Hutch & A’ris finally have their title!

I know, I know, I can’t keep referring to my current WIP as ‘Hutch & A’ris’ or ‘Untitled’ – that’s just annoying. I admit this one was tough – the story came to me before the name, which is backwards (per my usual) and now that I have surpassed the 30% mark for my word count goal, I really needed to give this thing a proper title.

I bounced ideas off of my peers and the hubby. I scribbled in my writer notebook till my fingers cramped. Many sounded awesome, but nothing really felt right. I kept coming back to a themed idea for the series and even though it might sound vague to those who’ve yet to read the story – I think it works perfectly for the content of this first book.

Anyway! No more babble, here it is – Book 1 of the Ernoth Chronicles will be titled: *cue dramatic movie music…dun-dun-dunnnn*

‘The Dry Lands’

Phew *releases deep breath* Now that it’s out there, I can relax a bit. Believe it or not, writing an untitled WIP has really stressed me out! I’m happy with the end result, though it’s far from what I was originally aiming for…but like I said…all will fit in due time. 😉 Now Hutch and A’ris can go on creating havoc and trying to save the world (or theirs at least) and not worry about such little things as the name of their own story. They were feeling a bit displaced there for a while, but I have faith they will return to their regularly scheduled antics with an abundance of enthusiasm now.

And FINALLY the Muse will stop cursing me out every time I open the former ‘Untitled WIP’ in Word. Hey, it’s the little things that make the Muse happy. Like copious amounts of chocolate and the random glass of wine. Neither of which, to my sudden horror, I have in the house at the moment. Excuse me as I lock the Muse up for the night, and hope she doesn’t invade my dreams with nightmares to get back at me for forgetting those two things on the grocery list. I mean, I did give her a new WIP title today. We should be good. For the next few hours, at least.

 

Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Muse Bite!

 

Songs on Repeat

I’ve got the headphones on while I write Hutch & A’ris and keep hitting repeat on the following songs…

See where I’m going with this? Playlist bliss…

What’s the secret to selling ebooks?

1000sales

This week I hit a monumental milestone that I will never forget: I’ve sold 1,000 books this month, and it’s not over just yet. This is mind-blowing and beyond exciting, but also humbling, because next month I could drop down to 100 sales. I’ve been asking myself, ‘What is the secret to selling ebooks?’ You might be wondering how I sold 1,000 copies this month, and I could list all the things I’ve done over the last year to get to this point, but would it help you? I’m not sure.

The reason is this – each author and each of their books are different. We all have our own schedules, and marketing expertise. Books don’t just need to be of good quality to sell, they need to be promoted properly. I know what I’ve done the last three months that has worked for me – but will the same things work for you? Maybe, maybe not. But I can tell you what I think every author should do:

  • Write. This sounds simple but it’s not. Write, write, write…and then write some more. Write until your manuscript is as close to perfect as you can make it. And then go through and re-write the weak points.
  • Hire an Editor. An actual Editor, by the way…someone who gets paid to edit manuscripts and can be brutally honest with you. Their job is to make sure your work is the best it can be.
  • Know your audience. If your book is about an 18yr old heroine, marketing to the YA or NA crowd will get you more dedicated readers than marketing to the Adult Contemporary crowd.
  • Master Social Networking. Why? Because you can meet thousands of strangers online that might want to read what you have written – and unless you hit the streets, stopping all those thousands of people who might fit your audience, networking online is the best way to go. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc…all great places to meet new people who like to read. Be careful with this though – there is a fine line between sharing your books and spamming your followers.
  • Brand yourself. Make your name something people will remember by labeling it the same way on each book, using hashtags with your name, and having places you can send people to online for more info. Websites are great, blogs are wonderful, Author pages are mandatory. Be reachable, and readers will find you.
  • Listen to your readers. Do your biggest fans want a follow-up to your last book? Do they seem interested in you combining genres or would they love to read something different from you? In the end, the writer is in charge of what they write, but if you know what your biggest supporters would love to see, it can help steer you in a direction that makes your current fan base happy and brings in a new audience.
  • Keep writing. So you released a book and it is doing well, what now? Well, it’s natural for a book to have a peak time, and eventually that book will taper down and if you don’t have a new release, or the promise of a new release for your readers to look forward to, your sales will slow or even, worst case scenario – stop. Market what you have out, always, but keep writing. Putting fresh books out there keeps your biggest supporters reading, but also continues to bring in new readers.
  • Make friends. Yes, writing is an isolating job at times. It’s super easy for us to hide at our desks all day and perfect the art of being an introvert. But everyone needs friends. And that includes writers. Find a group you can relate to locally, or online, and surround yourself with them. They are your peers, your inspiration and your support. They are your people.
  • Love what you do. If you don’t love writing, it will show in your work. If you aren’t in love with your book – who else will be? Writers are their harshest critics, so don’t let that fool you – writers are usually NEVER 100% satisfied with their projects. But, that being said, you have to be able to look at your story and say, ‘I like this. I would read this’, otherwise your chances of anyone else saying that are pretty slim.

