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The Stuff a Writer's Got To Do

So, I paid bills yesterday (oops, now the day before yesterday), after we headed off to Home Depot to find an inexpensive replacement for the sink cabinet in the upstairs bathroom. The old one is an eyesore, and probably moldy, and I'm done with it! We're also replacing the medicine cabinet, which is doubtless an antique, but was never anything special, and is not as attractive as it used to be.

The new ones are plain, and not nearly as spiffy as the $500+ set that I really really liked.  But money doesn't grow on tomato vines, more's the pity.  So I left the cool victorian-look pieces in the store and brought home stuff that will at least be clean and functional.

I'm continuing the process of attempting to declutter.  Today (really today) I went through more piles of mail to determine what I really need to keep, what to dispose of carefully, and what's just junk to put in recycling.  (I don't have much that an identity-thief could make use of, but that's no reason to be careless.  Having no money just means I can't pay someone else to try to clean up the mess if someone does get ahold of my information.)

Yesterday I reorganized the gluten-and-corn-free cabinet so it wasn't overflowing onto the kitchen table. 

Today in between tweets for #scifichat, I emptied some bags I'd taken to cons or family gatherings to put the miscellaneous stuff in them away (or get rid of it), got rid of more paper, and cleared off the 2010 anthology and magazine deadlines from my writing board, and started putting up deadlines for the new year.  In the process, I found a market with a deadline of tomorrow, that happily fit one of the stories I needed to send out again.  At least I think it fits--I hope the editor agrees.  So I also started a new logsheet for the new year for submissions, structuring this one to tell me to submit ten pieces a month.  Right now it looks all neat and orderly; I'm hoping that that will change when I  submit more than ten in a month, but even if some of the months end up shorter, I hope the incentive will help keep me keeping my stories moving.

Another thing I'm working on is setting up a proper customer/fan database.  Well, spreadsheet, to be technical.  Anyway, I'm trying to capture everyone who's hit any of my donation buttons over the last year, as well as anyone else who would want me to have their contact information for when I can do things like send out announcements of publications or the like.  If you want to be in my database, feel free to message me with your information.

I also finished off two book reviews, which I sent in yesterday.  I found it's much harder to write a review of a book that disappointed me than one I loved.  Oh, well, the book  question did have a number of good points, and if I'd known about the thing that I felt was its biggest flaw ahead of time, I'd have probably enjoyed the book more, because I would have known I should focus more on the other parts of the story.  Hopefully, my review will help the book find readers who enjoy it and avoid readers who won't.

One of my goals, in reviewing fiction, is to help people find books they will enjoy.  Even in reviewing books I love, I want to characterize the books in a way that will get people who are likely to enjoy they them to read them, without encouraging people who don't like that sort of book to read them. 

I am mindful, for instance, of  Lois McMaster Bujold's reflection on her Sharing Knife books, which are part action adventure and part romance--she got many reader comments telling her that people were disturbed that the action was interrupted by the romance--and just as many from people who felt the action was interrupting the romance.

And I am also mindful of the game seller who, at a convention, asked her customer what games they liked, then made a recommendation.  When the customer pressed, asking what the seller personally liked best about the game, the seller admitted that she thought the best part was packing up the game after the playtest.  Then why did she recommend it?  Because that game irked her in exactly the same ways as the games the customer loved.

I hope that I can emulate the successes of that game seller!




Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
out_totheblack
Jan. 15th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
You've been industrious!
wyld_dandelyon
Jan. 15th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
I look at all I have left to do, and don't feel industrious. But I feel better when I see that I can't even gracefully list it all in one paragraph.

Hey, want to beta a SF story?
out_totheblack
Jan. 26th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Hey, sorry it took so long to get back to you. I hadn't forgotten. I'd love too, but I don't really have time. I just finished one persons and felt so guilty because it took me a month to finish :(

You can ask again later, though :)
red_trillium
Jan. 15th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
You've gotten lots done, that's good! I think the theme of 2011 is declutter. I'm doing it and am seeing it around in other people's journals and blogs. I think it's a combination of New Year resolutions, new starts but also I think many of us are realising we've got a lot of stuff hanging around that not only do we not need but is starting to interupt our lives by taking up the space.

And those spreadsheets are a great idea! You remind me I think I haven't downloaded last month's Cafe Press sales. I've been keeping Excel copies of them for about 6 months now and since last month was my biggest in sales I want to keep that one for sure!
wyld_dandelyon
Jan. 15th, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
Hooray for an increase in sales!

What's selling best? Or did you change some other strategy to get sales to increase?
red_trillium
Jan. 16th, 2011 06:21 am (UTC)
The biggest seller has been the calendars. I either only sold one or none last year (can't remember right now); out of the 12 things I sold in Dec, 7 were calendars.

And all my sales in Dec (and most through the year) were from the "marketplace", not directly from my shop. Marketplace sales are when someone either searches for a key word (ie--New Zealand) and my items are some of the results they get. Cafepress set the prices in the Marketplace based on demand and who knows what else so any sales that come that way I only get a portion of the mark up.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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