Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Thank You

I got a royalty statement yesterday from The Invisible College Press, who published my novel Cold in the Light, saying that I’d earned out my advance and would now be making actual royalties on the book for the first time. I was thrilled, and I want to thank my friends here in the blogosphere because I know it was you guys who put me over the top. I’ve been amazed at the support for my work that I’ve seen here in the “sphere.” Thank you so much.

In writing news, I’ve passed the 50 page mark on Wraith of Talera, about 14,000 words. These books are not terribly long so I figure I’m looking at 225-250 pages total. It’s been going slower than I would like but actually faster than the first three in the series. Of course, this will still need revision and I’ll probably make adjustments to these early sections as the plot unfolds. I tend to polish pretty much as I go, though, so I can always hope the revisions won’t be too extensive.

I’ve had people tell me I’m prolific. I always have to laugh. I’m actually a very slow writer. I hardly ever manage more than 2 or 3 new pages a day on fiction, and that’s when I’m not teaching. During the school year I’m lucky to get a page a day, although I do quite a bit better with nonfiction. I also spend a lot of my writing time revising, revising, revising, and that has probably been the key to any publications I have gotten.

The truth is that I just spend a lot of hours at the keyboard and rarely skip a day. Even a paragraph moves you toward a finished product. Even a sentence. If there is a secret to writing, it’s to put in the time.


LoveRundle said...

Congratulations on the great news! Three pages a day is a lot.

Happy Writing!

the walking man said...

Charles just out of curiosity I'd like to know what form do you prefer to submit in and if it's paper what format do you use? Double space, single space 1" margins etc.

Greg said...

Congrats, Charles! Hope those royalties pile up!

I know I for one am really enjoying "Cold in the Light" right now. I'm about 3/4 the way through, and glad that there's still a decent chunk left to read, 'cause I don't want to put it down.

ivan said...

Hey, congrats.

Been many a moon since I've had royalties, and in all they only totalled to a few hunded dollars.
'''And the publisher got mad, and said "I am paying you good money to print this sh*t?" and cut off the press run.
I had forgotten that the publisher too, had once been a writer.

A well. Nice to win a few.

Way to go!

Paul R. McNamee said...

Well done.

I just ordered Swords of Talera this morning, so maybe that will push over the advance edge, too. ;)

laughingwolf said...

grats on that, charles! hope the $$$ rolls in now :)

i'm in about a 5th or 6th rewrite of a short/short i'm doing as a b'day present for a friend... a continuation of what i gave her for an earlier b'day

your schedule matches your style, so keep doing it that way :)

started on 'wings', btw

Sphinx Ink said...

Congrats! I'm so pleased for you...

Now aren't you glad you took my advice to start a blog???

Charles Gramlich said...

Christina, thanks. I know a lot of writers that do more than 3 pages a day, and that is usually my outside limit.

Mark, mostly I submit these days via email, but I typically send it as an attachment so the formats are the same. I use Times New Roman 12 point type, always double spaced, with 1 1/2 inch margins at left and one inch the rest of the way around. There are some places that prefer Courier New 12 point type so I will do that if needed. I include my name, address and email at top left (single spaced) and a word count at top right, and I put in a header with my last name and a partial title on every page, as well as a page number.

Greg, me too. Sure would be nice. I'm really glad you're enjoying Cold. I hope to write another thriller soon.

Ivan, All my royalties together have barely bought me a tank of gas so far.

Paul, I appreciate that. Let me know what you think.

Laughingwolf, the rewriting sounds familiar. I do a lot of it. Hope you enjoy Wings.

Sphinx Ink, because I'm an unknown I have to pretty much hand sell every book and the blog has been great for that. I appreciate you turning me onto it. It's been fun.

Sidney said...

That's great news!

BernardL said...

I'm glad you posted your progress, Charles. Good news in publishing is scarce. This will not go well for you, but we have very similar writing habits. :)

Middle Ditch said...

