Diary of a freelance writer: 10 August 2016

So it’s been 3 weeks since my last diary post! What on earth have I been up to in all that time?

For a start, I’ve been publishing on Kindle and planning the book-writing/publishing schedule. Then I got offered a full-time job. And then we went on holiday.

The Kindle books you know about, as I was able to sneak in an extra post here.

The job … went into negotiation, as I really do like to be self-employed and do my own thing when I want to. But it was an offer I had to consider very carefully and, well, we agreed on a compromise, and one that will be quite flexible and revisited once we get into a regular flow.

One of my lovely editing clients has taken me on via a monthly retainer. They’re not getting all of my hours, but they’re getting more than half of them – around 20 hours per week. But I get the retainer whether I do more hours or fewer. We still have to iron out the details, but, well, I already have 5 books in from them, so it looks as thought they’re serious.

This means that I no longer have to trawl for another editing job, which is very good news and frees me up to do more of my own work. And I know I’ve said and done this before, but sometimes, when the work is quiet, I do still go and have a look to see what’s on offer. But I’ll still do any other work that comes in from other existing or previous clients as well.

It also means that I should get more of my own work done as it removes any financial pressure.

I’m delighted, and hope that it works.

The holiday will be detailed over on the lifestyle blog.

Wednesday 20 July 2016
On the first Wednesday of this very long period, I wrote 870 words for a blog post. I completed Module 7 of my fiction writing course. I updated and marketed the Facebook pages. And I applied part of my next study assignment to Scrivener.

Thursday 21 July 2016
The following day I started to update this Words Worth Writing blog, which included a new page, Current Projects. On this page you can see all of the books I’m currently working on in one form or another. The covers are all “working graphics”, unless they already exist. These working graphics don’t necessarily reflect how they will look when they are done, but they provide a nice visual prompt/motivation for me to get on with them.

I updated the Buy My Books and the Buy P&S Books pages.

I also continued to edit a book for lovely-already-boss.

Friday 22 July 2016
Friday was the day I published TWEE TALES on Kindle and NIGHT CRAWLER: A MARCIE CRAIG MYSTERY on CreateSpace. This took up much of the day, but I also managed more editing on the book for lovely-already-boss.

Weekend
That weekend, Monkey Dust played a charity festival over in Castleford on the Saturday, and we split the Sunday between parents in Doncaster and Birmingham.

Monday 25 July 2016
This Monday was the first attempt for me at doing “my work” in the morning, and editing work in the afternoon. I’d moved all of my daily competitions and daily surveys to either never or just once a week, and a lot of the other daily chores went too.

Quite successfully, I managed to publish NIGHT CRAWLER: A MARCIE CRAIG MYSTERY on Kindle, and I wrote the blog about it – in the morning.

And in the afternoon I moved into editing, but was still finishing the job for lovely-already boss.

Tuesday 26 July 2016
Because I’d spent quite a lot of time on my own work just recently, I felt able to give over the whole of this Tuesday morning to finishing the job for lovely-already-boss. I sent the book back to the author, but didn’t get around to raising the invoice yet …

The afternoon section was starting a new edit for lovely-retainer-boss, and his first ever rush-job. He even asked me to delay starting a book I’d already received and to crack on with this one. I’d warned him we were off on our holidays at the end of this week, but I’d do what I could before then.

Wednesday 27 July 2016 – Saturday 30 July 2016
And this was when I seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth …

For the next 3½ days I worked solidly on the rush-job. I managed a full hard-copy edit before we went off on holiday for a week, and also 265 pages of the electronic edit, of 336 pages. Aside from spending half a day arguing with Barnsley Council, who had failed to come for a single recycled bin of ours since 20 May, all of my time was spent trying to get this job done. And because of that, and because I had warned him that we were going away, I didn’t feel guilty about only sending him what I’d done so far. But I did feel guilty about leaving most of the holiday packing and shopping to the poor poet – although I did break off to help a couple of times.

