Writing Habits and Work-Life Balance

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re discussing work ethic and asking each other what we do to keep balanced and writing regularly?

Many of you already know I’m kind of a fiend for building a writing habit. That’s because, once I stopped resisting the idea and starting doing it – by writing every day at the same time every day – that habit carried me through all sorts of difficulties.

It still does.

For example, I’m on a plane as I type this, heading to WorldCon in Chicago. I was reading a novel (Lisa Klepas, Marrying Winterborne, highly recommend!) as the plane taxied and took off. Once we reached cruising altitude, I began to feel the prodding of habit. “Time to write!” it urges. So, I pulled out the laptop to write this blog post. Then I’ll turn to my draft of Shadow Wizard, which I need to get done.

Yes, I write every (weekday) morning. That’s how I can count on getting the book done.

Last week I visited family and there were many family goings on. There was some emotional stuff to deal with, aging parents and all that involves, and it threw me for the remainder of the week. I wasn’t productive. I was feeling stressed. I’d been knocked out of my routine by life, which is the way of life. It would be nice (in theory) if I lived in some hermitage or remote villa where all days flowed by as serene as my view of the Mediterranean Sea, but I don’t. I live in a beautiful place (no ocean) and my life is relatively even and peaceful, but I’m connected to people and life happens.

By the following Monday, I was able to slide back into my writing habit like a pair of comfortable yoga pants. Morning writing was waiting for me, restoring the necessary balance. It felt good. That’s the beauty of habit – it does all the hard work for you.

First Cup of Coffee – August 11, 2022

Thoughts on author events and how much heavy lifting is placed on them to bring a readership – and financial support! – to the event. Also, on self-publishing, common mistakes, and how things can go wrong.




Transcript
00:01.83
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Delicious today is Thursday August eleventh and beautiful morning here in Santa Fe sunny sunny morning I’m also running a bit behind so it’s sunnier as than usual, we went for a walk this morning I also set up the cover reveal for shadow wizard. Yes, so this will be a book one. And renegades of magic and it’s um, Jadren and Selly’s story for those of you who have not been following along I didn’t light the mosquito candle this morning. So um, I’m doing the cover reveal on Instagram bit by bit. In fact, that reminds me I should have done another one but I haven’t yet I’ll do it as soon as the podcast is done. So um. So I had to get that all set up this morning. Got the preorders set up last night. It’ll be out september Twenty Ninth um fingers crossed I’m I’m past 50000 words on it I think it’s it’s going all right. Not sure how it’s going to end where it’s going to end. But um, that’s typical for me, right? All part of the I think it’s funny when authors say that that’s part of the fun for them that they ah the gardeners of the pantsersers. The ones who don’t pre-plot. Ah, say that the fund goes out of it for them if they do that and I’m like I don’t know I don’t know if it’s if I would call it fun but it’s it’s how it works for me sometimes as those of you who are a long time podcast listeners will know. It’s decidedly unfun for me now. So um, a few different things to talk about today I even have notes. So.

02:29.46
jeffekennedy
I’m trying to decide if I could talk about this one thing. Ah I’m kind of sorry I’m waffling let me pause all right I figured out a way I can talk about it. Ah recently I was asked to be. Part of a thing I mean that’s great. That’s I appreciate being asked to be part of things but then it came out ah I was asked I was actually not asked. This was part of the problem I was given instructions on how to share it on social media. And I was told that I must share it on social media in order to bring my platform bring my readers to this thing which I find very interesting and it’s not the first time this has happened and I may have talked about this before but. There are any number of events who ah I don’t want to say demand but they they sometimes they demand they ask an author to participate and then. Expect that the author will bring their readership with them to support the event which is if it’s like for charity or something like that understandable um, you know like that pixel project that was raising money to end violence against women. Yeah, sure I’m going to ask my readers to come and be part of that but there are other events where they’re totally depending on the authors to bring their readership in order to float their event. And this is partly what was amazing about Apollycon was Apollycon ah invited us to participate and they brought the readers I recently heard of another convention I think I talked about this but I’ll I’ll revisit it because I still find it so shocking. Another convention that has for a long time been famous for ah Nick and diming authors and demanding demanding. You know say more money and this particular story. It actually counts as a demand where an author who attended this paid. Upfront and it was a considerable amount that you had to pay up front to attend this convention. Um far more than the readers or attendees have to pay and then there’s all sorts of opportunities for sponsorships that cost more and more and more money and this author was pulled aside.

05:17.72
jeffekennedy
During the convention and told that she had not brought enough readers to the convention that her platform wasn’t big enough and therefore she needed to cough up a thousand dollars to sponsor something at the conference right? then and there and this author was devastated I mean. There are so many levels of awful and wrong about this this particular convention I’m not surprised that they did it I absolutely believe it happened the sources are impeccable. They might try to claim that there was a misunderstanding but the author in question was devastated. Ah, nobody first of all, nobody wants to hear that they’re supposed to cough up a thousand dollars especially if you’re a newer author and you can’t afford it ah and nobody wants to hear that that somebody thinks that you have like got. Shitty ability to bring readers to something.

06:21.16
jeffekennedy
Ah, so so it’s a thing um that this whole oh well, you need to bring your readership and in this particular case. Ah they were very specific supplied social media examples. And usually the right way to do this the right way to do this is people say um, hey here’s some graphics to share with love if you would share this on your social media boom they might give you some suggested stuff but you know you’re not required to do it. Um. Being told that I must do something that the event won’t be successful unless I do this thing is ah it gives me pause because as an author, especially if this is not a charitable event. Why am I doing this if. They don’t have the umph to bring their own readership to it. Ah you know I understand it’s hard. But yeah it um it it. It really bothered me it. It annoys me and. I talked to David about it and he said well you know can you imagine if somebody asked well he always uses big examples. He has an exalted idea of who I am but he’s like can you imagine if they asked Billy Givens to come play and then told him that oh but he needed to. Tweet certain things to make sure that enough people showed up for the event. Ah yeah, there’s just ways to do things and ways not to and um, you know one thing about social media and I know I say this often. Is even if you decide to schedule things or if you have people help you with it. Social media is about connecting personally right, it’s about doing things the way you do them. Ah and so you don’t I don’t do my social media like somebody else tells me to do it. Let’s let’s just say that’s a hard stop so that was something that was on my mind. Um, and then there’s been discussion. Um on Twitter and it’s interesting because I don’t follow enough on Twitter to. Always know the origins of things and I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of tracing back. So I’m not sure where all the conversation about gatekeepers has come from I know some of the things that I’ve been talking about in the last week about how much money authors do and don’t make on tread publishing so there was a.

09:11.70
jeffekennedy
Tweet thread from someone who said, um, talked about self-publishing and I will link to her Twitter thread. Ah, she’s gotten a lot of quote tweets and retweets and likes on it. Not an astonishing amount. But. Ah, she talked about her experience with self-publishing. Um, she said for her, it cost a lot and she earn very little and and I I think it’s great that she shared this. Um i’m. I’m glad that she ah you know gave the actual numbers and she says that the books were classified as new adult fantasy which is not really a thing in traditional publishing and they probably didn’t hit the right market in indie either because they weren’t sexy enough. Um, so I would kind of lie and then she goes on from there and she talks about how much money she spent. Um, she spent $5000 on the first book in its first six months which is a lot a lot to spend on a book when you’re. Ah, newbie self-publisher and I touched on this earlier this week where I mentioned that um if you don’t have a platform already. It’s hard to get started in self- publishing and and she did end up selling like the mythical. You know, average of one hundred and only to friends and family. But I think there are a lot of reasons for this and $5K is putting a whole lot of that money upfront into that first book without having the second one ready. Ah. And then the way that it sounded let’s see I won’t go into her whole thing. But.

11:17.90
jeffekennedy
Yeah, it took a long time for the second book to come out. She really invested a lot in trying to get that first book to happen which is just not how it works for self- publishing. Ah. She said when the second book launched she sold like 100 copies on the first day ultimately like one hundred and twenty nine copies of the first book and 112 of the second before she pulled them from the market and it’s not clear to me why she decided to pull them from the market. Ah. Once you have once you’ve invested once you have put them up. It doesn’t cost you anything to keep them up so it’s not clear to me why she decided to pull them. Ah, she does say at the end that you know her conclusion is um. There’s no easy way to publish. There’s no get rich quick path in this industry so that’s what she wants to warn people of and and that’s absolutely right? It’s a good take home message. She also says um, there are ways not to make the mistakes that she did. Ah, to make self-publishing a business and to succeed at it and I just wanted to talk a little bit about what I saw her doing she says um, $10000 she spent um, 2.5 years on these books. Selling two hundred and forty one copies of her books and netting something like $750 the transcript’s going to hate these numbers. It always hates numbers. Um, but 1 of the first things I notice I mean there are a number of things that didn’t go well. Ah especially if you are doing a series if you have both books ready. Maybe she didn’t but it’s really worthwhile to have that second book ready so that the people who do want to read can read right away once you have a readership they’ll wait if they’re still getting to know you they won’t wait. Especially if they’re not sure if you’ll finish the series and it’s a real thing if you’re an unknown quantity if there’s a you know destroy needs to be resolved with finishing the series or finishing the second or the you know second and third books. Ah, people want to know that it’s there before they commit because they’ve been burned before. Thank you George RR Martin um, the other thing that.

