Cover It Good

The Help Me subject of the day, writer friends, is book covers.

I’ve been using the KDP Cover Creator because it’s easy and free but it’s also very limited and frustrating in that… like, you do the thing and then it undoes the thing way. You know what I’m sayin’?

And while my design skills and software are certainly an upgrade from Cover Creator, my turnaround time is way longer and, let’s be honest, I do not have the time or patience right now (still pregnant, if you’re counting. More and more cranky about it too.)

SO, I am looking for professional services. And I am taking suggestions.

Where do you go for cheap but better than Cover Creator book covers?

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I Can Troll My Own Self

Book promotions are the best! Where normally, my Amazon Best Seller Rank is up there in the millions, when I give these babies away for free, I get to see things like this:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,973 Free in Kindle Store

 

Does that mean tons of people are reading my book?! Noooo, not even a little bit. But some people are downloading it. Perhaps some of them are reading it. Maybe one of them might actually like it.

I can pretty much guarantee that the person who hates it leaves a review though. That seems to be how these things work.

81 star review By BigPartyPooper

Subject: Turd books I half-read but am somehow still qualified to comment on

This book deserves negative stars. It deserves black holes. Like 3 million of them. I like stories that are the same as the stories I’ve already read. I want the characters to be so incredibly original that they defy my expectations by doing exactly what I expect them to do. I also want them to think like I would and act like I would and it would be cool if all the chick characters were super hot and into me and all the male characters justified my bad behaviors while also having a smaller penis than me. Also, I’ve never written a book in my life, have no idea what goes into it or any respect for people who try, but I am an expert narrative critic and spellang chompian. Please engage me by disagreeing with me. Please. Somebody pleaaaaase engage me (I’m so lonely).

I should start writing book reviews. I’m like, REALLY good at it.

Anyway, my very first novel, The Homecoming Effect, is still free for the next few days on Amazon and actually, the one and only review I got on it is really positive! And… also written by someone I know who, by the way, is terrible at trolling and needs to worsify her spellang and grammerizing if she ever wants to be a real online book reviewer.

homecoming5.0 out of 5 stars
on March 14, 2016 

I adored this book! The characters are multifaceted and relatable, even when they are unlikable. A great choice for fans of dystopian fiction, with a fresh voice and vision. Buy and read this book, and you will be wishing for more from this author.

My heart says yes but my brain says, “Buzzfeed?!”

Writing is hard sometimes.

Editing is like… all… ugh, really? No. Ok, yes, let’s do this. No, let’s put it off. Yes, let’s finish it! But like, tomorrow.

I am repeating to myself, “The only one stopping me is me.”

I am reading one chapter at a time.

I am coming across sentences that sound SO SO STUPID and rewriting them to suck less.

I’m asking myself, “Is this what the character would do or was I distracted the day I wrote that and looking for an easy way out?”

I am seriously considering making a graph of what I have accomplished so far so I can feel better about my efforts.

I’m back on Buzzfeed again but good news! The Pretty Little Liar I’m most like according to my PINK preferences is Aria and I just won an Oscar in a parallel universe! And if you’re wondering if I can Buy An Outfit From Lululemon for under $350, the answer is no*.

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I suspect the real answer is “What the hell is a lulu lemon?”

Hobbies are Self-Care Too

I was doing some light reading yesterday in the doctor’s office because my appointment never starts more than 40 minutes late and I only have so much battery power on crappy hospital Wifi when I came across a chapter dedicated 100% to my procrastination. It said*, “Eda, the only thing stopping you from editing your WIP is you.”

*I could be paraphrasing. Maybe.

And while that isn’t all the way true, because I also have things like household chores, chasing a toddler, being pregnant, and working two jobs to contend with, I feel like maybe some of those times when I’m scrolling through Facebook searching for articles that confirm the downfall of the Empire or taking my third “Which pizza topping defines your archetype” quiz on Buzzfeed, I maybe could be editing instead.

I’m not even at the boring part of editing. I’m reading through to make sure it makes sense. I’m reading “for enjoyment” (and continuity). I’m not even proofreading, man. You’d think I could get through it quicker.

It’s a little bit procrastination, a lot of distraction, and a fair amount of guilt holding me back. There ARE, in fact, other things I should be doing. But if I care about this project, I need to make time for it. Writing and self-publishing is a hobby and I’m content with it remaining so but it’s one that keeps me sane so yeah, I need to make time for it too.

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Epub Me, Web Thing

All right, writer friends, give me your knowledge! Give me your opinions! Break me off a piece of your Kit Kat bar!

I’m looking into Draft2Digital and wondering what experiences ya’ll have had with it. I uploaded a super short story–for free–and so far:

  1. Their formatting is terrible. They said they’d format for me. Does that mean taking out paragraph breaks and line spacing to make it difficult to read? Because that’s what they did.
  2. They provided me with a universal link to my book which goes to a Page Not Found on a site that is not Draft2Digital and I was all, “Huh, what? Back button, back button, where’d my stuff go?!”
  3. The status is still “Publishing” so it’s not really a surprise that links aren’t working but I can’t… find the thing where it says how long… because KDP tells you and this… doesn’t? Do I have to search the help section for information that should be presented up front?
  4. I’m feeling like an old person confronted with brand new technology who just wants to shout at clouds and take a nap. This is what I get for trying something new in a hurry while my kid naps on a blistering hot day that swells my feet and clouds my brain.
  5. SHUT UP, CLOUDS! NOBODY ASKED FOR YOUR OPINION ANYWAY! ZZZZZzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzz.

