February 2017 Update

One-twelfth of 2017 is over (approximately) so it’s time for a progress report.

Progress: slow. I spent a chunk of January trying to rework Grace, yet again, debated giving up, yet again, and finally re-read what I had and decided to work with it. Yet again.

I’m approximately 20,000 words away from an ending, I hope, and planning to try to write 1000 words a day on it, finishing this month. However, as I write that, I have to acknowledge that my February 1 post from 2016 (on my personal site) says, “February goal: to write every day, to write a lot every day, to finish this book and start the next one.” The book to which I refer in that was A Gift of Grace. Ouch. So a year later, I’m basically saying the same thing. And meaning it, too!

I am seriously considering releasing a book of short stories, which I mentioned before. My goal for that would be to finish at least two out of five unfinished stories this month — finishing being the hard part for me these days — and then post it to Amazon by the middle of March.

Based on the reports of craziness in Kindle Unlimited, I decided to pull out of the program. (Apparently Amazon is suspending authors’ accounts without notice because of high numbers of pages read, unrelated to any behavior on the part of the authors. I don’t watch my numbers nearly closely enough to know if something dubious is happening in my account and it doesn’t feel like a chance I’m willing to take.) So at some point in the next two months, I’ll post A Lonely Magic and The Wedding Guests to larger audiences. That some point will depend on when I have good internet, obviously, since it’s pretty time- and data-consuming.

I am strongly debating cutting the last chapter of A Lonely Magic before I do. Reviews say that it ends on a cliffhanger and I’m fairly sure if I remove the last chapter, that will stop feeling true. I’m debating doing that to the Amazon version, too, but it’s not a decision I’ve made yet. I did play with the cover quite a bit in December and January, though. No sign that it has made any difference to sales, but I quite like the current version.

I’ll be using my free days in KDP before I pull out, though. A Lonely Magic will be free on February 9th and 10th and then again on March 3-5. The Wedding Guests will be free on February 2 and 3rd. In other words, tomorrow! I haven’t done anything toward promoting those free days, but I might send out an email to my mailing list and/or post it on Facebook and let people know that if they want to download the story separate from the anthology, tomorrow is their chance.

So that’s the business update. I actually do feel like I’ve worked quite steadily through a lot of January — life got in the way somewhat, but I’ve been very steadily producing at least 1000 words a day on something, six days a week — and despite all of my Grace angst, I continue to think about it regularly, working on its mystifying ending. It’s obviously not been my most productive month ever, but it feels like a solid start to the year.

I haven’t been paying any attention at all to the larger business of self-publishing — the little bits I stumble across say that it’s getting harder all the time, but until I start finishing projects, I’m not going to worry about that part. (Much.) First things first and, as it has been for a year now, my first goal is to finish writing A Gift of Grace.

*Edited to change KDP to Kindle Unlimited. Got my program names mixed up!