Friday, May 6, 2011

Writing status

I am way behind in my writing goals for this year.

I have about 3000 words written for the sequel to Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance and 8000 words written for the sequel to The Elemental Odyssey.

Back in February I got a promotion and new responsibilities at work. The new responsibilities are really draining my creative energy. I like my job and the day goes by fast, but I just don’t have the brainpower left after work to sit down and write. Alas!

Stacked on top of that is a bit of writer's block with Dead Dwarves 2. I just can’t get in the writing groove. I’m not sure about the first scene, so that 3k I’ve written might actually get cut later. Sitting down to write cyberpunk is not currently a happy experience.

So I’ve switched to working on the TEO sequel. This one is moving along quicker, I just need to write more. I’m about 10% into the first draft, when I wanted to be 100% by this time.

All this delay means, of course, that I don’t think I’ll hit my goal of two more books this year. Hopefully, I’ll get one done.

In good news, I’m working on getting print versions of Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance and The Elemental Odyssey up on Amazon.

Given that most kids still don’t have ereaders, I think a print version of The Elemental Odyssey will greatly improve sales.

Question: What do you all think is a good price for a 404-page, 6” x 9”, paperback book?

Do you think there would be a significant sales decrease at $19.99 as opposed to $14.99? Or anything in between?


  1. Honestly, I have trouble convincing myself to pay the $14.99 price tag for a trade paperback, even for a title I'm incredibly fond of and want to loan to all my friends.

    Have you seen Dean Wesley Smith's post on pricing in his "Think Like a Publisher Series"? You might find it helpful.

  2. Yeah, what Carradee said about DWS' discussion.

    I can relate to slow progress, brother. For a while there, I didn't think I'd ever get my first novel-length work done. Man it was rough trying to even get started many days. But, just this morning, I finished the first draft! Woohoo! So I guess keep on pushing. It'll come. :)

    Michael Kingswood

  3. I'm feeling the drain too. Between a miserable work environment and some high-pressure graduate classwork, plus other various life stresses, finding the mental energy to write, not necessarily the time, is the hardest part of the process.

    Right now I'm probably only 10K away from finishing my manuscript. I've told myself once I do that, I'm taking a two-week break and doing research / plotting for a new project, so it's very much serving incentive to move forward.

  4. Hehe Derek, I have a new episode of IH that comes out every month. I have to have 20k as polished as I can get it every 30ish days ;)

    I know all about sitting there with an idea that won't come out. Relax. Play a mindless Facebook game for awhile. Eat some chips. Come back to it, it'll still be there!

    As for the cost of the paperback... yeesh. Maybe it's because I'm dirt poor, but I have a hard time paying more than $7.99 for a paperback. Even then I cringe a little bit inside. If I see four digits, I'd probably walk away completely :(

    YA: Cheat, Liar
    Adult: Shackled

  5. I know what you mean. By the end of the day, it's the end of me. It definitely zaps me.

    In thinking about prices for paperbacks, I did a bit of unscientific research in my house. We own mostly hardbacks. But of the paperbacks that we own, it seems that most were in the $14 range. At least one was $19 (I stopped looking). Usually I buy paperbacks when I don't want to pay the price for hardbacks. Cheapy me. So $14 doesn't seem that bad if that's the comparison. However, if I'm deciding between a $14 paperback and a $3.99 or $4.99 ebook (and some are even lower than that), I'm going for the ebook.

  6. I don't know much about Createspace, but can you make any money for TEO at $8.99? $9.99? My son is not done yet with the book (mainly because we have only one ereader), but he's got rave reviews so far for TEO!

  7. I'm also hurting on production, so I can sympathize.

    As for the price, I have to defer to Dean Wesley Smith's expertise, but I would be loathe to list a paperback at $20. I'd try to price it right where I can clear a $1 to $2 profit, but that's just my inexperienced opinion.

  8. Carradee, thanks for the link to Smith’s pricing post. I had not seen that, and it is very helpful.

    Michael, Jack, Shelia, good luck on your efforts. I hope, like me, that you can find more mental energy somewhere.

    JE, yes, those are my strategies. When block hits, do something else. Very impressive that you put out that much content all the time.

    JM, glad to hear your son likes The Elemental Odyssey!

    All, I’ll do another post specifically on pricing with all the numbers. Quick answer, Amazon’s take is at least $11, so I have to price higher than that.

  9. I can sympathize with this: I've set a 7,000 words/week quota and have fallen 12,000 words behind as of this post. However, I do find that having the word-count to work towards is a good motivator to keep chipping away.

    Another tool that I've discovered is time-lining the story in a spreadsheet. For me working on the supporting files - outlines, plot elements, data-files of names and places - counts towards the tale because I keep it consistent due to the information in those support files.

    Hope you clear out your creative block.

  10. Glad to be of help. I'm looking into PoD at the moment for my own novel, which isn't even all that long (about 80k words), and I'm having to do some pretty mean things to the font size and such to be theoretically able to release a mass market version at the standard $7.99 price, so I'm probably gonna have to release it as a trade size. Which I don't care for, myself, so I may release mass market and trade paperback.

    I do know the feeling on the mental drain. When I was a full-time proofreader/copyeditor for a company, my brain fried until I got used to it. And then about 2 weeks of every month had required overtime, which fried me anyway. Still loved the job, though.