Writer Wednesday


Aaand… here we go!

Star Minds Next Generation

It’s available for pre-order on all retailers and will come out soon! So you’ll have both fantasy and sci-fi for your summer reading! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m very happy with the authors in this bundle – this time I have met most of them personally.

You have a great variety – from my Goodreads friends Steph Bennion and Ubiquitous Bubba, who were interviewed on this blog for Wyrd Worlds, some workshop buddies I met on the Oregon Coast (Rebecca Bates, Michael Lucas, Russ Crossley, Blaze Ward, Robert Jeschonek), to the man who made us meet (Dean Wesley Smith – the kind of writer I want to be when I grow up) and a few more that I found browsing the awesome content marketplace at BundleRabbit.

So I’m still riding the fantasy bundle, reading all the other books, and already I’m starting a new journey, a trek to the stars with these wonderful fellows. I made a book trailer for it and it will come out on Independence Day (which, by the way, is the birthday of my Australian friend, maybe she’d like one as a gift? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), so stay tuned…

The indie community is really great. Because there’s no such thing as a self-published author – that’s so 20th century thinking! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And also this small post on negotiation is a good way to remind us that traditional publishing is still tricky. And if we want to tackle the audio market independently it’s getting easier every year. Now Draft2Digital offers audiobooks as an alternative to ACX…

It’s really a great time to be an author. Final wordcount for this month in July, but know that I finished and sent out the first novel of the challenge. Onward to the vampires novel that must be finished by the end of July… have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


So, it’s official, I’m in the Worldcon Programme! I can’t be more specific right now, but stay tuned for days and times. Great panels coming ahead, really great panels. Looking forward to them! If you happen to be in Helsinki for Worldcon 75, let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will post my schedule closer to the dates…

Aaand… three months after the Anthology Workshop, I made a sale! My first professional sale! So, time for a little happy dance! ๐Ÿ˜€Ahem! Where was I? Ah, yes, the novel challenge. Probably three-quarters done, but I’ll need to go back and add the meat during the weekend. Some things never change, some things do. I still have to print it out and make the additions on paper. At least I don’t do the first draft longhand anymore! ๐Ÿ˜‰

A good reminder that writers (or any kind of creative person) are the worst judges of their works (besides giving it away for free or cheap, that is). I currently think my novel is a mess, but I’ll let the first reader and proofreader be the judges.

For a good laugh, how to fail as a writer – let’s not forget writing by committee. If you don’t write by committee, you’ll never make it! And on a more serious note, what makes a $100K Author (don’t look at me!). I am currently running an Amazon ad, but so fare it’s only expenses and no sales. Will report after I complete 3! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I shall leave the announcement for the next bundle for next week… when I’ll have changed the pictures on the Facebook page! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But if you want a hint, just head there! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

Writer Wednesday


Some writerly wisdom about books needing time to cook. Even mine are not always as immediate as they used to be. Yes, I’m still mostly a pantser, but since Technological Angel sometimes it takes me months before I start the actual writing. That’s why I decided beforehand which novels to write for the summer challenge – because they were already on my ToWrite list and ready to be jotted down.

I discarded one idea because I had a novella that was already almost a novel itself, so I postponed that one to after the summer. I knew I had to write the vampire novel during the summer anyway, I simply had to write it all in a month instead of two. Which is perfectly fine.

If I keep going like this, I might even be able to start it this month. Knowing I’d miss a week of writing in June, I chose a novella to expand as first novel, so it’s going quite well. I’m almost halfway through and if I can read it all in one sitting over the weekend to make the necessary adjustments (I’m aiming at the 17th, not this Saturday), then I can send it off with a few days to spare for the next one…

Busy writing summer, but since the heat is starting to show up, I’m very happy to just go home and write. And make covers. I like hiring other artists, but sometimes I like doing my own covers as well, so… Experimenting with transparent PNGs and art nouveau frames and stuff like that. It’s a Silvery Earth novel, of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Patreon update! I decided to start uploading the rewards even if there are no patrons. So on the 5th of every month I’ll post the “5 things I learned” posts (one is already live) and on the 10th I’ll post the monthly free short story. At least people reaching the page now can see there’s stuff behind theย  paid wall! ๐Ÿ™‚ I know “curiosity killed the cat” but since you’re not cats (are you?), you’ll be fine… just poke around and see if you find anything you like! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And if you like sci-fi, here’s another bundle of books… while you wait for the next one with yours truly, of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Should be out July 4th, the mighty Bundle Rabbit is working on it (and changing stuff around so when I get to the dashboard I go “AUGH!” like Lucy Van Pelt. I’ll get used to it! ;)), just stay tuned. If you like giving to charities, go to Story Bundle (or other curators on BR, I honestly don’t pick a charity since I’m in Italy and I wouldn’t know which one to pick).

