elsewhere. It looked cool before, but I think it is super fabulous now. Cover reveal coming soon!!!! If you aren’t on my mailing list, you won’t get to see it right away. Sign up for early access!
I added some of the House sections to this website (in the series information) so I could start working on the individual character pages. Holy smokes! I didn’t realize until that point that I had around 40 named characters introduced in book 1. Whew! No fear though, most of them are not primary characters, and have a quick intro followed by dissolving into the wallpaper – for the time being.
House sigils are in progress! Those will be released soon, and there will be all sorts of fun House stuff to go along with it. Because I’m a history junkie, everything had to be exactly as it made sense to me from a historical progression standpoint. For example, in many cultures, a forest is represented by a stick-like tree drawing. I liked the concept, but thought that a House which had adopted a singular Latin based name (in this case, Forester) would integrate the F somehow. Likewise with each house.
I think I’ll have to do a whole other post on that topic because I’m deep-diving into mythos there, pulling out proto-Germanic runic representations, and shapes from the Old English Futhorc. Don’t worry if you don’t follow, it’s okay, the story will make perfect sense either way, I’m just a geek for this stuff.
Holy ARC hell, Batman! This has been a crazy, confusing mess. It took me some time to understand how all this ARC stuff worked. Not in general, the idea of giving out Advanced Reader Copies is a no-brainer. It’s the specific, “how is this done?” part that’s confusing. See, we can give out ARCs, but you have to give people time to read it. They have schedules, lives, some reviewers have booking periods, etc… and so there’s this balance between giving out the ARCs too early so people forget about them, and giving them away too late so there’s not enough time to read them.
Not to mention this whole Amazon confusing mess about whether or not ARC based reviews are allowed, and whether or not reviews can be put on a pre-order listing or have to wait until launch, etc.. etc.. Just, the details of it are a bit insane. It’s like every time someone says something that makes perfect sense, it is followed up by a “except that with Amazon…” statement.
Regardless! Point is that digital ARCs will be out soooooon! Really soon. In fact, make sure you’re on my Early Access mailing list so you can snatch one before anyone else OR you can just send me a message and let me know that you want one.
This has been a fun and interesting conversation. So hardcover release is getting bumped a bit closer to December… but for a fun reason! The HC version, in particular, is going to actually be heavily promoted via Barnes & Noble. Which I think is kinda cool. What’s even better, is that I don’t actually have to do signings! Cause I’m a hermit, and that’s just not workable for me.
Also, super cool is that we’re doing a large print version, and going into some special markets with that! Plus library. This version should be available before Christmas.
Audio is still something we’re planning, but talking about that a lot and whether I should do the audio for it or not.
A Spanish edition seems like a few tiny steps away from a sure thing, so that’s also very exciting. The Spanish market is massive for romance, and I think they’ll enjoy my mythology. Not to mention that a good portion of my own family is from Spain, and I have several Elf branches from Spain in my stories so far. Plus… Mitchell is Spanish, and everybody loves Mitchell! Just you wait until book 2, when you get to meet Carlos!
Scary pricing stuff, is still important to talk about. This is definitely one of the upsides to working with a small traditional publisher vs a large one. One thing they told me right away, and I’m just fine with, is that my books are not going to be priced low. Market research shows that eBooks in my particular segment are more likely to be priced between $6.99 and $14, so make sure you get in Kindle Unlimited, because I will be in there and getting my ebook will pretty much cover your entire subscription cost for the month!
Yep. This is gonna be a thing. That empty store link on this site is gonna sell more than books. Not going to spill too much yet, but you should see some Cursed Elf stuff up for Christmas!
I’m so happy to have gotten my Facebook group called Myth Lovers up and running. We’ve already gotten some extra Facebook badges, and are pushing our way up to 100 members, despite having only been open to members for a couple of weeks. If you like mythology (Greeks, Vampires, Unicorns, Elves, anything…) feel free to join! Share your books, your videos, your pics, whatever you like 🙂
I have a super, secret project I’ve yet to start working on… but it should be fun. It’s a passion project that will be free and benefit indie authors. And before you ask, no… it’s not a course, or a blog, or an info-book or anything like that at all.
While every other day, it seems, I have some major decision to make about the books… carving out personal time has become even more critical than ever. I’ve actually been getting a decent amount of reading done, and leaving some book reviews here on my blog.
For now. I’ll have another update soon. If you want to let me know that you want an ARC copy, go ahead and contact me and I’ll get your name on the list. Also, don’t forget to join the mailing list so you can get first looks at everything else!
Big hugs and sleepy kisses!