Tuesday, April 21, 2015

So, Self-Publishing...

Novella draft 2 is finished; it's with a beta right now and hopefully, I can ask a few other people to read it over as well.

I've said before that I think this novella is bound for self-publishing, for a few reasons:

1. It's 29,000 words. When was the last time you saw a 29,000-word book on a shelf in your local bookstore?

2. It's historical fiction, but it doesn't feature any royalty or historical figures or events, really. It just takes place in the past with very outdated notions of society.

3. It has a pretty clear and relatively simple plot: Pearl wants to find her long-lost brother.

Here's what I know about self-publishing:

1. I'll want to find an editor and a cover artist. I think I'd like to try the formatting on my own, but we'll see.

2. There are options to go only through Amazon's KindleDirect, since the Kindle seems to be The Big E-Reader. But then there's also Kobo and GoogleBooks and the Nook, which are different formats from the Kindle.

3. Once it's ready and up...you get to market it.

4. Traditionally published authors sometimes write novellas and self-pub in between full-length novels.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How To Write a Novella

1. Come up with characters.

2. Write a novel with said characters.

3. Realize that you have more fun writing a subplot with a minor character than the main plot.

4. Realize you have no plot.

5. Have beta confirm your troubles with the novel.

6. Revise novel. Query novel. Get rejected.

8. Put novel aside.

9. Realize that you can't let go of the subplot and decided to write a novella.

10. Finish a draft of the novella.

Pearl's story is 98 pages long and 28,444 words. I'm going to let it sit for a few days, then do a re-read because I'm worried that it's still a little choppy. And now that it's its own complete story, I wonder if the resolution seems too easy.

I'll let Pearl have a word:

As she was walking to the coaching inn just after first light, Pearl glanced at her gloves. How worn-through they were. There were holes in the palms and in the grooves between her fingers. Oh, no. If she was going to meet a vicar—not to mention a long-lost brother—Pearl wanted to have new gloves.
            There happened to be a small shop near the coaching inn, which sold all manner of apparel, including gloves. She found a pair, costing only a few pence, and bought them. They were kid gloves, a cheaper version of the kind worn by finer ladies. Still, they didn't have holes in them and, Pearl realized, they were the first gloves she'd ever bought.
            On my own, with my own wages.
            She flexed her fingers. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: 20 Books Read

This year, I am aiming for 42 books counting toward my challenge. I've finished book 20, so here we go with the list:


11. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. Fictional biography/Historical Fiction/1920s/1930s. 3 stars. Review.

12. The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by Edmund Wilson. Personal Essays/Letters/Writers' Notes/Writing. 3 stars. 

13. Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse. Historical fiction/Journalistic fiction/WWII/Japanese literature/Translated from Japanese. 5 stars. Review.

14. Mischief and Mistletoe by Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Joanna Bourne, Patricia Rice, Nicola Cornick, Anne Gracie, Susan King, Cara Elliot. Short Stories/Anthology/Historical Romance/Christmas/Regency. 4 stars. 

15. Oleander Girl by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Contemporary/Coming of Age/Mystery/India. 4 stars. Review.

16. The Lady Most Likely: A Novel in Three Parts by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway. Historical Romance/Regency/Author Collaborations. 3 stars. 

17. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngoszi Adichie. Contemporary/Adult/Literary Fiction/Nigeria/Race. 4 stars. Review.

18. The Outlandish Companion: (Revised and Updated): Companion to Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, and Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. Companion Piece to the Outlander series/Essays/Notes/Writing. 3 stars. 

19. Too Dangerous For a Lady (Company of Rogues #16) by Jo Beverley. Historical Romance/Regency. 2 stars. Review.

20. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Classics/ English Literature/ Gothic Romance. 4 stars. Review.

What's everyone reading now, besides the A to Z Challenge blog posts? 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Random Jacobite History Lesson, Part 2

Ready for Random Jacobite History Lesson Part 2?

William and Mary
As long as James II's heir was one of his Protestant daughters, people seemed to be okay with putting up with James's Catholicism. But a son superseded the daughters, so when James' wife gave birth to a  son, Parliament was like "oh hell no" and began negotiating with William of Orange and his wife Mary (James II's elder, Protestant daughter) to take over the monarchy.

James II was attempting to grant freedom of religion to non-Anglicans, among other things, which made him suspicious. When his second wife had their son in 1688, rumors flew that the baby was not the queen's son, but a random child smuggled into the palace.

James II got kicked off the throne and his daughter and her husband took over in the Glorious Revolution; "Glorious" because there was no bloodshed.

In 1689, Parliament passed The Declaration of Right, which decreed that since James II "abandoned" his throne, clearly his daughter and her husband were best for the job. William would get to be King even after Mary's death and later, this declaration was extended to exclude James II, his Catholic heirs, then all Catholics from the British throne.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Random Jacobite History Lesson Part 1

I listened to an Outlander-related podcast today, where they explained the whole Jacobite movement which is a big part of Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber. It occurred to me that, since my friend Jess is reading Dragonfly in bits and pieces--and I'm the history nerd in my triumvirate of besties--that I'mma try to explain the Jacobite rebellion.

Then maybe Nali, who somehow made it through Wolf Hall although I quit reading it at about 25% through--will explain what the heck that book was about to me.

So here goes.

We'll start with this guy, Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Nice wig, huh? Charles II became king in 1660--this was a big deal because his father, Charles I, had been beheaded in 1649 and then England descended into civil war and Oliver Cromwell took over, then he died and nobody liked Cromwell's son, so they got Charles II to come back from France and be king.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

IWSG: Self-Publishing



It's the first Wednesday of April, which means it is April Fool's Day, the day for April posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, and the first day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Good luck to all of you participating in that!

As usual, if you want to check out the IWSG, go here. Our co-hosts for April are: Suzanne Furness, Tonja Drecker, Toi Thomas, Rachna Chhabria, Fundy Blue, and Donna Hole!

Writing-wise, where am I? I've put my novel to the side for a short period of time while I work on the novella, which is shorter, a little less complex and already written because it was a subplot in the novel I queried last year.

I imagine I'll follow this process when it's finished: edit it, ask around for some beta readers, revise it...and then what? Is there even a market for historical novellas? I doubt agents would be interested; it's not like novellas get published all that much in trad publishing.

More and more, the idea of self-publishing the novella has been looming in my mind. I have writer friends who have self-published--some quite successfully--and I know many of my fellow IWSG'ers have self-pubbed as well. Historicals aren't a big market in the world of self-pubbed ebooks, but it's a channel I'd like to explore for the novella, which is, so far, 95 pages long. It's not something I'd want to do for a longer project, but the idea has been nagging at me and I've been reading up on self-publishing as a result.

When I was at Pace studying Publishing, self-publishing wasn't a thing yet--and look at how much it's grown! It's exciting and it's a new set of skills to acquire. I don't expect big sales out of a single novella, but I do want it out there in the world of stories and readers.

Advice? Guides? Steps to take? How did you go about self-publishing, if you have?