Writer Wednesday

I need to finish Sir George’s Journal by Sunday, so I can send it to Mighty Editor on Monday and then add it to both the pre-order of the ebook and the POD version I started putting together. I guess I better just write the darn thing and then maybe add stuff whenever I read something interesting.

Although most of the research will go in another book with someone who interacts with mortals a lot more. And if I don’t stop reading those old books/journals/chronicles, I’ll never get to my TBR pile that is neverending! Add to that more bundles with my books coming out soon… bwaaah!

Okay, enough bawling. I will manage to read everything, eventually. So next bundle is coming out next week. My next curated bundle is stalling because authors are not responding, but I plan on locking it during the weekend. There are so many people and bundles at BundleRabbit right now, that there’s a queue like on Smashwords to publish them! 🙂

I’m postponing trying their collaboration feature to October, when I’ll have a week off and plan on exploring a few things. Work on projects and stuff like that. The marketing weekend bore no results yet, meaning I wrote to a couple of people, filled a couple of online forms and no answer whatsoever. Sigh. I guess I’ll have to try the paid services sooner or later.

I will run a sale anyway because I want to try the other new feature at Smashwords, Special Deals. And I’ll do a weekend-long sale on a title as well on all retailers. Title for October is brand new Honorable Assassins – hopefully the paperback will be out too. I shall work on it the coming weekend.

In case you missed it, last week I was on Kobo Writing Life Blog! I know, I could have reblogged it, but now hopefully more people will head to the Kobo guys and check their blog! 😉 And check also lesson learned from 6 years as an author entrepreneur – I can’t leave my day job yet, since I don’t have a husband to support me, but eventually I will too.

And I’ll figure out how to be an entrepreneur in this darn countrym or maybe move to Finland, since they have Universal Basic Income! Or Canada… 😉 Although I doubt any of them would have me right now, but well. One day I’ll get away from this warm country to a more civilized and cold one! 😀

And if you’re still wondering if you should take the callenge or not, here’s the attitude of a challenge. I did it, and it was fun. Instead of wasting time with NaNoWriMo, do this. Definitely more productive, trust me! 😉 Have a great week!


Happiness is…

Hasn’t happened again to receive a royalty payment along with a utility bill, but that was fun and serendipitous! 🙂

Sunday Surprise

And it’s writers on writing, words of wisdom, writers quotes and have a wonderful Sunday! 🙂

Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.
P.D. James

Making money is about providing a product or service people will happily pay for. To publish profitably, you need a book that people want; a book they will enjoy reading. Then, you need to produce it into a beautiful product that appeals the target audience and immediately conveys benefits; then you need sales copy and reviews that overcome objections and convince them to buy. Then you need ways of driving traffic to your product.

After all that, you continue tweaking until your conversion rate is high and consistent. Most authors think “writing to market” or considering your audience means writing shitty bulks to fill a need. That’s not at all what I’m saying. I want you to write better books that people actually enjoy, not the book that you enjoy writing. Write for others, not for yourself.
Derek Murphy

But let me give you a couple hints I gave last year (or you can learn how to fix in the blog posts, my book, or the sales workshop.)
If your blurb contains plot from more than the first chapter of your novel, you are in trouble.
If you can substitute the words… “and then this happened and then this happened and…(so on)” for your plot elements in your blurb, you are in trouble.
If you have any of the verbs… is, was, has, will… (and so on) in your blurb, you are in trouble.
If your blurb is a massive, long paragraph, or two, or three massively long paragraphs, you are in trouble.
Tags…? Got any?
Got any author information besides the fact you were born and love cats?
And so on and so on…
So, are your book sales not what you think they should be??  Then just maybe your actual sales tools are bad.
Your book might be great. But few people will ever read it in this modern world if you push them away.
Just saying…

Dean Wesley Smith

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
W. Somerset Maugham

Recently I posted this comment on Facebook: “People always ask me how I find time to write. I don’t. I choose to write.” I was in the process of finishing a movie novelization that I had only a few days left to turn in to the editor, so I didn’t pay much attention to the comments that followed. When I checked Facebook later, I saw that several people found my comment “not supportive” and even hurtful to people who had so much else going on in their lives that they didn’t have the privilege of extra time to write. I tried to clarify by adding that “Everyone has their circumstances, but anyone should be able to find a few minutes a day or week to do some writing.” If people truly want to become writers, they need to make a commitment to producing writing, however they can work it into their lives. Seems like common sense, right? If you want to get good at something, you have to practice.
Tim Waggoner

Random Friday

First I would like to say I have uploaded all the pre-orders for Shashank the Fledgling… and found a nifty widget available on Smashwords, but it wouldn’t paste properly on the blog. Meh. Go to the publisher’s site, where it worked perfectly! There’s just so much that I can do with HTML… The lower price on the pre-order will go up about a week after release, so get it before November 2! 😉

Plus, in case you didn’t see it, Smashwords now allows global pricing control, hence I was able to put prices in Euro for the Italian titles and to add the INR prices to the Indian-themed Vampires Through the Centuries.

And since I can’t add a signature without a plug-in and can’t have a Donate button unless I get a Paypal Business account, if you’d like to support me, buy one of my books. I’ve put the links on the sidebar, under the Gravatar. Heck, I even changed that description a little, but it’s been… almost eight years! What an old blog I have!

But this is Random Friday, the blogoversary is still a couple of weeks away, so I’ll stop talking about writing right now! 🙂

Besides my nickname is now Shanti, so I don’t want to fight with anyone. In case you don’t speak Hindi, it means Peace. The actual nickname chosen for me by Chiara Lubich in the 1970s was the Italian version, Pace. Sorry to see the Wikipedia article has multiple issues, but I was just a kid and I only have the letter of her secretary giving me the new name, so I have no idea if it’s correct or not. I was living in Geneva and I never actually met her! 😉

Anyway, I guess I can say “peace” in more languages than the ones I’m fluent in. And since we need lots of that all over the world these days, here’s some peace for you. Pace, Paix, Peace, Shanti, Shalom – and feel free to add any other language you may know.

And while we’re at it, let’s add some Love, Amore, Amour and I know there’s more than one word in Hindi but I’m not going to try that one (Pyar? Mohabbat?). You add your own. Now I better go back to writing that other vampire story and reading 19th century journals.

By the way, did you know that someone in the 1700s wrote Memoirs of the Twentieth Century, supposedly set in 1997? Again, I have to rely on the Wikipedia entry for now, but I hope to get to read the real thing sometime. Just to have a laugh. He still imagined there was a king in France, but then, it was before the French Revolution… And in spite writing after Queen Elizabeth I he couldn’t see that there would be a Queen Victoria and then Elizabeth II…

And I’m also imagining what our lives will be like two centuries from now with twenty-first century technology, so I guess we’re even! 😉 Speaking of inspiration and body switches, I watched Moglie e Marito, which gave me some ideas. But I’m beginning to think body switches work better on screen that in a book – and I sure hope the actors have fun doing them! 😉

Couldn’t find the video of a song of Music and Lyrics I had in mind, so I guess I’ll end up here… Have a great weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday

So, I got my feedback for the novel challenge and I’m going to rework only one of them because my dear offline beta pointed out other problems besides the ones of that specific first reader (Thanks again, Dean, for the opportunity!). I’m glad he got through Shashank even if it’s not his kind of story.

And by the way, the pre-order is live! And I’m writing story that goes with it – if it’s short, I might give it with the newsletter or submit it somewhere. Short fiction is the only thing I want to sell to traditional publishers/magazines. Free marketing! 😉 And I got another rejection from Clarkesworld, but I’ll keep that story in the mail – or email!

Oh, and if you want to do the novel challenge too, there’s the second edition coming soon. 30 short stories in 60 days or 3 novel in three months! I am already doing an online workshop, so I won’t be able to take any of the challenges at this time. But I’m one of the Victorious Five of the summer novel challenge! 😉

And for those of you who are still looking for a traditional deal for novels, I shall refer you to the people I wanna be when I grow up (sort of, they’re not that much older than me, hahaha!) – Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch who as usual are almost synched in their posts! (and thank you, Kris, for explaining the Rip Van Wrinkle story)

I unfollowed a blogger on Facebook (didn’t unfriend her, but stopped seeing her newsfeed) because she kept talking about Dream Agent and stuff like that. Don’t talk to me about that stuff. I don’t want to hear it. It makes me sad, like Dean. But if you want help to become indie, I’m here to help, like Kris suggests.

Take your head out of the sand and join us – we’re a bunch of very friendly folks! 🙂 And you’re lucky to be writing in the 21st century, trust me, I grew up in the age of the typewriter and remained unpublished until the indie revolution happened! 😀

Now next weekend is the dreaded Marketing Weekend. Do I need to say why I hate self-promoting my books? Just go to Chuck Wendig’s list! 😉 I will use those weekends only to try and program sales across various sites that I have found in the past months but didn’t have time to try. So stay tuned for short sales on single titles or even bundles at BundleRabbit.

Actually I have books in seven bundles coming out between September and January 2018, including my own vampire-themed bundle. Still looking for NOVELS with vampires, since a couple of authors are not responding on BundleRabbit. Otherwise it will be a smaller bundle! 😉 Please contact me before the end of September, so our Mighty Jo can start working on the cover! 🙂

Have a great week!



Happiness is…

The very first royalty payment… now 5 years old… where did time go? 😉

Sunday Surprise

Hi guys,
I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever!

Soo! Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Th’alia Erlis, Eltenda of the Elfkind – that’s scholar or Lorekeeper to you, human.
I come from Ilthendra, that’s a town in the Shimmering Forest. My age? I think I am about 25 summers.

My oh my… I’m 22 forever, so not really human, am I? *chuckle* Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

I have honey blonde hair, and elven features.

Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

Ha! Do I have enemies? I am a forest elf caught up in a game of intrigue in which I must commit terrible things, lie and deceive. It will likely kill me. Humans are my enemy – not every human – I am Elfkind thus I am nothing more than a slave or servant to the humans. I must obey no matter what is asked of me, or risk death. I find myself in an impossible situation – I must lead these people…my friends and… and her to the ambush. Their lives for mine, my sister and my town.

Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

Yes, if I had to.

Where do you live?

You don’t listen, do you? I come from Ilthendra, that is in Erana.

*roll eyes* Uptight much? Next question. Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

*Answers carefully. Not as such. But I am Marden’s elf so he takes his pleasures with me. I used to hate him for it, but now I find it’s not so bad. I take the pleasure for its own sake. We are not an elf and human or captor and captive, we are just a man and woman when we are in bed. He doesn’t beat me or actually force me into that; it’s an ‘arrangement’.
I did have a man in Ilthendra, but he belonged to someone else. I must forget him.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Staying alive. Finding the lost city.

Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

I have a twin sister, M’alia. She is currently the captive of the Order of Witch-Hunters. They rule the land, hate elves and all magic and their word is law. M’alia is both elven and magical; we fell into their hands when we went to seek the Lady of the Light. She will bring us salvation and freedom. Unfortunately, we were captured on the way. That’s why I am doing this – to protect my sister.

Well, I have a twin sister too, so I know what you mean. Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

An unusual fact? I can speak High Elvish – the old noble language. Not many people can – not many elves.

What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Why are the elves so oppressed? War, death, tainted magic. There was a plague which almost destroyed the elves and men and the elves were blamed. All elves are a little magical and this plague fed on magic and spread across the lands. The humans say the Order took over to impose martial law, the elves say they did it to end the dominion of the Elfkind, but the plague and the wars had already done that.
How do I feel? I am ashamed, frightened and alone.
Will I live to see the end of this adventure? I doubt it.

Well, I wish you good luck. I’m sure you’ll make it alive. Let me ask my nosy questions to someone else now – hoping he’s not that uptight… Tell me a little about yourself, mister.

I am Captain Marden Harlsen – I’m about thirty – but who is counting?

I most certainly don’t! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Sandy hair, well built human male.

What is your role in the story?

It’s complicated. I’m a Witch-Hunter under cover in a group of elves and mages. My role is to ensure Th’alia does what is required. Or at the least deal with this Archmage. For appearance’s sake (and my own safety) I am her escort through the human lands.

What is your relationship with the protagonist?

It’s complicated…Th’alia is an elf. She can not be more than a bit of amusement. I cannot allow myself to become attached to her, but I do find myself enjoying her company, now and then…

Where do you live?

I live at Greytower fort. I don’t really have another home. I don’t often see my family.

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

There are women now and then, or elves if I am bored but no one special. It’s difficult to maintain a relationship in my profession. It’s not actually forbidden but it causes conflicts of interest.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Not being found out. I suspect in a group of elves, half elves and mages I’m not going to be popular. To be honest I’m not sure I thought it through when I agreed. I am one man… let’s home Th’alia does what she needs to and my back up arrive.

