Saturday, July 28, 2018

Cause of death? Exposure

I'm at the day job today because of reasons (like, I don't feel like being fired, and health insurance is a good thing to have and maintain.). Anyway, a coworker approached me and asked if the book was out yet.
I told her not quite, but showed her first draft of the ebook .pdf that I got back from my designers the other day. She gave it a glance and said, "Hey, why don't you just forward that over to me so I can read it?"

It took me a moment to realize she was dead serious. "Yeah, um, no. That's how stuff gets leaked and plastered all over the place before publication." She agreed that would be a bad thing to have happen. Good, glad we have that sorted.
Then, she went on saying how it's  not a big deal because I'm going to give her the first signed copy. Well, that's news to me. Still, I smiled and said I'd be happy to sign a copy when it came out and told her the paperbacks are $9.99.  Undaunted, she continued, "Yeah, I can't wait to get my free signed copy."

Gentle readers, I implore you, never, ever assume that just because you know an artist, writer, or craftsman in any way that you will be getting free goods/services from them. It's rude.

Publishing, whether independent or traditional, is not a cheap process. Even with the money raised by my Go Fund Me, I'm still paying quite a bit out of pocket. So before I turn a profit on this endeavor I'll probably have to sell a lot of books. Agreeing to tell your friends about it is fine, and I appreciate it, but artists of any sort cannot live on exposure. It makes for a shitty breakfast, especially when the kids want waffles.

"But, A.J.!" you say, "You have a day job! Your husband has a job! Surely, SURELY you can spare one measly copy?"  While, it's true, I have a day job and my husband has a job, it doesn't mean I like losing money for publishing my books. My hope is to maybe make a little extra cash so things aren't so tight all the time. You can't break even let alone profit if you give your work away... no one can. Now, will I give free copies to certain people? Sure, I will. They are people who have been integral in the process. People who have done a lot more than just asked, "So, how's the book going?" every so often at the office.

Artists work too hard and for too little already. Asking someone to create something for you for free is not only presumptuous, it's, as I said before, rude. If your friend/family member/coworker is an artist, be a super cool friend and support them! If you like books, music, comics, cartoons, art of any sort... pay for it. That shit don't come cheap.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Biggest Little German Festival

Ever third weekend in July our local German village, Olderburg, hosts one of the best events of the summer: Freudenfest.
It's a two day event with a community breakfast, bike ride, 5k, pie baking contest, German music, beer drinking games, dancing, food... even dachshund races.

It's a great family-friendly event. There are games for the kids and lots of space for them to just run around and play in while you and your friends relax with a cold beer.

And there is plenty of beer. All kinds of beer! All the colors of the rainbow! Friday always features German beer, while Saturday also has the usual domestics as well as the German beers. For those who don't like beer, Ertel Cellars, the local winery, is there with a great selection, and of course there's water and soda pop.

I mean, you're going to need something to wash all the food down. My favorite are the bratwursts and sauerkraut balls. But there are also home made chicken and pork chop dinners, burgers, fries, soft pretzels, corn-on-the-cob, sno-cones, and ,the husband's favorite, chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick.

Food and beverages aside, Freudenfest is basically a giant class reunion for me. I get to catch up with all my friends and family.

Thing is, at Freudenfest, we're all friends. Let me repeat that: We're all friends. Guy bumps into you and spills your beer? He apologizes and you're cool and say, "Hey, no problem." Because, one more time for the people in the back: we're all friends here! People come from out of state just to hang out and everyone is totally cool. In all the years, I can't recall a single drunken brawl breaking out or anything dramatic like that happening. Everyone dances to polka music, even if you hate polka, dude, you dance. You sing the schnitzelbank song even if the only line you know is "Oh du schöne Schnitzelbank," and you definitely, definitely keep coming back every year.

If you want to come and hang out with all us crazy Germans come on down! I'll be there Saturday evening the husband will be there on Friday.  For more information check out the fest's website.

Ich liebe freudenfest!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Now... We Wait.

After weeks of revision, editing, reading, and re-reading I finally submitted my final draft to Chrissy at Damonza for formatting.

Now I know why authors often say they never read their book again once it is published. I can recite
the damn thing now, and my life doesn't even have to depend on it.

It was almost a year ago that I finished the first draft... more like Labor Day...but close enough. It's strange. When I started writing this I had no intention to publishing it. Paige's Story was just this...thing... I had rattling around in my head since I was in high school. The only reason I wanted to write it all out was so I could just have documented proof that my brain did a thing and it was kind of a cool thing.

I set out to write the One True Draft two years ago this coming November. As it turns out, I wasn't the only person who thought the thing rattling around in my head was cool. So, last year this time when the first draft was finished my husband and all our friends just started talking about me publishing it.

I remember very clearly sitting at the Brackman's Labor Day trap shoot thinking everyone was crazy
for believing I could publish this. But then, everything just became 'the next step'.  The first draft was done. The next step is to send it to beta readers. The beta readers gave their input. The next step was to write a new draft and then send it to a content editor to make sure the story made sense, flowed well, had plot holes... all that stuff. The content editor had his say so, the next step was to write yet a new draft taking all the suggestions into account. The next step was sending the revised draft back out to a couple readers for approval. After they gave their enthusiastic thumbs-up, the next step was to send it to the copy editor to fix the grammar, punctuation, and spelling. After she red-penned the ever loving shit out of it, I just had to fix all the errors.

....then, suddenly, I had a final draft in my hands. All shiny and chrome.  Now
that final draft is going to a professional formatter.

As soon as it's back all I have to do is upload it.

I never expected to get this far. When I started, I never wanted to get this far. But here I am and it's pretty exciting.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

So I Got Myself a Website

Technically, the husband got me a website. He's my agent/web admin. I pay him in pizza and chaste smooches on the cheek.

Anyway, I have a website. It's right here. When the time comes you'll be able to order my book there, read about upcoming events and all that stuff.

In other news, my manuscript is back from the technical editor. I'm currently going through and approving all the corrections (there are many.)

Me no comma so good
I'm also waiting on my final drafts from my cover artist, as well as my web banner. As soon as the banner is done I'll set up a Facebook page and that will be one more thing I'll be hassling you guys about.

Monday, July 2, 2018