Smashwords

I Need A Bigger Foot….

I’m trying to buckle down and actually get my teeny tiny foot in the door of the publishing world. And when I say tiny, I mean tiny. I used to be a size 4 in kids, but when I bought shoes and sneakers a couple weeks ago, my feet shrunk to a size 2 in kids. Yeah.

Anyway, I was thinking of finally publishing something just to get my foot in the door. I think I’m going to publish just a short story or two (if the first one turns out well) instead of a full novel. I know you can set the price for something or free. Whenever I do this, I’m thinking of posting my first short story on there for free. Just so I can get the hang of things. I know nothing about business or marketing or advertising or money or…science, does that category count? See, I know nothing. Accounting! Accounting counts, right? Or would that count as money…? I’m getting off topic…

The whole point of this post is to ask for your help. I’ve looked at the Smashwords website. I’ve Googled it. The thing is, I’m not sure if half of the things I hear on Google are worthy enough to take in.

I’ve seen some blogs around WordPress talking about Smashwords and some people have some things published on there. If anyone has any information on it, any advice, please mention something on the Contact Me page of my blog. Or you could just post a comment on here if that’s easier.

Let me know your honest opinion: do you think Smashwords is good or bad? Do you have any advice for me? Do you have anything published on there? I’ve also looked into CreateSpace…if you know anything about that, that would be great, too. Which would you prefer?

I trust you guys more than Google, so any help is appreciated. Thank you in advance!

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One Too Many Stories

Too Many Free Characters…

Meet Leo!
Meet Leo!

Do you all remember when my flash drive died? I was upset and disappointed. Then I quickly realized it was for the best. I had so many novels started on there that were no where near being finished. Half of them didn’t even make sense and weren’t good at all.

So losing my flash drive made me feel as though I was starting completely over, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I told myself that I was going to work on only one novel at a time. Only when I completed the first draft I’d be able to move on. I need to finish what I start.

I was doing so well, then I realized the other day that I have been falling out of my routine. I have three novels started, four in desperate need to be edited, and more ideas attempting to push themselves out of my head. It’s annoying, actually.

I have been doing pretty good. I haven’t been starting anything new other than what I already have started. I’m in the mood for both Hunter & Comet and Union Academy. So I’m going to try to finish those first while trying to edit Hunter and Diary of a Lover at the same time. I just need to print out Diary of a Lover (and give it to Kris) while Hunter has a long way to go before I can give it to anyone else. As stated in my previous post, I figured out what is wrong with Hunter and I desperately need to fix it. So I’m going to do that and it’s most likely going to take a while.

Speaking of my flash drive dying…I know that conversation was a little while ago, but LOOK! This is my new flash drive. He’s rubber and small and adorable and 8GB! And he was 15 bucks. 😉

Meet Leo's other half!
Meet Leo’s other half!

Relaxation

I Got Nothing Done Today…

 

Well, I have been on a roll writing for at least one hour every day. However, I didn’t write at all today. But I did say that I was going to try to post on here every day, so here I am. I have no news, but I am posting!

The reason as to why I didn’t write today was because I was busy with my websites. For example, Stars Vs. Gems, Gaia Ranch, and Spilled Ink. Spilled Ink is a writing website that my sister and I are working on together. We already have one up right now, but we completely re-did the whole website. So that’s why I didn’t give you the link because it’s not open yet. However, we  are planning on opening it on Columbus Day…maybe sooner. I’ll explain more about the website when it opens.

Once I finished working on our websites for the day, I thought about getting some writing done, but when I looked at the time I realized that I wasn’t going to have enough time. Although, now that I think about it, I could have written a little bit. Getting a little something done is better than nothing. But oh, well. What’s done is done.

I had a very busy day today because of church. Everyone knows that I’m the co-director of the Sunday school, correct? Well, today the Bishop came for a visit. Plus the Sunday school were performing something in the middle of the service. Also, we had a luncheon for the ladies who run the Thrift Shop to say thank you for everything they do for the church. Usually, I’m at church from 9:30 to 12:00. Today, because of the Bishop’s schedule, the service was 2 to 3. But because of the thing the Sunday School did in the service, we needed to practice it. So we told everyone to come at one, which meant that I was there before one. Then after the service, we had the luncheon and, well…I was at church today from 12:45 to 6:00. It wasn’t a bad time, but I just didn’t want to be there for that amount of time as well as it being smack in the middle of the day.

Anyway, when I got home, I was starving (there wasn’t any food I liked at the luncheon) so my sister and I got Panera and we’ve been watching TV ever since. I’ve been too tired to do anything else. Although, I think I might go plan out the novel a little bit.

