Quick milestones:

  • my first ever guest blog post;
  • a tentative foray into the Twittersphere; AND
  • the completion of my latest novel (!!), The Rusalka Virus, a fantasy set in an alternate version of 19th century Russia.

More specifics for those interested, after the click-through.

General Milestones

It has been an eventful week and I’ve hit a few milestones along the way. It seemed worth sharing:

  • My first ever guest blog post, on Shelley Hitz’s Self-Publishing Coach website: it’s basically about the try before you buy experiment, and you can check it out here. Shelley is really great, proactive and responsive. If you’re thinking of going the self-publishing route, her site is a treasure trove of resources, tips and information.
  • My first fifteen followers on Twitter–if any of you are reading this, thanks for checking out the blog! And for those who found this blog first, do feel free to swell those numbers by adding @writekatanthony on your twitter account. I occasionally tweet stuff from here, but often it’s a separate feed of info. It’s also a good place to chat and say hello, if you’re so inclined! I do chafe a little at the 160 character limit (or whatever it is–it’s too short), but I’m sure I’ll adjust.

The Progress of the Experiment

For those who have been following so far, you can skip this paragraph and head to the point form. For anyone coming across this page for the first time, I’m offering a free download of my novel (a Regency Romance) and am asking that you buy it if you like it. Basically, I’m trying to determine whether our valuation of creative works has to do with gaining access to them, and once gained, we no longer value the works intrinsically (access-based valuation) or whether it is content-based, such that we’re willing to pay if we enjoyed the content of the work (content-based valuation). Here are my updates:

  • The biggest challenge so far has been getting people to come and check out the site. The site stats have been dismally low, and while I expected at least a small spike above my usual occasional visitor on the day that my guest blog went out, and was tweeted multiple times throughout the day to Shelley’s 1K+ followers, my site stats were higher than average, but did not exceed my so-far all-time high of page views per day. Given that, the next stat is actually pretty good.
  • So far, I’ve sold two copies of An Immodest Proposal. This is great, though I suspect that both of the purchases might have been made by friends of mine. It’s still valid if they valued the works, but so far, the wider world of the internet continues to cast its blank and pitiless gaze elsewhere.
  • I have approached a couple of review sites with the link and a brief explanation of my project. So far, I haven’t heard back from them…
  • Bottom line: I need to figure out how to  get more people to the site, so that a subset of those can click through to the download and actually save the file somewhere. A subset of them will read it, and presumably only a subset of those will like it enough to pay the $3. But without the spike in traffic, the experiment will, alas, be in no way determinative. I’m working on other methods of getting the word out. This is a good way to experiment with different methods and variables to see what works and what doesn’t. By the same token, if it takes time to build the momentum, that’s okay. I’m not in a big hurry.

Other Milestones:

  • I FINISHED MY NOVEL!! (I hope you’ll pardon the “shouting” but this is exciting news for me!) I wrote the final scene last night.
  • I’ve been working on The Rusalka Virus (this is the working title–I’m also toying with The Fire Rusalka though it’s not quite accurate. But I feel like the “virus” stuff makes it sound like a sf or contemporary biological weapons thriller rather than a fantasy set in an alternate version of the Russian Empire in the 19th century) for a number of years now. Law school meant that I haven’t had a lot of time to write or edit it for the past couple of years. Still, it rings in at about 550 pages right now, so my next step will be getting out the scissors and snipping away at it. Likely, I’ll be posting more on this in the weeks to come.
  • My process here involved writing to the end of the showdown for the first draft. I hadn’t written the denouement because I knew that the rest of the book needed tweaks and rewrites, and denouement arises out of what has come before–not just the showdown, but also all the previous relationships and setups that have been developing across the length of the novel. These past months, I’ve been working on the rewrites in my spare time. This involved trying to figure out why some character arcs weren’t working or just dropped off, and so on. I think I’ve solved those problems–which in turn strengthened the showdown via the rewrites and gave rise to the denouement as it stands. I wrote the final words of the final scene last night. Hooray!

Coming Projects

  • Edits on The Rusalka Virus (henceforth: TRV)–snip snip snip. And prose cleanups.
  • I’ve been collecting short story ideas for a while now. July and August are Camp NaNoWriMo months. I’m thinking of wading into the madness in August in order to write up a few of my short story ideas. I don’t know if that’ll work, but it might be a fun side project–as, if, and when I have the time.
  • Marketing of The Experiment.
  • And, of course, further reflections on what is the best route for me to take for TRV: traditional pub, e-pub or self-pub. I’m thinking one of the latter two, but we shall see… I’ll keep you posted!

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*Hearts and Bones= the title of a Paul Simon song; my own rhyming slang coinage for “Milestones”; and the new name of my blog column celebrating milestones of various sorts.

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