Reading Habits (3): Traditional or Indie?

I’m a firm believer that, if you’re going to publish independently, then you have to read books that other people have published independently. That doesn’t mean that I don’t read traditionally published books as well. Of course, I do. It does mean that I want to get an idea of what other people are publishing and I want to support indie publishers. It also means that I can read critically with a view to seeing what errors they make that I can avoid – every little advantage helps!

When I first got my Kindle, I downloaded all the books that writing acquantances were putting up for free on Amazon and I’m still making my way through those. Some are traditionally published and some are indie published. I often don’t know which until I’ve finished them and find the publisher’s details at the end. I will read them all eventually. I’ve got about twenty-two books either unread, or part read on there at present, and I’m trying not to download any others until I’m finished those I have, but I’m more selective about what I download now.

There are two series I’ve started recently that were freebie firsts in the series, which I’ve put on my list to read the next instalment in the future. One is indie, one is traditional. They’re not the only books on my wish list – I try to keep that short as well so that I’m not tempted to buy too many books! I also want to read a lot of the classics that I never got round to before, which come under traditional publishing, but which I can probably download as public domain books.

So, if you’re an indie publisher, do you read many indie books? Or, dare I say it, do you just expect other people to do that?


Progress Report: 17/02/2014 – 23/02/2014

Welcome to week seven. I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made this week, and I’ve worked on a couple of extra projects as well.


Rag & Bones: Secrets

Aim: To edit 5,000 words per day, Monday to Friday.

  • Monday: 5,199
  • Tuesday: 11,200
  • Wednesday: 16,544
  • Thursday: 21,878
  • Friday: 28,807

Goal achieved. Same goal for next week, which should take me through a whole edit.

Sci-fi Novel

Starting word count:39.003. Aim: To increase wordcount by 1,000 – 1,500 words each day, Monday to Friday.

  • Monday: 40,012
  • Tuesday: 41,026
  • Wednesday: 42,017
  • Thursday: 43,015
  • Friday: 43,999

Total wordcount: 4,996. Goal achieved. I’m going to reduce the count for next week as I’ve basically finished the first run through and I’ll be starting from the beginning again, so the target will be 500 – 1,000 words, Monday to Friday..

Rag & Bones Shorts: 1941

Aim: To edit during the weekend and to work on the cover. Goal achieved. Next week’s target is another weekend edit and to prepare for publishing.

Other writring

That other possible novel has also called on my time this week. I haven’t worked on it every day, but the word count has increased to 2,218.

I’ve also started working on a non-fiction short book (I publish a small amount of non-fiction under a pen name), which currently stands at 2,244 words.

There are no targets for these pieces. If I feel inspired, I will work on them.


Aim: To monitor time spent reading over the week.

  • Monday: 4.00
  • Tuesday: 4.25
  • Wednesday: 4.75
  • Thursday: 2.75
  • Friday: 3.25
  • Saturday: 3.00
  • Sunday: 0.50

Total hours: 22.50


Join me next Monday for another round-up of progress and if you’re also challenging yourself to a wordcount each week, let me know in the comments..

Reading Habits (2) – Paper or Digital

There was a time, not so long ago, when I was one of those people who said that eReaders would never catch on and that I couldn’t imagine using one.

Those days have gone.

I read most of my books on an eReader now (probably a good 95%). I love the ease with which you can adjust the text to make if comfortable for your eyes. I love the fact that (most) eBooks are cheaper and, therefore, I can afford to read more. I  love that I can download public domain works for free, which allows me to catch up on all those classics I never got round to reading.

The only times I read paper books these days are: if I win them in a competition; I get them as a gift, or; if I want to buy a reference book (because those are generally easier to navigate in paper form).

So, I’m a convert. Are you?

Progress Report: 10/02/2014 – 16/02/2014

Welcome to week six. Okay, last week I said it was the week of the endless storms, but this week was worse on that count. Although it has nothing to do with the writing (and the reading), it does affect my productivity. I cannot concentrate on either when the wind is blowing that strongly outside. So, some of the counts are a little down on what I had hoped for.


Sci-fi Novel

Starting word count: 27,931. Aim: To increase wordcount by 2,000 – 3,000 words each day, Monday to Friday.

  • Monday: 30,226
  • Tuesday: 32,478
  • Wednesday: 34,704
  • Thursday: 36,675
  • Friday: 39,003

Total wordcount: 11,072. Goal achieved, but not as high as I’d hoped. This book will be my secondary writing project for next week. I hope to do between 1,000 and 1,500 words per day, Monday to Friday. My primary project will be a first edit on Rag & Bones: Secrets with a target of 5,000 words edited per day.

Rag & Bones Shorts: 1941

Aim: To edit during the weekend. Goal achieved. Next week’s target is the same. A second edit over the weekend and to work on the cover for the story.

