Writer Wednesday

In case you didn’t notice, it’s Read an Ebook Week on Smashwords again! And for the first time in a few years, I have some books in the sale. So the new people can have a look and spend as little as one dollar to try my mighty prose.

Ahem! Just kidding. I don’t write enchanting (or purple) prose at all, so if that’s your thing, you’re on the wrong blog! πŸ˜€

Last week I wrapped two projects and this week I won’t be writing much. Busy putting together an anthology and traveling, so my wordcound is currently stopped. But if I manage to catch up and keep the 10K/week wordcount, I have 2 weeks to spare, LOL! Definitely not panicking yet – maybe in June or July if I’m still waaay behind…

Some promised writerly links: Nine years a Penmonkey and Five Things I Learned Writing which includes just write even if you don’t know the genre – or something. And if you can stand the F-word, the three truth about writing and how the writing gets done! πŸ™‚ There is real wisdom in that post.

Now as someone who hates the sound of her own voice, I’m afraid that soon I won’t be able to do anything if it all gets voice-operated. What do you think about those voice apps? Should we start telling stories through them? Check this post at Joanna Penn’s blog.

For me, at this time, no thank you. I still feel like an innovator because I went the indie route. And I still don’t have anything in audio (I don’t seem to be able to go direct to Findaway Voices through D2D, but I’m not going to press the issue yet).

Last but not least, here’s an open invitation to interview your characters. I’m currently working for the first interview of a few I can think of, and I’ll keep you posted when my characters will go live! πŸ™‚

That’s all for today! Have a great week! πŸ™‚


Writer Wednesday

First of all a big thank you to my Goodreads friends Joshua and Xia Xia *waves madly* your purchase of the Young King on Amazon on two different days made two very nice spikes on an otherwise very flat graphic! πŸ˜‰ And someone followed you – from the UK and Canada for Joshua and someone from Italy who bought 4 of my books on the same day as Xia Xia. Thank you! πŸ˜€ Hope you both enjoy the short story, will leave a review and maybe help spread the word! πŸ™‚

Since we’re on the sales topic and I got the 1042s from D2D, I did a quick check on Amazon, Smashwords and D2D. 2014 was the best year on Amazon and D2D, the worst on Smashwords. Since then, Amazon earnings are going down, D2D and Smashwords slowly up. Not going KU anytime soon, no matter what others say. Might work for you, but obviously not for me! πŸ™‚

But I’m not going to bother with sales (much) this year, more with wordcount. Draft zero of Heroines book 2 is around 46K, but I hope to make it 50K this week + the appendix. Then I’ll probably get back to the spy story and finally expand it enough to call it a novel and start working on Nightly Bites Volume 2.

Then it’s going to be March, and I haven’t decided the next project yet, LOL! I also should start sending out the short stories I wrote in January… been a little lazy… okay, got work to do this weekend! πŸ˜€

Sorry I didn’t have time to read other blogs, but I’m editing Heroines 2 which doesn’t leave me much time to read… if something was really unmissable, I’ll post it next week! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday

Week 7 clocked at 59K, so I’m still 11K behind if I want to reach my 500K goal (that’s 10K a week with two weeks off – even math-challenged me figured that out, LOL!). But I’m now going steady on part 3 and hopefully will finish a first draft (or draft zero) by the weekend. Sunday I’ll be out all day, so I’ll print it out next Monday and go through it next week.

Then I’ll take a break for a short story or two, then move on to the next novel after my trip to Milan in early March.

The cover artist promised me a cover by the end of the month, so hopefully beginning of March I’ll be able to publish the Fall of the Southern Kingdoms (a collection of stories that Tori already owns, so she doesn’t need to buy it! πŸ˜‰ But everybody else feel free to check it out).

Below is a preview of what’s to come (currently only Axelle, Wanderer is out):

I’m almost done with Silvery Earth, I think – I mean, after I write five other heroines novels and possible a couple more quests. While working on the current one, I’m defining the history, and it being the closing book, it will have the history of the world incorporated in the story and added as appendix.

Hopefully some reader will be intrigued enough to check whatever they see in that timeline, counterchecking with the calendar of Silvery Earth to see if that particular event is covered (hint, it usually is, or it wouldn’t be in the calendar). Most of the stories happen in three continents only, so that leaves me still plenty to explore. Although I’ll probably never rewrite the stories of the Moren Empire, but well… maybe one day, if you ask really nicely because you miss it so much… πŸ˜‰

No particular writerly news this week… Have a great day!

