Monthly Archives: May 2011
MOST LIKELY giveaway winners!

Well, we had a few copies go unclaimed, but we’ve brought out first Book Giveaway to an end. Below is a list of winners.

If anyone believes their name belongs here as a winner and I’ve overlooked you, please let me know. I’ll make sure to get you a copy. But as far as my records go, this is the list I have.

Thanks to all who entered and enjoy your copy of MOST LIKELY, which will be coming to you via email shortly!

Krissie
Kayla Smith
Denise
Suzanne
Debbie Griffith

On to the next!

It’s been a busy second half of the week. I’ve been contacting book bloggers to solicit reviews of MOST LIKELY, and I’ve been organizing a 12-book giveaway to spread the word (and maybe earn a few reviews). In fact, the giveaway is still going on until just before midnight tonight, Central Daylight Time.

I’m happy to say that I have three confirmed sales on Amazon, as well as one confirmed sale on Barnes and Noble, so far. That’s a total of four books, which isn’t bad. Unfortunately, the first 72 hours the book was up, I got emails and messages from an additional four or five people saying they’d just bought the book on Amazon, but those sales never showed up.

I have KDP looking into whether their system messed up since I was a new author and it was my first book published. Other authors, some with several books, said that KDP was having trouble tracking sales during that three-day period, so it’s possible I’ve sold a few more than four. But at most, it’s probably only like eight or nine. Time will tell.

Anyway, I’m about to jump into two projects at once.

My next fiction project will be my prequel to EMBER, a short novel that takes place during the summer before the novel picks up. It’s becoming a fun concept in my mind, because it’s like a female version of THE BODY in some ways. Also, I’m going to start work on my theological-inspirational Messianic book, DATING THE MESSIAH. It’s a different type of writing so I’m confident I can juggle both projects without too much hassle.

And that’s where I’m at as of today!

MOST LIKELY eBook Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of MOST LIKELY, I am running a contest in which I will give away a dozen copies of my new novel to a dozen people! The twelve (12) copies will be given out in the form of a Smashwords coupon, meaning if you win a copy, you’ll be able to redeem the coupon in the eFormat of your choice!

So how do you enter? How do you qualify? What must you do to earn a copy?

It’s a simple, three-step process.

1) Leave a comment on this blog entry.

2) Go to my Twitter account (@craigahansen), follow me, and send me one “hello” tweet. Or it can be more interesting, if you wish.

3) Go to my Facebook fan page, Like me, and send me a PM saying you’ve completed all three steps and giving me an email address where I can contact you to send your free copy of MOST LIKELY!

That’s it! It’s that simple!

On Sunday, May 29, I’ll check to make sure there are at least twelve winners. If there are, the giveaway will be over. If there are more than 12 entrants, I’ll put all the names on slips of paper, put them in a bowl, and do a blind drawing … the first 12 names I draw will win the free copies.

Enjoy the contest! Have fun with it! And if you enjoy the book, let me know! If you have time, feel free to review it! That’s not a requirement, but it’s certainly welcome if you feel moved to do so.

Enjoy the weekend!

MOST LIKELY available at an eTailer near you!

Hey all… ready for a great Wednesday update? MOST LIKELY is finished and available on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and Smashwords!

For now, it’s only available in various eBook formats. I am planning a print version through CreateSpace, but I’m not there yet. Maybe in June sometime. Now that the book is out there, though, my focus for a while is going to be in stirring up some publicity to generate interest. But I’ll also now be free to start writing my next project, so its back to some of my core ROW80 goals.

Speaking of those, just as a review, here are the goals I’ve completed so far:

DONE 01) Complete revisions of MOST LIKELY….

DONE 02) Send MOST LIKELY… to my group of beta-readers and request a one-week turnaround.

DONE 03) Revise MOST LIKELY… based on beta-readers’ feedback.

DONE 04) Send MOST LIKELY… to editor.

DONE 05) Final preparations on MOST LIKELY…

DONE 06) Publish MOST LIKELY… to Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Smashwords.

Six goals complete! That’s a great feeling! I’ve revised some of my remaining goals mildly, but here’s my roadmap for the road ahead:

07) Write next project … a short novel.

08) Revise short novel and send to betas.

09) Write second short novel or my theological book project.

10) On writing days (as opposed to revision days) average 4,000 new words per day.

At this point, with a more realistic view of writing timelines, I’m not sure I’ll get back to my main EMBER novel during Session 2 of ROW 80. I’m fine with that, because one of my short novels is an EMBER prequel that will introduce the character and her world at a nice, tidy, commercially-appealing $0.99 price point. So it’s a step along the path.

Anyway, it’s celebration time for a while… but it’s always writing time. As they say on Ghosthunters on SyFy… “On to the next!”