Other writring

I also wrote an entry for the National Flash Fiction day competition (a one hundred word story), which I intend to submit next week sometime and about three hundred words on another idea I’ve had for a novel..


Aim: To monitor time spent reading over the week.

  • Monday: 3.00
  • Tuesday: 3.50
  • Wednesday: 3.50
  • Thursday: 1.00
  • Friday: 1.00
  • Saturday: 2.75
  • Sunday: 4.25

Total hours: 19.00


Join me next Monday for another round-up of progress and if you’re also challenging yourself to a wordcount each week, let me know in the comments..

Reading Habits (1) – To Finish or Not

I have decided that I am going to write a series of posts on my reading habits (seeing as I’m now monitoring how many hours I spend). These won’t necessarily appear every week, but I hope they will form a short series over the next couple of months. Topic one is, as the title suggests, whether or not I finish all the books I start to read.

There have been a number of surveys I’ve read recently that suggest a high  percentage of readers don’t finish the books they start to read. I don’t know whether this is a new phenomenon,  or something that has always happened. The reason I say that is that there haven’t always been so many free books available as there are to day with the advent of self-publishing, unless, of course, you frequent the rapidly dwindling libraries, and it could be that many of these free books are not grabbing the reader’s attention, so they move onto the next free offering.

I have always been someone who tries their hardest to finish a book and there have been some that have been a real struggle. For example, I tried reading Frankenstein not so long ago (well, actually I started it a long time ago and finished it towards the end of last year) and found it really hard going. This was mainly because of the archaic language used in the book. I found myself switching off and not really reading the words. But, I still got to the end, and I’m glad I did. Other times there might be whole swathes of the book that I enjoy, but there are some particularly boring passages in the middle. I usually force my way through those as well. I did recently start one independently published book that I didn’t finish. In fact, I only got a couple of chapters in. Why did I stop? Because there were so many grammatical errors on each page that I was getting very annoyed with it and it was taking me so far out of the story that I couldn’t find my way back.

So far this year I have finished sixteen books. They aren’t all long books – there’s at least one flash fiction collection in there and a short how to book, but most of them are novels of varying lengths. I currently have four books on the go. One is a chick-lit type book, which I’ll likely have finished before this post goes live. The second is an epic fantasy that I’ve sort of lost my way with, mainly because of its length, but that I will go back to. There’s another book that’s sort of women’s fiction, but I’m not quite sure where it’s going – I keep picking that one up and putting it down again. The fourth is a classic, which I am, once again, finding very hard going. I do expect that I will finish all of these books, because they are not bad books and I know I will get something out of them when I do.

How about you? Do you battle on to the end of every book you buy, borrow or download, or do you often give up because life’s too short?

A Lovely Surprise

I received some post today that I wasn’t expecting.

2014-02-11 19.09.44 2014-02-11 19.10.36

It’s my copy of The British Fantasy Society Journal containing my third place story from last year’s flash fiction competition, held in conjunction with National Flash Fiction Day.

I have to say, I wasn’t expecting it to be something quite so chunky. Plenty of reading to do!

Progress Report: 03/02/2014 – 09/02/2014

Welcome to week five – the week of the endless storms (no, that’s nothing to do with the writing).


Sci-fi Novel

Starting word count: 17,918. Aim: To increase wordcount by 1,500 – 2,000 words each day, Monday to Friday.

  • Monday: 19,756
  • Tuesday: 21,690
  • Wednesday: 23,600
  • Thursday: 25,594
  • Friday: 27,931

Total wordcount: 10,013. Goal achieved. This book will again be my primary writing project for next week, but I’m upping the target to between 2,000 and 3,000 words per day, Monday to Friday.

Rag & Bones Shorts: 1941

Aim: To write 500 words per day, Monday to Friday and to continue to work on it over the weekend.. Starting wordcount 4,413.

  • Monday: 4,915
  • Tuesday: 5,416
  • Wednesday: 6,019
  • Thursday: 6,524
  • Friday: 7,713
  • Saturday: 8,625
  • Sunday: 9,416

Total words:5,003. Goal achieved. The first draft of this story is now complete. To go through a first edit next weekend.

Other writring

I also completed and submitted a 75 word story this week and wrote another 1,000 word story, which I intend to submit in the next couple of weeks.


Aim: To monitor time spent reading over the week.

  • Monday: 3.00
  • Tuesday: 1.25
  • Wednesday: 2.25
  • Thursday: 2.25
  • Friday: 2.50
  • Saturday: 3.25
  • Sunday: 4.25

Total hours: 18.75


Join me next Monday for another round-up of progress and if you’re also challenging yourself to a wordcount each week, let me know in the comments..