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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜‰ 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… πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ˜€

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! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!


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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜€

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! πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ˜€

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! πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ˜‰ Please contact me before the end of September, so our Mighty Jo can start working on the cover! πŸ™‚

Have a great week!



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! πŸ˜‰ 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 theΒ  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? πŸ˜‰

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 latestΒ  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! πŸ˜‰

Writer Wednesday

And August is gone too, can you believe it? Wordcount for August is 40K or novel #3 of the challenge that will probably come out in October.

Now I’m checking #1 with the feedback I got. I really need to find more first readers, or better, to find a new one who is as fast as my offline beta who soon won’t be available anymore *sniff* but I will make a more open request when I have other things to read! πŸ˜‰

And yes, I’m in another bundle, More Than Human, so that makes a total of four, currently. And soon I’ll start curating my third bundle, which will be my fifth – and I still need to finish reading the first one that came out back in May, sigh. Anyway, here are the bundles that I’m currently in:

First Glimpse of Fantasy Secondary Worlds

Sci-fi July Fever Fun

Love Magik Glow

More Than Human

You may notice it’s four different books, but in fact the last two are the same. One curator wanted the whole trilogy, the other took only book 1. But it’s always Kol-ian on the cover, either drawn by Phoenixlu, or by Cristina Fabris.

The next bundle I curate will have vampires, so if you’re indie and you have a vampire novel, please join BundleRabbit so I can include you! πŸ˜‰ And Joleene Naylor, get ready for the request! πŸ˜‰ Might hope for some help for covers as well, Mighty Jo? πŸ˜‰

And now some writerly links! πŸ˜€ 5 ways to use Facebook pinned posts – I currently have my newsletter sign up in English and Italian pinned, but maybe I should pin new releases every now and then.

Like, the important ones that require pre-order. Like the one I’ll set up in September for a Nov.2 release… Shashank the Fledgling! πŸ˜€ But that’s marketing, and I’m not doing the marketing weekend yet, haha!

A simple solution for when your story hits a wall. I’ve had project blocks so I know what he’s talking about! πŸ˜‰ Don’t be afraid to throw away lines or scenes that don’t work. You might keep them as special content for your true fans or your newsletter subscribers! I have such thing for an upcoming story, but I probably won’t put the deleted scenes in the newsletter. Maybe in another project percolating… stay tuned! πŸ˜€

September is also the month I get back to work on paperbacks. Because I hate ordering stuff during the summer, even if I use UPS, but my parents are away and they tend to show up in the morning. As soon as my parents come back from Tuscany, I can start ordering proofs! πŸ˜‰

And if you’re wondering about the value of a paperbacks, well… I’ve given away dozens now (the ones I couldn’t sell I gave away either through Goodreads, Bookcrossing or whatever means I could find to get rid of them – no more shelf space at home), so hopefully someone will find me through those proofs sent wandering through the world…

I plan on doing other experiments with paper books this last quarter, and then maybe next year start exploring audio books. I just can’t wrap my head around those, because I don’t understand how one would want to listen to a book instead of reading it (unless one is vision-impaired, that is). But then, I get distracted easily when people talk, so…

And let’s not forget 7 Reasons to Smile When Your Book Is Not a Bestseller *waves* none of mine is, but I keep forging ahead. Although I should probably stop and look back, which is what I plan to do on those dreaded Marketing Weekends that await me… brrrr!!

Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Sunday Surprise

Surprise! There was no post on Friday! No ramblings, nothing! Did you miss it? Of course not, who would miss an old lady’s rambings? A 50something who colors her hair blue like Pinocchio’s faery? πŸ˜‰

Anyway… Wondering why? Well, it was my birthday and I was busy celebrating mourning another year gone by. And the color leaving my hair as well. I’ll probably cut it next week, LOL!

birthday girl

But! Life goes on! And more bundles come out! Yay!

*bangs head on table* my TBR pile will never ever ever go down! *moans*

Ahem. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you More Than Human, curated by most excellent A.L. Butcher which of course includes yours truly along with other great authors… find it now at BundleRabbit and other retailers! πŸ™‚

11 tales of elves, imps, wizards, dryads, gods, and… more! Stay tuned…

And some wisdom on work – I mean creative work, not the darn Dayjob, LOL!

β€œWork cures everything.” Henri Matisse

β€œThe fact that people who create are good workers tends to be lost.” Abraham Maslow

β€œLuck is the by-product of busting your fanny.” Don Sutton

β€œIf you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau

β€œThe artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” Emile Zola

β€œBe regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.” Gustave Flaubert

(copied from Colleen Doran – support her on Patreon!) Have a great Sunday! πŸ™‚


Writer Wednesday

Well, after three months, I’ve reverted to Patron only… I’ll restart the creator page when I have more followers interested in exclusive content or maybe project-based. Next year. Or never. It’s kind of too hot to think right now! πŸ˜‰

I do have other ideas for next year, butΒ  I haven’t started working on them. I’m postponing everything to September, when I hope the weather will cool down and my mind clear enough to make business plans. Besides the writing, that is. Because writing into a void is kind of a bummer. If nobody buys my books, why bothering with publishing them?

