Going wide with Draft2Digital

Hello WordPress writers and readers!

How goes your December? What fun things do you have planned?

This is the placeholder cover, and I love the art by my friend Heather, but I don’t love the design. That will be changing in the next 10 days or so!

I spoke with graphic designer yesterday who will make my book cover way prettier and more professional than it looks now. Yay! I have a different idea of eBooks versus actual books in terms of how they operate and what readers expect.

Since I’m not personally fond of eBooks, I’m not devoting a ton of attention to the formatting for that this time around. I wanted to get it “up and out” but to focus more on the paperback, since that’s what I tend to idolize on my own shelves.

That said, it is fun to mark the milestone of completing the Draft2Digital launch, opening the distribution of my eBook to plaforms outside of Amazon. If you’re curious, I’m pricing these pretty low and there’s a 20% first week launch deal on D2D. Books for the cost of a latte. Don’t you love the digital era?

The indie publishing journey is proving to be fascinating, challenging and invigorating. To make a product from start to finish, hiring editors, artists, and cover designers along with recruiting an advance reader team… it’s an accomplishment worth celebrating.

So off I go for an annual “bonfire of the brushpile” trip with hubby for the weekend. Where I may take a few pages of the last draft as kindling for the fire.

Be well and enjoy whatever projects are brewing for you!

Cristy

P.S. If you are curious about the book and want a $3 pdf version, you can get it directly from my website. Thank you for supporting indie authors!

Celebrating Small Wins – Writing Clarifies Thinking

I posted a little “100 word story” on LinkedIn last week on celebrating small wins. It reminded me how as writers, we almost never know how our short posts or observations will resonate with readers. Sometimes a surprising thing will get a lot of likes. On the other hand, something we wrote that we “felt” as profound is met with crickets

This is why blogging can be such a great practice for testing new material as we keep writing on longer topics. For one, we don’t know the algorithms that social media uses. In fact, these algorithms are always changing. So it’s possible (and likely) our people didn’t even see the post. Another reason is that time of day and time of week determines when our readers are most available. How would we even know that if we didn’t try different posting schedules? I love it that WordPress has taken my 750+ posts in the last 4 years and has a dashboard for when people are most likely to read. How fascinating!

As we work on larger projects like books, more complex than blog posts, we will inevitably run into roadblocks. I hit a big one this past week as I thought I would get to the “close to final” version ready for proofreading. At first I got very frustrated because it meant I would miss an “internal” deadline I had set for sending it to my advance reader group and my editor. Then I felt grateful as I realized how writing (and particularly editing) can clarify our thinking.

For a 3 minute video on this topic, click here.

I don’t want to send out a book with a section that isn’t working for me. If it doesn’t work for me, it certainly won’t work for my readers. So while the self-imposed timeline was not met, the more important thing is that I feel the writing is in integrity with what I think and believe (especially for nonfiction).

This will not be my only book. I’m starting to see this one as the cork on the champagne bottle. There’s bubbling stuff in there that I want to serve up, both fiction and non-fiction. This is not my magnum opus, but rather a place marker along the writing journey.

Care to share your small wins for the day or week with us? Drop a comment below!

Be well,

Cristy

SelfPubCon in less than 15 hours! 4am for me!

Hello Friends,

I am not sure how many of you are in the Self-Publishing space or consider yourselves “indie” authors. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Self-Publishing Advice Podcast from ALLi. For a reasonable annual fee that works out to be less than the cost of paperback book per month (at least the trade paperbacks), they have a treasure trove of resources for their members.

Free 3-day pass if you become a member of ALLi.

Since I’ve been working away at my first book, I have delighted in the idea of being my own book publisher. While I realize the final product will be different from something that Penguin Random House or HarperCollins would produce, I hope any neurodiverse folks like me (or anyone who feels like “cover” some aspect of their identity at work) receive it as an offering of love.

