It’s been over six months since my last update about my writing life, so time for another. Those of you who have been following me during that time know that it’s been busy, busy, busy. Crazy busy! I’m looking forward to my “vacation” that begins in about ten days. I will not be working for at least two weeks, but I will return! Without further ado:
Perceval Novels: Of course, the BIG accomplishment here is the e-publication of my first novel, Perceval’s Secret, at Amazon Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble Nook Store, and Kobo International (for my friends in other countries). The novel has two reviews at Amazon, good ones, too. Sales in the first four months have been quite slow despite enthusiastic response to the marketing. I want to scream to the world — hey! It’s a really, really good book and a fast read! Give it a try! The e-book format is just fine.
My next chore will be to set up a crowdsource funding project at Indiegogo (I did one at Kickstarter last fall, if you remember, to help pay the production and publication costs, that wasn’t successful) to help me pay the production and marketing bills. I’ve been tracking the costs so this time I’ll know exactly what I need.
Marketing: Marketing and promotion for Perceval’s Secret has consumed most of my time. I mailed 1100 postcards to orchestra musicians early June, and I’ve been handing out the postcards to anyone I meet (almost). I’ve left piles at doctor offices, my dentist, my hair stylist, and at the large annual science fiction and fantasy convention, Convergence. I continue to carry postcards with me to leave wherever I can.
Author Buzz promotion is in full swing. The first part was a book giveaway contest that brought a good response. Five happy readers received free copies of the novel, as well as one book club in South Carolina. The Bookmovement.com campaign was changed from a book giveaway to a banner ad on the home page of their website for a week. There was some concern that book clubs wouldn’t be that interested in an e-book novel. Well, the book club in South Carolina was very interested and all members had e-readers. I saw the Kindle Nation promotion and my novel was the first on the list. Actually, Amazon has been promoting Perceval’s Secret on its own, sending out e-mails to people and every time my novel is at the top of the list! Then there’s the “Summer Buzz” ad campaign that began this past Monday. Ads for my novel will run on various book blogs and websites for the next month.
I am working slowly on getting more book reviews at a variety of online locations. I continue to utilize social media also to spread the word about the book. I’ve been quite surprised by how much time social media takes up, and I’m only focused on four sites. I can’t imagine the time commitment for more than four sites.
Short Stories: I have not had any time to work on short stories. As usual, I continue to get ideas for more stories, and I write down the ideas to flesh them out at a later date. I have continued to collect markets for the short stories ready to send out, and this fall I plan to start sending them out again. If you haven’t read them yet, they are available at Wattpad. The Light Chamber is here. The Negligee is here. Please rate them as you see them and leave comments!
Essays: My monthly Word Power column continues in the Minnesota Mensagenda, and has expanded to included a word-find puzzle four times this year. I love creating the puzzles. If there were a job creating those puzzles that I could do as a day job to pay my bills, I’d be one happy camper. Of course, if my writing brought in more money, that’d be especially wonderful too! (smile)
Paid Gigs: The wonderful surprise in the last few months was being approached by a producer at ClassicalMPR to write for their website. I’ve written four essays for them so far, and they’ve now given me an annual contract so I’ll be doing even more in the future. My latest was just published at the website yesterday and is here.
Yager Editing Services: My freelance editing and typing business has been on hold but I plan to finish setting up the website after my “vacation” and start looking for business. I’ll announce here when the website is open for business.
The Successful Patient: I’m writing this nonfiction book/memoir under my pen name, Gina Hunter. Work stopped when the e-publication project took flight. It doesn’t look like I’ll be working on this project this year except for the Successful Patient blog posts that I publish at Eyes on Life.
Presentations/The Successful Patient: I gave a wonderfully successful presentation based on material from The Successful Patient at the CCFA IBD Education Conference this past May in St. Paul, MN. I was quite pleased to observe attendees writing notes as I spoke and we had a lively Q&A at the end. I also participated in a panel about supporting a loved one with IBD and that was really interesting. Patient advocacy is an element of chronic illness management that is one of my causes. I have no presentations scheduled for the rest of this year, but I’m hoping to do more next year.
The Eyes on Life Commentary Blog: This nonfiction commentary blog continues a steady build in audience. Popular posts in the last six months again involved the Minnesota Orchestral Association and nonprofit governance, and just about anything concerning raising boys or male behavior. As with the memoir, The Successful Patient, I write this blog under the pen name Gina Hunter, and it can be found here.
The Anatomy of Perceval Blog: I continue to write here once a week about fiction, the Perceval novels, classical music, movies and book reviews, and anything else related to writing, especially fiction. Watch for updates here about Perceval’s Secret and the beginning of work on the second novel in the series.
Job Search: I will need to find at least a part-time job once I’m back from my “vacation.” As much as I’d love for my writing and editing endeavors to support me, I cannot count on that. I am satisfied, however, that I’ve been working my butt off to find ways for my writing and editing skills to bring in the money.
As you might guess, my reading hasn’t been as active as I’d like. I’ve been working my way through the biography of the conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski since the beginning of the year. I’m almost finished. I’ve joined Goodreads (friend me if you’re there!), and this will either make me intensely guilty that I’m not reading and reviewing more books, or will be just the incentive I need.
I’ve mentioned before here that I will be having major surgery soon, and that is my “vacation” time. I will not be able to work for a while, but I hope to do a lot of reading. I plan to post here next Saturday but then will be on hiatus for at least two weeks. Please hang in there with me! Thank you.