Most writers dream, at least in part, to sell enough work that they can trade in the day job for a full-time writing career. In that regard I’m no different, except that I kind of love my job. Financially speaking, writing is a semi-expensive hobby. I don’t fish, hunt, spend time at local bars, gamble, boat, or play golf, so I rationalize the spend by noting that the few thousand a year I spend on writing is still less than the other hobbies I could pursue. And I do spend money on my novels. You and Me against the World has a current price tag of about $2,500. $900 for professional editing, $300 book cover, $250 for the print format and setup, $25 for expanded distribution, about $250 in book give aways, $200 in contest entry fees and my latest (perhaps ill-advised) $400 spend on a Kirkus review. (More on that when I receive the review)
I didn’t publish my novels to get rich or even to change careers. I just love when someone reads my story and loves the story. I know what it feels like to fall into a book, to close that last page and say “wow.” I want to be the source of that “wow,” because it’s worth more than the 70 cents I make if you purchase my novel at Barnes & Noble. I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to make a million a year writing novels, but I wouldn’t trade a 100,000 readers that made me no money for ten readers that made me a few dollars or even a few thousand. I embrace being a “part-time” writer. There is no pressure in it, I’m not banking my house on it, and I can enjoy the process and the interactions without panicking over the financial aspects. For me, I’d much rather be in your head than in your wallet.
Which brings me to the second point of today’s post.
I have a story idea that I have been working on (11 chapters). Although I should be hard at work on book 3 of the Creepers Saga, this other story won’t leave me alone. It’s a horror story and without my beloved zombies. It’s also causing me a bit of stress. Why? Well I’ve received nothing but great reviews for my first two novels. Readers really like it, as do I. I’m comfortable and confident with the pace, the characters, and the plot of The Creepers Saga – in other words I know what works and I know when I’m writing something that isn’t going to work. This other novel, however, is unfamiliar ground, because it’s new to me. It feels right, it seems good, but I’ve also learned a few lessons from writing the first two books. One of those lessons is this – before you get so married and ingrained in the story that you can’t let things go – get some input. It’s easier to see the things that don’t work or could be improved when you’re not so far down the road. A writer is much more open to change and to objective reflection early in the process.
So here’s the part where I ask for your head.
If you are interested in reading about 8K words of my new novel, The Devil’s Hour then I am interested in hearing your thoughts on several areas. If you find that after the first 8k words you have not fallen into a coma of boredom, you are welcome to continue with me on the journey (I think it will be a long novella or a short 65k word novel). In addition, for your initial input you will receive a free book upon its publication (unless you respond that it is complete trash in which case I’ll assume you don’t want a copy) and those who stay on the journey will receive my thanks (by name) in the notes or dedication section of the book. Here are the questions for the critique:
1. Does the story “grab” you early on?
2. Is the main character believable/likable?
3. Is this something, based on the opening, that you’d continue to read?
4. Is it too descriptive/not descriptive enough?
5. Is the character development adequate?
6. Does it move at a good pace?
7. Does any section strike you as an info-dump?
In Your Head Part II
As I began, I’m not in the writing business to be in your wallet, but in your head. I don’t want the $2.99 cost of the eBook version to be an obstacle. So if you are interested in reading You and Me against the World then I am interested in giving you a free copy. In return, I require nothing. Not a review, not an email, not a thank you. Asking for those things in advance makes the book not really free. Who wants to commit to a review before they know if they’ll even enjoy the story or even have time to read the story? To get your free copy, just visit Smashwords, add the book to your cart, and at check out enter this code – JQ54R
In Your Head Part III
I have a kindle, a computer and an Ipad, but I still don’t enjoy reading fiction in its electronic form. I need the book – the feel and smell of those cream colored pages. 80% of the reading world feels the same, so I’m not alone. I like to give away books, I’d give them all away but there is a certain cost to it, so I do a little each month. This month I’d like to give away ten copies to my blog followers. Of course it’s not free to me, so there is a small cost for you. If you want a paperback copy I only ask that you write a short review in exchange. One sentence, two sentences, a paragraph – the length is your call. To receive a free copy just email me at Raymond@nightmirrors.com with your shipping address – or leave a comment and I’ll email you.