This post may eventually migrate to a new website which my beta reader and marketing guru and BPS (best possible sister) is setting up. At the moment, it's easier for me to write it here. Why migrate? Well, because this blog will most likely shut down next spring, when my hosting contract runs out.
I've been writing here since 2009. I started writing fiction again, in a serious way, in 2012. And this year the fiction has taken on a life of its own, which has prompted an examination and analysis of what's needed to make the fiction more - we hope - than just a hobby.
Starting with, unsurprisingly, marketing.
This coming weekend I have a few assignments for myself in that regard, starting with updating my Amazon author page and buying a couple of online ads.
Before really starting a marketing push, I needed to finish the series rewrite: putting all of the novellas into conventional narrative form, changing from present tense to past, etc. That process led to fairly significant changes within some of the novellas, hardly any in others.
But a rewrite is actually about to be done again because we've decided to do paperback versions, packaging two novellas per volume. For that purpose, the page size needs to be changed, which means other aspects of the formatting need to be changed. Since I have to look at every page during that process, this almost certainly means there will be other tweaks to the actual text.
Each time I go through one of the finished stories, I catch something. It might be something to correct; more often it's something to add or subtract or simply change. Within the six new novellas I've added this summer, and the full-length novel I'm nearly finished with, and the seventh new novella I'm roughly halfway into, I have changed certain events within the timelines of my (dozens of) characters.
Those changes need to be consistent across the series. So, everywhere a character appears, I have to go back and make sure the timeline correction is made.
When it's done there will be one short novel (Million Dollar Death), one long novel (work in progress), and eighteen novellas within the L.A. Stories universe. And I will be sufficiently organized to take on the next two projects (both conceived as full-length novels).
For the paperbacks, we also have to come up with a cover design that can be applied across the series. I did a halfway decent job with covers for the Kindle editions. But my design inspiration was always within each story. If you looked at all of them on a shelf side by side, it's evident they are all by one author, but you wouldn't guess they are part of a series, or even that they are romances.
So the current cover images may live on inside the print books, but they won't be the actual covers. The actual covers will - we trust - convey two things: 1) this book is about romance; 2) this book is about Los Angeles.
If we had Big Publisher Money to play with, we might hire a designer and/or get original art. Since we have No Money to play with, the new covers will almost certainly feature our own photography and typesetting.
Fortunately, BPS has desktop publishing skills, and is a very good photographer and image processor, and will be able to do something good with whatever garbage I give her.
Anyway, I will continue to post here during this transition period, but Ombailamos will eventually cease to be. Writing and marketing won't be (cannot be) a full-time job, but it's going to consume more of my time and attention than blogging ever has.
Most of the ten years' worth of content here will gradually be removed, because once I stop paying the hosting fee the world won't be able to visit. But the content is and always has been mine, so I'll save what I can. You never know what can be recycled.