On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Street Date (bookstores NOT selling books before the release date)

First, let me say that I'm in a depressed mood this am. Paid bills last night and that always makes me think I'll never be able to quit the day job. Not to mention that I opened a letter that had been sitting around under a stack of mail and got a shock when I saw myself captured on the cop-camera -- speeding. More $$ out of pocket today, AND a deliquent fee. OUCH! And it was a hideous photo (but recognizable) sheesh. Now some writers treat their work as a hobby (not many, and not "long-time" ones) and don't care if they quit the day job, but I do, and most others do. I KNOW that if I had more free time to write, I could fritter it away, but still -- the thought of hours stretching on end to almost infinity to write is one of my ideas of paradise -- if I can do other things like eat and travel.

Next, I thought about this blog yesterday. and it has been mostly about writing until lately and then has weighed toward Publishing stories. I have more writing stories than Publishing (writing seriously for 8-9 years before I was published and published for 3 1/2, under contract for 4 1/2). So there will be more writing tips, etc. than publishing.

Then there's tips on the Business -- like promotion, that I don't know how much I'll talk about, but is an additonal topic.

I had planned on talking about writing today instead of Publishing and spreading my Publishing stories out, but I heard that What Dreams May Come is being sold.

Before the Street Date of July 5.

This is disturbing, too, because when bookstores sell something before the actual release date, you don't get the "push" on the date that publishers look for, AND it is harder to make the "lists" with a trickle instead of a push. Right now, this book is the best shot I have of making "lists" -- NY Times, USA Today, Walden's and B&N's...because I write futuristic fantasy romance and fantasy and both of those are relatively "niche" markets. But Sherrilyn and Rebecca are both better known than me and I thought they'd haul my sorry a** onto the lists. ;) Amazon isn't selling it, but B&N online is.

That's at least the 2nd time B&N has rushed my release date (another true story later). Huff!

So that's my Publishing tip for the day. Street Date is important. So if you're a reader, think about it and buy (for best results) on or during the first week of the "official" release date, and if you're a bookseller, you should already know about this.

BTW, I emailed my editor, my editor's assistant (also an editor by now), and my agent about WDMC being sold already -- just so THEY'D know.

Another Tip. Thinking about Publishing and setting goals to be Published can drive you crazy. Because you are not in control of these goals. You are a passive victi-- uh -- participant in this equation. You are only in control of your writing.

So, yeah, with this book, I got sucked into the "goal" thing -- or at least the "expectations" thing that is so dangerous to the neurotic-writer (redundant) ego. "I will be on a List."

So now I must go back to goals I can control. Use one of my affirmations that I think up monthly for my Free Your Artist page. I will write the best book I can and let the Universe take care of the results.

Well, this helped some. Hope it wasn't too down or boring -- if so I can always edit. But all writers have days like this and major doubts. Yes, it's true.

I have a half hour before the day job (and my financial guy just called on the phone and we set up a meeting next week -- timing).

Love to all,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheer up!. We all have our copies ordered at the local book store.
Here, a fun website for historical costumes with nice looking men, www.centerstagecostumes.com

9:21 AM  
Anonymous anonymous 2 said...

Good review about Heart Choice by Deborah McGillivray. Five Stars! www.amazon.ca

2:11 PM  
Blogger Night Owl said...

yep - I just finished Sin's of the Night by Kenyon - Street date 6/28 - my sister picked it up at B&N yesterday. Amazon has not shipped my copy! Tam

2:42 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks! My durn thanks disappeared!

I was just looking at costumes yesterday, so this site is great! Love the review by McGillivray, whew! (see all the exclamation points). And night, some authors might reach a point where they don't care if the books are released early, but I can't imagine it. Not when the lists are so important -- I mean, I've heard of contracts where you get more $$ for each step UP the list you rank. True.

Love to all,

7:46 PM  
Blogger Mechele Armstrong said...

You know? I'm glad I read this. That had really not occurred to me about the street date and the push on the first week a book is released. It's good to know that.

I have a copy, it was shipped to me (not by B&N btw) and I was shocked to get it. The reason being, I'm planning to get Sins of the Night by Kenyon when it comes out and I went to Borders last week. They had them. But said, we can't sell them to you until the 28th. And I knew that release date was before the anthology.

I've heard its a great story and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks! I know myself that I never even heard of street date before I was really published. Didn't think about it, but once you're published, it's important -- for those who think they can make the lists and Sherrilyn and Rebecca are definitely in that league.


11:05 PM  

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