Do you have a moral code?

I’m a Witch-Hunter. My word is law. In theory, of course there are plenty of people who think otherwise. Moral code? I don’t kill unless it’s necessary and I try and give those I do kill a quick death.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I’m not keen on snakes.

LOL! Who is? What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Do I feel guilty about who and what I am?

No, not often. Well not very often. The Witch-Hunters uphold the law and protect the populous against magic.

Do I think I will live through this? I hope so… although as time goes by I feel less and less certain.


Book(s) in which the character appears and links

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2c5LghC

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iqOXkr

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2hHRv9K

I-books http://apple.co/2j0B4u8

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iOOWoB

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2iSW5GF

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2j1DSnF

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2i3tf5t


Author bio

British-born Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a A. L. Butcher) is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.  She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

Social Media links

Amazon Author page http://amzn.to/2hK33OM

Facebook Author Page http://bit.ly/FB2j0bbdZ

Twitter http://bit.ly/Twi2hJZ3h9

Goodreads http://bit.ly/GR2iqokvK

Library of Erana Blog http://bit.ly/Blog2iAWL3o

Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-butcher-8342ab13b/

Tumblr https://libraryoferana.tumblr.com

Random Friday

Been reading samples for the next bundle, and I hope to find enough novels to fill it. Otherwise I’ll probably have to add shorter works and collections. In the meantime brainstorming the next book (and I’m not even done with the next one, LOL!) and getting started on at least one of the shorter works – which could eventually go into the bundle if I make it also of shorter works. Or maybe it will be a newsletter exclusive for a year or so. Or maybe I don’t know yet.

Been thinking about those projects – most are for next year, but you know… when the mind wanders… and the hand follows… I ended up doing a few chibis of myself that I may use in the future projects (at least one of them). So there you have Chibi Writer Barb!

This weekend I’ll make sure the document is ready and upload the pre-order also where I cannot do the assetless pre-order and next weekend will be the infamous marketing weekend cum POD formatting. Gah.

Draft2Digital added some e-book templates but I may try them on the next series. I did write a novel that isn’t part of any series yet this summer, after all! 😉 So I guess I will try their sci-fi templates sometime before the end of the year, yay!

Any app-developers willing to work on that “Take Care of an Author (TM)” app (see previous post comments if you missed them)? I can do the chibis of the authors, but I’m hopeless with making apps… 😉

Have a great weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday

The September newsletter went out to subscribers. Since I’m no longer on Patreon, the exclusive content will be only there, free of charge. If you’re interested in learning of my projects beforehand and read a free story every two months, subscribe now.

I’m slowly going back to writing after a week and a half break from the novel challenge. I have a couple of shorter works I need to write before starting on the next novel. And I’m also slowly going back to publishing after the summer, although the first “new” title will be in October, since this month I will publish only Honorable Assassins (or Talwar&Khanda with Saif’s story) also in paperback.

I also need to work on a couple of Italian paperbacks and start working on the October paperbacks, so Tori, you can wait until October for my next title! 😉 I will do a special collection for you before the official anthology about the Fall of the Southern Kingdoms that will have all the stories in chronological order – some of which have already come out in Tales of the Southern Kingdoms.

The writerly links! If you still don’t feel like a writer, please head for the KWL blog and read this – then pin it to the wall, like she suggests. I did what the newsletter suggested and here’s the result: my Kobo Writing Life – or the sales I’ve had in 5 years on Kobo, all the  countries I’ve sold to (you don’t see on the list below where I sold one copy, but you see the blue dot on the map). I’m everywhere, right? 😉

This is for readers and authors alike – if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you NEED to read this, and if you’re an author, you need to share it even if you’re not KU or Kindle Select. Like I’m doing right now. And fill the survery while you’re at it.

If you missed it (like I did, LOL!), here’s a summary of the latest  scam – the bestseller that doesn’t exist. And Kris Rusch’s examination of the case – which takes us back to the first link. Now you have proof that being on a bestseller list doesn’t make you a writer, writing does! 😉

Happiness is…

I know 90s is not that “oldie”, but it feels like so long ago… Weekend I “rediscovered” Aqua songs (including Barbie Girl) and realized I don’t have a working CD player anymore… Will have to get a portable one if I want to keep using all those CDs! 😉

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