Let’s Talk Projects: June 2019

Wow. Is it mid June already? Time is flying by! Here’s my monthly productivity post in which I talk about my current projects, both personal and professional.

Writing Projects

Short Stories
The Happiest Place currently sits at 9400 words and I estimate I’ve got two scenes left to write.

Novels & Novellas
Since I last checked in I’ve written introductory chapters for a paranormal cozy (WOW) and a mystery novella (TSTL).

As for my next spy novel, Power Play, I’ve been thinking hard,  making notes, and eying the manuscript without touching it. I’ve been feeling too chicken to dive in! The manuscript still stands at about 30,000 words.

I’ll keep all these projects rolling forward over the next month.

Business Projects

Site Updates
Various fixes, including getting my new mailing list signup page to work properly.

Book Covers
I’ve been learning how to make book covers! It’s quite fun. I’ll continue to hire cover artists for my full-length novels, but I can’t afford to drop a couple hundred bucks on a cover for every short story and novella, so I figured I’d try my hand at cover-making. I like working on a cover at the same time I’m working on a story, as the words and photos share an emotional tone. Connecting words and pictures thematically is difficult but rewarding.

Finding a Publication Path for Short Stories
I’ll be done with The Happiest Place soon, and I’m not sure what to do with it. I could submit it to print mags for publication, or I could publish it myself, or I could even put it up as a freebie on my site. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

Questioning Amazon Ads
After spending some time learning about Amazon Ads I’m not convinced that advertising is worth my time. It seems that I’d spend a lot of time and money to learn how to ride the algorithms,  and then if I’m lucky enough to figure that out, I’d earn maybe $1,100 for every $1,000 I sink into the ad engine. This seems less like marketing than it does a shakedown.

A suitcase full of cash next to a gun.
Psst! Want a better search ranking?

Mostly what I’ve learned is that there’s a crowd of experts standing around with their hands out, insisting that they know they way to authorial riches. But what none of these experts seem to acknowledge is that there’s a big difference between marketing like Nora Roberts and writing like Nora Roberts. Harsh truth here: the former can’t replicate the success of the latter.

I see nothing wrong with running a promotion from time to time or having a reader newsletter with book news, but by playing the pay-to-click game I worry that most of us indie authors are doing little more than enriching the middle men in exchange for a few dirty pennies flung our way.

I could be wrong! But my gut says I’m better off focusing on my writing than throwing cash at Amazon.

Personal Projects

At the end of May I took an introvert week, canceling every appointment I could get away with. This restored my energy so well that think I’ll do another introvert week in early July.

As part of my internet hygiene project I mothballed my Twitter account three weeks ago. As a result, my brain feels far less glitchy and stressed. So far, so good!

My other personal projects include studying Spanish with a tutor, researching our next travel adventure (Germany!), and enjoying time with friends and family.

So, friends, that’s what I’m up to. What are you working on?