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I Like… Graphs

Yeah, I know, I said no more Camping while pregnant back in April but maaan… I need to write some stuff. And Camp gives me structure. And graphs. I like graphs. I just took the CampNaNoWriMo survey for April and that was my one comment. “I like graphs.”

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I particularly like it when the graph looks like this.

And while I was there, YES I DID sign up for Camp in July. As with April, I’m a little fuzzy on what I would consider a win this time around. I am, after all, still pregnant–more so, in fact–and I did just move to a new house and I do still have a toddler and 2 jobs to contend with but knowing that I’ll also have a brand new child come November and between the old child and the new child and the 2 jobs, probably less time to write, the timing seems right, right?

Maybe I’ll write a short story. That seems doable.

Meanwhile, I’ve only edited the first 3 1/2 chapters of my last WIP. So there’s a project going places! Like to my beta reader with a comment approximating, “Not edited well, not even proofed at all, but I’d really like to know if anyone would possibly give a poop about this story. Here’s 3 chapters.”

Truth? The story seems interesting. The writing seems overly formal to begin with because I began narrating with the main character’s voice. I’m pretty sure I dropped that along the way. Hence the need to edit.

But, you know, whatever, because CAMP in July! There’s a new story to be told and I’m gonna go ahead and get to going about the business of figuring out what that might be!

(After I go to Target. Obviously. I have a new house to buy crap for.)

Stop This RV, I Want to Get Off

New plan: Finish this effing WIP and then set it aside before it drives me crrrrazy.

Accept that I will not be “winning” Camp this season but neither will I be packing a houseful the day before closing because I was too busy writing to prepare for the inevitable.

Write something else. For fun. Because this used to be fun before I got stuck in the nightmare of this particular story. Maybe something fluffy and romantic where my “prep” work includes staring at pictures of attractive celebrities and yet more attractive interior design to “get ideas” and “flesh out my characters”.

Nap more. Seriously. Because… I’m pregnant. And there is no work more strenuous that building a human being from scratch.

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Yes.

Who decided that camping pregnant was a good idea? Oh, me? I did that? Whoops, my bad.

Camp Comes Last

I’d like to say I took a few days off and now I’m back with a vengeance but it’s probably more accurate to say I’m back with a short-lived, half-hearted grudge. I haven’t written anything other than work-related emails in several days and it’s not looking like I’m going to get much done today either.

But sometimes when you have two jobs, a toddler, are selling your house, buying another and are pregnant, you have to prioritize doctor’s appointments and three hours of signing legal paperwork over your hobbies.

The good news is that, at least in my own head, I’ve resolved the central conflict of my WIP and all I have to do now is make sure that makes it onto the page in a satisfactory way. Then maybe write an epilogue. Then start the editing process which I will inevitably half-ass (what with all the doctor’s appointments, vendor meetings, and house-related shenanigans) before throwing that sucker up on Amazon before kid number two takes over my life. Which is September. So I have until September to completely finish and let go of this story.

You know, as soon as I get three seconds between meetings and appointments to like, breath.

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Me and My MC, learning the lessons

Here’s where I’m having some trouble with Camp:  I don’t know how to set up my project.

Because I’m not starting fresh, I’m finishing up. Because reaching a particular word count isn’t my actual goal but finishing this WIP logically and satisfactorily is. Because I want to finish writing and at least start editing. There’s no, like… button for that kind of goal.

And here’s the exciting part! I may have almost sort of finished the story… in a place that seems a little lazy but might actually be perfect. I won’t know for sure until I edit but there it is. Maybe the ending really is just my MC being like, “Listen, I learned this stuff about life and changed my way of thinking so where normally, I’d be freaking out and making plans to combat the situation just revealed to me, I’m going to chill the frig out, readjust my priorities, and go make out with my boyfriend instead.”

Also, maybe I should write a epilogue. Still, not going to be the 10,000 words (or more) I originally set as my goal. So luckily, I can adjust goals. But still not to “finishing a story and editing the bajesus out of it”.

Camp and NaNo’s stats counter seems more fit to writing something new. Lesson learned.

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Useless Writer Fret Post

More blog posts get written when I need to procrastinate than any other time in the history of ever.

I only wrote like, 290 word so far (which is only impressive if you see my stats from yesterday) and they’re not great but I don’t care. I just want to get them out. I just want to finish this damn story.

Part of me wishes I had started something new for Camp NaNoWriMo because I feel like I could be more excited for a new story with new characters that I don’t know so well yet. But I need to finish this one. I NEED TO. It’s driving me nuts.

Why can’t this woman just resolve her issues and move on? Why does she keep talking to me? Why do more things keep coming up? How far have I actually strayed from the original premise? Should I go back or just keep hiking this path and see where it takes me?

These are the things I’m thinking instead of just writing.

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