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™‚

 

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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˜‰

Writer Wednesday


This month’s writing is almost done, except one last story that should pour out within the week. Then I may write something in the same “universe” to submit somewhere – I’m currently reading the previous anthology to get a feel of what they’re looking for and I’m mostly having a blast. Ideas churn in my head with each new story – I know the where and when of mine, but the story is still nebulous.

These last 2-3 stories are shorter works, but in November I’ll get back to longer works. I have deadlines for submissions, so I’m doing those first. Did you read about Dean’s latest challenge – write his age? I could do it this year, I’d have to write/publish one story a week, but two months have already gone by since my 52nd birthday, LOL! I still need to reach my goal of half-pulp-speed (500K a year) and I probably won’t reach it this year either, so I’d rather skip this challenge… which will make it more worthwile whenever I decide to actually do it (when I’m 55? 60? We’ll see…).

Anyhow… next week I’ll be off DayJob, so I’m already putting up some kind of schedule. I’ll have to work on more PODs, even though CreateSpace is closing down its shop. Might be a good time to try KDP print. At the same time, Amazon seems to be less and less author-friendly. Which is a good reason for not having all the eggs in that basket.

This very interesting analysis that tells a tale of two marketing systems also got me pondering. I supposedly should use the Wide Tortoise method, although I’m using neither right now. I’m giving up on the marketing weekends again after reading of Facebook’s new policy in Pages newsfeeds. They keep offering me to boost my posts, but there must be some other way to reach fans! 😦

I don’t know, I also have to sign up for Pronoun and possibly other sites, so… one thing at the time! πŸ˜‰ I also should add a “clean fantasy” label so my newer books. Gone are the times of those “Adults only” titles on both Star Minds and Silvery Earth. I called them ACE-friendly, but maybe, at least for Silvery Earth, it’s just clean fantasy.

But then I should change the publisher’s byline that it’s “books for adults with a youthful mind”! πŸ˜‰ I mean, I’m an adult and I don’t really need to read about sex in every book. I also wrote all the violence I could think of out of my system. Mmm. I guess I’ll have to ponder and make a more generic byline “books for everyone”? Not really. “Books and stories” too bland?

Lot to ponder. Of course authors can’t make a living from books anymore, they never could, unless they were bestsellers. It’s even worse in traditional publishing, but even indies… most don’t thrive, including yours truly. But if you’re one of the lucky ones, you might find Trackerbox useful for your earnings. Here’s an interview with the creator, who has a kickstarter going for the Mac version.

I still go with Excel sheets and paper notebooks, but I’m not really thriving yet. Anyhow, if you want advice on self-editing your novel or five stages to revise it, there you go. And some habits of the world’s most successful writers. And a reminder that I have a few bundles out or coming soon… stay tuned for more!

Oh, and if you write mystery or romance, Hallmark is now accepting novels. I write neither, unfortunately, so go for it! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Random Friday


Smashwords Deal announcement – this weekend Honorable Assassins is 50% off only on Smashwords. If you missed last weekend’s opportunity, now you can get it half-price. The coupon is public and feel free to share.

POD news – edit. I have found a “new” cover artist, my old friend Federica Manfredi, therefore I will doΒ  the paperback for Axelle within next month, along with another. So Shashank is not the last you see this year! πŸ™‚

Bundles fever: I have been checking the other three bundles that should come out this month and I’m very excited. I will be in bundles with the likes of Kevin J. Anderson, Kristine Kathryn Rusch (twice!), Leah Cutter, and people I’ve met on the Oregon coast such as Stefon Mears and Karen Abrahamson (who areΒ  also in the fantasy bundle that will soon be archived), Russ Crossley and his lovely wife Rita, M.L. Buchmann, Robert Jeschoneck and Blaze Ward, and then Thea Hutchinson and J.A. Marlowe and a few more that I look forward to discover!

Now I better finish what I’m reading and start discovering new authors… And I’ll keep ya posted on those three bundles! They all come out before mine, Vampires of the World, so… I know, we can all stock up for the long cold winter (or darn hot summer for those of you who live down under!)! πŸ™‚

Writing weekend ahead. Lots of catching up to do, gotta finish those stories! Have a great end of the week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wendesday


And there’s a new bundle out with Technological Angel it it! This is all of cyborgs and machines and all that stuff, in fact it’s called Cyborg City! So if you’re all for sci-fi, go grab it at BundleRabbit which has also the links to the other retailers… it’s only 4$ for 12 novels!