Writer Wednesday

yay! Now I better add Dropbox and start using it…

Well, then, even though Brand New Writing Computer has just arrived, last week I wrote 16K. It pays to write longer works, doesn’t it? I’m probably halfway with this one and hopefully will wrap it up by next week. But, like I said, I won’t publish much for the first half of the year – although the second half might be quite crowded! πŸ˜‰

And Celebrating Male Lovers is live! Happy Valentine! Sorry I never cared much for this holiday, but if you do, enjoy your day with your beloved, man or woman or whatnot. Soon another bundle will come out, so stay tuned…

If you’re a writer and want your books in a bookstore (and a physical one at that) or libraries, please support this Kickstarter. I saw the shop with the previous owner and look forward to seeing it again whenever I make it back to the Oregon Coast (hopefully in 2020). They even added something extra for writers! πŸ™‚

So, indie authors, get ready for a bright future. Of course there are still a few things wrong with indie publishing (either listen to the podcast or read the post about What’s wrong with Indie Publishing), but if you can get productive (here’s a good strategy for you) and find a good cover designer (or even a place with stock photos for your genre) or help an artist by ordering her commissions, you’re one step ahead.

Me, I’m taking it easy this year. I keep hearing contrasting things about AMS and FB ads (someone even suggesting to stop blogging – which I might do, eventually, if I run out of things to say) and I certainly don’t want to spend weeks watching AMS dashboard and tweaking keywords, so not for me, not at this time.

Not audio either, since I don’t seem to be able to connect my D2D titles directly to Findaway Voices that seem to have problems on certain audio retailers anyway, so… I’ll stick to ebooks and paperbacks for now. And submitting short stories to traditional paying markets.

Back to writing! Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday

The bad news is… only 27500 words in January. If I want to reach my goal of 500K, I need to write 10K a week! So I have some catching up to do in that department.

The good news is… I completed 4 stories that are now with the proofreader and that I will submit to traditional markets (one as per guidelines, the others to any available in that genre)!

But the other bad news is… already 3 rejections (2 from December submissions, 1 from January). In this case the good news is… one more story to submit to traditional markets and I have two stories ready for Nightly Bites Volume 2, one published and one unpublished, like it was for volume 1! πŸ™‚

To keep the trend of bad/good news: Bad = still no fixed writing schedule, good = started off on the next heroine novel and going steadily forward, in spite of stopping to rummage through old diaries (in part 1 she’s 15, an age I have long forgotten, glad I was write-aholic even then, LOL!).

I also noticed interesting patterns in old summaries of my stories (the outlines of the stories I didn’t write), but I’d rather not discuss them after the #Metoo campaign. It’s true that we’ve been educated, as women, to just accept certain things that are not okay. And in my ingenuity, I really thought those things could happen.

Oh well, I was a teenager with an overdramatic sense of story, like Samantha says in Ciaran&Harith! πŸ˜‰ Which you can also read in the upcoming Celebrating Male Lovers bundle, in case you want to try other authors…

The writerly links of the week: D2D and discoverability. Looking forward to that. Also an excellent article on writing fiction. Now go write that story. And the good of indie publishing in 2017! To those things I can add the Facebook group 20BooksTo50K, like I mentioned in the comments of the post.

I can’t speak highly enough of BundleRabbit, since I used it both for bundles and for collaborations. More to come of both, probably the only publications for the first six months.

I do have a couple of titles still in the drawer (one is a collection that still lacks a cover, the other two still need tweaking or redrafting or I don’t know what else), but expect most of the new titles in the second half of the year.

I have missed a few events last weekend – Superstars of Writing along with 20BooksTo50K in London along with a sci-fi festival somewhere else in Europe, but well… I had just come back from London and I still haven’t requested a new passport to head overseas – as for the third event, I learned about it because a friend posted he was there. Meh.

Now I intend to dive back into my diving cave. I have a schedule to establish, even though I don’t have that new writing computer yet! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday

Well, I’m giving up on Giveaways. No entries on this blog for ebooks (except for Tori, as usual, it’s a discussion between me and her, with Joleene or Shafali jumping in every now and then) and Goodreads has changed its policy. Since I’m not in the US, I won’t be able to give away my proofs anymore. Thank you, Mighty Zon. I hope the guy who keeps asking me books to give away stops doing so.

Maybe one day I’ll try a BookBub or something like that, but not this year. Add to this the changes in social media and other algorithms… This year I just don’t care.

I haven’t gotten into my writing routine yet, so I’d rather work on that instead. It might be for the nature of this month’s writing – short stories, so I waste time inbetween stories (and I gave up one after 300 words or so because I’d need way too much research to make it believable). I hope when I get back to longer works I’ll be able to establish my writing routine. I’m still waaaay below my expected wordcount.

