Amazon Author Central – New Sites!

This is a little late from the big announcement, but better late than never.

There are more Author Central’s to keep track of at Amazon. The first three, US, UK, and Germany I discussed in this post.

Now we have two more to add:

Japan
France

Please see the other post for advice on how to set them up even if you do not know the languages.

One good thing that I’ve noticed so far, is that any update on the US side appears to propagate across the other sites once they are set up. If anyone has had problems with this, please let others know in the comment section along with what you might have had to do to fix it.

____________________

J.A. Marlow

Amazon Author Central - New Sites!
A planet-wide conspiracy is waiting at Grandmother’s house…

“Always wear the red hood and cape while you are in the forest,” Grandma admonished.

For a teen with purple and red hair, and an attitude to match, the small claustrophobic city of Oburos grows ever smaller with Uncle Travis’s attempts to take over her and her mother’s life.

An invitation to visit Grandmother’s house, nestled among the giant trees filling the planet, gives Kate a welcome respite. But, there is no time for rest. A conspiracy among the forest inhabitants, moving trees, and other mysteries await her at Grandmother’s house.

Kate learns just how little she knew of the forests, much less its animals. To survive she must learn fast, and that includes trust and teamwork.

And just where was Grandma, anyway?

A Science Fiction 83600, 335 page (approximate) word stand-alone novel retelling of the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood”.

AmazonAmazon Author Central - New Sites! | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

The Writing Business Plan and NaNoWriMo

I once had a business plan. I worked several days on it, refining and tweaking various goals. Then I got to the list of the books.

And I’ve already finished and published most of them.

I knew going into this that once I got going I would probably move forward a bit faster than expected. I did not expect just how fast.

The reason?

This whole process is absolutely addicting, but in the most marvelous way. I’m writing all the time. Stories are at all stages of completion and planning. More stories are waiting in the wings, tapping their feet in impatience for my attention.

Then there is what pushed this all into overdrive. The ability to take those stories and get them out into venues where they might find readers. Without having to wait months or years for it to happen, *if* it ever happened.

I went into 2011 hoping to have 8 projects up and available. Right at this moment I have a total of 16, and we still have over two months to go in the year! Yikes! (but that’s a good Yikes!)

I’ve learned a lot, from writing more polished first drafts, to faster revisions, and the final publishing side. It has been a steep and fast learning curve, and I’ve loved every minute of it. All of it has pushed the writing further than I thought possible. It’s amazing what a little hope can do for the motivation. I really don’t think I could have come this far in such a short amount of time without having the ability to find readers.

This means I need to take a serious look at the 1, 5, and 10 year writing business plan. What I once had is now out of date after only eight months. I now have an inkling of what is possible and what pace I can set.

This has changed my view of “National Novel Writing Month” when it comes to my own goals. I knew I would be working on first drafts with the intention of using the results for next year’s releases. After looking over the old business plan the fire burned even hotter.

This Nano I’m hitting it hard. I’m going to write a variety. Enjoy the process. I’m curious to see if what I’ve learned in the past year will translate into even better first drafts (I’m guessing it will).

I want to smash my all-time Nano high word count of 160,605 from 2009.

Can I do it?

Nano Planning

I go into Nano with outlines. This way I’m not bogged down with “What comes next?” It’s just the story, the words, and me, baby! Here is the list so far in the order I think they will be written (yes, it could change at the last minute):

A Turn of the Pipes
Science Fiction Romance set in the same setting as “Coffee Cup Dreams” and taking minor characters in that book to star in their own.

Rachel Henderkito finds unexpected romance with Ignacio Manetti after fishing his newt out of Redpoint One’s plumbing system, but a series of station system failures, and the newt itself, might destroy any future together.

Salmon Run
Science Fiction contemporary adventure/mystery. Yes, the series continues!

Secret Illusions (Book 4)
When the aliens reveal themselves to Zach and Sasha’s families while asking for help it comes with a catch that could cost the Callahans their lodge: a trip to Bermuda.

Spectre of the White Death (Book 5)
Survival training for the Callahans and frantic ship prep for the aliens collide on an Alaska mountain top along with one of the horrors of winter: Avalanche.

Aurora Equinox (Book 6)
Hawk insists on visiting the local aliens after the equinox aurora affects Zach’s translator just when the Bermuda Imperium spacecraft heads north, leading to a deadly secret resting within the Japan Triangle.

Taskforce Zero
Science Fiction Action/Adventure. Yes, this is a new series, this time set in the StarBlink Universe!

Rise of the Syndicates (Book 1)
Crime syndicates battle over turf in the Alliance of World’s capital when a new deadly syndicate arises, employing technology to rival Taskforce Zero’s with the potential of tipping the balance into lawlessness.

A Matter of Jeopardy (Book 2)
Taskforce Zero rushes to protect a newly discovered anti-matter generator from the many crime syndicates who want it, but will an diplomatic adversary from Jei Valtera’s past jeopardize everything?

The Ultimate Jack (Book 3)
Taskforce Zero races to keep an ancient lost fleet from the power-hungry Bellime royal family, but everything hinges on the Team Jack being able to solve the secret of the ships themselves.

Cubes of Memory (Book 4)
Shot down over Newton 3, Taskforce Zero director Gregory McKinley finds himself trapped between the demands of a lost secret and a Kahn Syndicate conspiracy to control the Jump Gates themselves.

———-

After the end of November I plan to take a look at what I accomplishes with Nano, and then revisit the business plan. 2012 promises to be exciting and I want to have a solid foundation going in.

Meanwhile, it’s time to start revving the writing muscles!

Anyone else working on their business plan for the 2012? Or have big plans for Nano?

