First Cup of Coffee – April 29, 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.

00:15.25
jeffekennedy
I need that kick today today is – say it with me – friday!

00:27.59
jeffekennedy
Ah, ah, April Twenty ninth for all intents and purposes. Not for all intensive purposes which is how some students hear it the end of April I mean we get tomorrow. But. If today is actually your Friday and your last work day of the week that’s pretty much sand of april.

00:56.79
jeffekennedy
Um, so amazing huh First third of 2022 over has it been fast for you or slow. Um a lot of people. It seems like been having. You know, not a great year so far even though things are better. You know we’re opening up from pandemic and everything um people still coping coping with all the things right? So let’s see. Things are good here. We have a little bit of haze from the fires a little bit of smoke haze and very cold tumbling wind this morning I tried to go out to the grape arbor and it was um, yeah too too chilly too. Um. With the high walls around the garden. It’s usually more protected but not this morning so I am being a weeny and being inside.

02:10.24
jeffekennedy
I’m trying to think of what do I have to tell you I think I’m a little tired today I kind of hit tired yesterday afternoon I’ve hit 10000 words for the week that the guy should turn this off. Okay, um, um, it. 67500 on this book and yeah I’ve done over 10000 words this week a little bit more 11000 if you count a couple of blog. Posty type things that I’ve done. Um, so yeah, so the question is it’s not really a question. Ah I I’ve been doing slightly more than 2500 each day just by like 50 words to get myself back on trap track. To finish on May thirteenth is a day I want to be done drafting so that I can then spend the week of May sixteenth doing a full revision and the following week doing a proof I’m doing something different this time did I mention this. I am I’m going to do my own proofing. Usually I pay a proof reader. It’s funny as time goes on I stop paying so many editors and turning into these authors that I speak out a guest saying that everybody needs an editor. But. Do think everybody needs an editor except now I think I don’t um, I’ve stopped paying a developmental editor partly because it’s expensive. It added several weeks into the drafting time and. I didn’t feel like I was getting that much out of it I didn’t feel like um, the editors I was paying to give me content edits were really changing all that much about the story or the things that they were changing I wasn’t convinced that it was making them. All that much better which is kind of a funny place to be but if I have doubts I have my crip partners or beta readers read and since everybody uses those words. Interchangeably I think it’s just out of fashion to say crit partner ah nobody seems to use that word anymore. I think maybe it’s the the shit sandwich thing you know nobody wants to use the word criticism anymore. Um shake my cane shake my wand.

05:00.18
jeffekennedy
Oh and it chimed. ah ah ah yeah so whoever having someone read to give me content subsantive feedback on the book. Um, probably I should do that. I do everyone’s while but it’s when I have doubts so I had gone to having someone proofread the book whos also would give me copy edits and 1 thing I found in doing my big reread of the Heirs of magic. Books because I read the prequel novella and the first 3 in order to write this book for and I kept finding mistakes and I know that there’s you know mistakes are always going to get through but I was trying to decide. I mean I write pretty clean copy I’m I’m fortunate that way that I’m a good speller and I know the punctuation and grammar rules you know and I always say that I don’t know Commas I think comma rules are arbitrary. So I was thinking oh and then one other thing happened is that now I have all 3 Bonds of Magic books in Audio Grey Magic is still waiting to go live but my audiobook narrator. Sent me lists of like errors and typos that she found because reading it out loud. She catches those things and my proof reader was adding five days into the process which and she was doing a great job. You know. Really nothing against her I know that things are always going to slip through but on this book I thought I would experiment and see because I know I want to make sure to catch everything to wind up this series and possibly in this world I don’t know if all right in this world again. Um. Yeah we’ll see but I’m I’m feeling like maybe that’s enough for this world for the moment anyway. So if I spend a week revising this book and then I thought well if I did my own proofing if I spend four days the week of May Twenty third reading the book out loud then I should be able to catch all the typos I can look up any of the formatting our grammatical stuff that I’m not entirely certain of and save myself some money and also give myself that final.

07:51.86
jeffekennedy
Chance to go through because I find things like those word echoes on those awkward phrasings. So this is my experiment I’m going to see if that extra pass of reading aloud um will add anything. To my revision process. So um, let’s see seems like I something happened on Thursday yesterday that I wanted to tell you about hold on who else. I suppose anything that happened Wednesday I would have talked about yesterday I did notice looking at my calendar I was trying to figure out what all I’ve been doing the last few days who knows playing on the streets obviously but shout out to agent Sarah it is her birthday today. Happy birthday Sarah! Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency who works her butt off for her clients and I say this? um I think it’s easy for people to say that. Ah, you know and it’s authors develop certain lingo that then other authors imitate wanting to sound like real authors you know and they’re like oh my amazing agent I remember that when I was a newbie writer. Ah like this one gal I followed was always talking about. And should always put it in capital letters. Amazing agent I don’t remember Anastasia it wasn’t that I don’t remember who it was and you know she would just gush. You know oh spoke with amazing agent and this was in the newer days of Twitter when I felt like we had more conversations. Got to know people. It could be people still do that. But I’ve ended up backing away from Twitter so much and now that Elon Musk wants to turn it into a free for all of we all are we gonna be leaving Twitter.

10:01.92
jeffekennedy
I’ve been seeing some think pieces on what it means for a billionaire to own a social media marketplace like Twitter or Facebook and how that shapes the world question is what are we gonna do about it. Somebody posted the other day about um that the Eu has passed a law. It’s like in the first stage it hasn’t been ah, fully executed like whatever their version of like then you know, starting in the senate and having to go to the house or vice versa. So it’s not a thing yet but they did pass the resolution to make the law or what have you ah to force companies like Amazon and Facebook and so forth to reveal their algorithms and to make them egalitarian and people were saying oh they were excited. Celebrating saying you know Amazon might finally have to reveal their algorithm to us you know like how are they you know promoting some books and not others and I thought I didn’t want to reign on their happy parade. But I was thinking. It’s just never gonna happen Amazon. These companies are never going to ris feel there there I’ll go the rhythms they’re gonna consider it proprietary information. They won’t do it I I could be wrong. It’s happened put it on the calendar. So anyway, um, how did I get there.

11:37.24
jeffekennedy
Sometimes I wish I could replay this thing so I could find my train of thought again sorry I’m a little fuzzy brained today. So let’s see algorithms legalities. Is it gone forever. It might be you guys are shouting at me I also wish that I could hear you tell me what was I thinking about something I was gonna tell you and then I figured out know that Sarah’s birthday I guess yeah, that was it. Agents ah see I can rewind mentally kind of um, but anyway the scout that I used to follow you know and people would always be like oh my amazing agent this and and following her particular journey which I’ve always hated my journey to publication. Ah, we don’t hear that nearly so much anymore probably because there’s so much self- publishing but especially back then because we’re talking more than ten years ago now right? That’s amazing. You know like 2009 is when I joined Twitter. Things were very much about tribe publishing you know and so people would be like posting their milestones so that you like we could follow their journey from pre-published to astonishingly successful the problem with chronicling your journey to publication like that is that. Not everybody made it there and that certainly happened with this gal and I could see her being going back and forth with her agent where she would like revise her book that her agent had signed her on and the agent still didn’t like it and she would talk about oh well, she was going to have to gut it again, but amazing agent Anastasia had given her. You know all of these great notes and she was going to do it again and and I mean this went on for a long time and I was thinking and she’d never even gone on submission and even then being well I wasn’t entirely a baby writer because I’d been in the nonfiction circles for a long time. So I knew how publishing worked and was like she just. And I keep you revising forever chasing some goal some intangible it wasn’t clear to me like what this agent wanted her to do and then eventually she ended up parting waste with the agent you know and she reported this faithfully too. We’ve parted ways because we’re just not a great fit and like and this agent never took her book out on submission. So it was a live and learn kind of thing. Maybe that was beneficial to me that she chronicled her journey to not publishing I don’t think she ever got a book published.

14:24.16
jeffekennedy
Anyway, um, was her agent really amazing was she as delighted as she wanted her chronicle to portray probably not but my agent Sarah is a hell of a worker. She is. Communicative ambitious she takes amazing care of her clients. Ah she is a delightful person in every way and I know that you know like I’m not always an easy client to work with.

15:04.25
jeffekennedy
Neither is Grace Draven for that matter. Also one of Sarah’s clients because we are very definitive about what we need as far as making money and what we put into our self- publishing careers which isn’t always easy for an agent because and there are some agents out there who are like no I don’t want you to so. Publish and Sarah doesn’t ask that of us she she works with us and I I appreciate her I appreciate you Sarah if you listen to this? Um, yeah, you really are an amazing agent. So um, the other exciting thing is that Lonen’s War is out today in Kindle Unlimited with the new covers I probably have to figure out how to brand things. As far as the metadata for Kindle Unlimited readers but because right now the ranking is really really super low. Ah you know and it’s interesting because and I’ve said this often right that I feel like the kindle unlimited ecosystem is just a really different set of readers. And I see this all the time I see these? um you know, authors celebrating other author who are like Kindle un limited famous that I’ve never heard of and the reader is recommending these books and series and they’re just these circles almost don’t overlap anymore. I grew irritated with some of the science fiction and fantasy people the other day and I won’t say why sorry I’m not going to spill that tea but there are circles of snobbery in this business and people forget that. Their particular circle is not the only one in the universe and they take that because they’ve they have never heard of an author that therefore what they’re doing is not worthwhile and it’s not true. That’s not true. So. This is like so far the most abysmal release that I’ve had in a really long time. But I think it’s because I’m so unknown to this Kindle unlimited audience. So I’m looking on it as a challenge to to pick it up I was ah. Venting to some of my writer friends hi gals. Thank you I appreciate you yesterday because one of my longtime readers and I mentioned this I think on yesterday’s podcast does not like the new covers for sorcer moons and and it it kind of got me down and and one of the gals said you know not to let it.