13:52.45
jeffekennedy
Is a real red flag at the beginning is when she said that it was new adult fantasy which isn’t really a thing in traditional publishing and I’ve mentioned this before self publishing is great for grabbing niche markets that. Traditional publishing won’t touch. This is so true it’s true for my books it’s true for a lot of fantasy romance. It’s true for a lot of science fiction fantasy and romance crossover. There’s not a great place for it on the bookshelf at the bookstores the brick and mortar stores. Because those are 2 different bookshelves right? So they don’t know which one to put it on if and as soon as they have to make a decision. They feel like it’s gonna be bad. They’re not happy if it’s young adult yeah, something just hit my face I don’t even know what that was ah. Felt like it was flung but there’s a little bit of a breeze. So maybe that was just liberated by the breeze a young adult has now become its own category and when people rant as I’ve seen various editors and agents do that young adult doesn’t count as a genre. Because you have all sorts of genres within young adult. Well, it’s true except that there are young adult shelves in the bookstore and once it’s a shelf then they know where to put it and it has a market in the brick and mortar stores. The online stores. Often reflect the brick and mortar stores they have more shelves and can put things in multiple places but still, there’s there’s some some correlation between the 2 so all of this is a long way of saying that if you want to publish your book that you love which. You know, bless you? Of course you do and you know do it? Definitely do it but know that if it’s a book. That’s not really a thing in traditional publishing. It’s going to make it harder for you to sell as a self-p publisher especially if you don’t already have a readership. Right? It’s um, it’s just it’s and and especially if you’re you know, not already a savvy marketer which not many of us are especially when we start right? So you, you’re stacking the odds against yourself. Why this gal pulled them from the market I don’t know and I almost want to ask her and I could follow the Twitter thread if any of you have the leisure follow the Twitter thread and see if somebody asks her or ask her yourselves. Ah there there isn’t a good reason to pull it.

16:41.44
jeffekennedy
And maybe she had one but otherwise the money is spent leave them up and maybe they will gradually gain a readership part of the problem with you know, spending money on advertising is. If. You advertise something. That’s not really a thing. How do you advertise it? What I’ve got and now it’s itchy on my face where that thing hit me wherever it was. You know if how are you going to advertise it if you don’t really know what it is and you’re. Not able to tell the readers what it is new adult fantasy um with and you know it’s that’s an a frequent I don’t want to say excuse but I hear authors say a lot like oh well, it didn’t do well because it didn’t have enough sex in it because. I didn’t want to I don’t know there. There’s always a little and I don’t know that she means this at all. She may not but there’s always a little bit of a sense of you know I wanted to maintain my standards and not put sex in that and therefore um because I didn’t kowtow to the. Ah. Sex loving masses. It didn’t do well maybe that’s not what she means by that. But there are plenty of books that do not have hot sex on them that do very well I’m reading one right now I’m waiting to see if there ends up being a sex scene in it. I’ve read a couple recently that um you know, slow burn romances don’t have any sex in the first book at all, you know, maybe there’s a promise of it later we we kind of know by authors. That’s part of having the reputation having the readership. But no, you don’t have to have it in there. Um. Yeah I’m I’m sorry that this went badly for her but she also spent 2.5 years on this. Um, that’s a long time to spend getting two books out in self-publishishing. It’s just it’s way too long and I know that not everybody has luxury of. Ah, time to spend on it and not everybody writes fast, but it’s just something to keep in mind. There were a lot of things stacked against her on this and you know it would be great if somebody would step in and help her out and say you know let’s put those books back up and let’s see if we can get them to go somewhere. The other thing is is if you are are a new author and you have not yet published anything. It’s hard to know if your books are good. Um, or you know good. You guys know that you all know that I don’t like the use of the word.

19:30.55
jeffekennedy
Good but you don’t know if the books will really grab people if you haven’t established a readership yet and it could be that those books should be trunk books I don’t know I haven’t read them. Not all books are gonna do well that’s just life. Um. There’s books of mind that you know, but the second novel I ever wrote I still love that novel. But if I’m gonna put it out there I’m gonna have to rewrite it because I I know a lot of the things that are wrong with it now and those are just things you learn with time. So. Just wanted to to talk about that. It’s it’s an unfortunate piece of self-p publishing that many many authors get into it because they decide to self-publish the book that they couldn’t sell the trat and. Certainly I’ve done that but I know at this point why it didn’t sell the tread. Ah you’ll have to know is it. Did it come close like was it really because they didn’t know what shelf to put it on. Or was it because everyone was like you know this book isn’t done cooking yet. It’s hard to listen to that feedback I saw meme the other day of somebody like showing like an author getting their ah feet criticism and like cutting up their heart on a plate and I it’s like well that’s probably. Probably you should um, have a little bit more objectivity than that. It’s not your heart. They’re cutting up. They’re talking about something you produced. But yeah, you got you got to listen to what kind of feedback are you getting on the book. Why why does traditional publishing not want it. And it’s not always because they’re messed up in the head which is tends to be the kool-aid on that note I am going to go get to work and write the book that I just put up the pre-order for ah, watch for the cover reveal. Taking shape today I think it’s kind of be kind of cool and preorder link in the show notes and I will talk to you all tomorrow you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – August 9, 2022

Some more figures of what some authors are NOT making in traditional publishing, along with thoughts on agents – how to tell the good ones from bad (and there ARE good ones!), red flags, and how the business works.




Transcript
00:03.63
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Delicious. Ah today is Tuesday August Ninth Eight Nine sounds like a good date to me. Um, yeah, so I’m wondering. What I have to say today some mornings oh look if you’re on video. You’ll have an Isabel sighting in the background Isabel’s out here in the secret garden with me is it. She pretty. She’s a blue smoke Maine coon cat I love how she’s got that. Faintest hint of blue to her fur. So yeah, she’s feeling sprightly this morning. She’s the the queen the main Coon Queen cat she’s sixteen sixteen and a half now and she loves going out and messing around in the garden. So um, yeah, you know some mornings I come out here I have my notes some mornings I have lots of thoughts in my head other mornings I’m sort of like a a nice mellow blank today’s a nice mellow blank I’m feeling. Nicely relaxed. Got more stuff done yesterday kind of catching up on my list. Ah I’ve noticed how the lists have been creeping into the books. Ah, they always have so I suppose that’s just like one of my things. But I notice that they are in the covenant of thorns books they’re in the bonds of magic books. Not so much the one I’m writing not so much in shadow wizard but I got my two k on shadow wizard yesterday I got it in. Reasonable amount of time. Got it early in the day so that was great. Um I’m let’s see doing pretty well I think um, little shy of 48,000 words which I know.

02:31.97
jeffekennedy
That’s like I’m past midpoint I still have half the book to go but it’s feeling downhillish at this point I’m also reading a book I’m really enjoying ah and I’m hoping that I will be able to recommend it to you? ah. I need to get back on putting reviews on good reads Amazon book bub. Ah I kind of fell off of doing it I don’t know why I don’t know maybe I just sort of ran out of time but I would like to get back into doing that. Because I’ve read several good books lately and I say them on here but I feel like that’s fairly transient so I would like to go ahead and get that going again. Um I did have some um reaction to yesterday’s podcast a few different people asked me if they had heard correctly when I said that um and and it’s it’s really ebooks. That I’m talking about where an author can earn $3 a book $5 a book maybe depending on the price point. Um whereas yes from trash ah print books. We don’t earn nearly so much from ah and they’re already. They’re so expensive to produce. That’s the thing about being a self-published author is the print books are expensive because we can’t do it in bulk. We don’t have access to a printing press the the pod cost is fairly high. Ah, the like Amazon or Ingram delivery cost is fairly high so we are not able to get as much of a percentage from those not without pricing the book even higher and I think none of us wants to do that. It already feels like a. Egregious to charge you know like $18 for a trade paperback. But even when that happens a lot of times like I’m only making ¢50 on the book or something like that. It’s um, it’s fence service. It’s having print books is because. Some of you still want print books which is fine. That’s no problem at all. It’s just um, where you where you make the bulk of your income is on the ebooks if we didn’t have those we probably wouldn’t be able to do it. We wouldn’t be able to make sell enough books to make an income to live on.

05:11.57
jeffekennedy
But but yes, um, for tread publishing whether it’s print or ebook a dollar per book. Maybe that’s that’s good If you’re getting that much a lot of people are not getting that much and um. Yeah, it’s just a. It’s the way it is. It’s just a sucky cut. Um.

05:40.44
jeffekennedy
Um, yeah, it’s you know they they hold all the cards basically and you know and even then you know you’re almost certainly paying you know 15% of that then to your agent. So. That that could come before or after the dollar a book but you know a dollar goes down to ¢85. It’s um, unless you’re selling a whole lot of books. It’s just hard to make money to live on in trad. And so it goes and I’ve recently learned of a major publisher. Not one of the big 5 or big 4 um, it’s sounding like the merger is going to be improved. People are sad about it. But. And our current um climate of corporations running the country. It seemed almost inevitable running the world. Maybe so yeah, a lot of writers were lamenting it yesterday on social media. Isabel’s down next to me here. Isabel’s not concerned. She says cats don’t worry about acquisitions and mergers know course Pat cats are also arguably parasites is that right. She says as long as the cat food keeps coming. You know that’s why I write the books is to feed the cats. Yes yes, Minerva Spencer says that Isabel has a smoker’s meow. Ah she does kind of she. Um, she’s totally deaf now. So she has to be very loud to be assured that she is meowing and it’s hell on the vocal chords. Yeah, so um, so yeah, those are the breaks. What was I saying about the oh this other publisher. So. So those are the big ones and that’s why we say the big but then there are other like midsize presses or smaller presses. So you know like there other ones are like source books Kensington um. Oh I think the mosquito candles making me sneeze.

08:14.67
jeffekennedy
Who I tried to pause and then at impa. Sorry let me scoot this away I was clever this time and came out and lit the candle before I got out here and gave it a little while to drive the mosquitoes away that seems to be the effective method. So how? yeah like Tachyon there used to be other ones you don’t like skyhorse and all these others anyway, those are not the great big ones. That people mean when they’re talking about the big houses Isabel’s checking out that candle now. Yeah stinky here now she’s sleeping leaving in a huff we haven’t had um cat wrangling. On the podcast in a while. So um, so yeah I recently learned of another publisher that’s not 1 of the biggies. But that’s well known, especially in romance publishing that is offering a terrible percentage on ebooks and. 1 of my friends at Apollycon who has a very successful series told me that last year and she was sad about it that she made about $1400 in the whole year and I told somebody else this and they were like. That author but her books are doing amazing and I was like yeah um and her agent says that she doesn’t really understand the contract. Um, when my friend asked about well shouldn’t I be getting. Royalties for like the audio books or the foreign rights and stuff that our agent was like oh well I don’t know um and and I said to her friend I said that’s a really bad sign you know and it’s like. I love that people come to me for advice but I think sometimes people regret coming to me for advice because and you should all know this I’m happy to talk to you like at conventions or you know over drinks are many things I will say to in person that I will not say on the podcast. But. You know if if you do ask me for advice I’m I’m going to give it to you pretty straight and I told her you’ve got to leave this agent if your agent doesn’t understand your contract then this is a problem. It’s a problem.