I still have fun when writing. It’s everything else that is burdensome. So we’ll see what happens with the bundles sales – that are going quite well, but so far no halo effect on other titles. I guess I need to give time to people to read them – and considering how behind I am myself on those bundles, I can’t blame them if they read them next year! πŸ˜‰

I still have a couple of books from bundles I took on StoryBundle 2 years ago, so… Anyhow, if you want exclusive content, for now you better subscribe to the UPB newsletter. Next one is coming in September, and I’m not sure yet what the exclusive content will be, since I spent the whole summer writing novels that still need to be checked and proofread, LOL!

Now I still have to check a few support/resources/tools that I found at Worldcon. Will let you know if they’re worth time or money when I experiment. Like, someone swears AuthorsDB is worth the time. Others suggest to set up the Instafreebie and Bookbub profile even if you don’t run anything. Sigh. I guess I’ll have to start scheduling that “marketing weekend” soon…

Oh, and I downloaded and read the free ebook by ScriptMedic, besides signing up for her free class! So if you want to avoid the most common mistakes when hurting your characters, go grab it and read it, it’s really a quick read! And start following her blog too, she has great advice on medical stuff – including how to do research! πŸ˜‰

August novel almost done. Epilogue and double check means I’ll probably send it during the weekend… when I’ll finally be able to check the comments on the previous two! πŸ˜‰ I have received only the first so far, but I’m aware it’s taking time to read all those books, so I’ll be patiently waiting for that precious feedback!

Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Random Friday

Mostly about writing, since while I was away all hell broke loose at Mighty Zon! πŸ˜‰ Just kidding, but here are two links from two authors who had problems with KU and Amazon policies. A romance writer leaving KU and David Gaughran’s missed planned promo.

Readers, especially voracious romance readers, please take action like Krista suggests:

So, dear reader, unfortunately, I have to leave Kindle Unlimited.

I hate doing this to you. If you want me to come back, tell Amazon. Tell them that they are not providing a good customer experience. Tell them that you want authors to be paid fairly. Tell them to get a grip on their business and not let fake books take all the money from real authors.

Email Jeff Bezos himself. (jeff@amazon.com)

If you want to help me, tell a friend about my books. Tell them I’ll be on iBooks now.

Aaaand, on a happier note, voting on the Amaranthine fan fiction (including yours truly) is open! Go vote, it’s anonymous! πŸ™‚ I’m not telling you which is my favorite, but please note it’s not mine! πŸ˜‰ Great stories, all! πŸ˜€

I subscribed toΒ  the Maim Your Characters email course after reading the umpteenth writing tips of mistakes to avoid when injuring fictional characters.Β  Now I’m going to use the current work for the homework, since us Sadist Authors love to hurt our characters, don’t we? πŸ™‚

Oh, and I found out by pure chance that Love Magik Glow is on sale… but I don’t know for how long, since the curator didn’t answer my query. I think the sale is valid also for the retailers, not just Bundle Rabbit. That you should check every now and then, since new bundles keep popping up every day.

My TBR pile will never go down… Now I could ramble on some more, but I still have that novel to finish… so I’ll get back to writing! πŸ˜‰

Closing with a very short gallery of Helsinki souvenirs… Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

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Writer Wednesday

So! Worldcon report! The ups and the downs – day by day! πŸ™‚

Day 1 (Wednesday Aug.9)

We had booked a tour of Suomenlinna fortress on an island off Helsinki’s shore, so we reached Messukeskus around noon. We got our badges , our program participant schedules and all that stuff. Having already eaten on the island, we wandered looking for rooms, the Green Room, the Art Show, the Traders room and all that other necessary exploration when entering a new place.

My friends attended the opening ceremony, but I just sat outside panel rooms, writing and studying the program. Too peopley in there, LOL! I got myself a Worldcon T-shirt Ladies size that had only 3 left – and in fact the next day it was gone (but then, everything was gone on the last day).

First panel was at 9pm, so at 5pm we went back to the hotel with tram #9 to rest for about an hour. Back to the con, we found the food hall closed or closing down except for Hesburger, that fed us for the rest of the convention! πŸ˜‰ We went to the Green Room to meet with Eva, then we met the other panelist, Zack, only in the panel room.

And there went my first panel – Writers and Artists – moderated by Mighty Marvelous Maurizio Manzieri! He had prepared a wonderful presentation, pity I had forgotten what images I had given them and what I was supposed to say about each, but at least I didn’t stammer and it was over pretty quickly.

