Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Hello and welcome to the new blog schedule! The Happiness is… vignette will continue until about halfway next year, but then I won’t restart the cycle like I’ve done so far since 2009. The only post will be on Wednesdays and, as the title says, it will be a roundup of everything writing and non-writing related. The Backstage Pass will continue on Sundays on the publisher’s page to keep that page moving while I’m not publishing regularly (besides Italian titles, I mean). Thank you for following me in this new step of my journey!

And to celebrate the 10 years Blogoversary, I’m going to do a Giveaway! πŸ™‚ Any eBook of mine in your preferred format (or audio if you’re in the US, CA or AU, although that’s valid only for Otherside, I still have a few of those codes). Just drop a comment with the title and your preferred format! πŸ™‚

Now Kobo might have added audiobooks to the KWL dashboard, but during the weekend the eBooks had vanished. I was trying to finish updating the Silvery Earth titles still out there, and on KWL I saw for a moment on Saturday morning all 120+ titles (and 60+ unpublished), then no more than 18 on Laptop, 21 on Netbook (but it did show the unpublished titles of the discarded pen name, grrr!).

And Techie Bro took Laptop for an update/upgrade, so I copied everything to Netbook to update DriveThru and KWL, but when Smashwords had “trouble” with a couple of documents, there wasn’t much I could do, since Netbook doesn’t have Adobe Reader to check ePub files. Maybe it has something to read ePubs, but I wasn’t in the mood for experimenting. So it was a hassle that dragged the whole weekend. Sigh.

As for writing, just a short story, a little more than 5K. I started dabbling in a contemporary story, but it might not be the right time to write it, so I’m contemplating other options. I’ve realized I’ve been reading too much non-fiction lately, too much necessary research, but it has taken the fun out of writing somehow. And took me off the reading market as well, since I’m a slow reader.

So I started reading all those bundles that came out on BundleRabbit and might have a look at StoryBundle (lookie look! Vampires! Maybe I should!) and other places. I am considering a new series with a no-longer-young heroine, but I’m not sure which genre it’s going to be. My characters grew up with me, I guess it’s time I talk about salt-and-pepper hair, although I have already done that with Bel. Hey, maybe I’ll write about her breakup with Raj because she became a grumpy old spinster, LOL!

The Infinite Bard story is up once again! There is now quite a collection of free reads there now, check it out! πŸ™‚ And the publisher’s site is all updated, so at least that is done, yay! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


I got my first royalty payment from Findaway Voices (minimum treshold 10$ and there’sΒ  the Paypal fee, but whatever) and remembered I still have coupon codes for Otherside. So if you’re in AU, US or CA and would like to listen to and review my audiobook, drop me a line.

 

  • Authors Direct is currently only available for users in the United States, Australia, and Canada on iOS and Android (non-Kindle) mobile devices.
  • Authors Direct Giveaway Codes are only for listening inside of the Authors Direct mobile apps and can only be redeemed at https://authors-direct.com/redeem/
  • The following retailers will allow your listeners to leave a review without having bought the book there:Β Apple, Google, Amazon (but not Audible), Kobo, Scribd (with free trial) and Downpour, in addition to standard review sites like Goodreads.

I have enrolled some books in the Smashwords Winter/Summer Sale, but I’ll give the titles next week, when the sale is live. Preparing all the Lone Wolves Team books for this summer’s release, formatting them and slowly uploading them as well. These won’t be part of the sale anyway.

On the 20BooksEdinburgh they’re starting to ask what we’ll be working on while in Edinburgh, but I don’t have an answer yet. It’s still a month away and I think I’ll be done with Torik by then (both the adult and the child). I’m thinking of challenging myself to write a short story a day based on writingΒ  prompts – I already have plenty that I want to write, either to submit to traditional magazines or anthologies or because I want to tell that story.

Or maybe I’ll start on the next Quest book. Turns out Torik is one of them wanderers, so I changed his book title to The Path of Wood, then I’ll write the sequel as The Path of Metal, and The Path of Dreams will remain for Silvery Earth Kids prose, that I’ll include with Torik’s story. Although since these are set before the current Quests Books, maybe I won’t number them as such.

I was thinking I could do another Sci-Fi July bundle and related anthologies, but my mood is currently hopeless towards sales, and I’m too tired to put another anthology together. I’m not even happy with my own stories, so… next year I’ll try to publish another couple. There’s still six curated anthologies you can choose from and another project coming soon.

