Doing the Author Thing

The Nor’Geekster was a success! I had a good time, met new writers and artists, and sold several stacks of books!

My top goal was introducing myself to new readers, and I aced that. :-) The event had a lot of foot traffic but not everyone was looking for books. However, anyone who poked a nose at my table at least got a nice conversation even if they didn’t buy anything. Even if just for the networking and goodwill with other authors, the event was worth it.

The bookmarks we made were a big hit! We printed them at a local copy shop on heavy stock and cut them ourselves. For the whopping cost of $17 for 100, they were very effective free handouts and promo. Better than business cards. I recommend the tactic if you can pull it off for cheap.

Making money was a secondary objective. But there were enough sales within the first two hours that I made back my table fee. Over the remainder of the fair, I made that and half again for a modest profit. :-) Moreover, I also learned that the barter system is alive and well. I traded books with several authors and artists in lieu of money for their books or art. This, to me, was even better than getting cash: I’m supporting creatives directly. We’re both getting something we want. And I’m putting my books in the hands of someone genuinely interested enough to trade for them.

We learned a few things for our next vending event, too. One of those will be to get a decent tablet that we can use for electronic sales rather than our cell phones. We’ll also use it for previews of eBooks. It may also find use as a marquee of sorts when otherwise idle, playing video or slideshows.

With the Nor’Geekster over, I got back to work on A Contract in Azure and Indigo. I finished my personal edit of its 5th draft on Monday night. With it I shortened complicated sentences line-by-line, and did a search and destroy of passive voice in the narration.

Part of the issue is that these are older stories of mine. I’ve learned a lot in the past few years since writing them, particularly about being concise. Writing lots of microfiction will do that. ;-) However, the bones of works like Azure have my learner’s problems embedded within. I’ve been author-blind to them. Since realizing that, I’m using feedback and tools like the Hemingway Editor to expose and fix them.

After my personal edit of Azure, the four chapters of the fifth draft sum 14,397 words in total. That’s almost 1,200 words shorter than the 2016 version I started with in mid-October. I’m feeling good about it. It says more and reads better with less. And I’m sending it over to my favorite editor and collaborator this week.

I probably won’t get her feedback until next week. So, this weekend I plan to return to work on Tears of the Joyous Mare, my release for February. I’ve got some beta feedback that needs to be worked into it, and a revision/addition to the ending to write. Then I’ll give it the same type of personal edit I did with Azure. Much to do, but I like the momentum!

Have a great week everyone, and keep writing!

~Jason H. Abbott

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