10:56.41
jeffekennedy
Red flag and she says oh I know but you know she’s stuck with me. She took me when no one else would and you know I owe her and you guys I hear this story so many times and in its. Hard I know it’s hard because we love our agents. We do feel that um, it’s like the first love we. We are grateful to them and they it does feel like they took a chance of us when no one else would. And I definitely felt that way about my first agent and I don’t know why if I would have left her if she hadn’t gone into like a total spiral and left the agency and went to an agency where I couldn’t sign the contract. Um. I don’t know what I would have done I’m glad I didn’t have to make that choice leaving my second agent was a really hard choice even though I was terribly disappointed in him and I had gone through a couple of um, like performance improvement plans with with him. Which is that’s why yeah so I spoke too soon on the mosquitos that one went right for my nose. Um, that’s my corporate America coming out but it’s like okay you know I’m not happy with how this is working and so we’d come up with these things that you know for him to do. And then he didn’t do those things I was working with the senior agent in the firm. That’s the other thing about this from that I’m talking about is that her agent just has her own agency. There’s not even a senior agent to go to and so which is the first advice I would give is is if you are. Maybe not the first but still if you are unhappy with what your agent is doing or if you’re wondering if you should be managing expectations in some way you go to the senior agent at the agency and say here’s what I want and this is not what’s happening. And you know what do you recommend and and the senior agent in mine was very receptive but my agent still didn’t still didn’t do it and and break and that breakup felt like it felt like a divorce. It really did it was um, hugely emotional. My friends got sick of listening to me but it had to be done and and I feel like I’m still seeing echoes of of the ways in which he messed up my career.

13:48.74
jeffekennedy
Um, and and it’s very true and I’m sort of going off on this whole agent tangent I didn’t mean to but it’s probably worth revisiting. You know the the old adage that a bad agent is worse than no agent at all is really true and I feel like spending several years with my bad agent. And still seeing effects. But I’m still digging out of that and I love my current agent Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost literary agency who is unfortunately not taking more clients I I even asked her at Apollycon when ah. Because I was thinking maybe I could get my friend to move over to her if I could get my friend to give up this loyalty to this terrible agent and I I feel very comfortable calling this agent terrible if your agent says they don’t understand the contract I mean that’s literally their job. So I asked Sarah oh are you still not taking new clients or I said are you taking new clients and she actually physically flinched. She’s like and she said she’s just not able to keep up with all of her current clients and she’s still sort of digging out of that pandemic hole on that as well. so unfortunately and me someday but um so yeah why is my friend only making $1400 a year. She got paid twice in you know every six months and she said it was about $700 each time. And yeah yeah I mean she’s not gonna be out on the streets because she has a salaried spouse which is great but it’s disheartening when you have a very successful series. I mean I’m not kidding when I say this is a successful series. It’s it’s gotten amazing reviews and it’s very well known and how is she only getting this much money. Ah, it’s it’s criminal really. So. Um, I’m never going to be 1 of those people and there’s one in particular I can think of who like in in SFWA on discord and so forth or the forums every single time someone says something about an agent. This guy has to pop up and. Do a blast against how horrible agents are and ah it’s just like dude but he’s also I don’t know um, unpleasant in his opinions in many ways.

16:35.88
jeffekennedy
So I don’t think that all agents are terrible I think that agents are very helpful to a career particularly if you’re dealing with things like print and foreign rights and I don’t believe that hiring a lawyer is the same thing but um, but there. There are bad agents out there and they they gave give the good agents a bad name and so there it is um otherwise let’s see what’s going on I I feel like this is this is exciting news for me and not important to anything else. But I got my nails done yesterday and we may have gotten I’m trying to show you. It’s kind of better there. We go. Ah, we may have gotten a green that I really like since this is why birthday month and green is my favorite color I was trying to get a good green and. For some reason. It’s really hard to find a good green nail polish so much good green in nature. Not so much. It must be really hard to reproduce a green pigment because it’s hard to find good greens and clothing too. So I’m very happy with my green nails small things. Right? Ah, yeah, so I went long yesterday. So I think it’s okay to go shorter today I will um yeah, talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – August 8, 2022

Some real numbers comparing the same book and series self-published vs. traditionally published – Spoiler: first month revenue is already 10% of 10 years of trad – & other thoughts on trad vs. indie.




Transcript
00:01.26
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Delicious.

00:19.20
jeffekennedy
Ah, so good. How are you all today is Monday August date 16 22 I don’t know why it seems like there’s so many good dates lately. Bumping the table here. So um, we are New Week New week hopefully a productive week I need a productive week. Um I’m still on track with shadow wizard I’m losing a little bit of my buffer. I did not have um, a rocking writing day on Friday for no good reason I am happy to report that. However I am caught up on royalty crunching who I’ve caught up two months ‘ worth. Always interesting. Um, just to have a break from the royalties and come back and sort of see what the sales are like and one thing that’s very interesting. Sorry if I’m using that word way too many times. Um, you can’t adjust hold on a moment. My chair is could be apart. Ah, you know it’s like one of those selfassemble patio chair things and so it has the. It’s probably gonna be too hard to explain but you know like the caps that you screw on to the ends that hold it in place and one of the caps came off and I had it sitting here on the table but very lazily had not put it back on ah because it was one of those you know like two step projects where it required me to go inside the house. To get a screwdriver to come back out and screw it on and somehow I just never would not take that freaking long but somehow I never made that complete circuit and no I’m not sure where the piece has gone hopefully some. Critter didn’t carry it off but now it’s um, bending enough that it’s like pulling entirely out of the socket without the cap thingy to hold it on so the ah problem’s becoming more pointed but. We already spent way too much podcast time on that. Ah, ah so interesting. So interesting fascinating I think that’s why they came up with fascinating for Spock because interesting just got too boring. Um.

03:07.34
jeffekennedy
On my covenant of thorns books this is a great example of traditional publishing versus self-publishing. You know what? and I’m even Goingnna oh I’m not going bring up the exact numbers. But. So I started releasing rereleasing Covenant of Thorn’s series Rogue’s Pawn being book one in July and then Rogue’s Possession came out later july and then third book Rogue’s Paradise is coming out in August and. For all three books considering this is a series that’s 10 years old fabulous covers beautiful covers um but old books I shared a um review on the podcast on friday. Was a very interesting review I shared it with Grace and she’s like wow that’s a great review and I was like well it’s sort of ah a mixed review but I would much rather have a review that notices. Um and notes how I’ve grown as a writer and for me going back and reading those first books. Is a little bit cringy. It’s a good reminder for me. Um, when I read new authors first books that I should probably like read one of their later books too because um, ah I mean thank goodness I’ve gotten so much better. But wow you know and people told me then that it was overwritten and I didn’t think it was ah but ah the hubris of youth and newbiness right? Ah yeah, ah. In one contest. Someone told me that it was um, overwritten like Anne Rice is overwritten and I took that as a compliment. Um I think I’m way worse than Anne Rice ah but um anyway these books are being well received but they’re not burning up the charts I mean they’re not like hugely high rankings I’ve got more preorders for book 3 than I have for books 1 or 2 I like twice as many which is really nice. So that means that the people that are reading it and loving it. Are wanting to read that third book. That’s awesome. Um, but you know it’s like it’s still double digits I mean I don’t even have preorders in the triple digits which is fine. You know it’s like that’s kind of what I expect for rereleasing an old series like this right? so.

05:54.79
jeffekennedy
Even with fairly low but climbing preorder numbers I’m trying to walk the line here I I don’t want you to Um, oh what am I trying to say I’m trying to set the correct expectation here because I figured. If I was lucky if things went well that I could recoup my investment in putting a new cover and reformatting the book putting it up for sale. Ah in the first month and I’m going to do that easily more. For the first two books and with pre-orders alone for the third book each of those books has already I mean you’ll just like in numbers I don’t have the money yet, but they’ve already earned 10 to 12% of the lifetime sales. Of the books that did that they earned through Carina press. Okay, so let me rephrase that just in case I put that in a confusing way because I track all the sales of all my books. So in all the time 10 years that those books were with Carina Press and Carina paid me quarterly royalties on those books. So I know how much each book has earned over its lifetime via Carina in the time that I have had these up self-published a month for the first book. A month the two days they’ve already earned 10 to 12% of those lifetime sales one month versus ten years right? So when we talk about self- publishishing. And the money that you can earn in self-p publishing. There is a concrete example now why didn’t these books earn more money through Carina press. There’s a couple of factors and if you all already self publish or if you are um, you know, follow. Self-pubbers then you know this information but I’m going to share it here anyway because it does bear repeating part of it is the percentage. Um from Carina press even though they gave me a very generous I think 45% something like that of the. Net so that means of the money that they get after the wholesale price and all of that they gave me 45% of that price. So and actually.

08:42.34
jeffekennedy
Okay, so I went ahead and opened the spreadsheet just so I could give you some actual numbers because I calculate approximately how much I earn per book. Um, well this is going to be a little bit deceptive. However, okay, well let me give you the the numbers. From through Carina Press which is harlequin which is under harper collins. We’re looking at big consolidation of presses. So it’s worth it looking at that tiering. Ah penguin already emerged with random house. Now Simon Shuster is looking to acquire penguin random house. So anyway before and you know under them. My books were earning I would get ¢71 to a dollar for per per book. Now I have to do some quick baths self publishing I’m getting $3 per book. Um, so easily 3 times I’m making per book so that adds up fast. The other piece of it is. Marketing. Um, and we were having this conversation over the weekend. Ah Minerva Spencer and Katie Lane are their writing names came to brunch at my house on Saturday and we. Set out in the grape arbor and talked business. It was lovely and the demystifying thing is is because we have all published traditionally and self published. And it can just be mystifying what the traditional publishers are doing I do pretty basic marketing on that Covenant of Thorns series and it’s like a 1,000 times more than Carina press did on them especially 10 years later um we were gossiping about one friend of ours who’s who had a bestselling book Usa today but still bestselling book did enormously well but it came out a long time ago now. Um, somebody was saying 3 years but I think it’s longer than 3 years because 3 years was beginning of pandemic that amazing. Um, well it was like leading up into ah it’s on my mind because like Minerva Spencer I had not seen her since September of 2019 so it was nearly three years since I had last seen her in the flesh.

