How Do You Cope with the In-betweens?

@Brian Jackson – Stock.Adobe.Com

For Indie Authors, sending off your finished manuscript to the book formatters is like bursting through the finish line after a long, arduous race.  You prop up your feet. Have a glass of champagne. Binge watch that murder mystery series you’ve heard so much about. Life is good.

Then bouts of boredom set in. A few hours of aimless wandering take you away from the next story in your queue. You begin to get a bit restless until you remember a few home improvement projects you’ve been putting off. A week goes by without one word written. You’ve entered the dreaded “In-Betweens!”

I experienced the “In-Betweens” a few weeks ago when I completed The Obsidian Gates, Book Two in my Heart of the Warrior series. Book Three is all outlined and ready for me to start writing. I just couldn’t force my brain to focus on the new story when I felt Book Two wasn’t “done” yet.

I’m happy to report the dreaded “In-Betweens” has ended and I’ve started writing Book Three in earnest. How did I kick the In-Between Blues? I’m not 100% positive how I did it. One day I woke up and was motivated to start writing again.

Here are a few possible reasons:

  • I let go of Book Two and accepted The Obsidian Gates was in someone else’s hands during this stage of the publishing process
  • I reminded my creative brain working on Book Three won’t be the same soul crushing daily drudgery as doing final edits for Book Two. We’re at the fun step – story creation
  • I gave myself permission to write a crappy draft rather than trying to force perfection. I’ll save the angst of unachievable perfection for draft four

How do you beat the In-Between Blues? Share in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you and get a few ideas!

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The Start of a New Year. Wait. What?

@monamis – Stock.Adobe.Com

It may sound strange, but I consider June and July the start of my new year in creativity. This is the season I drag myself out of the author’s cave and head to Denver Comic Con. Talking about my stories, hanging with my author peeps and visiting with the fans gives me the boost I need to head into another year.

In the works for 2017

Audiobook Adventure – Pariah is headed to audiobooks. Stay tuned for details and dates!

Conquering the Wild Wooly World of Editing – It won’t be long before I send Book Two in the Heart of the Warrior series to my line editor.

A Special Holiday Sneak Peek

To My Wonderful Readers:  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season Greetings and my thanks for all the support you’ve shown me over the years. This special holiday sneak peek is for you!

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Coming the Summer of 2017

A new series from award winning Author, C.R. Richards: The epic tale continues. A new covenant has been forged in the chaos of war. Its price is nothing less than the Bearer of the Lion Ring’s soul.

The rivalry for dominance over the continent of Andara has taken a dark turn. Eternal enemies – the Jalora and the Sarcion – pit their forces against one another in bloody battle. Good weakens, betrayed by the very humans it has sworn to protect. Valdeon, its stronghold on Andara, falls to sword and flame. The fires of its destruction are set alight by barbaric invaders from across the sea. Their brutal hand conquers the land in a night, exiling the Lords of Valdeon – Sacred Guard of the Covenant. Cut off from the center of their power, the Jalora’s greatest heroes are helpless to defend their homeland.

Hope still lingers. Seth D’Antoiné, Bearer of the Lion Ring, journeys to the great Obsidian Citadel seeking a magical relic, the Book of Ancients. Its power could hold the key to Andara’s defense. He alone can open its pages, sparking the magic into life and restoring the Jalora’s waning power. Finding the book won’t be easy. Elusive Obsidian Gates – appearing and then vanishing again by their own will – keep the secret of the book’s location well hidden.

In the depths of the mountain fortress, he finds treachery and intrigue hiding within its walls. Can Seth open the Book of Ancients before the Sarcion’s men find him? Or will the power of Good leave the land forever? Andara’s future awaits behind the Obsidian Gates…

 

Haven’t started the adventure yet? Check out Book One.

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So, What Are You Wearing?

So, what are you wearing to Denver ComicCon? I’ve had a sneak peek of a few costumes on FB. So creative! Me? I’m going as the Super Awesome Amazing Yet Boring Author Woman. In my defense, it’s been a crazy few weeks. I’ve been in Maryland working toward a certification in Program Management and eating an insane amount of seafood (at a crazy cheap price too). Now I’m back home in Colorado and ready to see the sights at Denver ComicCon!

Come on over to Author Alley. I’ll be in Booth PP15 on Friday, June 17th (1:45 am to 1:50 pm) doing book signings and interviews.

On Saturday, I’m participating in the “Self-Publishing: Is it For You?” 1:30 pm in Room 502/503

See you there!

It’s Coming!

Denver ComicCon is a few weeks away. This will be my first time attending and I cannot wait!

Check out the Guest list! Cary Elwes, Karl Urban, Kevin Hearne, Clark Gregg, Stan Lee…deep breaths. I’m cool.

Join me on Saturday, June 18th for our panel – Self-Publishing: Is It For You? at 1:30pm

I’ll be signing my books, The Lords of Valdeon and Pariah, in Author’s Alley (Booth PP15) on Friday, June 17th from 11:45 am to 1:50 pm. Just look for the giant lion and the hot looking elf!

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Want more info? Check out my interview on Groovey.TV

Do You Know Your A-wimoweh?

TheLordsofValdeon_Cover

The Lion Ring, symbol of the god-like Jalora’s covenant with the King of Valdeon, is lost when its bearer mysteriously disappears. Valdeon grows closer to civil war as the Jalora’s protective power fades from the land.

Here is Week #1’s Quiz Question: We all know the first verse of The Tokens “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” song:

In the jungle

The mighty jungle

The Lion sleeps tonight

In the jungle

The quiet jungle

The lion sleeps tonight

A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh…

What are the first six words of the next verse (after all the A-wimowehs)?

Enter your answer in the blog comments. The first person to answer correctly wins a free ecopy of The Lords of Valdeon.

Reminder: You must answer the question in the DTJ Blog Comments Section (not on Twitter or FB). Winners will be provided with a coupon for the book. Downloading from Smashwords is easy: Select which format you want (MOBI for Kindle, pdf, etc.) enter the coupon when you check out and follow the instructions for downloading to your device.

Kindle Countdown Deals: Worth It or Take A Pass?

Last week on DTJ, I outlined the initial set up for my new epic fantasy – The Lords of Valdeon – in Amazon’s Kindle Countdown Deals promotion program. The seven day experiment has run its course and I have the end results:

Sales: The Pressing Question

  • Expected Outcome: I sold a very modest amount of books at $.99
  • Unexpected Outcome: I sold as many copies at $1.99 as I did at $.99
  • The Surprising and Exciting Outcome: sales of my other books went up during this period

Lessons Learned and Things I Would Change: Conventional wisdom suggests using Kindle Countdown Deals in conjunction with a special event. A perfect example: Run a countdown deal on book one in a series as you release book two. I would also include my Kindle Countdown Deal in my marketing plan upfront rather than throwing a dart at the calendar (I’m joking. I don’t have darts. I used my lucky cat figurine).

Final Thoughts: Will I enroll future books in Amazon’s Kindle Countdown Deals? If I decide to enroll in Kindle Select again (This experiment ends in April), I  would say yes. It’s free and it does give you a bit more exposure for a week.

An Epiphany Proven: We often hear the sage advice: “To sell more books, write more books.” I think the results of my experiment has proven this to some extent. It’s not the magic bullet we’re all looking for, but it just might be the ultimate reality of our profession.