And then we went on holiday.

Saturday 30 July 2016 – Saturday 6 August 2016
The dog came with us but the cats stayed behind with my sister and my dad, who had come up to see the house and to look after the animals while we were away. We went camping in Dorset and came home on the following Saturday morning, arriving back by teatime.

Sunday 7 August 2016 – Tuesday 9 August 2016
We had intended on having 2 weeks holiday but instead, for reasons that may become clear when you read this week’s “homework”, we just had until yesterday, and the poet went back to work today.

Homework w/c 10 August 2016
Today, then, I start as I mean to go on, doing my work in the mornings and lovely-retainer-boss’s work in the afternoons. If I don’t have any work outstanding from him, I’ll carry on with my own work. Other editing jobs will come under my own work from now on.

I have to create my tracker spreadsheet for August and I have to write the diary for the next 7 days. Once this is done, I’ll have more of an idea of my own workload.

My brother and his family are coming over for a 3-week visit from Canada, though, and the diary may be subject to change – as were our holidays. He’s spending some time with our parents in Birmingham, some time in Ireland with family, and some time in Wales. If they get chance, they’ll be coming to see us in the new house, which is why we decided to save a few of our holiday days until then.

From this afternoon, however, I carry on with work on the retainer, finishing the book I started before we went away. I’ll also let him have a schedule of work, as I already have 4 more books from him waiting for my attention.

What are you up to this week?

Two books now available on Kindle

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I’m delighted to announce that not one but TWO of my re-branded, re-packaged and re-published books are now available in the Kindle store on Amazon.

This is one (or two!) of the things I’ve been working on recently.

NIGHT CRAWLER: A MARCIE CRAIG MYSTERY and TWEE TALES are now available, on Kindle, for £2.99 and £1.99 respectively. If you click on the covers, you’ll be taken directly to the Kindle store. But if you’re in a different country, still follow the links and then follow the link on the books’ pages to your own country’s Amazon – it’s usually in the top right of your screen if viewing on a desktop or laptop, and I think there’s a clickable link on other devices too.

I’ve not had much luck selling ebooks on other platforms and I can’t really afford the time to re-format them at the moment. But if you prefer to buy your ebooks on Kobo or Nook or whatever, do let me know and I’ll make it a priority. For the next 90 days, however, they’ll be exclusive to Kindle. I want to see how the KDP Select thing works out before making them available elsewhere as well.

These Kindle versions can no longer be bought with the Diane Parkin byline. However, I’m trialling giving the Kindle versions of the new books away FREE to anyone who buys the paperbacks … I’m just not sure how they work with each other yet, so won’t promise anything until I know it’s working … watch this space for that.

My other decision (as well as the Kobo/Nook/etc) is to only publish hardback books via Lulu in future, then publish the paperback and the ebook on Amazon. The CreateSpace is so much easier to use and there are lots of different styles of cover to manipulate too. (See my “current projects” page for examples – I’ve been working on that as well.)

You can see from the illustrations, on this page and on the “current projects” page, the difference in cover size. Also, my raw Word files didn’t need half as much re-formatting to get them to work as they used to. In fact, they didn’t need any. Perhaps this is something Amazon has worked on.

If you buy any of the books, or if you already have older versions, it would be great if you could leave a review – if Amazon will let you. Thank you in advance.

Diary of a freelance writer: 6 July 2016

I’ve had a very writerly week, which is always a good sign. I’m building the blocks for a 6-part “family saga” in Scrivener. And I started to get the itch again to find a decent criticism group for constructive feedback.

Wednesday 29 June 2016
It started last Wednesday . I wrote 674 words for the blog and did 2 extra chores – publicity and job surfing.

Then I settled down for a couple of hours and managed to write 1,347 words for CATCH THE RAINBOW. (Hurrah!)

The day finished with a couple more hours on a client editing job.

