To B, or not to B: that is the question…

I know lately I’ve drawn a lot on here.  It’s been fun but here is a normal blog post… boring I know, but I still needed to do it. 😀 (FYI ~ I couldn’t help myself there’s a funny at the end.)

This is the back and forth topic that a lot of us are now being forced to choose.  The first choice we have is do we self-publish or not.   That is an entire different blog post that many authors have done, and a choice that only you can make on your own.  But if you’ve made up your mind to self-pub, here is the second choice and a new question… Do we go with the $.99 book that Kindle is offering us?  We all keep hearing the rags to riches stories.  And, although we know our work is good, we are also aware that there is only one JK Rowling out there and unfortunately it’s not us. (Ms. J.K. Rowling, if you are actually reading this, please give me a shout out. 🙂 <– Shameless promotion, mixed with wishful thinking.)

To get back on track, I’m going to list the perks and the downs. Yes, another pros and cons list by yours truly. This one is about the 99 cent books which are becoming labeled B books –just like the old B movies.  I shall start positive with the perks.

The pros…

1. Your book will sale. There is truth to it.  People don’t mind wasting a buck on a book when a latte’ costs 4 to 5 times as much.

2. You will make a profit — IF you did it all yourself.  You still might make a profit if you hired an editor, which, no matter what, you should do everything you can to be properly edited, even when it costs 30 to 45 cents a word!

3. Well, there is no three I just felt there should be at least one more…

The cons…

1. You will be labeled as a B author. That is not “you might,” you WILL be labeled.  The truth of the matter is we do not yet know in 20 years if that will matter, but we know right now it’s not a great thing.  If you are planning on NEVER going traditional or you think only snobs will care and bookstores are dead… then being labeled doesn’t matter one bit to you… which is great! Go for it!

2. Traditional publishing is not dead, it’s just a little sick and chances are it will recover. There will be changes but it will recover.  The only indie movement we have to compare this new one to is the one the music world faced years ago.  Music labels and big companies didn’t die, they just changed.  By stating this I’m saying we shouldn’t place all our eggs in either basket.  I think there is going to be a meeting ground.  Why is this a con when we can just about guarantee that self-pubs are here to stay too, you might ask. The reason is we know that self-publishing will not dirty an author’s name, but we have no idea yet if being a “B” author will.  If, by some unforeseen event, the entire self-pub dies out, and one is labeled a “B” author, traditional pubs are less likely to tarnish their name by publishing a “B” author.

3. This is going to sound very cliché, but there is nothing in the world like holding your book in your hands.  It’s very much like seeing your child for the very first time.  You love to just look at it and hold it.  After all you created that book.  I’ve held my book in e-format… not the same.

Here is a good link to read a little more… http://www.publishingebooks.blogspot.com/

Now before everyone gets mad at me for what I’ve said please read this last part.  The reason this blog is up is because for the last 3 months I have taken this topic into the deepest consideration.  I have asked myself, “How fad is it?”  “How bad would I suffer?”  But after long, hard deep, consideration I have decided that I will just keep doing what I’m doing.

Note ~ I cannot stress editing enough. Before you submit to agencies, edit. Before you self-pub, edit. Before anyone but betas read it, EDIT! Have a pro look over it and fix what you, your friends, and your family didn’t see. It is VERY worth it! Your book Your baby deserves a fair start on the selves.

Note Note ~ Yes, I broke a writing rule and used ‘you’ all over the place.  Please forgive me Mrs. Brundidge, you and Mrs. Fleming are still my fav HS teachers! (My hubby is too, but he was never my actual teacher.)

Note Note Note ~ Some people do love B movies! Just NEVER watch Worm Eaters your eyes, tummy, and mind will thank you.

