Sunday Surprise

Published 10/12/2017 by Barb

Ladies and gentlemen, let me present you my first curated anthology, compiled through the BundleRabbit collaboration feature! 😀

Pre-order is live, paperback is in the works… this week has been busy with the small and medium publishers fair here in Rome, so I didn’t have time to format the paperback, but I hope to do it before Christmas, so stay tuned!

I plan on making more next year, gathering my shorter works with nine other authors because I’m math challenged. It won’t be open calls, unfortunately, but if you’re a writer and I know what you write, I’ll ask you! 😉

You can like the Facebook page too… Like Bundles Galore, it will feature all my curated anthologies! 🙂 Actually, Bundles Galore is shared with A.L. Butcher and includes also the bundles we don’t curate but are part of, but well…

Which reminds me there’s another bundle coming out, curated by my co-admin!

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Coming soon… 10% of the royalties from the Remembering Warriors bundle will go to the Royal British Legion plus another 10% to Help for Heroes, two charities that support wounded and ex-service personnel and their families, in commemoration of the World War I centenary. Available for pre-order now at https://bundlerabbit.com/b/remembering-warriors

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Writer Wednesday

Published 06/12/2017 by Barb

Busy week wrapping up projects and attending the small and medium publishers fair here in Rome also to figure out if I can get ISBNs without being officially a publisher. I may need a few for future projects and I may end up buying them in bulk abroad if the Italian ISBN agency gets on my nerves once again. Sigh.

November wordcount ended up 28000words. Not much, so I’m assuming I won’t hit that 500K goal this year either, but well… my writing process has changed through the years and I’m experimenting more. I’m suddenly more dynamic than ever, LOL!

As promised, here’s the first box set – the complete Chronicles of the Varian Empire. Another is on the way, so if you haven’t tried Silvery Earth yet, you might want to taste it with these very cheap box sets. All will be at 4.99$.

If you prefer multi-author bundles to single author box sets, there’s still this long list… and yes, the First Glimpse bundle is still out there, but it will be gone by the end of the month, so grab it now! 😉

Now, in case you missed it and want to try it, the challenge is on for the third time – either write 30 stories in 60 days or three novels in three months. As you know, I did the first novel challenge and I was considering doing the third short story challenge, but I’m taking Techie Bro and Dear Nephew to London for the latter’s birthday, so I will simply “just do it on your own and play along, test to see if you can do it without me reading your stories.”

Unless someone wants to do the challenge with me, I’ll simply report here every week if I have written a story or not. So starting January 1st, 30 stories in 60 days. Possibly shorts so I can send them off. I have already a short list of stories to write that got postponed, so January is as good as any to write them all down and then go back to longer works! 🙂

This is also to avoid burnout. If you read Kris Rusch’s post on burnout and the Indie Writer, you’ll see what I mean. Since I never was one of those great sellers, I’m still here, still writing and not obsessing with marketing.

The key really isn’t avoiding burnout. The key to surviving as a writer is learning how to sustain a career.

And that’s true not just for indie writers, but traditionally published writers as well. Some of the demands traditional publishers put on their bestselling writers make the actual writing impossible.

Writers in traditional settings have to learn how to say no.

Writers in an indie setting have to figure out their priorities.

And that’s what I want, a career. So next year I’ll be writing more than this year (hopefully), hit that 500K goal (hopefully) and publish whatever I finish without bothering with regular deadlines. Of course the 4th vampires through the centuries novel will come out Nov.2 and the novella May 2, but besides that, it’s all open and I have a lot of exciting projects in mind (like… Post-Apocalypse Chronicles sequels…)! 😉

Writerly link: mobile vs.desktop: target the right device for readers in your genre. I’m mostly in the desktop category, apparently… If I decide to do a BookBub in the future, I’ll try to keep this in mind! Don’t you like all those reports, like Author Earnings (which I decided to fill again this year. Just head to the Surveys page)? 😉

Last bit of news: Axelle, Wanderer is discounted on Kobo only! I sumbitted another title, so stay tuned.  Or go to the publisher’s page! 😉 Have a great week! 🙂

 

Random Friday

Published 01/12/2017 by Barb

Since Sundays were busy with other stuff and I don’t have any random fact for you, here’s some writers on writing, words of wisdom or whatever… It’s been more than two months since the last, so I hope you like it! Have a great weekend! 🙂

First off, I need to explain what I see developing for a writer in this new world of publishing.

