After a week of vacation I seem to have been inspired to get back to writing a bit more seriously again. Today was a productive day, and that makes me feel good.
I'm a writer. How do I know I am, you ask? Because the act of writing makes me feel good. It's that simple.
But it's not all, of course. Part of being a writer is having other people read what you write. And hopefully like it. Or at least be moved to feel something by it. There's nothing worse than being boring, as a writer. As a person, really, but as a writer it touches on what makes you, you. And what makes you money, in the end, so it can be a real problem, being boring as a writer. Unnoticed. Forgotten.
Which is why you probably see a lot of writers trying to get attention. For their work if they're not too conceited, but sometimes for themselves. Those should probably just be ignored.
But the thing is, we don't know if you've seen our work if you don't tell us about it. So please do. Write a review, give it a rating. Comment on a blog post, or send an e-mail (mine is cecilialansing @gmail.com). The author will love you for it.
This author will even love you if you criticize her writing. Not saying mean things, mind you, but telling me what's wrong with my work will maybe even earn you more gratitude than gushing platitudes about my greatness. I already know about my greatness. Tell me how to improve! ;)
So here's me, asking for some attention for my work. The little bit below is an excerpt from one of my Works–In–Progress (WIP). Unedited, raw. So it has warts. Can you see the same ones I already spotted? Or have you spotted problems I've missed by being too close to the material? I'd love to know. Leave me a comment?
That is the end of chapter 6 of my novel–length work in progress. It's about the journey of a somewhat older man as he discovers the delights of kinky, sexy games with three uninhibited young women. And somewhere they end up on a sailing boat. With ropes and rigging and acres of lonely water.
So, liked it? Hated it? Problems? I'd love to get some feedback.
I've just realized I have a problem. It's very much a first-world problem, but still.
I do all of my writing on my personal computer. My desktop personal computer, although it's actually a tower and it's under my desk. But you get the picture. I don't have a laptop. It's on my list of things I need to buy, but for now it's not there yet.
So, this means that I'm pretty much confined to writing when I'm at home. Which would not be a problem if I had a good “home office” workspace set up. But I don't. Which means that whenever someone else is in my house they pretty much are able to look onto my computer screen. From the couch in front of the TV it's too far to actually read anything or see details of pictures, but the problem is more in my mind. The feeling of someone looking over my shoulder while I try to write makes it impossible to concentrate and actually put words down on the screen.
My living arrangements are such that about 40 to 50 percent of the time there's someone else in my house. They're family, but still, it's become increasingly obvious to me that this situation is interfering with my writing time.
So, I've decided I need to fix this. What's the first step? Rearrange my computer setup so that I can “shut the door” and afford myself some privacy when I want to write. This is not too hard to do, but I need to rearrange some furniture, and maybe buy some drapes or something (I have an alcove with sliding doors, but these have windows in them).
Next, maybe rethink the priority of that laptop so that I'm more mobile and can decide to just hide out in a corner of some coffee shop and write some dirty smut there. With a nice cappuccino at my elbow of course. Maybe even a muffin or some cake. Hhmmm, sounds good…
So, fellow writers, what are your writing environments like? Have any good tips, or comments? I'd love to hear from you.
From Tessie L'Amour comes this very simple but effective way you can support your favourite indie author that won't cost you any money.
Like I try to tell people elsewhere on this site, there are tons of ways you can help out us indie authors. From a simple tweet, to a blog post, or buying our books.
But recently Tessie came up with this simple way you can help us with actual money, while not having to part with one (extra) cent of your cash.
When you're about to buy something from Amazon, go through this page at Tessie's website and click through one of the links there. Choose your favourite author, or just randomly pick one, whatever floats your boat.
And then go on your merry way and buy Amazon stuff until you're blue in the face. You don't have to spend an extra cent beyond what you were going to spend on your purchases anyway, but your chosen author gets some money for each purchase you make, because you ended up at Amazon through their link. Great, huh? I actually do this already with the links on this site that take you to Amazon. This way I already made a little extra money, and from purchases that had nothing to do with my ebooks either.
So, head over to Tessie's website and bookmark that page. Next time you're feeling a shopping spree coming on, keep us indie authors in mind…
A week ago I finally uploaded new revisions of my two ebooks, (removed) and (removed). I had reread them a couple of weeks ago and to my horror found a few small errors and typos. I fixed those right away in my master documents, but put off re-uploading them because I didn't want to do the whole conversion thing manually like I had been doing.
So I made a system to convert my master documents into the various formats that I need to upload to Amazon, my website here, and Smashwords. Those are currently the three places that I use to distribute my ebooks. Smashwords of course distributes to other venues, such as Barnes & Noble and Kobo. At the moment these are actually outselling Amazon, so I really want my books up there through Smashwords.
Big kudos for Smashwords for that.