Like I said, what works for me today might not work for me tomorrow and it might not work for you at all, but all of those tips up there have led me to where I am today – helping to pay the bills and making awesome friends along the way. It’s possible. I’m proof. 🙂

 

Happy Weekend!

Thursday Writing Tip

This little tip is for the writers that stress over the question, ‘How long should my chapters be?’ My answer – it really shouldn’t matter.

Give your chapters room to breathe. Often times, us writers have an idea of how many words work per chapter, but limiting your chapters to a certain word count can put restraints on your story.

Think about it this way – as the reader, do you care if Chapter Three is 2,350 words and Chapter Four is 1,500 words? No, probably not. Why? Because the reader is reading to be entertained and if your chapters do that, they probably don’t care about how many words are in them. And they probably aren’t counting them either. Chapters that are short are fun at times when the reader doesn’t have hours to spare, and long chapters are okay because the reader knows how to use a bookmark. At least, we hope.

I’m not saying just write and do your chapter breaks whenever you want. Consistency is helpful for readers, because a few chapters in, they’ll have an idea of your writing style, and how long they have to go to finish each chapter, but there is no right or wrong way to establishing chapter lengths. Each chapter should have a story relevant to the whole book, and sometimes the writer can achieve this in a few words, sometimes not.

When I first started writing, I obsessed, and I mean OBSESSED over making each chapter close to two thousand words. I’m not sure why, but that felt like a good number for me. And it took me…oh, three books, I’d say, before I realized it’s not the NUMBER it’s the CONTENT that should be important. I still hit around 2k per chapter now, but not intentionally. I let the chapters choose their length, so all those little stories fit in the book better. And it takes the stress off me a bit. “I need to write 500 more words to finish this chapter…” is no longer an issue. If the chapter is done, it’s done. Period.

So stop stressing about your chapter word count. Just write. You can go back and fix your chapter breaks later, if you must. Write the way you want your work to be read, and the numbers won’t matter so much.

 

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday Teaser of Hutch & A’ris

“Easy, lad. I’ve something for the girl, is all. I trust ya to give it to her?” Hutch snatched the item from the man’s hand and shoved it into his back pocket. “It be important. Don’t ya open it on y’er own, ‘stand?”

“Noted. Are you the one she spoke of the other night, following her?”

The man nodded but his smile faltered when Hutch stepped closer and slammed him in the chest with an open palm. “You do that again, and I’ll hang you by the neck off the side of the tallest building in this crap-hole of a town by your own cloak, understand?”

“I got no ill-will towards ya two’s. Just doin’ my job, is all.” He stepped away and turned to the side, facing the empty desert. “Just be sure to give that to the girl. Tell her…it has started.” He turned his back on Hutch and walked away, straight toward the empty dunes of the north in a flutter of coral-blue fabric.

– Copyright Trish Marie Dawson, Hutch & A’ris

 

Happy Tuesday!