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Are print books a dying breed? Guest post by horror writer R.A. Evans

What if my next page-turner doesn’t have any pages?

As I write this post I am up to my elbows in finalizing the formatting and interior lay-out for the print version of my new thriller Grave Undertakings (sequel to the acclaimed Asylum Lake). The entire frustrating process has me questioning the future of my titles in print. The far-less cumbersome e-book formatting has been done for some time and it begs the question: am I committing author suicide if my next page-turner doesn’t have any pages at all?

Don’t get me wrong, I love print books. I still haven’t invested in an e-reader (although I have read e-books on my laptop). I guess I’m just old-school when it comes to books – as a reader that is. As an author I have to take a good hard look at the bottom line and time investment of having my books available in print.

It’s not just the formatting, cover art, and printing that takes time, either. There are separate channels of promotion that are tackled when your book is in print. And as any self-published author will tell you, time is everything. Most of us are juggling careers, families, and this writing dream on the side. The more time it takes us to edit, format, and promote a title the less time we actually have to write.

Let me break it down like this. Asylum Lake was printed on an Espresso Book Machine. For those of you unfamiliar, it’s a $100,000 color copier ripped right from the pages of the future that prints, cuts and binds a title in less than 4 minutes. When I started down the path of self-publishing the e-book craze was in its infancy and the emphasis was still all about print. It costs me $10 a book to print – whether I am printing one copy or one-hundred. I couldn’t be happier with the finished 6×9 product.

At a $15 cover price, I receive $5 on each sale of Asylum Lake. That’s a nice round figure that adds up quickly, right? Well, yes and no. I get paid royalties twice a year. Asylum Lake was published in July of 2010 so I have received a grand total of one royalty check. If I had to guess I would say that I have provided roughly 75 copies of Asylum Lake for review and marketing purposes. The quick math puts that investment at $750 in print fees and doesn’t even include the shipping. That investment has landed me some wonderful reviews in traditional media outlets, but just to recoup that investment I had to sell 150 copies of Asylum Lake. You see where I’m going with this, right? Everything is more expensive with print.

Without giving specifics, I’ve done fairly well with sales of Asylum Lake. I had 300 paid pre-orders via the official Asylum Lake website before the book even went to print and was able to use that capital to have more copies printed and on-hand. You see, I released the book online in early 2010 one chapter at a time over the course of six weeks. That’s six free chapters – just enough to get people hooked. Within two months of that first July 2010 printing the Facebook fan page for Asylum Lake had swelled to more than 600 fans – all reviewing and discussing the book. Readers from across the globe were actually talking about my book. It was quite a rush.

Fast forward to when reality sets in. I plateaued. I do marketing & public relations for a living and I was at a loss for what I could do on a shoestring budget to continue the momentum. I did radio interviews, TV interviews, had my book featured on Top 5 lists, did multiple author events at libraries and bookstores, and even was the subject of newspaper article detailing my success as a self-published author. All of these activities increased local sales, but I wasn’t making a dent beyond the 150 mile radius of where I live in West Michigan.

And that is the conundrum I am now faced with. Asylum Lake was a fairly big deal locally and with the upcoming release of Grave Undertakings I am confident that interest will again rise, but my goal is a reach beyond my own community and state.

Recently, I started to promote the e-book version of Asylum Lake via Smashwords and Amazon and have had some success. It’s still time consuming, but there are so many options at my disposal. I can tweak the cover art or description of Asylum Lake with the click of a button. I can use the Kindle Boards to promote and discuss how my title stacks up against others. I can generate coupons and giveaways on Smashwords for discounted and free copies. The possibilities are nearly endless.

So here I sit, roughly 45 days out from the release of Grave Undertakings, and I wonder – what if Grave Undertakings wasn’t on bookshelves? Is it time to focus all of my attention on this brave new e-book frontier? Vanity says I couldn’t live with myself if I weren’t able to walk into a library or bookstore and see my own titles next to those of the iconic Stephen King or his very talented son Joe Hill. I grew up with a book always in-hand and can’t imagine a world without them.

What are your thoughts, as readers and authors – are print books a dying breed?

