Friday, December 27, 2013

ROW80: Endings and Beginnings . . .

Here's to the end of Round 4 -- and a little over a week to celebrate and reflect on new goals for 2014.

WRITING. I'm knee-deep in technical talk, converting my Word files to CreateSpace for the paperback version of Standing Stones. So far, so good, though at times sliding my story into CreateSpace feels like trying to wear a girdle designed for a someone just a little smaller than me. Final review begins this week, with online launch in early January. That's pretty exciting. The face-to-face launch will have to be 4-6 weeks later to allow time for physical books to arrive.

I worked hard on my cover, put it through a few reader groups, and came up with a great cover, thanks to all that input, including comments from graphic design folks. But uploading "my cover" to CreateSpace (CS) proved to be a little past my skills. Since CS has rather strict layout formats (i.e., you can't move any of the text boxes and have limited selection of fonts), I am trying an online graphics design person for the first time through the highly recommended  I'll report back on this one.

BLOGGING/COMMUNITY. Mea culpa! Mea culpa! My ambition outstretches what I can actually achieve. But when I look at blog posts for the year, I'm ahead of last year in number of posts, though I still fall short of once a week on each blog. Ah, next year beckons. I appreciate so much the community of writers I've met on ROW80, Facebook writing groups, and Linked-In. And so 2014 looks like I'll be continuing to work on this category.

MARKETING. So much information, so many suggestions! But my Marketing Plan is finally taking shape, and I will continue to write about what I learn here.The latest challenge? To make a book trailer, design and order bookmarks, and request testimonials. Of these three, I hate asking people for favors. How about asking famous people for favors! Aargh!

More than all else, for ROW80, my goals for the first round of 2014 will be to keep all goals pared down to what I can actually achieve -- and work to balance writing with 'real' life. If I'm feeling really obsessive, there's always quilting to fall back on.

May 2014 be an especially good year for you. ROW80 writers, write on!

Beth's Sashiko Block (2013)

To see other ROW80 end-of-year posts, click here!


  1. The only problems I've really ever had with formatting my book for print are those stupid page numbers. I think I've finally got that handled. I've formatted five books for print and I had trouble EVERY time. As far as covers go, my cover artist just creates a PDF file and sends it to me, and I upload to CreateSpace. I would never attempt to create my own cover. It's cool that you have the talent to do that!

    Good luck with you goals for 2014!

    1. Yes, Lauralynne, those page numbers!!! Different for PB and Kindle versions. I've found the whole process not so much troubling as tedious, and I'm only on my second book. Lucky you to have a cover artist to work with, but I am experimenting with one this time. Thanks for commenting despite all else. I'm thinking of you! Beth

  2. It's so very, very easy to take in more than we can handle with the cornucopia of delights that is available to us every morning we wake up. Not just on the internet (though certainly there!) but the way the world seems to be getting both bigger and yet more connected... On any given day we could explore ancient cultures, see futuristic science happening, take a world-tour of culinary delights and be back to bed for a homey evening .

    Is it any wonder our eyes have gotten bigger than our ability to digest?

    Sounds like you're doing just fine in the grand scheme of things. Remember, it's a journey... and ROWing at a steady pace will get you there.

    1. Thank you, Eden, for reminding me to "ROW at a steady pace," for after all, our commitment to a vision is best matched with tenacity and steadiness, not to mention creativity, skill, craft, discipline, and an unwavering faith. Maybe that's what I like about writing, that I choose this and not that. For when I'm writing, all else fades away to my fictional world and small group of characters.

      Advice I remember from a nameless famous author is simply to write and then step away to enjoy each day, so full of all you describe, a true "cornucopia of delights"!

  3. I don't quite understand what you mean by CreateSpace cover limitations. I never had any problems with fonts in the PDFs I uploaded.

    But anyway, congrats on being so close to finished! :)

    1. Aha, Ruth, you nailed it. I should have simply done a PDF and then I could have sidestepped those free templates on CreateSpace. Now I'm working with a cover artist . . . so, we'll see what transpires next. It may yet be back to the PDF which did intimidate me! Can't wait to see your next book.


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