It’s nearly time for my massive writing, illustration, publishing, and programming reboot!I went back to school in 2015 to pursue a Master of Library and Information Science degree at San José State University. I knew it’d mean putting aside many of my plans for writing, illustration, publishing, and programming. That means new editions, new previously unpublished books, new websites, and other new projects!
I went back to school in 2015 to pursue a Master of Library and Information Science degree at San José State University. I knew it’d mean putting aside many of my plans for writing, illustration, publishing, and programming.
I went back to school in 2015 to pursue a Master of Library and Information Science degree at San José State University. I knew it’d mean putting aside many of my plans for writing, illustration, and publishing. When you’re working full-time, going to school full time, and have a family, something has to give! Like a mogwai fed after midnight, I was a bit of a monster for a while after making the decision. It got better, then it got much better. I’ve done well and have recently registered for my last semester of classes. If all goes as planned, I’ll finish my e-portfolio during the Fall 2017 semester and receive my degree after over twenty-five years working in libraries!
Although I’ll be busy this next semester, I’m looking forward to the summer following as the chief time to begin this reboot of my writing, illustration, and publishing efforts. In the meantime, I’ve started laying some ground work.
I haven’t written much the past two years. I don’t anticipate that changing until I finish the MLIS degree. I’d love to have more time to write—and stay sane! And healthy. It’s a question of priorities. One of the things I learned was that I really did need to pay attention to my mental and physical health. Now I walk daily, meditate daily, and take time to relax and have fun.
I’ve managed to complete a few short stories, but that’s it. Not only do I want to write more stories, I have a very long list of novels I want to write. That includes novels in my existing series as well as new series of novels. It’ll take me years to write the novels I have planned!
Several years ago now, I decided I wanted to illustrate my books. Cover art, and in some cases, interior art. This is a major part of my reboot plans.
Although I’ve enjoyed drawing and painting I haven’t pursued it professionally. I jumped in and released books with less-than-professional covers. I’m not too concerned about that, but I do want to do better. I want to get my skills to the point where people see the covers and want to pick up the book. I look at the work of artists like Matt Dixon, James Gurney, Terryl Whitlatch, Bobby Chiu, Brom, Nick Harris, and so many others, and want to do the same sort of thing. I’ve collected a whole bunch of books, issues of ImagineFX, and a Schoolism subscription to help teach myself how to do professional illustration.
I intend to practice and study until I’m able to do the sort of illustrations I’d like to see on my books.
I started publishing back in 2009, released much more in 2010-2011, and then didn’t do as much. In 2013-2014 I did a mini-reboot and reissued new versions of my three primary series and I retired my multiple pen names in favor of just using my name. I released my last novel just before starting the MLIS program.
Over the past five years, I’ve learned more about publishing. I recognize mistakes I made. I see ways that I want to change things with this reboot.
Does it make good business sense to put out hardcover novels? Maybe not. Yet I collect my favorite authors in hardcover books. With this reboot, I want to have hardcovers I can hold in my hand (with covers I’m proud to show off).
That means redoing everything about my previously released titles, and my unreleased titles. I intend to spend more time on designing the book I want and doing everything I can to make a high-quality book.
The question comes up: why are you doing all of this yourself? Wouldn’t it be better to hire someone else? Probably! Except I want to do it. I want to learn new skills, to stretch myself, and I enjoy the act of crafting not only the words but the actual book.
Smarter Business Practices
I also plan on improving business practices. In part, that means completing a book and then setting a release date far enough out that I can do promotion, set up preorders, and take other steps. It means having a publishing schedule.
I’m a librarian first, which means I do have leeway on how I approach my business, e.g., I have freedom to focus more on developing readership than profits. I can experiment more and focus on having fun.
Along the way, I plan to reboot all of my websites as well.
Many years ago, at the dawn of the web, I experimented with programming and distributing shareware applications for Windows 3.1. As I’ve pursued my MLIS degree, I have taken classes on HTML/CSS, XML, and big data. These classes reignited my interest in programming. I have several projects in mind to work on once I finish the degree.
The website reboots are a small step—I plan to reboot from scratch some writing plugin tools (along with some new tools). It isn’t going to be my leading focus, but I do plan on doing much more with programming and web development. It’ll be fun!