More writing and less publishing worries means I might not only catch up on my fiction TBR pile, but also the non-fiction! I’ve had Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible on my Kindle for years… but still got Amazon Decoded, hoping to get to all of them this year! πŸ™‚

And here’s another list of books that I should probably check… later on! πŸ™‚ I guess I’ll have to develop those skills, sooner or later… sigh! Trying those 7 ways to stay positive as a writer for now! I did join 20BooksTo50K (although I’m still kind of just lurking or commenting on other people’s posts) and I am reading more than before (#1 and 3), but the rest… still some work to do! πŸ™‚

On the bundles front! Mythic Tales is on sale and will be gone at the end of the month. Immortals will come out in February (and here you have an interview with Kaylyn) and then Celebrating Male Lovers.

Hopefully at the beginning of February I’ll have a few shorts to submit to markets and I should hear from a couple of places I submitted to in December as well. I think I started a new sub-series with the latest two! πŸ˜‰

Writer Wednesday

A warm welcome to the new blog followers and Facebook likers – hope you enjoy the ride! πŸ™‚ I’m a prolific writer, but my blog posts are getting shorter each year, haha! Anyway, reader, fellow author, passer-by, welcome and happy scrolling.

So, Year of Writing Madly, Month of Short Stories report! 2 down, from the openings of the online fantasy workshop. For the second I discarded almost 2K and changed direction, but I’m very happy with it. It’s my first foray into steampunk – in a portal fantasy story.

Trying to write a sci-fi short before the end of the month, otherwise I’ll do another assignment of the fantasy workshop that I skipped at the time and write a story exploring a part of Silvery Earth I haven’t seen much yet, only in passing and probably only in Books of the Immortals, Air and Axelle, Wanderer. It will be the prequel to one of the longer novels I plan to write.

Then in February I’m going back to Silvery Earth, since the awesome cover artist Federica Manfredi is doing all the heroines… makes me want to write all the books at the same time, LOL!

But I need priorities. I do have an ongoing series of Vampires Through the Centuries with a novella coming out May 2nd and a novel on Nov. 2, so… March I’ll have to do that.

I’m not really battling creative exhaustion, more publishing exhaustion! πŸ˜‰ Considering that January started with 3 sales during the Kobo Promo (we’re talking the first 5 days of the year) and nothing since… I’ll just stop checking those dashboards.

I published Soul Thieves because I wrote it (redrafted it) last year, but for the things I’m writing this year… you’ll have to ask for them, LOL! The short stories will go out to paying markets first, and if nobody buys them, I’ll gather them at the end of the year in a collection.

Oh, and the Valentine’s bundle is now available for pre-order! 10 awesome stories of m/m romance for a quiet Valentine’s Day (if you believe in such a thing, says the aromantic old spinster)! πŸ˜‰

And I’m working on some paperbacks, I should have the final version soon… All Saturday the Createspace Cover Creator didn’t work, but on Sunday I managed to update the two covers and add the third, so that Monday I could order the proofs.

Maybe sometime I ought to do some new book trailers… mmm… *jots it down on the calendar*

Onward to the next story. Have a great week! πŸ™‚


Writer Wednesday

Trying to get into the new writing schedule that is supposed to concentrate the writing in a couple of hours per day and leave the rest of the procrastination – I mean, the rest of the publishing and social media out of it. I also set up a spreadsheet for Team Wordcount (two people is still a team, right?) to keep track of new words written.

I started keeping count in 2015 when I reported weekly to a list. I did the same in 2016. And then last year I decided to just keep count, report here once a month, and that was it. And I wrote even less than the previous years. So this year I’m reporting again to my teammate and we cheer each other onward.

I have completed one short story of the intended few and working on the second. Both will be sent out next month after a pass by Mighty Proofreader, just in case! πŸ˜‰ It was so hard to get started on this one (unrelated to any of my series, so some worldbuilding to do) that I was considering keeping those shorter ideas as fillers when I’m done with the novel of the month, LOL!

Anyhow, we’ll see how this week proceeds. Now some writerly links! πŸ™‚

An article about Amazon that says it’s updated, but it doesn’t look updated to me. The top 10 things all authors should know about Amazon doesn’t seem to consider the birth of KU/KDP Select and the demise of the Createspace store (and keeps calling the algorithms “logarithms”, but that’s another story, LOL!). But I agree with most of it – except I don’t seem to get any reviews. Meh.

And I certainly won’t give them exclusivity ever, especially since they keep messing up. I don’t know how any author can put up with that shit. New year, old problem and Mighty Zon does nothing to correct. I’m almost scared to do anything on there, and I’m wide! 😦 I even tried KDPprint, and deleted the book after a failed attempt. Back to Createspace for the time being.

