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This one in Spanish. It's always a special treat when someone reads one of my books when their first language isn't English. And I'm always impressed by people who are bilingual.

Maravilloso y refrescante. Moira toma varios tropes comunes del romance actual como los regalos no pedidos, el stalkear a la heroína, presentarte en su casa si anunciarte y otros tanto y los inserta en el mundo real haciendo ver lo poco románticos que realmente son.
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Finally got the proof for The CEO Can Drop Dead. After I complained the last time, they expedited the copy and I got it in two days. The book looks pretty good, but I won't be recommending anyone buy it through createspace. My plan is to buy a bunch of copies and then try to sell them through the café and wherever else I can think of. Maybe I'll hold a contest for a copy.

Here are photos to show the size. I have no idea why one is sideways and I'm not in the mood to fight with it.

IMG_0033[1] IMG_0034[1]

Also finally, I got the edits back for the team book. One thing I realised already: always plot out the exact miles travelled, not just time. My first editor called me on it with Heroes' Reward, but it wasn't necessary for the scribe book, and I didn't think it would be necessary for this one. I was wrong. Having done that, I caught a glaring flaw. Yay! Also caught another flaw while listening to a boring presentation tonight. Anyway, I'm so glad to put the team book back on the front burner.
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Grrr. Working on creating the trade paper version of the book. In an early stage of reviewing the interior, to make sure everything looks fine, it all looks good, but at the final review before actually printing, there are screw ups. How can I fix it if I don't see it in the earlier version?
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I have the final e-version covers, and if everything goes as it should - it's been a couple of years since I've done this - the e-book will be available through smashwords and amazon this Thursday, April 23. I should probably have at least a one-week build up of some kind for marketing reasons but I don't feel like it.

I'm planning on charging $2.99 US and I will be donating 25% of my royalties to the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres. I'm still waiting on the final print wrap for the trade paper version, which will be offered through CreateSpace. I don't have the final price for that yet because they don't let you finalise that until you actually upload it - imagine me rolling my eyes - but I will be donating 25% of my royalties from that as well.

Payments for self-publishing are fun! Amazon sends me my royalties for e-books within 90 days of their acquisition. I get money deposited directly into my account every month, but it's from royalties three months earlier. Payments from smashwords are sent to me via paypal every three months, January, April, July, and October. CreateSpace sends payments via cheque - owned by Amazon, but for some reason, doesn't have direct deposit in Canada like kindle does - the month after the royalties are accumulated, but only if the royalties are at least $100 US. It's all pretty messy.

My plan is to send the donations on the months I get royalties from smashwords. It's a reliable schedule and I get a nice reminder email. I will send to the Ontario Coalition 25% of whatever royalties from whatever source has sent money, unless the amount is less than $25. It's too sad to send them less than $25 at a time. If the amount is less than $25, the amount I have gotten will be held over until the next smashwords payment. If I hit the end of the year and haven't acquired $25 through royalties, I'll round the amount up to $25 and send that, and start over again in 2016.

I'm going to be doing this forever.
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As I have decided to offer The CEO Can Drop Dead through CreateSpace, and the price of those books won't be quite as horrific as I thought, I ran Scribe in Shadows through the royalties calculation just to see what the price would be like. Now, the scribe book is almost three times as long as the CEO book, but the weird thing is that when I enter the CEO in the CreateSpace template, it ends up with fewer pages, while when I enter the scribe book, it's considerably longer. I have no idea why there's such a huge difference. CreateSpace won't print books at a price that puts the royalties I get in negative digits. Just in order to end up in the positive in the sales channel I can't avoid, I have to put the price for the book at $19.99. Is that freaking crazy or what? So, when I put the scribe book out, it will be only through e-books.
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Still in a holding pattern, really, waiting for others to get back to me on stuff.

Got some feedback from someone who really didn't like the book. This wasn't explicitly said, but the tone and word choice made it clear. Some of the critique was useful, but most was, well, kind of funny. Still, I really appreciate that they slogged all the way through to the end. People are busy and even a short book is hard to read when you don't like it.

Having fun dealing with Create Space. Oy. I think I managed to format the book according to their standards, which is a major accomplishment for me. When I use their template, the number of pages is less than Word, which means I can make the book a little cheaper, which is great. Right now, I'm caught up on getting my tax info to them - damn IRS - and arranging for how I receive payments. I want direct deposit, but while direct deposit is available in places like the Netherlands and Spain, according to the website it's not available in Canada. I sent an email asking them to confirm that direct deposit isn't an option, because I think that's crazy. The other option is to be paid by cheque, which I hate. Not only is that process more subject to error or delay, but cheques aren't sent for anything less than $100. I want to be able to turn over the proceeds for the charity on a fairly regular basis, but who knows how long it would take to rack up $100 worth of royalties through Create Space? If ever?

Also, calculating the dimensions for the cover - which I then have to hand over to the cover artist - involves math. Ugh.
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Getting some positive feedback on The CEO Can Drop Dead. Two different readers said, "I really wish she did that to him. Couldn't you have her do that to him?" I had to grin and say, "No, she can't do that to him, no matter how much he deserves it."

One said she laughed out loud at certain points, which is always great to hear. I didn't want the story to be nothing but grim despair from beginning to end.

And some useful critiques that had me making some adjustments.

I think I'll be able to make the e-version available within a couple of weeks. The trade paper version will be a little longer, but I don't know how much, as I've never done that before.
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Having fun with revisions. As usual, a lack of detail is one of my Achilles' heels. I actually don't want a lot of detail in this one, for various reasons, and I'm not bothering with much in the way of world building because, as I said before, Ottawa in 2015. But I can't be too spare.

