Indie Publishing

Scrivener Project Management: Don’t Let the Beast Loose

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

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Keep a Lid On ItKeep track of a project at any time can be difficult. If your not able to do so things can become a monstrous mess that can consume the good intentions behind your goals. The same is true of managing a project in Scrivener.  So let’s take a look at one way to keep a lid on the beast of disorganization and it consequences.

I got an interesting question a while back so I’m addressing it today. A follower on Twitter asked about performance issues with Scrivener. It was a rather general question so I followed up by asking for more details.

The answer I got went something like this: the person asking about performance issues had a project that was opening/closing very slowly. A little further explanation indicated that the project was one that had been in use for several years with daily input during that time.

Options MenuIt wasn’t hard to imagine how large the project had gotten and there’s the rub. If you still have auto backup enabled on closing a project (recommended) then the project will backup and close once you exit. The larger the project, the longer the backup will take. Opening is a similar story sans the backup. Also, the larger the project the more computer resources will be used.

Here’s a personal feeling about this issue so take it for it’s worth. I wouldn’t recommend using a project for daily work that stretches for years – it will just get too big to open and I can imagine it would be cumbersome to manage as well. Personally, I have a few projects that I’m using throughout the year such as those for blog posts and newsletters. However, I intend to close these out at the end of the year and create new projects for these purposes in 2016. That way they are easy to manage and don’t get too large. Most projects aren’t used this way – such as a book – which will eventually be completed.

So what do you do if you have such a problem? Easy! Export older or new content (depends on how you want to do it) out of the project and then import said data back into a new project. This means that you are essentially going to split the project. Make sure to take a snapshot beforehand as well as having a backup to which you can revert (check your backup folder which is in your Options by clicking on Tools => Options => Backup, click the button to open the backup folder). Once you’ve confirmed you’ve exported and imported the data successfully you can trash what you exported out of the old project. After that, if you’re still having performance issues, contact Literature and Latte for more assistance.

Scriv Export

To export, select all the folders or documents you want to export in the Binder. Next, click File, slide to Export and click Files on the fly-out menu. There are options to choose such as the location & name of the folder where you are putting your data. There are other options showing but for these purposes only choose “Export Notes” & “Export Meta-data” since the other check-boxes will exclude data/content that you will likely want to retain.

Scriv Export Box

Importing takes a bit more effort. Before importing, assess what you are doing to know how complex the work will be. You must import individual files into specific folders if you want to retain your folder structure. First, create your new project and duplicate your folder structure to your satisfaction.

To import, choose the folder into which you will import and click File, slide to Import and choose Files to navigate to the location where you just exported. You must navigate to individual files so select all the files in each folder and all the content will be imported into the specific folder you already selected. If you haven’t made your folder structure too complex it shouldn’t take forever, otherwise it may take some time.

I hope this helps you iron out any performance issues you may have as well as manage a project that has grown in size or complexity.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events (this months volume has already gone out). Want to be listed in The Bow of Destiny credits? Join the Street Team to share upcoming links. Either way, you’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Anyone who reserves a copy by 8/7 on Barnes & Noble, Kobo or iBooks (via the iTunes app) and emails me the screen-shot of the order will also receive a free coupon to download my e-book short story, The Black Bag containing a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon. September’s FREE book is currently available on Smashwords and pending elsewhere.

The Bow of Destiny Trading Knives 1 What Is Needed 4

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Just as a note: I now have a marketing affiliation with Scrivener. For support questions, pricing, licensing and other concerns please contact the vendor. As such a buy ad for Scrivener appears on the sidebar. I’ve started this program since I like the product so much and want to offer readers the chance to obtain this software. I’m not required to write about Scrivener to be an affiliate; I just like it that much. You can also find my FTC statement on this site’s sidebar.

 

When, What & Why: A Strategic Approach to Self-Publishing

clicking mouseIn June 2014, I clicked a button on a website and felt and emptiness spread within me. I called my wife and told her I was asking myself, “What have you done?” What I had done was self-publish my first e-book. It was a decision to become a professional writer and one fraught with anxiety but I had done it for several reasons.

Self-publishing a book should be done with care and not with sudden leaps of optimistic excitement. So the question is, when, what and why to publish? I can’t tell anyone the precise answers to this bundle of questions since everyone’s situation is unique. However, I can share my reasons and maybe it will help someone else consider their own strategy.

