Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday night late . . . check-in ROW80

I'm rolling into September with another experiment in marketing.

I've been reading about J. Konrath's experiment with short, shorts. He's challenged e-book indie writers to write an e-book and publish it in 8 hours. You can read about this a little more on my writing blog in my review of Ruth Nestvold's The Destruction of Ys, a fine introduction to her blend of fiction and fantasy.

For 1/3 of the price of a cup of coffee, you can download these short, shorts and meet new writers. I've heard these are popular with train commuters who can finish a story before the next stop.

So I've decided to offer The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales for 99 cents throughout the month of September. Available on Smashwords or Amazon.

I'm not sure what (if anything) will happen.

A few writers from the Internet Writing Workshop have commented that publishing such short shorts risks alienating or outright angering readers who anticipate more than the 10-20 pages in such a download.

So there are some risks, but one writer commented this may be a necessary plank in a writer's platform, another way to build connections with readers. Another wrote with passion about the need to know your audience. Even publishers are encouraging writers to put together similar 'collections'.

I'd like to get my work 'out there' and learn more about marketing -- and my audience -- in the process. Stay tuned for an update. As my sister says, "This should be interesting."

Sunday Night ROW80 CHECK-IN.

Usually Sunday is when I set up plans for the coming week. I spent about an hour this morning going over last month's achievements (and missteps) and was pretty happy, even as we run up against the end of Round 3.  For the coming week, I hope to:

1. Cherish each day. Walk with Allen. MOVIE day Tuesday.
2. Work on marketing plan.
3. Write 5 sentences a day for Rivers of Stone for minimum of 1,000 words a week. 
Do research, outline Rivers of Stone (Paul Kane, journal, notebook, METCALF reading x1). Update: fine progress here 980 words and a good amount of research done.

4. Fulfill ROW80 sponsor by reading assigned numbers each week plus 5. OK read 10 this week.
5. Reduce electronic clutter x2 each week. Deleted 300 e-mails this week.
6. Blog on each blog at least once EACH week, including Friday Fiction on writing blog. So far, so good.

7. Catch up with Washington State Quilters: Knocked my socks off this week with article filed on time, ads arranged, and progress made on promo bookmarks and program. 
8. Exercise x3 this week. Yep + 2 really good walks. But no yoga this week except for 5 minutes, and I'm not sure that counts at all.

The goal that underlies all else is simply to remind myself to stay calm while supporting my daughter as she goes through the healing process from her broken ankle. This week she'll see the doctor and maybe get a lighter cast. She's not walking yet, but the picture that stays in my mind is of her drying Leda from her bath while sitting in a wheelchair, both of them giggling. This afternoon I made soup. She loved it.

A final thought: What I notice most about the goal-setting process is how my goals drift. Do yours? The to-do list gets longer. But I keep making small steps to reach my goals. Perhaps that heady mix of self-doubt and joy when the writing goes well is enough. How do you maintain your focus? 

On balance, does reporting progress on your goals help you or hinder your writing?

Morning Crane (Camp 2012)

Click HERE to read what other ROW80 folk have written this week.


  1. You have a lot of goals, Beth. I can't have that many because it overwhelms me. I'm SO impressed by those of you that can deal with this much!

    My friend, J.R. Pearse Nelson did the quick short story based on Konrath's suggestion, too. Hers turned out great. This just might start a trend!

  2. I published a few shorts. One on Amazon and two on Smashwords. Can't say either have done too well, although the feedback of both is good. In fact, I've only ever had good reviews, but it hasn't helped sales any, yet. I must remain positive. I have had few who loved my short enough to buy my novel, so that was positive. I make sure I tell prospective readers how many words are in the book in the actual book description. They can't claim to have 'missed' it and feel conned that way.

    Hope it works for you Beth. :)

    Shah X

  3. I can see the appeal of short shorts. I do think that $.99 is going to be a challenge to get from some people (me being one of them since I'm a novel addict and want either a lot of little stories about the same characters and world to read or one (or more) really big story(-ies)).

    Shah does have a point though about posting the word count. As long as you make sure you've made it clear that the piece is small, then it's really "buyer beware". You do what you can. It might be perfect for you. :-D


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