My Writing Week: Dragons, Walls, and Battle Plans

No, my writing week hasn’t revolved around Game of Thrones. But I have found out about some handy software, updated my travel blog, and have nailed down a release date for The Trials of Hercules. So let’s get started…

A Cunning Plan

In my effort to be a better indie author (aka “self-publisher”), I’ve been researching how to get The Trials of Hercules a bit more “out there.” In other words, marketing it better before the release date, getting more reviews, and working with bookstores to get it on their shelves. All that is a crazy amount of work. For me the best way to break down crazy amounts of work is to write out everything I need to do and organize it into a plan.

So, this week I spent time writing up a marketing plan and sorting out things on the calendar. All this business-like stuff reminds me of Office Space…

Although no TPS reports are involved, I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but I do hope this plan makes it easier and that noting what works and what doesn’t will help with the release of Book Two. The plan also means….

I Have a Release Date Scheduled

The Trials of Hercules: Book One of The Osteria Chronicles will be released 18 October, 2014. The book will eventually be available for pre-order (probably starting some time in late September). Not only do I plan to offer pre-order folks a discount, but I will also ship the books a week early – that’s 11 October for those of you not good at math. That early ship date also applies to e-books. Stay tuned for updates by following this blog or liking my Facebook page. And since we’re talking about old Herc…

Opinions Please: The New Cover for The Trials of Hercules

I’ll be honest, I didn’t like the old cover I had for the book. It was okay, but was kind of rinky-dink and didn’t look that great on the print version. But, what was I to do since I don’t have the cash to plunk down on a cover designer? I thought the cover I had was the best I could do.

Then I started playing around making some business cards as promo tools for the book and loved one of the designs available. This made me realize, I needed to work on the cover. I needed something with more oomph, something more attention-grabbing, and something in my budget.

I did some research and found a great website that walked readers through designing covers using Word (since I also can’t afford to pay hundreds of dollars for design software). I’ve played around with Word for cover design before, but didn’t put much effort into it. This time I did.

Working from a template from DIYCovers, I found some great images in (only about $5 per image – very affordable) and sat down to work thinking about what I really wanted to convey on the cover.

I wanted something that would feel menacing, convey a bit of the setting (a post-apocalytpic America that has become similar to Ancient Greece and Rome), and include a symbol that represents Hercules (the lion). I still have some playing around to do before I finalize it, but I’d love to hear what you think….

TOH2And just for reference, here’s the old cover….

The old cover

The Discovery of Dragons

Sorry, I’m still not talking about Game of Thrones. Let me start out saying I HATE typing. Really hate it. I write out all first drafts of my books in longhand because I think better that way. Unfortunately, this means the second draft equals many hours of typing out the first draft. Ugh.

I knew of voice recognition software and heard they had made some strong improvements in it, but, yet again, there’s that budget thing. Then Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking software came out with a new version making the old version super cheap. My budget-minded heart was thumping!

Then came the disappointment. My computer doesn’t have the right equipment to use the software (sound card, recording thingie, tech stuff beyond my brain capacity). So, I sighed deeply and prepared for the pain of typing out Book Two once I get the first draft done.

Then, big light bulb over my head! I wondered if there was an app for that. Holy crap there was! There was a version of Dragon as an app for iPad. And it was free. I downloaded that puppy ASAP and tested it out (my husband insisted I test out curse words). And it works – curse words and all! I’m sure it’s not perfect, and not as good as the “real” software, but for once, I’m not dreading draft two of a book.

And The Rest…

For those of you curious about my trip to the U.K., I’ve posted the highlight of Day One on Fiona’s Journeys. So head over there if you want to join me on a walk along York’s medieval walls.

My Sassy Garden girl blog has a new feature: Garden Problems. If you’ve been noticing blobs of spit on your plants, you may want to check it out.

Thanks for visiting and, as always, please feel free to comment and share!

york, england, wall, uk

York’s Walls – a great walk to burn off your English breakfast.




6 thoughts on “My Writing Week: Dragons, Walls, and Battle Plans

  1. inkdragonsblog says:

    Just a thought on the cover of your book: if you actually took out the lion’s head, I think it would be more effective. There’s something about the singular image of the crumbling pillars that feels more haunting than the disembodied, and placid face of a lion.


    • painterwrite says:

      The cover feels a bit blank without the lion, but I’ll try it out again with him out of there and see how I like it. The lion to me looks like he’s sizing something up, not placid. But thanks, I’ll definitely work a bit more on this.


    • painterwrite says:

      Thanks. At the beginning of the week, I honestly felt like I wouldn’t be able to do this. I’m still fine tuning, but I think it’s going to turn out not too terrible.


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