And where are we going with e-books? Check Amazon’s latest… I don’t mind a moving cover – I had considered it myself and thought it would be cool on e-books – but everything else… nyeh. They say I can switch that off… well, I have an old Kindle Keyboard, so I doubt it would work anyway. And I certainly won’t use the laptop version (or the smartphone… that small screen makes me want to scream most of the time!)…

But well, maybe younger readers will enjoy that. Although… can this still be considered a book? The EU had decided for lower VAT on e-books, but if they’re like that, can they still be considered books? Mini-movies? What? Who knows. On DeviantART they were already doing motion comics, but this is something else.

And Mighty Zon is still in trouble – it might be customer-friendly but it’s really pissing off authors and publishers. And soon even customers will feel cheated by the fake books that climb the Amazon charts. Don’t put all your eggs in their baskets is still sound advice. I’m still toying with their AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) but it’s probably my last attempt in that department too.

Random Friday


And it’s here! The Fantasy bundle is live!

Go get it on Bundle Rabbit or your favorite retailer (if you pre-ordered it, it should come to your device today)!

And to celebrate, please check this interview with the man without whom this wouldn’t have been possible: ladies and gentlemen, Chuck Heintzelman talking with Johanna Penn! I do mean The Johanna Penn! And if she suggests e-book bundling, you should listen! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And it’s a podcast, so you can easily just listen to them talking (I admit I’d rather read, but that’s just me, LOL!)…

Now go get that bundle and spend the summer reading fantasy books… or at least a month until the next bundle comes out and takes you to space… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Writer Wednesday


Star Minds Third Generation Snippets is out! Check the damn Amazon link so the people at Booklinker won’t bother me with useless emails! But it’s available also everywhere else *waves at the gal who already bought it on Smashwords – I know who you are, thank you*! Next weekend I shall work on the paperback version.

The cover is by Mighty Marvelous Maurizio Manzieri – which means I have the same cover as some traditional SFF magazines or books, yay! ๐Ÿ™‚ It might be one of his stock illustrations (it ain’t free, babe), but again I wrote a story that fit it, like I did with S.E.T.H. (on the cover of Star Minds Next Generation Diaries).

Like I do with Techie Bro’s digital paintings. Who needs writing prompts with such great artists out there? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m still commissioning custom covers, though. Next month you’ll see the awesome covers Rossana Beretta did for Talwar and Khanda and Saif’sย  Story. And besides doing maybe a cover or two myself, I’ll have Cristina do another southern kingdoms illustration. Not to mention the official cover artist for Vampires Through the Centuries, Shafali Anand! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow starts a Kobo-only promo – the Books of the Immortals Box Set will be 30%off for a few days. Just hop to the Kobo page and see what other box sets get discounted until the 29th! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lots of writerly links today! David Farland on busting your editor’s chops. Kris Rusch on types of brands – I might not be the best at cover branding yet, but well… too many books, too little time! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m still learning cover branding, but that’s only the surface. There’s a whole lot more about branding to study and learn.

And then two posts by David Gaughran about those darn Amazon bots… how we’ll end up asking “please don’t buy my books” and who’s pointing at you. I’ve been on Yasiv when I tried to set up that Amazon ad… some of my titles don’t even come up on Yasiv! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I mean, even putting a series title like Star Minds not one book of the series shows up. Vampires Through the Centuries brings up only Vampire Diaries. Silvery Earth brings only the Fairy Tales Revisited… And “body switches”? Tons of non-fiction and conspiracy theories and mind-controlling texts!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I’ll have to find other ways to find tags for my next Amazon ads. Yasiv clearly doesn’t work for me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, did you hear about the KU advocate being kicked out of KU? Mighty Zon is a dangerous beast! ๐Ÿ™‚

Off to the next story… have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

Random Friday


Sorta kinda Art Friday. Last weekend I did a 3hours+ pencil portrait, and it shows in the results. Usually it takes me 2hrs or 2 and a half, this is 3h15 (the longest it took me was 4hours, but the shirt was much more complicated). Here’s another 3hours drawing that is still pinned as my favorite on DA even though it’s 2 years old (and it’s on my wall, albeit a different wall from the latest).