The Blank Page has three novels in it and I thought that I should plan those out. Not fully, but just enough so that when I have my characters writing them, they all make sense. So I may do that, but as far as actual writing goes…I’m not going to be boosting my word count tonight.

Speaking of planning out the novels, though, I found this really cool app on my iPod. It’s called “A Novel Idea.” It breaks everything down. You can click on “novels” and will ask you the title, setting, theme, tone, POV, premise, plot, and group. The group is something you make up. You can group certain things together. For example, when I plugged in The Blank Page, I put it under the Writers Group group. The other sections are “scenes,” “characters,” “locations,” and “ideas.” It’s very detailed and organized. I added The Blank Page as a novel and added Dominic, Justin, and Adair as characters. Then it allowed me to attach the novel to each character. It also allowed me to give Dominic, Adair, and Justin relations to each other. It really keeps you organized. I think I may use this to plan out the three novels that aren’t real. Then I might know enough information about them so Dominic, Justin, and Adair can write them efficiently in The Blank Page.

If you like to write and have an iPod, iPhone, iPad, or anything along those lines, then you should download this app. It’s really useful and it was free. I highly recommend it.

2013: 11,010 Words

Hello 2013!

I Can’t Believe Another Year Has Come And Gone…

 

I hope everyone had a great holiday and a lovely New Year! I spent last night at my friends house with my sisters…our host fell asleep. But it’s okay, we woke her up 20 minutes before midnight! We watched the people in New York…no one would be able to drag me there for anything on that night. Too many people and it was way too cold. Plus, I like to go to bed right after midnight…even though I didn’t. But that’s besides the point.

Anyway, I got a new little nifty gadget from Santa! I got an iPod Touch. I know some of you probably don’t think that’s a big deal because most of you probably have the iPhone 5, but my phone is an old Sony Ericsson flip phone that I have had for a few years and it still works wonders…even after I accidentally drop it a million times a day. His name is Caleb and I love him.

But speaking of Donny (this is what I named my new iPod), I have used him quite a bit. One of my favorite things is the WordPress App that I have for it. That’s what I used when I wrote my last post oh so long ago. But at least now, I can update while I’m in class at school! Isn’t that great? 😀

But let’s talk about the new year. The past two years I have had the same resolution and both years I started off the beginning of the year really well and followed it. Then half way through the year, I would either get bored or just forget about it. That resolution was to read more. So, I think I might try it again, but we’ll have to see how it goes. I am on GoodReads and the link to my profile is on the Come Find Me page of this blog if anyone wants to check it out (I also have the app for that, too!). I also just joined the 2013 Reading Challenge on there with a goal of 20 books. It told me that I only read eight books last year. That’s kind of sad…but kind of a new record for me, I guess.

Another resolution: write more. I feel as though I say this every single day, but I really am going to start writing a lot more. Here’s a little bit of news for you: I finished Saving Each Other. Remember that NaNo I was trying to accomplish? Well, I finished it in the middle of December. The only thing is that I’m going to try doing something  a little different…

My sister came up with this idea and I’ve decided to follow through with it because I believe it would work out better this way. Instead of Saving Each Other being one book with sequels, I’m going to have it be in one book. Saving Each Other is just the first part. So I guess you can say that I finished one part of a book that’s going to have five parts. So, I edited my To Do List page and replaced “finish Saving Each Other” with “finish Seeing Things.” I also got rid of the whole write 360 pages by the end of the year…I think I got to a little over 200 pages. Not bad, at least.

So this is what I’m going to be doing this year: reading more and writing more. Let’s hope that I can keep it up with school and work!

Happy New Year everyone! And good luck with all your resolutions! 🙂

Computer Versus Notebook

Flash Drive or Pen…?

 

Do you prefer to use a computer for your writing or a notebook?  I think that there are pros and cons to using a computer and there are pros and cons to using a notebook.  However, no matter what the pros are or what the cons are, people will most likely choose one certain one over the other all the time.

A computer has its advantages.  Nine out of ten people type faster than they write, so typing would be an advantage over hand writing.  Plus, there’s spell-check.  If you write on the computer, the computer will tell you whether you’re right or wrong–of course, the computer is sometimes wrong, so you have to watch out.  If you use the computer, you can check to see how many words you have written and you can see how long it is.  I’ll use myself as an example.  A finished manuscript is typed and double-spaced (most of the time).  During my free time in school, I wrote in a notebook.  By the end of the semester, I had filled up an entire one-subject notebook of a story.  When I typed it up on the computer, the manuscript was less than ten pages.  Of course, the story was not nearly complete, but my point is that if you use a computer, you know exactly the length of your novel.

