I've been trying to build my way to a point with these last few posts, but there are always other things going on and I am really distracted, so I should probably get those out of the way.
1. I am writing more books.
2. I am printing my books.
I am especially distracted by it now because the print proofs are here.
I knew that there were printing options available for self-publishing, but I thought it was something where I would have to pre-order a quantity, with some cost outlay. I don't have the budget for that, and it's hard to believe that it would be a wise move regardless. I finally checked it out though, and they do print on demand. When the books are ready, you will be able to order a single copy for a reasonable price.
This is kind of amazing from a technology standpoint, but it is also helpful because I really wanted my mother to read the books, which was never going to happen online. Printing three manuscripts on a home printer didn't sound like a great idea, but print shops charged way more than was justifiable. Without any fancy options it was still coming out between $60-80 per manuscript. The proofs are between $2 and 3 each, so this is better.
The process, through https://www.createspace.com/ is pretty easy. The cover options available for the electronic versions - through https://kdp.amazon.com/ - are better, but CreateSpace packages services like professional cover help, so you can go that route, but it will cost you. (Budget issues already covered.)
Right now, just glancing at them, Cara looks pretty good, Family Ghosts should be a little darker but is okay, and Family Blood looks terrible. I need to see what I can do about that. I am technically still in my slow learning stage. The next area of investigation will be recording the books as a sound file. I suspect there are different cost levels there as well.
I am also writing more books.
When I published Cara, I didn't think it would go far, but it gave me a chance to learn the ropes and I liked that the book could have a chance again after all these years. Cara has been the best seller by a long shot.
I'm not sure why that is - maybe the vampire market has been saturated and LDS fiction is not - but it reminded me of something. Before the rejection letters came, I'd had other books planned. There were at least four pretty well plotted out, with another possible two, all taking place between the singles wards in Portland and Eugene.
These are not direct sequels like the Family Blood series. Actually, Cara herself will be a minor character in Morgan. If you remember Brian, he is more central to this one. Elaine is Morgan's sister, but even so, those are both standalone stories. And for the other one set in Portland, I'm not even sure that there would be any connections to the Eugene crew, but there could be. It is not uncommon for students in Eugene to graduate and move, and Portland is a place that they sometimes end up.
I was worried before about the age of the book, because so much has changed since I wrote it. I'm embracing that now. I can look back at the songs and the movies I had in mind, and I realized when they are set. So while it was never mentioned in the book, Cara met Ben in 1993. Morgan will start in 1992, but most of the action will take place in 1996. People will start getting cell phones and using e-mail more, going at the pace I remember.
So this may be the time to call me a sell-out, as I am making a decision on what to write at least partially due to sales figures. They were still stories that were important to me; they just went dormant for a while.
And I'm not leaving behind Sarah and the band. Family Reunion is on the way too.
I'm not sure what to do with Claudia yet, but I will figure it out.