Row80- Jumping in Midway

I know this round of Row80 is about midway through, but I could really use some help with goals. So, I’m just jumping in now. If you haven’t tried Row80 hop on over to the blog home and check it out. Be sure to visit the other blogs and give a little encouragement.

Goals for the remainder of this round (not really sure when it ends):

  1.  Edit/review 4 chapters of my WIP per day. I must check for head hopping and rushing the scene.
  2. Be more social online. I’ve become a bit of a hermit. Comment on 4 blogs a week.
  3. Critique one story a week on Critique Circle.
  4. Do the prep work for a new Halloween story stirring around in my brain. I have no clue how to measure that.
  5. Get a post office box so my address doesn’t show up on mail chimp.
  6. Participate more on author facebook groups. Stop lurking. Again how do I measure that.
  7. Write a promotional post for my new release.
  8. Write a guest post for my new release. If anyone is interested in helping read this.
  9. Have new photos taken for promotion-maybe.
  10. Learn to like marketing.
  11. Turn in daily assignments for Story Arc class on time.
  12. Learn the rules to volleyball. My oldest is on the school team and I’m almost clueless.
  13. Scare my kids with Festus, the stuffed rat.
  14. Decorate for Halloween.

GeeWhiz, that makes me dizzy just reading it. Pass the chocolate.

-CK

 

Self-promotion Fun

I have a self-published collection of short stories coming out soon. Unlike my first venture into self-publishing, I want to push this one a bit.

Tales of Christmas in the South by Caren Rich

It contains three short stories, a small quick read for Christmas.  Each story  has a different theme and tone. The first has a twilight zone feel and is light fantasy (previously unpublished). I’m not sure if that is a genre, but it fits. The second story is a bittersweet Christian story of love and loss. I know not everyone will be comfortable with a Christian view point so this is your warning. The third is the Fruitcake which was released last year. All three are part of the same series and this is the first time they will be together in one volume. I am planning the launch for October 1. That gives me plenty of time to finish the upload and write a few promotion pieces.

I am very nervous about asking for help in publicizing the release. If you can, I could use help with the following:

  1. Cover Reveal- a short post of the new release cover with a blurb and information on links.
  2. In-depth Release- a post on the new release with blurb and more information (your choice) on either the writer or one of the short stories.
  3. A Guest blog post of your choice
  4. Buy the book (only $0.99)
  5. Give an honest review of the book.

If you have any ideas for something different please let me know. Contact me at: ckrich812(at)gmail(dot)com

Christmas in July

Christmas in July, or it’s too darn hot outside.

photo by David Wagner

I don’t know about you, but I could use a little winter relief. Between the heat and humidity I feel like I’m living in a heavy, wet blanket.  Just looking at the photo makes me feel cooler. Well, almost. It’s been almost a year since I published my short story, The Fruitcake and I feel like having a little Christmas fun in July. I hope to have an announcement at the first of August, keep your fingers crossed.  This month my regular posts will have a hint of Christmas. For now, I leave you with the thought of snow. That’s more of a fantasy here!

What’s your favorite winter/Christmas activity?

CK

 

The Query Letter

I am knee deep in the search for an agent.  I’m not ruling out self-publishing, but I would like to be traditionally published.  I can admit that.

I don’t consider myself an expert on query letters, there are plenty of sources out there that can give you directions on that (here’s a great one by Jane Friedman ).  In the end, I think you have to write one that is true to you and your novel.  All query letters have certain parts.  Query letters for works of fiction.

  • greeting
  • hook
  • pitch/synopsis
  • bio
  • closing

Those are the basics.  I’m a firm believer in keeping it short, but thorough, and no gimmicks. I imagine agents have inboxes overflowing with emails and don’t have time to read long winded queries.  I’ve written and rewritten my pith.  The pitch isn’t as hard as the bio.  A short bio!?  I’d rather read a romance than write my bio.

Some query how-to articles give the advice of finding out who the agent represents and how they are similar to what you write.  I hate this.  It’s not always easy finding out who an agent represents.  Recently, I read that having an idea of where your book sits on the shelf is useful. Wicked Cozy Authors has a series of articles on writing a book/series proposals that have been very helpful.

So I did a google search to see what books have similar characteristics of Dead in the Water.  I googled, cozy mysteries in small towns.  My brain crashed.  Most cozy mysteries occur in small towns.

I googled, cozy mysteries surrounding diners.  I choked, dozens and dozens (if not hundreds) of titles occur in or around an eatery of some kind.

Lastly, I googled, southern cozy mysteries.  That was manageable.  I made a list of authors and headed to the library, specifically looking for southern cozy mysteries.  I have a nice little stack on my side table.  I’ve never read any of these writers, and I hope to find a new favorite.

I don’t know how much any of this will help my query letter, but the current version looks pretty good.

What have you learned from writing a query letter?

CK

 

Row80 Sunday Edition

It’s Sunday, that means it is time for Row80 once again:

Goals:

    • Writing:  I did it.  I surpassed my personal goal of 30,0oo words and won Nano.  Now I won’t feel bad when I wear the winner T shirt I ordered back in the beginning of the month.
    • I’m putting that WIP aside until January.  Not even going to think about it until then!

  • Editing: Finish editing my WIP, Dead in the Water. Finish edits by October 21. Done
  • Submissions: Start submissions October 22  Nov.1, send out 2 a week the rest of the round.  Stop laughing….think positive.  Been busy writing so no news here.
  • Social networking: This is the hardest.  I am bad at just liking a post or a tweet and leaving.  So my goal for this is to respond more to blog posts, even reblogging, and be more involved on twitter. That’s not measurable.  Comment on 3 blogs a week.  Nope, I have been totally anti social this week.
  • Blogging: Have 2 nonRow80 blog posts a week. Happy Thanksgiving 11/27,  Authors Answer 4 11/28,  and Iron Bowl Saturday 11/29  (Alabama won if your interested!)
  • Coffee: Master my new coffee pot.  Apparently there is a learning curve.  Done

There’s my goals, I feel very happy how they are turning out.  How are your goals going?
CK

Row80 Update

NaNoWriMo has not killed me, although that with work and Thanksgiving it easily could!  I have gone further than I expected with NaNo, and I am facing the possibility of reaching 50K!  Shocking I know.  I feel the desire to finish this WIP as quickly as possible.  Of course, I have to be at work early every day this week (except Thursday), during my prime writing time.  HELP!  Writer takes deep cleansing breaths.

Row80

  • Writing:
  • Editing: Finish editing my WIP, Dead in the Water. Finish edits by October 21. Done
  • Submissions: Start submissions October 22  Nov.1, send out 2 a week the rest of the round.  Stop laughing….think positive. NADA  busy writing.
  • Social networking: This is the hardest.  I am bad at just liking a post or a tweet and leaving.  So my goal for this is to respond more to blog posts, even reblogging, and be more involved on twitter. That’s not measurable.  Comment on 3 blogs a week. Doubtful.
  • Blogging: Have 2 nonRow80 blog posts a week.  NADA
  • Coffee: Master my new coffee pot.  Apparently there is a learning curve.  Done

How are your goals going?

CK