Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Friday, January 24, 2014

If a book is ready, then why not publish it?

It used to be that I would try to get certain types of books published each year. While this was out of my control for a while there, I really hoped that the following types of books would come out each year: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s. Thankfully, I was able to accomplish this with my publishers. After I started self-publishing, and after some publishers I have worked with stopped publishing certain types of books, or would not publish a certain book in print, I had more control over making sure this happened.

And that’s a system I got comfortable with. Thanks to my publishers and my self-publishing, these were the types of books that came out every year.

Then I came across something that made me change my mind.

I am a member of an online writer’s group, and someone in the group asked a rhetorical question: “Why would a publisher not publish a book that was ready for publication?” (I am paraphrasing this person.) The topic of discussion was the right time to publish a book in a series (most publishers publish one a year). Someone brought up a hunch that publishers were holding books back because of the one-book-each-year system. Still, the question got me thinking. Why would a publisher – or even a self-publisher – hold back a book if it’s ready to go?

Why, indeed.

It makes sense to publish a book if it’s ready for publication. Granted, some books are slated for publication at certain times of the year so they would have a better chance of selling (like a book about mothering for Mother’s Day), but if that is not the case for this book, then why wait?

As I like to say, there’s no time like the present.

So I decided that instead of “one poetry book a year” or “one children’s book a year,” like before, I’ll go ahead and self-publish a poetry book or a children’s book if it’s ready for publication. I do still try to do at least one nonfiction book a year, but sometimes there might be two, as I work with more than one publisher, or none at all. That is really all up in the air. The publisher has control over when that book comes out (as much control as they can try to have, anyway!), but not me. I do try, but sometimes it might not happen.

Because I have a series, however, I can count on 5 more of those books coming out one year at a time. In fact, the next one comes out this year. So I’m good with the fiction. And this year will see the publication of THREE nonfiction books (or maybe 5, if two other publishers come through), and I’ll admit that’s quite unusual. But this year is the 10th anniversary for two of those books, so it’s a special occasion. I have a nonfiction series, as well, so it is very likely I can count on one a year with nonfiction.

But there’s going to be something a little bit different this year with other books.

For starters, I am self-publishing a nonfiction book this year. The only reason why I am doing this is because it’s a short book and I would like it to be available in print. It’s one of those books that was ready for publication, so really, why not get it out there? I did NOT get this manuscript edited, however, and I have a very, very good reason for making that decision: The words in the book are not my own. I was inspired to write them. It’s hard to explain, but the words in this particular book, The Warrior Way, came to me in a trance as I meditated. This all happened several years ago. It was as though a voice was speaking to me and all I could do was type everything onto the computer. Because the words are not mine, I really do not want to change anything. This type of thing has happened to me before, like with automatic writing, and for other situations like when I'm between dreaming and sleeping. It has not happened so strongly again since. I am grateful that it happened, though, because I think it’s a good book with some really good ideas.

Another thing different is that I will be self-publishing two poetry books this year, as well as two children’s books. Again, they were books that were ready to go, so why not publish them?

There really is no time like the present.

I don’t know if I’ll continue with this in the future, but there will definitely be quite a few books I’ll have coming out this year. Not bad for the 10-year anniversary.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Prioritizing the book work

Earlier this week, I was startled to realize just how much work I have on my plate this year. I’ve got A LOT going on with the books and will definitely be “book busy” all year long. But this week, as I have been working on the books, I realized that I need to make some books a priority while others will have to be worked on whenever the time arises.

Some of the books I’m working on need to be finished by certain deadlines, so I really need to make those books come first. The three poetry books I’m currently writing as well as the novel I’m revising will all have to wait for whenever I can get to them. The ones with deadlines are the ones I need to finish ASAP!

The haunted cities book is one such book. I am planning to submit it by the end of the month – but work on that subject won’t stop there! I have gone back to the idea of turning this one into a series. In fact, I want to try to include a city in all 50 states! I can’t do that with just one book, so there will be a second and maybe even a third haunted cities book. What I can’t get into the first one will go into the second one, and so on.

Another important book to finish is the spinoff book I’m writing for 365 Tips for Writers. My publisher has not officially given the green light to submit it, but she is interested in it, so that’s all I need to get this project wrapped up and finalized.

And speaking of books tied to another book, I’m also working on the second volume for BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents. I was thrilled to find all the notes and interviews I thought I lost, and since this year marks the 10th year since Volume One came out, I think it’s a good time for Volume Two! So I’m working on that one, as well.

I am also working on the health book. This is one of the books I hope to finish and send off this year. I hope I can get it done and submitted by the end of the year.