17:53.95
jeffekennedy
Diminish my joy and an assistant Carien said that said the same thing assistant Carien is always ah, awesome. Awesome assistant andastasia ah, um, but yeah, this girl. Who is my reader said well that she missed the pretty covers and said um, finished up with saying she said it was only weapons and she wouldn’t pick these up in a store and I was like oh okay, well first of all I mean the first covers are always going to be there. Guys they’re they’re out there if you love the first covers. Great um, but also I’m not trying to tell this series to the people who already read it right? I’m trying to communicate the genre to this new group of readers. And for the record it is not only weapons on the covers. It is. There’s lots of other elements on the covers and and Carien was resistant to me changing it at first too and now even she is saying that she loves the look of the new series. It’s it’s much more cohesive than it used to be and. I’m looking forward to yeah to just to reach these new readers. Ah, it’s it’s exciting. So um, yeah, lones were out today if you’re in kindle unlimited if you know people enkindle unlimited please share. Um. I I want to want to reach those fantasy romance readers slow burn romance lots of epic fantasy and warrior stuff in it which this was another thing when we were discussing it when this gal said you know gone were the the girls and the horses. And the dragons and that it was only weapons and that it looked like masculine fantasy and I thought why are we correlating weapons with masculine fantasy because I mean and this is someone who’s read all of my books I have female warriors right? You know I invented an entire martial arts system for ah well for Ursula and then ah Kaja and Jenna/Ivariel all follow it. Jepp follow follows it and Jack does too now. They’re all part of that. System and it’s part of the marsh I I not part of I imagined it reimagined it from mar martial art systems that I trained in and I have weapons in my office and and I’m a girlie girl. So um, yeah i.

20:41.71
jeffekennedy
I don’t like the idea that that warrior stuff is correlated only with masculine fantasy. So anyway, off I go to get my final 2500 for the week I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Um I hope I get to get out in the garden this weekend. That’s my my big goal for it and I will talk to you all on Monday take care bye bye.

21:16.62
jeffekennedy
I’m having trouble I like hit my coffee cup with the mouse here. This is the blooper reel all right by.

First Cup of Coffee – April 28, 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 as the chimes echo away. Delicious. Today is I have no idea Thursday April Twenty Eighth and I am looking at my plant that I potted the lobelia does not seem to be doing well whyness lobelia always seemed to not do well. Just dries out so quickly here have to pause you now that we are back outside. We have Jeffe obsessively checking her plants all part of the brand here at first cup of coffee. Ah I will endeavor not to do that. So um, hope you all are having a wonderful week. My Week’s going pretty well so far knock on wood dive. No wood well does great plain. Oh the arbor knock on wood. Helping get my 2500 words on Storm Princess and the Raven King

01:30.23
jeffekennedy
Feels like it’s going well um, yeah, so we’ll see if we can sustain that get that done in the next few weeks um been uploading the rebranded covers. For um, Sorcerous Moons. They are ah so far I’ve gotten the first 3 books up did my 4 matters getting me 1 per day so they’ll release starting tomorrow. So Friday Saturday Sunday. Ah yeah, so. 1 reader commented about the pretty covers being gone I mean they’re not gone. They’re immortalized in history but but yeah, um, I’m I’m trying to rebrand I’m trying to reach a new audience and so. I mean that’s always a balance right? You know you try to reach new readers but sometimes the old readers feel left behind old in a former sense. Not an aged sense. Ah, she commented that that these looked like mill. Fantasy which I thought was funny because I don’t think they look like male fantasy. Um there’s definitely more masculine element to it and lonen’s double bladed axe is front and center a consistent element for all the covers and. That’s not to emphasize Lonen necessarily one is it’s a striking image. Um, and for me partly symbolic of of Oria’s power as well. But yeah, she said oh well the horses were gone and. Female elements were gone and it was like but and dragons were gone but they’re not, they’re still there. They’re just more subtle elements. There’s the dragon’s tail and dragon wings. There’s the representation of the the horse silhouette in the background. It’s there if you look for it and oria’s hair and her magic which is really the one of the most essential parts of oriah so of but. That’s the thing is when you try to reach new readers. You know you’re trying I’m trying to reach people who who maybe haven’t read my books at all before that’s partly why I’m putting them in Kindle unlimited because there’s a lot of readers that only read on Kindle unlimited as I talk about on here.

04:19.67
jeffekennedy
Probably ad nauseum and yeah so I’m excited about it I’m I’m interested to see what happens it says an experiment.

04:35.17
jeffekennedy
Ah, sucking down the coffee this morning I am going to ride her coffee later this morning so that’ll be fun first time in a few weeks. She’ll be able to sit outside just like I’m sitting outside here this morning in the secret garden planning to do a lot of gardening this weekend I have a lot of cleanup. To get after here and it’ll finally be nice enough to do that I think we’re supposed to have wind again this afternoon and tomorrow but hopefully looking like the weekend should be pretty nice. So I watched the movie gifted. Um, with adorable Chris Evans and what’s the little girl’s name Mckenna Grace Octavia Spencer is in it to always want to call her Octavia Butler which I think is funny. Ah the actress not the writer. Maybe because I don’t know that many Octavia ah not that I know her anyway I watch this movie because it was brought up at the Jack Williamson lectureship I know I keep referencing that but we had so many great conversations there. And that movie had been recommended I think by Connie Willis and I had never seen it. Um, what was it 2013 movie I’ll link to it the show notes maybe not even that old. Well we won’t look it up right now. Anyway, it’s um, it’s it’s an amazing movie I I loved watching this movie. It’s about Chris Evans is this um uncle who. After the death of his sister is raising his niece who is 7 at the time of the movie and he is living in is it Florida or South Carolina I think they say it’s Florida um. Preparing boats for a living. The script is so great. It’s really well written within a few moments of of like the opening scene of his conversation with this little girl. Her character is Mary. You learn so much about them and they’re arguing about whether or not she has to go to school and she’s you could just tell by the way that she’s debating this that she is really super smart and and he replies to her. Ah.

