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.

First Cup of Coffee – June 21, 2022

How traditional publishing handles covers, the importance of the first book in a series, and how trad sometimes punts (or fumbles) on that second cover. Also thoughts on my new reading catnip.




Transcript
00:00.41
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:27.70
jeffekennedy
Ah, today is Tuesday June Twenty first and summer Solstice Longest day of the year we’ve actually already pivoted happened at 3 thirteen this morning my time and it’s a good thing. We don’t observe things by the solar calendar here you ever wonder how they managed to pull it off and like the united kingdom right? Um, it’s cloudy here today. Very overcast. We’re supposed to get more rain which is incredibly welcome. So rain rain rain!

02:01.63
jeffekennedy
And the garden is looking lovely makes me happy I have a ah guy coming by at any time now supposed to stop in between this certain window. To give me an estimate on hauling away a whole bunch of our brush remember I posted those pictures of like our all the tumbleweeds because our monsoons were so robust last year and we had so much growth and then such terrible winds this spring and we’ve got this brush just piled up everywhere. So he’s going to come by and give me an estimate on hauling it off also exciting. Um, and it’s musing because his name is hay-SOOS which is a very common hispanic name especially in this region but it is spelled like Jesus. And so I’ve had it on my calendar and it’s somewhat disconcerting to have Jesus on your calendar I almost um, tweeted about it I had a very pithy tweet about having Jesus on my calendar and then I thought should I? But is that a good idea and my policy is is if it occurs to me that tweeting or Facebooking something may not be a good idea I default to not.

04:58.30
jeffekennedy
So um, yeah, getting back in my groove I was clearly tired from the traveling and what all because yesterday afternoon I just hit tired. Um. Even hit tired before that after the second hour of writing I laid down to put my feet up because I work on the walking desk and so I occasionally like during our breaks I’ll elevate my feet get the blood going the other direction so I had my book in my hand and. Put my feet up on the you know sort of the futon couch in our bedroom and fell asleep I was late coming back I was like I was sorry gurnda I totally fell asleep and then by late afternoon I was just fighting sleep. And I considered going and taking a nap then but it was already 4 and I thought ah do I really want to take a nap at like 4 and it’s still wanted to take 1 at like 5 so I read for a while in the grape arbor the pergola under the pergola and I think maybe this is a pergola but then when you put grapes on it. It becomes the grape arbor does that seem like a reasonable definition. So I read for a while then I watched an episode of ob b one. But only watched the first episode I think david didn’t love. Love love it and he was he was sleeping because he had had a bad night the night before and hadn’t slept much so I watched ob one and I’m liking it. Um. I’m not gaga for it I have thoughts about that I’ll talk about that in a moment. Um, but then by like seven thirty I was just still feeling like I needed to sleep so I ended up starting to get ready for bed. You know, picking things up and that kind of thing and I was asleep by 8:30 people and slept until six thirty so clearly I needed it I was kind of thinking about the thing about shows because we talk about them so much. Um. My ah couple friends had recommended watching ob b one saying that they thought I’d like it and I do It’s not that I don’t like it. But I think part of it is because I don’t watch all that much tv overall I prefer to read right? you know? and so i’m.

10:37.85
jeffekennedy
Get very absorbed in the books I’m reading. In fact, I’m not sure if I mentioned I probably didn’t since this is partly over me being gone but you know I’ve been doing this whole series reread of this author who I’d liked for so very long. Um and had fallen off and. Didn’t ever get around to her spinoff seriess or not off to um, more than like a couple of them that I wasn’t wild by but then later she did some series with spinoff characters where she did the same. Ah, female male lead for 3 books and I’m discovering that this is my catnip. This is my sweet spot to have that same relationship for 3 books which is why I am considering doing that for. I have to figure out at like what point does considering become the plan I am considering doing this for the next books in the bonds of magic world I mentioned that book one is being called shadow wizard. Which I think is pretty well set. And yeah I want to do 3 books with Judgeron and Cellie and then I want to do another trilogy with somebody else I don’t know if I should say yeah because it could change right. That’s the other thing. Oh he Zeus might be here I will be back now. It was someone doing something over at my neighbors. Um, also apparently all way brush tis the season. So. So yeah, that’s some I’m discovering I really love that especially in something like epic fantasy romance or urban fantasy which is what the books I’m reading are and it’s um, yeah, where you have a lot of. External arc where you have a lot of action lot of things going on being able to have that romance that’s developed over the course of a trilogy is ah yeah, just my catnip these days and it’s what I want to read? It’s what I want to write.