MOST LIKELY is submitted, almost published

In my “wee hours” work shift Monday night going into Tuesday, I completed the final corrections to MOST LIKELY, did the final file-prep work, and uploaded my novel to Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and even Smashwords.com.

Amazon is the place I’m most nervous about because about seventy percent of all eBook sales take place there. This is my first novel, so Amazon may take a bit longer approving this one. But hopefully it’ll go up for sale late this evening, May 24. If not, hopefully by the 25th sometime.

Next came BarnesandNoble.com. The Nook/Nook Color community is huge! Not as big as Amazon, but probably the second-biggest outlet in the eBook market, easily. So it looks like it could be closer to 2-3 days with them. That’s fine; I’m patient.

Then I rounded out my efforts by uploading MOST LIKELY to Smashwords; this one went the fastest, for sure, but it’s the one that has a reputation for being a bit harder to generate sales with. But hey, Mark Coker seems like a good fellow, so I’ll give it a try. And hey, while it’ll take a few weeks to get in the Smashwords Premium Distribution catalog, I do have a nice-looking page where MOST LIKELY can be purchased in the format of your choice already, located here.

The only thing that remains is to prep MOST LIKELY for CreateSpace and get the print version rolling out, as well. That’ll take some time, but it’s coming. In a nice, sharp-looking 7×10 trade paperback format, too!

So expect me to update my MOST LIKELY page soon, with all the “how to order” details as they become available. Wooo!

Really close now

I delayed and delayed and delayed this check-in because I really wanted to report that I had completed corrections to MOST LIKELY and it would be uploaded to Amazon, BN.com and Smashwords soon. That didn’t work out as planned.

One thing that got in the way is that I had a sermon and commentary to work on, that I’ll be delivering at my current community of faith next weekend. That had to take top priority, and I spent a good chunk of Sunday finalizing those messages.

Then, I was all about MOST LIKELY corrections and getting that puppy done; when I started the day, I had 100 pages left to correct. By the end of the day? Well, I’m under 40 pages but there’s only so many hours in a day, you know?

It doesn’t help that we had loud, powerful storms all weekend that kept me up even when I tried to sleep, and robbed me of much-needed rest. In fact, about 30 miles north of me, north Minneapolis was hit with some destructive tornado systems and a lot of people are homeless tonight. So I’m not complaining that loudly.

But as it stands I should be ready to upload MOST LIKELY to Amazon, BN.com and Smashwords Monday or Tuesday, depending on how some other things go. It should be fun to finally get things rolling on MOST LIKELY and have the freedom to move on to the next project.

Yet, sadly, I can’t say I’m there quite yet. But not for a lack of effort.

Final revisions are kicking my keister

Well, I have the full novel back from my editor now, and have for the past 24 hours.

I really thought this might go fast and be a one-day thing, but nope, there’s a lot of surgery that was still necessary and revisions, changes and such are kicking me in the keister once again. But right now, the date of release is entirely up to me. The sooner I get this stuff done, the sooner I can get it out.

Challenges lay ahead, though. My wife goes in for some major dental work tomorrow evening and I have to take my Dad in for some tests in the afternoon. I have contract work I need to keep making progress one, also, since that’s bringing in some much-needed funds. And blogging assignments need to be completed before the expire, naturally.

Still and all, I’m about half-done with final revisions and changes, and while I’d like to think I’ll get it done sometime Thursday, the truth is I’ll be fortunate to get it done before Shabbat starts and I go on a 24-hour break from it all. We’ll see.

Maybe I’ll get a huge burst of energy and finish tomorrow, but that’s looking like a tall order right about now.

Final revision/corrections begin

Well, my very skilled but overworked editor has sent me the first half of my novel, MOST LIKELY, back from editing. Time to start entering the final changes. I’m expecting the second half of MOST LIKELY back in the next 24-48 hours or so, and then its all on me to enter the changes, do final checklists, and begin the process of uploading and therefore publishing MOST LIKELY.

With a little good fortune, it could be available by midweek. At worst, hopefully by Friday it’ll be up in at least one location.

That’ll check some more items off my ROW80 to-do list, that’s for sure.

Of course, that’s only the beginning. Marketing the book is a huge task, as is getting to work on the next. Plus I have that sermon and commentary that are due this week. And blogging. And my subcontracting work.

So all this really is, is a benchmark, not a finish line. Which is fine. Yet it’s also a huge accomplishment and a very nervous time for me. One of my biggest projects to date is going to be out there in the world soon, taking on scrutiny from all comers. Of course, even that would be better than having it just sit there, lifeless, not selling. Right? Right.

Big week ahead!

Lots of busy-work

I’ve been dealing with lots of busy work the first part of this week.

