When is the Right Time to Announce Your Book?

Having sat and read most of my first novel, I’ve realised that with the edits I’ve made, and the edits I see, that the book is worth releasing. And yes, I want to tell the whole story, so every six months or so, another book will come out.

But what I wonder is, at what point do I announce the book? At what point do I put it into Goodreads and make myself into an Author profile? My current plan is to edit the book in July, but to give myself some space for critiques and further edits, I want to release in October. So when should I put it into Goodreads?

Do I wait until it’s ready for release? Or do I give myself a deadline so I need to stick to it?

I’m wondering what other writers think/do. This is one post I’d really appreciate feedback on.

My thinking right now is that I should put the book into Goodreads in July when I see how my edits are going; about the time I send it out to beta readers.  This way, there’s some time to build awareness of the book, and it’s already close to being a complete work, so making the deadline I set is much more likely.

So, what are your thoughts? When is the right time to tell the world your book is going to be born?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I’ve posted this same question to all my social networks and if I get a decent response, I’ll do a follow-up post.

Camp NaNoEMo (National Novel Editing Month)

My laptop is several years old and starts to hack and wheeze when I try to do things like, say, use iTunes. I decided to clean it out; store files on an external hard drive, uninstall programs I haven’t launched in a year or more, etc.

While strolling down forgotten and neglected lane, I stumbled on my first novel. Anyone who has been here a while will recall I wrote it under the working name The Veil. I had started doing edits, reaching almost half way before leaving it to begin work on my NaNoWriMo book, Gloom,  in November 2011.

For fun, I loaded the file and started reading the last chapters I edited and pushed ahead a bit into those chapters that had not yet been polished. A funny thought occurred to me, This isn’t too bad.

So while I prep my Camp NaNoWriMo book, Rebus, for June, I have decided to dub July Camp NaNoEMo (National Novel Editing Month).

In the same way that WriMo seeks to have me write a book in one month, I will endeavor to edit a book in one month in July. The Veil was twenty-eight chapters long. I’m currently on chapter 12 in my edits. So that leaves sixteen chapters to edit. Given July is thirty-one days, that’s almost a precise one-chapter-every-two-days ratio.

I would love to get in a routine of every-other-month of writing and editing. I seem to work better with set goals and deadlines. Since Camp NaNoEMo is my own creation, it is only you wonderful people who read my blog/tweet/facebook posts that can keep me honest. I will post my edit point and new word count every-other day.

As a caveat, expect my word count to grow as I edit The Veil. My first beta reader stated that it read too much like a script and needed more fleshing out, so that’s what I’ll be doing.

August will bring another Camp NaNo which will then mean September will be my fall session of EMo (hopefully for the book I will be writing in June). And then October will be a month of writing Gloom and then November, well, I guess I’ll have to double up on writing months, but that’s fine. It’s a roadmap at the very least.

So these are my writing plans. I ask you all to please keep me honest and working through these next couple of months. My goal was to have something published in 2012. If I stay true to the plan I have here, that could happen. Maybe I’ll even have two works see the light of day.

So how about you? Do you need a plan and a group of people to help you stick to it?

Camp NaNoWriMo!

In less than 48 hours, June will be upon us. And with it will come Camp NaNoWriMo!

Just like the usual event that takes place in November, the goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel (or complete a novel of those words or more) within the month. That works out to roughly 1,667 words per day for the 30 days of the month.

As some of you may know, I participated in the November NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2011 and fell short of the goal by approximately 6,500 words. Which, while being disappointing, was still a huge win for me as I’d never written so much in such a short time. Using some of the lessons learned in November, I’m doing my best to be even more prepared for June.

In this case, Scrivener has become my best writing friend. It’s allowed me to brainstorm like mad, lay out scenes and build character sketches of the major players. Having used Scrivener for a year or more now, I have no idea how I ever wrote without it.

In any case, this will be the first major writing I’ve done since November. It was so easy in the hoopla of holidays to neglect writing in December and I’ve just been in a slump ever since. Still, my new idea, that I’ve given the working title of Rebus, has me very excited. It’s been hard not to jump the gun and start writing 🙂

So how about it my fellow word lovers, are you going to camp? I’ll be doing more regular posts as well as some vlogs as I work through the month. My hope (dream?) is to finish Rebus in June and then write its sequel during Camp NaNoWriMo’s August session.

Wish me luck folks. And if you’re participating, I wish you all the best and would love to know so I can follow your blog/vlog/tumbler/twitter/etc, so go ahead and post it in the comments!

Chasing a Following

It’s been some time since I sat and typed anything for this site. I can understand if the only people coming here are spammers. After all, I haven’t given much meat to digest.

It’s not intentional. To be honest, I’ve been having some fun posting videos over on YouTube (if you want, you can check them out at http://www.youtube.com/user/JustusRStone). There’s something liberating about not having to force my hands to translate the happenings in my brain. For some reason, the mouth seems much easier to perform that task. Maybe because of its closer proximity to the brain?

But being on YouTube has given me some food for thought. And I suppose it’s not just YouTube, but also Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all these messes of social networks that have noodled into my brain and have me thinking. Just what am I doing? What validation am I seeking?

Checking my YouTube page to see the stats for each of my videos has become a daily habit. Bizarre really, given that I’ve done little to promote the channel and my videos betray my amateur status. There’s little there to justify getting viewer counts in the tens of thousands. Yet, there’s so many on YouTube that have just that. And I can’t help but think how an indie writer could benefit from such a huge following. I mean, that is the reason we’re chasing people on our various networks, right? We talk about warm things like community, support and connections, but the real reason so many indies hit the social web is to gain customers. And perhaps that’s the other reason why my blog hits, video views and twitter followers haven’t exploded; because I’m worried about customers.

Which is stupid given that I currently have nothing to sell (but that’s a whole other post).

My most viewed video on YouTube is a rant about how the current team of people involved with the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie are seeking to change the origins of the characters. Does this have anything to do with my writing? Not even in the most remote sense. And that wasn’t why I made the video in the first place. I did it because I was mad (yes, I am a fanboy). But that upset connected with others. Why?

That’s where the noodling in my head has been stemming from.

The answer I’ve come up with is… sincerity. That video is who I am. I didn’t do it because I wanted book fans to follow me so one day I might sell them a book. I didn’t do it to try and gain hordes of followers. I did it because it struck a true chord in my fanboy heart and I had to say something about it.

I think I’ve been doing things for all the wrong reasons. I think I’ve allowed myself to get sucked into the “gain a following and create a presence” vortex. I’ve spent too much time worrying about how to get people to follow my exploits instead of focusing on the exploits themselves.

So I’ve decided to stop worrying about it. Whether it’s here on the blog, or over on YouTube, it will be a reflection of who I am and what I really feel the need to talk about. If people find that interesting, well, they’re welcome to follow along. In the meantime, I’ll just keep rambling….