Tuesday, December 28, 2021

2021 Roundup

I used to do roundup posts, way back when this was my sewing blog, and it was a good way to keep myself organized and accountable. I think I'll start doing monthly posts this coming year and see if, by announcing it publicly, I actually get everything done that I plan.

This year, continuing pandemic weirdness notwithstanding (or perhaps because of), was a pretty productive year.

I submitted Lady, in Waiting to my publisher and finished edits.

I finished a solid draft of my 1930s book, My Sister's Child, which I'm editing now.

I got my rights back to Songbird and A Wider World, and I figured out the formatting and self-publishing process and got both of them back up before the end of the year, and I've actually sold some books!

In non-writing, I did a few craft shows, and apparently it felt as good for customers to be back out again as it did for the crafters, because they were overall good experiences, plus - again - I sold some books!

Since it's almost the new year, I'm trying to get a few more odds and ends tidied away, not to mention actual, physical tidying of our house, which looks a bit like a craft store exploded in the downstairs. Which is not good, since the sewing room is upstairs.

What about you? What's your biggest accomplishment for 2021, other than making it through with sanity mostly intact, and hopefully still liking the people you share space with? Let me know.

Back soon with my goals for 2022.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Happy Holidays. Get some rest

I'm happy to announce that both Songbird and A Wider World are now available again in paperback from all the regular online venues, and if you so choose, you can order from your favorite brick-and-mortar bookstore or even ask your library to purchase either or both. Did you know you could do that? You can still read them - for free - and I'll still get a royalty! Win/win!

Aside from the technical hijinks (which are beyond my capacity to explain at this point) of getting the books back up for sale, and the inevitable slippery slope to the holidays, not much has been happening here. (Though books and holidays are enough).

I did do one local craft show in town, well managed and with Covid protocols in place, and then a quick appearance at the local farmers market. Sales were good, and it was enough to reinforce that while I enjoy making and selling and interacting with customers, I enjoy writing more. But writing isn't going to pay the bills anytime soon, so I'll still be doing both, as and when the world allows.

Happy holidays to everyone. Signing off until the new year, when I'll have a roundup of what I've managed to accomplish in 2021, pandemic notwithstanding, along with a snippet from A Wider World that will lead directly into February's release, Lady, in Waiting.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

What a long, strange trip it's been


This thought occurs with increasing frequency. I just passed the third anniversary - December 6 - of pitching the manuscript for Songbird for the first time on Twitter. It was a pitch event called PitMad, where you tweet a pitch to your book, and the only people who are supposed to like it are agents and publishers. 

I got three likes on Songbird's pitch. Two were agents, one of whom hasn't gotten back to me yet, so I assume she changed her mind. The second agent wanted the book drastically rewritten in a very different voice and I turned her down. The third like was from my former publisher, and if you've been following along for some time now, you know that went pretty well.

But now I'm on my own, and looking back at these three years, I see how much I've accomplished. Not discounting the help of the publisher, I still produced Songbird and A Wider World, both the writing and the editing, and participated in the process of publishing. Not liking Songbird's first cover, I commissioned and paid for the new cover (and then the cover for A Wider World), because I felt they suited the books better. This was good, because when I left my publisher, I owned the rights to my covers and only had to have their logo removed. 

I wrote, and edited, and prepared Lady, in Waiting (book 3) for publication, which, now that I'm independent, will be coming out in February, rather than April, 2022. I've also completed a very workable draft of my 1930s novel, My Sister's Child. This will be completed and ready to release in October, 2022. 

It really boggles my mind that I worked on Songbird for such a long time (it existed pre-internet) and yet once I started showing my work to the wider world - no surprise where that title came from! - it turns out I can produce much faster in a way that does not, at least in my view, take away from the quality of the work. One of the first things I posted on this blog when I began to talk about publishing was the statement "get out of your own way." 

I keep learning, over and over again, just how much I was in my way, and how even now, there are still ways for me to step aside and let me get more done.