Juggling…

I have a few books that I am working on. The Vampiress Sagas, of course, is the one at the very front of my work load.  There are more though.  I have been working on a comedy sci-fi that I truly hope is funny.  Another one that I’m working on is a YA fantasy.  Then I have family life, kids with school, husband just back to work, and (for those of you who don’t know… I’m finally talking) in September I’m due to have another baby.  So, yeah, right now I’m juggling.
The Vampiress Sagas is my prime, ‘you have to work on this’ book.  There will be four in that series when it is done.  But there will also be a planned three in another series with a large amount of the same characters.  I’ve fallen in love (or a wonderful dislike) with most of the heroes, villains, and anybodies in this series that I don’t know if I will ever tire of working with them. (Ahhhh, warm fuzzies.)
The sci-fi book is my second priority with work, and the one my husband is dying to read the most.  He absolutely loves the storyline.  He loves the others too, it’s just this one makes him laugh and it tests some of my boundaries.  I’m writing this one a little differently, and working on changing some of my style… just for this book.  I work on this story when I’m in a more playful mood and just can’t settle into my vampire world.  This book also takes very little historical research.  So if I’m stuck in a doctor’s office for an hour I can just freely type without having to worry about investigating the past.
Just like with The Vampiress Sagas my YA fantasy has been in my head for years.  When I was in high school I wrote a short story of it in a journal.  I’ve also, over the years, have had several dreams with this storyline.  I work on this when I’m in a dreamy mood.  And although the characters in this book and the sci-fi one are fun, enjoyable, completely developed, I just can’t see either being more than one book worth, so no sequels are planned.
There is also an additional book that I have to start thinking about… I think it will be a novella.  My 10 year old requested that I write a werewolf book.  I’m going to need to think about it very carefully.  I’ve never planned on writing anything with werewolves.  I’ve loved and enjoyed several movies and books featuring or ‘starring’ them, I just never planned on this.  I think it’ll be a challenge, but one I’m sure I can handle.  I’m only doing it because she was a little broken hearted that my vampire book had sharks, zombies, and vampires, but not her favorite… the werewolf.  I still will not add one in my vampire world because they don’t work there, but I will write a story just for her.
My husband started back to work two weeks ago, but his students just came back last week.  He has been upset about the lack of reading that will go on this year.  His school, like so many others, got rid of their AR reading program and they are not getting another reading program in its place.  With him being the high school librarian he is going to need to come up with an incentive program for the kids or most of them will never read.  It’s really sad.  My daughters start back soon and they are both a little eager.  And everyone wishes that my due date was in July so we could have started the adjustment period with the new baby when the family was all at home.
So here I am working on three different stories, while trying to think of a fourth.  My husband and kids are getting ready for school and my baby is getting ready for her big day… the day that will always be her birthday.

Here is my little question/s for you… How many books are you taking on at once?  And if you are also adjusting to the new school year, how are you taking it?

I was just e-mailed my Press Release…

The Strongest Fire
Book One of the Vampiress Sagas

On New Year’s Day in the year 1000, a young widow is suddenly plunged into the vampire underworld. In The Strongest Fire (published by iUniverse) by Sarah Winters, Mary must learn to adapt and survive in her strange new existence.

Having lost both her husband and young daughter to untimely death, Mary is used to being alone. But having gone to live with and help her brother and his wife raise their 12 children, she is rarely all by herself. One cold night, though, when she isn’t sheltered under the watchful eyes of her father and brother, Mary is accosted by a vampire named Barnabas. His bite changes her life forever.

Barnabas explains that he is very selective about choosing people to join his band of the undead. He learned of her by keeping tabs on his family; Mary’s deceased husband is one of Barnabas’ descendants. Her great beauty and emotional strength appealed to the vampire, who determined to make her his own.

Now Mary must learn to survive in a new life that isn’t really life at all. She is taken to Barnabas’ ship to join his band of sea-faring vampires as they seek adventure in such varied places as Ireland, Africa, Iceland and Greenland. The all-male crew of vampires welcomes Mary for the most part, but her adjustment is not easy. In addition to learning to live without her family, Mary must also get used to her new cravings, which she has to sate exclusively with fish.

Winters’ novel is written for the most part for a late-teen and adult audience and anyone interested in vampires and medieval times. Readers will enjoy this adventure-filled story that takes a slightly different approach to the typical blood-thirsty vampire tale.

About the Author
Sarah Winters grew up in a military family and spent the first five years of her life in Washington, several cities in Germany, Texas and California. She continued to live in different cities and towns along the coast of California before finally settling in the south of the state. Winters is currently a stay-at-home wife and mother. She hopes to continue writing more novels.

The Strongest Fire: Book One of the Vampiress Sagas

Loves first kiss or loves first crush…

Everyone keeps asking me what it feels like to have a book out.  The best answer I can give is in a metaphor.