11:28.84
jeffekennedy
And it’s funny to think that um you know three years ago August of 2019 I was at world con in Dublin and we traveled around Ireland just seems ages ago. So um, anyway I think this this gal’s book came out. Probably five or six years ago yeah could be even six or 7 definitely pre 2017 so that gives us a ah range anyway. But she gets very upset that her traditional publisher is not. Pouring more publicity that they’re publicizing other books newer books and not hers which ah you know sometimes that happens that way. Oh. Mosquito so it’s this is what traditional and publishers do. They’re always about the new shiny. They don’t care about the older books. Um.

12:47.54
jeffekennedy
And and it’s to the detriment of the author because I mean you know like this girl’s perfectly right to be upset that they’re not publicizing this book. Especially I mean everybody could be making money on this but they just don’t they also. Just don’t seem to know how to position books which is bizarre and they fully believe that they do know I mean they’re just certain that they are in the right? So it’s this very interesting thing. Um that there are what, one of the gals I don’t remember who they might have both said it is like well why are people still going with traditional publishers and I still think there are good reasons to publish traditionally. But as far as making a living and getting your books out there. Ah. And makes all the difference and and what’s funny is that the traditional publishers and we all know this because we have editors and agents saying this to us as they’ll say well you know you just can’t make real money self-p publishishing and they always want to go back to the Statistic. You know that most self-p publishers. Only ever sell a hundred copies a year and and it’s like yeah, but then you have to look at the the other end of the spectrum that you know you’re not looking at the person who decide to you know, write their memoir and. Printed it out for their kids and grandkids. Um, besides which we don’t have to sell as many copies to make really good money as evidenced by this statistic I’m just fascinated by that it has made this big of a difference because I thought well. You know should I even republish. These am my sinking good money into this for no reason it’s going to be great. It’s going to be awesome. I was also counting up like how many books I sold at Apollycon because in the world of the convention. You know, ah it was just like sale sale sale I sold a lot of copies of Rogues Pawn I didn’t realize how many but that was the right crowd for that book I did not sell as many copies of dark wizard as I thought I would I do have a mosquito candle out here now to fend off the mosquitoes. Ah, see if that works I’d scooted it closer because there’s a couple of mosquitoes hovering hovering hungrily. So um.

15:30.26
jeffekennedy
You know it’s just really interesting what you sell in different venues and I think this is one of the things that self-publishers are able to do is that I can go and I can see which of my books sell on site and what I can say to readers that elicits their attention. I think it’s really super cool that I sold so many copies of the print version of rogue spawn um, for $10 right? Ah, but they love that it was a face story. So um. My point and I do have one. You know that there are people in traditional publishing who make a huge amount of money but there are lots who don’t and even the ones who are making a decent living the dreaded midlist right? which has become kind of a curse. But. There was a statistic that came out the other day that said that um I don’t know if they put a percentage on it but it was most and and I believe that it is most traditionally published authors are making $25000 a year or less which is. Below poverty level in the us and I I don’t know if that’s before or after taxes. But it’s still It’s not much money. Actually I think it was $20000 a year because the person who retweeted it into my timeline said that they were. Doing relatively well compared to many of their compatriots and they’re making $25000 a year. Um, which is still not enough to live on and traditional publishing persists in this idea that um. You know that we should be grateful for the money we are making I think ah one of my friends has been kind of struggling because ah, her traditional sales have fallen off. Um, we think we know why I think I know why actually I gave her. Um. A really good insight and I’ve seen this happen to a number of my friends that’s bragging isn’t it I thought it was great insight. She agreed. Okay, so in in two cases I’m thinking of specifically and I could probably think of a lot more There was an author who was selling incredibly well in a particular thing and their publisher changed the branding of it in 1 case, an author was told no no, we don’t want more of these of this subgenre. We want you to write this other subgenre.

18:11.45
jeffekennedy
And the books just didn’t do as well and the publisher is like huh I wonder what happened? Well you went off of the main readership and this other friend of mine who has done fabulously well in. Traditional publishing to the point where she didn’t really want to self-p publishlish because she’s like I’m making better money and trap and it’s like well wherever you’re making better money and go for it but now ah her most recent series. The sales are really tanked and I realized how they changed from her main branding that these books don’t. Look or feel or have the same wording as the ones where her main platform is and and it’s a departure and and once I pointed this out to her. She’s like you know what? I’m going to put these words in my next title and I’m going to see what’s what happens and it’s like great. We can do this as self publishers meanwhile in traditional publishing land. Her editor actually said to her that it’s because she’s self-publishing that she’s diluting her sales and that’s and it’s her fault and this is what they do in traditional publishing is they tell the author that it’s their fault and because it can’t possibly be theirs. And it’s nonsense. It’s I I was telling this story to Minerva and Katie this weekend and both of them immediately said that’s bullshit because we all know that readers read much faster than we can write and they they want more books. They don’t. Get tight. They don’t say oh ho ha another j– oops sorry another Jeffe Kennedy ah slight slip there wonder if I could fudge it out I bet I didn’t say as much as I thought I did we’ll see. Ah, but yeah, another Jeffe Kennedy Blah you know it’s maybe there are some who say that but the passionate readers they want more and this idea that um, which tread really holds onto that you know that they feel that it should be 1 book a year and I even had that. Um, on my last traditional publishing excursion. You know when we were talking about the frequency of the books and they said well our market research shows that the books do best if we release some nine months apart I kind of wanted to say well, what market research is that. Because it’s sure not how it looks from our perspective. The other interesting thing about self-publishing and this is a conversation that Minerva Katie and I were having was how we know what it takes to make a good cover. We know exactly how expensive a cover is.

20:57.00
jeffekennedy
We know about layers and putting them together. You have to learn I mean it’s just like at first you don’t know and you gradually learn so when a traditional publisher comes to us and this has happened to all of us. And says look at this beautiful expensive cover and we’re like that’s clip art and this part doesn’t look right? Can you fix this and they’re like oh no, it would take so much to fix that we’re like no, no, no, all you do is go in and tweak that layer. Um and they still want to act like we don’t know this that they can still blow sunshine. Ah. So this has turned somewhat into an indictment of tread which I don’t mean it to be because um I there are a lot of things I love about traditional publishing. Um and I will still try to publish traditionally but there. I feel like we’ve been saying for more than a decade now that traditional publishing is going to have to change what they’re doing and they are somehow mysteriously still not doing it. Um, but yeah, just being able to. To make a living as a writer. There are not many people who can do that without also self- publishing or without having a sidegig. So um I do think and we were all agreeing is in our conversation Saturday that. It was huge for all 3 of us that we had already traditionally published and had that readership they’re they’re good at establishing that readership and so it made self publishing much easier. It’s it’s harder when you’re coming right out of the gate as a self-p publisher. Unfortunately, that’s just how it is. So on that note I’ve chattered on long I hope you all have a wonderful Monday and a wonderful week and I will talk to you all tomorrow you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – August 4, 2022

News about an exciting whirlwind trip to Las Vegas to see Celeste Barber, #perfectlyfine frose, a bit about chips on shoulders and publishing paths, and how the bar is what I remember about hotels.




Transcript
00:00.96
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Was so good today is Thursday August Fourth um well here we are in August beautiful lush summer gotta love it. Kind of an overcast day here in Santa Fe we’ve got um some rain last night. A little bit supposed to get more today robust monsoon season. There’s so much. So so much waiting I have to do so much. But I did get the finances caught up yesterday and that was a big thing.

00:56.46
jeffekennedy
Yeah, um, sort of thinking about and I also did a bunch of SFWA stuff? Um, you know it’s funny when we have conversations about things that we do to advocate for writers right? It’s big part of our mission. Advocate for creators. Really we’re trying to make that distinction acknowledging that not all creators of science fiction and fantasy work in prose. But there’s um, trying to figure out how I can say this. Sometimes advocating for publishers is not the same thing as advocating for writers and I had a little bit of a back and forth with someone yesterday who didn’t quite get my point there. It’s not that I think that traditional publishers. Are against creators. But I think that they’re on their own team and that just because a publisher wants something doesn’t necessarily mean that we should as an organization advocate for it because it may not be. The best thing for the creators and the person ended up saying something about how they thought that they thought that certain people had chips on their shoulders about um, traditional publishing or self publishing which okay sure some people do. But I wanted to say if that’s directed at me I’m not sure which shoulder I have the chip on since I do both traditional publishing and self- publishing and I think there are merits to both but I also don’t think that traditional publishers. Are going to take care of authors um over their own interests. I think there’s plenty of evidence for that anyway, that’s a little bit of a tangent. It was just something that was on my mind. Um, yeah, so it was good I got a lot done yesterday I got my 2000 words I participated in a meeting I got the finances totally caught up and the bills paid which I had not. In a while I still need to finish crunching royalties. But I’m getting closer. Ah it was actually pretty awesome because I got my 2000 words by 11:30 in the morning because I had an 11:30 meeting and so I started slightly early and I was feeling good and.

03:44.16
jeffekennedy
I was pretty intent on getting as much done before that eleven thirty meeting so I could like catch up whatever and then I got them all by 11:30 and ah I know I keep saying it if I can get my words by noon I am just a happy camper. It just makes all the difference for me. When I’m still trying to get my words at one or 2 in the afternoon. no no no I just don’t like it doesn’t work for me. Ah so some exciting news that I realized I forgot to mention and it sort of became this is like a last minute thing. And I saw Megan last night and the delightful Charlie we had Frose which was #perfectlyfine and if you don’t know that joke you’re gonna have to go back some podcasts or just accept. It. Was delicious at la casa sena in Santa Fe in the courtyard ended up being a gorgeous evening I thought it was going to be too rainy, but it was perfect evening didn’t rain at all and skies cleared out so it was a lovely peaceful evening.

