A Year in the Life: Week 3

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Writing: 25,000 words, all on “No Dominion”, the Kickstarter novella which has tipped over to a novel by breaking the 40K wordcount mark. I was hoping to have it done by today’s posting, but some Life Stuff has happened and I haven’t written since last Saturday.

Along those lines, I mentioned I was doing a “Febnowrimo”, a February 50K. I’m 15.2K into that, which, yes, I did all in the first 4 days of the month. The good news is that Life Happening hasn’t gotten me behind in wordcount because I had that initial surge, but I need to get back to putting words on pixels. How are your Febnowrimos going?

Work That Isn’t Writing: Spent the entire allocated work time of one Sunday packing up books to send out to contest winners. Or, more accuratly, I packed up about two books and some Christmas presents, and no, sadly, I’m not getting a jump on 2012 with those, they’re last year’s. :p I still have a whole lot of books to pack up, but Life Happened, so hopefully I’ll have most of that done before I actually post this (I’m writing it on the Tuesday prior to posting (eta: I did get everything packed up, as it happens.)). Also FINALLY packed up comics to send to the Best Agent Evar, as well as packed up the Important Stuff mentioned in the last post & got it all out in the mail.

Followed-up sending comics to agent with email to agent regarding proposals out there in the ether. Also sent panicked email to the Walker Papers editor regarding potential consequences of the Kickstarter campaign novel/la “No Dominion”, and how to deal with them in upcoming books. Also sent less-panicked email to the same editor regarding the numbers game that is a book’s launch week, which has resulted in a blog post of its own.

Seriously, folks, I know it doesn’t seem like it, but aside from the Christmas presents? This really is part of a writer’s life. I’m not kidding when I’m talking about work that isn’t writing. :)

Self-publishing efforts: “Easy Pickings” has been on Amazon & B&N a month now! The numbers–well, they’re rocking me like a hurricane, actually. I’m just going to focus on January’s sales numbers right now, and start reporting on this monthly from here on out.

Between Amazon & B&N, we sold about 1400 copies of “Easy Pickings” in January. The lion’s share–about 85%–was through Amazon. Now, we’ve done relatively little promotion for this; we’ve talked about in blogs and on Twitter/FB/etc, but mostly I think what’s driving these sales is “Others bought books like this” and “other books by these authors”. This is what’s *supposed* to happen, of course, and it’s a positive feedback loop: the more sales we have, the more likely they are to come up in those two categories. I would still like to do more promotional stuff and get it on Smashwords, but this week, see above under “Life Happens”. Still, wow, we’re pretty thrilled with the numbers we’re seeing! Yay!

Shameless Self-Promotion: Actually not so much of that, though the book launch stuff is mostly sorted. My heavy-handed promotion was for a friend’s book, this time around. :) Oh, and the random decision to send a full set of CE Murphy novels to somebody who supported Pat Rothfuss’s Worldbuilders, but that’s over by the time I post this so I won’t link to it. :)

Upcoming: Too Many items still on the to-do list: finish “No Dominion”, finish the edits on the malingering Walker Papers short story, write another Walker Papers short story, write another chapter for the graphic novel, & make headway on MOUNTAIN ECHOES, book 8 of the Walker Papers. Right. At this point I’ll take it if I can get the first 4 items on that list done, she said, taking a deep somewhat tense breath…

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7 comments to A Year in the Life: Week 3

  • Catie, last time I checked I do about 4 hours of “writing work that isn’t writing” per day, spend about 5 to 6 hours actually writing, and do life-stuff for the remainder. For me, working on the PR for the kickstarter project is taking a huge chunk out of each day. But it’s all good and most of it’s also fun. :)

    The above numbers are drastically different from the way I spent my writing hours back 20 years ago. Back then a lot of my non-writing writing chores was spent in out-of-home interviews and the library. Back then, much of my non-writing writing time time was spent sending out notices of new books and trying to get indies to order them, and traveling to cities within 100 miles doing signings and talks.

    The Internet has made library research nearly obsolete, in-person interveiws obsolete, and shortened my research time to nearly nothing. The loss of the bookstore market has meant that booksignings are more and more a waste of time (because no one shows up) so I do almost none of them, concentrating on Cons to reach fans. But the things that have reduced time spent not writing, have taken twice that time in other stuff. I spend a LOT of time on PR online now. A LOT. Okay. Enuff time spent not-writing. Back to work.

  • Hope the Life Stuff is not Bad Life Stuff and that you’re soon back on schedule with the Novella turned Novel. Thanks for these peeks into your process, Catie.

  • Ken

    Yes, sure hope that the Life Stuff isn’t of the “Bad” variety. Thanks for posting this Catie. Glad to hear that “Easy Pickings” is doing well :)

  • Catie,
    You rock. I totally admire your productivity and know it comes from lots of hard work. I need to focus when I’m BIC, which includes shutting of Skynet, email, and all the other Social Distractions.

    It’s also great to hear that easy pickings is doing well. I hope it keeps rolling for you both. I went over to Kickstarter and think I understand how that works.

    Thanks for the updates.
    Cheers,
    NGD

  • Cindy

    My “Febnowrimo” is coming along well. I am way above my January productivity. I am forcing myself to polish later.

    I don’t post very often, but I truly appreciate this site. I learn so much from all of you. Thanks,
    Cindy

  • Hey, thanks for sharing about the Amazon sales numbers. I’m always so happy to hear when an author actually makes sales. I’d think 1,400 sales in one month would classify Easy Pickings as worthy your time. Maybe those sales will not increase, but still much better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.

    Speaking of Kickstarter, a computer game just raised over $700,000 in 24 hours. It seems this crowd sourcing idea has legs. Could it be a way for small press to raise cash for publishing?

  • Catie – I love these peeks into your writing life! (And I can empathize with the novella-turned novel…)

    Congrats on the great response to EASY PICKINGS!