About R.A. Evans:

R. A. Evans writes.  By day he pours his creative energy into meeting the varied needs of his clients. By night, he writes for pleasure. It’s what he does. It’s who he is.  If you like your humor dark, your blood-letting messy, and the creepiness factor cranked to eleven, he’s the author for you. His debut novel, Asylum Lake, hit the shelves to rave reviews and its sequel Grave Undertakings will be unearthed in May 2011.

A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Evans started his career at a small town newspaper, and has spent the past fifteen years working in marketing and public relations.

For more about R.A. Evans, visit his blog here.

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Do excerpts work in helping promote your novel?

Starting today, I’m going to be posting short excerpts & snippets from my current novel, Gabriel’s Redemption, on my Facebook author fan page. One per day through the end of March, just a couple of lines or a paragraph, to maybe show interested readers scenes that may encourage them to take the next step and pick up the entire novel.

<shamelessplug>

Like me...please like me...

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I had some conflicting thoughts on it. Does the posting of excerpts help publicize a novel, and will it generate interest? Or can it backfire and turn off a potential buyer if that particular excerpt doesn’t suit them?

The reason I thought of this is that I’ve enjoyed quite a few books that had some scenes it them that if I had read them ahead of time, the excerpt alone, there’s no chance I would have bought the book. One that comes to mind, and what sort of got me thinking about this, is from my good friend R.A. Evans; his horror-thriller Asylum Lake was a very enjoyable book from start to finish, great characters, good twists and turns, scary action, and the like. However there’s one scene in the book (and I told R.A. about this afterwards, I’m not ambushing him unexpectedly) that, as a non-horror reader, was a bit too intense for me. If I had read that excerpt ahead of time, I probably would have thought twice about reading the entire book (and I would have missed out on a good read).

On the other hand, I’ve read some downright terrible books (if you haven’t heard me rant on Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, let me know – that might be a fun blog post next week) that had decent scenes in them. I felt cheated when reading the entire book compared to back-of-book blurb or snippets I looked at.

I’d love to hear your opinions on it – do you think the possibility of helping generate interest outweighs the possibility of turning someone off?

Oh…and please do stop by my Facebook fan page and “Like” if you…ah, like. You can follow along with my excerpts…I promise they won’t suck…

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Are you writing to write, or for others to read it?

I’m going to preface this blog post with a warning that it may come across rude or obnoxious towards my fellow writers. That being said, I have something to get off my chest.

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I want all of you to publish your stories!

I’ve heard from several authors that they just want to write their story because they have a story they want to tell, not to publish it. It’s a noble cause, they say. I’m not in it for the money, they say. I just want the satisfaction of having written my novel, or short story, or novelette, or collection of poetry, so that I can get my ideas out of my head and onto paper.

Don't end up like Jack...

I say hogwash.

Isn’t the point people write, the true deep-down motivation for pouring their souls into their art, spending hours upon hours clicking at keys or writing in a notebook, because they want someone else to read it? For those of you who swear they just want to tell a story, regardless if anyone ever read it, I have to ask. How can you tell a story, if no one is there to read it? (Insert tree falling analogy here.)

Listen, I’m not saying go out and work your tail off to try to make a living out of writing. The cold hard facts are that most writers – matter of fact nearly all writers – will not end up rich and famous. But the publishing world has fundamentally changed, and as those of you who have followed my young blog have read before, I say it has never been a better time to be an author.

If you have a story to tell, tell it to as many people as you can! Why wouldn’t you want to? Are you really satisfied with sitting back, knowing you wrote a fast-paced 300 page thriller, or a short historical fiction, or a futuristic space opera, and smugly smiling to yourself? Telling your best friend, yeah man – I wrote a book! Or maybe printing out 200 sheets of copy paper off the inkjet, sticking them into a binder, and saying, look mom, I wrote a story!

The technology has never been more available to authors to easily publish your work, and nearly immediately. Will it hit the NY Times Bestseller List? Odds are it won’t, but over 15 million Kindles are in people’s hands right now. The new iPad 2 hit the stores today, and Apple is expected to sell half a million this weekend. As I type this, I’m sitting in a Borders bookstore café watching an older gentleman reading on his Kobo e-reader. Every one of those people has the capability to read your story.

My debut novel, Gabriel’s Redemption (which, just to pat myself on the back really quickly, is receiving 5 star reviews) was the product of a lot of hard work, brainstorming, writing, editing, hair-pulling, teeth-sucking, wine-drinking, late-night terror. So I want people to read it! Not 18-24 months from now (which is the going average for a new novel to finally hit the store shelves, after finally getting an agent to look at, after finally getting a publisher to take a chance on it…so you’d better add a year or two to that figure). I wanted, and you should want, for people to have immediate access to what I created.