But right now, I’m working on wrapping up the other books I have mentioned above. After they are done, and I hope that’ll be by the summer, then I can get back to work on the poetry books, health book and novel revisions. I hope this process will ensure I get the important books done in a timely manner.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Into The Spiral Release Day Blitz for author Erin Danzer

Today I'd like to welcome author Erin Danzer to my blog. Her novel, Into The Spiral, was released this month. Congratulations, Erin! It definitely sounds like an interesting story! I am happy to offer her this guest spot on my blog today. Please check out her book!

Title: Into The Spiral

Series: The Spiral Defenders

Author: Erin Danzer

Formats Available In: Digital

Publication Date: January 2014

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Lambert wants to get out from under her older brother’s shadow. When Ronnie gets a tattoo and then is struck by lightning, she suddenly finds herself able to see and hear things in shadows that don’t appear to others. Then Ronnie meets Gavin Clearwater, the hot new guy in all of her classes and finds out he can see and hear the same things she can.

Gavin tells her about the Spiral Defenders, a group of warriors that travels through space and time to defend the planets of the Spiral. After meeting the Commander of the Spiral Defenders and realizing his intentions might not be pure, Ronnie struggles between following her destiny to become a Spiral Defender and trying to regain the life she had before being struck by lightning.


She looked and gave a little wave before turning to walk into her room only to find her way blocked by yet another guy. This school seemed to be crawling with hotties! This one was only a few inches taller than her, kind of short for a guy, with straight black hair and dark slightly slanted eyes. He wore black cargo pants, a black t-shirt that did nothing to hide his six-pack abs, and black combat boots. He looked her up and down and arched an eyebrow as he stepped aside.

“After you, Princess,” he said, making a sweeping gesture with his arm as he slightly bowed. Ronnie didn’t know whether to be appalled or to laugh at him and didn’t have time to make up her mind as their Homeroom teacher asked if they would be joining them today. Cheeks flushed, Ronnie walked into the room and sat in the first available seat. The guy in the doorway sat at the desk behind her and gave a small smirk that she pretended to ignore. Who the hell did this guy think he was? She looked across the room and smiled when she saw Shawn sitting in the back corner. He smiled and nodded when he saw her and her heart fluttered.

“Boyfriend, or someone you wish was?” the boy behind her whispered. Ronnie rolled her eyes. Her shoulders tightened as she tried to ignore him but he wasn’t going to be dissuaded so easily.

“Huh, well, if you’re not going to answer, then I’m going to have to guess,” he continued. “My guess would be that he’s not your boyfriend but you want him to be. Since you didn’t walk in with him, it makes me wonder if he’s even interested in you. What is he, an oblivious friend? Or does he not even know you exist? Is that what this outfit is for; so he will finally see you?”

Ronnie’s ears reddened and it took the last of her willpower to keep from turning around and telling him to shut up. She clenched her hands together on top of her desk, praying the teacher would call on either one of them just so he would stop talking. A million comebacks flashed through her mind, but she ground her teeth, knowing she would never say any of them. Despite her promise to herself to become her own person, she really didn’t know how to go about doing that. She thought it would be easy once she got the tattoo, but she knew she was failing. Even showing it off this morning, the little bit that she was able to, had taken more courage than she normally possessed—and she hadn't even had the satisfaction of Shawn seeing it.

Thinking about Shawn took her mind off the jerk behind her and she managed to tune into what the teacher was saying. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that interesting (all about locker assignments and hall passing times) so she tuned out as quickly as she’d tuned in, her mind wandering back to Shawn. She snuck another peek at him and was thrilled to find him watching her—or at least that’s what it looked like at first. He was actually looking at something behind her. She moved her head to get a better look and felt a tug on her hair.

“Stop moving; I’m almost done,” the guy behind her muttered. Ronnie spun around.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she shrieked, unable to pretend ignorance anymore. She ran a hand over her hair and found a thin lock he had apparently been braiding. Her eyes narrowed as the rest of the class waited for his reaction. Even the teacher had stopped talking.

“I was bored,” he muttered. “And your hair is really pretty.”

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About Erin Danzer:

Erin Danzer wrote her first book at 10-years-old for a Young Authors competition, where she was awarded an Honorable Mention and discovered a passion for the written word. She’s written several novels and short stories since that spark ignited. Into the Spiral is the first of a four book series. In addition to her novels, Erin writes a monthly short story serial, The Cassandra Serafin Chronicles, posting alternately on her blog and in Literary Lunes bi-monthly online magazine. Erin resides in Racine, Wisconsin, with her husband, two children, and their cat.

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