Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Books published in 2011

For a change, I had only one book published this year. There was going to be another one -- my novel, Shadow of Samhain -- but, late in production, a rewrite request was made for the manuscript so publication of this book has been bumped to 2012.

My one book published this year is The Yellow Rose, a children's story I am so grateful to have in print. I wrote this story years ago, when my oldest was in kindergarten (she is now in 4th grade), so you can imagine what a blessing it was to me to finally have this story published, even illustrated! And that's what I consider this year to be for me: A blessing. Getting The Yellow Rose published was really special, and since it is my only book published this year, that makes it all the more special!

Now that 2011 is nearly come and gone, watch for more books in 2012! I am hopeful we will see more than one.

The Yellow Rose
Published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing
Available as a print and ebook


One day a gardener living on a tiny island discovers a surprise growing in his garden: A beautiful yellow rose that will never die. Every day he takes care of this perfect rose until men from a big city come to the island and convince the gardener to share the rose with the world. The men become very rich while the yellow rose becomes very weak. The greedy men want to destroy the rose since it can’t make them anymore money. Can the gardener save the special rose that he loves so much?


Sunday, December 11, 2011

My writing goals for 2012

The other day, I took the time to look over the kind of writing work I have done for the year. I wasn’t planning on doing this just yet, as I still have a few things I need to wrap up for the year, but I think it’s as good a time as any to reflect on what I have done as a writer in 2011 and what I want to do as a writer in 2012.

For one thing, I know I won’t be a “working writer” so much in 2012. Yes, I’ll continue writing for SIGNews, of course, but as far as bringing in any money is concerned, I don’t want it to be as a writer. I want to do other things. I just feel like it’s time to focus on something else to bring in that income next year. I have no idea what that will be, but I do know that is a sure thing.

And speaking of money, I went over my financial records for the year. To say the least, it’s definitely impressive. I made more this year than I did last year. And while I made an impressive amount as an editor and proofreader, I won’t be doing any editing or proofreading next year. That stuff takes up A LOT of my time and I just feel I need to step away from that for a while. I am grateful for the work I had and time will tell if I decide to go back to it in the future.

Another thing I noted while examining my financial records is that I got paid for A LOT of articles I wrote for Demand Media, and not so many from magazines. Or E-zines, e-newsletters, web sites, newspapers, etc. I have no regrets in having the experience of writing for a content mill, but I DO regret putting so much time, energy and focus into it, instead of other publications. (Seriously, where’s the love for Writing For DOLLARS! or Writing World???) So I want THAT to be the focus in 2012. I am still going to write articles and occasionally submit them, but not as a job (got some books I gotta promote, after all!).

One other thing I know I want to do next year is “spread my wings,’ so to speak, as a writer. I’ve decided that it’s time to stop talking about learning how to write a script or getting my song lyrics out there and JUST DO IT, already! That said, I'm keeping an eye out for any classes, online courses and workshops I can take to learn that stuff and go somewhere with it. My goal for 2012 is to write at least ONE script, so I am going to move forward with that instead of sitting around mumbling, “Maybe someday.” (My motto for 2012 is “Someday is today.”)

Now, as to my book goals for next year, I have put together a list of books I’m going to be revising/editing, as well as a new poetry book I’ll be working on time permitting. (I just finished one poetry book and now I’m jumping into another one. Whee!) I am also planning to collaborate on
two books next year, and I am excited about both projects. One is a novel with fellow Gypsy Shadow Publishing author Ashley Blazina and another is a new paranormal book with Martha Jette, who I worked with on the haunted houses book. Yay! I have also penciled in when I’ll be submitting the final drafts of the following manuscripts: The new poetry book (which is done), the haunted cities book (I’m still waiting to hear from certain groups), the new Shadow of Samhain (got ideas for the rewrite!) and the second book in The GHOST Group series (also done). I have figured out a certain amount of time to work on each project and I’ll be handling two at a time (during the year, I’ve been working on three books at a time! GAH!). I have broken it all up into clusters and it looks really good. It also looks like I will finally have some breathing room, too. That will be nice!!

So, that about wraps it up. Those are my writing goals for 2012. Maybe it’s just as well that I have completed this task now, because now I need to work on my personal goals for 2012. I look forward to a new year starting for us soon and what new adventures and journeys it will bring!

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Author Cemtral at Amazon.com

For some time now, I have noticed quite a few authors talking about Author Central at Amazon.com. This information pretty much went right over my head. Author Central? I figured it was an “author page” at the site that listed all my books and that authors automatically had one set up. I really didn’t think we authors needed to do anything to set this up. Turns out I was wrong.

It took my publisher at Gypsy Shadow Publishing sending a note out to her authors along the lines of “Just do it!” that snapped me to attention. After reading some of the emails from fellow GSP authors about Author Central, I decided to mosey on over to Amazon.com myself to see what all the fuss was about. Surely, I had such a page up already, right? (I hope you’ll forgive me for calling you “Shirley.”) So I logged in at Amazon and did a search on my books. One thing I noticed is that my name was a link for some books but not all. Hmm. What was that about? I clicked on one linked name and it just took me to a page where it showed my books. Okay. So I clicked on the link for my co-author of the haunted houses book, Martha Jette.

It’s a good thing I have co-authored a book, because THIS is what helped me to “get” this whole Author Central thing!

After I clicked on Martha’s name, it took me to a whole ‘nother page that was – fanfare, please – her “Author Central page.” One look at Martha’s Author Central page, and I was going, “Ooooh! Nice!” Wow, there was quite a bit of stuff there. It even showed her tweets! And her blog posts! Very cool.

Ah-ha. So THIS was Author Central. (Good grief, I have been an author all these years and didn’t realize this was available on Amazon??)

I found a link that invited visitors to sign up at Author Central so I clicked on that and it had me sign in again then I had to pick from one of a few of my titles listed and identify it as my book. I chose the haunted houses book because it came up first. Next, I had to fill in information about myself, such as a bio and my links.
I also had to add my picture. For the bio, I debated noting that I am a burn survivor, because people might see the pic of my face and wonder about the scars. Then I decided to leave that out. The pic is what it is. I don’t want people to take interest in me because of being a burn survivor; I want them to take interest in what kind of books I have written and what kind of writing I do. (And, hm, I note that I write for a newspaper for the deaf, so people will assume I am deaf? It’s ok to note I am deaf but not a burn survivor? Hm.) So I left that out. After that was set up, I added more of my books to the page.

When the page was set up, I did a search on my books again and the same thing happened. My name was a link on some books but not others. This time, though, it was a link on the haunted houses book. I clicked on there and, ta-da, it went to my Author Central page. Yay!

I even tried this when I was logged out of Amazon and the same thing happened. And this time, there was a direct link to my Author Central page among the listing of books. Yay! (For you authors out there not yet on Author Central, scroll down and you will see a link that says "Are you an author? Visit Author Central to change your photo, edit your biography, and more." Click on it to get started in setting up your own page.)

I still have some areas of my Author Central page to tweak, but it is a good starting point. When I have the chance, I will browse around the page some more to see what that other stuff is all about and spiffy it up. But for now, this is what I have.

I’m glad my publisher gave us all the virtual kick in the pants to work on our Author Central pages. (See, we authors are too busy writing our next books to even t
hink about things like Author Central pages! We need a nudge every once in a while on what all is out there for us to do in order to promote ourselves and our books). I think the Author Central page is a great way for visitors and readers to get to know authors better, and the more readers get to know about authors and everything else they have going on, the better the chances they will take interest in the author’s books.

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