But on the conversion front? Kudos, not so much. In fact, Smashwords is a plain bitch on that front.
Look at the stats
Time to generate one mobi document for Amazon, and three versions for my website (pdf, mobi, and epub), ready to be uploaded with zero extra work? All with the press of one button? Well, okay, a bit more: it takes me all of one mouse click and about 5 key presses to run the conversion system. But that generates all of the above formats, for all (well, okay, all two) of my ebooks.
10 seconds. I timed it. From the last key press to all done.
Oh, and that incidentally also generates an rtf file for me that I can use as a basis for my Smashwords upload. But for Smashwords I need to do stuff with it before I can upload. Copy the text over into OpenOffice and then manually reset all the styles on the different text parts. And manually build up any links I had in there. All stuff that was already in there. I'm doing stuff I've already done! Well, automated, but still… all of this was already there! Looking great in xhtml, epub and mobi. But no, Smashwords wants me to upload in a file format that has literally been obsolete for years.
So how long does it take me to reformat and prepare that rtf file so I can upload it to Smashwords? 15 minutes. That's two or three pages I could have been writing on my next story. And bear in mind, this test was done on a short story, less than 6000 words long. For a novel length ebook this would take quite a bit longer.
So, yeah, Smashwords really sucks when it comes to its submission requirements.
It's been a bit silent here for a while. I finished a new draft on a short erotic story (actually the first in a series) a while ago, but put it aside and for some reason I haven't felt like starting up on the editing and revising process on that one. I'll let it lie a little longer.
I've also been on holiday, so I was out of the country and away from internet and my keyboard. But now I'm back, with a couple of new ideas running around in my head.
Today I found myself starting a completely different short erotic story. But the lead-up to the actual naughty bits is taking a lot longer than I planned. Not that that is by default wrong or something, but I might need to rethink the story once I get through writing down the first draft.
Anyway, still #amwriting, just not as fast as I had hoped when I started out on this adventure. But come back. I'll have something new up. Promise. Just don't know when.
Meanwhile, if you haven't already, check out my first released short story: (removed).
Instead of writing today (something I've been doing too little of in the last days at any rate), I added a new section to this website: Books. There's a link to it in the site-header all the way up in the top right corner. Or there should be.
Right now it's still pretty empty, as I've only published the one book: (removed).
I hope, now that I've gotten this itch out of my system, I'll finally feel like sitting down with the first draft of my second short erotic story I finished a while ago. It's been sitting in the top drawer at my bedside for a while now. Waiting for the first editing round. Soon. I hope.
So go take a look, and check back soon for new entries!
Been silent here for too long. The problem is that there's not really much to tell. I've been working on my stories, but it's been tough going recently. That story that wanted out is now having second thoughts and playing hard to get. I'm slogging on, but I think I'll be ripping out the guts again during my first real editing round. Ah well, so it goes.
Yes, for a limited time, you'll be able to get my short erotic story ‘removed’ for just ¢99!
Or you could head over to the announcement post and just download a copy there (epub, mobi or pdf).
As I mentioned in my Grand Opening post, I had been writing a second story while editing the first, and had outlined a third that I'm planning to flesh out to novel length. So when I finally finished that first short story and threw it out via Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) (see here or get it directly from Amazon(re-issued, so no longer there)) I fully expected to dive into either one of those.
But then a completely different story invaded my mind. So I'm now writing that, first. Maybe it's because this one feels shorter than the other two on the table. I might already be addicted to the feeling of pressing the 'publish' button on KDP.
Whatever it is, I've been making good progress on this one, even though I've been having trouble staying away from the distractions on the internet. And real life issues have also taken up quite a bit of my time. But even though I've spent little time putting down the words, I think I'm already over the halfway point. And I secretly hope to have the first draft done by tonight. But then I'll need to buckle down and not get distracted by twitter, or writing entries for my website.
Let's see how far I get.
If you're wondering why you should check up on Dean Wesley Smith's weblog once in a while, read his latest post about the difference between writers and authors.
You'll be back.
Well, that's a good start to the new year.
January 1st, 2012: failed to keep promise to self to publish first story before end of 2011.
You know what, though?
I'm perfectly all right with that. Because the reason is that during an edit I basically rewrote the whole first half of the short story I was planning to publish through Kindle Direct Publishing. And the result is a lot better than before the rewrite.
So now I just need to go through it all one last time to get all those lingering typos squashed. Soon!
I am Cecilia Lansing.
Writer of erotica.
Find links to my ebooks here.
The first two ebooks in the new Libertine Explorations series have been released.
After a long time I'm going to try to revive this website...
This QA with Nathan Fillion at Dallas Comic Con is great; maybe I should start watching Castle...
Dean Wesley Smith highlights a comment from his blog on ebook pricing.
John Scalzi speaking out against bad book contracts.