Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Writing, Reading and Working On "Stuff"...

The last few days have been pretty busy for me as a writer.

I am now working on revisions for Chapter 15 (out of 27) of Moon Dance. I am happy with how the changes I am making are going. I feel I am doing what is right for my book and for my characters, and that is very important to me.

I've also been doing some reading. But not necessarily of the nature that many of you may be interested in. What's been getting prime time on my Kindle? Here, I'll show you: 

Why have I taken off down this strange little path? Because I was finding that while I sat there trying to edit Moon Dance I kept getting stuck because I was worrying about things like, "How does an eBook or print book actually get designed?", "What do I need to know to format a cover properly?" and of course, "What haven't I thought about yet that I'm going to kick myself over when the time to launch Moon Dance rolls around?". It's very hard to escape 'where I am' and get to 'where my characters are' with that noise in my head. So I needed to find a way to turn down the volume. 

A short and sweet list of what I've learned this weekend:

1. Even if I like to write in Scrivener, I will likely benefit from a copy of Microsoft Word. It will make my life easier when it comes time to format my eBook and design the inside of my print book. (I should also invest in a bottle of Advil -- dealing with these things is likely going to give me a headache before I get them right.)

2. Everyone has an opinion on how a book cover should look, and what it is for. Since I am planning to publish both in eBook and print, winding up with something suitable and practical may be challenging.

3. People have very strong feelings about self publishing... Why they do it. Who should do it. How it should be done. What steps should be taken.

Have you ever wondered what motivates me? I just want to write the best story I can, package it nicely, wrap it in a beautiful cover and share it with readers. It's not about the bottom line. It's about my characters and making sure their story is both told and heard.

Which of course raises the question: "But, Kat! If you feel that way, why charge anything for it?"

I have three reasons:

-- I want to hold my book in my hands. This is my holy grail. This is the part I am doing for me. This is what will make me feel that everything I have done is 'real'. That my 'people' (characters) aren't just strings of cotton candy floating randomly around in my head. 

-- I want to be read, not collected. If you make something free, lots of people will download it. But that does not mean lots of people are gong to actually read it. I know I have been guilty of getting something for free and having it languish on my Kindle. (Okay, I do this with books I buy, too. I'm terrible and an impulse buyer.) I believe in an altered version of what that lion king on the isle of misfit toys says in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (If anyone remembers his name, could you tell me?): "A [book] is never truly happy until it is loved by a [reader]." Yes, I am just a little crazy. But I'm sure you knew that already. :) 

-- Even if money is not my primary motivation for writing, publishing or wanting to share my work, I do not feel I am in the wrong for trying my luck and seeing if my book will sell. If I understand correctly, a writer is someone who writes books. An author is someone who has sold them. Do I really need to point out that while I may not be out to make a million dollars, I do want the right to refer to myself as an author? *laughs* 

4. Oh, yeah. I did learn a little bit about the stuff I set out to research. (See #1: Buy MS Word.) 

I do have one final piece of exciting news before I end this, though.

I should soon have an actual cover to show you all! With 'holding a print copy of my book' as one of my big dreams, this is a pretty big deal to me. 

Anyway, I just thought I should pop on here and let you guys know I didn't fall off the face of the earth. Hopefully once I have some of this stuff (especially the editing, which needed to be done four days before yesterday...) is under control, things will get back to normal.

My questions for you are:

1. Do you want to know what I think about the books I am reading?

2. Would you guys like another sample from Moon Dance?

I hope you all had a great weekend and are into the start of a fabulous week!


  1. Oh yes, definitely get Word. I was strictly a WordPerfect girl until I realized it would basically be impossible to format my book without Word. Now it's all I use. Formatting is time-consuming, but not nearly as difficult as I expected it to be. If you have any questions for someone who's gone through the process, you know where to find me! ;-)


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