Writer Wednesday


15K last week and I reached 450K… 🀩 still 50K to reach my year’s goal, but this year I’m going to make it, yay! 😁 Going steady on Post-Apocalypse Chronicles book 3, stopping to research and re-reading Into the Wild since they’re now headed for Alaska! I’m having fun writing something set on Earth with the help of Wikipedia and Google Maps, but I’m much slower than when I can make up stuff, including geography, LOL!

This coming weekend I’m going to try an experiment with large print, since I’ve learned the specifics. As well as publishing a new title, just in case you miss new releases… although… did you hear about KDP books unavailable to international readers? If you’re American, it probably doesn’t affect you – except if you’re an author, of course.

But to all my international readers out there, if Mighty Zon fails you without even informing you, I shall remind you to go to the publisher’s page, where all the books currently available are listed. And if you don’t see it on Amazon.com, write them!

Or, better still, head for Smashwords, they will provide you with a very nice mobi file for your Kindle. Don’t be afraid to shop outside of that ecosystem! πŸ™‚ Look, Smashwords even unveiled a new book discovery interface! πŸ˜€

And if you’re an author running Amazon Ads, stop them until the problem is solved… your international readers won’t be able to buy your book anyway!

Me? I’m not ready to dive back into Amazon Ads. Or to try Facebook Ads. I’ve been following a boosted post, it had many likes, but not one sale, so I guess that’s another waste of money. If I wanted to try it, I know I won’t now. And I’m also spending my last 5$ on Bookbub Ads.

If you really want to know about sales, I guess this blog is the best place to go! So Rajveer the Vampire is now at 99c for the time being, since it’s the first book of Vampires Through the Centuries. There are box sets of Silvery Earth if you feel overwhelmed by the quantity of books available in that world. And we got paperbacks for all the Star Minds Lone Wolves, yay!

I made a sorta/kinda priority list of what to implement of what I learned at the Business Masterclass, but it’s probably for next year. Mostly, audio books and BookFunnel (although the large print experiment also comes out from the masterclass).

We talked about the Also Bought and Amazon algorithms, and then those were screwed too. I have too many books out to keep track to all of them and none of them appears on Yasiv.com anyway, so I’m just going to ignore that. I’m kinda tired of fighting Mighty Zon.

Well, I better go back to writing if I want to reach my wordcount! Next week I’m going back to DayJob after 5 weeks… meh! I was quite disorganized this time because of the two trips, so next time I’ll plan it better! Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

UPDATE on the Amazoncalypse: They seem to be aware of the problem. I still think Kindle users should move over to Smashwords! πŸ˜‰

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Writer Wednesday


And the publisher’s site has been revamped, although I still need to work on it! πŸ™‚ I’m still reading my bundles co-authors, sci-fi, so I guess I’ll keep going in that direction and get back to Silvery Earth when I’m done with the stories I’m currently writing.

Two are shorts that can be submitted (and they will be submitted as soon as the Mighty Proofreader has a pass on them) but they are tied to the next book of the sub-series, so I guess I can start working on that one in February. I’m still pondering if making it a trilogy and other separate books about other characters or what. Writing series, it is a bitch! πŸ˜‰

I’m not really concentrating on publishing and marketing this year, but I do keep an eye on the marketplace. And if “likes” don’t really sell, let’s hope that the partnership between Kobo and Wallmart will bring in more sales! Mighty Zon badly needs some competition in the U.S. of A. and I hope the nippo-Canadians can do it! πŸ˜‰

Speaking of Mighty Zon and Author Earnings… I’m glad to be just a blip in that pie chart (with still zero sales on Amazon this year). If you have the time and inclination, go study the latest report… and there are still no answers about their wish to sell authors’ earnings to whoever can shell that kind of money. Again, makes me happy I don’t earn much, LOL! πŸ˜€

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or don’t read at all, you must have heard of the passing of Ursula K. LeGuin. I did not finish her Earthsea trilogy (but I bought it at the end of last century, when my English wasn’t so good – I only remember that it was boring and I gave it away at the library of the school for foreigners I was attending for a two-week course back then), but I enjoyed The Dispossessed (which I read this century, although at this time I don’t remember any of it, only that I finished it, while the previous one I bought was given away barely started).

So, yeah, not such a big mourning for me. But then the reason why I write died in the 1970s, so… I guess I don’t care anymore about meeting my writing inspirations… πŸ™‚ Still, check these words of wisdom by her, carefully compiled by Chuck Wendig – an unmissable “best of” (and another book to the ToBuy list, sigh!)!

Now I better go back to writing… still not in that prospected routine, darn it! Hopefully when I start working on longer works, or as soon as I finish the current story! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

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˜‰

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


I have added a couple of rewards (at the lower tiers) for writers. So if you’d like to hear some tips or experiences or other writerly stuff by yours truly, you can do so by supporting me on Patreon. If you’re just a reader who enjoy my fiction (bless you), you have even more choices. Either way I’d greatly appreciate it, even if you pledge only 1$ a month! πŸ™‚

Last week of may and I’m prepping for the Novel Challenge while writing a fan fiction – clearly a crossover between vampires mythologies! πŸ˜‰ I won’t say anything about it, but anyone familiar with my vampires will recognize my submission when it goes live. The voting is anonymous, so feel free to vote for somebody else, LOL!

This week writerly links. A hot steaming sack of business advice for writers by Chuck Wendig. Although I should take him off my blogroll, since he enjoys hunting unicorns. The Lady of the Unicorn, here, can’t really allow that, can she? πŸ˜‰ And you probably all know that I don’t agree on anything about agents, but if that’s your thing…

I’m still studying the series about branding. That homework is tricky, though. It will need some percolating in my slow mind. I think I said 2011 was the year of the Sloth, but this year things got even worse, haha! πŸ™‚ I have worked on a cover this weekend, and I’m keeping the fonts consistent for the series and sub-series (like you can see in the Silvery Earth trailer, each sub-series had a different font and frame).

If you still need some motivation, and while you wait for my own post on the topic (I hope I can write my own in 3 to 5 years, but I’m not there yet, haha!), here’s 20 things learned from writing full-time for three years. Wait, I actually do write full time (except for those wasted hours at the part-time office chair), but I don’t earn a living from it… mm, complicated stuff.

Anyway, if you need a boost on productivity but don’t want to pay an online workshop, that post is excellent advice. And don’t get depressed when you read “You’re going to get hacked!” or someone’s frustration and disappointment. Re: Amazon (I guess that author went through this Amazon Alert and decided to back out of it) I also had problems with them in the past.

When I was publishing SKYBAND with Lulu, I had someone selling it on Amazon without buying it from me at 100$ (a 10$ single issue) and the representatives weren’t really helpful. One of my ebooks is still in Draft form because they didn’t receive my copyright ownership and had blocked my KDP account.

Life is too short to worry about pirates and Amazon and whatnot. Like I said more than once, I might one day give up publishing and start another kind of business, keeping my writing private and/or for my few readers. One day. I’m still trying to think long term. It can’t be considered a career until 10 years have gone by, and they have not. Not yet. They’re flying by, but I still have a few years of experiments and attempts at finding my readership.

Ending on a non-writerly note because Da Muses’ alerts were kinda funny lately for opposite reasons. One is reknown for his immortality (yeah, right) hence the only 50+ worth watching and the other was given for dead at 43… I’m sorry I missed that Facebook hoax! πŸ˜€

Hoping I made at least the ladies smile with the last paragraph, I wish you a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Okay, first here’s the Booklinker Amazon Link of the latest title, click on it before Booklinker starts sending me emails that I didn’t put it to good use and I’m missing sales. Since I have no way to unsubscribe to those, I’d rather you just click on the damn link so they’ll shut up.

I’m doing it for all the new titles, but sometimes I set it up before I actually publish the title on the Publisher Page, and so a week goes by before the link actually goes live and I get those silly reminders. I wonder what happens when I start making the links for the old books. I guess I’ll make a post with all of them and kindly request you to click on them even if you don’t have a Kindle or an Amazon account! πŸ˜‰

So, Amazon Fall is slowly coming out on all retailers. I’ve had sore throat and fever over the weekend, so I’m late in uploading (and there’s a holiday in Canada, so Kobo is slower than ever). I guess I’ll let the publisher announce it properly along with whatever else is planned for the site! πŸ˜‰

Putting back my writing hat on – current WiP is definitely a novel. Part 1 is around 45K (and I’ll have to change slightly that map I posted on Saturday) and then there’s part 2 that I think will be around 20K or 30K. So the whole novel will come out after the summer, I guess. Part 1 will be in the Tales of the Nortern Kingdoms (volume 1) and Part 2 in More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms (volume 2) as well.

With the Blog Hop I didn’t have time to check other blogs, but on a mailing list I was sent these two links on how Amazon works, so I thought I’d share them with you: part 1 and part 2. Now I better send out that prize for the Blog Hop.

I will give a special mention to one reviewer who wrote a very poignant blog post for the hop – I assure you that I will always write the stories I want to write, not the stories that sell! πŸ™‚ I will probably have more ACE characters from now on, except on Silvery Earth they don’t have those labels, so you’ll have to look for them! πŸ˜‰

Have a great week!

EDIT: blog hop winner contacted with special thanks to Random.org. Thanks to all who stopped and left a comment during the hop!

Writer Wednesday


Getting the first and last cold of the season in this crazy March weather means that I’m not really writing. Cough is disruptive to concentration and besides I had a meeting with the offline writers group (that I hoped to turn into something more of a critique group, but so far only one person agreed on most of what was said of critique groups) and then Aunty Duty and then I’m off to Iceland for five days, so… I guess I’ll just resume writing when I come back.

I already know how I want to start on Kaylyn’s novel, but while I’m traveling I hope to re-read my historical shelved novel to see if I can get back into the 12th century Europe atmosphere before continuing! πŸ˜‰ I was also reading a steampunk novel until Monday night, so that didn’t really fit the mood of what I was supposed to write.

Yes, I flirted with Mr Procrastination this week, but I’m not in a hurry, I know next week I’ll get back on track! πŸ˜‰

Writerly links: Copyedit from Heck and other copyediting problems… And yes, there’s always too much to do, either trad or indie published! πŸ™‚

For those of us who worked in traditional publishing, we know the amount of work is massive, even though it seems it shouldn’t be. And I often hear beginning writers talk about how they want to go to traditional publishing because it will be less work.
I actually have to keep from laughing and snorting at that. But there is no way to tell the poor deluded souls the truth because even if I tried, it wouldn’t make sense, so best to just let them go and lose a few books and a few years to the experience.

So, my dear friends, take it from a pro. Dean knows what he says! πŸ™‚

Mighty Zon’s latest – how they aim at scammers but hit authors. I have downloaded the sample of Walter Jon Williams book, but I still have so many books to read on my TBR Kindle virtual list! 😦 I have only one title in KU/KPD Select, but that’s another lesson for authors – don’t put all your eggs in one basket! πŸ™‚

As for Amazon’s reply to the topic – methink that long ToC at the beginning of the book taking away half of my sample is a very bad reader’s experience, but that’s just me. Often I haven’t bought a book for which I downloaded a sample, because half of the sample had unnecessary stuff (usually in trad pubbed books) and it didn’t give me enough insight of what I was buying.

So there, that’s my reader’s experience.

And continuing on this topic, since I’m a proud Kindle Keyboard owner, I thought I’d let others know about Amazon’s software update on old and old old Kindles. Mine is updated since I charge it on the laptop and I guess it “sees” the wi-fi when charging. In fact, in the past couple of months I’ve seen it doing weird things and feared it was about to die.

Hope “K.K.” survives a little longer, I hate my smartphone touch screen enough, I wouldn’t want to deal with that on my e-reader! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!

Random Friday


Let’s make it Reading Friday! πŸ™‚ There’s the post on reading by Dean Wesley Smith and also another on Shannon A. Thompson’s blog. I’m not a huge reader, but I do read, in most genres – as long as there’s a plot. And while I go through my SFF bundles, I took a break to read my other reading love – comics and graphic novels.

Last year two classmates gave me an Amazon gift card. I finished using it this year, with the following purchase.

2016-02-24 13.34.18To the bookseller bemoaning Amazon – if I ever get to London, I’m not setting foot in your shop, since I doubt you’ll store graphic novels. And I don’t drink whiskey. If I buy PAPER books on Amazon it’s because local bookstores don’t stock them (and not only because they’re in English and I live in a non-English speaking country – we do have English bookshops).

Now, to my purchases! I am I known fan of Colleen Doran (see my sidebar, LOL) and I’ve wanted to check Gone to Amerikay since it came out. I wasn’t disappointed, the three intertwined story-lines (1870, 1960 and 2010) are beautifully rendered by Colleen with the nice colors of JosΓ© Villarubia. The story is a nice mix of history and fantasy, with ghosts and historical events. I like mostly the splash pages that show New York in the three timelines – and how it changed throughout the years.

Drawing the Line was brought to my attention by a Goodreads friend who had read and reviewed it. Being a little leery of underground comics, I did a quick google check for more about the stories inside the book. I don’t like all the drawing styles, but most of them yes. With comics and graphic novels, if I don’t like the art, I don’t enjoy the story, so that’s why it’s critical that I see something in the drawings.