It’s not hard…or expensive…to self-publish. The hard part (what I’m going through right now) is promoting it. But if you’re in this to tell a story, and you want family and friends to read it, maybe pass it around to their family and friends, and to have a published work to show and be proud of, jump right in!

If you have a Microsoft Word document with your story in it, you’re already halfway there. Visit Smashwords, sign up for an account, and upload the document. They have a fantastic compiler they call Meatgrinder which will turn that doc into multiple e-book formats, and within a day or two, your story will be published online for the entire country to have access to. Head over to Amazon, sign up for a self-publishing KDP account. Do the same at Barnes and Noble, get a PubIt account. None of these cost any money.

And those of you who may poo-poo the idea of a Kindle or Nook as a fad, or too newfangled? My 65 year old mother’s got one, and has seen the light. Instant access to hundreds of thousands of books…including mine.

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Thoughts?

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Where do I price my e-book?

I’m in month two of self-promoting my self-published, self-written (sensing a theme?) e-book, and I’m tossing something back and forth here. No, not a kitchen knife – I’m sure that will come later on in the sales process – but the actual pricing of my e-book.

You see, one of the great advantages to self-publishing, essentially being one’s own boss, is I can set the pricing to whatever I want it to be, whenever I want it. I can make it $49.99 (outlandish), $2.99 (going rate of a lot of indies), $.99 (as low as it can feasibly be priced), or even $16.99 (someone just posted this is the e-book price of Stephen King’s upcoming novel – it’s high because of Simon & Schuster’s rising e-book costs…huh? Rising costs on something with no physical product or manufacturing? Uh, OK…)

Since day one, I was an avid reader of Joe Konrath’s blog, sort of an unofficial bible for self-publishers, as well as the now-famous Amanda Hocking’s blog (can’t go wrong with someone who has sold nearly a million e-books in under a year) and the two big numbers that stand out are $2.99 and $0.99. Why those two?

If you’ve self-published on Amazon, you know what those numbers are – they are the lowest you can go in two different royalty levels. If you price a book between $2.99 and $9.99, Amazon pays a 70% royalty. From $0.99 to $2.98, or $10.00 and up, it’s 35%. So the lowest anyone should go in the hopes of making money would be $2.99, and the lowest anyone should go…period…would be $0.99.

So therein lies my dilemma. A couple of weeks ago I lowered my debut novel, Gabriel’s Redemption, from its initial $2.99 to $0.99 for a couple of ‘social media promos.’ Therefore, I’m making approximately $0.35 or so on each copy sold. At $2.99, I’d be making just over two bucks each. No brainer, right? Well, sort of…there’s the “volume” theory, as well as the “newbie theory.”

Volume theory holds that at $0.99, many more people will buy the book, thereby making up for the lower royalty and payout (the math says six people buying at $0.99 is the same profit as one at $2.99). The newbie theory holds that an unknown name, such as myself, has a better chance to break into the market with a $0.99 price, as well as encourage impulse buys – customers that have no idea who I am, but for a buck will take a chance. (I made those theories up, by the way…)

So now what? It’s about time for the social media promo to end; do I take it back up to $2.99? Leave it at $0.99 and try to get the name out? I’ll be honest – right now, I’m not in this for the money. I’m in it because I really enjoy it and I’m proud of the work I put out. However, getting paid for it is not against my religion. Also, Book 2 of the trilogy will be published in May; would leaving Book 1 at $0.99 to get the name out, Book 2 at $2.99 be a feasible strategy?

My last concern is this – the price-value relationship. Will people see a $0.99 self-published e-book as garbage? Is it priced so low, it demeans its own value? Will people not expect it to be good? Will people shy away from it (ruining the two theories) because it’s so cheap? Would I be better served offering it at $2.99 so it has more value to it? I just don’t know…

Would LOVE to hear everyone’s feedback!

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Give away Kindles? Not yet, I say…

I just read a very interesting article on CNN.com by Amy Gahran on the theory that Amazon should (or may even be planning to) give away the Kindle to spur interest and sales in e-books themselves. While that’s a very bold theory, and as a self-publisher of e-books myself, one that I’d love to see happen (imagine the explosion in e-book downloads if the device was free?), I see a number of challenges to that theory…at least at the present time.

