Jennifer Brozek | All posts tagged 'writer advice'

Bubble and Squeek for 22 September 2015

This is a big Bubble and Squeek today. A lot stuff came in all at once.

Article: For writers on the SFWA Blog. How do you ask for blurb?

Article: I talk about my love of gargoyles on My Favorite Things.

Article: SFSignal MIND MELD: Second Chances. I talk about why I gave Stephen R. Donaldson a second chance.

Article: Over at Ragnarok Publications, I talk about how I used my anger to fuel my writing career in Dreamer No More.

Interview: Permuted Press asked me some great questions about NEVER LET ME SLEEP. We touch on body image and mental illness.

Interview: Over at Eating Authors I get to talk about ramen. Really, really good ramen.

Review: I get a nice shout out in this review of NOT OUR KIND from the Eviscerating Pen (what a lovely name!).

Pre-Order: Remember, you can pre-order NEVER LET ME SLEEP and the hard copy Melissa Allen compilation NEVER LET ME.  Also, if you missed it, here's a post that's all about my fabulous covers.

SFSignal: I gotta say it. I love seeing my name on SFSignal and in such good company, too.

More Thoughts On Awards

Tomorrow, the Scribe Awards happen at SDCC. This is not a convention I ever intend to go to. I’m not sure how I would deal with the crowds. However, it’s got me thinking about awards again. I’m up for four awards with three different styles of nominations and voting for the win.

The Scribe Awards is a juried nomination and awarding system. Both of my nominated works were sent into the jury who decided on whether or not it should be nominated. Then that same jury chose the winner. This way is probably the smallest number of people to nominate and vote on the win.

The ENnie Awards is a juried nomination system followed by a popular vote. My work, Chicks Dig Gaming: A Celebration of All Things Gaming by the Women Who Love It, was sent in to the jury who decided on which works should be nominated. From July 4-14, anyone and everyone can vote in the ENnies. You do not have to vote, nor are you expected to vote, on every category. Chicks Dig Gaming is listed under Best RPG Related Product. If you are going to vote in the ENnies, I’d appreciate any love you could throw my way.

The Hugo Award is a limited popular vote for the nomination and a limited weighted vote system for the win. Only people who were at/supported the previous world con or are going to/supporting the current worldcon can nominate. Only the people who are going to/supporting the current worldcon can vote in the Instant Runoff System.

Three very different types of voting systems for three different types of awards. I’m really not sure which one I like better. Awards are a strange thing. They can be something you shoot for. Or something that you are surprised with. Or, something some people dread. Other people don’t care one wit about them.

I do care. I would be a liar if I said otherwise. I’d love to win at least one of these awards but, realistically, the nomination is all the honor I will enjoy.

They are all honors. I think my favorite part of the whole award process is the notification you’ve been nominated. It’s like lightening from the blue. 90% of the time, you can’t tell anyone for a couple of weeks. That’s the feeling I try to keep in the forefront of my mind as the ceremonies go on with or without me. That's what I recommend anyone who is nominated keep to the forefront.

I won’t be at the Scribe Awards. I will be at the ENnies and the Hugo Awards. Despite the nervousness that comes with being in attendance, I’m looking forward to both.

Blogging While Noveling

Blogging while writing a novel is boring from the outside. My head is filled with the wonderful and horrible things I’ve done, am doing, plan to do to my character. It’s also filled with the myriad of things I need to figure out or research to get the novel done. All I can show for it is “Wrote 1400 words today. Feel good about them.” Or “Got 600 words in today. It was like pulling teeth.”

No matter what I’m doing, half my mind is with my novel. My husband and close friends are used to me tangenting in a question that is related to my novel or breaking off to talk about something that’s just happened in the novel or talking about some research I just did and discovered something new that affects the novel.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I don’t have anything to talk about except… I’m writing NEVER LET ME DIE and I’m feeling pretty good about it now. I guess my advice is to not even try to be interesting.

Here. Have some kitty pictures.

Internet Lite

I need to take a break from social media so I can get my mind focused on the novel I have due soon. I’m going “internet lite.” No Facebook or Twitter until April 18th. I’m still going to be reading email, IMs, and text messages but only after I’ve made word count for the day. NEVER LET ME DIE has got to be my focus until I’m so far in the throes of it I can’t think of anything else. I’m sure the internet will survive without me. If you must get hold of me, email is your best bet.