05:02.29
jeffekennedy
But um, so we were talking about our plans to go to Las Vegas next weekend. Jeffe you may say we did not know you were going to Las Vegas next weekend and I will say to you? Well it was a last minute thing. Ah. And we just put it together. Um, so not this Saturday but a week from Saturday we are flying to Las Vegas and we are going to see Celeste Barber play at the venetian going to see her ah her show her stand-up show which is I think. It’s something like fine fine. Thanks, that’s it. It’s Fine Thanks! which is a nice dovetail with #perfectlyfine I’m sure I told the perfectly fine story here on the podcast if I didn’t those of you who watch all the time. Ah, tell me and I will tell the perfectly fine story. But I think I did so I have told it to a number of people so I may not remember where I’ll I’ve told it but it’s my favorite hashtag now. So yeah, um. Celeste Barber’s playing at the venetian her Fine Thanks american tour. She’s an australian comedian if you don’t know her. She’s a hysterical ah me it introduced me to her on Instagram she does these wonderful sendups of the ah you know like that. Ridiculousness of the things that people post to Instagram trying to show off their bodies. You know mean all airbrushed and she does like the real woman version of them and so she did her australian tour and she’s been up in Canada and she’s coming through the states. And we were able to get tickets for her show kind of last minute I think not a lot of people know who she are who she are who she is yet in the us. So we got um, 4 tickets for $20 each – dang! I should have given Megan money last night I forgot. Terrible. Ah, and Megan found us. Um airline tickets for spirit airlines out of Albuquerque to Las Vegas for $63 each round trip. Ah so it is. Extra if you want to check a bag. They don’t even have like um you it’s the carryons aren’t even freeance I’ve never flown spirit before I ventured it to David and he said does it take off from someone’s backyard and Megan said yes, lol.

07:46.56
jeffekennedy
So we told Megan that if the plane crashes and kills us all. We’ll be really unhappy with her. But yeah, you can’t even carry on a bag for free. All you can carry on is a personal item and David needs too many things to keep him going. So I paid like $40 to check a bag. So that means we’re flying round trip for $200 and our tickets between the 2 of us are $40 and we got free rooms at the venetian from david’s ah you know account they comp us to room. 2 for 2 free nights. So ah yeah, we’re going to las vegas for like $250 no doubt we will end up spending more than that but not bad and it should be really fun I’m excited. So it’s yet another weekend I’m going to be gone in august I will probably bitch about this later but right now it sounds cool. I’m home this weekend next weekend we’re going to vegas ah going saturday morning coming back monday morning the following weekend I will be in albuquerque at bubonican – No wrong order the following weekend. We’re going to tucson. To celebrate birthdays see my family then the weekend after that is Bubonicon in albuquerque and the weekend after that labor day weekend I will be in chicago for ChiCon for world con and I’m giving a workshop there did I mention. I probably did I’m pretty excited that I get to give a workshop at world con and I’m on several panels and things so that’s nice. What’s with the mosquitoes you know like they say april showers bring mayflowers. It’s sort of like monsoon rings bring mosquitoes it’s not nearly so poetic or delightful.

09:42.37
jeffekennedy
Sorry for the clapping if that was startling so that’s the news in my world. Um I also need to finish writing this book during August so hopefully that’ll work out. I am teaching a class for the fantasy futuristic and paranormal chapter special interest chapter I think still of RWA lot of the chapters have been disaffiliating so but I think they are still affiliated. So I’m giving a workshop at their meeting on. Sunday afternoon and then we’ll be teaching the class for four weeks online ah so if you want to register for that I assume you can I don’t think they’ve even given me links on how to do that. But it’s going to be. Busy wizy months but hopefully with the leavening of a lot of play in with the work I’ll be able to get everything done. Um, let’s see other news. Some of you may know if you’re following closely on a polyon 2023 ticket sales have been postponed until they can revisit the ah the hotel. The venue was pretty disappointing. I didn’t have too many problems but then Jennifer L Armentrout sort of posted a list of all the things they struggled with some of them I didn’t know about boy the mosquitoes are just everywhere. Sorry um so that’s postponed it’s. Funny because we were at the Hyatt Crystal City in arlingto,n suburb of Dc is there a suburb of Dc. Anyway, you know what I mean and when I was in the bar called the Lobbibar which they spell a cute way but is otherwise. Unimaginative name I recognized this high table or it looked I was like oh I know this high table and I took a photo of it because it reminded me of this table in the bar at world fantasy con in Dc in 2014. Ah, and I’m amazed that it was 2014 ah time time is strange. Um, yeah I get my years confused but I know this because I looked it up.

12:29.18
jeffekennedy
I’m spoiling the story. So I took a photo of this table because when I went to world fantasy con it was the first time that I met ah my first agent in person and he was not yet there when I arrived and I was walking into the bar. As one does and this ah woman says to me are you Jeffe Kennedy and it was one of the first times that um someone recognized me and I said yes and she says hi I’m Jennifer Udden and Jennifer turned out to be. My agent’s best friend. She was also an agent and that was the beginning of ah of a fruitful friendship, a long friendship and there were several other people sitting at the table agents and editors and they just kind of um took over that high table. For the entirety of the conference they just parked there and so I would go and I would sit with them and they would buy me drinks and they would buy me meals and it was really um, it was just really fun. It was like 1 of the first times as an author that industry people were treating me to stuff. And so I took a photo of this table and I texted it to jen yesterday. Ah because I’d just finally gotten around descending it and I said this table reminded me of the one that we sat at at world fantasy and she was like oh my god the memories and. And I was like well it wasn’t the same hotel was it and so then when I went back and looked at my emails that was what I saw it was world fantasy in um, like November of 2014 and it was the same hotel. It was the exact same hotel and I the only thing that. You know now that I know I can match up the memories. Yeah I mean it’s eight years difference right? But I find it just really amusing that what is the thing that really triggers Jeffe’s memory ah it’s the bar. It’s the bar is what Jeffe remembers. Um. So none of us are shocked by this right and then amusingly enough because we one of the things we were doing yesterday is we’re working on the nebula conference for 2023 also and we. Was we were putting together our our RFP which is what you send to the hotel. It’s basically a request for a proposal. We send it to the hotels and ask them to tell us how much it would cost and what the logistics would be and so we were getting some advice on how to put together the rfp.

15:18.81
jeffekennedy
To cover having a hybrid conference because we want to do this as best we can and so there was a list of like all the hotels where there’s previous nebula conferences and I saw 2012 conference was at the Hyatt Crystal city. It’s like clearly this hotel has like established their brand as. Serving science fiction and fantasy community. However, um, the Jennifer L Armentrout ah corporation group are not happy with them right now and when she explained all the things that had gone wrong besides us not having. Adequate air conditioning in the ballroom that I was signing in I don’t blame her for being unhappy. But maybe they’ll get it together because it’s otherwise ah a decent hotel for a convention I mean obviously lots of us have done it. So um. I keep meaning to tell dorinda unforgeting and mentioning here. One of the things about flying back and forth to a polyon was I flew on Delta which I have not in I don’t know probably 2 decades I have a memory of flying delta. Back when we still lived in Laramie it would have had to been pre 2007 and ah missing my connection in I think Memphis and having to stay overnight. And they did comp my hotel room but calling David and just crying because I was so frustrated I couldn’t get home. This is when I traveled all the time. Yeah, and he was like it’ll be all right? you know, but it was um I flew home in the morning and had to get all the way back up to laramie. And we were hosting a party that afternoon for my own fucking birthday and it worked out I got home. Everything came off fine but I was that was just a low point and I associated that with Delta which really it wasn’t delta’s fault. I remember a ticket agent being very kind to me because I was probably just incredibly stressed and exhausted and it was like I does want to go I always try to be nice to the ticket agents because it’s not their flip and fault right? So um, why was oh. Flying on Delta so I flew on delta for reasons. Um I had a here are the reasons I mean they’re not important, but it was because I had been going to go visit. Ah Kelly Robson in Toronto ah, last January and that was

18:06.54
jeffekennedy
Delta was where I could get a decent fly to Toronto was it a year ago january oh well and ended up having to cancel that trip because pandemic and I think it was January Twenty Twenty one so I had that flight credit and I wanted to make sure to use it before it expired so and and it was a good way to fly into Reagan which Hyatt crystal city is right next to Reagan airport and you guys flying you all flying delta was amazing. There was. Fantastic. The people were great. The planes were so clean I was saying this to Charlie and Megan last night and I was said I’m wondering why I’ve been messing around with american and southwest when Delta was so fabulous and not more expensive and and Megan is like yeah, it’s like their planes are skeezier. And it’s so true so they had the Tvs and the seatbacks and free entertainment and I was able to watch for free. The new Dr. Strange on the way there and on the way back everything everywhere all at once and um. And it’s interesting. How both of those movies are really playing with multiverse things and um, yeah, sort of fracturing of realities and so that was really cool to sort of put that in I I very much enjoyed both movies I thought. Both were excellent. Um, and then because I had a connection I to fly through Atlanta I also just watched some fun movies like on the flanking side of those but it was nice to be able to just sort of sit in my comfortable seat which. I felt like I had plenty of room and it was a cozy seat and I was not in the lap of the person next to me and you know they provided the headphones with the little Jack and just to be able to sit there and concentrate wholly on the movie. Um, yeah, both of them were really good. And I probably have more intelligent things to say about them. But I’m about out of time and I am going to go to writer coffee today. So so yeah, often think of if I have specific things to say about those movies but I find it very interesting that that’s where we are with storytelling is. Playing with the whole multiverse thing many different realities and more than one person has commented that we appear to have gotten stuck in a very bad timeline. Ah as we want to go back to the ah the 2016 branch.