 It’s your senior year.  You’ve been dating a very handsome and wonderful guy for almost 6 months.  Neither you nor he has said, “I love you” yet.
Your heart skips a beat when you pass him in the halls.  You smile when you hear his voice on the other end of the phone.  You know you’re falling in love with him.  But why hasn’t he said that he loves you?  This feeling is making you worried and uncomfortable.
He calls after school on a Friday and asks if tomorrow you would like to go out to your favorite restaurant with him … just the two of you … no friends.  You feel the butterflies in your stomach and try not to sound too eager when you say “yes.”
You and he have been on many dates before, but usually friends are there too.  And he’s come over to watch movies at your house.  You’ve been over to his a few times as well.  You always see him, at least once, over the weekend.  But this date was going to be special; you’re going to tell him how you feel.
That night you can’t sleep.  You don’t even feel like calling and talking to your best friend because if she finds out it might get to him before you tell him.  She’s a great best friend, but you can hold your breath longer than she can hold a secret.  You lay there most of the night thinking of all the things he might say.  You’re hoping your brave enough tomorrow.  You’re scared, but you still love him.  You think about not going tomorrow out of fear, but you need to.  If you don’t tell him tomorrow, you know you never will.  You finally pass out into dreamland.
The next morning, when you wake up, you have a new zit in the dead center of your forehead.  You take longer than you ever have getting ready.  Thank goodness you started at noon and he isn’t going to pick you up until 6pm.  When you get ready you cover up your pimple with your bangs and some foundation.  You wear your hair down and in curls; because that is the way he likes it.  You take your time with each curl to make sure it is faultless.  You wear a dress that is most flattering to your curves.  You shaved your legs more careful then you ever have before; out of fear of having to wear a bandage under you tights.  You do your make-up just a little different, but it turns out great.  As you put on your new shoes you see you have a run in your tights.  With a heavy sigh you change them, now you are ready.  You look in the mirror.  Everything is done.  You look at your hands, you forgot your fingernails.  Tonight you need everything perfect, you don’t want one single detail to go unnoticed.  You sit down and do your nails.  The doorbell rings right as you are putting on your lip gloss and perfume.  You are ready.  You walk down the stairs, more nervous than you’ve ever been before.  He’s there waiting for you.  Your mom tells you look cute, she smiles, and leaves after you’ve descended the stair case.  He helps you with your coat.  You wished he would say something.
On the way there he mentions that you smell nice.  You smile and say thank you, so happy to receive a complement.  At your destination he turns, looks at you, and smiles but says nothing.  He gets out of the car.  You feel very panicky right now.  You’re out here, no friends to joke with, no car of your own to leave in, what if he dumps you and you’re all alone.  The car door opens, it’s him.  You step out.  Both of you walk into the restaurant.  You can’t find words.  The two of you always talk, but there are no words now.  You feel a lump in your throat.  You look around nervously.  When you are both seated he makes a joke about how maybe the two of you should have come with a few friends.  That didn’t help you any, now you’re thinking about not saying anything and never leaving your house again.
As you are sitting across the table from him you look at him.  He is so handsome.  He is everything you love and want in a boyfriend.  You think of your first date for a minute and smile at him.  Then, without much more thinking, you say it … you say, “I love you.”  He looks at you for what feels like eternity with a blank stare.  You just wish you could crawl under a rock and hide.  But you said it, it’s out there.  He knows and you are awaiting his response…

 Yeah, that is where I am right now.  He’s staring at me.  I know that he is going to give me many different answers.  Some will be bad, some good, but I hope that the good out weighs that bad.

For all authors out there who have been here before me, I just want to let you know; I think you are all very brave people.  For all of you that are getting here … I hope he says that he loves you very much.  Good luck to you all!

August, September, October, November…

I have not counted days, weeks, and months like this since I was expecting my daughters.
Here’s what my chart thingy/timeline looks like right now.  I still don’t have any clue when my book will be done.  I know I’m close.  I know that even though I am close bad things can still happen.  I know I’ll have one more look at everything before it’s ready to be finished.  I don’t know how long that will take on their side, but from what I understand on my side it should just be a quick check and a stamp of approval.  I’m still hoping everything will be done before the Holidays