With discoverability difficult, with no real way to even manufacture or promote yourself into a bestseller anymore, the writer of today going forward is going to have to build a career slowly. And build it on quality storytelling and productivity.

In other words, the writing world has returned to what it used to be. When I came in, the standard was that if you were prolific and could keep learning and getting better and were persistent, you could start making a small living in ten years or so.

Now, with the indie road to sudden riches gone, writers must learn numbers of things to survive in this new world and start making a living with their writing.

A writer must be prolific. Long gone are the one-book-a-year writers making decent money (past the crop of older traditional bestsellers still going.)

A writer must be a good small-business person. Long gone are the days when you could have an agent take care of you.

A writer must learn sales language and be able to understand sales. Long gone are the days when a sales department did all the work for you.

A writer must learn how to do all their own production. Long gone are the days when you mailed off a manuscript and it came back a finished book a year later.

So now a writer must be a writer, publisher, production person, and a sales person, all balanced and wrapped together in tight, but separate spaces.

That’s the reality I see going forward for writers.

Dean Wesley Smith

Look, if there’s room on bookstore shelves for my books, which smash together genres like a toddler with building blocks, then there’s room on shelves for whatever you got going. Don’t worry about the ephemeral vicissitudes of “the market,” or fret over what’s trending with agents and publishers right now.

Write the story that screams to get out of you. Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy. Don’t be like Arnold on The Magic School Bus, the kid who always said, “I knew I should’ve stayed home today.”

Nobody liked goddamn Arnold. He should’ve stayed home. Don’t be Arnold

Michael J. Martinez

The bottom line is that writers need the freedom and relief of knowing they aren’t failures just because they don’t promote books a certain way.  I know authors who have written excellent books who have done ads, mailing lists, newsletters, blogs, Facebook, and other things very well.  And yet, their sales aren’t showing it.  You’d swear by the lack of sales that they aren’t effectively promoting their books or that their books suck.  Things couldn’t be further from the truth.  They are doing everything right, and for some reason, they aren’t selling as well as they should be.

Whether marketing gurus will ever admit this or not, there are forces outside of our control that impacts our sales.  We have no control over which reader reads our books, likes it enough to pass it on to others, or even if a particular reader has a high level of influence within his/her circle.  All writers can do is control the product (book) and the type of promotion they choose to do.  From there, it is out of our control.

So take heart if you’re a struggling writer.  You’re not alone, even if you might feel like it.  No one can guarantee your success if you follow their formula.  They can only give you strategies that might help.  But they can’t promise you anything.  Take their advice with a grain of salt and apply that which fits your personality best.

Ruth Ann Nordin

So why is this? Is it because, as many would like to so casually say, I just haven’t done “enough”?  That I just don’t live and breathe writing every second of the day? That I’m not a *real* writer? Is it because my books are bad? Because if they’re good and I’m really trying I’d be a monetary success by now. I’d have tons of money. I’d be rolling in the easy dough.

Right?

Wrong. Because writing is not a get rich scheme. Period. Sure, there are going to be a few success stories. Some people can get rich at anything, but just like in traditional publishing, those are few. How many Stephen Kings are there? How many JK Rowlings? How many midlist people you have never even heard of?

Exactly.

