New Store, New Perspective

In case you were wondering, setting up an online store from scratch is a pretty intensive and time-consuming process. I suppose if one uses Shopify or one of the big pre-packaged store builder services, it would be somewhat less so, but I did that when I first started selling books (in 2011), and ended up not making enough money to pay the rent, so to speak.


So this time, I decided to be smart, use my web developer skills, and set up a store (check it out on my BSB site here) that wouldn’t cost me more than it will possibly make back. If I eventually start making enough money on a regular basis, I’ll move to a “prettier” solution, but for now, it’s free WooCommerce and a few choice plugins. Plus PayPal as the sole processor, because they’re the only remotely affordable processor willing to process transactions for the more adult ebooks my Trinity alter-ego writes (if you’ve noticed her site was down, yes, I know – it was my mistake, and I’m working on it. It’s back online, but still needs some backend fixing.).

Yes, I know lots of people just ignore the Terms of Service, do what they want and hope for the best. I’m risk-averse, so I’d rather have permission before anything bad happens, thanks.

Anyways, that’s where all my blogging energy has gone lately. Setting up the store has required a lot of futzing and learning new things from taxes to shipping to order fulfillment and just managing to create and list products. Plus securing the store forms, and testing, testing, testing everything. And now that most of that (not all, but most) is out of the way, there’s the tedium of simply creating and listing all the books – and testing the delivery for each ebook to make sure it works. I’m trying to list at least two books per day (I have about an hour each night to work on this). Once I get all the ebooks up, then I’ll work on print.

In the meantime, I’m still writing, and I have several micro-fiction stories that I really want to make into bookmarks and story cards. I also have several little bits that need to be slotted into larger works-in-progress, and still more that will make very nice short stories and novellas as they’re expanded.

The new perspective I’m really trying to cultivate with all of these projects is one of not having to do everything “right now“. Being able to be okay with working on things in small chunks that don’t require a lot of focused brainpower for long periods of time. It’s very much a workflow and mental shift for me – all my life I’ve preferred to start and finish a project in as few “large chunks” of time as possible, and as quickly as possible, so this doling things out in a trickle is new and somewhat uncomfortable for me.

But that’s how we grow, isn’t it? By doing uncomfortable things, and allowing ourselves to change and flex depending on where we are in our lives at the moment.

I’m mostly just happy to be making the time to be creative. Even if it’s not as much time as I’d like, and it’s still somewhat frustrating to work in such small chunks, it’s better than being frustrated at not doing anything creative at all.

I’m also happy to be working on the business side of things again – something I haven’t done in a long time just because it was just too daunting, and often overwhelming to even try. If I wait until I “have time” to sit down and do the whole thing at once (whatever that “thing” happens to be at the moment), it won’t happen.

So I’m working on tiny pieces at a time, and accepting the fact that it’s not work that will ever actually be “finished”. It will just go on until I decide it’s time to stop.

Hopefully that won’t be anytime soon. Oh! I almost forgot. Smashwords is having their “Read a Book” week sale, and some of my books are on sale over there until Saturday. If you like cheap ebooks, check it out! You’re sure to find something interesting and entertaining!

Also, my apologies for having to add Captcha to the comments. The amount of spam written in Cyrillic was just seriously getting to be way, way too much to keep up with. And since most readers comment more on social media than here anyways…I figured it would affect a minority. Please do let me know if it gives you problems, and I’ll see what else I can figure out.


That’s it for this week! If you have a favorite thing to share, or want to recommend a book, TV show, video or podcast, comment below, email me at jamie@jamiedebree.com, or catch up with me on Facebook or Instagram.


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Writing Notes: Planning? Plotting? Who Am I?

As you can see, I’ve finally settled on a new name for this blog. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to add a banner to the blog page on my site, but I will, because I’m quite fond of this one I whipped up last night. It makes me chuckle. And we all could use a good chuckle, right?

Welcome to Writing Lint.
🙂

As a friendly reminder, the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale for ebooks is in full swing, and this week,The Biker’s Wench and The Minister’s Maid are discounted, and The Handyman’s Harem Girl
  is free! They’re campy and fun and perfect summer reading.

I’ve been doing some planning. Or a lot of planning, actually. I follow Holly Lisle’s blog, and she’s been doing something very inspiring over the last few months (moreso because she’s also been moving her entire online presence to a new platform, which is about the least fun thing ever for anyone, but she has an entire course load and community to shift, which is about like moving the Titanic).

Holly’s been writing/revising a five-book series all at once. Well, one at a time, but consecutively, without releasing any of them until they’re all done. She wrote all the drafts, and now she’s going back through and revising them all, to ensure continuity and cohesiveness throughout the series.

Which is genius, when you think about it. Once you have all the books in a series done, the hard work is finished. And then you can release them all at once, or one per month, or one every other month…which means people can finish one, look forward to the next, and pre-order the rest, since they’ll all be scheduled out and public.

Genius, I think. Especially when you can write as steadily as she has for the past…nearly a year.

In any case, I don’t know if I have the patience to do the same thing Holly’s doing, but I love the concept. And just watching her work has inspired me to, if not write all the books at once, at least plan all the books in the series out before I even start writing, getting as much detail down as I can, and making sure the plots mesh as much as possible before digging in.

Things will change as I write – they always do, but even though I like to just start writing and see what happens, it’s a lot less work to have a roadmap when I have to make the most out of every little bit of writing time I can grab.

So I’ve been planning, and plotting, and laying out a series that’s getting bigger the farther I dig into it. Once I decided that I really wanted to write a family saga, the floodgates kind of just whooshed open, and suddenly I had three families involved, starting with mail-order brides (which I now have to research) and ending up in present day with the tangible items that each of the first three women deemed important enough to pass down through generations.

The story feels big – really big. We’ll see what happens as I get deeper into the storylines, but I’m excited to explore the different legacies swirling around in my head.

More to come as I dig deeper into The Magpie Legacies.

Of course, I also recently got an idea for a series themed around lamps….

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Sale Alert! Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

Just a quick announcement for this holiday week – Smashwords is having its annual “Summer/Winter” sale, and several of my books are discounted or free for the event! The promos and discounts change weekly, so don’t miss out. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to check out my work at a discounted price!

Below are my books that went on sale this week. You can find them all here on my Smashwords profile.

Mr. Mysterious is free
Jasmine Betrayal is free
English Breakfast is on sale for $1.49
Deadly Chai is on sale for $1.49
Or get all three in the BeauTEAful Summer collection – on sale for $2.49
Flame & Stone is on sale for .99
Mackenzie Saves the World is on sale for $1.99

Grab a few, and check back next week for new additions to the sale!