For example, I took on a couple of eBook cover jobs (yay!), plus I did some spot-editing that’ll bring in some extra income (yay!), and I worked on a subcontractor assignment (yay!) that’ll lead to even more paying gigs. It’s all fun, but have I written anything new lately?

Not yet.

And the truth is, I could have. The only thing really holding me back is selecting what assignment I want to tackle next.

Do I go with the non-YA thriller short novel, Idea Warehouse, just because it’s a change of pace and loads of fun to write? Yes, as a project it holds a lot of appeal.

Do I go with my Ember prequel, which tells the tale of Ember’s summer adventure that took place before the first novel begins? It’s a short novel, too, and so would be a 99-cent entry into the series.

Do I go with Ember since that’s already about half-done and I should just forge ahead? I’ve been itching to get back to it.

Do I go out of fiction for a while and work on my first theological book, Dating The Messiah? I need to get that out before the year is out, anyway.

I also have a sermon and a Torah commentary to write within the next week, too, and that’s a priority.

What a wonder it is to be a full-time writer! I thought I’d be hard-up for things to do, and I’m busier than ever… even though my bank account isn’t necessarily proving it just yet. That’ll come in time, though.

One bit of great news: my editor told me she’d have MOST LIKELY back to me either today or tomorrow, which is awesome news. If all goes well, MOST LIKELY will at least be up on Amazon and Barnes and Noble by this time next week, if I apply myself this weekend! CreateSpace will take more time.

Thrilling times!

Catching up on side-duties

Since getting MOST LIKELY off to my editor, I’ve mostly been catching up on side-duties.

For example, I’ve had some beta-reading to do, to help those who’ve helped me. It’s fun and a nice change of pace. Also, I had blogging to catch up on, which still brings in more money than my novel will until it’s released. And I had a book cover client who needed a job done, as well as a formatting subcontracting job to work on.

Most of these things are done now, or close to it. That means it’s time to get back to writing, at last — at least until MOST LIKELY returns from my editor. If I really apply myself, I could produce enough words to get the first draft of a short novel completed. Yay!

Beta-revisions DONE!

Yay!

It’s midweek check-in time and I have good news to share; I reached a major goal by finishing my revisions and sending MOST LIKELY off to my editor for final-pass editing/proofing. Exciting times, and a major goal reached for me!

Where are my goals again…? Oh yeah…

DONE 01) Complete revisions of MOST LIKELY….

DONE 02) Send MOST LIKELY… to my group of beta-readers and request a one-week turnaround.

DONE 03) Revise MOST LIKELY… based on beta-readers’ feedback.

DONE 04) Send MOST LIKELY… to editor.

That’s four goals met so far! Wooo!

I have two other goals in progress…

*IN PROGRESS* 05) During the time MOST LIKELY is with MY EDITOR, begin and try to complete a short novel. Either the EMBER prequel or the IDEA WAREHOUSE (working title) concept. Doesn’t matter which, just need something to write in the meantime.

I start on this soon. Maybe tomorrow, but I have some side-work to accomplish that needs to be done, so… maybe not tomorrow, either. Maybe closer to Sunday.

*IN PROGRESS* 06) Final preparations on MOST LIKELY…

I do have some of these tasks completed already.

Finally, the rest of these goals are a bit further out just now…

07) Publish MOST LIKELY… to Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Smashwords.

08) Finish draft on first short novel project.

09) Do other short novel.

10) Revise both short novels and send to betas.

11) Return, at last, to EMBER and push to finish first draft before ROW80 Round 2 expires.

12) On writing days (as opposed to revision days) average 4,000 new words per day.

Writing really is work

Sometimes, writing is fun and full of surprises and the pure joy of creating something new. Yet it’s not always like that, which is what separates the talkers (“Yeah, I’d love to be a writer…”) from the doers (“I have two books out on Kindle and three more in the work.”)

Lately, I’ve been “in the weeds,” as they might say on Kitchen Nightmares, with a big, extensive revision of MOST LIKELY when what I’d really enjoy doing is forging ahead on a first draft of something else. First drafts are fun; revisions are hard work.

Why? Because the story has already been more or less “told” in the creative sense of the word. Once you get feedback and see where it can be improved, the rational side of your brain goes, “Sure, yeah, I see that, this’ll make the book better,” but the creative side of your brain is screaming like a petulant teen, “Ugh! I’m bored! I wanna do something NEW!”

Such is the struggle all writers face, and it’s why writing really is a job, not just a hobby. It’s the part of the process that weeds out the wannabes from the really-ares.

I’m about half-done with my MOST LIKELY revisions and hope to be all the way done soon. I wanted to be all done by now. But I’m not. Which is frustrating.

Which is why writing really is work.