Where I'm at with Jefferson Tayte book 4
Last week I finished the first draft of the past narrative I've been working on since early May. It was something of a milestone and I was glad to reach it, not least because at just over 45,000 words it represents almost half the journey towards getting the overall first draft finished, and because I can now reacquaint myself with my old friend Jefferson Tayte - I feel I can call him an old friend because although I only met him eight years ago, we've spent a great deal of time together since then, and I've kind of missed him this summer.
I'm coming to realise that I've not made things easy on myself when it comes to writing JT's genealogical adventures as most of the books contain not one, but two stories, which must be woven together within the context of the bigger story. If you include JT's own story, which is going to become more prominent, there are actually three stories being told. So I've set myself a bit of a challenge, but I like to think my books turn out all the better for it. The more you put in, the more get out.
Right now I'm plotting JT's part of the story and working out how he's going to make all those connections to the past, like which genealogical resources he's going to use and who he's going to talk to. I've allowed a few weeks for that and so far the plot is shaping up nicely. I have a long list of questions to answer, which grows and shrinks as some are resolved and others crop up. I only have one major question still open, but it's a show stopper because the story won't work at all if I can't answer it. But I've been here before. It's just another puzzle to be solved, and the more complicated and difficult it is to work out, the more rewarding it will be, both for me and for the story once I have the answers. I expect to be doing very little else but writing when I start again - probably increasing my writing days to six or seven days a week until that first draft is finished, not least because very soon I'm going to have something new (for me) to work towards - a deadline.
The Amazon Publishing contract!
At the beginning of last week I received a draft copy of the publishing contract from Amazon Publishing. I didn't know what I expected it to look like as it's my first such contract, but I'd heard that Amazon's contracts were author friendly and I've read that other author's who signed up with Amazon Publishing actually helped to make them more friendly, so good on them and good on Amazon for listening and acting on what they had to say. I found it very straightforward. I went over it twice and Mrs R went over it. Everything was as I'd been informed it would be from the telephone conversations I'd had. So I agreed to the draft and I waited for the 'proper' DocuSign contract to arrive. I'm very pleased to say that it arrived in my email inbox last night.
It all feels very official now. The time has come to strike the bell and bide the danger (see CS Lewis verse from earlier Amazon Publishing post). Hopefully there will be no danger, but this is the point of no return. I've had plenty of time to think about whether it's the right thing to do of course, but I'm still worried about losing control of the pricing and everything else I can currently do to help keep my books visible. My biggest concern is that the advertising I'm hoping for won't happen at the levels I'd like, or that there will be a short honeymoon period after which my books will rapidly fade into obscurity where few readers can find them - and I'll be left unable to do anything about it. At the same time though, I'm sure these are all healthy thoughts to be having. They mean I'm not going into this with my eyes closed.
Signing with Amazon Publishing feels right to me, and in many ways it seems a very appropriate and natural progression of my journey as an author. I'm going to read the contract again today. Then I think I'm going to give myself the weekend just in case any last minute thoughts or doubts creep in - and to read over it again, and again, lol. I'm sure it's fine. All being well I'm going to sign it on Monday morning. Then I'll wait for the thunder to clap and for that huge 'Indianna Jones' rock ball to come rolling after me! No. That's not going to happen. It's going to be great. :o)