Thursday 30 June 2016
On Thursday morning the first job was, as usual, after the daily and household chores, gig list admin. I also managed an “extra”, studying Module 7 for my fiction writing course.

I wrote another 1,144 words for CATCH THE RAINBOW, then uploaded a load of information for the project to the project folder on Scrivener. This increased the running word-count considerably (almost 4-fold).

As I was tidying all of my old notes on the computer, I stumbled across another novel that was finished a long time ago for the Lichfield Prize, but it never went anywhere. So I copied and pasted that into a new file in Scrivener too.

I finished the editing job and got it sent back to the client.

Friday 1 July 2016
Friday was new diary day! I use an academic year diary and it always starts on 1 July. As it was the first day of the month, my Excel tracker for July was also set-up. This shows what I’m working on for this month, target word-count, actual word-count and which draft I should be working on for which story/article/filler/RTE/etc.

I wrote 286 words for a blog post and wrote a further 1,307 words for CATCH THE RAINBOW.

I feel as though I really need to use Scrivener at every opportunity, so that I get used to the masses of things that it apparently does for you. I’m starting with the basic template and doing everything I need to do myself – splitting it into acts, parts, chapters, whatever; get it to print the headings I want it to print and not the ones that Scrivener wants it to print; changing fonts, page layouts, etc.

Once I feel as though I’ve mastered all of that, then I’ll use the templates that come with the software. I’ve always been one for learning things the long way before learning the short cuts. At least then I know what the short cuts are actually doing for me, and if ever the short cuts don’t work, I also know how to fix things the long way.

With this in mind, I went through all of my novels – in progress and in complete draft form – and transferred them all to Scrivener. I now have the following “complete” novels awaiting revision:

  • CHINA
  • MARDI GRAS (last year’s NaNoWriMo project)

And the following awaiting completion:

  • WHITEHORSE FARM
  • HATTIE’S HOTSHOTS (book 4 of the 6-part “family saga”)
  • plus the makings of 4 other books in the “family saga” collection, of which CATCH THE RAINBOW forms book 6
  • THE BEAST WITHIN: A MARCIE CRAIG MYSTERY (book 2)
  • THE FOOL (Stevie Tarot book 1)

At some point, when I have less work to do (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha), I may also transfer over NIGHT CRAWLER: A MARCIE CRAIG MYSTERY (book 1) to Scrivener.

As it was Friday, I raised an invoice (hurrah!), did the first (ahem!)  “weekly” critical data backup in a LONG while, and I finished transferring photographs on Facebook to the “Days Out 2015” folder.

And I had an early finish!

Weekend
We had the weekend off. So we closed the gate on Friday evening and didn’t open it again until Monday morning. Then we spent the “free” time doing loads of things around the new house – gardening, DIY projects, baking, cooking and unpacking boxes.

Monday 4 July 2016
Monday was another good and busy day. I wrote 509 words for a blog post, and I wrote another 2,350 words for CATCH THE RAINBOW. Then I spent a couple of hours on Scrivener trying to “fix” the formatting so it looks how I want it to look when it exports to Word.

Tuesday 5 July 2016
After the usual daily chores, yesterday’s first job was the new weekly job surf. There weren’t any that I fancied, though, so I didn’t pitch at all.

I wrote 3,497 words for CATCH THE RAINBOW, and then I started a new editing job for a client.

Homework w/c 6 July 2016
This week’s objective will be to keep up the momentum, continue to write CATCH THE RAINBOW, continue to build the world and characters for the 6-book saga, continue to familiarise myself with Scrivener, and finish the current editing job.

I’m also looking at an online writing forum and may upload the next few new stories there to get some feedback. These stories need to be out earning their keep, but it’s always good to get impartial, constructive feedback if possible.

What are you up to this week?

Diary of a freelance writer: 13 April 2016

I can hardly believe that my last diary was on 23 March. We have been sooo busy, running around, again, doing all sorts. We’ve been having work meetings, business meetings, bureaucracy meetings, doctors appointments, hospital appointments. And when I just came to look in my diary to see what else I’ve managed to do in between, my diary was bare! 😮 How often is my diary bare?