Though I realize the knowledge sphere (and the blogosphere) is a crowded and noisy space, but it excites me that past gatekeepers are so much less relevant than they used to be. I won’t give up reading the authors I love (of course) and enjoying books that are produced in a high quality way. I squeal with delight when Liz Gilbert, Martha Beck, Glennon Doyle or Celeste Ng publish anything new. And yet, how many undiscovered voices become discoverable when the (largely) white, male, neurotypical, ableist gatekeepers no longer get to bar the doors ?

I realize there is potential for right-wing scary types of people to publish as well. Hate speech is also increasing in this time of algorithms and weird amplifications of dangerous ideas (maybe that’s what led to the January 6th debacle at the U.S. Capitol). To me that makes it even more imperative that marginalized voices, whether they are BIPOC sisters and brothers, disabled, neurodiverse, non-binary or LGBTQ+, or any other flavor of human can connect and form communities.

Self-publishing is one of those means, and I think it holds the potential to amplify voices that publishers have scoffed at in the past: “There’s no market for that!”

Just because they cannot “see” or acknowledge our market does not mean we do not exist. And as the marketplace of ideas allows for more perspectives, it excites me to imagine the possibilities for the more sensitive and imaginative folks in the world to find their voice.

Okay, rant over. Anyone else joining me for this one? Or will I be alone at 4am central time with my coffee and in my pjs?

Cheers, happy writing & happy weekend, whatever is ahead for you!

cristy@wedefydefinition.com

Untamed

Oh, the beautiful and joyful experience of being on vacation and devouring a new book by a favorite author!

Untamed
Received Wednesday; finished on Thursday

I typically read books I love more than once. This one made me close my eyes at times, and just breathe in the wisdom and the impact of the words. Glennon has a way of speaking to my soul. One of my many favorite passages:

“The blueprints of heaven are etched in the deep desires of women. What women want is good. What women want is beautiful. And what women want is dangerous, but not to women. Not to the common good. What women want is a threat to the injustice of the status quo.”

Like Love Warrior, Untamed is a book I will read many times because of the ways it made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes.

Thank you, Glennon.

***

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Spring Escape Plan

I have been jonesing for weekend vacation getaway. This winter, without an escape vacation planned has felt long to me. Don’t get me wrong. I realize I am very spoiled by my ability to travel to Latin America for work, and I had I trip to Mexico in December.

But I have been wanting to go on a retreat of some kind, to get away from the day-to-day with my sweetie and/or go on a workshop. I just saw a promo from Martha Beck and Liz Gilbert for a weekend workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona yesterday and today I decided: let’s book this thing! I am so excited now!

Liz and Martha

I have been reading Martha Beck for about 16 years now, and I discovered Elizabeth Gilbert just a few years ago. Her work also speaks to me at a soul level that is hard to describe. Both of them have been like magical gurus to me over the years.

I am kind of dazzled and amazed that I just booked this weekend trip. I asked my hubby to go along with me. He’s not into the workshop part but the enticement of motorcycling in the Arizona dessert sounded like a good deal to him.

Fortunately I have a gazillion Skymiles so the flight from MSP to PHX costs us $22.40 in total. So now the task will be to find motorcycle rental while we are on the trip. I want  my hubby to have his share of fun while I am indulging my own fantasy of meeting two of my favorite authors.

Scottsdale McCormick Ranch
This is the photo of Scottsdale Resort in McCormick Ranch where we still stay for 3 nights.

This is one reason why I love vacation: planning head and having a couple of months of sweet anticipation is fun. Then the event itself! So cool! And the memories afterward: priceless. I’m thrilled my hubby is game for my random adventure ideas, and so very jazzed about the opportunity.

I started my taxes last night and realized we were getting a modest refund, and when I plan for the expenses of the trip I realize we are covered. No need to take the money from savings, though I was willing to do that if needed. So much gratitude right now. It will be a little hard to calm down and breathe in my yoga class. But it’s all good.

Have a great weekend, y’all!