20:52.19
jeffekennedy
And go into the timeline where Trump did not win that election and maybe things would have been very different these last six years. So um, on that note, let’s make the best of this timeline that we can I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday and I will talk to you all tomorrow. You all take care bye bye.

The Hybrid Life for Me!

ROGUE’S POSSESSION is now out!! 

This release dovetails nicely with this week’s topic. We’re asking, Traditional publishing, self-publishing or a fusion of the two. What works best for you?

This particular book is the second book in the Covenant of Thorns trilogy, which were originally traditionally published ten years ago! Those were my first fantasy romances and I was elated that Carina Press took a chance on my cross-genre novels. I went on to publish ten books in total with them. I’ve also done three traditionally published series with Kensington and one with St. Martin’s Press.
I like trad publishing. Having a team working on my books is a great feeling, as is not having to front the money.
However…
As soon as I could get the rights back on these books, I did, and now I’m self-publishing them. The major reason? I’ll make a lot more money selling them myself.
A secondary reason: by controlling the series, I have more options to discount book one, a potent marketing technique trad-pubbing doesn’t allow.
A third, but super validating reason? At last I can give these books the covers they deserve!! I love these covers, designed by the incredibly talented Ravven, so much!
So, as you may have concluded, I’m falling in the “fusion of the two” category. Being a hybrid author gives me the best of both worlds. I aim to continue doing it that way.

Three Things I Did to Sustain a Full-time Writing Career

The audiobook of BRIGHT FAMILIAR is now available! And GREY MAGIC in audio will be out very soon!!

This week at the SFF Seven our topic is: Being a full-time writer – is it your dream? How do you pay for life and write, too?

In this instance we’re defining “full-time writer” as someone who doesn’t have a day job or other paying occupation that competes with writing. Most of us – unless we marry money or inherit a trust fund – continue to work jobs even after our first books are published. Sometimes for a LONG time after that. For myself, I continued to have essentially two careers for just over twenty years after my first publication.

I worked in environmental consulting while all the while carving out time and energy to write. I kept waiting for my writing income to match my day-job salary – even not figuring in benefits! – and it never got there. Eventually life made the decision for me: my primary project got axed, our team dissolved, and I was laid off with decent severance.

And I made the decision to try to have only one career at that point.

It hasn’t been easy! KAK’s post from yesterday about being exacting with a budget is super important.

This is especially true if, like her, you have only yourself to count on for income. Or if, like me, you are the primary breadwinner for your family. When authors give advice on managing finances as a full-time writer, it behooves you to pay attention to what other financial help they have. It might not be a trust fund, but having a spouse with a steady salary (and benefits!) goes a long way. Other authors live on retirement income or other, similar sources.

So, how have I done it?

1) Meticulous budgeting.

As much as I can, I budget a quarter at a time. Writing income is volatile and, unless you’re making buckets of it, you can’t count on being able to pay the bills with income from a single month as you can with a regular paycheck. As KAK mentions, you can’t figure your disposable income by simply subtracting your expenses from that month’s income. You may need that “leftover” money for next month, or the month after. The financial gymnastics require creativity and flexibility.

2) Tracking sales

Data is everything! You can’t afford to be only a dreamy creative. You have to wear your business hat and crunch the data from your royalty reports. You have to be ready to be stern with yourself and pay attention to which efforts generate income and which don’t. You may find you can’t afford those passion projects if your writing is what puts food on the table. OR, that you can afford them only if other projects are paying the bills.

3) Self-Publishing

If writing income is volatile, then income from traditional publishing has the lowest evaporation temperature. It comes, it goes – often on an annual or semi-annual basis. Quarterly is likely the most frequently you’ll get paid, and every royalty check is a surprise! Again, unless they’re cutting you BIG checks, it likely won’t be enough to live on. This is why so many trad-pubbed authors also teach or have other side gigs. Self-publishing provides monthly income. Yes, it fluctuates, but you can also track sales and predict how much money will arrive in two months. Taking the surprise out of the equation helps immensely! You’re also not subject to the whims of traditional publishing on a number of levels.

Those are three practices that have helped me manage a career as a full-time writing with essentially no other income. The other, quite obvious step, would be to make buckets of money and never have to think about budgeting again.

Maybe someday!

First Cup of Coffee – March 8, 2022




Transcript
00:00.60
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:16.40
jeffekennedy
It’s not bad I’m going off lattes again I decided that I was disrupting the sixteen eight fasting alas and sharp viewers will notice I did not yet fix my chimes that came apart in my hands yesterday. Ah, get to that. So today is Tuesday March Eighth snowy day here in Santa Fe revving a very snowy spring which is great. That’s great. Lots of snow on the mountains which boats well for. Water reserves come summer. So yeah, it’s supposed to be snowy all week and it’s very pretty very picturesque. Good cozy day to be inside to write. Um I am delighted to report that I got writing done yesterday. Woo. I got my 3000 words I got it got them even in a reasonable amount of time. Um, 2 hours two and a half hours basically get my 2000 words 3041 um, 3 hours and a three and a half hours total elapse time ah put a relief. So um, yeah I apparently just needed the rest. So yeah. Um, you know cross fingers knock on wood. But um, it flowed reasonably well yesterday. So hopefully I can get keep getting back into the groove the groove as it were.

02:14.67
jeffekennedy
I am a little sleepy this morning though. Well but I’m still on my first cup of coffee. So um, so yeah, yesterday was productive that way. Um, and then it kind of got away from me. But whatever, somebody asked me 1 of the many emails I sent out on Sunday and reply to people 1 person asked me how inbox 0 had gone and I said inbox 0 achieved the problem with inbox 0 is that it does not last and. When I looked on yesterday afternoon I was like back up to 46 emails fortunately, a whole lot of them were people see seeing me on things and so I did not need to um, did not need to worry about them other than to file them. I file all my emails so yesterday um I did stop into a couple of the chats and checked in with people and stuff and so hi lizette and Stephanie. Asked me a question about because I shared some of my progress counts spreadsheets which you guys know are scary. Um, and I shared my gamp charts that I used to plan releases I used to use the gant charts I didn’t have a lot of time to explain because I did need to run out but i. Used to use the gantt charts to plan more of my drafting and revising I used to have them all plotted out on that. Um, for for those who don’t know a Gantt chart is basically it’s one those ones with the horizontal bars and it just shows you. Timelines of stuff now it shows where things are overlapping so when I first started making gantt charts I did make them for like drafting revising overlapping stuff of I used to have in. And want to say a more intense schedule but that’s probably not true. Um, it was a different kind of intensity look of the little wayward curl sticking up there because I had a lot of traad books going on at the same time. And I was for a little while there I was working with 3 different publishers and so stuff would come in from them that was you know they all like would want their one week turnaround or two month turnaround or you know what have you and so I would have to.

05:05.36
jeffekennedy
Stop working on what I was doing and switch over to the thing that had the most pressing deadline. Whatever just come in the nice thing about doing largely self publishing at this point and right now I’m out of contract and. But agent’s trying to fix that but you know I kind of like know she’s like I know you want to be back under your contract I’m like do I though know that I really do um there. There’s good and bad. There are things that are great about tried publishing. Getting a whole trunk of money up front is good having a team working with you is good, um, having other people worry about stuff like covers and the back cover copy and all of that stuff. That’s good. Um, but I definitely ah have a much more even paced life when I am primarily self- publishing because I I decide what I’m working on at any given time. They don’t have to be pulled into anybody else’s timeline or schedule. So anyway and I do use gantt charts to plan out releases to get a sense of how regularly my book releases are coming out and I have instead gone to mapping out. By day. Um I only showed you guys this really small part of my spreadsheets because I have this enormous excel workbook in which I plot out pretty much my entire life and what I’m doing at any given time. But this is not what you asked me what they asked me was and I wrote down your questions so I would know is how do you deal with having multiple series at once and the concern was is that. If they start a second series and they’re already feeling overwhelmed which is a thing and scared that they’ll enjoy another one so much more that they’ll forget about the other and then never finish any of the series. So how do you do all of this. Because I do show on my spreadsheet that I showed them a piece of all of the different series and books that I have working on and I have them in different groupings right? So um, you know like.

07:44.80
jeffekennedy
I have in my court in someone else’s court in the pipeline which needs doing on submission planned tabled potential. Um, there may not be a lot of difference between planned and potential. But. I also have one that’s interstitial. Oh I know what that was and that’s kind of gone away I think I’m I’m not doing the interstitial stuff. It was like that was like projects I was trying to work on like intermittently between other projects and that did not work for me I’m I’ll tell you what. I don’t know if it counts as a secret is this a bug or a feature. We don’t know. Um I I work on 1 thing at a time I and I do really well at that. That’s why I think it kind of counts as a feature. Ah 1 thing about me is that I’m good at concentrating and i. Do best if I concentrate on 1 thing and just work on that 1 thing and keep the whole book in my mind and that’s one way when people ask me how I’m able to write books as quickly as I do I think that’s 1 reason because I just work on that I don’t piddle around. Like I used to have this friend who used to like watch movies while she was writing and stuff and I was like how can you do that I can’t even listen to music while I’m writing I want it silent but that’s because for me bug or feature i. Don’t like any kind of destruction I want to immerse fully in that one book. So I would say that’s one trick to balancing multiple series is that whichever book you are working on you just think about that book. You don’t think about anything else you don’t think about the other series. So I did do this layering last year of releasing the bonds of magic books and the errors of magic books unrelated except that they’re both of magic that was a mistake. Um. Um, the only one who ever mentions it though I should probably stop mentioning you so I would release one book and then work on the next and I I interwove those 2 series the releases for them. Um, and I feel like it worked pretty well. I used to I think part of this is because I started out doing it this way because as I mentioned I was working for like 3 different publishers at the same time I was writing contemporary erotic romance and epic fantasy romance at the same time.