The “give away the razor, sell them the blades” philosophy of King Gillette has been a business case study classic for decades. So why not apply it to the Kindle? I don’t see it happening just yet, because:

  • Amazon, and Jeff Bezos, are making a boatload of money selling the absurdly-popular devices.
  • The base Kindle dropped to $139 last year, went right through the Christmas season with nary an additional price drop or promotion, and knocked off Harry Potter 7 as the highest selling item at Amazon.com all-time.
  • Apple seems to be doing just fine with their iTunes business model of selling both the device (iPod) and content (songs), and have for years…and I don’t see Steve Jobs deciding to give away an iPod model anytime soon.

There are some great statistics in the piece, such as the Kindle holding 47% market share (destroying Nook and Sony at 4% and 5% respectively), the average e-reader owner consumes nearly half of his or her reading in digital form, and the fact that the market for e-books is expected to triple in the next four years.

But the bottom line is, the model is working, Amazon is cleaning up on Kindle sales, the market is exploding, and just 7% of readers own an e-reader device. That, in my opinion, goes back to my college Microeconomics 101, the law of supply and demand. With a high demand and low to flat supply, prices go up. With a high supply and low to flat demand, prices drop. And with this e-book market expanding exponentially, and the demand going through the roof, why suddenly drop the price?

My suggestion, Mr. Bezos, if I may get up on a parent soap box? If you’re considering giving away Kindles, start with the schools. Make e-readers available to children who want to read, and as they grow up, they’ll become customers, and fans, for life. And maybe, with a little genuine adolescent interest in books again, we’ll just see some US reading and writing test scores start to climb.

What are your thoughts?

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Touching the future of reading – ebooks on Kindle, Nook, iPad

This past weekend, I promised myself I’d sit down, shut out all distractions, and put together a rough outline for Book 2 of the Evan Gabriel trilogy (yes, it’s nearly official – Gabriel’s Redemption will be the first book in a science fiction/space opera trilogy…no better way to get noticed and have validity as a new author than to have more than one novel for sale, or at least in the pipeline). I packed up the trusty MacBook Air, iPhone, notepad, and gift cards, and headed to my local Barnes & Noble.

Ran into a problem…after ordering my latte (non-fat milk, no whipped cream, of course…I’m still feeling my hibernation weight) and sitting down, I found myself sitting in front of this sign for the new Color Nook…and I got distracted. I looked around the cafe area, and saw a few people holding e-readers. I decided to take a quick walk around the store, just out of curiosity’s sake. Know what I found? Something you never would have seen a couple of years, or even one year, ago. I counted…approximately one-third of the people reading in the cafe or wandering around the store shopping were carrying an e-reader. Some were reading, some were scoping out books to buy, instantly on their ereader. You know what? The ebook revolution is here…and if you’re a self-published author, or struggling-to-get-published one, you need to jump on this bandwagon right now.

Here are some amazing, and possibly sobering (although I find them exciting) statistics:

  • Barnes & Noble’s online store (bn.com) sold more ebooks in 2010 than paper.
  • Amazon.com ebook sales passed paper earlier in the year.
  • The Kindle 3 (latest) is the best-selling item in Amazon’s history, surpassing the 7th Harry Potter book.
  • Barnes & Noble sold 1 million ebooks on Christmas Day alone.
  • Sales of ereaders (Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo, et al) are expected to grow from 15 million in 2010 to 60 million in 2015
  • Ebook sales in the US are expected to grow from $1 billion in 2010 to $2.8 billion in 2015

None of these statistics are truly factoring in the explosive growth of the tablet computer segment (iPad, Galaxy, Xoom, PlayBook), which are not dedicated ereaders, but more of a hybrid between smartphone and laptop. However as that market continues to rapidly expand, more and more consumers will use them as ereaders, even further increasing the statistics above. Oh, and of course, how many millions use their iPhone/Android phones as books? I know I do.

Speaking of tablets, in two days Apple will announce the iPad 2, which is expected to be thinner and lighter, making it even more practical as an ereader. Apple isn’t stopping there – even though there is some controversy with their iBooks store, never count them out of attempting to dominate a market segment.

