RUSSIAN GOLD available for pre-order
I think I've figured out the pre-order thing. The second in my "Russian Love" series, titled Russian Gold, is available for pre-order and will officially go live on October 31, as promised. This short novel (around 53,000 words) is priced at $1.99 for the Kindle version.
I almost didn't make that self-imposed deadline.
I've been busy, folks, really busy. Then my supervisor for the part-time quality assurance (QA) job I hold took a well-deserved, 2-week vacation. So pretty much everything "QA" fell on my shoulders. I muddled through with the help of co-workers who graciously endured my uncertainty, but let's just say that my supervisor is forthwith and hereby banned forever from going on another vacation.
During this time, a client in Miami contacted me with a last-minute editing job. It's always last-minute for this client. So, I accommodated the additional work and put in some very long long hours. Without getting into details, let's just say that 1) I can edit in Adobe Acrobat, and 2) I loathe editing in Adobe Acrobat.
Needless to say, the combination of paying gigs and chasing down more work pretty much eliminated any time to devote to my own projects. But I scrounged out some time this past week and finally--finally!--finished revising and formatting the book.
I very much hope that those people who liked Russian Lullaby (Vitaly and Giancarla's story) will also like Russian Gold (Pyotr and Cecily's story) and even tell their friends about it. I really hope this book does as well as the first book. I will be ecstatic if it does better.
Like all my books, Russian Gold is available only on Amazon. It is only available as a digital download, simply because the cost of purchasing a printed version is prohibitive.
For those who care, the third book in the series will be Russian Dawn and focus on Latasha and Iosif. After that book is released--March 31, 2017, is the goal--I'll combine all three volumes into a "boxed set" which will be made available in print. At least, that's the plan.
As for now, I've got to get cracking on a fantasy romance. I'm 75,000 words into it and there's a good bit left to go if I'm going to get it out the door by December 31.
Venturing into RPG, or maybe not
I came across an RFP for an intriguing project: write the story behind a role playing game (RPG). It's science fiction, which is definitely doable. The prospective client liked my proposal. However, the description of the project was vague--so vague as to be useless. I asked for more information. He sent me a link and clicked the "hire" button. I read the content and...wow...I have no idea what he wants.
Does he want a straight story developed from the plot outline? Does he want multiple story lines that will follow certain decisions made by certain characters at certain times within the game? Does he he want mainly dialog with a wee bit of description (like a screenplay)? So I responded with my questions and noted that the fee quoted for 1,000 words was inadequate for the job. Depending upon his answers, the project could run into tens of thousands of words.
I may have to withdraw from this project and make a note never again to bid on an RPG background project.
I was invited to bid on a handful of romance book projects over the past couple of weeks and turned them down. Not because I wouldn't want to write them, but because I won't accept slave wages. Same old story there, so I won't go into details.
On another topic, I'm so far behind on editing and revising Russian Gold that it's not funny. Simply put, my schedule has been packed and I've had no time to spare for my own work unless I give up little things like sleep. Anyway, I'll do my best to make that October 31st release date.
Next week, I'll once again be chasing gigs with the usual persistence. So, yeah, here's my plug. I'm begging for work in this feast-or-famine career.
Putting up that roadblock
I swore I wouldn't go down that road again.
Back in April, I was hired by a financial consulting firm to edit brochures, then a proposal, and then to contribute content to a high profile strategic plan which was finished and submitted in early May. I still haven't been paid. I sent messages to all three partners, followed by printed letters. Since the two remaining partners are overseas, my options are pretty limited.
In June, the firm's partner who hired me stated that he'd left the firm and would attempt to pay outstanding subcontractor invoices from his own pocket. To date, I've received about a third of what I'm owed. But, I forgave him because he appeared to be making an honest effort to live up to the obligations incurred by his former firm.
In August, he hired me to do a bit of editing for another company. A small project. I reluctantly agreed and he paid promptly for the work. He ordered a second small project, for which service was promptly compensated. I allowed myself to be lulled into a sense of confidence.
Three projects later in quick succession, he has asked me to perform another rush job with editing. I called a stop. As much as I dislike turning down what should be a very good project, I replied that I could not accept any further work until payment for the other projects had been received.
Yes, I threw up that roadblock and stopped traffic, because I'm not going all the way down that road again. As repeated ad nauseum, I'm a freelancer, not a volunteer. I write for other people and edit their content for money, not for glory or praise.
I don't think I'm being unreasonable. You ask me to do the work. I tell you how much it will cost. You accept the terms. I do the work and turn it in. You pay me. It's supposed to be that simple. I've got to stop relying upon the basic honesty and integrity of my clients.
I'm learning as I go and one of the harsh lessons is that I've got to insist on a signed contract with every freelance client not acquired through a platform. Unfortunately, not even a contract is guarantee against nonpayment. I've had another client--with a contract--stiff me, too. I wish I could afford an attorney.
On the positive side, I sold an article to The Underemployed Life, "Underemployment: A Middle-Aged Perspective." It's gratifying to know that someone appreciates my writing enough to pay for it, even if the pay isn't by any means extravagant.