None of these ladies has an hyper-realistic style like Colleen Doran, but some were really neat. An Ideal Girl and The Poet, Sharmila reminded me of some French BDs, and the simplicity of Asha, now made me wish I could see it in colors. Lots of nice stories by very nice women – highly recommended for India lovers and not only! πŸ™‚

Final thoughts on reading. You may have heard that Unberto Eco is dead. 60% of Italians read less than a book a year, but 98% are mourning his passing… will we get “distilled” Eco novels at newsagents now? πŸ˜‰ I have never read him and I don’t know what to think of this. Definitely a leap year that’s taking away a lot of artists and writers and creators and actors and… but this year too shall pass!

Happy reading – I have a beta-reading weekend ahead, so… I won’t be idle!

 

Writer Wednesday


Another half month gone, yikes! Trying to finish that Silvery Earth novel so I can go back to my vampires through centuries. I’m now using every other morning to read the magazines I bought last year or earlier for research purposes, so when I get down to writing the actual stories, I’ll know what I’m supposed to look for.

Keeping an eye on that KDP Select title… hopefully I’ll make a Kindle Countdown soon. Got my January report for KENP read… peanuts. Not really worth it, but I had to try with at least one title! πŸ™‚

When I put the Amazon links, I usually go to the KDP dashboard to get them – and take out everything after the ASIN (mostly because I hate long URLs). Turns out I’m doing something right. If you don’t do like I do, start doing it, and here’s why.

Or you can do what Joe Konrath does. I should probably do my bibliography too at some point. For now you can see the reading order on the publisher’s page for Silvery Earth and Star Minds. I’ll add more when I have more. There’s no real reading order for the Body Switches (and I do plan on writing a couple more)! πŸ˜‰

I was also a guest on a couple of blogs last week – my productivity tips are almost lifted off the How to book, and then there was an interview at Book Goodies. Check them both if you haven’t already.

More writerly links: About Time and Sales, Balancing the Parts of Modern Publishing and Money Talks. Lots of food for thought on all of them. And then there’s the different kinds of English – I use American spelling, but the rest is… European, since I’m not a native, LOL! But then, I write mostly SFF, so does it really matter?

Now I better go booking my next online workshop. Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


I finished redrafting Rajveer the Vampire. Cut out 11 pages, added in almost 40. It’s a 50K novel now, and my dear betas who read the first draft might not recognize it – well, at least not the end. I’ve added as much meat as I could, and it’s still an historical (fantasy) story.

One might think it’s easier to write in the present, but when one starts on the historical path, even 10 years ago, things were different! Thank Google for the instant answer to my many questions (although it screws Google analytics and their attempted targeted advertising – which I ignore anyway, LOL) while writing the new ending – including the fact that in 2005 there were Blackberry phones more than Smartphones.

Technicalities, but some readers are… well, you know them. Although since I’ve put vampires in the story, they can’t real expect total accuracy. I try to be as accurate as I can in the historical bits, but it’s still fiction – much like Kris Rusch’s musings on Writing for the Ages and dated science in old sci-fi stories.

Funny also that I added a questionnaire at the end of Rajveer – not as extensive as this one, but still with specific questions on pacing and other things, which I normally don’t. I guess whoever will read the second and final draft will get some of those questions too…

I mostly need to be told where I went too fast, where I forgot setting and if there are glaring plot holes, and that’s why I’m not really into paid beta services, although apparently they provide deep feedback. I only want to know where you – as a reader – stopped. Or what kept you going. Or… well, you get the point.

Writerly links – Joe Konrath fisking John Scalzi on (you can guess) Amazon KDP Select/Unlimited new paying system… Even if most of last year’s revenue for me was from Amazon Italia, I’m not Amazon exclusive and sales sank anyway this year (maybe also because I haven’t uploaded anything in months, although I’ve started the next translation).

It’s a roller-coaster – and e-books are forever. I might not be able to quit DayJob yet, but eventually I will. Even if the vampire stories don’t take off, I’ll probably keep writing them – one a year, since it’s historical fantasy that needs research – because I’m having fun in creating a different kind of universe, set on Earth, based on Earth history, but with enough fantasy to be fun.

And I don’t think you need to answer all the 50 questions about your author platform. But yes, you do need to ask some questions. I still don’t have (and don’t want) a Twitter account and still struggle with keywords, but well… you never stop learning! It’s constantly a work-in-progress, like my publisher’s page! πŸ˜‰

I’m skipping the Smashwords sale, but I’m already on the Blanket Permissions List on DriveThru, therefore participating in the “X-mas in July” sale with all titles at 25%off – only on DriveThruComics and DriveThruFiction… Have a great weekend!

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