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ROW80

2015 Q2 Goals and Updates

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FireweedTrail-400I’m late to the party, I know. But with good reason: I’ve been busy.

As of Tuesday, April 7, I published that KindleWorld tale I mentioned beginning late last quarter. I can now speak more freely about it. The friend whose KindleWorld I helped launch is mystery/police procedural novelist Toby Neal, whose Lei Crime series is a popular one among mystery fans and lovers of Hawaii alike.

My tale, Fireweed Trail, was one of eight launch titles that have been burning up the sales charts on Amazon since their debut on April 7, when Toby’s KW launched. It’s a thrill to be part of the launch, to be asked to help out, and to reach new readers with my work. For all that, I’m deeply grateful to Ms. Neal, and a special “Aloha!” to her. You should check out the entire set of eight titles, not just mine; they are all, of course, Amazon exclusive titles.

And so, now to set new goals for myself for Q2 2015 for ROW80.

1. Get back to Razed and finish that tale, then get it ready for submission to Kindle Scout/Kindle Press. Yeah, it’d be nice to have Amazon’s full backing for my next project, which is a zombie thriller combined with a unique coming-of-age tale. And yes, I said zombie, but in the horror sense, not the zombie apocalypse sense. It’s proven to be a popular concept so far over at Write On from Amazon, so hopefully that’ll translate.

2. Gather my Spoiled Rotten trilogy into one volume and re-release it as a novel. (Revise as needed, based on Write On feedback.)

And frankly, that’s all I think I really need to do between now and the end of June to have a successful quarter. So that’s it.

ROW80

Latest ROW80 Update

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RipeHey all! Time for an update from me, I think.

Let’s first review my goals for this quarter, now that we’re just past the halfway mark:

1) Finish off Ripe, the final installment of my Spoiled Rotten trilogy. DONE!

Last time I blogged, Ripe was completely written. Now it’s been formatted, proofed, and uploaded for pre-order. Not just on Amazon, either: everywhere (except Google Play Books, just yet). There are a few sites that may not be displaying it yet, but they will be. And the big release day is Friday, March 13, 2015, at the low price of only $1.99 USD!

I’m also experimenting with pre-release review requests by sending out galley copies, which hopefully will help the book kick off a bit stronger. There aren’t many places that offer you a PR opportunity on a pre-released book with no reviews, but I’m searching for them.

Hopefully the free galley copies strategy will help boost the book in its race to reach at least five reviews quicker than The Woodsman did. (Though once it did and I invested in some PR, The Woodsman quickly grew to 12 reviews and counting and has become my best-moving book to date. So that’s nice.

If you’re interested in a pre-release galley copy of The Woodsman for free, go here for details.

I still have a few days remaining where I can catch errors, but for this phase, Ripe is pretty much out the door once I finish my “live on my Kindle” page-through.

Which leads me to Goal 3, which I’m now labeling Goal 2…

2) Collect the Spoiled Rotten trilogy together and submit to Write On for feedback. DONE!

The entire three-book trilogy is now getting peer-reviewed at WriteOn by Kindle so that I can start working out any story-kinks and oversights that I’m completely blind to, for the revised edition of Spoiled Rotten I’ll be releasing later this year in one volume.

I’ve really come to trust some of the folks over at WriteOn for their feedback, so any chance I have to strengthen my stories, I’m taking it.

3) Get back to work on, and hopefully finish, Razed, my zombie thriller that will now be novel-length instead of a short novel.

This was originally my second goal, but since I’d already accomplished the other one, I’ve flipped them in terms of priority.

And here’s where I’ve run into a snag:

Razed is my “very popular over at WriteOn” zombie/coming-of-age novel that started out as an attempt at a Halloween 2014 short and now has grown into a novel. My hope, or plan, is to submit it to Kindle Scout, because… exposure!

However, an opportunity recently fell into my lap. A friend of mine is about to launch an all-new KindleWorld, and has invited me to submit a 15K to 20K short to help launch the world. There’s a lot of great perks to that, not the least of which is the chance to get my work exposed to the KW editors.

And that could help me, when I submit Razed to Kindle Scout.

So I may need to change Goal 3 to:

3) Write a KW short for my friend’s set-to-launch-in-April KindleWorld, and have that be my third goal for this quarter. Then I can make Razed my top priority for Q2 (April-June).

I’m thinking it’s a sound strategy. And it adds a high-exposure title to my resume to help build my momentum.