And then while prepping for the novel challenge next month, I realized that the “novella” I planned to expand is actually almost a short novel already and since I’m not supposed to have more than 50% already written and I have no idea how long part 2 would be, I decided to postpone that project to later in the year and to pick something else.

So I’m going to write something based on a very loose outline+a screenplay that was another version of that published novella and make it an original novel. Plus I’ll write the novel of one of the S.K.Y.B.A.N.D. characters that was already on the to-write list and I realized that… oh-oh.

My graphic novel doesn’t have a printed version I can follow, since the balloons are digitally added to wordless comic book pages. So I’ll have to study a way to print it out beyond Omnibus 2 (I had printed copies of the first 2 Omnibus, made through DriveThruComics, but I have retired them since) – either just an Omnibus 3 for myself, maybe on Lulu and B&W, or I can start trying to do that Createspace edition in a different format.

working on SKYBAND during the Holidays

So next weekend I’ll be busy with PODs again. This weekend I only have to upload an ebook, since I have other commitments that will take me away from both the laptop and the drawing tray… For those of you who are new, I have a drawing tray (it’s supposedly a reading tray) and I draw on my bed – see this old pic.

I was even working on the graphic novel! Just picture color pencils like above on the table below, and it will be pretty accurate. You can see the borders of the tray even on the images above.

Oh, and that was before I became, blonde, of course, but then, I had been coloring my hair for a few years already anyway… started at 35, planned to stop at 50, haven’t really yet, but eventually…

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And we have another Vampires Through the Centuries story out! Check out Indestructible, with the cover of awesome Shafali Anand! Some retailers might not show it yet, since I uploaded it after I set up the pre-order button. I had to manually add it on Amazon after release and the Smashwords Premium Catalog doesn’t immediately update a book when I make changes to it. The fastest one was Kobo! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And since I want to try to participate in a Kobo promo this month, I decided to re-publish the Books of the Immortals Box Set. It is now available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes&Noble and Apple at 4.99$ for the time being. I had to reformat it completely, which took me a couple of hours to go through the mammoth 1000+pages document.

So, final April wordcount was a little over 30K. This month I need to write 4 stories about the fall of the southern kingdoms, then in June I’ve taken up the Novel Challenge, so I’ll be busy with novels for the summer months! ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to write Shashank’s book anyway, and if I can write it in a month, the better. I also want to redraft a sci-fi novella which I might have for Worldcon.

Some writerly links: how you should really really really stay away from agents and start learning some business. I’m not business-oriented either, but when I read those stories I just want to scream in frustration. It’s another reason to be indie, but then, I’m a control freak! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I didn’t know about the Smarter Artist Summit, but I may attend in the future, now that I know it exists! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It sounds like a great networking opportunity… And I’ve been to Milan for the Kobo/Mondadori contest, so I’ve been at the ceremony and met the Kobo team. They’re all quite nice, especially the Kobo Europe ladies.

Now back to writing! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


The Path of Water (Quests Book 1)
And it’s now available for pre-order on Kobo and Amazon and Barnes&Noble! And the Bundle has a Facebook page! Go like it, so you’ll know when Apple also approves it for pre-order! ๐Ÿ™‚

And a new collection is out as well – Quests Volume 2, soon out in paperback along with Volume 1. I worked on the PODs the whole weekend, but had trouble with the covers and then had to wait to order the proofs to make sure I’d be in to get them so… the dead tree books will probably be ready by the end of the month.

The covers are both by the awesome Shafali Anand who did a masterful job… You’ll see it complete when the paperbacks come out! In the meantime, enjoy these two! ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t really have any writerly links this week – except the usual suspects that you may as well check for yourselves – and I didn’t write as much as I wanted to. Okay, Da Muse thinks I found all the possible excuses (publishing stuff, digitalizing old pics) NOT to write, but well… it was Easter weekend, wasn’t it?

I’ll finish that novella before I go to Milan, so I have something to read on the train! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


And while I wait for feedback on the latest Vampires Through the Centuries, I’m keeping myself very busy catching those typo faeries on the next title and preparing for a weekend of POD formatting and another upload. I’m also trying an Amazon ad through the Easter weekend, we’ll see how it goes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, it’s official, this wonderful box set of 12 novels at 12$ will come out May 26! Soon you’ll get to meet the other authors who trusted me with this adventure! I am extremely grateful to Chuck at Bundle Rabbit for making this possible.