I always thought when I was young that to be successful, I needed to see my novel in print, on a bookshelf, in a real bookstore. Otherwise, no one would take me seriously, and no one would end up buying my book, and no one would read the stories I had to tell. I don’t feel that way any longer. It’s never been a better time to be a writer! I can’t emphasize that statement enough.

Oh, and that thing about seeing my book in the bookstore? Done.

P.S. That is NOT Photoshopped – the Nook demo person suggested I download an ebook to try out the reader and its features, on the store’s dime, so what did I decide to download? You guessed it…and I left it there for other shoppers to see…

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Journey to self-published, Part 6 – The End?

No, not the end…just the beginning apparently. It’s official, I’m published, and anyone, anywhere can purchase the novel I worked so hard on. But now…how do I let everyone know it’s there?

I’m afraid I don’t have any easy answers for this one, nor is this a complete story. The journey is ongoing, and will be for years to come. I know what I’ve accomplished is small, but it’s significant to me, and I know I’m in this for the long-haul. I’ve developed some incredible online friends with Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and so on, and they’ve all given me so much help. It’s now time for me to jump into self-promotion with both feet.

It’s busier than I ever imagined, trying to get my name, and the book’s name, out there. I’ve already gotten a couple dozen sales, which looking back on where I was a month ago seems amazing. The bottom line is, I love what I’m doing, and I want to be able to do it for the rest of my life!

If you are, or were in, or will be in, in the same boat as I am, won’t you join me? Follow along as my journey continues – subscribe to my blog, follow me online. I hope I won’t bore you to tears.

-Steve Umstead…Author.

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My self-publishing journey, Part 5 – I’m published!

Still there? My diatribe hasn’t bored you to tears? The journey’s almost to an end. Well, not really – but I’ll get to that in a bit.

So I clicked upload, and my baby was sent to Amazon for review. Wow, I thought. That was quite painless. What happened to writing dozens of query letters, being rejected, trying again, waiting for months? It’s an electronic world, even print-on-demand isn’t fast enough for millions of people.

What’s next? Did two more compiles in Scrivener, one for ePub, and one for Word doc, and uploaded to Barnes & Noble’s Nook program, and Smashwords program. And then came the coolest thing. Smashwords gave me a countdown-type of page, showing where my novel was in the queue. Started at #312, left the laptop open while watching television that night with my wife. By the time the DVR was halfway into our second show, it was down to #3, and “Completed” started showing up one by one next to the version types (I didn’t mention before, but Smashwords, if you’re not familiar, publishes multiple formats – ePub, .mobi, .doc, .pdf, even Sony reader; not to mention pays the best royalty).

There it was, available for sale to anyone with an ereader, anywhere in the world. Out came a couple of glasses of wine, and we toasted to the fact that my novel, the one I had been wanting to write for over twenty years, just got published. I have to say, that was a very significant feeling.

The next day, after hitting refresh several dozen times on Amazon’s Kindle Publishing page, there it was – my novel, available for sale with the world’s largest e-bookseller. The day after that, available on barnesandnoble.com. Very surreal experience.

But now what? Now comes the hardest part of all, the part that will never end. Promoting the book. I don’t have an agent, or a publisher, or a PR firm. It was time for another hat.

To be continued…

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My journey to self-published, Part 4 – Cover Art

So what is the next step in publishing my own ebook? Oh, right, one of the most important facets of a new author’s ebook. The cover. Cover you say? Who cares about the cover – since when do people judge a book by its cover? Get rid of that thinking right away. In the online world, in a potentially-crowded field of authors, you need to catch a buyer’s attention. Go to Amazon.com, under Kindle books, and pick your favorite genre. What are the results? “Showing 15 of 57,212” maybe? What’s the first thing you see on that page? Is it the quality writing? The famous author name? A unique plot twist? Some big “Buy Me” image? No, it’s the cover art. If you don’t put together a quality cover, unique design with bold fonts and an eye catching color scheme, no one will click the link to see if it’s worthwhile to buy. It’s that simple.

I designed a piece of cover art for fun during NaNoWriMo; I ‘borrowed’ a cool image I found from an X-Box 360 game, blurred out some background, whited out the game name text, and used a graphics program to put my title and name on it, in some awesome bright yellow Impact font. Man, this rocks! I thought. Can’t wait to post this on my NaNoWriMo author page, my buddies will be so jealous! But after completion, and realizing that I may just be putting this sucker out for sale, I knew I couldn’t stick with ripped-off game artwork.