So, my point is not to say “boo hoo” (I’m happy with where I am). It’s NOT to ask for your advice, it’s to say that maybe we should stop judging success by whether we are making a fortune and start judging it by whether we’re writing books we love – books that our readers love – and quit worrying about whether we’re selling as many as everyone else.

Besides, it’s impossible to truly compare to everyone else because, you know, no one wants to cop to the numbers.

Have a pennies on a tombstone kind of day!

Joleene Naylor

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Writer Wednesday

Published 29/11/2017 by Barb

So I did this writing challenge last summer… I wrote three novels in three months. The first came out in September (with a slight change of title and cover before the paperback came out, but the beta-reader hated the original title anyway, haha!), the second was the programmed vampire novel of the year, Shashank the Fledgling that went live Nov.2 and the third one…

here it is! Ladies and gentlemen, I present you Brainwaves (Post-Apocalypse Chronicles Book 1) the first title in the Future Earth series. Do not worry about the “book 1” thingy, it does end, but I already have in mind a sequel…

Bel lives in Rainbow Town, a multi-level underground settlement for survivors of the Apocalypse that wiped out 21st century civilization. She shouldn’t have a care in the world, pampered as she is by technology, but she still misses her ex boyfriend. And when she tries to contact him, he is nowhere to be found.

The Wanderlust Bug has bitten Raj who feels uncomfortable in Rainbow Town, and not only because his ex moved on. His memory losses leave him uneasy and he wishes to go out in the great unknown, even if it might mean certain death.

With the help of Shani, who has broken into the forbidden Darknet, Bel and Raj are truth seekers in a too perfect town that feels more and more like a golden prison.

A standalone post-apocalypse novel exploring the future of Earth.

The cover is by the awesome Leah Keeler who has made Bel even more beautiful than I had envisioned her, LOL! And the above pic shows how her cover fits my K.K. best… which is perfect, even though it loses its colors! 🙂 But I still love my K.K. and hope it never dies on me because the new Kindle are ugly like hell! 😉

Brainwaves is the last new title of the year, since the others won’t be ready on time. Draft2Digital suggests to upload everything before the 11th and I’m sending stuff to the editor on the 12th, so… next week I’ll prepare some box sets of sub-series of Silvery Earth in case you want to gift someone for Christmas…

And the new titles will come out in January. I have also a couple of cover artists lagging behind, so… next year for more new stuff! Well, a collection of the Fall of the Southern Kingdoms (so technically nothing new) and a couple of new titles so far. Not sure what I’ll be writing after I send out the current projects to Mighty Editor! 😉

Still making plans for the new year (I know, still one month to go, but one must be prepared, right?) and I’m wondering if anyone would be interested in a magazine of yours truly’s ramblings about the various series, with backstage and short stories and comics and stuff – all in print only, since images don’t come out very well in ebook format.

Of course the cost of paper is higher and I’d have to ask at least 4.99$ for a 150-160pp magazine… Unless I make a PDF-only version on DriveThruFiction. Thing is… will it be a failed attempt like Patreon? Should I give it a try with Issue #0 and see how it goes? Or should I just not bother and concentrate on the other projects?

Let me know in the comments. I might change the newsletter too and if I don’t do the mag, I could put more exclusive content in the bimonthly newsletter, that would then become longer… would that bother you? And if you haven’t subscribed yet, what are you waiting for? The next newsletter will go out in January anyway…

I’m full of questions today! Let’s move on! Writerly links… Mark Coker’s encouraging podcast notes (or you can listen to the podcast, if you prefer) and David Gaughran on the birth of the Kindle and its store. Still holding tight to my Kindle Keyboard, as you’ve seen above! 🙂

Last request, please share these #Instafreebie giveaways of Half-blood, Guisarme and the Painter, thank you! Now I better go back to writing… gotta wrap some projects before the end of next week. I’m afraid my wordcount isn’t very high this month either, maybe next year I’ll hit that half-pulp-speed of 500K words… that’s a goal! 🙂 Have a great week!

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