Difficult Decisions

I like to have my event schedule sorted out early in the year. This allows for me to schedule my writing around conventions and festivals so I can set a book launch date with plenty of time to allow to finish, edit, format and printing.

This is what this year looked like:

  • March/Apr- Oz Comic Con Adelaide
  • August 5-6 - steampunk panel and write your own Discworld story workshop at Nullus Anxietas
  • August 19-20 - Salisbury Writing Festival
  • August 27th - ACG Ball
  • September (mid) - Steampunk Festival
  • September (late) - Steampunk Pirate Ball
  • November - Supanova

Though I had lost a couple of months due to ill health, I was still on target for a September launch date, when I hope to launch it at the Steampunk Festival (who were kind enough to host the book launches of both Doctor Jack and Eye of the Beholder) .

I recently got my email for the Steampunk Festival and tendered my application and  started preparing for Salisbury Writing Festival registration...

But, wait...

I grabbed for printouts for Steampunk Festival and flipped through them. Dang! The Steampunk festival has changed dates.  The original Steampunk Festival was held in May, then twice in September, which is why I tentatively scheduled it in for the same time this year.  Big mistake!  It is now scheduled for 19-20 August - the same weekend as the Salisbury Writers Festival.

Decision time!

I enjoy Salisbury Writers' Festival. I've got a lot out of it in the past six years. I meet fellow writers, hear from publishers and agents in panels, on the  state of writing and publishing in Australia. Members of my writing group enter the short story competition. This year I may have convinced some of my fellow writing group to attend the actual festival.

But will I?

The Steampunk Festival is one of my favourite event - costume-wise, meeting readers and fellow steampunks. It is a photographic smorgasbord. This is my tribe.  They understand me.

Sales-wise it is my biggest event of the year. I have launched both my books at the Steampunk Festival and hope to again this year. This means I have lost a month of writing time and now have to finish my book earlier to get it out in time for August.

<insert expletives here>

But I've made my decision. It wasn't hard in the end; I go where my readers are. I'll just have to pull up my socks and write faster. I've got a closer deadline now. No time for napping.

Photos ©2016 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Photo Friday: It’s Covered.

I took a trip down memory lane this week: #Whoviansau (ABC2) did a shout out for Doctor Who art. I delved into my fanzine collection and found these covers I had done for Blacklight (Gallifrey Doctor Who Appreciation Society fanzine), circa 1994. Breathing in all that dust was not a good idea. Hello sinus infection and bronchitis. Ugh. On a more positive note, I found a replacement dress dummy at Salvos (a fraction of the cost of a new one).

 

I am soldiering on with my writing (more on that in Sunday's post). I have a deadline looming and I can't disappoint you, Dear Reader. This week I've been wrangling convoluted timelines... Thank goodness for whiteboards. And here's a sneak preview of one of the elements planned for the cover of The Illusionist & Other Tales: Journal #3.

Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Why Indies? Guest Post by Jack Tyler

Jack Tyler allowed me to share his thoughts on reasons to read Independent authors.  Jack is a member of Scribblers Den (steampunk writers group), an author of steampunk (Beyond the Rails series) and other punk-genres. You can find him at Blimprider at writing.com or Jack's Hideout. Take it away, Jack...

WHY INDIES?

A simple question. Why should you, an experienced reader, carry a selection of independent authors on your reading list? For a very good reason. Originality.

What was the last original movie you saw? Can't think of one? That's because no one is making them anymore. That's why we're inundated with remakes of old movies, reenvisionings of old TV shows, old, popular books "brought to life" by the "magic of Hollywood," episode CCXLVII of the big Space Saga. No one will take a chance anymore that something, God forbid, might not rake in a billion dollars a day.

Books have gone down the same path. Publishers, unwilling to take a risk, compete with one another to shovel out copies of copies of copies of The Last Big Thing. Where is the grand fantasy tale that doesn't follow Lord of the Rings to the letter? How many versions of Twilight can you read before you can recite the plot points before you come to them? You may be surprised to hear that those cutting-edge stories and novels are out there waiting to be read, and I'm going to tell you where to find them.

In the files of independent authors. While traditional publishers cling to the center of Writingtown, searching the carefully tended lawns for the next retelling of a tired old tale, independent authors, just as independent filmmakers and musicians, are out on the fringe, past the edge of the map, chronicling the tales that no one has yet heard, that have yet to be told. These are the stories you want to read, the stories that are worth finding, the jewels that you'll remember long after the last elf/dwarf/human/orc slashfest is in the landfill and long forgotten. These are the heirs to the tradition of storytelling.

Authors decide to self-publish for any number of reasons. Some because we have been rejected by traditional publishers, often for being too original to suit their no-risk publishing model. Some have gone indie because we didn't want to get involved with the "you do the work, and we'll keep the money" policy of the big publishers. Some of us are well-known traditionally published authors who have been screwed out of our due one time too many, but we all have one thing in common: We answer to our creative muse, and no one else.

We have all had an experience, maybe more than one, with an independent author who had no business writing a grocery list, let alone a book, and some of us may have said, "Enough of this! I'm sticking to the Big Five from now on." That's your choice, but you do yourself a grave disservice by that reasoning.

We all try new products every day. Whether it's a new makeup, pain reliever, pipe wrench, or ball-point pen, we have all gotten our hands on one that doesn't do what the advertisement said it would. But do we then say, "I'm never wearing makeup again!" Of course we don't. We learn to be more careful consumers. There are many ways to carefully consume books, one of them being to never stray from the big names. Again, that's your choice, but there are ways to find the quality indies as well, and if you want to read the books that are telling the new stories, you must include indies on your reading list. How do you find quality indies? Amazon.com is a huge help. Most of us publish there because they make it so easy, and they provide useful tools. Look for an indie who has high ratings, even if there aren't too many of them. A low rating isn't a deal-breaker either, unless that's all there are, but ratings can help. Then once you find a book that looks interesting, use the "Look Inside" feature. Yes, it only shows you a few pages, but if the author can't write, you won't need more than a paragraph to determine that. Then, of course, there's the tried and true method, word of mouth. If someone you know and trust is recommending an indie, by all means, take a look. You may discover worlds beyond imagining that lie at the tips of your fingers. So, come on out to the fringe; we're waiting to welcome you.

You can find Jack at: Blimprider at writing.com. His books are available on Amazon:

Beyond the Rails

Beyond the Rails II

Beyond the Rails III