Now there are disadvantages to using the computer.  It’s one word: Internet.  Yes, if you need to research something on Google, then that’s okay.  However, for most people, when they log onto the internet, they stay on the internet for a good few hours.  They forget what they’re doing and then when their laptop dies or they need to leave to go to work or whatever, they remember, “Oh, yeah.  I was supposed to be writing.” Of course, there is nothing that they can do about it.  They shut down, go do whatever it is that life needs them to do and do they get back to the story?  Eventually, but not likely that same day.  There is also the disadvantage of the computer crashing or getting a virus (which, I would say is technically the same thing).  Once that happens, you’re screwed.  You may be able to get rid of the virus, but all your documents are now infected.  That is, if they even made it through the whole crashing process.  You might have lost them forever.  And yes, that is why we have flash drives these days.  You pop it into the computer, save everything onto that and (God forbid) your computer dies tragically you still have all your crap.  It’s magic!  It’s saved!  However, a flash drive is only good for you if you actually have it.

Let me tell you this story from a couple of semesters ago…I was at school.  My sister and I arrived in the early morning, we went to our classes, and then we were gone by, I think, noon.  Maybe later, I don’t know, but the time is irrelevant.  The time you need to know is that at seven o’clock at night, yes 7:00 PM, I decide to write.  I turn on my laptop, I get my flash drive.  Except I don’t.  I look in my bag, all the drawers in my desk, in my room, everything.  No flash drive.  Then it hits me: I used my flash drive at school.  Guess where I left it?  That’s right; I left it connected to one of the school computers in the library.  I was completely panicked.  I was distraught.  I had convinced myself that I was never ever going to see my flash drive again.  I thought to myself, “Well, that’s it!  All those stories…all that hard work…wasted!  I am never going to write again!” No, seriously, I vowed that I was never going to write again if I didn’t get my flash drive back…I’m a very sensitive person.  Anyway, I run up to my bedroom, probably crying I don’t really remember, and I tell my sister everything that happened.  Well, thank the lord that my school library added a new feature.  We can IM the librarians now…if the library is open and someone is on duty, that is.  Lucky for me, there was a librarian online.  My sister spoke with her and apparently a very nice man found it and turned it in to the lost and found.  The next day, we went to school to the Lost and Found and I got my flash drive back.  I don’t know who that student was who returned my flash drive, but I would give him a big bear hug if I ever found out.

So, computers have advantages and disadvantages…more advantages than the disadvantages.  But notebooks also have their own advantages and disadvantages:

Hand writing may be slower, but think of it as a first-first draft.  If you hand write and then type it (believe me because I’ve done it plenty of times before) as you type you’ll be editing.  You will notice spelling, grammar, and even sentence structure mistakes.  As you type, you will fix these mistakes so it’s as though you’re getting a whole draft edited as you format it.  Another advantage: they are portable.  As long as you have a pen that works with you, then you can write wherever you go.  Sure, laptops are portable, but then you have to lug around  a heavy laptop, a flash drive (if you need one) and the cord…remember, laptops die.  Notebooks don’t.

How are notebooks not a good idea?  Smudging.  I guess it depends on the type of pen you use, but when I write, my arm tends to smudge all the previous words I wrote.  And I’m right-handed.  The other problem would be messiness.  It depends on you and your hand writing and it’s not like it’s your fault if you have crappy hand writing or not, but still.  I hand write fast and my hand writing isn’t the best, to begin with.  When I try to re-read over the things I wrote, I get stuck every once in a while trying to read my own writing.  People may not see this one as a big deal, but to me it is.  Once you start writing in a notebook and then you take it somewhere with you to write in your spare time (like I do when I go to school), you need to make sure that you’ll have enough paper left in the notebook to last you through the day.  The majority of one-subject notebooks only have 70 pages.  If you use them double-sided (which I think everyone should) then you technically have 140 pages.  However, it also depends on how big you write…I write like a giant, so I don’t always get the most words down on one sheet.  The point is a computer has an unlimited amount of pages, whereas notebooks don’t.

And there you have it.  I’m sure that there are more pros and cons to both computers and notebooks, but those were the ones that I could come up with.  I think that it depends on how often you write, where you write, how you write, etc., should depend on what you use.  Then again, you need to use something that you’re comfortable with.  Me?  I couldn’t tell you which I prefer.  I use the computer the majority of the time.  That’s mostly because I have an unlimited amount of paper, plus the words get down faster.  However, you will sometimes catch me writing in a notebook.  I need a notebook to write in whenever I can’t get to a computer and it makes me feel relaxed.  It’s quieter because I don’t have the typing noise in the background as I think and try to come up with something to write next…although I quite like the typing noise. I usually listen to music when I write whether I am on the computer or using a notebook, so I’m not really making much sense right now, but that’s just how I work.

Which do you use?