Send Marketing Success Workbook 08/03/2009 Ready  
Implement Proofreading Cover Corrections 11/10/2009 Active  
QA Proofreading Interior Modifications 11/10/2009 Ready  
Submit Materials 07/29/2009 Success  
Evaluate Manuscript 08/03/2009 Success  
EE Preparation 08/04/2009 Success  
Conduct Editorial Evaluation 08/04/2009 Success  
Conduct Evaluation QA 08/13/2009 Success  
Send Evaluation to Author 08/13/2009 Success  
Author Review Evaluation 08/17/2009 Success  
Editorial Consultation 08/17/2009 Success  
Submit Revised MS-Post Eval 08/28/2009 Success  
Conduct edit 08/28/2009 Success  
Conduct Edit QA 09/11/2009 Success  
Send Edit to Author 09/15/2009 Success  
Assign PSA to Project 09/24/2009 Success  
Prepare for Design 09/24/2009 Success  
Polish Cover Copy 09/24/2009 Success  
Setup Proofreading 09/30/2009 Success  
Design Interior 10/01/2009 Success  
Design Cover 10/01/2009 Success  
Author Review Edit 09/18/2009 Success  
Conduct Interior QA 10/02/2009 Success  
Conduct Cover Design QA 10/05/2009 Success  
Submit Final MS – Edit 10/06/2009 Success  
Confirm Proofreading Readiness 10/06/2009 Success  
Conduct Proofreading 10/06/2009 Success  
Conduct Proofreading QA 10/29/2009 Success  
Send Proofread to Author 10/29/2009 Success  
Author Review Proofreading Interior 10/29/2009 Success  
Author Review Proofreading Cover 10/29/2009 Success  
Submit Proofreading Corrections 11/10/2009 Success  
Implement Proofreading Interior Corrections 11/10/2009 Success  

But is it worth it…

The PSA thing could have gone a little better, but everything got worked out in the end.  I guess my PSA is on maternity leave and another lady is taking her workload and well… it just got a little confusing.  It seems to all be fine now and everything is ok.  At least I expected a few bumps in the road.

Now on to the next part, this is where I’m going “Oh crap, what do I do?”  Marketing!  There is a ton of different options in the marketing area.  You could spend $100,000 here easy and still want to get a few more things.  This is a hard area.  I was thinking of spending another $600 to $1,000, which I could make in 1 large payment or over 4 monthly smaller payments.  I could do that, but then there is this package that I was told about by my Senior Market Consultant.  It’s lovely and it cost $3,000 which is more than we planned on.  But it is perfect.  But ouch! I don’t know if we can take another hit of that much cash, and the truth is, I don’t know if I’m worth it.  If so, my book would come to near $10,000, maybe over.  I would have to look over everything again to see exactly how much.  I felt the edit was worth it, I felt the proofread was a must, and I know this book won’t sale itself, but is this worth it?

Here is the link so you can view and judge…

http://www.iuniverse.com/Servicestore/ServiceDetail.aspx?ServiceId=BS-5001

Yes, I do want it.  I’m not saying that.  It would be sweet if I could have it.  But can we do it?  This one I just don’t know.  I know if we did, I would have to wait until after Christmas to do it.  That’s a fact.  I know I should sleep on the idea first anyway.  But can I ask my family to be broke for another 4 months because of me and my book?  Because that is what it would come down to.  We would be very broke, nothing in the house could break, but we could do it.  It would just be very very very very very very tight.  And the payments would be $749 a month for 4 months… ouch and *deep breath*

My wonderful husband is leaving this up to me, but I don’t know if I want that kind of weight that comes with that kind of “do what you want” gift…

Happy Halloween one of the craziest times of the years…

Just in time for my daughter’s birthday I get back my proofread.  So of course it’s in the back of my head and will be there until this weekend is over.  I forgot not only is it b-day party, slumber party, Halloween party, its family b-day party at grandma’s on Sunday.  WHY DID I SAY YES?!?!?!  I think my daughters have discovered the ‘ask an author while they are in the middle of writing and they will say yes to things (sometimes) without thinking’ fact.  I had already said yes to the slumber party and Halloween party while I was not under the influence of characters in a book.  It was the extra party I didn’t plan on.  Then my husband reminded me that we are going over to his mom’s Sunday and that’s about the time I started banging my head against the wall.
The proofread looks really good.  There are very few problems and I am allowed 50 free changes.  The book cover looks a little different than I thought… they didn’t use the font I requested.  The way it looks though is nice, it’s not bad at all.  My husband doesn’t think I should ask to change it, so I probably won’t.  They did do something slightly odd.  I didn’t want a dust jacket/clothbound and it looks like they set me up with that type.  The reason I requested casebound is because I hated working with the dust jackets when I was in the library and I always take them off when I read a book, as do both of my daughters and my husband.  But I’m guessing it was just part of the package and they just designed it.  At least I am hoping that is the case.  But I will call on Monday and ask.  All and all I think I will be done with this part soon hopefully a day or two after this party weekend
I hope everyone has a safe night.  If you are drinking please let someone else do the driving, hitting a child who is out trick-or-treating would be a nightmare for everyone.