15:35.73
jeffekennedy
So that’s why a couple of you did comment social media to me about the am I really talking about nine books in the bonds of magic world and yes, reader. I am ah I think it was Laura Darnell asked if I’m going to do these straight through or if I’m going to interweave them with other books I wish I was doing them straight through I really do. But I do have other things to write. It’s one. Things about when you have a relationship with an agent that you kind of have to accommodate that relationship. So unless she’s selling books for me, she doesn’t make money and we also kind of have to keep my name out there and so forth. So they. Secret projects secret projects. There are 2. One is totally brand new. It’s this idea that has been a twinkle in my eye I think these guys are stuck I have to go look again? Sorry okay so I think what happened is they were not going to my neighbors. It looks like they. Are delivering trees which is great season to plant them with the monsoons and I think they came around the corner a little too fast and went to the borrow ditch and they had to get the ah truck on the borrow ditch. You know he slipped a slidey with the mud people here aren’t used to it. So anyway, ah, what was I saying I shouldn’t let myself get distracted. So yeah, reading oh the new projects. So yeah, this one has been a twinkle in my eye since early in the year and Sarah is interested in that story. And then the other one is one that I’ve talked about before which is the science fantasy that I wrote like 50 pages of and we went out on submission and came this close now. These guys are roaring off again. Glad this is not my brush guy because these guys are um, not on top of it. It was oscars tree service not my lord and savior Jesus. But I can hear their engine roaring. They’re just like ah they were running around like ants around the truck. Ah always exciting around here. So anyway, um, yeah, so the other ones the science fantasy we came this close I thought I was going to sell it.

21:07.55
jeffekennedy
To Tor I mean the the editorial director at Tor said that she fucking loved this book. But it was too close to something else that they had like sold and marketed like a decade before this is how tribe publishing works. So anyway, um. I had mentioned in our beginning of your planning call to agent Sarah that I was planning to finish writing that book and self- publishlish it because I do love it and she said well since it has been since fall of 2019 my how time flies. Ah. If I’m going to go ahead and write the whole book. Anyway, would I let her take it on submission one more time because the publishing houses have completely turned over It’s you know by the time we got it out there. Well at this rate who knows when I’ll have it written but you know could be spring of 2023 and that’s coming up on 4 years so we’ll see um I need to talk to her about which book she would like to see first but I’m going to write shadow wizard then write one of those books and then um and then go to town on renegades of magic. Which is what I’m calling this trilogy but back to the trilogy that I’m reading ah I had read this I read all the way through all of this authors currently published works and it was a great reading binge I enjoyed it and those. The last trilogy she did I really feel like she just knocked it out of the park I just loved it and now I’m in the peculiar position of do I recommend it without ah tipping all of you off to who I’ve been reading all this time. Because I know I bitched about stuff in the earlier books. But I love this trilogy I love this trilogy so much that I turned around and reread it which is unusual for me part of it was because I finished that third book and I was going to be flying the next day and I wanted stuff to read on the airplane I wanted something that I knew would satisfy me get me through the airports and I wasn’t ready to leave it behind. So now I’m almost done rereading the third book and then I swear I will move on with my life and read something else. But. Wow are these books good? um it. It just hit my sweet spot. So um I don’t know what I’m gonna read next I’m supposed to read something for I’ve I’ve couple things that I’m supposed to read to blurb and so I need to start doing that.

