Writer Wednesday

And the yearly wordcount is over 300K, but I’ll need to slow down in August to revise a couple of things. I should be able to catch up in September, though! ๐Ÿ™‚

I found another publisher open to novella submissions, and I’m sharing it here in case you have a festive-themed novella. I might send them something for the advance notice novella series. And I’ll soon send something to Tor as well. Oh, and since I’m on a submission-call sharing spree, see if you have anything for Quoth the Raven celebrating the works of Edgar Allan Poe! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, if you’re just starting, you might have to confront the 8 fears that hold writers back from publishing their books. But when it comes to cover art, please follow the Indie Author’s guide to hiring a cover artist! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m a hobbyist artist, I’ll try to look for a typograpy and graphics workshop in my area to get even better.

Maybe one day I’ll make covers for other people as well! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Learning with my own, though, since this year I started doing composite of stock photos (either from Depositphoto or Neostock)… and I’m currently having fun in spite of a Photoshop 7.0 and very limited skills, LOL!

If you want to do it too, please read the Indie Author’s guide to stock photography! ๐Ÿ™‚

Our man David Gaughran is still on Amazon’s back. I haven’t managed to read Amazon Decoded yet, but here’s how to (ethically) hack Amazon categories. I’m not sure I tried to apply this to my historical novel, for example. Well, I did put the keywords but they don’t come out in the search, so… I guess next step should be writing to KDP support? Meh.

And in case you missed the cocky-gate, here’s a good summary. And there’s someone else trying to trademark Dragon Slayer as well… sigh. Glad there’s CockyBot to look after that mess! ๐Ÿ™‚

OH, SALES SALES SALES! On DriveThruFiction and DriveThruComics everything from Unicorn Productions is 25% off! ๐Ÿ˜€

Aaaand… we have a paperback for Sci-fi Stories Space Opera Mashup. So if you’re up for a dead tree book, it’s available too. For all four anthologies! ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s all for today… have a great week!


Happiness is…

Writer Wednesday

And since the first June sales was on DriveThruFiction, I thought I’d make a new banner for them… there you have it, with the new title on the side. Soon all three in a single book with printed version. I only need to order a cover for it, so stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚


Now, about the short story that became a novel a.k.a. current WiP. Book 1 and 2 are done and out to editor. But I have more ideas for Quests, so I might write another two books. Final titles are The Path of Water (Book 1) and The Path of Fire (Book 2) and I have ideas for The Path of Air (Book 3) and maybe The Path of Ether (Book 4) and The Path of Earth (Book 5). Some of you might recognize the Immortals of the eponymous books.

In the meantime I’m back to the Southern Kingdoms for more tales, some sprang out of Book 2, some came up as sequels of something I have already written, some were still in idea form, and some are a wrap up of the southern kingdoms with Books of the Immortals – Air.

I guess I’m busy for the rest of the summer with Silvery Earth, LOL! I’m still toying with the Quests covers, but for now I’ll keep all the illustrations under wraps, so you’ll have to make do with the first three.

Cinder Boy_resizeAnd of course the third fairy tale revisited as m/m romance is out! Here’s Cinder Boy in all his glory… guess which fairy tale is retold here…

Now I’m ordering a cover for all the fairy tales revisited, so that after the summer I can make a volume that will include Beautiful, Colors and Cinder Boy.

I shall hire a new artist, so you’ll see the results then. By the way, Sir Wendigo did a great job for the cover of Male Lovers of Silvery Earth volume 2, featuring Nerian and Riander from Colors, but again, you’ll have to wait until after the summer! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sooner than that, you can admire Silvano Beltramo‘s covers for the Tales of the Northern Kingdoms, and Cristina Fabris‘s covers for the Tales of the Southern Kingdoms – at least in ebook form. All POD are to be made after the summer.

And soon I shall reveal Shafali Anand‘s cover for Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness as well, so stay tuned. I’ll set up the assetless pre-order button for that one, even though pre-orders haven’t done much for me in the past, but you never know. Mark Coker insists it’s a way to the best sellers lists, but whatever… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cautionary tale for indie writers – sneaky money grabs. Hope none of you was with Booktrope! Yes, it’s not just traditionally published writers who should beware these days… sigh! And what exactly makes a damn good story? I’ll let the experts speak…

I’m quite happy with having almost reached Pulp Speed 1 with my wandering, questing characters, haha! In fact I’m dreading taking a few days off writing at the end of the month… that Ground Effect in writing is great!

Now I better upload a couple more titles to Bundle Rabbit and get back to work – I even started another online workshop, so… busy June, onward! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week!

Random Friday

As promised, here are the unused covers of the next generation (Jo, don’t drool on the second!). Very quickly done by throwing together different drawings. The only one that might look like the final one is Kay-low’s.

SMNGdiaries4blog_resizeLeft to right: Chibi, Dadina and Shan-leo. Wim and Dadina. Jay-lee and Kay-low. They’d probably end on the Lousy Book Covers blog as they are… (like Technological Angel did…)

I put the red bands to make them similar to the Star Minds Snippets stories (that had blue bands, see?)

SMS4blog_resizebut then, since I won’t publish them separately… and Kay-low is not included in the Diaries anymore… I can toy with it forย  another month, LOL!

