Monday, December 8, 2014

All Day Q&A

It had been a LONG time since I've opened up a day for Q&A, so I thought I'd do it today and see how it goes. I'll be taking ALL questions asked today—all topics, writing, personal, etc.—on any social media. I'm on Twitter, FB, Tumblr, and here on the blog.

If you want a very in depth answer, I recommend asking here on the blog or on Tumblr. Those are the easiest place for me to ramble on excessively.

I am literally sitting here waiting for you to ask (minus when I go grocery shopping later), so answers should come pretty quick.

26 comments:

  1. I asked you about self-publishing on your last post and you mentioned that you didn't feel you were making enough money to continue. I've read a lot of authors talking about making life-changing money from indie publishing (Hugh Howey, Joe Konrath, Colleen Hoover, etc.) so I'm curious about what it's like for an author who doesn't feel it's worth it. Do you make a full-time living from your writing, both trad pub and indie? And how much have you spent on editing/formatting/cover etc. for "Relax, I'm A Ninja'?

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    1. Megan, I think indie is a lot like traditional in that a few make good money, and many don't. It's kind of the way creative jobs go in general. But it's also hard to say how I will continue to do, since indie is about building backlist and I still don't have a deep list.

      As for your questions, do I make a full time living from my writing? No, not even close. Even in my "good" years thus far, where I was getting a lot of my advance money, I was not even making a teacher's salary. To put it in perspective. In my "off" years where I haven't gotten as much advance money, the numbers are down right sad. This year, actually, I have made the LEAST money of all the years since I first sold in 2011. With my write-offs and travel factored in, I am barely even in the green.

      How much did I spend on RELAX? I spent around $1300. I take book design and editing and formatting very seriously, so I'm sure I spent more than a lot of people do. But I really care about putting out a well-designed product—in fact, that's most of the fun for me. I have loved designing my books and am willing to invest. I could have spent so much more than this.

      As for "not feeling it's worth it," I'm not sure that's accurate. Right now, no, it's not *monetarily* worth it, but as far as having the creative outlet and producing my own work I feel it has been worth it very much. I really legitimately like the process and would love to continue if I had the money to do so. I've learned SO MUCH about publishing from doing more of it on my own, and it's been liberating to always have the option of indie if I want.

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    2. Thanks, Natalie. I'm sorry I misinterpreted your feelings about indie publishing. I appreciate your honesty.

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  2. I want to steal this before Kiersten can ask: Where did you find your critique partners?

    But really, if you could go back 10 years and tell yourself something, what would it be?

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  3. Who did your cover art for the Ninja books?

    Also, strangely I just asked an email but I'll post here too in case anyone else wants some recommendations.

    What's a great new KDrama or Anime you'd recommend?

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    1. Laura, my dear friend Michelle Argyle designed my Ninja covers AND Fish Out Of Water (US edition). We worked very closely together to make these covers, and it was one of my favorite parts of the indie process!

      As for recommendations in Kdrama and Anime, that's really hard because there's such variety! In Kdrama, I tend to like the romantic comedies because I watch Kdrama to kind of escape (I do not crit Kdrama I just watch and enjoy). So I would rec Flower Boy Next Door, My Girl, Trot Lovers, Let's Eat, and Pasta.

      For Anime, I love all kinds, and if you want the "hot" stuff currently, I'd say check out Sword Art Online or Attack On Titan. If you just want some good classics, some of my all time faves are Inuyasha, Full Metal Alchemist, Fruits Basket, Ouran High School Host Club, Fushigi Yuugi, Escaflowne, Vampire Knight, Bleach, and Evangelion.

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    2. Thanks so much, I hadn't heard of several of those dramas. I also love the Rom Coms. I'll have to check those out.

      I really enjoyed SAO and Attack on Titan, and Fushigi Yuugi is one of my all time favorites. :-D

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  4. How long do you take between finishing a draft and editing it? I want to go back to my NaNo book, but some people say take 30-60 days to think about other things?

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    1. It really depends if I'm on deadline or not. If I am, I often have to jump back in within a couple weeks. But if I do have time, I like to wait a month or two. But it's not a hard and fast rule. You can start whenever you want!

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  5. Two questions this time! :)

    First, Fish Out of Water looks darling! And I love the cover of it! (I'm aware this is kind of a generic question, but...) What was your favorite part of writing the book? :)

    And, what are a few of your favorite TV shows? :)

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    1. My favorite part of writing FISH was just being able to write the MC, Mika. I love her. I want to be her friend. I also got to play with so many things I just enjoy a lot—Monterey Bay, goldfish, curry, Princess Bride, family, cute boys. It was one of those books that was really a joy to write in general.

      I mostly watch Kdrama and Anime, so I don't watch a lot of American TV, but there are three shows I do watch: SHEILD, Sleepy Hallow, and Jane The Virgin;)

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  6. Ahem. Where did you...DISCOVER...your critique partners?

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    1. It was on a remote planet called Internet.

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  7. 1. How many revisions do you usually do on a book?
    2. Have you ever had a topic you wanted to tackle in a story, but you're too afraid?

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    1. 1. It really depends. Some work just comes out cleaner and other books are messy messy messy. But I would say I do a minimum of six revisions on a book. An initial big one, one after my crit partners read, one big clean after my editor reads, lines edits from my editor, copy edits from my editor, and then layout final proofs. That's like bare minimum—often it's more than that.

      2. I am afraid to write Mormon characters, even though I'm Mormon. Mostly because I'm not like a very stereotypical Mormon and I worry I'd offend just about everyone in the process of writing a Mormon story;) So I have yet to have the guts to do that.

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    2. It's sad. I've seen such growing support for various kinds of diversity, but religion seems to be left out in the cold. I'm Mormon too and I'd love to explore it in a story that's different from typical LDS books I've read.

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    3. There are some more courageous than I! Check out Mette Ivie Harrison's upcoming novel, The Bishop's Wife. She's awesome;)

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    4. I've been stalking, er, following Mette for a while now. I haven't gotten my grubby little hands on The Bishop's Wife yet, but I think it'll be one of those One Star-Five Star books. It's about Different People, so readers either like it because it's relevant/they learned something new, or they hate it because it's wrong/they learned something new.
      Aaaaand now I should go read it so I can walk the walk.

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  8. I find your comment about being wary of writing Mormon characters interesting, but understandable given the circumstance.

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  9. Ah, crud- I'm late getting here! =( So I totally understand if you don't answer my question. What I'm curious about is social media. I know everyone says to just do what you enjoy. But if this didn't factor into it, which do you think is better in terms of building an audience, connecting w/people, and promoting your books: Twitter or Facebook? Thanks!

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    1. Leandra, it really depends on your audience. Facebook has an older audience, so if you write adult genres, that might be a better place to focus. If you write for a younger audience, Twitter is better…but even better than that I hear is Tumblr. Tumblr has the youngest demographic of the "long-form" social media sites. Instragram also has a younger sway as well, but lots of older ppl are beginning to pick it up more.

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    2. Thanks! I write YA, so it's nice to hear that about Twitter. I just joined this year. Tumblr still mystifies me. =) One day I'll figure it out!

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  10. Natalie...I have enjoyed your comments. Thank you for your insights. I am deciding between going indie or traditional. I had an indie publisher tell me that with traditional agents an author still had expenses such as editing, etc. (other than travel expense). What do you see as expenses an author has with traditional agents? Thank you. RM

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