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2018 Goals

  • Regularly write to my Grandma in Denmark.
  • Call my moms monthly.
  • Walk the dog three times a week.
  • Cook and eat better.
  • Re-institute the cleaning plan.
  • Work on my writing career--such as it is.
  • Reduce body fat and maintain current weight.
  • Take dance lessons with DH.
  • Do more crafts!
  • Take ballet and/or ice skating lessons.
  • Attend more STARS games.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Jen Through the Looking Glass...


The process of publishing six (and more) books gets exponentially more task-riddled as the days go by. I now have a  FIVE-PAGE TO-DO list, because for most of what I have to do, I have to do for six books.

When I became an independently published author back in November of 2017, I did so by publishing directly with major retailers where I could and using two aggregators (virtual distributors for all intents and purposes) for the the ones I couldn't, as well as for the dozen or so smaller retailers.

I had one file for everybody--meaning that purchasing the next book was a two- or three-click process rather than a one-click endeavor. At the time, I just needed to get the books out into the world, and I did that. The rest had to wait for the new year.

Well, it's the new year and it's time to do the nitty gritty grunt work of creating unique files for each book for each retailer so that if you bought your book for the Kindle, the link at the end of the excerpt of the next book is going to take you directly to that book's purchase page in Amazon. Same for iBooks, Kobo, Nook... Well, you get the picture. Six books, six retailers, plus a generic link for miscellaneous use... You can see that it's quite a project.

Back in November, I used an aggregator to get my books into Barnes & Noble because the aggregator offers pre-sales and Barnes & Noble doesn't when publishing directly through them. Fast forward to January, and I want to publish the live books directly so that as much of the royalties go into my pocket as possible. Well, shoot-- I didn't even think that doing so was going to render the original purchase pages/links (through the aggregator) unavailable because Barnes & Noble was going to generate a its own new purchase pages/links. Add a new task to the list: updating all Barnes & Noble links.

I'll have to update links again when I'm able to upload to the Apple Store directly... *sigh*

Of course, once I get all of this figured out and done, it'll be one book at a time and much less daunting.

As I mentioned a post or two ago, I may be called upon to talk about aggregators vs. distributors to my writing group... I think I'll call it "To Aggregate or Not To Aggregate, That Is The Question..." Anyway, I think the specific issue of transitioning books and the hassle it causes needs to be a talking point for sure.

Maybe there's an easier way, maybe I'm making things way more complicated than they should be, but...

I didn't pay much attention to this stuff when it may or may not have been discussed in front of me. It's not fair now for me to constantly beleaguer my friends for information. So I'm plodding through the best I know how, learning as I go. But maybe that's better. I'll certainly remember how to get things done!

On a more exciting note, I get to attend my writers group meeting for the first time in four months. I'm so excited to see my chapter mates and especially my writer besties. I published all my books during that absence, so I get to return as a published author. I get these really cool jumbo pencils, one to celebrate each book. I get charms for writing min 25 pages each month, as well as a charm for completing a book. I can't wait. It's going to be so fun.

Hope your weekend will be as fun as mine--!!

See you Monday.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I wanted to sell directly through Google Play, WHY?



There's a definite learning curve to this retailer platform. But Google Play could be a lucrative platform and one I need to figure out. It doesn't appear that either of the major publishing aggregators (Smashwords or Draft2Digital) is able to feed books into the Google Play store at this point, although one of them claimed to. But even if they did, it behooves me to not to use aggregators when I don't have to because I get a bigger piece of the profit pie.

Figuring this platform out sooner rather than later would be better. But as I mentioned last week, January is a bit busy. It's gonna be a month or so until I have more time to get a handle on things. My writing group has started a new program and I might be on the schedule to present a program on where and how to self publish in terms of retailers vs. aggregators. I better know my stuff, huh? Luckily, I won't be called upon for a few more months yet.

Hope you're having a good week. :0)





Monday, January 15, 2018

My birthday came early!!


My beautiful DD and her friend went to a local Jamba Juice to meet former STARS player Marty Turco and current player Devin Shore. The Stars were giving out free stuff and the girls brought me home some goodies! LOOK!

A Youth Large Jamie Benn jersey!! And, yes, it fits. :0)


A Stars pennant!

And some smaller goods...

And then they saw THIS at Target...

I've been wanting the Stars faux-LEGO zamboni for a while and the girls bought this for me too.

I am blessed.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Hitting the ground running...why is this my life?


For the last five years, I've run one of my writing group's contests. Things ramp up in the middle of January.

For the last two years, I've been in some phase of getting books written or ready for publication.

At my day job, January is always hectic because it's the start of the new year and there are things that need to happen not only as a business, but as an employer.

And then there's fireworks season to wrap up.

Several times, I've been neck deep in proofreading jobs. Not this year, though, thank goodness. Although I do have a couple on the books...

I'm not keen on the beginning of my new year being quite so crazy, but what can I do?

I've tendered my resignation as contest coordinator, effective as soon as this year's contest is complete--sometime in June.

The writing/publishing thing is just a matter of timing. I'm the boss there, so I can decide if I'm taking an extra long holiday or not. But now that the first five books are out in the world, I don't think I'll have that level work going on at any given time anymore. That's kind of a mixed blessing though, yeah?

Unless I get fired or quit, there will always be the day job. And my tasks are generally spread throughout the month, so it's not really terrible.

I guess all I can do is roll with punches!

Hope your new year is starting off well.





Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New collection...?


No, not really.

During my whirlwind Christmas shopping trips this season, I saw two separate sets of salt and pepper shakers that tickled my fancy.

I bought the first one almost immediately because I couldn't stop thinking about them as I was walking through the store after I'd seen them.

I actually went back to the store (a different one from the first, however) to buy the second set because, well, why not? They were cute and aside from being salt and pepper shakers, are of things I actually do have a collection of.

So what are these shakers of which I speak?


I loved these little barn shakers from the moment I spied them.
They're complimentary to my Charles Wysocki collector plates. :0)

Dala Horse shakers! Are they not super cute??

I'm really not interested in starting a collection of shakers, but if see others that hit my buttons as much as these two sets do, I'll probably break down now that I've already gone there.

Anyone else collect shakers? Feel free to share any other collections you might have.


Jen's Books

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Jen FitzGerald
Thanks for stopping by one of my little corners of the world wide web. So, a little about me...My husband and I have been married for twenty years and we have three adult children although our youngest is still in high school. We've lived in Texas for fifteen years and for the rest of the story, click here.
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Jen's Glossary of Terms

  • DH = my husband
  • my Brown Eyed Girl = my oldest daughter
  • DD = my Darling Daughter (the younger one)
  • Sonshine or Marching Band Boy = my son
  • NT = the North Texas chapter of RWA
  • RWA = Romance Writers of America