New Projects: How to Write Killer Essays

It has been a long time since I posted, but I have been busy writing. In January, I started a new series of study aids called How to Write a Killer Essay. My first was Macbeth, then I wrote the following: Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew and Othello by Shakespeare and A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. They are now available on Amazon in ebook or print format. I am currently working on Sonnets and The Great Gatsby with plans for The Handmaid’s Tale and Oedipus Rex and Antigone.

I was able to draw on my teaching experience as I worked on the literature; however, getting the formatting internalized was a challenge. I used Kindle Create to make ebooks. While the program is pretty easy to use, I ran into glitches in formatting that forced me to revise and republish. I learned a great deal about technical writing and formatting. With my early books, I had to format my document separately for the print version using MS Word. A two fingered typist at the best with limited experience in all of the technical aspects of formatting, I had a steep learning curve. Now Kindle Create will format an ebook and print version at the same time! Yeah! More time for writing.

Published!

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Whew!  This retirement stuff and writing keeps me busy.  As many of you know, I participated in NaNoWriMo this year and finished with a little over the 50,000 word goal.  I had the character and bits of the story kicking around in my head for years.  I settled in, hammered things out and got busy writing.

When I first started with NaNoWriMo this year, I joined a facebook group for inspiration.  There was lots of discussion about whether one was a planner, one who plotted everything out in advance, or a panster, one who just writes and figures thing out along the way. As a teacher, I was definately a planner, often planning my lessons out for a month at a time; however, to my surprise, as I wrote this book, I was a panster.  I wrote at least a chapter a day. Then I revised first thing the next day.

As a big picture person, I am really, really bad at editing.  I found lots and lots of errors even up to today when I posted my book for sale on Amazon.  I don’t doubt there will be some more.

Once NaNoWriMo and Bea’s Tale: The Adventure Begins (Becoming Bea) were finished, I submitted my book to Kindle Scout.  This program offers readers an opportunity to nominate books they would like to buy and read. The campaign last for 30 days and after that time, Amazon kindle decides whether or not they want to publish it — offering a modest advance and promoting services. My book was not selected, but I was happy to have been part of the process.  It would have been nice to get some feedback, though.

It took me an entire day to get my book formatted for e-readers using Kindle Direct Publishing. It took me a day and a half to get the paperback ready for printing.  Kindle Direct Publishing is pretty easy to use and I am certain that the next book will take less time.

Bea’s Tale: A New Chapter (Chasing Bees) is half written at 30,000 plus words.  Now that I am finished formatting, I can get back to writing. Yeah!