Thank you to everyone who participated in the Goodreads giveaway! There were exactly 1,234 people who signed up! Coincidence? Sign of great things to come? I certainly hope so! This was my first giveaway for my debut novella, and I hope to do more of them in the future. Many people have added the book to their to-read list on Goodreads, which is always motivating for me.
Sales in April were more than I could ever hope. I am still staving off the aftereffects of publishing it! I don’t think this feeling ever goes away. Currently, I’m looking to do a little more marketing in and around my small town. Book signings seem to be few and far between here, so it may be a great opportunity to set something up in the coming months.
At long last, I’ve managed to finish the first draft of my next novella, which I’ve also changed the title to “Firebrand.” I am now going through the first round of edits, which I’ve, for some strange reason, been enjoying very much. Maybe it’s due to the fact of getting over that initial obstacle of completing a first draft. I’m estimating a good 3-4 months before the book is polished enough to be published.
I’ve also decided to test the new site, bookcountry.com, with an excerpt of the first chapter of Firebrand to see what sort of feedback I would get on it. I can honestly say the site has exceeded my expectations. I’ve received lots of advice and feedback, as well as connected with new friends to help me in my literary endeavors. The website is very well-made, and I was admittedly skeptical about using it after the harsh criticism I read about on Kindleboards. Book Country is a lot like Critique Circle, but I think Critique Circle has more extensive features. I like the inline critique option that Critique Circle has, which really allows you to go in-depth with your feedback. Conversely, Book Country just gives you space to type your overall critique (but you can go as detailed as you like), depending on what the author has requested (ie: plot, characters, pacing, etc.). Overall, I think I will use both Book Country and Critique Circle respectively depending on what sort of feedback I’m looking for. Both have been very helpful with improving my writing. If you’re on Book Country, please add me!
One particular program that I’ve started using to edit my new novella has been AutoCrit. I can’t begin to explain how helpful this program has been. I’ve used it mainly for getting rid of overused/repeated words, cliches and bad writing habits I never realized I had. I’ve used AutoCrit in conjunction with a thesaurus and watched the story transform and improve ten-fold. The program really forces you to think and tap into your creative ability, which is what I really love about it. The program is free to try out, and pricing starts at $47 for an entire year. This is, perhaps the most worthwhile literary investment I’ve made thus far. The only gripe I have about AutoCrit is that it’s not a stand-alone desktop program, so you will need to be online in order to use it. You copy/paste excerpts of your manuscript into the program and it spits out the errors.
If you’re looking to improve your writing skills, I highly recommend this program. Check it out here: www.autocrit.com.