Building my life and work in 2015: Books, sites, and more

By Holly Lisle

Building my life and work in 2015

Building my life and work in 2015

I have a BIG LIST.

It’s all the stuff I know I have to get done, all the stuff I want to get done, and the things I would love to do if I can figure out how to pull them off: It’s a combination of research and development, creation, completion, and presentation that summarizes what I know I want to accomplish right now.

It is subject to change—and mostly it changes by me adding a helluva lot of new stuff onto it, and removing very, very little.

I have a lot of people waiting for various things—from specific books to certain classes to particular website features—who are puzzled at how long it can take me to get to the thing they’re waiting on.

So I’m going to show you the whole WORK picture from where I’m standing.

This is my BIG LIST.


  • Take the replacement site for live in 2015. #1 PRIORITY.
    Currently building working prototype out of existing elements, almost ready to hand off to Dan Allen, my developer, for adaptation, development, refinement, stabilization, optimization, and a fair amount of original programming.
  • Reskin, optimize, and improve navigation for Probably will end up as a 2016 project.
  • Maintain this blog, and add new content regularly.
  • Get Stage One of live in 2015, using a variation of the stock platform Dan is building for me for HTTS’s replacement.At the moment, with a mere 58 people voting, the core elements for Stage One are going to be:
    • Teambuilding with my matchmaking software,
    • Reasearch, writing, and pre-revision assistance,
    • Member-exchanged editing

This comes from the following break-out list:

Here is my (CERTAINLY INCOMPLETE) overview list of potential services for writers we can offer in

  • BULLETIN BOARD for requesting help from experts in specific fields or areas of expertise (like being male, or being female)


  • Segment editing (chapters or scenes) crowdsourced
  • Technical editing (research details) crowdsourced or Expert Editor
  • Story development editing (plot help)
  • Clarity editing (making sure each element of the story is understandable)
  • Mechanical editing—grammar, spelling
  • Plot-Hole and Continuity editing
  • Structural editing—chapter placement, pacing, conflict flow from scene to scene
  • Vocabulary localization (Aussie to American, American to Aussie… like that)
  • BULLETIN BOARD (for requesting services not listed)


  • After-first-draft-revision single-reader story crits
  • After-first-draft-revision crowdsourced story crits
  • Post-final-revision single-editor edits
  • Post-final-revision crowdsourced edits
  • Post-edit single-editor copyediting
  • Post-edit crowdsourced copyediting


  • Assistance with Scrivener
  • Assistance with (other platform of your choice)
  • Purchasable Professional Formatting


  • Worldbuilding assistance for technical detail
  • Worldbuilding assistance for finding ways to pull conflict from worlds
  • Help with making maps
  • Purchasable built-to-order world
  • Purchasable built-to-order map


  • How to write objective fiction reviews
  • How to do an objective critique of a piece of fiction
  • How to do an objecive critique of a piece of nonfiction



  • Basic editing skills
  • Basic copyediting skills


TEAM-BUILDING (Match-making software)

  • Writer-Reader compatibility introductions
  • Beta Reader compatibility introductions
  • Crit-partner pairing
  • Brainstorming team pairing
  • Connecting writers with artists who like doing their type of art
  • Connecting writers with book formatters
  • Connecting writers with people with experience doing book launches
  • Connecting writers with editors interested in their sort of fiction
  • Connecting writers with with site builders/designers

(In this instance, fees would be paid by the service providers, not by the writers)

SPLIT-TESTING SERVICE (FREE to PAID, depending on the number and accuracy of results desired)

Split testing is taking 2-to-many variables (like different versions of a book cover) and having people click through the variable they find the most appealing, while recording clicks to see which elements work the best. I have very sophisticated software (Taguchi split-testing software) that can make this a fast, powerful process, if Dan can figure out a way to put a user-friendly front end on it.

  • Cover art
  • Story Sentence (Protagonist vs. Antagonist in Setting with Twist)
  • Story Blurb
  • First paragraph

PROMOTION (Getting people to discover your books)

  • Website crits (crowdsourced)
  • Website crits (professional)
  • Content assistance (crowdsourced)
  • Content assistance (professional)
  • Website building assistance (crowdsourced)
  • Website development and purchase (professional
  • Book launching (crowdsourced)
  • Book launching (professional)


Writers sell their work, readers give OBJECTIVE reviews, writers can offer in-book (intangible, like PDF) bonuses and have them delivered from my site, or tangible bonuses that can be delivered with their own.
Built-in affiliate program to help writers and their TRUE FANS get the word out.
My fee is not 70% but 35% rate for any price from .99 to $1.99, so I at least break even on the .99-books after processing fees. for books from $2.00 and up, my fee is a 25% flat rate. Authors have no top limit for the 75% royalty.

2) COURSES (a sublist of maintaining HowToThinkSideways /

  • Complete the expansion of How To Write A Series
  • Complete the walkthrough for How To Think Sideways (with The Emerald Sun)
  • Do the walkthrough for How To Revise Your Novel (with TalysMana)
  • Begin monthly live 3-day writing workshops on the new writing school site


  • Work with Ugly Baby, Workshop and Launch
  • Work with The Yarnlings Mastermind


Get the following books copyedited and into print:

  • Midnight Rain
  • Last Girl Dancing
  • I See You
  • Night Echoes
  • Talyn
  • Minerva Wakes


  • Complete Bashtyk Nokyd Takes the Longview
  • Write final three stories in Longview Series.
  • Write Cadence Drake: The Wishbone Conspiracy
  • Complete Talysmana (revision, edit, publish only)
  • Write Moon & Sun: The Emerald Sea
  • Write Cadence Drake: Episodes 4-10.
  • Write additional Moon & Sun if readers support the series.
  • Write Dreaming the Dead
  • Write Redbird
  • Write Black Dog
  • Write The Ghost Romances 1-4
  • Write the Eight Mapped-out Paranormal Suspense stories.

So. That’s the BIG LIST.

Does not include my personal life. Does not include getting sick (which I still am, but I’m getting over it at last), or family emergencies, or kicking back with my husband and seventeen-year-old son. Does not include staying in touch with my two adult kids.

This is just my work list.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved