For those who’ve been following Feet or Fins from the beginning, you know that I barely have any graphic design knowledge but at the same time, I was too broke to afford to hire someone. I pretty much went and did the most I could do with what I had. I picked an image that I thought represented the story and only fiddled with a few things while adding text.
For the longest time it was good enough for me and then I changed my mind. I created a second book cover and then, later on, reverted back to the old one. But I still knew that it wasn’t the best I could do, but I moved on to other things.
Today as I was looking through a few websites that featured pre-made book covers I began to wonder again if I could do better. I spent a few more hours looking on iStock to see what I could find. And voila! I found something interesting. So I fiddled around a bit and created this 🙂
Currently, I’m going over a sci-fi mystery novella. I haven’t finished the first draft and since not touching it for over six months I have forgotten what I had written, however, I know what needs to happen etc. I’m editing as I go to get back into the story. Once finished, I’m not sure if I’m going to go back and edit that shit out of it or go onto finishing other first drafts (I have a bazillion). I don’t think I’ll be publishing another story this year, but who knows.
August is coming up in Edinburgh and that means having only one day off a week and everything being balls to the walls dealing with all the extra tourists. I doubt I’ll have time to write or edit. Afterwards, I should get back into everything.
I’ve bought myself a planner/calendar that shows the entire month so that I can visualise my time and maybe that’ll help me get back into things. I did a similar thing in uni and that helped me keep ahead of my assignments. I could just be the thing to motivate me into getting back my mojo.
There are some people in life who call themselves writers, though not many of them seem to produce anything. Everyone seems to have a book in them, but really they are just romanticising the idea of being a writer. Being a writer seems to be something special, I mean it is, but most people do not know how hard it is to earn that title. And I’m not talking about the actual writing.
From an early age, I like creating stories. It comes naturally to me. I don’t know how, and when looking at both sides of my family, no one else does either. I seem to have sprouted out of nowhere (I’m so totally my parents’ child though). I grew up an only child and also turned out to be a loner too. So in combination with having a somewhat decent writing ability as well, I guess I gravitated towards expressing my stories in words and not another artform.
The ultimate end goal of me self-publishing my words is to create a steady income stream that allows me to write full time. Until then, it’s hospitality work and eustress that pushes me to write around the edges of my life. This means that I forgo other things such as socialising and enjoying my time off with whatever normal people do with their time.
I think I am very fortunate that my hobby of writing is pretty much free or low cost in terms of materials needed to produce anything. But that doesn’t mean its easy. A year ago I was unstoppable in terms of writing. I could produce one to two thousand words a day and then bam! I hit burnout and everything stopped. I had all this free time, tones of irritability and a bucket of frustration at myself. I was doing so well, what happened? I had many unfinished manuscripts, knew the order of scenes, but wat r werds? I literally couldn’t spell properly for months. My facebook chat logs were an embarrassment. You’d think I never graduated primary school.
My brain and body were tied together and while the body was capable, the brain was done. No words from me. Good thing I had a job to occupy my time and give me money or I’d be screwed. I’m not a freelancer because I don’t really want to work with people and I want to spend all my time writing for myself. I’m not going to push out a ton of stories by writing other people’s ones. Do it yourself. Make time or fail.
Save One is out and available on Smashwords or Amazon. It’s a YA sci-fi dystopian, set in an indeterminate future where, 16-year-old soon-to-be codebreaker, Sauska is coming of age.
Save One is out 🙂 It is 32,230 words long and it sits in the Young Adult and Dystopian genres. It can also be a little bit of a Coming of Age story as well.
It follows one individual Sauska Morin as she is accepted into the cryptanalyst school to become a code breaker. Her country has been at war with the South for the last few decades and she is needed to help break the codes. There she makes a close friend who is not having as good a time as her. During this time her younger brother is sent to army boot camp with the intention of becoming an infantryman. This does not bode well with Sauska because her two older brothers have died while in the army and as she experiences her life she begins to see that maybe her country isn’t as great as she thinks it is.
I began Save One around July of ’17. While it took two years to complete, I was not actively working on it all the time. In fact, I would do a few drafts in close succession and then nothing for months on end. The reason this story took a while to come out was because of; burnout, other stories taking my time and, the fact that it was not my most prized story at the time. I was constantly suffering ‘Shiney New Idea Syndrome’ during this time and it took a bit of a backburner until I finally decided to finish it.
Another reason why it took so long was that I was a bit hesitant in putting out the story was because I made the main character black and I am white. I made her a different race simply because I’ve always written white characters and it was a bit boring. And the idea of having more diverse characters was starting to become a thing that needs to happen. I’m worried that it’ll come off wrong, but I’m not writing a contemporary story from the black experience. That’s why my first book cover was the black and white one. I changed it to the one above because I didn’t want to seem like I was using race to my advantage. Also, I like colour more than black and white and there is a forest scene near the end of the book.
For every one book published there are many more that remained unfinished. For every novella that is created, there is a publishing house that won’t take it as they only want novels. Anthologies are uncommon and have to be sort out rather than discovered. Many books that have found readership through self-publishing would never have been accepted by a publishing house because the employees there didn’t think it had a market.
I write stories mainly in the genres of YA, fantasy, soft sci-fi and dystopias. I branch out and they become a blend of other things and probably would never be accepted for publication based on the story content and not the writing skill.
I choose self-publishing because it is an easier route and I know that your first works do not get published unless you are an exception and I am not. I figured that since I was putting all this effort into increasing my writing and storytelling skillset I might as well try and make something out of it. So I publish what I accomplish along the way.
When I look back on what I’ve published, I still have an idea or two that appear that would improve a part of a finished story, but once it’s out, it’s done. In terms of marketing, I do not know how to. I’m not a business person, even though I have to be if I want to make it on my own. My plan is to push out a few more books, maybe make a youtube channel in the not to distant future and then profit??? Lol. I’m mostly focusing on my writing skills and when I produce something that is maybe publishing house quality then use them to help me create a career for myself.