Competing and Competition
Hello my loyal readers. Happy Halloween to one and all. I hope everyone has a good time tonight trick or treating as well as a safe night. Be sure to look both ways before crossing the streets, get your candy checked in case of tampering, and brush your teeth before you go to bed after gorging on your treats.
As a bit of news, I want to let everyone know that I have decided to enter a writing contest on Writers Digest. In four thousand words or less, a short story in any of the genres of Love/Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller, Horror/Suspense, and Young Adult. Personally, I always enjoy a challenge so I picked a genre that was not yet in my repertoire and I went with Love and Romance.
It's a singular challenge to write an entire story in four thousand words, or so I think. You want to tell the whole story and still make it embellished with some sensational hook to draw in the reader. I finished the rough copy and as soon as I am finished with this blog I am going to begin the task of revising it.
As a child and even as an adult, I don't seek to compete against others. Mainly because it doesn't matter to me to do better at something than anyone else. The only competition I typically seek is against myself. How good am I compared to how I used to be? Do I jump higher, write better, run faster, or lift more than I used to? My only competition is against myself and I am happy to try and beat my old records.
However, when it comes to writing I think I might need to step up my game a little more. My books haven't sold in awhile and it's still a month away before my collected works will be coming out. I'm still getting that project revised and put in order. I need to occasionally "shake it up" with something new, and writing a love story seemed like a good way to get out of my comfort zone and into something new.
My submission is due on November the 7th. Not much time and so much to do. So be safe and well on your Halloween night. And if you're looking for something good to read, visit my books section and see if there's anything you want to buy for yourself or someone special in your life.
Back to the Real Work
Something I have been struggling with in my work as an author is the writing. Not coming up with a compelling story, but getting back to the actual writing. These past few months, I have been composing query letters for agents and marketing myself to try and boost sales. All the while, I'm not doing the work that I really love.
Therefore, I think I am going to designate only one day a week at doing the things that don't entirely contribute to my stories. I think on Fridays beginning next week that I will dedicate that day to manage my website, research publishers and literary agents, and market my books.
I think getting away from the work that I have come to think of as my calling is detrimental to my craft. Until I get a publishing agent, I am going to focus more of my week on bringing quality stories to the world.
The collected short stories of Trinity the Troublemaker will be prepared for release by December in time for Christmas. Once that project is completed I will be taking a break from Trinity to focus on the other projects I have in preparation. Trinity is always a joy to write, however there are always other stories to tell.
These new stories are going to require the services of a professional artist for the covers, and a lengthy time of story editing and revision. I hope that you will all find the stories to be real page turners and struggle with putting them down. I've been so busy trying to find help making my mark that I haven't been putting effort into making my mark.
These stories are coming, with or without a publisher or agent. If one of them want to hop on board once I get momentum, they're certainly welcome. Until then, I've got some readers to entertain.
Artwork and Minimalism
For the life of me, I cannot draw complicated art. Originally I intended to do a picture of Westrock for the collected works edition of Trinity the Troublemaker. I wanted to illustrate areas of the town that have significance in the books such as Trinity's home, the school, the hospital, and the high school stadium.
I keep having to remind myself that I am a good author, but my artistic abilities are at the third grade level. So, rather than show a road into town with a sign that says "Welcome to Westrock," I'm going to keep it simple and yet fun.
On the front cover, I have the title in multiple colored letters with my signature on the front. Beneath that, and looking up at the title I have Trinity peering over a brick wall. On the back cover, I have the back view of Trinity at the brick wall with her using a couple of garbage cans to help her look over the wall.
Simplicity is the key to making a good cover for me. I love writing about this little girl and her world, and it's nothing flashy or fancy. So my covers should represent the sheer childlike simplicity of a fun little girl who has a love for adventures and helping others.
The collected works for Trinity the Troublemaker will be available in December 2016, and will be the perfect gift for your family. Celebrate the holidays with a little girl and her friends who looks beyond our differences to make everyone feel welcome and important.
Hello my loyal readers and newcomers. I wanted to share my new plans about what's coming up. As far as timing the release of new products and re-releasing my current stories.
First of all, the stories that are already published and available on Amazon are going to remain on there and available. However, I am planning to make all three of the Trinity series available on Kindle as a part of a free promotion again. Amazon will only allow me to run one free or discounted promotion every three months for each book. I was thinking about doing the free promotion around Thanksgiving and Black Friday to extend through Cyber Monday. I plan on making all three stories available for free for five days on that weekend.
Next, I am planning for a December release of my collected works volume of Trinity the Troublemaker. What I will be working on until then for that book is formatting and uploading the manuscript to Create Space. Also, I will be working on the cover art for the book as well as the interior art as a feature in the collection. I plan on introducing images of the characters that I haven't otherwise drawn up in concept. The book will be in full color as well.
I think the collected works would be a lovely Christmas present for families, and their children. I've always tried to make my work suitable for children to read, but the most feedback I get is from parents and adults who have loved reading my stories. I'd love to get some feedback from children reading my stories.
For now, those are the plans. Additionally, I will be working hard to try to get my video blog operating. My recording equipment can be very temperamental. Plus, I think I need to work on my delivery on video. I feel very bland and watered down. Not interesting in the least. I think I get camera shy too much.
As I get things worked out, I will pass the word on to you my friends. I hope everyone is doing well and looking for some good books to read. I have had NO book sales in September. However, I attribute that to the move to my new home and not being able to be as active to market myself and my books. Hopefully, October will be different and I hope to make my best sales yet. The first month my print sales came online, I had five copies of the first book that were sold. The second and third stories have had no sales ever.
The books are available on Amazon, in print for $6.99 and on eBook for $2.99. Kindle Unlimited Members can read the three eBooks for free of course. And remember, I am donating part of the royalties to the "Ark of Hope for Children." So buying my books will help real life children who are victims of bullying and abuse. Although, if you don't want to buy my books and just give to the charity directly, you can. Whatever we can do to help children is need. I'm broke and poor, but I help with what little money I get from my books. If you aren't broke or poor, you can spare just a little change to make a big change in the life of a child.
It's all as simple as the choice to try.