Subbing Stories and Rainforest Recap

In early February, I bemoaned the fact that I had had two (excellent) rejections in two days. Personalized responses with reasons for the rejections. While I was participating in the age old rite of fighting with my ego having taken a beating and pulling myself up by my bootstraps to get those rejected stories out in the world again, one of my readers on social media commented, “Oh, wow, Jennifer. It didn’t occur to me that you were still out there submitting. I thought you were always in demand.”

This struck me a little odd, as it never occurred to me to not submit my stories. Yes, I do get invitations and I adore them but that doesn’t mean I automatically get into those markets. Also, I frequently have stories I just want to write. Once they are written, I look for markets to sell them in. And I get rejections.

To be in demand is to create demand and you can only do that by getting your name and your stories out there. Many professional authors I know still write and submit work. It is an unending process. Short stories are a good way to keep connected with readers, to get background stories for novels out there, and to explore character development you might not get to do in a novel.

I suspect most professional authors not vocal about their rejections. Most of the time I’m not but this particular time, I needed a little ego boosting and the internet can be great for that.

I guess I wanted to get across to one and all, even when you are a successful writer, you still submit stories to markets. You still get rejected. Then, you get back on the horse and send that story back out. It’s just one of the facets of being an author.


***


I attended the Rainforest Writers Retreat again this year. It was very productive. I accomplished everything I set out to do and a little bit more. I wrote two short stories, two blog posts, and outlined NEVER LET ME DIE, Melissa Allen #3. More than that, I wrote a two page synopsis for NLMD, and, with the help of a medical professional attending the retreat, worked out some sticky medical problems with the series.

Then, since the Husband had joined me, we went to La Push, WA for three days of hiking and ocean watching. He needed the time off from work, and we wanted a real vacation together. So, a good time was had by all.

Just took me a week to post about it after getting home.

Metrics for 2014

Everyone likes metrics for the end of the year. Here’s some of what I did in 2014. This is why I like keeping track of everything I do. It makes me realize that I am productive and that I did accomplish a lot. Sometimes, this is a hard thing for an author to understand.

Number of days worked on freelancer stuff: 361 / 365 (284 days, answered pub industry email.) I really need to change this. Take one full day a week off or something. No wonder I had moments of feeling burned out.

New fiction words written: 230,800 (doesn’t count emails, blogs, etc…) In the form of 12 short stories, 1 novella, 1 RPG sourcebook, 2 novels.

Edited: 3 anthologies, 2 novel, 3 novellas.

Conventions attended: 8

Sold in 2014: 5 short stories, 2 novellas, first 3 books of the Melissa Allen series. (3 short stories still waiting on an answer.)

Published in 2014:
6 short stories, 1 novelette

  • “The Bathory Clinic Deal” - The Future Embodied anthology - Simian Publishing, March 2014
  • “Ley of the Land” - Time-Traveled Tales 2 anthology - Silence in the Library, April 2014
  • “Kelpie Storm” - MONSTERS! Origins Game Fair anthology - Rio Grande Games, June 2014
  • “Janera” - Athena's Daugthers anthology - Silence in the Library, June 2014
  • “Dreams of a Thousand Young” novelette - Jazz Age Cthulhu anthology - Innsmouth Free Press, November 2014
  • “For the Love of a Troll on a Mid-Winter's Night” - Night Terrors III anthology - Blood Bound Books, December 2014
  • “Written in the Wind” - No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar anthology - DAW, December 2014


1 RPG supplement

  • Colonial Gothic: Lost Colony, Sourcebook - Rogue Games, February 2014


2 novels

  • The Nellus Academy Incident, YA Battletech novel - Catalyst Game Labs, January 2014
  • Keystones: Book Three of the Karen Wilson Chronicles, novel - Apocalypse Ink Productions, April 2014


4 anthologies

  • Bless Your Mechanical Heart anthology - Evil Girlfriend Media, Editor, April 2014
  • Beast Within 4: Gears & Growls anthology - Graveside Tales, Editor, October 2014
  • Chicks Dig Gaming non-fiction anthology - Mad Norwegian Press, Co-Editor (with Robert Smith? and Lars Pearson), November 2014
  • Shattered Shields anthology - Baen Books, Co-Editor (with Bryan Thomas Schmidt), November 2014

 

Freelancer Summary December 2014

This is the last one I will publish. However, I have found it very useful for the metrics and for learning how I work and what I need to do to improve my working style as well as my relaxing style. (Hint, I need to relax more. You’ll see in the metrics post.) So, I will kept doing my monthly freelance logs but no need to keep posting them. I hope you all got some useful information out of them.

Ever wonder what a freelance author/editor does? Each month of 2014, I’m going to list my daily notes on what I do. As I always say, being your own boss means you choose with 70 hours of the week you work. None of this talks about the random pub IMs, time doing research, time reading books for blurbs, introductions, and reviews, or short author questions. It doesn’t cover my pays-the-bills work either. This is just publishing industry stuff. “Answered pub industry email” can be anything from a request for an interview, to contract queries, to reading anthology invites, to answering questions about dates… and the list goes on.

December

 

2014.12.01

Answered pub industry email. AIP blog release of FROST. Freelancer Summary blog. JenniferBrozek and AIP Googlegroup posts. Edited and added 200 words to the Girls on Games chapter and turned it in. Blurb for a book.

2014.12.02

Answered pub industry email. Blurb for a book. Client negotiation. Editing THE THIN. Outlined Hiroshi story. Prepped and mailed Scribe Award packages.

2014.12.03

Answered pub industry email. Editing THE THIN. Blog post. Updated personal website.

2014.12.04

Answered pub industry email. Editing THE THIN. Cover photoshoot for AIP book.

2014.12.05

Answered pub industry email. Finished edits to THE THIN and returned to author. Submitted works for award consideration.

2014.12.06

Answered pub industry email. Approved outline for Cross Cutting #3. Skype call with editor. Chased down an invoice.

 

 

Sunday

2014.12.07

Answered pub industry email.

2014.12.08

Answered pub industry email. Blog post. Wrote 300 words on the Hiroshi Nevitt story. Book release announcement to HWA.

2014.12.09

Nothing. It’s my birthday.

2014.12.10

Answered pub industry email. Wrote 1200 words on the Hiroshi Nevitt story. Blurb for a book. Interview with a college student for an assignment.

2014.12.11

Answered pub industry email. Wrote 1000 words on the Hiroshi Nevitt story. Create gift certificate for client’s editorial gift.

2014.12.12

Answered pub industry email. Wrote 1750 words on the Hiroshi Nevitt story. W-9 for publisher.

2014.12.13

Hosted SF2W monthly gathering. Proofing Apocalypse Girl Dreaming ARC.

 

 

Sunday

2014.12.14

Answered pub industry email. Edited Hiroshi Nevitt story and sent to alpha reader. Proofing Apocalypse Girl Dreaming ARC. Proofed “Broken Silence of Fanghan” for Not Our Kind anthology.

2014.12.15

Answered pub industry email. Paid quarterly taxes. New “Tell Me” blog. Answered a convention survey. Final edits on Chimera Incarnate.

2014.12.16

Answered pub industry email. Turned in Hiroshi Nevitt story. New AIP blog. New personal blog. Final edits on Chimera Incarnate. Voted in Scribe Awards.

2014.12.17

Answered pub industry email. Final edits on Chimera Incarnate.

2014.12.18

Final edits on Chimera Incarnate.

2014.12.19

Final edits on Chimera Incarnate and turned back in to publisher.

2014.12.20

Answered pub industry email. Outlined YA horror story.

 

 

Sunday

2014.12.21

Wrote 700 words on the YA horror story.

2014.12.22

Answered pub industry email. Answered interview questions.

2014.12.23

AIP blog post. Wrote 120 words on the YA horror story.

2014.12.24

Personal blog post. Wrote 800 words on the YA horror story.

2014.12.25

Nada. It’s Christmas.

2014.12.26

Answered pub industry email. Wrote 300 words on the YA horror story.

2014.12.27

Answered pub industry email. AIP blog post. Personal blog post. Wrote 708 words on the YA horror story.

 

 

Sunday

2014.12.28

Answered pub industry email. Wrote 810 words on the YA horror story.

2014.12.29

Answered pub industry email. Paid PA. Wrote 827 words on the YA horror story.

2014.12.30

Answered pub industry email. Setup goal spreadsheets for 2015. Wrote 650 words on the YA horror story and sent it to the first round readers.

2014.12.31

Answered pub industry email. Metrics for the year. Google Group posts. Story edits on Hiroshi Nevitt story. Personal blog post.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

This month I took a hard look at money coming in and money going out. The money going out exceed the money coming in. Thus, opening up my schedule to freelance editing clients. Then I went back to one of my rules from The Little Finance Book That Could: determine “wants” versus “needs.” A couple things immediately came to mind.

First, DVDs from Netflix. As much as I love getting them, I halved my Netflix bill by dropping that part of the service. We’re keeping streaming because the Husband uses Netflix streaming almost every single day. Thus, it is worth the cost.

