Spring Cleaning, Author Style

cleaning-2055336.jpgEvery spring, I try to take stock of where I’m at with my writing, how I’m marketing the books, and what daily tasks I have to get done.  This year, the list is massive.

First, and most importantly, the staff at SHP Publishing has been working on moving ALL of my books to print editions as well as digital.  Woo Hoo!  The downside?  I’ve found a shameful number of corrections that need to be made.  Yeah, I’m going to chalk this up to maturing as an author, but the truth us that a few too many things got through editing.  Granted, we’ve added another pass to the routine since those books came out, so I’m hoping it will never ever never happen again.

But paperback editions are good.  Cover art?  Yeah, now we have back covers and spine art to worry about.  Hmm.  That means I get to harass the cover guy a little more.  Thank goodness he has a fondness for most of these characters, so changes won’t be that big of a deal – you know, like when I told him I still wasn’t happy with the cover art for When We Were Dancing.  Being the cool guy that he is, I’ve been looking at new mock-ups for it that more closely match the graphics on WWWK.

And there’s always marketing to consider.  The first rule of any business is that no one can buy what they don’t know is for sale.  In other words, I have to make sure new eyes can always see my books.  The problem is that this can get expensive and fast!  Even worse, half the time, marketing is a lost cause.  People buy their books because of recommendations.  To get recommended, I need someone to read it first – so they can then tell their friends.  And, we live in an age where books aren’t exactly the media of choice.  Hello, Youtube!  (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE youtube.)

But, in order to streamline the marketing a bit, it looks like I’ll be moving my website.  New hosting, new options, and a much better layout (I hope).  I’m pretty nervous about this, mainly because I hate making websites, but my current hosting is just about at the end of its usability.  Since SHP is working on a serious upgrade, I can piggy back with my publisher’s site, and still have a decent amount of control over how my stuff is promoted.  I’ll also get to keep the blog!  Yeah, that was a deal breaker for me, so no fears.  The rambling will continue!

And finally?  Yep, I have a pseudo vacation scheduled.  What does this mean for you?  The books are going to be released a little slower.  Granted, I’m still looking at every 3 to 4 months.  What does it mean to me?  I can finish some of the projects that have been on hold for MUCH too long.  When We Were Crowned, anyone?  Two of a Kind?  Yep, those have been taunting me, but between moving, publishing, and a rather unintentional break this winter, I got off schedule.  Instead of making myself sick (again) trying to keep up, I’m just going to slow down and try real hard to be ok with not pumping out books like a robot.

But, for now, I’m still working on getting Rise of the Iliri 6 ready for a release announcement.  If you’re wondering, the cover art is the holdup.  Our initial cover didn’t read well at thumbnail size, and so I sent it all back to get remade.  As soon as that’s in my hands, I’ll be screaming it from the rooftops!  (And still writing Rise of the Iliri 7, to fill in all the new and nifty space I got when we broke book 6 into 2 parts.  Don’t worry… still no cliffhangers!)