____________________

J.A. Marlow

The Writing Business Plan and NaNoWriMo

Coffee Cup Dreams

She wasn’t supposed to wake up when dead…

During what should have been a simple operation, Tish Douglas died. And yet, she also awoke… in what the doctors called a ‘psi event.’

Despite having no memory of the incident, it means she’s required to go on a life-time course of debilitating drugs designed to reign in her supposedly new psi gifts. She’s left with the option of existing on Earth in a drug-haze, or leave the planet.

When an opportunity for a good paying job on a space station known as Redpoint One is offered, she jumps at the chance. Even though she doesn’t have any experience as a ‘maintenance engineer.’ Even though the station sits in the middle of nowhere, a still-operating construct of a long-gone alien species.

Between pirate attacks, intelligent repair robots, and maintenance emergencies, Tish must find a place for herself.

All complicated by a growing attraction to the one person on the station she can’t have: boss Arthur Getty.

A stand-alone 48400 word, 193 page (approximate), science fiction romance novel.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Expanded Distribution Through Apple

On Tuesday October 4th, Smashwords announced that the Apple iBookstore was expanding Smashwords ebook distribution into 26 more countries. This is very exciting news, as these markets are largely untouched when it comes to the ebook revolution. As time goes on they could start to make up a larger and larger percentage of sales. Added markets are always good for the bottom line.

New Country Markets:

Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland

This is on top of the previous markets which were:

US
Canada
U.K.
Germany
France
Australia

For those who are counting this makes a grand total of 32 countries that authors and publishers are now able to penetrate via Apple or through Smashword agreement with Apple. This allows more market penetration and the reaching of new demographics. Yay!

____________________

J.A. Marlow

Expanded Distribution Through Apple
A planet-wide conspiracy is waiting at Grandmother’s house…

“Always wear the red hood and cape while you are in the forest,” Grandma admonished.

For a teen with purple and red hair, and an attitude to match, the small claustrophobic city of Oburos grows ever smaller with Uncle Travis’s attempts to take over her and her mother’s life.

An invitation to visit Grandmother’s house, nestled among the giant trees filling the planet, gives Kate a welcome respite. But, there is no time for rest. A conspiracy among the forest inhabitants, moving trees, and other mysteries await her at Grandmother’s house.

Kate learns just how little she knew of the forests, much less its animals. To survive she must learn fast, and that includes trust and teamwork.

And just where was Grandma, anyway?

A Science Fiction 83600, 335 page (approximate) word stand-alone novel retelling of the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood”.

AmazonExpanded Distribution Through Apple | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Ideas Versus Originality – Why the Fight?

With the planning for the upcoming Nano my mind continues to circle back to the basics of writing. At Forward Motion we have several newbies in chat who are working their way through the process of deciding what they want to write.

And every year I hear the same line, over and over again from a lot of new writers:

“I can’t write this idea. It’s been done before! I have to find something else that is original.”

I sigh every time I hear this and then have to patiently explain the below:

Newsflash: There are no new ideas out there.

Which is okay, because the idea itself isn’t what is important. How can I say that?

Boy meets girl.
Loner saves planet/universe.
A desperate fight for survival.
Escape from abuse.
Mystery must be solved to save the innocent accused.

All of the above ideas have been written a thousand times or more. Does that mean none of them should be done again because the idea isn’t original?

A prompt can be given to a room full of writers. For the main character one writer may use a different gender for their MC than another writer. Another a different species. Others, different personalities, traits, or quirks.

This also applies to art. I’ve set out reference material to use for inspiration and composition in front of a group of painters. By the time the paintings are finished one who hadn’t been a part of the challenge would never know they were inspired by the same things (other than perhaps they all had a mountain or a river in them).

What Is Important

It is not the idea that is unique.

It is the execution of the idea that is unique.

This is why no one can copyright an idea. Only the exact execution of an idea can have a copyright. This is why any writer who hears from another person, “I have this great idea. I’ll give you the idea, you write it, and we’ll split the royalties.” laughs their heads off. Because the idea isn’t the part of the equation that is truly valuable. Ideas are a dime a dozen. It is what the writer does with them that makes them valuable.

This is a good thing in another way. If ideas could come under copyright imagine how fast the window of legal ideas, characters, concepts, and so on would shrink down until no one could write anything.

So, stop worrying about the idea. If an idea sings to you, grab it and write it. Worry about what is important: the execution of the idea.

Bring out your unique vision of the idea. Your history, viewpoints, and experiences will come out in the writing. Your unique insight, characters, settings, wording and phrasing, pacing, viewpoint, and dialogue.

No other writer has your writing voice. It is the ‘you’ in your writing. This is what will make your version of the ‘idea’ unique, original, special, and different from what anyone else has written.

This is why I did not worry about the originality behind the idea for the Salmon Run series. It wasn’t important. What I did with it was important and that is where I threw all my creative energy. The same with all my other writing. The ideas behind my stories are hardly original, but what I do with them is.

So, have an idea that has been lurking around your head but you don’t think it’s ‘original’ enough?

Then remember it’s not the idea, but what you personally do with it. The moment you start writing it, it will be all yours. Enjoy the ride!
_______________________________

J.A. Marlow
“The E-Book Experiment” chronicles the business and creative side of an experiment with the business opportunities new technology and creative outlets now afford content producers. Will it fail? Will it succeed? The only way to know is to approach it with a solid plan and try. No regrets!
I hope the details of this journey will be a help to other authors. As the process proceeds to selling the final products I will also share hard data that might be useful in the decision making process of other authors who recognize that only they can take charge of their careers. For a listing of all the posts in this series, please click here.

If you find this information useful or interesting, please encourage others to come on by and visit.