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Labor Day has come and gone, signaling the end of summer. Granted, the season doesn’t officially end for another couple of weeks, but functionally, summer is over. Kids are heading back to school and adults are settling into their work-a-day worlds, thoughts of vacations and get-away weekends having been wrapped in gossamer and stored for next year’s use.
Autumn is upon us, and far from feeling nostalgic for the loss of summer’s heat and sense of possibility, I’m looking forward to crisp, cool weather, tart red apples, and a kaleidoscope of fall colors as Mother Nature changes her garb.
Fresh pressed apple cider. A drive in the hills to admire the red, gold, and bronze foliage. Soft blue skies with scudding white clouds and just a breathe of chill. The honking of a chevron of geese overhead.
These are the delights of autumn and I’m looking forward to experiencing each and every one!
Farewell, Summer. You’ve been awesome. Welcome, Autumn. I’ve missed you, my favorite season, and I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted!
As you might have noticed, over the summer things have gone a little quiet over here. That’s not due to a loss of interest but to a wave of realife-a-titis. Several of our regular members have been extremely busy or are coping with personal disasters, so much of what we usually do falls to the wayside.
Take Will for example. I hoisted my middle daughter onto him, and now he’s doomed to live with a teen in puberty who can’t even speak the language properly for a fortnight. That’s taxing (although I have to admit, she’s a rather nice teen).
And I’ve been struggling to get my eldest prepared for her first ever job, and my youngest needs to be taken places so she won’t be jealous that she couldn’t fly to America too. Others are struggling with their health or with novel-birthing pains.
However, we will be returning to our regular schedule soon.
Don’t give up on us.
I worked like mad to set up the full omnibus of William L. Hahn’s “Judgement’s Tale” in time for July 4th. Unfortunately I didn’t get it done due to some unforeseen difficulties with font sizes and POD-supliers. It might take another week before the book will finally be available in stores all over the world since we’re trying a new printing service: Ingram Spark.
So what are my impressions when I compare Ingram Spark and Createspace (keeping in mind that I haven’t even finished setting up the first title yet)?
+ With IngramSpark the price for printing a book is very low which means it will be possible to keep the selling price as low as POD allows.
+ Also, in contrast to Createspace, it is possible to set up hardcover books which I will need to do for an Early Reader story I’ve planned.
+ Regular bookshops prefer buying books from Ingram for their customers since Amazon is such a big competitor.
+ With Ingram Spark, it is possible to decide how big a margin the bookshops will get which directly influences the final selling price (naturally, the higher the margin the more likely bookshops will stock the book).
+ Ingram Sparks distributes to places where Createspace doesn’t get to, although I’ve read that CS’s expanded distribution is the same as Ingram Sparks. If I find confirmation, this point gets cancelled. 😀
– Setting up a title costs $49 in Ingram and if I need to make changes, it will be an additional $25 per file (cover or book block). So I need to be extra vigilant with spotting mistakes and errors. It can become costly easily if I’d have to change things often. Createspace is completely free.
– From the second year on, distributing your books will cost an additional $12 per title per year. Depending on the margin I calculate for my imprint (usually $1 per title sold), I will need to sell at least 12 copies every year to make this worthwhile. With Createspace this doesn’t cost a thing.
o Both setup processes are simple and straightforward. It’s fairly easy to understand what needs to be done next.
So all in all, using Ingram is as easy as using Createspace. Whether we’ll sell more printed books that way remains to be seen. I’ll keep you posted.
I couldn’t imagine how it took George R.R. Martin SEVEN years, after the fourth book in his Song of Ice & Fire series (Game of Thrones), before he published the fifth one. It was inconceivable to me that, if you were a professional author, it would take SEVEN years to publish the next book in the series. I know he was busy with all the success of his books and the HBO series, but seriously SEVEN years.
I remember thinking this when the fifth book had come out in 2013. I had just published the first book in my series and thought myself so superior. After all, for my series I had produced the first book, Fire of the Covenant, in just over 18 months… and I was a rookie. My thoughts went something like, “Evidently Martin was no longer dedicated to his writing. He was probably spending all his time speaking at conventions, making the rounds of talk shows, partying in Hollywood, and all the other stuff that was non-writing.”
With this egotistical knowledge I charged full-speed ahead writing the next book in my series, Betrayal of the Covenant. I was so cocky that after a couple of months I started another series, the first book The Dragon Whisperer. It would only be about 80,000 words, half that of Betrayal, so no problem. I cruised along thinking I could get both books out by year end.
Everything was progressing better than I expected. I was writing over 10,000 words a week. Then my high-speed race toward completing both books, by the end of 2014, ran smack into a wall called Life Interruptus. Moving twice and sorting through 19 years of stuff, family illnesses, and a few other normal daily life issues brought my writing to a halt.
I have heard from many of my author friends how they have also suffered from Life Interruptus. We all had good intentions, we diligently kept to our daily writing schedule, we attacked our novels with all the passion and dedication we could muster. Yet, all this good will means little to the monster called Life Interruptus.
I know this sounds depressing, but have faith. For most people Life Interruptus is only a temporary condition. Yes, it may be a condition that can linger for a year or two or longer, but there is hope. In the meantime, as an author, I wrote here and there, even if only for a few moments and days apart. It helped me to remember the joy that writing always brought me. And the memory of this joy can kept the fire burning long enough for Life Interruptus to fade. After more than a year, I find myself writing more each day and getting back into the beginning of a writing routine. With any luck I will get Betrayal out by year end and can also start shopping The Dragon Whisperer around to an agent or publisher.
Given what I know now, I would apologize to Mr. Martin… If I could get past his secretary, publicist, agent, and bodyguards. I would tell him that I can easily understand how it took him seven years to write, revise, edit, and then publish the fifth book.
I have weathered my experience with Life Interruptus and realize that regardless of what comes, I will continue to write my books and feel the joy that it brings. No matter what happens I will survive this condition in the future.
How do I know I will encounter this condition again? I recently found out that the doctors are going to remove one of my kidneys. How do I know I will survive this new bout of Life Interruptus? Because I did it once, and know I can do it again.
What has been your Life Interruptus?