But wait, someone else set up a vampires stories bundle! Thirteen Stakes goes live today, go grab it now! πŸ™‚ It includes Norman Blood from yours truly and a ton more awesome authors, including a short story that was in Nightly Bites Volume 1! πŸ™‚

And it’s The Infinite Bard week again! Hop off to read another free story from an awesome author! I’m next, so see you there in a couple of weeks! πŸ™‚ After the summer I’ll probably take down the stories on Prolific Works as well, so get them now. I might add a page of free reads to the publisher’s page, but I haven’t decided yet (besides the stories for The Infinite Bard, I mean).

I think that after the summer I’ll start tending the garden of my 200 published titles before putting out new stuff. Backmatter needs to be updated, some covers might be thrown out, some single stories with ugly covers might vanish (they’re all included in some collection or other anyway, and if they haven’t provided point of entry so far, they probably never will) and so on.

Not a complete relaunch or rebranding, but some tidying up yes. This should go hand in hand with house-cleaning and throwing out unneeded stuff, but we’ll see how that goes as well! πŸ˜€ Have a great week!

 

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote less than 7K but I was still busy with the anthologies and approving the second audiobook – which might be shorter than the first, but it still took two hours out of my writing afternoons one day and another half hour the next day to check the corrections.

Yesterday I had to check and approve the third and last (for at least 6 months or until I earn back the expenses) audiobook. Hopefully this week I’ll go back to my 10K or more and glad I was ahead with the great writing of the past months! πŸ˜‰

So, Otherside audiobook is obviously live, and The Hooded Man will soon follow. Unfortunately I can’t give coupons to the people I wanted to give to, since none of them are either in the US, Canada or Australia (one is in the UK, one in Italy and one in India, at least for The Hooded Man), so… I’ll decide later, when I’ve written this week’s 10K, LOL!

These are the places where I found the audiobook so far: GooglePlayiTunesNOOKaudio. Can’t find it on Kobo and they tell me that Audible distribution can take up to 30 days before the title is live there. I hit “publish” on Otherside on March 17… so I guess by Easter it might be at Amazon too! πŸ˜‰

In case you don’t follow the publisher’s page, there are a few books at 99c99p out now, in case you want to give this author a try. And there are the pre-order buttons for the anthologies.

Also, I’m in two new bundles now, Eclectica and Cat Tales #4, go check them! πŸ™‚ Again, I have updated the publisher’s page, but not this blog, so for the available bundles go there! πŸ˜‰

All this publishing stuff is stealing time from writing (although I’ll be fair, a lot of time is stolen by Bubble Witch Saga 3 too, maybe I should take it off the writing netbook and keep it only on the smartphone, but it’s sooo addictive, damn it!) but I’m still hoping to get back into the routine today.

The Lone Wolves Team is out in the galaxy fixing stuff, and bonds and relationships between members are blossoming. I already made the covers for the stories that will start to come out next month and I have chosen the images for the covers of the Legends of the Moren Empire even though I’ve written only Volume 1 so far (coming soon!), but I want all three to have the same feel.

I think the Star Minds Lone Wolves will keep me busy for at least a month, if not until the end of May, then I can go back to Silvery Earth. I have written 40+ strips for Silvery Earth Kids, but now I need to color and letter them… Now I better get back to those missions, the Lone Wolves Team has to save the universe – not! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

 

Writer Wednesday


Book 3 and 4 are really one split in two, so I didn’t really stop “between projects” except for the creative weekend with Cristina (so last week only 8K), that I used for my large print and illustrated paperbacks experiments. Book 3 clocked in at 47K (Book 1 is 42K, Book 2 is 44K) and I probably have as much to write in the next, then on to book 5!

Hopefully I’ll be done by the end of January when I can take a break… In the meantime have a sneak peek at the first five covers on the series page… The blurb for book 4 and 5 is very limited, I’ll make it better when I write them – it’s only a vague idea still! πŸ™‚

Bundles Galore – Remembering Warriors is on sale for the last month of its shelf life. Grab it now at 3.99$ before it’s gone! πŸ™‚ Other bundles are still available, but they’re diminishing… I will do another couple next year (along with the next iteration of Sci-fi July for the Worldcon). By the way, this is the last month of shelf life of Sci-fi July Redux too, so if you want to suport us, buy it now, if you can’t afford it, wait until it goes on sale closer to Christmas! πŸ™‚

And I have one more reason never ever to get on Twitter, where people (newby writers) even attack longtime professionals like Nora Roberts! I might have not read her books, but I do know who she is, it would never cross my mind to accuse her of stealing my title/idea – which, by the way, is not copyrighted. It’s the execution that is. I hope that woman sinks into oblivion with her second book, she doesn’t deserve a career as a writer.