Second, my Verio email/website account. This one is definitely a “want.” But it is also very hard to give up. I’ve had this account longer than I’ve known most of my friends—since 1994 when it was owned by a different company. Verio took it over in 2001 (I think). I’ve kept this account all that time. Over two decades.

But, I don’t really use the email or the website anymore. I have my own domain, www.jenniferbrozek.com, for the website and I use yahoo and gmail for my email addresses. The email address has been mostly used for the other accounts I’ve had for so long: Amazon, my bank, PayPal, etc… All these important accounts that, for the most part, I’ve already added 2nd and 3rd email accounts to.

In essence, my Verio account is like me having a paid storage locker filled with once needed books I never intend to read again, but it looks good on reference papers. Occasionally, I glance in it to make sure something important didn’t get lost there but otherwise, it’s useless to me. I’m just being a digital packrat. Or digital hoarder.

There’s a lot of emotions wrapped up in an email / web account I’ve had longer than all my nieces have been alive. At the same time that’s $300/year I don’t need to spend. So, I took a lot of time yesterday officially shifting the accounts to other primary email addresses I use on a daily basis.

This included a lot of swearing as my Live ID was also linked to the old email address. When I opened it up, it forced a merge with Skype which then locked me out of both. Yeah. Not fun. Luckily, the Husband was able to fix most of it remotely and finally fixed Skype by uninstalling and reinstalling it.

Now, I get to spend the next couple of weeks making sure that nothing important, that I’ve forgotten about, is linked to the Verio account and remind everyone (once more) to shift my email to one of the email accounts I actually use. Then, before the end of the month… I cancel the account.

It’s weird. It almost feels like I’m breaking up with someone. Untangling everything, dredging up old memories and forgotten lore. Having second thoughts then letting reason prevail. When I hit the “cancel” button, I can only hope that I didn’t leave something important behind to be lost to the digital void.

Bubble and Squeek for 3 Dec 2014

Article: An SFSignal Mind Meld on the Best Book Openings.
 
Interview: Wag the Fox interviewed me about Apocalypse Girl Dreaming

Podcast: Baen Books Podcast: BFRH 2014 11 21. Bryan and I talk about Shattered Shields.

Review: SF Crowsnest reviews Shattered Shields. It appears that the review, Kelly Jensen, really liked it. Awesome.

Review: Bookwraiths review of Shattered Shields. 3 out of 5 stars but really like it.

Sale: Apocalypse Ink Productions is running a Winter Special. Code: WINTER2014. 20% entire order. If you ever wanted my Karen Wilson Chronicles, or Industry Talk... or Jay Lake's Process of Writing... or Ivan Ewert's Gentlemen Ghouls series... or Peter M. Ball's Flotsam series... or Dylan Birtolo's Sheynan series... now is the time.

Writers: I am now open to edit your work. Here are my freelance editor rates.

Freelance editing rates

Give the gift of editing for your favorite writer or to yourself from a Hugo Award-nominated editor.

All prices include a Skype call if desired.

Short stories up to 7500 words. $35/hour. Full story copy edit. 2 hour minimum (Usually doesn’t take me more than 2 hours).

Editorial read on a novel. $35/hour. Average is about 10 hours for up to 80,000 words. This is book doctoring and content development. (This is not copy editing. This is a chapter by chapter analysis of the novel, looking for holes, repeated writing bad habits, and such. It does include a copy edit of the first chapter.)

Novel copy edits are based on word count and due date. Rush deliveries include a rush fee. Normal novel copy edit prices: $1000 for up to 75,000 words. $1500 for 75,000-100,000 words, $150 per 10,000 words after that.

Everything else needs to be negotiated on a project-by-project basis.

Contact me through my contact form or ping me on twitter: @JenniferBrozek.


CLIENT RECOMMENDATIONS

"Jennifer painstakingly edited a few short stories for me. I was very impressed by her diligence and attention to detail as she found repeated phrases and grammar issues. She also had some great suggestions how I can improve my writing overall and make the stories stronger." ~Elizabeth Guizzetti

"Jennifer paid close attention to my theme and ideas during consultation and captured the feel of my game perfectly. I would certainly be happy to recommend Jennifer to anyone looking for a creative writer or editor." ~Robin Fitton

"I hired Jennifer to give me feedback on a novel I was working on. Her feedback was extremely helpful; I doubt I will view my writing the same way again. I can't recommend her enough." ~Matthew Kagle

"Jennifer, as an editor, is very concise about what kind of images she's looking for with regards to the art, but not so rigid as to stifle the creative creative process. She is imaginative, creative, and an amazing story teller." ~Amber Clark