Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Behind on Books?

So far, I've read 148 books this year, or at least books as Goodreads counts them. (Items on Goodreads can be anything from a short story to a box set.) That may sound like a lot, but my goal is 200 books in 2016. According to Goodreads, I'm actually 11 books behind schedule.

There are a couple of reasons for this deficit. I started the year strong, but when my plantar fasciitis returned in the spring, I gave up the treadmill (and reading while exercising on the treadmill) for a while. When Pokemon Go came out in July, I started playing it, even though walking to Pokestops and hatching eggs doesn't help my feet. While it's nice to get out in the fresh air and enjoy nature, the game is taking away from my reading time. When the weather really turns bad, I'll probably spend more time inside.

I have also read a couple of trilogies that were combined into a single volume. I would be a little closer to my goal if I tracked each book individually, but since the combined volumes are listed on Goodreads, I decided it would be more accurate to count them the way they were published. A few books I read this summer were long or a chore to get through, so that set me behind as well.

This is hardly a major problem. I still have a little more than two months to reach my goal, and this may be possible if I pick shorter books and increase my reading time. Even if I fall short this year, I've still read a lot more books than the average person. I would like to get to 200 just because it's a nice round number. I guess I should keep this post short if I want to read tonight. I got my proof copy of Fifth Season today, so as I read it and mark it up, I'll count it towards my reading goal as well.

Do you set reading goals for yourself? If so, do you focus more on the type of book or the number read?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Indie Author Survey

I belong to a self-publishing mailing list. Although the self-publishing group has a lot of romance writers, they still post tips and information useful to writers in other genres as well. One of the moderators of this group recently developed a survey for indie authors, and she requests that members encourage other indie authors to participate, even if they're not part of the group. Over 1,300 authors have already taken the survey (I filled it out last night.) If you're willing to take it, follow this link. It look me less than ten minutes. You have until November 8th, but it's better to take care of it now so you don't forget later. I'll have to post a link to the report when it becomes available.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Time Travel, Book Style

I'm currently listening to one book about time travel to the Middle Ages and reading another book set in 1930s Wisconsin. Both books remind me how different the past is from our present. Although daily life would be more comfortable in the 1930s than in the Middle Ages, I prefer to remain in my own time, not just for the creature comforts, but for my own freedom. If I had to travel back in time, I would probably want to go to the 1960s and see the Beatles perform. I might stand out among the crowds of teenage girls, but I'd be as excited as any of them!

If you had the opportunity to travel in time, where would you go and why?

Monday, October 10, 2016

What's on Your Author Table?

On Saturday, I was fortunate enough to be part of an Indie Author fair at a local library. Although it was sparsely attended, it was a good opportunity to network with other authors, give advice to less experienced writers, and add a few subscribers to my newsletter. The event made me think about author tables. A picture of my table is off to the side. Below is a list of items that I think are helpful to have at your table:

Book Racks/Supports for Books: IMO, books are more attention-getting when they're displayed upright as opposed to stacks of them on the table.

Giveaways: Business cards, bookmarks, postcards and other swag with your name, contact info, and books help people remember you after the event.

Signup Sheet for Your Newsletter: Author events are a great way to add more people to your newsletter. I offer a free eBook with signup, so I made sure to send it to each new subscriber later that day.

Pens--For signing books or making sure people can sign up for the newsletter.

Receipt Book--For sales.

Not pictured are my Square reader for taking credit cards, extra cash for making change, and my tea mug, not to mention the netbook I use for writing on the go. I also don't have a picture of my boxes of books or the handcart and bungee cords I used to haul my goods around.

I'm debating on whether I should replace the banner with a tablecloth. This is the second time I've used it, and it's so wide it brushes the ground. Other authors brought tablecloths with patterns or pictures of their book covers; a couple of them had a sign on an easel next to their table. It is nice to have something that draws attention to your table and lets people know who you are.

A few authors brought candy to pass out; almost all of them brought Hershey's Kisses. I thought about that, but I was worried I'd eat all the candy myself.

What items would you add or change on this list? If you have multiple books publsihed, do you bring them all, or do you leave some behind? I currently have seven books in print, and that number is just going to keep increasing.

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