Black Bag Cover 7Why did I self-publish what I did and when? First of all, I didn’t publish The Black Bag with high sales expectations. But there were several reasons to move forward:

  • To have a title to my name – I felt that since I had a previous publishing success with the story it was important to further use of it. Once published, I was able to get into the Goodreads Author Plan, have an author page on Amazon & Smashword as well as post it on Facebook. Additionally, I was able to engage other authors and reviewers, especially through Rave Reviews Book Club.
  • To offer something publicly – it was important to have title to giveaway and make a few sales on. Don’t underestimate the value of having a few trusted, enthusiastic readers. And it was important to have content that has helped build my email list and newsletter following.
  • To gain experience handling the publication of a book – this was most important at the time. I learned how to do basic covers, format an e-book as well as what it takes to get the manuscript online. Afterward, I learned about gaining reviews and handling promotion. In short, I cut my self-publishing teeth on this short story.

QuestionThe why of the matter, carried a lot of weight and help accomplish, at least in part, all of the above reasons. By garnering some reviews I built some trust. Additionally, as already mentioned, it opened doors to resources that would not have been available otherwise. But what I have learned about promoting a book has also been invaluable.

As to what to publish, I chose what I had available at the time. If I had it to do over I might – and I stress might – have chosen to put out at least a short anthology of stories. However, a single story proved manageable where more content may have been initially difficult. I didn’t choose to use just anything – I had some idea that the story was good enough to gain some positive reviews. So I don’t advise self-publishing the first thing your write – get some feedback first and make sure it’s from a knowledgeable source.

Now for the when: I chose to self-publish sooner rather than later. I wanted to have material out that I could use for promotion, gain experience promoting and use for building a readership along the way. This is open-ended and really depends on where you are as a writer so release something when you have a realistic idea of where you are as a writer. I suggest posting some of your work on Wattpad to obtain feedback and build something of a following so you can gauge where you are.

So how do I think it all worked out? I got out of the experience what I needed: I learned and grew from publishing The Black Bag. I don’t think when I click the button to release The Bow of Destiny that I’ll be worried near as much. Now I know what to expect and I’ve already used the available time to build a more solid platform connected to broader Wattpadresources in the writing world. However, I would also suggest that you be prepared to put out a few more works to keep some traction with readers – I should have done this sooner. Also, I should have adopted Wattpad much sooner.

Here’s the final point, choose wisely what you publish first. Don’t expect to sell big numbers with your first book. Instead, start small with something solid and work on growing into something bigger and better. Learn the ropes and you’ll be ready for what comes next.

What’s your strategy for self-publishing? How have you grown as a writer by self-publishing? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

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The Bow of Destiny Trading Knives 1

Fantasy Authors Unplugged Featuring P. H. Solomon & Trading Knives

This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule. Since I’ve run out of takers to be interviewed and the Brain to Books Blog Tour has ended, I’ll feature my own titles since this is release month for The Bow of Destiny.

The Bow of Destiny

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Trading Knives 1Featured Book: Trading Knives

This week, I’ll share some about the current free short story, Trading Knives. This story is a prequel to The Bow of Destiny which introduces one of the main antagonists in the novel, Corgren, who wants to gain the upper hand against his enemies. It’s a story that also serves to provide some background for the world of Denaria, specifically the region where some the conflict begins in the lands of Hart and Rok.

It’s always a risk to share a short story related to an upcoming novel, after all, if your work is not intriguing no one may give the book a chance. However, I tested the story on Wattpad and received positive feedback as well as tips on improvement. I then spent a few bucks on editing the story just to find all the holes and grammatical problems. So far, the book has been downloaded over a hundred times in less than a month and has received mainly good reviews on Amazon.

Blurb:

Corgren makes a living as a prize knife-fighter in the rough fighting rings along the Hart river. When a mysterious stranger offers him power to gain revenge on his enemies for his service, Corgren dismisses it as a con. But when the stakes are high against an opponent as skilled as himself, will Corgren accept offer?

What Is Needed 4What’s Next?

This week, I’m uploading the next prequel short story, What Is Needed, which focuses on another character appearing in The Bow of Destiny as well as revealing events that further set-up the plot of the novel. I hope to have it ready by Labor Day so look for that bit of news next week. Want to read it now – see the Wattpad version.

I’m putting the finishing touches on The Bow of Destiny now. Anyone interested in a pre-release copy for review, please contact me. A sample of the novel is in posted on Goodreads where you can also add it to your shelf to receive notice of publication. Also, links are posted below where you can place pre-release orders for The Bow of Destiny and download Trading Knives.

Additionally, I’m making a few blog and internet radio appearances throughout the next month or so including being featured on release day, 9/28/15, in the RRBC Back to School Blog & Book Block Party which is ongoing all month.

If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

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