I thought I’d have a go at filling in the gaps anyway, so … are you sitting comfortably …?

Wednesday 23 March 2016
On Wednesday 23 March the poet had a business meeting in Sheffield. So I went along for the ride, and took some work to do in the car while I waited. It must have been mostly reading, though, and walking the dog, as I don’t have any record anywhere of what I actually did.

I still managed the usual daily stuff before we went, including (apparently) 1,022 words for a blog post. That would probably be the diary for that day.

Thursday 24 March 2016
On Thursday morning it looks as though, once again, the usual daily chores were completed, including gig list admin.

Friday 25 – Monday 28 March 2016
On Good Friday we packed up the car and went off to Kingsbury in the West Midlands for a camping weekend, our first in our new blow-up tent. Before we went down, we went to visit the poet’s parents, and by tea time, we were pitched and settled but quite tired. We joined the Camping & Caravanning Club … but are still awaiting our membership details. That might be something to chase up.

On the Saturday, we went to visit my parents, thinking we could probably go walking or sightseeing afterwards … but the visit took the entire day. So once again, we were back at base for tea and not a lot else. On the way back, however, we did nip to Go Outdoors on the Kingsbury Road in Birmingham to buy a camp fire …

On Easter Sunday we did go for a walk to see the birds at Kingsbury Water Park in the morning. But by the afternoon we were thinking it might be worth decamping. The weekend had been unseasonally cold with very high winds, and higher winds and lower temperatures were forecast. We’d made the right decision, though. By the time we got back to Yorkshire it was snowing in the Midlands! And while I DO love the snow, I’d prefer not to be camping in it.

Easter Monday was spent recovering, recharging, putting things away and doing the washing.

At some point over the weekend, while we were away, I did write a few pages of reviews – 1 site review (343 words) and a review of the fire (136 words). So it wasn’t completely idle.

Tuesday 29 March – Friday 1 April 2016
For the Easter week following our camping expedition, the poet was off work and so we cracked on with some publishing. The paperback of Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery was published, and the paperback of Twee Tales was repackaged, rebranded and republished, with a brand new cover.

On Friday 1 April, I wrote several blog posts about the publications, including one advising readers that the hardback of Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery was now on general release. For those posts I managed a whopping 332 words.

This week I pitched for 15 editing or proofreading jobs.

Saturday 2 – Sunday 3 April 2016
After a bit of a break, Monkey Dust had a gig in Doncaster Saturday night

Monday 4 – Friday 8 April 2016
Last week was another week that I didn’t put anything in the diary beyond a doctor’s appointment and a nurse’s appointment. I have started to do surveys for cash, though, and I spent quite a lot of time sorting out the admin and payment methods for those. I also updated my daily competitions diary, to make it a bit more streamlined.

However, beyond reading (aka studying or market research), not much writing was done. In fact, NO writing was done … (sigh!)

Weekend
On Saturday Monkey Dust had a cancelled gig because the drummer’s son, who is also a drummer, was performing in his own band’s special record launch event in Doncaster. We went along to cheer him on, especially as he’s the poet’s godson, and had a nice night out.

On Sunday we were visiting again.

Monday 11 April 2016
And so to this week and my diary is back on track.

Monday started with all the usual admin jobs, gig list and chores, but most of the day was then spent editing a book for lovely-already-boss.

Tuesday 12 April 2016
Yesterday was another day of appointments and much of the day was lost. When I got back, though, it was the usual morning admin jobs that were caught up with.

Today I pitched for 9 new editing or proofreading jobs.

Homework w/c 13 April 2016
My work this week will need to be the think/query/write/submit for April, as I’m a little behind. As much of this was already done at the start of last month, though, it will be a smaller job with fewer throwaways, if any.