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A group hug and then we looked for the exit, since by now Messukeskus was closed and we were too tired to go to the party in the Winter Garden of the Holiday Inn attached to the convention center. Someone kindly pointed us the exit and we got back on #9 and to the hotel.

Day 2 (Thursday Aug.10)

Since the food hall looked so expensive and we had found a supermarket near the hotel, this time we went shopping at Lidl before jumping on #9 a couple of stops before our hotel. I went to a panel on Asexuality in SF, then went back to the hotel around 2.30pm to rest.

I went back to Messukeskus around 4pm, and then spent most of the time in the Green Room, waiting for the other panelists. One bowed out and sent a replacement, the others soon joined me in the Green Room.

At 6pm it was European SF panel with Kristina Hard (Sweden), Ju Honisch (Germany), Francesco Verso (Italy) and a young Dutch writer standing in for Thomas Olde Heuvelt. Again, I’m afraid I wasn’t very clear and my have not answered a couple of questions, but I was the only one writing in English, the others didn’t felt confident enough and preferred relying on translators.

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What I mean to say is that I write in English because of the millions of people who know English, either as first or second language, NOT because I want to break into the American market – as was suggested by some douchebag in the audience. And even though I hadn’t planned on putting links here, since this is about international markets, I’ll link to Joanna Penn’s guest post on publishing outside your home country.

We had dinner at… yes, Hesburger again, and then the others went to the Irish party and I headed back to the hotel. Not too fond of beer, but I drank a lot of cider! πŸ˜‰

Day 3 (Friday Aug.11)

So, this was supposed to be my day in the Creators Alley. I had already posted on Facebook and announced everywhere that I’d be at N4, but no, I was moved to K9, at the bottom of the hall, where nobody came. Nobody showed up and I barely recouped the cost of the table.

Thank God Judith joined me after lunch time, so the afternoon wentΒ  faster – and she gave away all the flyers to download Sci-fi July for free. By the way, if you have one of those, there’s still time. I made 50, but so far only 1 person has downloaded the bundle, so there are still 19 people who can get it for free.

I know, it’s valid only for BundleRabbit, but come on. You get 11 novels for free if you sign up for a site that has plenty of great bundles! πŸ˜‰ Don’t be lazy and use your coupon now! πŸ˜€

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Since I didn’t want to bring any dead tree book back, I left them on the Bookcrossing shelves. They were gone the next morning, so I hope someone is enjoying them somewhere. One person said “There are so few books in English, you’ll sell them all” except nobody found me, so I sold 4 and gave away 11…

After dinner at the usual place, everybody went to the Hugo Awards ceremony, but I went back to the hotel, hoping to catch up on some sleep…

Day 4 (Saturday Aug.12)

Again shopping for food before heading for Messukeskus. Maurizio had a table in the Creators Alley – much better placed than I was – but I spent most of the time in the Fan Alley, writing. I’ve got a novel to finish, LOL! Now that I’ve typed everything in, I can tell you I jotted down 1100 words of revisions + 5500 words of new chapters, longhand, since I didn’t bring any laptop.

At 5pm I went to the Strange and Unusual Helsinki walking tour that ended in the Steampunk pub because the storm started before we could get to the Bollywood pub (that I assume was across the square, but well…) since “the worst storm in 10 years” scared everyone inside that pub.

I found my way to the metro and when I came out 2 stops and 30 minutes later, the storm that was supposed to last 2 hours was already over. Damn Finnish. We get that every year in Rome – it rains for 5 to 20 minutes, pouring cats and dogs, and then it stops.

Anyway, there were still clouds in the sky, so no meteor shower that night…

Day 5 (Sunday Aug.13)

Maurizio had another half day of table in the Creators Alley. I spent most of the time in the Fans lounge again, and then Fulvio saw George RR Martin sitting there, chilling out… so the cat caught the martin and I went to Maurizio, knowing he wanted to meet The George, and told him where his hero was.

The Trade hall closed at 3pm, then Maurizio had his last panel. Again I sat and wrote, watching his luggage. We went back to the hotel around five, before people started flooding out of Messukeskus after the closing ceremony.

Dinner was at the Viking restaurant Harald that I had seen the previous afternoon… With Maurizio Manzieri, Fulvio Gatti, Judith Herman, Mary A. Truzillo and her husband Geoffrey A. Landis… one of the few highlights of the Worldcon!

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Along with the fact that I collected 15 ribbons against the 2 of Chicon and only 1 of Loncon! πŸ˜€ Have a great week!

Sunday Surprise

Since it’s easier to post to Facebook than wriring a real post on WordPress from a phone, please head for my Facebook page (link in sidebar) for a preview of Worldcon.

Did l mention it’s easier to use Facebook mobile? πŸ˜‰ Real report coming next week as promised! πŸ™‚

Happy Sunday! 😁

EDIT as you can see it’s so hard, that l can’t even schedule for the right day… So HAPPY SATURDAY! 😁

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