Publishing Challenge! Chapter 4

Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay

See Chapter 3 here

Chapter 4

I missed blogging about the publishing challenge last week because last Monday was a very busy day. I worked solidly on client work and didn’t finish until 10pm. Apologies for that. This doesn’t mean that I’ve been idle, though. The publishing challenge is still on track. I just didn’t have chance to write about any of it.

Publication Day!
Last Monday a new Wordsworth Short was published.

The Mystery of Woolley Dam is a short story that two fiction editors really liked, but it was kyboshed by the magazine editors. So I published it myself in Twee Tales Twee, and now it’s available as a standalone. One day in the future, it will be added to another collection.

Today is also publication day, this time for the second short story in the short Tarot tales collection, The Ace of Cups. This series is made up of a number of standalone short stories that are linked together. It’s not a serial, but a series.

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An executive decision
On Wednesday morning last week, I made an executive decision to put Words Worth Reading on hold. I have so much work to do already that I’m struggling to write enough new material in time, including two books I’m halfway through ghostwriting.

I created Words Worth Reading so I had a reason for writing new fiction – new short stories, new series episodes, new novellas and, ultimately, new novels. However, I don’t have enough new material in stock to sufficiently plan ahead.

This means I’m constantly working up against the clock and shifting jobs around to try and fit the new stuff in. And that means I’m not leaving the new material long enough to cool, which results in stories that don’t have much depth.

I like to have my publications ready more than 10 days in advance, to give some of the sites time to add a pre-order button. The WWR material just kept being pushed further and further up against the wire until I was finalising it on a Friday for publication the following Monday – 3 days later.

This was making me feel rushed and frustrated, and that made me grumpy too. AND I’ve been trying to write short stories in my sleep. I’ve been thinking of shelving it for a couple of weeks, so it wasn’t a huge surprise, or not to me at any rate. I’ll come back to it when I have more time – or at least more stock already finalised.

I’m still going to write topical material, and I’m still going to write new novellas, novels and books. But I’m going to target the short material at least to the two paying markets I’ve been successful with. If it’s rejected, I can still use it, but any feedback will be useful and appreciated.

I went through and removed everything related to WWR2 from both the project manager and the publication schedule, and I moved two short stories up in the pecking order: Martha’s Favourite Doll and The Complete Angler.

I replaced the novella The Fool with another collection, Flash Fiction: another five very short stories (aka Flash Fiction 2). And I moved Project Management for Writers: Gate 2 to the end of March, tentatively replacing that one with the short story I started to work on this week, as it’s too late for the weekly magazines and it won’t be topical next year.

Then I went in and updated my word-count log spreadsheet, removing the stories I haven’t written yet and replacing them with stories I’ll definitely have more time to write.

More covers
Last week I created a new cover for the next volume in the flash fiction series, and I found a load of new artwork that I want to use to illustrate the Twee Tales collections. Then I made a series of new covers for these collections.

The old ones are looking a bit dated and it’s easy enough to change the covers, but because I credit the cover images, I need to update the interiors as well. So these won’t be high up on the list until I have some extra time to dedicate to them.

At the weekend, I found an entire file for Diary of a Cool Cat. This is a new whole book that I’d forgotten I’d collated. And I didn’t have a cover for it yet… which might be one reason I’d forgotten about it. The first thing I did was go and find a suitable picture of a cat, and then I made the cover.

Back on it
So while I may have been absent, I’m still on it and I’m back up to speed again now.

Over to you…

Do you have any questions so far? How is your publishing challenge going so far?

Publishing Challenge: out in 2023