07:26.67
jeffekennedy
There’s just a couple of different things he says but 1 thing is he says we’ve already discuss this ad nauseum and she says ah and she said what does as ad nauseam mean and he goes ah looks like somebody needs to go to school to learn some things. And then later when he’s having a conversation with her teacher who is identifying Mary as a math prodigy which she is and he says no, she’s just using the the trakteberg formula I think I have that correct to to do these multiplications. It’s not a big deal. Which he’s putting her off because he knows it’s a big deal and you you put together very quickly that he is also a genius but is very deliberately not using his intellect and we find out later that he had been teaching. Ah, had been a professor of philosophy at Boston University and had quit after his sister died and and it’s wonderful. How these things are revealed why he’s doing what he’s doing and his sister was a math prodigy and his mother is a math prodigy and you know they. Want to have them go and work on these important you know unsolvable math problems which I’ve read some interesting essays on how on these like supposedly unsolvable problems and and what they really mean, but it’s a great device for. For movies because otherwise it’s like there’s not a um, a tangible goal when you want to give like your genius character a tangible goal that they’re striving for a math problem makes a lot more sense to an audience then I don’t know what you know like. Writing the great novel or whatever it is whatever that means

09:25.41
jeffekennedy
I promise I won’t go on a rant about what it means to write a great novel so tempting though it may be so anyway. Ah a lot of it is about him wanting her. To grow up having a normal life. Um and not suffer what her mother suffered by being treated as by not getting to have a normal life and it really just it’s it’s a beautifully done movie. It poses a lot of very interesting questions about. If you have a talent um or a genius. Even what that what responsibility do you owe to it. Um, if any yeah so I enjoyed that very much. And ad nauseum I won’t rant addd nauseum I can’t remember what it was. There’s something else that he says that he uses some sort of um, word you know like a $5 word or or something I don’t recall what but very. They do a nice job of revealing character through just how he behaves and and how he speaks even though he is trying not to be this thing anymore. It’s like inherent and and in the same way it is in his niece I also tried to watch Spencer um about princess Diana Lady Spencer played by ah Kristen Stewart which I’ve been wanting to see for a long time and we ended up with this subscription to hulu. Which I want to say it was an accident you know is sort of like oops I stumbled and tripped and fell into a subscription to hulu I think it was because David wanted to watch the super bowl and we were trying to figure out a way for him to watch the super bowl so you know like we signed up for the month free and then got charged for it and then I was like how did I end up subscribed to hulu. Which is I know entirely their scheme so I canceled it. But I’d already been charged so we have it for like thirty more days and when I canceled it. You know they want to know my reasons for canceling and one of them on there said, um, one of the options was too many ads. And now I wish I could have checked too many ads because we’ve been watching some stuff on hulu while we you know since we paid for thirty more days of it and the reader there are too many ads it. Ah just I know this is I’ll probably just be saying this from now on my gen x thing.

12:13.64
jeffekennedy
But it really pisses me off to pay for something that then also has ads. It’s either you pay for it or you suffer through ads you shouldn’t have to do both and I’m um I’m very bitter that the world has changed this people.

12:32.27
jeffekennedy
Ah, anyway, so I started watching this on hulu because I was like oh yeah cause David was he was napping and we’d already eat and did or I was getting ready I was cooking dinner and stuff and I thought oh well I’ll watch this because I bet he won’t want to and and then if I think he will. You know I can always stop and start over and it was um, discordant what is up with that people. It’s like they wanted to use all of this discordant jazz to show her mental breakdown which was this necessary. And I even looked at the reviews to see if anyone else bitched about it and I didn’t see any. So maybe it’s me I thought Kristen Stewart did a great job I thought she although I thought she made Diana awfully diffident which apparently like her bodyguard said that. Stewart got her meant got Diana’s mannerismism is better than anyone else. But yeah I didn’t I didn’t care for her diffidence and I don’t know it was just so over the top I thought you know it. It takes place at Christmas at sandra noon sandingham palace and it’s right before the divorce and all of this and so of course things are going badly but I just I don’t know I didn’t care for it. I’m not going to keep watching it I didn’t like how much of the victim. She’s portrayed as maybe. Maybe she rallies later in the movie but you know I’m one of those people that you know diana always my princess I was always on her side against camilla and after watching this, it’s like ah I don’t know so There’s my inarticulate review of that movie. Ah maybe I could watch it muted with only closed captions. So I don’t have to listen to that I found the music so disturbing in a way that I didn’t want to be disturbed. And then the other thing we started watching also on hulu too many ants cashhtag too many ads was ah pam and tommy about tommy lee and pamela anderson and ah it is really a delight. It has a lot of the same irreverence and sort of storytelling gambits that they used in the dirt about motley crew I’m sure tommy lee consulted heavily on this series. Apparently pamela anderson had nothing to do with it.

15:18.92
jeffekennedy
Ah, so I’m sure he like used the same writers I didn’t look but he he borrowed heavily from what made the dirt a charming movie to watch which we’ve watched a couple times because we’ve really it’s really fun if you haven’t seen that. Um. But pam and Tommy was it Tommy and pam I think it’s Pam and tommy a link to it ah is she is played by Lily James who I just adore ever since I saw her in Cinderella. I adore her and Tommy Lee is played by Sebastian Stan and I now Stan Sebastian Stan I didn’t really before you know like the whole bucky thing winter soldier. Never really floated my boat. But I’m getting I’m getting the mystique now and it is wittily done and my my only objection man that’s probably a strong word I think Lily James is doing a great job playing Pamela Anderson but Lily James has this essential sweetness to her. She’s I don’t know she’s lisome and has this artlessness to her personality that I don’t know if it means that she’s not a great actress. But she doesn’t come across to me the same way. Pamela Anderson always did she doesn’t come on. She’s not as brazen and confident in a way even though she’s trying to seem like that. It’s just that Lily James has this. Yeah, this. Artless wholesomeness to her. But anyway, it’s a really interesting show and I’m enjoying that and then I’m still finishing this book I’m almost done now on ah Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning and you know it’s it’s extraordinary I don’t. Read that much historical stuff unless it’s historical romance and I kind of fell off of reading those but it’s extraordinary to read about people living in victorian times and maybe this is just extraordinary for me because i. Haven’t read tons of it. You know like Jane Austen stuff regency stuff. Um, anyway, this maybe it’s because it’s nonfiction. But the um the prevalence of disease is just extraordinary. How people are for.

18:08.89
jeffekennedy
Everyone getting sick and I’ve heard people reference this, you know and talking about like with the pandemic that with the pandemic talking about how they now understand why everyone in victorian times you know writes letters about their health. It’s um. It’s really interesting to to read this and you know like a child will get sick with gastric fever. Ah, and then be dead by evening and I looked up what gastric fever was and it was typhoid and and I guess I knew. Kind of distantly that you know of course antibiotics weren’t introduced yet but they had cholera and typhoid and tuberculosis I knew they had tuberculosis but I mean they were just. Um, you know, like with everything they ate and drank they were risking death. You know, no wonder the victorians had such a fascination with death because people could just die at the drop of a hat and of course Elizabeth’s Barett browning was not in great health for most of her life. And just the way she struggles with her health and at the end it’s sounding like probably a lot of depression just really is making me conscious of what a huge thing it is. For us to be liberated from the ravages of disease in you know, just ah, you know like 100 years that that changed so dramatically. Ah you know and now we have ah all the anti vaccine stuff. It’s such a luxury for people to you know, not want to get vaccines because we don’t have this thing where at any moment you could encounter the thing that kills you by nightfall definitely and. Interesting realignment of perspective for me. So um, on that note I’m going to go celebrate my good health get my words done. Um, hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.

Jeffe’s Five Effective Work Habits for Writing Productivity

My series rebrand of the six-book epic romantic fantasy saga, Sorcerous Moons, is complete! Book One, LONEN’S WAR, releases Friday, with each subsequent book releasing one/day for the following week.

This is my first (and possibly last!) real test of whether my books can be successful in KU. I’ve run A/B tests before and I’ve always made 2-3x as much money in sales on Amazon alone than via page reads in KU. But we shall see! Tell your KU-loving friends. 😀

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is The Write Stuff: What five effective work habits make a professional writer the most successful? I can only tell you mine and that’s defining “success” as being productive. The other kind of success – fame, money, adulation, awards – depends hugely on timing and serendipity. But we’re focusing on work habits, so here are mine:

1. Consistency

You don’t have to write every day, at the same time every day – though I do extoll that as THE single most effective method for building a consistent writing habit – but consistency is key. I build my schedule around protecting my writing time and that habit carries me through all sorts of difficulties.

2. Persistence

The other piece of building a writing habit is keeping it going. So many writers give up without finishing a book – or finishing multiple books! – or they give up after a few books. Or, when attempting to write consistently, they take time off, change their minds, prioritize something else. Persistence is what gets words on the page.

3. Focus

Shut out the world, ignore the new shinies and frolicking plot bunnies. Close the office door, put in the noise-cancelling ear buds, disconnect the internet and silence the phone. Focus on the writing and only on the writing for the time that you’re doing it. Think about the story and only that. All other considerations come later.

4. Integrity

Write what you believe in and write it your way. Don’t chase trends or try to make your stories a clone of someone else’s. This may not seem like an effective work habit, but it is! Keeping to the integrity of the story YOU are telling allows you to focus on that and not the market, or whatever the loud voices are currently shouting about.

5. Flexibility

The previous four have all been about ritual and drawing firm lines, but with those come a need for flexibility. Be ready to change up what you’re doing if you have to. Reinvent yourself regularly. Try rebranding series and putting it in Kindle Unlimited. (See what I did there?) The world changes, sometimes rapidly, and we have to be ready to change with it.

First Cup of Coffee – April 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, wonderful suck that puppy down That’s what she said is what she said today is Thursday April Seventh Twenty Twenty two and back in my home temporarily anyway, heading out this afternoon. So sorry that I did not do a podcast Tuesday or Wednesday my mother already gave me the heavy sigh of disappointment. But I was kind of impressed I did one from the hotel on Monday I also got my 2000 words from the hotel on Monday so that felt like a real win. Um, that was kind of followed by then successive of not wins. But oh it wasn’t so bad. Um, we had a really nice time I had a wonderful body treatment Monday afternoon my skin is soft again I told the girl who gave me the body scrab and herbal wrap that I needed to be de-lizarded and. Afterwards she said you know you had a lot of dead skin on your arms and I’m like I know ah this is why I’m telling you why can’t we do this at home I don’t understand why I don’t have an effective way to do this at home I do try those body scrubs and stuff and. Doesn’t do the same thing anyway. so ah yeah so that was great. We had a wonderful time. We decided Tuesday morning just to get up and go um which is usually. But we want to do we. We don’t like hanging out in the morning’s delaying. We’d rather just get on the road and go so that’s what I did um, we probably let the hotel by about 7 um the upshot was is I did not get. Podcast done on Tuesday I did not get words done I um, we got home now about a quarter to 2 something like that and then um, the cleaning ladies arrived which is just always chaotic.

02:39.41
jeffekennedy
And and I dealt with business stuff. There was SFWA stuff that it piled up. It’s I knew I talk about this lot a lot but it’s just amazing to me how many people. Um, if you don’t respond to their email within a day or two that they just like. Have have fits and they send you additional emails saying did you get my email and they that I had 1 person saying something well since there’s been radio silence I want to move ahead with this decision and I’m just going to make this decision and it’s like. I’m offline for two days and it’s radio silence I don’t think so I saw an interesting thread yesterday that I shared on Twitter this guy talking about the characteristics of gen x and you know it’s. Funny being part of gen x and I’m on the the older end of gen x and you know for a long time. We thought we weren’t really gen x that we were generation jones but that got lost. Um, you know so okay, fine gen x. Whatever. But I sure do share a lot of characteristics with Nx and they were talking about one of the things this guy was coming at it. He gives them business advice dealing with colleagues and so forth and a lot of it was really decent advice. But 1 thing that he mentioned is he said you know gen x is often forgotten that we are 20% of the population and he talked about how gen x grew up in a time when. Institutions failed us and that we are very cynical about institutions and it’s funny because I always thought that I was just naturally cynical about institutions that this was like something inherently me. But apparently it’s generational. But he was talking about that. A lot of the people in your organization who are probably head down and getting the work done ah are probably generation x and there were it was interesting. In fact, let me share with you hold on. So I know I don’t have to tell you guys to hold on when I pause I know we’ve been over this but here we are okay so this is interesting because he says these 42 to 57 year olds are so strange it presents golden opportunities here are 10 mind hacks to use with gen x and then he.

05:24.20
jeffekennedy
Comments at the end of this. Let me go down. Um, he says hilarious how every gen x reply was I was skeptical at first and I don’t like the words mind hack because that’s what institutions do It’s just funny. Um and he says that not everybody is like this of course. But gen x prefers to do it their way and don’t want to sweat the rules I’m so much you guys I oh isn’t that like what I talk about all the time on here is like just. Don’t sweat the rules just get it done. Um I’m trying to keep looking into the camera. Oh I know I could blow this up big – zoom is your friend Jeffe here we go. Um. Ah, this one I don’t get right? They say he says acknowledge gen x as emails quickly they will love you. Um, they grew up in a time when institutions weren’t to be trusted so well and so here we are allow gen x a balanced life. Gen x grew up with workaholic boomer parents seeing that gen x thinks work is part of life. But not why they live give them data genx says tell me how it is and cuts out the fluff for generations like millennials. This is hard because millennials want the ship. Sandwich for feedback and I’m not good at giving the shit sandwich feedback he he shares this great graphic which you know talking about gen x feeling forgotten which shows like the generation guidelines on they have the silent generation baby boomers millennials post millennials. So they like literally left out generation. Ah, which ah we’re all just in back going? Yeah, we know? of course they did um first generation not to do as well financially as their parents are their kids. Um. And so he has like doing these things with generation x say do it your way use. Well-w writtentten emails. He says that we grew up with grammar and we don’t like the shorthand of texts which I don’t I never like put you instead of y o you say I got it. Focus on the mission with them allow life balance bond as people but I mean isn’t that a thing ah be direct acknowledge that they exist expect pessimism expect work work life celebration. Ah my friend Kelly Robson

08:05.62
jeffekennedy
That’s the one who retweeted that into my timeline and she commented that she wonders how much of this just general enough to ring true like a horoscope which maybe but I don’t know and it was interesting Anyway I do feel some of those memes. Ah, the Generation X means when like the bloom the boomers and the millennials are fighting and the millennials are doing the whole okay boomer thing at its the as 20% Generation X are just sitting back with our glass of wine going. Okay. I’m just gonna enjoy my wine.

08:49.87
jeffekennedy
Okay, actually found the meme I wanted so I will put that on the post. So anyway, back to the ostensible topic of this podcast. Ah but you know here at first cup of copy. We talk about anything. Would say anything you guys want to, but it’s what I want to which is probably a very generation x thing. So yesterday yesterday was just busy. You know 1 thing about being a an author. And I think this is you know, but bla not being articulate, um, especially self-publishing is you wear a lot of different hats and so yesterday I was supposed to post my blog to the SFF 7 blog. Um I was tired. I ah had to kind of stomach upset Tuesday night and didn’t sleep all that well slept too long Wednesday morning and I’d been thinking about doing a podcast and so that was the first thing that went sorry mom. Ah, but then I didn’t end up getting the blog post done. Ever yesterday. Um, and I didn’t get that many words I was just a little creaky I got 1247 words yesterday which kept me on track anyway and then i. Had other things that I had to do because obviously being president of Sawa comes with certain obligations I had to go sit in on the author’s coalition call to discuss an issue with them that has come up with our members and that was at 11 my time which cuts into my writing time I almost never accept meetings during my writing time and all of these people were clearly um, much more used to having long meetings than I am I am very much the could this meeting have been an email kind of gal. And I’m also a let’s move this meeting alone and the people on this call spent a lot of time talking very slowly and thoughtfully about things which was great but at the same time I was thinking I need to get off this call and then because I’d ask to be put on the agenda I was at the end. In fact, i. Really very much considered just popping in at the end and skipping ah the risk. But then I thought well that would be rude since I’m coming in asking these people for help. So but it’s funny because I’m heading out this afternoon to go to the Jack Williamson lectureship and.

11:42.90
jeffekennedy
1 of the the first official events is going to be Walter John Williams in conversation with Connie Willis 2 2 wonderful greats talking about Walter’s career and I’ve heard walter talk about his career before and this is at Eastern New Mexico University so this can be great for the students and everything and. And there’s a dinner afterwards. So his thing starts at five thirty and I like really really wanted to get there at like six fifteen so I didn’t have to so I could leave here later and sort of waltz in and not listen to the rest of Walter talking about his career again. It’s not that I don’t. Like Walter I think he’s a great guy but that this is how I am and and I was talking with Darynda Jones because she lives in portalis where this is going on and we were talked about scheduling and I’m like sorry you going to this thing and she’s like well yeah i. I thought I would to be nice to be supportive and I’m like oh is that a thing I was so awful you guys so reader I am going to these things to be nice because dorda is making me. So anyway I had to be in on this call I finished the call came off got another hour of words and then I had to spend an hour I successfully got another SFWA meeting canceled. So go me. But. then you know so then I was like going through emails and dealing with stuff these emails that people were annoyed that I hadn’t answered. Um you know it’s funny. This is probably like another tangent but I got an email from an unnamed person whose famous author parent died. Some time ago and they wanted to know about having that parent named SFWA Grandmaster and that it had been explained to them that it is sefwas policy longstanding policy not to name dead people grandmasters and there are a number of reasons for this. Partly because it’s the intent behind grandmaster to have them interact with the community and be you know, share their wisdom and so forth. It. Also um, we have lots of living authors to celebrate and if we start. Going back and celebrating the dead ones you can imagine I mean it’s just going to create a backlog. Um, we also don’t take away grand masteror because that’s so fraught so this.

14:25.80
jeffekennedy
This person wrote to me and it was perfectly fine. You know, write me an email and say I understand this is policy I’d like to see it change for my parent my deceased parent and everyone will appreciate it and it’s like well we’re probably not going to change this policy because of the aforementioned reasons. But then there may be some ah something else. We could do so I was going to investigate that and then this person sent another email the next day reiterating same but sent it to the entire board and say well I emailed Jeffe Kennedy yesterday but I’ve not received a reply and so now I’m emailing. Everyone looks like really. Anyway, so I then spent an hour on the phone with a cover artist because I’ve been doing this rebranding for the Sorcerous Moons’s covers which have not been up for sales since like November because I’ve been doing this cover rebranding and. She um, did an amazing amazing first cover and then the second cover is I mean it’s taken a long time shit like she couldn’t do it December because of life and all of these things going on and then. She said can we get this done in January instead you know, thank you for being understanding. You know it was moving and her grandmother was sick and all of these things and anyway now it’s April and we still have only 1 cover you should disappear in the middle of March. And this series is one that I sold to Scribd for audiobook conversion and so they want the rebranded covers so they’re like where are these covers. That’s how they their emails say they come across from that voice where are these covers. No, they don’t. They’re very nice. They’re very patient but they do want these covers and so I this gal had not come back to me for two weeks and I sent her a couple of emails saying we have to get this done. She didn’t reply so I opened a Paypal dispute and so then. 1 of the things I found when I got back Tuesday was she did reply and she’s like she family and had taken her to Mexico because she was so stressed and all of this and anyway so ended up the easiest thing for me is to ever finish it and she does great work. And I I’d like started to line up other people but there are these intricacies of dealing with covers that if you don’t have the layers file which is a Psd file a photoshop type file for that first cover. It’s very difficult for another artist to go in and and.

