Raeann Blake (Author)

Ramblings from Raeann

Posts Tagged ‘writing’

What’s Coming In 2013?

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on January 1, 2013

New-Year-in_3_1As most of you know, I work full-time and write, rewrite, edit, publish, and promote on nights and weekends. During at least the latter part of 2012, I have spent much more of those “author-time” hours promoting than any other activity. This includes promoting not only my work, but other authors as well. As a new author, I felt this was necessary and I don’t regret that. It has been successful beyond what I ever imagined and I have a great group of loyal readers who helped to make it so.  As happy as I am with that success and as happy as it makes me to help other authors in any way I can, I am not happy with the lack of progress on the remaining books that are still sitting there waiting to be polished and published. Consequently, I’m making a shift in my priorities for 2013.

In terms of the time I have to spend on writing activities, in 2012 I have been spending approximately 70% of my time promoting and only 30% on the other things that need to be done. The 70% includes time on my Facebook page, blogging, tweeting and re-tweeting other authors, participating in Facebook author groups, parties, giveaways, free promotions (which includes submitting the books to other sites and a boat-load of other FB pages), etc., etc., etc. For 2013, I’m turning the tables. My plan is to spend no more than 20% of my free time on those activities and 80% on the books themselves. I certainly don’t want to lose the symbiotic relationships that I have developed with fellow authors, but at this point I feel my primary focus needs to be on the books rather than sales. I will have to leave the heavy work of spreading the word to my awesome readers for now.

I get so many RT’s of my work on Twitter and I usually seek out and RT other authors’ works to the tune of at least 100 RT’s a day. That’s going way down. I will work out how much time I can spend on each site, but I will probably not even visit Twitter more than a couple of times a week and only for a limited time then. For the groups, parties, etc., they will probably be much less frequent. I will try to drop by the Facebook page at least once a day. I enjoy connecting with my readers. You keep me grounded and you keep me motivated so I doubt that I will decrease my time there.

I won’t abandon the blog, but I won’t be doing as many of those things that make the author circles. I have already completed and have ready to go 2 posts for this month and that will be it for those types of blogs for a while. I have a “The Next Big Thing” post that will be up on the 4th about the 3rd book in the series, Michael. And then one more for a blog hop called “The Girly Book Blog Hop” that will go up around the middle of the month. That one will have some prizes that I’ve selected from my all-time favorite Montana souvenir store, the Montana Gift Corral so watch for that one. These posts are complete so they won’t take any time away from my new focus and I’m not scheduling any more like it for a while.

I know you are all anxious for the rest of the books in the SEVEN BROTHERS series and hopefully this shift in focus will get those out to you sooner. I’m anxious to get them out as well. I have the rest of the series (6 more books) plus two more single novels that are complete and ready for their own little touch of polish before they can reach you. I really want all of these to see the light of day sooner rather than later because my fingers are itching to get back to a couple of others that are partially completed and waiting in the wings.

While 2012 has been a super-awesome-stupendous blast and satisfying beyond all dreams, 2013 will be more what I will call reader-focused. The best way I can be reader-focused is to get the books out there to all of you. And that’s what I plan to do.

Thank you for wonderful 2012 and I hope you’ll hang with me for 2013!

Wishing you a safe, prosperous and Happy New Year!

Raeann

Posted in Just Stuff | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Progress Is A Slow Process

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on November 19, 2012

First just a little update. A while back I posted that I had the first half of Davis ready to send to the editor. Well… I ran into a bit of a snag. As I was doing one last pass through it, I kept finding sections I decided needed to be rewritten. So that was a bit delayed. However, I am happy to report that the first half is now in the hands of the editor and I’m on to working on the second part.

Second, I am extremely happy to welcome Amy Jirsa-Smith to the team as our fabulous new proofreader. We are so happy to have her on board. Adding that additional pair of eyes will lengthen the time it will take us to get a release ready, but the end result will be worth it.

Since it is almost Thanksgiving now, I think we can honestly rule out a December release for Davis. I really wanted to have this out before Christmas, but it is just not going to happen. I will get the blurb and a sample up on the website around the first of December and we will hope for January but shoot for February on the release.

Have you ever wondered what my process is for getting these books ready or why it takes so long between each release when all of the books are already written?

It is true that they were all written years ago. So the first thing I have to do is a complete read-through to get back into the story again and correct any items that may not be relevant today that were just fine 5 years ago. At this point I will create the eBook cover and add the “Coming Soon” banner.

Next, I will go through the first half of the book at least two more times, making updates and corrections along the way. I may (which translates to ‘usually’) rewrite pieces in this step.

Once I am satisfied, I now go back through it yet again with a text-to-speech program, listening and reading at the same time. The brain may automatically fill in words that are missing when you are reading something and you never notice. But hearing it read aloud will often point out those errors.

As soon as I am satisfied with the first 2 or 3 chapters, I stop and write a blurb for the book. Then I’ll send that and the first chapters to use as a sample on the website over to my wonderful editor, Sharon Gunn-Jones, who allows me the leeway to keep my voice, my story but makes it better. Then I continue with the remainder of the first half.

When this step is complete, I send that section to Sharon and I start the process over again with the second part. Hopefully, by the time I am through with this piece, she will be finished with the part she has and we will swap. (Usually she is waiting on me here.)

Now I will make changes based on her recommendations and send that to Amy for proofreading. So at this point, Amy has the first half, Sharon has the second, and I have moved on to begin the same process with the next book.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I will have received the edited blurb and sample back from Sharon and I will create the sample file and update the website.

When Sharon finishes editing the second part, she’ll send it back to me for corrections and off it will go to Amy while I keep going on the next book. After Amy has finished, it comes back to me and I make any additional corrections needed. At this point I will also make any needed changes to the sample on the website that Amy may have found. Then the fun begins.

The eBook and print versions need to be formatted differently. So I will build those files with the appropriate formatting for each, update the eBook cover to remove the “Coming Soon” banner and the Kindle version is ready to upload… sort of.

Are you with me so far?

Next, I will email the Kindle version to my Kindle through Amazon where they will convert it to the Kindle format. I then go through the book AGAIN to make sure I don’t see something on my Kindle version that we all missed everywhere else or any issues with the formatting. (Am I beyond sick of this book by this point…you betcha!) Once I am satisfied, the Kindle version can now be uploaded and released.

Now, since I do my own covers, I need to create the cover for the print version (front, back and spine) and convert that into a high-resolution graphic that can be used for printing that glossy paperback. Once this is complete I can begin the process of sending everything to CreateSpace to publish this version. This usually consists of more than one attempt to get the cover exactly right and an error-free submission. Then just like magic…..VOILA! I can now order a proof copy of the print version and wait a week for it to come in. I receive the proof, allow myself a few minutes for a happy dance and, assuming it is okay, I can finally push the button to release it and the exhausting process of promoting it now begins.

Simple, right?

Wait…what am I forgetting? Oh yeah…both Sharon and Amy are patiently waiting on the first half of the next one. Get back to work!

There you have it. That is my process that gets squeezed in around my day-job and attempts to have at least a little cuddle time with my own Prince Charming (who is forever picking up the slack on all those things I can’t seem to squeeze into a 24-hour day) and the occasional ride on the Harley to decompress.

Disclaimer: Did this post go through Sharon and Amy? NO! So any errors you see are all mine. Happy Reading and Happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

Posted in Books, The Seven Brothers of Elko | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »