Reading Habits of The Dancing Writer

Reading Habits of The Dancing Writer

Zach Chop nominated me to discuss my reading habits, which I am more than happy to do, especially because this blog has been rather empty lately in my sad attempt to find some sort of balance in my life.

Onward!

The Rules:

The rules are simple, answer a bunch of questions about your reading habits and then nominate a bunch of people to do the same. Don’t forget to tag the person who nominated you! 

OK! And now for the questions:

  1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next? That’s a super good question, because I’m not the most organized person in the world. In fact, organization isn’t even in my language. Honestly, the only way I would decide is to go with whatever book I’m feeling at that time. If I want an edgy YA book, I’ll read that first. If I’m in the mood for some fantasy, I’ll go toward that. I always get in these weird reading kicks where I only want to read a certain type of book, and I’m not interested in anything else. Right now I haven’t *gasp!* been reading for fun since I started my senior thesis class, have been tortured by work, and I’m now studying to be a fitness trainer, which is loads of reading in itself–one manual in exercise science and one manual in ACE’s IFT model, for a whopping total of over 1,000 pages! But I do have a HUGE TBR list waiting on my Kindle from all the free book deals I’ve snatched off Amazon. I need someone to hand me a whopping dose of time. I haven’t even been a good author lately!
  2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or commit?
    I oftentimes commit, especially because I did buy the book. But there are rare cases where the book is just too boring that I simply can’t continue. I am THE WORST when it comes to coping with boredom. And it’s not even that I made a conscious decision to stop reading it. I just put it down when I feel like taking a break from reading–and I don’t ever return to the book and don’t really care to.
  3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close yet so far away on your GoodReads challenge. Do you quit or commit? I’ve never done the GoodReads challenge. I’m just not interested. I don’t want to read books for the sake of meeting some intangible goal of reading ‘x’ amount of books in ‘x’ amount of time. I’d rather read books at my own pace and enjoy the experience of reading as well as the book. Heck, I’ve never even tried any writing challenges, like NaNo.
  4. The covers of a series you love DO. NOT. MATCH. How do you cope? I don’t know if I’ve ever come across a series of books with covers that don’t have a pattern, so I honestly can’t say how I’d feel. I might be bothered, just because patterned book covers can make it easy to determine the order of a series, but, otherwise, I can’t really know how I’d react unless I actually come across it one of these days.
  5. Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings? My best author/buddy/friend/whatever from Canada. Her and I have VERY similar dislikes when it comes to books, so I rant to her when I come across a blatantly poor book and wonder why, even among authors, it’s being hailed as some remarkable piece of literature. I’ve learned over my short time as an author that it’s just best to rant in private about a book you strongly dislike, instead of blogging about why you hate a particular book.
  6. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a summary on GoodReads? Cry in frustration?
    Uh…I don’t re-read. I just continue the next book in the series. If I truly loved the first book, then it’s almost impossible for me to forget what happened. In fact, there are several sequels I need to read that came out a few years ago! But I can still recall some major events from their predecessors.
  7. You don’t want ANYONE borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people “nope” when they ask? I primarily read on my Kindle, so I don’t have this problem. But I have let people borrow my books in the past, so there really is no straight answer for this. I really don’t know how I’d politely tell someone no since I don’t have an inclination to not let people borrow my books.
  8. You’ve picked up and put down five different books in the past month. How do you get over the reading slump? I don’t have reading slumps. I have periods where I don’t read, but that’s often because I have to prioritize other types of reading over pleasure reading.
  9. There are so many new books coming out that you are dying to read! How many do you actually buy?
    Depends on how much money I have. Since I’m using a great deal of my money to pay off my ACE certification course, I’ve been having to trawl through the free books on Amazon, so I’ve been swiping those up in copious amounts. Otherwise, I might buy two at a time. Usually I just try to buy one at a time so as to not have a huge TBR list, which I am failing miserably with right now.
  10. After you’ve bought a new book you want to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf until you actually read them? I try to get to it immediately after I’ve bought it so it won’t sit ten million years on my bookshelf or Kindle. I don’t like to keep books waiting for too long, unless I have no choice, like right now.

All righty. Here are my nominees:

Mariah E. Wilson

S.A. Starcevic

Ryan Attard

(I have been so inactive in the blogosphere lately, so I really can’t fairly choose any more people.)

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Changing the Focus of My Blog

Changing the Focus of My Blog

I have decided to completely overhaul this blog. I don’t want to write about publishing anymore. While publishing is of great interest to me, I am becoming more in tune with the secularist humanist part of myself, and I want this blog to reflect that. The other day Ky Grabowski commended me on a certain post I had written on Tumblr, revealing very personal information about myself that only the Tumblr community thus far knows. This has always been an internal battle for me that I have never, ever talked to anyone about, mostly because people, even my friends, would look at me as if I’ve grown three heads. I just never had a name to it until now. It’s just something that is practically invisible in our society, because many people don’t understand it–yes, I am giving you a teaser. My own family doesn’t even know about this, fiance included. I’m not sure how he would react if I ever told him. That’s something I’m going to have to decide in time. (And, no, this does not mean I plan to leave him. Far from it. Discovering this about myself has made me love him so much more now that I understand, because now I know how really blessed I am to have someone like him.) This information isn’t anything bad. It was just easy to reveal this on my Tumblr, because the Tumblr community is so incredibly diverse and full of young people so much more open-minded than anyone has ever been, so I knew I would receive support from this. This isn’t to say I won’t receive the same support on this blog. I know I will, but WordPress is filled with SEO tags, and while you can find Tumblr posts through Google search, Tumblr isn’t about SEO tags.

But Ky made me think when she commended me for revealing that information. I spent roughly an entire day discussing this revelation on my Tumblr blog. Plenty of people messaged me thanking me, because what I revealed has helped them out, too. However, my Tumblr blog is about writing advice, and while plenty of people have followed me based on this information, my Tumblr blog primarily needs to concern itself with writing. Even so, I will constantly remind my followers, and anyone in the Tumblr community, that they can ask me questions in regards to the thing I revealed about myself, and even mental illness, as I do have bipolar disorder. And every so often I may do a post about it, trying to connect it to writing somehow, especially because the Tumblr community is there to connect with others, and a lot of them find Tumblr a comfort. I don’t want to deprive anyone of that comfort.

The Dali Lama is my role model, second to my own dad. My mom is my role model for her sense of humor. 😛 Like mother like daughter, as they say!

Therefore, I want to write blog posts that help people who stumble across this blog through Google or Tumblr or anything else connected to my social media. I strive to live a lifestyle like the Dali Lama. I hope that as I grow older, I will become mature enough to be able to calm down in order to make it much easier to live his lifestyle. For now, I am quite young, can be combative, and a little reckless with my opinions. I find a lot of posts on Tumblr that I have always wanted to comment on, but because of the nature of my blog, I often keep myself from doing so, not out of controversy, but out of the idea that my blog isn’t about these things I want to re-blog. I think this blog will be the perfect place to talk about what I find.

Overall, this will be the focus of my blog: providing a secularist humanist stance on an issue that I think needs to be addressed in order to help people that may be struggling with this issue but cannot get help, whether it’s because of shame, societal pressure, cultural pressure, and so on and so forth.

I have already teased you, but let me leave you with a little picture. If you understand what this picture means, then you’ll understand what my blog post is going to be. I’m going to write it today but queue it for midnight…so tomorrow or what will be today for people who live in the future, like Ryan Attard. I will also reveal the subject matter of my next book, and the house that I am dying to submit it to.

 

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The Advantages of the Indie Press, Infomercial Style

The Advantages of the Indie Press, Infomercial Style

.1Is your book getting rejected because it’s not mainstream enough? Are agents and editors telling you there is no market for it? Is your spouse giving you flack because your scribblings have yet to make money? Well, I have the solution for you.

No longer will you have to use your rejected manuscript to wipe away your tears after using those thousands of rejection slips to wallpaper your room, because it’s in desperate need of re-decorating, and you can neither afford paint nor wallpaper. No longer will you have to flush your money down the toilet because you have no idea what to do with the dang thing, and can’t even get yourself to buy your own book on Amazon. And, of course, you will no longer have to wake up in the morning with a stranger in your bed, wondering what the heck just happened, when, really, you had too much to drink last night and decided to go to a bar….for some reason. I mean, you have almost as much liquor in your house as you do rejection slips.

But it is called the indie press, and it is here to save you–and your starving pets because you have had to eat their food since you can’t afford human food. I mean, you work a freaking 9-5 job! But you’re too busy printing out your rejection slips, wasting all your money on paper and ink, to afford much else. Also, you’ll occasionally browse the internet for vices to ease your heartache, only for your computer to catch a million viruses; then you have to hire someone to operate on your computer, which sinks you into thousands of dollars in medical expenses that you have tried to take out loans for, but your credit sucks. So then you’re eating your starving pets’ food, working a 9-5 job, living underneath your desk in an alley, while looking for the perfect opportunity to write and print your rejection slips so some hobo doesn’t come along and steal your computer for the illegal practice of computer trafficking, all the while papering the walls of your alley with your rejection slips that then send you into a bar, where you wind up sharing your battered computer chair with a stranger. Oh, I didn’t tell you? You don’t actually have your own room. Or live in a house. Or have your own bed.      

So what can an indie press do for you? (An indie press allows niche books to become published into reality, or books whose genres are waning, like dystopian.)

It will make your grandma smile, although you probably don’t want her reading your book because she’s the antagonist, and you kiuntitled (13)ll her off for not buying that pack of Pokémon cards you wanted for your sixth birthday. Also, I don’t think you want anyone in your family buying it, because you kill them off George-RR-Martin style for allowing you to live in an alley in the first place instead of letting you live safely in a cozy house, even though you work a 9-5 job as a secretary who sets appointments for an aging man who constantly forgets who you are, then fires you, then hires you again when you fill out a job application–AGAIN–while going through the same interview–AGAIN.

An indie press will allow people outside of the circle of your friends and family to buy your book. Finally that hobo trying to steal your computer will have your blood, sweat, and tears in his hands. And he will be enjoying it–with a plum! Uh…aplomb! Why does a hobo have your book? Because instead of filling his life with booze like you do, he likes to go to the local library and enjoy a good read. Plus, he lives in a golden cardboard box.

Your contract will give you a certain amount of print books you don’t have to buy (well, you don’t have to do this at a big house, either, but with self-publishing you do)! Now you can sling these books at all your high school enemies in the hopes of severing their heads for ever doubting your writing prowess. And when you need more books to sever more heads, you’ll get a discount! A great discount! You have an infinite arsenal of books at your hands.

Do you know what else you can do with those print books? GOODREADS! Now all of those strangers who have ended up in your computer chair can enter to win your book–as well as all those other people who like to read.

AND EXPOSURE! EXPOSURE! EXPOSURE! THAT’S WHAT THESE FREE PRINT BOOKS ARE FOR! So it might be a good idea to hold off on severing the heads of your enemies for the time being.

GREAT ROYALTIES! There may be no advance, but who cares, not when you’re getting 50% or more. Now you and your hobo can go out on a date to Red Lobster, while the hobo gushes about how much he loves your book, while you sit back eating your filet mignon, wondering why you ever resorted to dog food to begin with. Oh, and you can afford to make your pets not starve. And now you’re in a home, writing your next book without sobbing over the thousands of rejection slips that once filled your alley wall, and wasting so much ink and paper and paying for subscriptions on sites your mother would flay you for. You’re no Stephen King. You’re not even a mid-list author. But your book is in the hands of strangers, people who could potentially be serial killers and wall street bankers.