26:49.65
jeffekennedy
Work that into my schedule see if I can. Um yeah I was thinking about a syndrome I was gonna just sort of tip you guys off to this. This is a part of my personal theory of how the world works. But. I think it’s correct because I would not harbor an incorrect theory. You guys. So one thing about traditional publishing is that they will really invest in the cover of the first book of a series. Um, did. They just have this whole mindset of promoting that irst book which can be a useful mindset I mean there there is a lot to be said for having control of the none um I just get over having control of that none book in the series. Because that’s the entree. Um like I was mentioning yesterday with covenant of thorns with my re-release of those books I looked at the math. It’s 3 times I have 3 times as many preorders for book one as I do for all 3 and you know so some people are giving me that vote of confidence of yes. I’m absolutely going to read all 3 but you know the other 2 thirds of readers I think this is probably a pretty reliable statistic will preorder book one and see how they like it and and I would totally do the same thing so and Amazon has a really cool deal. Where and I love this actually that when you buy the first book and then decide to buy the rest of the series. They’ll give you that series price less the book you already own. So there’s really no penalty to waiting. So you know that first book is the entree traditional publishers have that much correct. What they what they do that is really frustrating is that they will then punt on the cover of the second book. I’m trying to feel what this is behind me I could see it on the screen. Okay, it’s it was just that um fragment of that vase that I have back there for some reason it was looking dark and lurking. Don’t mind me while I get distracted. So part of why I’m thinking about this is that I don’t know what it is about the second book but they kind of they must have this make or break and I don’t have the inside knowledge on this but I’ve observed it happen where.

32:27.37
jeffekennedy
If the first book doesn’t hit some kind of watermark for them then they slap a cheap crappy cover on the second book which I can’t even um, it’s they did it to me on 12 kingdoms. The the mark of the tala has a really great intriguing cover. It’s not my ideal cover. It looks a little too YA they made me change the title of that book because it was originally called the middle princess. They made me change the title because I felt like the title was too YA which fair enough. Ah, but then they slapped a really YA cover on it and as one of my stalwart readers Mary Lynn Nielsen I don’t know if you listen to this podcast mentioned she was going through and compiling books by women fantasy writers. She was really interested that Kensington called those books fantasy. They didn’t package them as fantasy. So some of that is confusion within the house I don’t even know. But for the second book for The Tears of the Rose that cover wasn’t nearly as good. It’s um, there are a lot of crappy things about it and they gave me 0 consultation. They handed me that cover. They said here you go um I think it was even posted before I saw it and I was terribly disappointed because it’s um. If you go look at them. it’s just um it’s a dumb cover. It doesn’t look like it doesn’t look like anything um and it’s not as well done as not as well executed as the first cover. The third cover is much better and I did get. Input into that cover. So I I’m not exactly sure what happens there if they like do books one and two too rapidly and like that second cover is like okay, let’s do the same kind of thing. But as I said I’m thinking about this because I have a friend who had self-published some books and then decided to um where we don’t talk much anymore from long history. There. So I don’t know why she made the decision but she went with this small press. Publish the books for her and I know she was at least social media excited on it right? You know talk to up a good game. Really happy to have someone else publish and market these books for her yada yada they gave her a really cool cover for that first book and you know it’s like great.

38:02.65
jeffekennedy
And and this is totally legit I am not um, you know whatever people decide to do you know having somebody else package of market. Your books can be huge if you don’t want to spend the time doing it and you know if you’re hoping to break into other markets. So forth so they give her a gorgeous cover for that first book. And then just the other day I saw the cover for the second book and it’s nothing like the first book. It’s not nearly as good and it’s like what they did to me on these that’s like they just phone in that second cover and and I tend to think it’s when. That first book doesn’t sell at the numbers that they want it to so um, the mark of the talla is still still selling strong. In fact I just got this renewal of rights the other day. It’s it’s selling consistently. Um, you know my first agency. Sends me checks and she sends me little congratulations with it because it’s like still making money and I know a lot of people still pick up those books still love those books. Um I I would love to get the rights back for those books and I just think it ain’t gonna happen because they sell too well. But. I wish I could because the the other option folks is if they so well enough that they decide to put new covers on them so we could hope for that because um I while I’m fine with the first and third covers. Um I would love a new cover for tears of the rose. So let. You know that Hbo mini series when they decide to recover to match the series aesthetic. Let’s do that all right? I’m gonna go get to work today and hope you all have a wonderful midsummer day. Um. Perhaps a midsummer night’s dream tonight and I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

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.