The final covers for Star Minds Next Generation Diaries and Star Minds Chasing Stardom will be similar to the Star Minds Next Generation cover (same artist)! ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Writer Wednesday

I’m giving another shot at the pre-order buttons, so… you have one title out now and its sequel in a couple of weeks! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Maru&CiCoversSaif&Kilig is now out on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, DriveThruFiction,ย  Apple andย ย Barnes&Noble! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Please admire the wonderful artwork by Marurenai

Kilig&Hakeem – the complete story, including the unpublished sad ending – is already available for pre-order on Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords. It will come out also on the other three sometimes in early December (I can schedule DriveThruFiction publications, but no idea if Draft2Digital will manage to send it to Apple and B&N on time – they don’t have a pre-order button yet). The cover is by Cinzia Di Felice – cropped, you’ll see the whole masterpiece next year on the POD version!

Aaand! Another title is up – for FREE! It’s Guisarme, also included in both Wyrd Worlds 2 and Saif&Kilig. You can find it on Smashwords and NoiseTrade. Cover art by yours truly (meh. That’s why I’m not posting it on the blog next to theย  other two ladies! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I’m a hobbyist artist, they’re pros! ๐Ÿ˜€ ).

Star Minds Next Generation update: since the short story I hoped could stand on its own turns out to be just the beginning of a wider picture and raises more questions than it answers, I’m incorporating it in the novel, expanding it. So I’ll have 4 parts, with one longer than the others –ย as the main action is concentrated there – and the whole book telling the story spanning many years, instead the concentrated two yearsย of Star Minds Trilogy. So more like Star Minds Snippets with four stories pasted together covering a longer time span. In December I will complete this story, hopefully before the holidays (although I’ll try not to bother beta-readers during the holidays, I hope they’ll be available at the beginning of January).

There are still a couple of days to submit for the Anthology! Check the details here! And help us find a title!

Now, to the writerly links of the week! A mission statement from Writing World! If you haven’t subscribed to their newsletter yet, do it now. And get their Yearly Planner as well. I had it printed and bound and will try to keep a better track of my writing time next year.

Smashwords founder Mark Coker on ebook publishing and the challenges we’re facing. Here’s how to succeed! And remember, you fail only if you quit! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Or, for another view, self-publishing reaches the summit – although I’d still make a difference between self-publishers and indie publishers, but I don’t want to bother you here. You just find your own conclusions! ๐Ÿ˜‰

A few more for newbies: stay away from vanity presses. I guess I should translate this paragraph into Italian, since Author Solutions is now tarketing the Spanish-speaking market (but then, that’s a much wider market than the Italian one, LOL!). Check out this latest post by David Gaughran – especially if you’re not American. Penguin Random House might be coming to your country, and you better be aware. I did receive a couple of emails from America Star Books, but I promptly ignored them. And remember what Joe Konrath says – DON’T PAY ANYONE TO PUBLISH YOU!

Take the DBW writers survey – published or unpublished as you are. And you can tell them you heard about it on Hugh Howey’s blog, much like I did! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (I’m linking to him because I’m not sure the link otherwise works…) And one more article with David Farland’s wisdom: provide your own inspiration. Nobody ever gave me cookies for writing, but kept doing it anyway! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€


Random Friday

… sort of Art Friday. I’d start with the powerful ad that uses real google searches to show the scope of sexism worldwide – great pictures of women, and great message. And I thought I lived in the 21st century. Obviously not. I better move to Sylvania or Ypsilanti, LOL!

And then there’s Michelle’s “secret” life as a cover designer. I loved her cover for Cinders (which was done by her, with a friend as model, and itย  wasn’t a secret) and I know she’s a great photographer. Check what she did incognito and if you need a cover designer… try her! ๐Ÿ™‚

As you know, I do most of my covers – except when I hire other artists like Phoenixlu, Silvano Beltramo or Cristina Fabris, but I’m still the one adding the lettering, trying not to ruin the artwork. That’s because I like illustrated covers on SFF stories.

When I do it all by myself, I’m not the best cover artist (in fact, I was featured on “lousy book covers” – thanks, Mr Rodent, for the link, although I wonder what those Google Alerts are for, since they don’t show results when things like this happen). I’m not an Artist – with capital A – and I freely admit it.

That’s why I’m as hobbyist on DeviantART, and don’t offer cover design, not even for other genres. I use mostly my own photos (not as good as Michelle’s) for the contemporary stories – or I use silhouettes, like on some B.G. Hope’s titles. Well, even Barbara Sangiorgio has a couple of drawn covers… but still, I’m not a real cover artist.

Now, the next cover will be…

SDBarb2013Heh, just kidding. Won’t be the cover of the whole booklet, but it’s a start. Superdeformed Barb 2013 and the new muses (compare with the other two I posted last week). I’m working on it, but only in my spare time! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I still have to do the lettering of SKYBAND 13… I know, I’m a sloth!

slothHave a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Indie Publishing Week 2

I wish I had brought my camera as on my way back I saw a wonderful sunset with a very red sun. It was gone by the time I got home, sigh.

Anyway, after struggling with Photoshop this morning, here’s what we came up with:

Ladies and gentlemen, the book cover for Air, now on my Facebook profile like I’ve seen done by so many published authors! It’s so exciting to see the publishing date coming closer and closer!

Her cover represents Air itself in its Dancer incarnation. I will use my own drawings for the book trailer, so they won’t be as good! ๐Ÿ˜‰

A friend of mine offered to re-do my map(s), but I might play with some map-making software anyway. What’s a fantasy novel without a map? Exactly. I don’t know why my beta didn’t like my maps, but I’ll see to it I have one that looks professional!

So, what’s left on my list? Lots of things, actually… I better get back to work!

Have a great week!

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