They do say that every journey begins with one step (word).

Congrats Charles, you deserve it.

Shauna Roberts said...

Great news! May you hear the same for all of your Talera books soon.

laughingwolf said...

so far so good, just starting ch.3 :)

writtenwyrdd said...

Earning out the advance is a big deal, so congrats there. I think that revision is the key to getting a good product written, and that does count as writing. You can't go to press without it!

Heff said...

Hey, Man - you're prolific.

Bernita said...

Congratulations on all fronts, Charles.
So glad the Talera book is coming along.
A tank of gas sounds about right from here too!
I can usually manage only two pages a day - and I don't have an outside day job.

Travis Erwin said...

Congrats on earning out. Hope the royalties roll in.

Sarai said...

Congrats!!! Always cool. You are so right about the actual writing part. I tend to focus too much on word count and not quality which bites me later

Steve Malley said...

"Even a paragraph moves you toward a finished product. Even a sentence. If there is a secret to writing, it’s to put in the time."

Damn straight.

Tom Robbins sets a goal of one sentence per day. It takes him three years a book and leaves him a nervous wreck at the end, but that one sentence goal has made him pretty prolific too.

And Cold Deserves all its success and more!

Lana Gramlich said...

Writing, schmiting...Go have a beer on the deck. ;)
Silliness aside...Congratulations baby & keep up the good work!

Mary Witzl said...

Congratulations from me too!

I don't write more than three or four pages a day either, but like you I seldom miss a day. I think that's a better way to write than going great guns on something only once or twice a week. I need to live and breathe the story or I lose track of all the threads.

Anndi said...

This calls for a big old


Congrats dear!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Revision is my middle name. When my time comes, I'm praying that my well earned connection doesn't choke on a chicken bone.

You're a vegetarian, right?

Travis Cody said...

Congrats on the royalties!

**pops open a cold one**


Charles Gramlich said...

Sidney, it feels pretty good.

Bernardl, thanks. Good habits are a good thing.

Middle-ditch, it's been a pretty good journey so far.

Shauna, thank you for the good wishes.

Writtenwyrd, I definitely tell folks that rewriting is the key. It certainly was for me.

Heff, but will that buy me a beer? That's what I want to know.

Bernita, I find that if I push myself too hard one day I tend to have more trouble the next. So I'm generally just going to have to be satisfied with the relatively slow rate of progress I make.

Sarai, I tend to think that when you're working on a manuscript there is a greater pay off from the first rewrite than from the rough drafting that goes before. Of course, you've gotta get 'em both done.

Steve Malley, thankee. I didn't know that about Robbins. His "Jitterbug Perfume" has one of the greatest openings ever when you look sentence by sentence. I can imagine taking a long time to pull that off.

Travis Erwin, that would be nice.

Lana, I will if you'll bring it to me.

Mary Witzl, I agree. Consistency is much better than writing in a whirlwind and then running into a stop.

Anndi, Thanks for the shout out.

JR, LOL. I'm a vegetarian in the sense that I typically avoid all vegetables.

Travis, uhm, that sounds tasty. Thanks.

cs harris said...

Congratulations on earning out! May the royalties roll in.

L.A. Mitchell said...

I sprint my word count in short bursts, but know I would make it to the finish line faster with your method of consistency.

Enjoy the royalties :)

Erik Donald France said...

Major congrats and kudos for keeping at it thrugh thick and thin!

X. Dell said...

That's actually a pretty good clip. After all, a page a day is a novel a year.

Congratulations on the royalty check. I can only hope they get bigger from here on out.

Perhaps see your name in lights?

Merisi said...

Congratulations, Charles!

You seem to have found the pace and way of writing and managing your time that best suits you. Turning out 2 or 3 pages a day on a regular basis does indeed seem prolific to me.

I wish you all the best on your current and future endeavors!

Danette Haworth said...

WOW! and congratulations on earning out that advance. What wonderful news, proves your work is worth the money and then some.

