Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

Yup.  Me too.  Sorry for the tiny video, but really, no one wants to see this bigger.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Definitive List

All right, now that things have settled a bit, here is the definitive list of places where you can buy A Snake in the Grass.

Print Edition
Amazon
Createspace
Barnes & Noble

E-Book
Kindle
Nook
Kobo
iTunes
Smashwords

So...how's it going?  Not too bad.  I've already sold enough to recover my costs, so at the very least, I can seriously consider self-pubbing the next two in the series and not take a loss at it.  And truthfully, if I made even a $1 profit, I was going to continue on.  I need to finish it, for Jesse.

How can you help?  Buy the book, obviously, and tons of you are already doing that.  Tell your friends if you love the series. See if they might love it too.  And leave reviews at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble.  Even if the book wasn't your cuppa, leave a review and say that.  Reviews help drive a lot of the algorithms that make books pop up in the "Hey, if you liked that, you may like THIS" recommendations, which can get JJD in front of people who may never have heard of it before.  

And in the meantime, I will be trying to work on something else.  ANYthing else.  Ugh.  I have an old project, Muse, that I'm revisiting, with an eye to self-pubbing it too in the future.  My lovely agent has given me a wishlist of things she'd love to see, so I'm trying to bang out new ideas there.  And of course, I have JJD5 looming on the horizon.  It needs an outline at the very least.

My problem with all of these choices is that it's too much. How to I focus on one task when...ooh, shiny!  Hopefully, something will settle with me soon, and then I can get my butt in gear.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

All the Knows There is to Know

So, I did it!  Pulled the trigger and made the print copy of A Snake in the Grass available for purchase. ('cause really, what fun is a release day if you don't HAVE the book?)  So go forth and order thine copies!  Or something.

Places to buy my print book:
Createspace
Amazon

Places to preorder my ebook:
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo

Still to come:
Kindle

The ebooks are still going to be available come July 8th, as planned, 'cause instant delivery and all that. 

I've had folks ask me which format/vendor I prefer they buy from.  Guys, I don't care.  Buy from wherever you feel comfiest.  I've also had folks ask me about shipping charges on Createspace.  I honestly don't know, I've never ordered from there.  But since Createspace is essentially Amazon, I can't imagine that they'd be too terribly different.

If anyone else has any other questions, be sure to let me know.  I may not know the answer, but I can make things up like a champ!  Seriously, this is all new to me too, so we'll stumble through it together.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

As Promised...


Yeah.  That's what I said too.  Isn't it swoony??? My cover designer is Robin Ludwig Design and she has just been an angel to work with.  Highly recommended.

SO, a few other tidbits of knowledge, while I've got you here.

Looks like the July 8th release is a definite go.  That means in the week leading up to that, I will probably be working on getting it up on most of the retailers. So yes, it is possible/likely that you will be able to get the book prior to July 8th, and this is OK!  It is also possible that some of the platforms may take a few more days, and that's ok too.  We're gonna celebrate like rockstars on July 8th, just to enjoy Jesse being back.

There WILL be a print copy of the book available.  It will NOT be normal paperback size.  Do you have any idea how crazy it makes me that my books aren't going to match?  Yeah, I'm that neurotic.  More on that later.  The print book is actually going to be 5x8, so somewhere between a regular paperback and a trade paperback.  Because it will be printed as you order it, and because of the size of the book, the price is going to be noticeably higher than a regular paperback.  I'm sorry guys, but there's nothing I can do about that, especially if I want to make a teensy bit of profit for myself.

The ebook versions, however, should be priced much lower.  At least, that's the plan.

BOOK REVIEWERS - I should have 2 proof copies (think of them like ARCs, so there may be a few mistakes still) that are still homeless, so if you want one, email me at kari.stewart21@gmail.com.  (If you're a reviewer I haven't spoken with before, hi!  Nice to meetcha!  Please send me a link to your blog/page/billboard/talk show/podcast so that I know you're just not trying to score the book as an early read)  I should also have e-copies of the book for review if you'd rather (or if the print ones get given away).  Really gotta get on that formatting thing. *sheepish*

Wow.  This is really happening.

I gotta admit, I'm kinda a nervous wreck over this.  I keep thinking, what if I'm doing it wrong?  Surely, it can't be this easy, I had to have made some catastrophic mistake somewhere.  What if the book sucks?  What if people are disappointed?  What if someone bans my favorite ice cream flavor?  What if a snozwanger jumps out of the bushes and eats my left shoe???

(No, seriously, does anyone know a good snozwanger repellent?)

Yeah I know, I'm ridiculous.  It's what I do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Home Stretch

First of all, I wanted to note that I got a lot of emails from a bunch of you during the time that I was transitioning jobs, and you were all wishing me good luck and other awesome stuff. I wanted to thank you all, even though I didn’t reply to all the emails, ‘cause they really made my day.

And since you were all so interested… Yes, the New Job is going great. I really like it there, and the environment is (so far) so much healthier than where I was before. Now, all work places have their issues, and I’m sure I’ll figure out the ones that pertain to the New Job eventually, but for right now, I’m just basking in the novel idea that I’m not ANGRY all the time. It’s wonderful.

So, that brings me to my Other Job, which is writing.

My status on JJD4 is thus: Right now, I have edited it to the best of my (and my betas’) ability. I have also given myself a crash course in both ebook formatting, and formatting for CreateSpace (Yes, this means that there WILL be a print copy of JJD4 available. More on that in a minute.). The formatting process is not nearly as confusing as I feared, and I’m actually feeling pretty damn proud of myself. I’m trying so hard to make sure that you, the Reader, get a quality product.
So what happens next? Once I get the final formatting done (ie: number of pages set in stone for the print copy), I will be sending this to my cover artist. Then, I’m subject to her schedule. I don’t know what that timeline will look like, but I’m hoping to have things to her by this weekend. (Y’know, barring alien abduction or other natural disasters) She, however, is a really awesome artist, and I will assume much in demand. I gotta wait my turn just like everybody else, but I think it’s going to be worth it.

Once I have the cover art from her, I can start to get things ready for public consumption. The FIRST thing I want to do is order myself a few proof copies of the print version, just to make sure that it’s not horrendous.

What this means for you, if you are a book reviewer: I have decided that I will be using those proof copies as ARCs, for those reviewers who would rather have it in print than ebook. IF this is you, Mr. or Ms. Reviewer, please let me know ahead of time at kari.stewart21@gmail.com so that I can try to make sure I have enough. I may not be able to accommodate all requests, but I’m going to give it a valiant effort. (I also realize that my ARC vs. release date schedule may be too tight for some reviewers to actually read the book/post a review prior to release. This is OKAY! I’m more interested in getting it reviewed at all, than the timing.)

If you are NOT a book reviewer, I will also probably work up some giveaways pre-release date, so do not despair.

And speaking of release dates. I’ve been saying all along “Summer 2014”. Still hoping that’s going to work, don’t see a decent reason why it shouldn’t. Like I said earlier, I’ll know more once I can do my part and get everything to my cover artist that she needs. That said, I will say that I’m going to shoot for an EXTREMELY TENTATIVE (note the use of extreme caps, there) release date of July 8th. This will be subject to change, if required. (and mostly, I picked that date because I already have that week off from the Real Job, and it seemed fortuitous.)

Now, the process of getting books, both print and e-version, out and available for purchase is not an instantaneous “Push the button, Max” kind of process. I will actually probably start navigating that maze a week or two BEFORE my actual release date. This means that on some platforms, you may see the book available earlier, and on some platforms, it may get there later. I can’t control when retailers update their systems. However, we will plan on at least celebrating the release on July 8th, pending necessary adjustments. I’ll keep you all posted.

Wow, this was a lot of info. I think part of the reason I needed to write this post was to just get it all out of my head so I have room for other stuff!

Which brings us to the last and final tidbit of info, a reward for all of you who actually read this entire post and didn’t do a TL;DR. (Yes, I totally just pulled a Marvel and put the good stuff after the credits)

The title of Jesse James Dawson #4 is going to be A SNAKE IN THE GRASS.

Tell all your friends.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Giant Gaping Hole in My Head



Yesterday was a momentous day for me.  First off, Peacemaker released, and if you haven’t downloaded it yet, why not?  You’re going to make Ernst cry.

Why do you want to make the jackalope cry??  What kind of monster are you?

Second, I finally finished JJD4.  It’s not really a first draft. It’s more what I call an ugly draft.  I’ll mess with it for a few more days, and then I’ll probably send it out to my Beta Slaves this weekend.  (If this means you, brace yourselves, it’s incoming).  While they’ve got it, I’ll probably be pricing some editing services, as well as cover artists, to try and find some folk that I can work with (and can afford).  I’m desperately wanting to do this one without running a Kickstarter, so financial stuff has to be considered.  What this ultimately means is that we’re still a few months out from you, my awesome readers, being able to see it, but it’s closer!  It’s so much closer.  I’m still shooting for this summer, at some point.  I’ll keep you posted.

However, finishing a book always puts me in a weird mood for a few days, and I thought I’d blog about it. (As one does about such things.)  I actually wanted to do this post when I finished writing The Musicbox Girl, but couldn’t wrap my head around everything that I wanted to say before the feeling just faded away and I kinda lost what I’d wanted to do.  So, you get it now, hopefully while all my thinks are still freshly thunk.

Completing a novel feels great.  Heck, for me, completing a grocery list feels pretty damn life affirming.  Anyone who has ever tried to write anything knows that there is a satisfaction to coming up with a coherent beginning, middle and end, no matter if you’re writing a novel, a short story, or a dirty limerick.  (Love me some dirty limericks)  You have done SOMEthing.

But the part that gets to me, every single time, is this profound sense of loss I feel.  Suddenly, all of the scenes and lines and people that I’ve been living with in my head for months are gone.  You have no idea how long some of the things you read have been percolating in my gray matter (multiple years, in some cases).  And once it’s on paper, once it’s brought to life, it’s just…gone.  I have a giant, novel-shaped hole in my brain. 

Part of me has to wonder if this is what it’ll feel like when kiddo grows up and moves out of the house.  You spend all this time, tending and nurturing something, and then suddenly it has a life of its own, and it doesn’t need you anymore.  Yeah, that’s the way it’s supposed to be, and you’re happy, but for at least a little bit, you’re also suddenly lonely.  There’s a genuine feeling of mourning.

Now, this giant gaping hole won’t last forever.  I think of it like a foot print in wet soil.  Slowly, the water seeps back in and fills up the emptiness.  Already, I can feel my plans and plots for my MBG revision seeping in there.  Soon, the hole in my brain will be taken up with that novel, and once I finish revising that, then another novel will seep its way in.  And another after that, and another, ad infinitum.  (Hopefully)

So the loneliness and loss don’t last very long, especially if I’ve got other projects loudly demanding attention.  But for just a few days, finishing a novel is a bittersweet victory.  So long, Jesse & Axel and the rest of you crazy kooks.  I’ll see you again in a few months.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

As The Year Turns



And what a year it's been.

I'm looking back on all my grand plans, trying to figure out if I should be disappointed in myself for not meeting all my goals, or satisfied with what I DID get done.

Suffice to say, I wanted to be done with Jesse #4 by now.  I'm not.  The last two months has been a total wash, though I will say that I think I've made a brainstorming breakthrough and I'll be starting back up with the writing again probably as soon as I finish this post.  I'm so very close, if I can just get over this little bump.  I know how it ends, I just have to get there.

I fully admit, my writing was a victim of stress in other areas of my life.  I know that I've mentioned my Real Job(tm) before.  Well, for the last....oh, probably two years, if I'm being honest...I've not been happy with the Real Job(tm).  In fact, I've been scrambling to get clear of there.  Sadly, I'm not in a position where writing full time is feasible, financially, so getting clear of one job requires a new job.  And in the industry where I work, that's easier said than done right now.

However, over the last three months, I managed to apply/interview/finally get hired at a new place!  I'm simultaneously thrilled and terrified.  I mean, I worked at my old job for eight and a half years.  It's been a while since I had to get all dressed up and go make new friends.  But it'll be fine.  It has to be.  At the very least, it can't be any worse.

So, last day at the Old Job was yesterday, and my first day at the New Job is Monday.



New Job schedule is slightly different (Old Job started at 7 a.m., New Job starts at 8:30 a.m.), but I think I'm going to parlay that into some early morning writing time.  I recall that when I was working on The Musicbox Girl, my Saturday mornings were very productive.  No one in the house is up, it's quiet, I'm not exhausted...  It sounds worth a try.

Also, I find it very poetic that the winter days were getting darker right up until I quit the Old Job, and now when I start the New Job, the days will be getting lighter.  Happy Solstice, everyone!

So.  Goals for the new year:

January - Finish JJD#4, get it out to betas.  I'm about 30K words from the end of a first draft.  Once the holidays are past, I'm going to buckle down and knock this thing out.

January 21st - Peacemaker release.  Advance reviews are trickling in so far, and people seem to like it!  This makes me happy.  It's a fun little story, not intended to change the world, and I hope people enjoy it.  I should probably come up with some promotion events centered around that, but honestly I'm a bit tapped out of ideas given the absence of actual physical copies.  So if anyone has a thing they want me to do, let me know!

February/March - I will be revising The Musicbox Girl per my Lovely Agent's advice.  Kinda looking forward to getting my hands back into this story.  I will also be hopefully assembling beta reader notes on JJD#4 and once MBG is done, go through the Jesse book again.

April - Find an editor & cover artist for JJD#4.  My actual release date for that book will depend on deadlines for these two things.  Starting to look like a summer release for the book, which is apt, since the first three always came out in summer.

Rest of the Year - I want to start outlining/drafting Arcane West #2 (a sequel to Peacemaker).  I also want to start working on a new project that has been driving me nuts called Valkyrie, Inc.  It'll be a little different than some of my other stuff, but it feels like it's going to be fun and I'm excited about it.

Hoping that I can get MBG into a shape where Lovely Agent will want to start subbing it.  She also has Muse to read, and I'm hoping to find out if she wants to try subbing that too, or if I'll be trying to self-pub that one.  Also hoping to make a decision on whether or not to self-pub Night of Fire and Ash, but if I did that, I'd officially have three series going at once, and that way lies madness.  So that one's going to take a bit of thinking.

And of course, once JJD#4 is done, I need to move on to #5.  There will be six Jesse books in the end, and I'm very devoted to finishing the series.  It's just something I need to do at this point.


As we've seen, my best laid plans often go awry, but I like having a starting point from which to veer off dramatically.

Happy Winter-Holiday-Event-of-Your-Choice, and may the New Year be fabulous for us all!