ROW80

New goals for a new year

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RipeWell, after a fairly successful 2014 (I doubled the number of titles I have in print), I am out to make 2015 an even better year for myself as a writer, though not by obvious means through publishing a lot of titles necessarily, but of hopefully better strategy in marketing the new titles I do finish and release.

So, as ROW80 First Round 2015 begins, here are my goals for roughly the next three months:

1) Finish off Ripe, the final installment of my Spoiled Rotten trilogy. I’m currently close to 20,000 words on the title and should be done before I hit 25,000. It’s a thrilling, globe-spanning epic unlike anything I’ve written to date, and has required a lot of research. I’ll immediately edit and publish Ripe, so it should be available before Round 1 2015 is done.

2) Get back to work on, and hopefully finish, Razed, my zombie thriller that will now be novel-length instead of a short novel. I’m between 20,000 to 25,000 words into this story, which will at least run 50,000 words and possibly more. After that, I’ll start polishing it up based on the feedback I’ve been receiving from the critique site I’m part of, Write On. Once I have it just right, the plan it so take a shot at getting it published via Kindle Scout.

3) Collect the Spoiled Rotten trilogy together and submit to Write On for feedback. This will ultimately lead to an “expanded and revised” edition that will be released later in 2015, as one volume, and of course, the existing three parts will be updated at the same time.

If I can get most of this either done (or started, in the case of goal 3), I’ll consider it a successful first quarter of 2015.

Beyond Ripe and Razed, my plans for the year include working on Novel Project Codename Texter, otherwise known as Seethe. I also hope to get back to Ember later this year. And then I have Project POTUS Sitcom.

But for this first quarter? These three goals are probably enough work all by themselves.

ROW80 writing

Final ROW80 Update of 2014

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RazedHey all.

It’s been an encouraging and crazy year here at Casa de Hansen.

I started out by launching Nice Girl Like You, a short thriller, early in the year. I was still mostly treading water, though, trying to get past the book formerly known as EyeCU.

Then in August, I got pumped up again, motivated to get productive even if it meant short projects.

So I published Spoiled, the first part of a trilogy, and followed up with Rotten. Both were written as Eight Hour Fiction challenges to force me to be productive and not overthink it all.

Then, in something of a miracle, I finally finished writing EyeCU, though in the process to finalize it, I ended up calling it The Woodsman. That’s been a relief. It’s my longest published work to date, weighing in at 88,000+ words.

So in the first nine months of 2014, I went from a writer with only four books out to now being a writer with eight books out. That’s nice.

So how did I wrap up my year (which is not quite over yet)? Let’s check in on my Q4 ROW80 Goals:

1. Finish and publish Razed, my short zombie thriller. No idea how long it’s gonna run, but I’m already over 4,000 words in, so I’m off to a great start. Technically, this won’t be an 8-Hour Fiction book, but my goal is to keep it in that spirit. I definitely want to get it out there in time for Halloween.

As I said back in November, Razed has turned from a short novelette-length tale to a novel-length project. One I didn’t expect to write, but which is turning into a lot of fun.

At this writing, I’m just under 30,000 words, but I took a break to try and finish goal 2 before the year was out.

2. Finish and publish Ripe, the final book in my Spoiled Rotten trilogy. The series, in book two, introduces some important storytelling elements that will have ripple effects throughout my fictional setting of Veritas County and specifically Hope, Wisconsin. I love when my characters surprise me, and they certainly did in Rotten. That’s why I love being more of a pantser … I’m not tied to a plot that was pre-conceived before I ever set pen to paper.

As I write this blog post, it’s become clear that I’ve spun too many plot threads into this tale to wrap it up as an eight-hour fiction challenge title. I currently am on chapter 11, and have my characters assembled for the major showdown all this has been building toward. I’m over 13,000 words and by the time I write the final showdown and the closing action, I expect to be at around 20K, so Ripe will definitely be the longest installment in the trilogy.

It’s a fun project, and I’m still hoping to get it out before the bell tolls 2015. But we’ll see. If I make it, I make it. If it becomes my first title of 2015, that’s fine, too. The important thing at this point is the serve the needs of the story so it resolves in a satisfying way and keeps readers happy.

In 2015, at some point, I’ll probably do something about collecting all three volumes into an almost-novel-length work. But that won’t be my top priority in early 2015.

My top priority, once Ripe is out, is to turn my attention back to Razed.

First, I’m excited about the story I’m telling with Razed. In a distant way, it’s my version of Carrie by Stephen King, though significantly different. (Kinda like Shada was my version of The Body with four girls instead of four boys. Similar, but very different.)