10:30.61
jeffekennedy
And 1 thing I discovered was that switching between the 2 worked really well is kind of a palette cleanser for my brain. So I would finish a big epic fantasy romance and then I would write an erotic contemporary romance which yes felt very different to write. And and I think I’m trying to figure out how to phrase this for me the contemporary romances the erotic romances always felt much easier to write part of that’s because I like writing sex scenes. Um. I think they’re also in some way simpler now arguably I’m not as good at this because those books have never sold as well. So it could be that I like am not putting the effort into them that I could be I always wonder that’s like oh maybe I should be writing them differently that they you know that they feel easy. Maybe I’m not working hard enough to be I’ve written one in a long time. So now. It’s hard to say so um I just thought of something hold on. Okay, sorry about that I am going to. Try to get rights for reversion on some of those old books and I was just thinking about something I needed to remember to do along those lines. Yeah I was gonna start talking about that. But I won’t because I’m gonna stay on topic for Lisa to and Stephanie. See how devoted I am so multiple series. Um, so I think that’s one way to look at it and I think even still even though both bonds and bonds of magic and errors of magic are epic fantasy romances. There’s. Enough difference between the world that it does work in a way to finish one obviously take my breather since I clearly needed a little bit of time to decompress and refill the well and then start in on the. Book in another series because it’s it does work. Well so one thing Deronda Jones and I talk about a whole lot is that we we have this this dream I dreamed a dream of. Writing an entire series like a trilogy probably we wouldn’t try to do more than a trilogy to write all 3 books at once one after the other um, revise them all at once be able to go back and tweak book one to match. Whatever.

13:18.64
jeffekennedy
Book 3 ends up being and not have that the breakup of time in there. The main reason we don’t do that. Actually the only reason we don’t do that is money because you really have to be swimming pretty well. A good income to take that long off between releases right? Whether it’s for your traditional publisher or self-p publishing but that’s the that’s the ideal is to be able to do it that way and then I wonder. Would we really like it. We’ve never gotten to do that. So maybe it wouldn’t work so now focusing back on on the question scared that you’ll enjoy one so much more than you’ll forget about the other this is a thing it really is um. And I think it’s inevitable also regardless of enjoying one more than the other like I really enjoy the airs of magic books I have a lot of fun writing them It’s it’s fun getting back into writing this one I’m also glad it’s the last one because this series hasn’t sold as well. As bonds of magic by like like 20% of sales for errors of magic compared to bonds of magic I mean it’s it’s remarkable the difference and that was something that. Megan Sienna Deutsche and I were talking about because I did ask her I’m like is did I do something weird on these books. Another friend of mine told me that she thought maybe the titles weren’t right and she’s not someone who self-publishes and she doesn’t know a lot about bookmark and she only tre publishes and then it’s more on the artistic. Literature is hard and she’s like well maybe the titles don’t convey enough tension because it implies the two are equal so like right now I’m writing the storm princess on the Raven King you know she’s like maybe it needs to imply more conflict I’m like I don’t think that’s it. But I’m got a second opinion for Megan. And she had some good suggestions for just how I can set up the you know marketing the complete series there. There is a very distinct arc and errors of magic that is set up from the very beginning daddy is um, it’s not going to be. Finished being told until the end and there are readers who will wait until they know that’s going to end because they know we do this you guys they know that we start a series and then we get bored and we go running after the new shiny plot bunny which is a mixed metaphor but who cares and that we may not finish it.

15:59.70
jeffekennedy
So 1 thing that happened to me is sorcess moons. My six book series which I am is going into audio now and I am putting new covers on I have a new cover felon and swo and I’m waiting on the rest. Should probably start rereleasing these soon but I don’t have all the new covers and I’ve been going back and forth should I like just start releasing book one and then release the books as I get the covers or should I wait till I have all 6 feel free to weigh in. So. What happened with sorceers Moons was I originally thought it was gonna be a trilogy. It wasn’t I always do this. My series are longer than I think they’ll be I also this was the first series that I selfpublished from the very beginning and so I didn’t entirely. Plan out what I was doing I didn’t have I wasn’t working with a tread editor who was sort of guiding my steps on it I didn’t have a contract where I had like book 1 2 3 so that you know that I I ran wild with that freedom. So I ended up writing the first 4 books and then. A traditional publishing contract got in the way I got I sold 2 3 book deals at the same time rebel base and st martins and I ended up putting off writing those books 5 and 6 for a fucking year. You guys an entire year. Before I got back to writing book five and it was a problem and I confess freely that if I did not have a lot of readers saying when are you finishing this series I probably would not have so. That is a consideration. Um, if you don’t have the readers clamoring for you to finish the series then you might not do it. Another example cautionary tale as these contemporary romances that I wrote missed connections. Really love those books last dance with the prince since last christmas and it’s about 5 girls living together after college young women. And yeah I totally planned on books four and five in that series and those books if not sold well and. Every once a while somebody will ask me now. It’s been long enough that like nobody asks me anymore. But every once while someone would ask me saying are you gonna write books 4 and 5 in this and I only recently earn out these are self- publishled too I only recently earned out my investment on those books.

18:51.54
jeffekennedy
So at least now I’m making money on this series. Ah not much but so I’ve like 0 incentive to finish it and I don’t sell well in contemporary romance. So I don’t know well ever finish it. Maybe not so the reader pressure helps. It was really really hard for me to go back and finish books 5 and 6 of sorceress moons not only getting my head back in the world but I had written so many books in that interim that I had changed as a writer and so how I approached the story. And how I thought about it characterization world building everything I’d I kind of moved past what I was doing in that series. So I would say be very wary of taking a long break between books in a series because. The odds that you will not come back to It are very high. Yeah and so Stephanie said what if I can’t make my brain behave and I mean some of that’s the writing habit some of that’s being ritualized and I think that having my schedules and my charts and so forth. Make a difference there because like I’ve known that storm princess and the Raven King was coming next for a long time I had that set up with my cover artist. The covers already. Um, put on the show notes today because I haven’t shared that widely yet because I got the cover right? as gray magic was coming out and it was It’s hard to promo a couple of things at once and I’m trying to get better at staggering my my promo. So. I don’t know does that answer the question gals. Um I think really having a schedule. That’s why I love excel you know I’ve got my dates figured I know releases. Um, it’s not something you can control but having people. Really wanting that next book makes a difference I would say with series keep them short. You know plan short series to begin with until you know you can commit to longer ones ah like with bonds of magic I was really planning to do 3 but then that world is so big that by the time I was writing book two and people were loving it so much that I realized I needed to expand that and keep it going and and I’m loving it so much so all right? So those are thoughts ask me more questions. Sorry i.

21:37.68
jeffekennedy
Be on typing all this out but it was much easier to talk it out. So um, hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday and a fabulous Wednesday too because I will be back to talk to you all on Thursday morning take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – February 7, 2022




Transcript
00:00.00
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Ah, so good. Okay, so alert listeners ah may have heard in the sound of my voice watchers may have noted that I’m back to my morning watte. I started doing it again yesterday. Oh and it’s um, it’s everything. So um, I’m gonna talk a little bit about the. Insulin resistance and intermittent fasting. So if you have trouble with body image stuff or eating disorder stuff tap out for today or closures for a few minutes. So 1 thing that I did over the weekend was I did some research on stevia and whether or not. It really causes an insulin spike and I found um a number of studies on it. There’s a lot of disagreement because there are some studies that say yes, it does and others that say no, it don’t and but I found a double blind study that seemed like it was really well done. Well controlled and they found no impact on blood sugar or insulin from stevia and then I’m still doing the intermittent fasting I’m still doing the sixteen eight I’m getting great effects. So I might i. Um, down about £8 already and which is fantastic and I feel better. A lot of you may know that I start doing this because grace does it grace drven and she’s been having such great effects with clearing brain fog and sleeping better. You guys I’m sleeping so much better. It’s really interesting. Um, yeah so I’m feeling energized feeling good. Um, that’s um and it’s it’s very doable for me. So if you haven’t heard me talk about it before the sixteen eight fasting you basically fast for 16 hours and you eat during an 8 hour window um and and in general you can eat whatever you want I’ve been doing some other things too I’ve been ah I’ve tried to cut out all added sugars from my diet done.

02:41.39
jeffekennedy
I’m having very little added sugar which is amazing because I have a sweet tooth but I don’t miss it when I have a real sweet craving I’ve been doing what 1 doctor suggested and I have some raspberries or blackberries with some whipped cream just actual heavy cream that I’ve whipped up and put a little. Vanilla extract and I find makes it taste fabulous. Excellent sweet dessert adding more fiber to my diet raspberries have great fiber so and things like ah. I made my own refried beans yesterday I should include my recipe because a case anybody cares, you guys may not keep care. You’re not here for the recipes. There’s a bunny on the port portal. That’s why I keep looking at hey bunny. Um, oh yeah, refried beans. So yeah I make my own refried beans because we both love beans refried beans. We live in New Mexico but David can’t do spicy stuff. He can’t do anything that’s too acidic or too spicy and um and. You know, like even the really good organic grief fried beans. Just don’t do that well for us with just never feel good after eating them I think they use weird lards um, so this recipe I’ll just tell you guys and be only for the people who listen? Oh no better. We have the transcript now right. So what I did was um, heated some olive oil do the extra virgin olive oil in a pan and then two fifteen ounce cans of organic pinto beans rinsed and you cook them in the ah heated olive oil and just keep mashing them up as you cook them. De gal whose recipe I found she added tomatoes. But um, none of the belladonnas do well for David so I didn’t add tomatoes instead I added some um cumin I added cumin and salt. And some chopped up cilantro at the end. My mom would not like that if she were here I would not add this cilantro for her and they turned out great and then I made some Jasmine Rice I toasted some sunflower seeds and I sauteed some mushrooms. And mix those all into the brito mix with. We have 1 thing. That’s great about New Mexico is that we have local tortillas and so I have local tortillas that had no added sugar. You.