17:14.92
jeffekennedy
Replicate because they can’t see exactly how they created the effects they kept you know they’re like do you know what font used and like no I don’t know what font she used. It’s it’s remarkably arcane and and I get it. This is not made up stuff because I hear this from different cover artists when they’re. Trying to replicate what someone else did or at least match the style. So. It’s definitely to my advantage to to get this gal to do it and so I’d suggest I said maybe we should just set up a Zoom call so we could. Just talk through because I could tell we were not communicating well and because I would say things and emails that she would you know like apparently not have process so she said actually that would be amazing. So we spent over an hour on the Zoom yesterday afternoon. Thrashing through the design of the next 5 covers. So at least it’s done but it was like you know that’s a whole lot. You know I was sort of musing over all of the things that I spend my day on that aren’t actually putting words down on the page. So. The good news is is that these covers will be done in a week she and she was she was very sweet and she started out and and maybe I’m winding back around to this generation x thing I have no idea how old she is. She is not english is not her first language I think she is um I don’t know sure it it seems like eastern european type name and that might be the accent I’m not great with accents but it was amazing because she just shared her desktop. It was amazing watching her put this together on photoshop I mean she’s incredibly skilled and talented but she started out the calls apologizing. Get again, you know and saying how much she appreciated me being patient with her and how the last three months have been so difficult and all of this and it’s back to me. Having to force myself to be nice because I kind of want to just move past that. It’s like ga yeah yeah, whatever I appreciate that you’re sorry um I actually don’t need any more apologies I just want the work done which to me drives exactly with what he was saying in that thread about generation x right? as opposed to the. Shit sandwich that millennials want for those of you who don’t know what that means it means that you if you have negative feedback you you take the shit and then you sandwich it between nice stuff so you start out with like a compliment and tell them how great they are and then you give them the shit and then finish up with how great there and what’s going right.

19:57.10
jeffekennedy
Which I am not good at doing and but you know I I think I do tend to just cut to the data and it’s like thank you for the apology. Um all I care about is getting the stunt. Let’s just get it done So That’s definitely in line with that thread Right. Maybe not just general like a horoscope. So Anyway today I am didn’t try to get words done I’m not doing writer coffee they asked and I was like I’ve got to focus on work and then get out of here by about one and do the lectureship stuff tomorrow Morning. We are going to have a very special podcast I don’t want to over promise but the plan is for me to be broadcasting from the home of the Lovely Darynda Jones So we will do a joint video session and if you have questions if you have anything you want us to discuss. Yeah, it’s your opportunity. So I will talk to you all tomorrow and yeah otherwise um, hope things are going well in your lives and that you are juggling all of the balls. Ah big balls. That’s what she said you all take care Bye bye.

When It’s Time to Put New Covers on a Series

This week at the SFF Seven we’re discussing Cover Trends. We’re asking “What was, is, and will be “hot” in cover art/style for your sub-genre? If you have a say in your covers, will you chase the trend or will you stick with the image in your mind?”

There’s a lot to be said on this topic, too much for even a week of blog posts. When I’m asked for advice on covers, which is a frequent request, I tell authors to keep in mind that a cover has two jobs: to attract positive attention and convey genre. This has to be emphasized because authors – both in trad and in self-publishing – tend to get caught up in wanting the cover to adhere to the story. One first-time author who was very upset with the cover her publisher gave her and came to me for advice said “but the cover doesn’t illuminate the story.” I had to tell her that the story’s job is to illuminate the story. The cover does different work: attract the eye and convey genre.
It’s that second that’s most relevant for this week’s discussion. Because trends change and a cover that accurately conveyed genre six years ago may find itself conveying something else entirely to a current audience.
Case in point: I love the covers for my six-book Sorcerous Moons series.

These were among the first book covers I ever commissioned and I particularly adore the cover for book one, LONEN’S WAR. It does come straight from a scene in the book – a pivotal scene that was, in part, the genesis image for the story – and the artist (Louisa Gallie) exactly nailed what I had in mind.

I will always be grateful for Louisa’s gorgeous art and I will always love this cover.

But, recently, people have been pointing out that these covers no longer convey what kind of story these books tell. The fantasy romance genre has moved on. If I want to tell readers that this IS the kind of thing they’re looking for, then I should consider updating to match current trends.

So I did!

Behold: The new cover for LONEN’S WAR!

I contracted with BZN Studio Designs to design new covers for all six books. Right now the series isn’t available, but once I have all six covers, I’ll re-launch the series with some fanfare. I’m super excited to see how they do with the new covers. I’ve heard some people (including my own assistant!) say scathingly that these look like all the other covers out there in this subgenre, and there’s truth to that.

AND THAT’S THE POINT.

The content is what makes the stories unique. The covers are doing the job they’re supposed to do. Caught your eye, did it? I hope so! And I’m hoping you also know exactly what kind of story you’ll get.

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.

How I Gave Myself a Fire Lizard

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is the item from your books you most want to own and why. In mulling this topic, I’ve come to an interesting realization: I rarely have interesting “items” in my books. But let me tell you what I *do* have and long for! Come on over.