Also, in every book, I tend to overuse words or phrases. The frustrating thing is that it's never the same words and phrases. In a particular book, I fall into a way of writing, and the repetition is grating on the reader. Once I realise I've starting using a word too many times, I add it to the list and go through the draft finding a way to express that sentiment in a different way.

I never noticed that habit in the Heroes books, and no one pointed it out to me, so I want to cringe at the thought of driving the readers nuts by using the same words too many times.
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My that's not romantic story grew from a story to a novella to a novel. Looking back, I can't understand how I thought I could fit the story into 15,000 words, even after I knew the plot. The first draft and first round of revisions done, it's just over 40,000.

This was a strangely intense writing experience. Yes, I was motivated, but I felt almost crazed. I have never been someone who wrote every single day. Most days, yes, but I would skip one here or there when I had too much to do or simply didn't feel like writing. Not this story. Every day. Up early, up late, everything dropped that could be dropped. So while this story was written in a short time when looking at weeks - under three - it's not quite as short when looking at actual hours.

And those hours were well used. No sitting down to write and seeing something shiny and my brain wandering off for half an hour or so. When I was writing, I was really writing, surfing online or watching tv only because my brain and hands needed the break.

There is another significant reason why it went so quickly. As I mentioned, the lack of world building made things easier, but so did having a simple, short, single plot with only a handful of characters. I wrote maybe 10,000 more words on this story than I have so far on Ottawa 2025, which I will be going back to soon. While I wouldn't call Ottawa 2025 a complex novel, it has a whole lot more going than the TNR novel, with the subplots needing to given balanced attention, and a whole lot more characters. The list of characters for Ottawa 2025 is kind of ridiculous. There is so much more scope for contradiction and gaps and missed balls. In comparison, it was easy to storm though the TNR book.

The title will be The CEO Can Drop Dead.

As it is considerably longer than what I had originally envisioned, the price will be higher than 99 cents. I haven't decided how much higher, yet. Nothing outrageous. I also still haven't decided how much of my royalties will go to the charity. It will be a percentage of my royalties, so the actual amount will rise and fall depending on where people buy the book. I will be encouraging people to buy through smashwords, through which I get a maximum of 85% of the cover price, instead of Amazon, through which I get only a maximum of 35%, but Amazon will be where most people will trip over the book and that's where they will buy it.

I'm under no illusion that this will be a big thing. My readership is small and I don't imagine many of those readers will be interested in this book, given the subject matter and the fact that this is nothing like anything I've written before. It's mostly about expressing myself, venting, and making a point. I'm so glad I did it. It was brilliant. I don't know if the results are. I'm so close to the story that I really can't "see" it. Others are going to have to point out the flaws to me.

I'm leaning towards donating to an organisation called the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres. It works with rape crisis centres throughout Ontario, and I like it because it not only helps survivors of assault but educates and advocates to stop sexual assault in the first place. I have contacted them because I plan to mention them by name when I start selling the book and I don't want that to be a surprise to them. Anyone interested in learning more about them can go here: http://www.sexualassaultsupport.ca/

Now that the first draft is done, the frenzy has passed. I'm now in a strange lull. There are revisions to be done, but stuff is now in the hands of other people and they have to get back to me before I can move on.
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Update on my "That's not romantic" novel: As of last night, I am three quarters through the first draft. Granted, it's actually going to be a novella, not a novel, but I've never written so many words so quickly. I'm reaallllyyyy motivated.

I've been talking to a cover artist already. The same one who did my scribe cover, which I love.
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I am half-way through the first draft of my new project, and I've decided I will no longer refer to it as an anti-romance novel, as I don't have any opposition to romance in life or in fiction, or disdain for the romance genre as a whole. After all, I had a very prominent romance plot in my own books. It's just certain trends in romantic fiction that make me want to vomit.

Instead, I'll be calling it my that's-not-romantic novel. Not pithy, but more accurate.
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Over the past two days, I've written about 8,000 words on the anti-romance story. That's a lot for me considering it's longhand, I've been doing other stuff, and I haven't been planning this for months in advance. The only time I've ever just sat down and started writing without any mental plotting was when I started my first book at the age of fourteen, and when I'd started that, I'd had no intention of actually writing a book. I'd just been killing time in class.

I'm really motivated with this, but I usually am, especially in a first draft. I think one reason things are going so quickly is that because it's a contemporary story - I never thought I'd ever write a contemporary story - and it takes place in regular, mundane Ottawa, there's virtually no world building required.

And it has the simplest plot in the history of writing.

So it looks like this is going to be a thing. Also, a little longer than I'd expected.
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I probably shouldn't write this, because it's very early days yet, but I've started jotting down notes for my anti-romance story. It won't be a novel, it will be really short, but I'm thinking of getting a cover for it and selling it for ninety-nine cents, with part of the proceeds going to an organisation dealing with domestic abuse.
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I'm tempted to write an anti-romance novel. All the usual tropes including the alpha male being a complete ass in the beginning, ridiculous displays of wealth, and "romantic" gestures. The heroine's responses will include, "You're behaving like a six year old," "No, your behaviour isn't justified by being wronged by a woman in the past/sent to prison despite being innocent/PTSD," (Disclaimer: These are horrible, traumatising events but don't excuse being verbally abusive to random people, especially if one doesn't apologise sincerely with no attempts to rationalise their behaviour.) "You abused me in public, are you going to apologise in public? No? Good-bye," "Buying me stuff isn't an apology," "No, I won't have sex with you," "No, I won't have sex with you," "Seriously, I'm not having sex with you," and "You need therapy to address your stalking tendencies and anger management issues." Then she rides off into the sunset, happy and single.

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