Here’s the to-do list for the coming week:

  • think/query/write/submit Nov/Oct/Sep/Aug
  • finish current edit for lovely-already-boss
  • #1 short story – MARTHA’S FAVOURITE DOLL (draft 1)
  • #2 short story – THE MYSTERY OF WOOLLEY DAM (draft 2)
  • #3 short story – SHAKING THE TREE (draft 3 – 1st typed draft)
  • continue editing BAGGINS BOTTOM BEST BITS BOOK 3
  • continue transferring to Scrivener CATCH THE RAINBOW

I’m going to need to reinstall the word-count meters …

Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery – paperback now available on Amazon!

lulu coverI promised I’d let you know when Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery (the paperback) was available outside of Lulu.

Amazon were once again first off the blocks within only a few days. It’s available here for £7.99 + delivery if you’re not a Prime customer or if you don’t spend £20.

Or you can get it from Lulu, here, also for £7.99 + p&p.

If you Google your favourite book store, many are showing up as not available yet, but at least they have it.

Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery – now available in PAPERBACK!

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Well, I told you we’d been busy …

I’m delighted to announce that  Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery is now available in paperback – and it’s EARLY too, as I promised it would be ready 3 months after the hardback and that was published on 2 February. So I’m feeling very smug about that.

You can only get hold of this paperback book from Lulu at the moment, where the price is £7.99 + p&p. As soon as it’s reached the other stores, I’ll let everyone know.

I’m retiring the original print copies now and the ebook should be out in about 3 months. Then I’ll retire the old ebook too.

Meanwhile, please follow the link here, and do rate the book if you’ve already bought and read it. Thank you!

Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery – hardback now available everywhere!

lulu coverI promised I’d let you know when Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery (the hardback) was available outside of Lulu.

Amazon were the first off the blocks within only a few days. It’s available here for £15.99 + delivery if you’re not a Prime customer or if you don’t spend £20.

However, it’s also available at the Book Depository, here, for £15.99 plus FREE delivery WORLDWIDE.

Or you can still get it from Lulu, here, for £15.99 + p&p.

Diary of a freelance writer: 10 February 2016

And despite my best efforts, I still failed to come in and post the diary yesterday … Saying that, though, I didn’t even switch the computer on I was that busy. So here we are again, a day late again – but at least it’s not as late as the last one.

Wednesday 3 February 2016
On Wednesday I worked on 2 more republications – the paperback version of the new Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery, and the re-issue of Twee Tales with the new byline. This means that the original Twee Tales paperback will also be retired, just as soon as I’m happy with the cover. The 2 old versions of Night Crawler (paperback and hardback) have already been retired.

The rest of the day was spent on the big client edit I have in and an email off to the client warning them that it’s a bigger job than I thought and that it will take a little longer than originally promised.

I had to knock off work early and take the dog to the vet to be chipped and to have his ears looked at. He has an infection in one of them and I wanted some antibiotic ointment for him.

Thursday 4 February 2016
Thursday morning was mostly admin – gig list admin, daily competitions, daily surveys.

The afternoon was a continuation of the hard-copy client edit.

The poet had band practice Thursday evening, so I dropped him off, went to do the shopping, then collected him again.

Friday 5 February 2016
Again, Friday morning was daily competitions and daily surveys (the surveys I get paid for and am quite enjoying them). And the rest of the day was more of that big edit.

Weekend
Saturday was a do-diddle-day, and Sunday was a walk/research day to Tetney Lock near Cleethorpes for a 4-mile walk.

Monday 8 February 2016
On Monday morning I did some more admin work, gig list admin, daily competitions, daily surveys and I updated the diary.

Then I wrote 793 words – not a lot but with a week almost of admin, publishing and editing, it was nice to get some words written.

The afternoon was spent doing more hard-copy client editing – I did warn them it was a bigger job than I originally thought.

Tuesday 9 February 2016
I have some pro-bono work I need to catch up but just haven’t had chance to fit any in. It was booked in for Tuesday, but I just did more editing as I want to get that job shifted and invoiced.

Aside from admin stuff, I did also manage another 685 words on a blog post.

Homework w/c 10 February 2016
I suppose my main objective this week is to catch up on work and get back into my schedule. I need to finish that client edit then I have another client edit to start.

I have that pro-bono work to catch up with and I think we have a meeting next Wednesday evening.

And I’m currently percolating 2 short stories – 1 is planned out, the other has the main character, who just happens to be one of Marcie Craig’s neighbours, but that’s all so far.

I have the diary to do for the coming week. That should give me more idea of if I’ll catch up with the schedule or not.

Also, I’m not happy with the cover for the new Twee Tales, so I have to choose another picture for that. The paperback of the new Night Crawler is ready to go, though, and I also have copies of books to send off for legal deposit.

Finally, my dad’s coming for a few days, so I don’t want to be solidly busy while he’s here.

What are you up to this week?

Diary of a freelance writer: 3 February 2016

What a very busy week I had last week, publishing a new book on Tuesday and then sending another 2 paperbacks off to print. Sorry for not doing this last week. I’ll do last week’s today, then this week’s on Wednesday.

Wednesday 27 January 2016
Wednesday was an ordinary writing day, where I wrote 600 words on 2 projects and then spent much of the day doing admin or “thinking” about writing.

Thursday 28 January 2016
Thursday morning I did more admin work, for the gig list, for the diary. I wrote 294 words, and I printed off a new editing job.

A hair appointment shortened the day a little, so I didn’t do as much of the editing as I hoped I would.

Friday 23 January 2016
On Friday I did more admin but I cracked on with the editing job, as I’d like the money before the end of the month if possible.

A dental appointment mid-afternoon broke the day in 2, and I didn’t do much else when I came back, other than reading work.

Weekend
On Saturday we visited my parents and on the way home we stopped off at Kingsbury Water Park for our weekly walk. On Sunday it was the poet’s mother’s birthday, so we popped over to see his parents and did our shopping on the way back. We didn’t do much else research/writing-wise.

Monday 1 February 2016
Monday consisted mostly of new month admin. I fell short of my 20,000-word writing target by more than 5,000 words, due mostly to the editing work I’ve been doing. But I set my new month’s writing target at 21,000 words and hope to do much better this time.

First job of the day was gig list admin, then I wrote 319 words for a blog post. In the afternoon I finished a short story and sent it off to market, adding another 1,400 words to the target.

Once that had gone, I did more work on the editing job and received a new job in from lovely-already-boss.

Tuesday 2 February 2016
Tuesday was a very exciting day as my first novel, Night Crawler, by Diane Parkin was repackaged and republished as Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery by Diane Wordsworth. And Tuesday was publication day. This took up most of the day, with the associated press and PR work that goes with it. I still have to update my “buy my books” pages, but both blogs, Facebook and the website were all updated with the new book.

I wrote 924 words over both blogs and the news page on the website, and I continued with the edit.

Homework w/c 3 February 2016
The new week was to begin with more publishing work, sorting out 2 more books to be republished and repackaged as paperbacks.

I had that big edit to finish and the new edit to start, plus proofreading of another client project.

I also want to do more on the fiction writing course.

What are you up to this week?

*RE*PUBLICATION DAY – Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery

lulu coverWe’re a few days late – the book was due out on Friday, but we had some cover issues – but here it is, finally. Night Crawler, republished and repackaged as Night Crawler: a Marcie Craig mystery by Diane Wordsworth.

I’m retiring the original print copies now and the paperback should be out in about 3 months. Then I’ll retire the ebooks, and the new ebooks will follow.

You can only get hold of this hardback book from Lulu at the moment, where the price is £15.99 + p&p. As soon as it’s reached the other stores, I’ll let everyone know.

Meanwhile, please follow the link here, and do rate the book if you’ve already bought and read it. Thank you!