As for what happens to Razed after I finish? Well, I’ve discovered Amazon’s WriteOn, and I’m getting great feedback there that will make it a stronger story by the time it’s “ready.”

And as for when it’s “ready,” it won’t immediately be up on Amazon, because I’ve decided I’ll likely place it in the Kindle Scout program and see if I can break through that way. If so, wonderful! If not, it’ll only delay my usual method of publication by a couple of months.

And while I’m waiting on that, I’ll be working on Seethe (aka Project Texter) and on Project POTUS Sitcom, as well as Ember, so I have plenty of irons in the fire. Maybe 2015 will be an even better year than 2014!

See you then.

ROW80

An Update On My Progress

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RipeSo, when I first checked in to ROW80, Round 4, 2014, I set a few realistic goals. Time to check in on how I’m doing against those goals.

1. Finish and publish Razed, my short zombie thriller. No idea how long it’s gonna run, but I’m already over 4,000 words in, so I’m off to a great start. Technically, this won’t be an 8-Hour Fiction book, but my goal is to keep it in that spirit. I definitely want to get it out there in time for Halloween.

As I write this, I’m over 25,000 words into RAZED and it’s obvious to me it’s gonna be a novel, not a short, as I’m only about halfway done. It wasn’t ready, obviously, in time for Halloween, so I’m now refocusing on using it to submit to the Kindle Scout program, in an attempt to get my first book deal with one of Amazon’s labels.

I still hope to be done before the year is out, however.

2. Finish and publish Ripe, the final book in my Spoiled Rotten trilogy. The series, in book two, introduces some important storytelling elements that will have ripple effects throughout my fictional setting of Veritas County and specifically Hope, Wisconsin. I love when my characters surprise me, and they certainly did in Rotten. That’s why I love being more of a pantser … I’m not tied to a plot that was pre-conceived before I ever set pen to paper.

I’ve set Razed aside earlier this past week to get Ripe out. It’s still gonna be an eight-hour challenge book, and that means it should be written before too long here, out in November, and if I find the time, I may do a collection into one novella in time for the holiday season.

That’s all the goals I set, and if I meet those, I’ll have polished off a terrific 2014 and set the stage for an epic 2015.

So, that’s where I’m at.

ROW80

Late to the ROW80 Q4 2014 Party: Goals

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RottenHello there.

I know, I know, I’m late to the ROW80 kickoff for Q4 2014. What else is new, right?

But this time I have an acceptable excuse: I’ve been busy getting things accomplished. As in, published.

In October alone, I’ve already published Rotten, which is Book 2 in the Spoiled Rotten trilogy.

Additionally, while The Woodsman is officially in pre-order for the eBook version, which releases on Friday, October 17, the print version is actually already up on Amazon and available.

And I’m currently working on a zombie thriller, Razed; and the final book in the Spoiled Rotten trilogy, which I decided to name Ripe.

It’s really been a productive few months for me, and I’m hoping that means an upswing in sales soon!

So, now to goals for Q4:

1. Finish and publish Razed, my short zombie thriller. No idea how long it’s gonna run, but I’m already over 4,000 words in, so I’m off to a great start. Technically, this won’t be an 8-Hour Fiction book, but my goal is to keep it in that spirit. I definitely want to get it out there in time for Halloween.

2. Finish and publish Ripe, the final book in my Spoiled Rotten trilogy. The series, in book two, introduces some important storytelling elements that will have ripple effects throughout my fictional setting of Veritas County and specifically Hope, Wisconsin. I love when my characters surprise me, and they certainly did in Rotten. That’s why I love being more of a pantser … I’m not tied to a plot that was pre-conceived before I ever set pen to paper.

If I can simply do those two things, I can call it a hugely successful quarter. However, I may challenge myself to release something in December, too, just to put a holiday-flavored cherry on top.

But even if I don’t do something like that in December, I could still celebrate a lot. I’ve put EyeCU (The Woodsman) into my rear-view mirror at long last, completing a book that took me nearly three years to get done with. And since Nice Girl Like You in late May/early June, I’ve published four new titles (so far) and would finish with six on the year, if I meet goals one and two.

By far, my most productive seven months as a writer, ever.

So, I may celebrate and take some time to dedicate to 2015 projects.

Or I may do a quick couple titles for my secret pen name, to revive that brand for myself.

Or I may do a holiday-themed thing for December.

I might even decide to collect Spoiled Rotten into one volume and put it out in print as well.

So many options… but for now, I’ll stick with those first two goals. Even if that’s all I get done, 2014 will be something I can consider a big success for me, my best year yet as an indie author.