Coming next is also Vampires of the World, which is already available for pre-order, plus a couple more not curated by me. Lots and lots of bundles this year! πŸ™‚ I will definitely finish the ones I got from StoryBundle in 2015 then I can start (or finish) reading the ones I’m part of! πŸ˜‰

For next weekend only, Honorable Assassins will be at 99c. The paperback will be available some time next week – I had to redo the cover and order another proof. Sorry about that… Let’s pretend I have the hardcover, while we’re at it! πŸ™‚

I also updated the pre-order documents for Shashank the Fledgling. I have added not one, but two bonus stories! The second is really short and I wouldn’t know where else to put it, so I added it to the ebook and the paperback.Not really bonus-stuffing here, at least the paperback (and the ebook, or course) is richer. I ordered a proof to see how it comes out, along with the revised version of Honorable Assassins.

Unfortunately it’s been a bad month for writing: only 22K for those two stories and some adjustments to other works. Maybe I should retake the novel challenge, LOL! Now I’m writing those final stories for the Fall of the Southern Kingdoms and then I’ll move on to the next project – a rewrite with sequel, then I will really stop recycling old stuff! πŸ˜‰

I also have to write three more stories, two from the current online workshop and one for some open call project with specific themes – there’s is more than one, but I’m afraid I can write only one of those three! πŸ˜‰ And the workshop’s not over, I might have to write another opening, so that’s another story I’m sure I’ll have to write… not to mention the opening of past workshops I didn’t have time to finish yet!

Tips for authors using social media on KWL blog. And a Kickstarter for Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, that will feature also yours truly sometimes next year! πŸ™‚

About telling a story vs. writing a story. I probably mentioned it before, but I’m a storyteller, not a wordsmith. I want to tell stories not spend days on writing down the right sentence of finding a brand new metaphor. I call that purple prose and I skim it when I see it! πŸ˜‰

I tried to read a Jack Reacher book, but I’m not too fond of first person narration, so it has gone in the backburner. I have enough reading to do before getting to that! πŸ˜€

One last thing: if you aren’t on Draft2Digital yet, you can join through referral now. They distribute to the usual suspects, have ebook templates (that I still have to try…) and now even allow audio! What’s not to love? They’re even better and faster that Smashwords whenever I had a problem… So, what are you waiting for? If you’re indie, join Draft2Digital! πŸ™‚

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


So, I got my feedback for the novel challenge and I’m going to rework only one of them because my dear offline beta pointed out other problems besides the ones of that specific first reader (Thanks again, Dean, for the opportunity!). I’m glad he got through Shashank even if it’s not his kind of story.

And by the way, the pre-order is live! And I’m writing story that goes with it – if it’s short, I might give it with the newsletter or submit it somewhere. Short fiction is the only thing I want to sell to traditional publishers/magazines. Free marketing! πŸ˜‰ And I got another rejection from Clarkesworld, but I’ll keep that story in the mail – or email!

Oh, and if you want to do the novel challenge too, there’s the second edition coming soon. 30 short stories in 60 days or 3 novel in three months! I am already doing an online workshop, so I won’t be able to take any of the challenges at this time. But I’m one of the Victorious Five of the summer novel challenge! πŸ˜‰

And for those of you who are still looking for a traditional deal for novels, I shall refer you to the people I wanna be when I grow up (sort of, they’re not that much older than me, hahaha!) – Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch who as usual are almost synched in their posts! (and thank you, Kris, for explaining the Rip Van Wrinkle story)

I unfollowed a blogger on Facebook (didn’t unfriend her, but stopped seeing her newsfeed) because she kept talking about Dream Agent and stuff like that. Don’t talk to me about that stuff. I don’t want to hear it. It makes me sad, like Dean. But if you want help to become indie, I’m here to help, like Kris suggests.

Take your head out of the sand and join us – we’re a bunch of very friendly folks! πŸ™‚ And you’re lucky to be writing in the 21st century, trust me, I grew up in the age of the typewriter and remained unpublished until the indie revolution happened! πŸ˜€

Now next weekend is the dreaded Marketing Weekend. Do I need to say why I hate self-promoting my books? Just go to Chuck Wendig’s list! πŸ˜‰ I will use those weekends only to try and program sales across various sites that I have found in the past months but didn’t have time to try. So stay tuned for short sales on single titles or even bundles at BundleRabbit.

Actually I have books in seven bundles coming out between September and January 2018, including my own vampire-themed bundle. Still looking for NOVELS with vampires, since a couple of authors are not responding on BundleRabbit. Otherwise it will be a smaller bundle! πŸ˜‰ Please contact me before the end of September, so our Mighty Jo can start working on the cover! πŸ™‚

Have a great week!

 

 

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