And if the above isn’t enough to dissuade you, here are six miths about traditional publishing (and not from Dean Wesley Smith’s blog!). But Indie Publishing isn’t easy either, especially if you put all your egs in one basket and your basket is leaking… Maybe the future will really allow us to go direct to readers with no middleman…

First The Why, Now The How: 25 Ways To Keep Making StuffΒ Β by Chuck Wendig. AndΒ How To Make A Pretty Facebook PageΒ by David Gaughran – cause we all want a pretty Author Page, right? πŸ™‚ I still think the Publisher’s page has problems on mobile phones, but I don’t seem to be able to find a solution. Next trip to Turin I’ll consult with my webmaster…

Now, as soon as I reach my yearly wordcount, I can stop and do another curated anthology (probably starting before Christmas, but I doubt I’ll be able to publish it this year – sometimes writers are really slow! ;)). In the meantime, you have your choice between, the two Nightly Bites, the two Sci-fi Short Stories and the Rocketpack Adventures curated by Russ Crossley. The paperback make excellent Christimas gifts… just sayin’! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


And since I was reading so much sci-fi, I decided to keep writing sci-fi – well, science fantasy, since that’s what Star Minds is. So I will write more stories of Star Minds Lone Wolves in July then we’ll see. Because I don’t have to do research for those and I even re-read some of the older books (which meant I had to make a last minute change to the latest title) while looking for a story.

And after Icy Aya, please welcome Shanell! πŸ™‚ Our starship pilot, that you first met in Star Minds Third Generation Snippets or you can find in the upcoming anthology Sci-fi Stories – Starships, finally has her short novel! Here’s the birth of the cover with the evolution from Techie Bro’s version to the current one – a change of look and starship that was already hinted at in Adventurer.

David Farland answers the question Does Social Media Work? You know the answer, don’t you? Nope, nope and nope! Not anymore! Especially not Facebook! πŸ˜‰ So let’s start thinking outside the box (and ignoring those Facebook “suggestions” that only want you to spend some money on Facebook ads). How? Dunno. Experiment.

I’m keeping this blog active and the publisher’s page updated. Does that help? Dunno. Too early to say. But if you want some predictions on where social media are going, check out this forecast. I look forward to less self-promotion and more effortless self-expression! πŸ™‚

I will mention today is the day Sci-fi July Redux aaaand Sci-fi Stories – Starships go live! Go grab them! Fill your e-readers with some sci-fi for a thrilling summer! πŸ™‚ Yes, even bundles don’t sell that much anymore. I guess we saturated the market… Not sure about the anthologies, since mine never sold much… but after spending a long weekend curating the next, I sure hope you’ll at least check them out! πŸ™‚

Also, I enrolled some books in the Summer/Winter Sale at Smashwords… go check all the authors participating! πŸ™‚ Useless to put my own profile, since it doesn’t show in the list which are discounted and which aren’t… I made a list on the publisher’s site! πŸ™‚

Last but not least, What I Learned by Dean Wesley Smith… from him and Kris Rusch I learned what Harlan says: Money flows TO the writer! Not that I’m getting much yet… sigh! But it’s the year of writing and being halfway, I’m at 270K, so… I’ll just keep writing. And maybe publishing, LOL!

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


Less productive week inbetween projects, I still tend to take a day off to check the previous work and prep for the second. Except I’m adding stuff in while I write the “companion”, so I’m waiting to re-read the whole draft until I’m done with both. Still having fun with those characters and even found models for the covers – one will be NeoStock, the rest will be DepositPhoto. So yeah, I’m also making mock covers, prepping for the summer, LOL!

Although the Silvery Earth covers are still illustrations (by the Awesome Federica Manfredi), but for sci-fi I’ll move to composites. Except the Post-Apocalypse Chronicles, whenever I get to writing book 2 (hopefully as soon as I wrap up these Star Minds novels) I’ll order the cover to the same artist who did Brainwaves. Gotta be consistent in the series, right? πŸ˜‰

And we’ve got sales! Bundles sales! Spring Surprise is on sale until April 28. The Immortals and the Vampires of the World are on sale from 24 to 30 April. It is also the last week for Vampires of the World, it will be archived in May, so get it NOW! Only 3.99$ for 8 awsesome vampire novels!

And we got a batch of writerly links! πŸ™‚ First, Chuck Wendig entered an Amazon Bookstore! Yes, you read it right, a brick-and-mortar Amazon bookstore! Can you believe it? Those shelves look great, by the way.