And of course, like many out there, I hope one day to do like Tracy Cooper-Posey who went wide and quit her day job. You might remember her interview on this very blog for the bundle that is going away soon, so grab it before the weekend, since I’ll archive it on Saturday.

Yes, Sci-fi July is going away for good, but Remembering Warriors is now live and I’m still working on the Valentine bundle. And Mythic Tales will also go away at the end of the month, so grab it now! πŸ™‚

l got the most important cover (for a new titke, the other one is for a collection of published stories) by the awesome San and here you have a cover reveal!


Weekend formatting and upload, stay tuned… Have a great week! πŸ™‚ Oh, and Happy Birthday to Da Muse… here’s to hoping that his sabbatic year from Bollywood is over!! πŸ˜‰

Writer Wednesday

And Happy New Year! No fireworks from WordPress this time. Not that I share them very often, LOL!

Anyhow, last wordcount for 2017 was 347100words against the 450K of 2015 and the 400K of 2016. The worst month was February (when I was busy reading the million words for the Anthology Workshop), the best was June (the start of the novel challenge).

I really need to get my shit together and stop getting distracted by other things! I shall schedule regular writing time, since I don’t have Auntie Duty and all my afternoons are currently free. This is The Year of Writing Madly! I shall reach that 500K wordcount!

Possibly writing with intentionality. And is it too late to follow my dreams? Hell no. I’m 52 and still feel like a beginner, with lots of stuff I learned I still need to employ in my writing. Lots of awareness tricks in last year’s workshops.

And doing the accounting of this publishing venture is still discouraging (still spending 10 to earn 1), so I’m really going to cut on the publishing this year. Only one new title a month and then either a bundle or an anthology. And I’ll try Findaway Voices with a couple of novellas.

It was a great year for Draft2Digital and I love their e-book templates – that’s what I used both for Nightly Bites Volume 1 (now live at all retailersΒ and the paperback is also available) and the new box sets.

And if you’re thinking of joining the indie revolution and try them, here’s my referral link. They’re great to work with and they’re working on discoverability for this year, so… what are you waiting for? πŸ˜‰

The Kobo promo on Brainwaves is almost over. Here are the country-specific links: Sale Dates: Dec 22-Jan 5

AU: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/p/boxingweekanz17

NZ: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/p/holiday2017

I wanted to send out the newsletter, but I’m still waiting for a cover artist who is lagging behind… so hopefully this weekend I’ll send it out with the upcoming news. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so now and grab your free short story that comes with the subscription! πŸ™‚

Last two links worth reading: Konrath’s New Year’s Resolutions for Writers 2018 (where he suggests the newsletter should be sent out four times a year, six at the most, when another online workshop suggested 1 to 3 times a MONTH! I guess I’ll stick to my own schedule, LOL!) and Thoughts and Goals for a Creative 2018 – not going back to screenwriting, but I’ll definitely try to schedule writing (starting next week so I have time to wrap the loose ends of 2017) and keep doing the batch things of publishing during weekends.

Now I better wrap up the spy story, start requesting books for the next bundle that will come out on Valentine’s Day and decide what to say in the newsletter while I format the next novel… stay tuned… and have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday

In the past week I poured out another 13K or so, but I’m still under 350K for the year’s total. One more reason next year to concentrate on writing and see if at the third attempt I can reach that goal of 500K a year! πŸ™‚

Of those 13K I had to downsize them to under 12K because it’s a submission. I don’t think I could have made it a full novel, so I just compacted it into a shorter work to submit next year. I will need some feedback and fact-checking before I send it out.

In case you missed it, there’s a Christmas gift from the fine folks at WMG Publishing. I can vouch for their online (and offline) workshops, since I’ve done many and already have 2 on my Teachable dashboard.

If next year you want it to be The Year of Writing Madly like I am, please take this lecture


it’s free if you hurry and get the coupon before January 22nd.

I might also experiment with old titles and see if I can pull off the illustrated books for adults feat. Print only special editions of novellas or shorter novels. Because I also like beautiful books, but I’m not sure yet how I can produce what I have in mind. I may have to actually publish those in 2019, since I need time to gather the inside artworks (or make them)! πŸ™‚ Comics and art books (or books with art) are still better in print (along with non-fiction).

I will also put marketing on hold to see how the new Facebook algorithms affect authors and what happens on BookBub and Instafreebie. Also how to make a more effective newsletter, to find more subscribers and spread Brand Barb around the interwebs.

I shall conclude with the Smart Author Podcast notes on the Indie Author Manifesto (also a 30minutes podcast). And here’s the original inphographic for you!

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