I did some research, ran across some designers that charge $200-$400 per book, and the work looked great. However for my debut, starting with a $22.50 budget (which was already used up) and spending more and more on red wine, I thought I’d do it myself, the right way, for less.

I found many public domain photos and artwork online, along with royalty-free work (where you pay a one-time price and the art is yours to do with as you please). I ended up using a free desktop wallpaper background that specifically said it was free to use for personal or commercial purposes. I already own some nice graphics editing software (highly recommend Adobe Fireworks), but there are several free options out there – get one. I cropped out an attractive and relevant portion of it, put in the title and author name (in a much more refined font, after looking through my local Borders – which will soon be gone, by the way), and voila. A cover.

I checked with Amazon and Barnes & Noble about dimensions and file size for ebook covers, made it fit. and added it to Scrivener (did I mention Scrivener is freakin’ awesome?) I recompiled the file with cover art (which, by the way, takes less than ten seconds in Scrivener – product plug again), and bam. There are my files, ready to go. And I sat there. And stared at the laptop. Bit my nails. Had another glass of red wine. And chickened out, put it aside, and went to bed. Didn’t sleep a wink.

February 2nd rolled around that next morning, coffee calling to me. Oh, did you catch the timeline? Finished final book editing on January 31st, and was ready to publish two days later. I went back to the laptop, looked at the Scrivener files, and said, What the hell?

I went into my Amazon account (I buy there frequently), went to the Kindle Desktop Publishing section, agreed to the terms, uploaded the file and description, named my price, and clicked OK. What happened next might have been the coolest thing of all…

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My journey from dreamer to author, part 1

Just over a year ago, I was approaching a milestone age…not one that most are proud of reaching, one that made me start to reflect on what my goals were as a youngster. Among other things, one of those goals was to be a published writer by the time I hit that milestone. The problem was it was approaching quickly. I had run across a contest, friendly competition actually, called National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. How cool is that? I thought. I could sit down for 30 days and pound out 50,000 words, and before New Years hit, and my birthday ten days later, I’d be a writer. Well, things didn’t work out quite so conveniently; two business trips came up, the month slipped away, and I didn’t even bother entering. Birthday and momentous number-ending-in-zero came and went, and still I had never completed a novel. How lame is that? I thought.

Fast-forward to late-2010. NaNoWriMo, which was going to happen whether I got off my ass and wrote or not, began approaching. This time! I declared, thrusting my fist into the air, being greeted with puzzled, dad-must-be-drinking-again stares from my boys. So I threw Hot Pockets in for their dinner, sent them off to the television, and sat down to start brainstorming the next great novel.

I went to a local NaNoWriMo meeting (discovering I was pretty much the only person in a room of 26 people who was not writing a book about sexy vampires who fall into forbidden love – quite encouraging, really…less competition for my science fiction genre), set aside the dining room table with my laptop, iPhone, coaster, wine glass, and copious amounts of cabernet sauvignon (which I later named Writer’s Fuel), and went to work outlining. By the time November 1st rolled around, I was champing at the bit to get writing. And I did.

Put the kids to bed at 9, told the wife have fun watching our DVR shows without me…catch you in December, and put in a solid 2+ hours every evening, just writing. Hemorrhaging text, really. Watching my NaNoWriMo buddies’ online word count, making sure I was ahead of the pace. NOT stopping to go back and edit Chapter 1 (for decades, I’ve written perfect first chapters, and never gotten to Chapter 2). Just flat-out writing. And it felt good. Oh sure, I wrote some awful scenes (I called them Crapters), but I knew I’d go back and fix them later. I just wanted to blow away that 50k goal and make a start-to-finish, complete story, one that I had never been able to do. And I did.

The night of November 26th hit, the night before I needed to get on a plane for a business trip, and I typed the last line of my actual, honest-to-goodness novel. I wiped a small tear from my eye (yes, I admit…big tough guy cry sometimes, ug…), gave a little shout so my wife, watching Gray’s Anatomy, heard me, and polished off the last of the Writer’s Fuel. Done. I did it. In 26 days, I had written just over 64,000 words, and “won” NaNoWriMo. And I finally had a complete story.

But now what?

To be continued…

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