And marketing! It’s not the budget of a big house, but now you can use your royalties to buy chainsaws, and in your spare time, you can lob off the heads of your enemies and save your paperbacks for the good of mankind. Also, you can re-establish your relationship with your brother, whom you stabbed in the eye with a pen when you were seven because he said your writing sucked. You can also concentrate on writing, while pulling the muscles in your fingers because you now have too much time to write, which then lands you in the hospital with some strange finger disease, wracking up doctor’s bill that you can finally afford–well, at least to pay for the splints the doctor had to put on your fingers.

INTERVIEWS! Now you can let everyone know that you didn’t start potty training until you were ten years old. You can also let the world know that your dad would disappear for days, each time coming back with a new woman you had to call mom. That can be your platform! “See, I have survived the neglect of parents, and you can, too!”

ARCs, ones you didn’t have to format yourself, or pay someone to format, or have to send out yourself, meticulously crawling through sites that leave viruses on your computer, hoping to find that one person who will give your book a five-star rating. You can now just sit your pretty butt back (you used your royalties to buy some nice undies at Victoria’s Secret), and watch the ratings roll in. Oh, sure, you might have a momentary blip in sales, but those reviews will pay off in the end, and you can buy more expensive panties!

QUALITY CONTROL! With the right house, you know your book is receiving the best breast milk possible so it can grow up into an amazing person who gets a degree at Harvard that will earn it–and you–millions! You will never have to wonder if the editor you paid for actually sucks, and is simply giving you suggestions because she wants to use your money to buy those Twilight blu-rays she’s been wanting for months. You’ll know your book is in the hands of experts who know what the crap they’re doing, because these people actually give a monkey’s hiney about your book! They love it, and they want it, and you, to be freaking awesome!

FRIGGIN’ COVER ART! You actually get to team up with your publisher and cover artist to create a cover all parties are satisfied with. So now your dream cover of an old man singing in a tree outside of your bedroom when you were a kid can become a reality. With a big press, they could slap author Ryan Attard on the cover with tentacles coming out of his mouth, and you would have no say! Your book doesn’t even have anything to do with Ryan or octopi, but apparently there’s a market for it!

TRANSPARECNY! You get to know everything, from your sales, to the amount of money you’re making, to where the sales of your books are coming from, to your publisher’s plans to better the house, to the marketing plan, to how many people your publisher’s brother killed to land him in jail, to how many times his wife has cheated on him, to his kids’ abysmal grades because he’s too busying being awesome, and to everything! EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING! Even that one time he tried to kill his best friend for stealing his cookies, and then planted his almost-murder on his kindergarten sweetheart, landing her in timeout. Luckily for you, she became pregnant in the third grade from your cookie-stealing best friend, and both of them had to drop out of school and live in a cardboard box to support their pathetic child family of three.

COMMUNITY! You can become best friends with all the authors of that house, exchange phone numbers, stay up all night giggling about boys–including Ryan–and have slumber parties where, instead of pillows, you beat each other’s heads with your books. But, really, you guys can support each other because the house isn’t too large that you don’t even know what author wrote that dinosaur erotica, because at this house, you will know. Oh, you will know. So you can increase exposure by supporting one another, whether it be helping you kidnap that hobo who doesn’t want anything to do with you anymore because you no longer live in his alley, or helping Ryan shave hisimages (2) dad’s hairy back, because it’s thicker than the gases surrounding Jupiter! (But, seriously, the community at a small press is great, because they can potentially stop you from entering child beauty pageants you’re too old for.)

Overall, an indie press can pick up a book that it believes in that a big press has no idea what to do with! There is a market for everything, but, really, no one knows anything about marketing, not even marketing experts. I mean, after all, publishers had no clue that dinosaur erotica could make thousands of dollars!

So get one indie house for the price of three months of waiting! And wait! There’s more. You can get another indie house for the price of waiting one month. Oh, and there’s more! You can’t forget the all-important third offer. Get two indie houses, and you can see two books out in one year, quality and all!