David Gaughran on giving a voice to Indies AND how to make killer promo graphics in Canva – the one above is still plain old Photoshop 7.0, but we’ll see! πŸ˜‰ And if the demon of self-doubt bites you, Johanna Penn and writing and the fear of judgment. I obviously don’t fear judgment, but I do get self-doubt every now and then – with the umpteenth rejection, reading a much better writer, etc.

But then, scientists link depression and anxiety to high creativity, so… Even though I don’t say it out loud, I do have bouts of depression and anxiety. If it’s the price to pay for creativity, I’m okay with it! πŸ™‚

Now back to writing and prepping the next bundle… Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


So I’m all set with New Netbook that has Office 365 installed… and suddenly I understand why in the past a beta-reader told me there were missing words/sentences in my manuscripts. Apparently Office 365 hates Open Office by Oracle and doesn’t show the last line of something written originally to be saved as ODT (I always save as Word.doc, but I guess there’s something underneath that I don’t see)!

Thus I need to be careful when I write something on Laptop, since Netbook won’t show me everything. But since it’s low on memory, I guess I can uninstall Office 365 and download Open Office instead – problem solved! πŸ™‚ As soon as either Techie Bro or a Techie Friend helps me, I’ll get rid of the problem…

EDIT – SINCE THIS ONE WAS UNFINISHED, I’M PASTING THE SECOND ONE BELOW AND WILL DELETE IT…

So I had the creative weekend, and I managed to do 2 covers for upcoming projects, plus I got the cover for Fall of the Southern Kingdoms, so Easter Weekend I will put on the publisher’s hat again. I’m quite happy with one of the covers, but you’ll see it soon enough.

Plus I finished editing another project (the one I made the cover for) and sent out a short story I wrote in the middle of the current project (it was a prequel/backstory for a character in the series anyway), so I didn’t write as much as expected, but it’s fine.

Now I must finish the current project before April 22nd when I hope to get to London for a couple of days of research (so I won’t have time to meet my British friends – again. Sorry…) before coming back and hopefully doing some prep work for this summer’s publishing.

I’m thinking of doing another online workshop, but at the same time I feel I have too many projects this year and won’t be able to write them all – if I do, I’ll hit that wordcount, though! πŸ˜‰ So maybe I’ll postpone more workshops to next year. Both the craft and business things.

What else? Well, if you crave vampire stories, both Nightly Bites are now available in paperback and ebook, so go get them! And if you want longer works, Vampires of the World is still out there.

I will also start putting together a new bundle on another topic next month, so stay tuned. Here’s the list of the currently available bundles I’m in – for all tastes, really, take your pick! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


attempt, not the final one… It wouldn’t save the JPG, so I took a screenshot of this one!

And the publisher page has a new header! Took some working since I have an old version of Photoshop and Elements “doesn’t support layer groups and displays them in their collapsed state. You must simplify them to create an editable image” except the editable image had no layers, so I had to ask Mighty Silvano to please pull them out of the folder.

Now I should renew this blog’s header, but… maybe during the weekend, LOL!

About reading! I started a historical novel that has been on my table for almost ten years, but I’m afraid I won’t finish it. Printed books tend to have small fonts (i.e. hard to read, I stopped buying magazines for that reason) and I’d rather keep all the novels on my Kindle (which I didn’t have ten years ago or whenever I bought that book, LOL!).

Besides, it was written in the 1950s and head-hopping is really jarring (they don’t “ejaculate” anymore, but they “cried” a lot… maybe “he said, she said” isn’t so bad after all!). And I’d rather go back to the bundles I’ve been in and the ones still to come. My TBR pile will never go down… unless I do not finish the books that don’t catch me with the first chapters! πŸ˜€

On a different topic, last weekend I brainstormed while drawing – Da Muse, who else – and watched one of the DVDs I got from Amazon, with Da Other Muse (whom Americans might have admired during the Super Bowl, hopefully seeing the most dignified, manly tear, LOL!).

Anyhow, I enjoyed the Whole Truth and it’s final twist (ouch, just read the Italian titles of the latest movies. I wish IMDB didn’t read my server location). I’m not a big fan of courtroom drama, so I didn’t see hundreds of them. I could only compare it to Devil’s Advocate which was shot 20 years before that. So it was okay.

This weekend I hope to see the mess that changed title because the director refused to be part of it and is now called ExposedΒ – we’ll see if it’s really a mess! πŸ˜‰ And I got the short stories back from Mighty Editor, so I have some editing to do before starting the submission process. And if there’s time, I’ll work on the publisher’s page that still needs some tweaking (do a new header for this blog?)… Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

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˜‰

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