This should soon be available for pre-order on all retailers. My novel is The Path of Water (Quests Book 1), but even if you have already read it, there are 11 more in this lot! Don’t miss it! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, bundles are all over. If you don’t want to sign up for Bundle Rabbit as an author and don’t think you can write a novel yet, you may want to try the Great Bundle Workshop! Any story that you’ll write for this will go in a bundle, so what’s the risk? Read the questions answered too…

I’m going to see how the above bundle goes, and I might get hit by bundle fever – with novels! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here you have a post on newsletters and discoverability, and one on piracy and TakeDown notices and how they can hurt your visibility.

And you know you can write at any age, right? And if you can spare a $ a month for me, please hop to my Patreon page. I won’t bite and there are plenty of nice surprises there. Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And you have a new Star Minds Third Generation ebook out – with the cover by Mighty Techie Bro. Now, he’s an excellent artist, but he doesn’t have time to work on commissions, so, I went to his DeviantART page and picked some of his old works… and wrote the stories accordingly! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, that’s more or less how Shan-leo’s daughter was “born”… First she’s a rainbow-haired teen, then she becomes the tough gal he drew (hence my illustration of the character). And when I asked my brother if I could have a higher resolution file for the ebook cover, he decided to work on it… so there you have it – old Iso-bel Aya (my actual inspiration) and the new one! ๐Ÿ™‚

There are places, no matter how alien, where you immediately feel at home. And there are places where you’ll never feel at home, no matter how familiar they look or can become.

Iso-bel Aya Shermac is Shan-leoโ€™s daughter, a Sire telepath who grows from rainbow-haired teen visiting Earth of year 2046 to a Sylvanian Accademy graduate who can fight like a man.

Probably the start of a new sub-series in the Star Minds universe.

The other digital painting of his I used as inspiration will be used only on Patreon for now. The first short story offered to the 5$ tier is Starship Pilot with his illustration Ready for Take-off. So, if you’d like to read it before it comes out in the volume Star Minds Third Generation Snippets, you can become a patron of yours truly and many other creators (like my cover artists Cristina Fabris and Sir Wendigo, or writers and artists from all over the place) by hopping to Patreon.

Now I better finish that vampire novella so I can send it to a trusted beta for fact-checking and then to Mighty Editor for a prompt release in a month! ๐Ÿ™‚

Some interesting writerly links… 5 tips on how to make your writing process feel like gaming (which I don’t need, but I know some of you get stuck from time to time) I need something that helps me pick a project and stick to it to the end, LOL! Not that I have trouble being prolific… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Some writing tools with all the answers – the English Through the Ages book sounds very interesting. I have heard the screenwriting ones ten years ago and I do have the Emotion Thesaurus, except I forget to consult it when I write! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, you might find these useful, so I thought I’d point you to the post.

Bestseller Lists and Other Dreams by Kris Rusch which takes you to Marie Force’s That Day I decided to Stop Chasing the Bestseller Lists (shared also on Kobo’s newsletter)… My aim was never to be on one of those bestseller lists, probably because I’m not American, but I’ve seen scores of (indie)authors stopping altogether because they never hit any list.

As a reader, I couldn’t care less if you hit a bestseller list or not. I have read many indie writers and many best-selling writers, and I have loved many of the first and hated many of the latter. So, you know…

I’m nowhere near bestseller status as a writer, still struggling to find my readers and true fans, but that hasn’t stopped me from keeping writing and publishing.

I never tried Kickstarter because I know you need to be moderately “famous” to get enough people pledging for your projects, and I’m not sure Patreon will work for me, but I’m trying it anyway. Then I will try book bundles and writing more short stories to submit to traditional short markets.

But I will keep my indie output steady – as steady as I can, I might not hit the 25 titles a year I kept until last year, but expect a couple of new titles a month anyway – because I treasure my current 5 readers *waves at them*! ๐Ÿ™‚ The blog isn’t really working as a marketing tool, the Facebook page isn’t bringing in any sales, so I’m trying new stuff.

When I’m tired of experimenting, I’ll just quit the marketing hassle and publish stuff without bothering much. That’s what I do with the Italian titles – and they sell more than the English ones for the lack of competition, so… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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