Charles Gramlich said...

Candice, that would indeed be nice. But I won't hold my breath.

L. A. Mitchell, I sometimes get into a bit of a sprint but I never can maintain it for long.

Erik, thankee.

X-Dell, I definitely think like that. If I can just keep up a steady pace I know I'll reach "the end."

Merisi, I guess when you think about it that way I suppose it is.

Danette, thanks, and congrats to you as well. Great to hold your book in your hand eh?

Farrah Rochon said...

Congrats on getting royalties! I hope to follow in your footsteps!

SQT said...

I think 2-3 pages a day, especially if you're consistent, is a good pace. I know people who can hammer out 10-- though I don't know how good it is-- but then get burned out quickly.

laughingwolf said...

today is an off day... read two chapters in 'wings'... rewrote one page of my wip....

Charles Gramlich said...

Farrah, I'm sure you'll be making more than me.

SQT, I do think that people who write too much too fast get burned out. Witness my friend Charles Nuetzel, who wrote whole books in extremely short times and then just stopped.

Laughingwolf, cool. I tended to write shorter chapters across the series, and am continuing that into the forth. Speaking of which, I'm off to do some on that.

Lana Gramlich said...

You know I'll do it...the Brew Pub's just across the street from work... ;)

Chris Eldin said...

AWESOME news!!!
That is just sooooo cool!!! I have to scroll down and read the comments, but has anyone asked what you're going to do with your first royalty check?

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

How wonderful for you Charles. You inspire me.


Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...

Congratulations. I enjoyed the book. I would love to read more in this vein.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, you jes bring your own sweetself home, honey chile. That's all I need.

Tara, thanks. I loved your recent poem.

Chris Eldin, I haven't gotten it yet, but I figure it'll have something to do with going out to eat. Unless one of the cars breaks down between now and then.

Stewart, thanks. I'm very glad you liked it. I really appreciate you picking it up. I do intend to write another thriller, but first it's another Talera book and then a nonfiction one.

laughingwolf said...

ch 13 is read... :)

Sarah Hina said...

Congratulations on all fronts, Charles! And you're right about steady dedication to the craft.

I really loved your story for Jason's contest. It's difficult to make an impact in 250 words, but you managed to do that...and how.

I look forward to stopping by here in the future!

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, Cool!

Sarah Hina, thanks very much. I appreciate the kind words.

J. L. Krueger said...

"If there is a secret to writing, it’s to put in the time."

Bingo Charles! If you could only explain writing in one sentence, that's it.

Congrats! Your royalties have netted a FULL tank of gas? That's great news! I think I'm at a quarter tank. :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Charles. It's all gravy from now on.

Mimi Lenox said...

That IS the secret. Sitting down and staring at the paper....then it usually starts to flow. I don't know how you get any serious writing done while you're teaching though. Very tough to do.

Cath said...

Congratulations on getting some royalties at last for your hard work! That must be a great feeling.

And thanks for the advice in your last line - you are so right. Discipline is what is required. I need to do some of that... ;0)

Charles Gramlich said...


Jack, exactly so.

Mimi, it is hard. There are times when it's impossible but I try at least to do a little bit each day.

Charles Gramlich said...

Crazycath, you've got the discipline. I see it in your blogging patterns.

Lisa said...

Congratulations Charles! I must sheepishly admit, I haven't read COLD IN THE LIGHT...yet, but I own it and it's in the TBR stack. I do like a thriller and I'm reading one now, so I think I'll keep on that track and read it next.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lisa, I hope you like it.

Josephine Damian said...

WTG, Charles, and proof that using a blog to network does help sell books.

Great advice/reminder about the seat-of-the-pants-to-the-seat-of-the-chair.

I'm almost halfway through my hiatus and almost done with thesis research. Let the thesis writing begin!

Cate Gardner said...


Charles Gramlich said...

Josephine, thanks. Good luck on the thesis.

Catherine, thanks for stopping by. And thanks for the congrats.