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Saturday, December 28, 2013

WIPMarathon Check-In #4

Since this is the first time I've actually posted I have no previous word count. So far I have written 4,419 words on my first short story; this week I've written 1,028.

WIP Issues this week: I probably have had the same issues everyone has had: Christmas. I was barely able to get to a compuoter until the day after Christmas. Next week I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't get much done either with New Years and getting ready for the new semester.

What I learnt this week: I had no idea how I was going to end the sex scene and transition from the morning after to the discovery of her missing period, but during a writing sprint it all flowed pretty easily.

What distracted me this week while writing: The holiday of course, but I must admit I was watching tv and playing video games while writing too. That probably didn't help too much.

Last 200 words:
School started and the weeks went on with her swept up in the school current.

It wasn't until shortly after midterms that Mackenzie noticed something. It started when Danni came to her for a favor.

"Hey Mac, do you have any tampons. I'm out."

Mackenzie rolled her eyes. "How many times do I have to tell you, I hate being called Mac. I should tell you no just because of that, but I am a way better friend than you and happen to have plenty. Check under my bed."

Her sentence trailed off as a thought struck her. It was true; she did have plenty of tampons. She hadn't had to use them in months. The craziness of her first semester of school distracted her enough that she didn't notice her missing period.

"I have to go." She didn't wait for Danni to reply back before dashing out of the room. She crossed most of the campus at a half job until she reached the school clinic. At the sight off the clinic doors, she stopped short.

No. She wasn't...she couldn't be. It had only been one time and they used protection. There was no way.

She took a deep breath and walked into the building. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

#WIPMarathon Intro

A few months ago I made a few new friends on Twitter that were all participating in a group effort to meet their personal work in progress goals. That round ended and now they are about to start a new one. This time I am participating, so this should be fun. I'm joining a little late, but better late than never!

Each participant is supposed to write an introduction blog post, so here is mine.

Marathon Goal:
My personal goal is two finish the first drafts two short stories I am working on. This will be a total of almost 30k words. This breaks down to a little less then 700 words a day. They are very different genres, but I am looking forward to both.

One story is a romance/coming-of-age tale about a young college freshman who loses her virginity in a one night stand and ends up pregnant. Her and the boy are trying their best to navigate this new terrain. The second story is a science fiction told from the point of view of a woman telling the story of the world being changed when she was a child by the advent of a new creature that was created to protect the human race.

Stage of writing:
I have a few pages of each story done so far. So, still very early stages with both.

What inspired my current project:
The romance was inspired by an #NAchat conversation a few months ago on Twitter about unplanned pregnacy stories in the New Adult category. The science fiction idea came after I saw a call for stories about mythologies in science fiction about a year ago. Obviously I never finished it for the call, but the story still intrigues me.

What might slow down my marathon goal:
I may be starting grad school in January, so if that happens it will be a huge time suck. Also, I write pretty slow, so it can take a long time for me to just get a couple hundred words down. I also get distracted pretty easily. So yeah, I will probably need help focusing on writing.

Best time of the day for writing:
I've always done my best writing at night. It's the time of day when I most have time to relax and that gives me the time to sit and write. I really enjoy doing sprints and they help me get words down faster, so if you are around at night and want to sprint, then let me know!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Guest Post: Writing in a Digital World: The Pros and Cons of Digital First Releases

Today we have a guest post from Chanel Cleeton, author of the upcoming Harlequin New Adult novel, I See London.

The growing popularity of e-books has greatly altered the publishing landscape.  One notable change has been the new influx of digital first imprints. Imprints like Harlequin’s Carina Press have been focused on the e-book market for several years; however, within the past two years, the number of digital first imprints has dramatically increased. 
For authors, there are several advantages to digital first.  For authors looking to traditionally publish, digital first imprints provide the support of a traditional publisher with enhanced flexibility.  Authors enjoy the support and backing of an established publisher and editorial staff.  Digital first also releases authors from production costs.  In contrast to self-publishing, your publisher will bear the production costs and handle the production side of your release. 
Additionally, digital first can be a great option for authors looking to establish a relationship with a publisher and ideally work together with their publisher to build their author platform.  For newer authors and debut authors, digital first imprints are a great way to “get a foot in the door.”  Many digital first imprints will look at unagented submissions, giving authors a chance to get their manuscripts in front of publishers.
Accessibility— notably, pricing and timing— is key to digital first’s popularity and success.  Many digital first imprints are pricing e-books at $3.99 or below, enabling authors to reach readers at a competitive price point.  Another benefit to digital first is that your release will be much faster than with a traditional print release.The shortened timeframe allows readers to enjoy releases from their favorite authors at a more rapid rate.  Additionally, for speedy writers this is a great way to release a fewtitles throughout the year without the lengthy traditional print production schedule.  If you’re writing in a “hot” genre or category— like New Adult, digital first’s quick timeframe allows you to build your author platform more quickly than you would be able to with a traditional print release. 
Distribution options are also important when considering the merits of a digital first release.  If your book sells well, the publisher may do a print run months later.  The option for a print run provides for the possibility of greater distribution down the road.  Moreover, a traditional publisher will have the ability to place your book in foreign markets, either digitally or in print, as well as stocking it at major retailers.
While there are many benefits to digital first imprints, there are also some downsides.  Many digital first imprints pay a higher royalty rate, but no advance.For many authors the lack of an advance, or small advance, serves as a major detractor.  Additionally, publishers may pay royalties quarterly so it may be a few months before you receive your earnings.
Another downside to digital first is the lack of control.  With digital first your publisher will be responsible for major decisions.  Price point, release date, cover, and more, will likely be out of your control.  Some publishers will consult more than others, but ultimately, your publisher will have the final say.  This can be a benefit for those looking for more support,but for others it may be a deal-breaker.  Additionally, limited distribution can be a downside to digital first imprints.  While your book may be released in print if it sells well digitally, there is often no guarantee.  Some authors may choose to self-publish themselves and do print on demand or simply self-publish digitally.
            Ultimately, digital first isn’t right for everyone.  Authors have to weigh the pros and cons and decide whether a digital first release will complement their career goals.  But the important thing to remember is that between traditional publishing, digital first, hybrid, and self-publishing, authors have many options.  While digital first may not be for everyone, it provides one more opportunity to reach readers.

Bio: Chanel Cleeton writes New Adult contemporary romances and Young Adult thrillers.  Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 1, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year.  An avid reader and hopeless romantic, Chanel is happiest curled up with a book.  She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband.  Chanel loves to travel and is currently living an adventure in South Korea.  Learn more about Chanel at www.chanelcleeton.com.