05:24.55
jeffekennedy
1 thing they do to try to do is cut down on refined carbohydrates. But if you can find like a refined carbohydrate that has a lot of fiber that helps counteractive. So these have good fiber in them and and put some cheese on there some cheese and avocado. They were really good burritos. I mean you all could spice it up if you live with people who can handle spicy stuff. But um I find I don’t miss the spicy stuff I’m happy to to eat stuff fairly bland for for David that’s an easy one for me. You know my mom used to make this wonderful pork green chili and we can buy amazing green chili here and then you put the green chili on top of the tortilla ah top of the burrito. That’s really good too. So anyway. um um I was just really pleased with all that I’m really happy with the results grace said told me that the stuff she had read she and I have read some so slightly different stuff but that it would take about six weeks for the intermittent fasting to really have an effect. On on the insulin resistance and so forth and I’m hitting about five weeks now and I can really tell a difference. So now I am even though I am outside of my window. it’s it’s not it won’t be my eating window until about eleven thirty this morning and it’s still eight fifteen I’m running a little behind. Um, but I decided to go ahead and have my half and half with my coffee and my stevia and see if I can. And and not eat anything else. They say you could have a small amount of half and half and cream this may be more than a small amount but I’m gonna experiment with that because I really love my morning. Latte. So we’ll see what works. And I did you weeks and weeks of and and I want to say uncamp uncontaminated. But that’s not fair, unacceorized coffee. So anyway, um I need a signal. Like an an all clear for when I stopped talking about content morning stuff. Maybe they just tapped out but I I am ah very aware that for some people. It’s very difficult to talk about anything that has to do with governing eating or or weight loss or so forth.

08:10.32
jeffekennedy
So let’s see um, busy weekend I did a workshop on Wednesday afternoon after a bunch of SFWA meetings. Lots of SFWA meetings but they were really good SFWA meetings. They were really productive. You know we have just an amazing board and just. Fantastic people who are members of sofa I mean they just really are wonderful people. We have fantastic volunteers. Yeah, and so the board was um, we had some really thoughtful discussions about a couple of things on the table. Ah, but talking about nebula conference this spring how we want to handle that and people have just such great thoughtful input I’m really grateful grateful for them and then taught the workshop in the afternoon I had 4 people in the shop. With me and then some people came in online and it was they were sort of on this little laptop far away. So I couldn’t really see who was there unless they had like their big name across and their camera off. So I knew a couple of you who were there and when gal said that she said. At the end when I was doing q and a and I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name but she said I have coffee with you every morning and I thought that’s so lovely. It’s it’s one of the maybe unexpected ah consequences ripple effects of doing this podcast because. You know for me I put it here and I send it out and unless some unless people send me comments. You know I don’t really know who’s out there who’s listening or reading the transcript now that we have the transcript and she but you know so then I run into people when I do stuff and they say oh yes. And listen here coffee your podcast and I drink my coffee while you talk and I love that? Um, maybe I’m just in a gratitude mood this morning but I’m I’m grateful for all of you who listen in and and say lovely things to me. So then oh yeah, so where there’s a girl in town who is the editor of Galaxys Edge Leslie Robin and Leslie and her friend Ava who is headed up to Kevin J Anderson’s all stars writing workshop retreat deally. She was in they were both in town and sort of um chips passing in the night ava just happened to be driving through Santa Fe on the way to Denver color springs sorry from Tucson to Colorado Springs and and Leslie was remarkably in town.

10:57.35
jeffekennedy
Got something in my eye there I had to go deal with it. What was a cat hair. What why Why? try to hide the fact how do I get cat hairs in my eyes I don’t know how do cat hairs get everywhere. 1 of the great mysteries of the universe. So um, let’s say I was talking about the weekend. Oh yeah, and so Leslie was really fun. We all went out to dinner afterwards and had a had a great time. And then yesterday I did my I didn’t stay completely unplugged but I stayed largely offline I did take care of a few things on the computer I also cleaned out the closet of doom which looks much better now. It’s. I mean it’s not like I’m not gonna show it to you guys. This is the closet my office because my office is technically a bedroom I guess like did I suppose our houses are big enough where they have rooms that are dedicated offices is that what I’m trying to say and. This one is technically a bedroom. Although it has things like you could see behind me like it has this power strip and stuff. Of course I have my desk set up so I can look out the window which I think I’m I’m weird that way. So it’s like a bedroom closet. You know, like as the clothes rack and at everything but I also have a. Bookshelf in there and a file cabinet and keep my coats in there. There’s a higher shelf but it’s um, full of things like writing books and copies of arcs. You know like I have a lot of my own books. You know like these couple of shelves are all my own books. But. Ah, that one’s like various arcs and copies of things that I’ve kept like 1 copy of a lot of magazines when I used to do a lot of magazine writing and that sort of thing poetry also lives in there for no good reason other than the fact that I don’t access it as frequently as other books. I.Ah rearrrange my office to mostly have the books that I can see while I’m working being the books that inspire me the the ones that I’ve loved so they’re out of order so there which would really upset the librarians among you I’m sure but I used to keep. Like all the books from a single author in one space which is logical but finally I decided it’s my office in my study I had a friend who didn’t like to call her writing space an office she called it her study and I tried it for a while and I always revert to office I I felt like I care. So.

13:45.44
jeffekennedy
I have the books from those authors that I love most within eyesight and within an easy grab reach. So so why am I talking so much about this about the closet of do. It’s just really was an accomplishment. It did take me mostly the afternoon I pulled everything out. And it’s got all my mailing stuff in it. So now. It’s much better organized I did throw a bunch of shit away. 1 thing that was striking about it though is how much of the shit I have from conferences. Both that I’ve received from conferences and then I give away at conferences a whole lot of that stuff is swag is stuff that I would hand out and I guess I could mail it out now. But it’s really funny to look at that stuff and be well I mean. 3 years ears three years out from having you know, almost two and a half years since last time I was at a conference. What was last one I went to was world con in dublin right? 2019 which is amazing to think about because that was a long time ago now right? and before that. When was the last comfort you know a lot of this stuff was for like the the reader conferences and I don’t know it’s a bunch of silly shit. So I threw a lot of things away a lot of it has just started to feel ancient to me now like I had a whole bunch of those. Um. Karina wine tumblers. plastic wine tumblers it’s like okay that’s I’m not keeping I threw away threw away a lot of k karina stuff sorry karina people but it’s like I just don’t have much identity with that press anymore. So that was good. You know how good purging can do so. So yeah, now, everything’s much more accessible I threw away a lot of old phone cases because I guess I was keeping these phone cases with the idea that they would maybe fit some other phone but 1 thing they do is they make sure that like the phones are all different all the time right? So you don’t. Like why am I keeping these old phone cases stuff like that. so so yeah that felt like a ah productive weekend to me where are we at on the book I have two weeks to finish this bloody book and. I don’t want to influence how you guys feel about it I do think it’s good book. It’s just um, taking a lot and I know I say this every single time every single time when I’m finishing a book I’m at 87000 words I only got a thousand words on friday.

16:35.74
jeffekennedy
But at least I got a thousand words I think today I am gonna start going back and revising from the beginning. Um I on Friday I figured out some solutions to some things which is good and I have been mulling at the back of my mind over the weekend. We talk about that a lot you know like. Even when you’re not actually writing you’re still percolating on the book and I know some I’ve figured out some things I just had to think more about Nick and Gabriel and how they would handle this situation. You know I think I talked about this some on Friday but it’s funny how like you can have this conception of how the story will go and you think you could be able to just type it out but the story doesn’t always cooperate that way. It’s like no one doesn’t want to do that. Maybe other writers can do that. But I can’t so so yeah, looking at our progress count spreadsheet 87000 words I think I’ve got about 18000 to go I do know how. This book is gonna end I mean or more or less I mean there are some things I know some things I don’t so so yeah I think I will start back at the beginning so I can get I’m having a little bit of trouble with Gabriel’s character arc at this point. Um, what I want him to do. Is not what he’s doing I should probably just stop fighting that right? Gabriel’s always been an interesting character to me. He’s and I know a lot of you love him. Ah, he’s always kind of taking his own roads. You know Nick takes her own road too for that manner. Is probably why they’re so meant for each other. So anyway, um, the big dramatic thing I want Gabriel to do he is refusing to do yeah so um, we shall see we shall see how it goes and so wish me luck. I do have a really open weekend next weekend and depending on my progress this week I may work through the weekend and just try to get her done. Get her done powder river litter buck if you have been to Wyoming or no wyoming things you will get them and. Oh yeah I don’t have time to talk about anymore I should make myself a note my my aunt sent me an article from the new yorker that was in there in the fall. Maybe people talked about it I usually miss most internet curvefuffles I don’t I curate very heavily I will only things that bring me joy and.

19:26.25
jeffekennedy
But she sent me this article that it was ah it was confusing because it was a review of a book and the book was about how Amazon has changed publishing and then apparently the book had a lot of things wrong in it and the author of the article who was discussing the book. Pointed out some of the things that were wrong in the article but then also had things wrong that they said in the article and I couldn’t tell if they had like pulled that wrongness from the the book from the source material and not fact checked it in which case I’m really surprised that. New yorker didn’t fact, check these things like for example, those some of you will know and I won’t go on too long because I’m about out of time but like they said that Kdp was Amazon’s publishing program where authors get paid by patriots if it’s like well. That’s just factually, not true you that’s there’s you know and I’ll I’ll talk well ah really quickly for those of you who don’t know kdp yes is Amazon’s program where you can go in and self-publish but where you where authors get paid by page reads is kdp select and that’s. Where people can subscribe to Kindle unlimited and read an unlimited number of books for their monthly fee and authors are paid by patriots but under Kdp you also sell books and my aunt had asked me. She said she was curious about my experience with Amazon and i. I don’t do kimda unlimited except for occasional experiments. So I mean it was just not correct and and misleading and and I wonder if it’s deliberately misleading because you know the new yorker tends to be 1 of those um remaining. Outposts of literary snobbitude where they also trotted out the um debt like half of self- publishing authors make less than $500 and I think they just said less than $500 I think that was like full stop so reader listener. I make more than $500 on myselfpublished books. Thank you very much I know you do too some of you who are listening so anyway it was aggravating. Um, if you want me to I’ll put a link to the article. Although I hate to give them clicks but it it was a puzzling article I I wrote back to my aunt and said well that was a. Whiplash over read you guys should read it and tell me what you think? Okay, anyway. I’ve bowed on long enough when I need to be writing so I will um, talk to you all tomorrow you all take care bye bye.