Monday, August 31, 2015

Project Update III

Ugh. August was a tough month.

Lost twelve days of serious work on my self-publishing project: our annual vacation down to visit my in-laws in Hilton Head, a planes-trains-automobiles all-day affair to see the Yanks beat the Twins one day, and fourteen hours spent painting and rearranging my daughter’s bedroom (something I’ve been promising her I’d do all summer). All told, major momentum killers.

I also faced – and overcame – two setbacks of a personal nature that I won’t go into on the blog. Each effectively wasted one or two days in the time and effort I had to pay to deal with them. And micromanaging the girls fourteen hours a day without camp giving me a few hours of peace to work every day bit into my productivity.

All in all I devoted a paltry 33 hours this month to building my business (as compared to 43.75 in May, 41.75 hour in June and 54 hours in July). Should’ve been 20 more hours, at least. Thank God I was able to bang out 19 hours during a brief mini-vacation at my parent’s house in PA (where the little ones swam, played basketball, and roasted marshmallows).

So what did I accomplish this month?

I’m about 95% settled on a title for my novel: Oncewhere Walked the Whale. Problem is, half the time I absolutely hate it, the other half, I absolutely love it. Guess as long as I don’t feel lukewarm about it, that’s a plus. Hate it or love it, if you feel strongly about it, it will work. After all, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

I’m also 95% done with the following:

– The layout of my author website
– My official “biography”
– The lengthy “gift” I’m going to send you for signing up on my email list
– How my business cards will be designed

But it’s always that last 5% that’s the hardest …

The first format the book will be released in will be Kindle. Did some research on it and it seems to be something I can get done in two days of solid work. After that I want to set it up for Nook. iBooks and Print-on-Demand will have to be something I research in October, while beginning the final edit of my next book.

Also bought my domain name, which was kinda neat and surreal.

The cover for Whale is important and right now my biggest problem. I have a vague sense of what I’d like the cover to look like (it ain’t complicated, like an Attack of the Clones space battle), and Little One broke out her pencils and sketched it for me. Problem now is to redo it with photo software, downloading fonts and getting that sketch converted into a professional image. Need to research this from scratch and am guesstimating it will take a solid week of work for this highly critical aspect of bookselling.

Also, the whole purchasing ISBNs has me worried. That’s my project for tomorrow.

August held a little bit of backsliding for me on the physical plane. After working out nearly every day for May, June, and July, and working my body to the point of exhaustion, I took eight days off during my Hilton Head vacation. Problem is, I didn’t get back on the horse. My new routine would be three longer workouts a week instead of six shorter ones, giving me recuperation time. But I only had the discipline to stick with it for five workouts, instead of the nine or ten I scheduled.

I did walk 14.5 miles, as compared to 28 miles in May, 20.5 in June, and 20.2 in July.

Finished two physics books I had since my college days as a physics major, never completed way back then. Satisfaction. Only fiction I had time for was another blast from the past, Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama. Currently I’m about a hundred pages in to Greg Bear’s Eon, a book that’s sat on my shelf for seven or eight years. Two books of wildly different spirituality I finished, read usually in the quiet of the deep night, after the ladies had all gone to sleep.

Drove a little over 2,000 miles this past month on our family trips to South Carolina and Pennsylvania and various trips around New Jersey. That’s a lot of thinking.

Applied, unsuccessfully, to nine companies looking for regular work. Lots of opinion about this, but that’s a subject for a future post, once I am working again.

So while August was not as successful as I had wanted it to be, it doesn’t look like such a wash now that I’ve put it all down on e-paper. Did overcome obstacles, which is worth double or triple the time had it been spent furiously typing at the laptop. And stayed focused, for the large part, despite minor bouts of depression and fatigue.

Goal for September: Get that book self-published!

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