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Writer Wednesday

Published 27/04/2016 by Barb

charioteer-of-buddha_resizeSo, Kaylyn is done and going out to betas… They should get back to me by June, so in July I have time to revise and in August I can go to the London public libraries if I need to fact-check something! I already booked the editor for September, when I’ll set up the pre-order button on Amazon with a temporary manuscript. The other pre-order button will be set up as soon as I have the cover.

As for Charioteer of Buddha, I’m giving it away for free with the next newsletter, so if you haven’t subscribed yet, do it now. I will put the coupon for a free download from Smashwords in the newsletter. The newsletter will go out May 2, so you’ll be immediately able to claim the e-book. If you’d like to support me instead, pre-order it now for 2.99$. The price will go up to 4.99$ by Friday 5.

I keep thinking the online workshop is going badly, and then it’s not. If you’d like another point of view on WMG Publishing workshopsย watch this testimonial. I bow to an author who is not camera-shy like me. And I may be biased with these workshops, since when I grow up I want to be like Dean and Kris! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (as if I were a youngster still, LOL!)

Anyhow, this workshop will be percolating in me for the next few months, like the others did. I shall work on this week assignment this afternoon, since until yesterday I was busy finishing a new Amazons story that sprang to mind when I thought about me and Da Muse – so there you have it, an Amazon painter and her muse, haha! Wait until next month and you’ll be able to read it!

TodayPeople_resizeAnd another title is out, a collection of all the contemporary stories I’ve written so far, both with the discarded pen name and the main one. Today People will come out in print as soon as I get the proof and check the interior (I already know I screwed the cover, LOL!) – which should happen today, thus I won’t start on a new story until tomorrow.

So making plans for the next month: back to Silvery Earth both to complete the Tales of the Northern Kingdom and to tell more stories of Amazons and Varian Emperors – which means a time gap in the history of about six centuries between Kingmakers and the fall of the Varian Empire. Sometimes it’s like writing historical novels, you have to check you’re not contraddicting yourself with something you wrote in another story! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, coming soon and unmissable sci-fi bundle. Subscribe now to be notified when it will go live – but I’ll make sure to remind you it is, since I’m in it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Limited time offer with nine other wonderful sci-fi authors… go grab it on May 1st! ๐Ÿ™‚

And that’s all for now… I think you’ll have an Art Friday, so stay tuned! ๐Ÿ˜€ Have a great week!

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Writer Wednesday

Published 20/04/2016 by Barb

Got the announcement on the publisher’s page? I still think I can make it go live on May 2, but I won’t set up a pre-order button too much in advance. That’s one of the jobs for the long weekend ahead. Revising and formatting Charioteer of Buddha. Formatting the e-book and POD of Today People. And wrap up Kaylyn with a final re-read before sending it off to betas.

Oh, and upload The Archers to the other retailers. How was KDP Select? Not good, but then I wasn’t expecting much. I had a few downloads during the free days, some KENP reads on the first day, and then nothing. In $$ terms, maybe 59cent. And probably not just because Amazon has still problems with scammers showing up on its bestseller lists.

So, will I do it again? No, thanks. It was an experiment and I didn’t like the outcome, so the next titles will be out everywhere as usual.

Follow the discussion on Goodreads about the authors of the month’s projects! I can add to that… not much. Well, the first three months of the year I wrote 100K, but not all of them are published yet. In spite of the low wordcount of the month of March. And since I aim for 500K, I’m probably still quite behind. But I’m not worried.

About Kaylyn, she’s back to India by now, so I hope to write the last two chapters between today and tomorrow, so I can borrow the office laser printer on Friday morning to print out the whole thing and go through it during the weekend. Nothing beats paper when one needs to revise! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Writer Wednesday

Published 11/06/2014 by Barb

And Amazon Summer is now live on… Amazon (LOL), Smashwords, Kobo.ย  DriveThruFiction and even Apple! Coming soon: Barnes&Noble – it was the fastest to go live, does that mean I need to go direct now? Draft2Digital is a better converter than Smashwords… sigh!

I might slightly modify the lettering after some suggestions on Facebook, but the artwork is all there – ain’t she lovely, my warrior queen? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve tinkered with the cover lettering and can’t decide which is better, so… you tell me (note: the numbers are only so you can tell me which cover you prefer, they’re not part of the cover! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So, which one?)

TXT attemptsHere’s the blurb for this second volume:

The second collection of stories set in the Queendom of Maadre a.k.a. Amazons Country. “Amazons’ Men” shows the men themselves โ€“ public men or slaves, but still human. “Uncommon Amazons” shows how men can be treated very differently by two sisters. “The Queen’s Son” is another uncommon man with a rebellious mind… An extract of “Books of the Immortals โ€“ Water” introduces the reader to Keira the Amazon.

I’m putting the final touches to Saif&Kilig before sending it to my very critical and detail-oriented beta-reader who will probably point out where I was lacking (of story points, descriptions or whatnot). Then I’m starting on Kilig’s Heart, sequel to Saif’s Legacy.

Now, about killing the sacred cows of indie publishing – I’m as guilty as Dean for leaving my garden untended, but I have commissioned new covers for the CVE (and they’re coming along fine, I’ll use them also for the POD version with CreateSpace) and I did revise the first novel I uploaded (BoI – Air) last year – so 2 years after it was first published. I’ve also started a spreadsheet to check which titles sell more (in terms of income, which means I don’t count the SW sales and free downloads). But I’m still one and only, so I’m doing my best! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, the heat is coming and my head isn’t functioning very well, so that’s all for now. I’m going back to writing… Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday

Published 16/05/2014 by Barb

Other things I did in Turin: checking those startups, I found Bliubliu and asked them about Hindi. Since I need a basic knowledge, I bought myself the Assimil course (with French base that they never brought to Rome, but since they’re from near Turin, they had it at the book fair) so when I have those basics I can improve with Bliubliu.

The guy of Bliubliu told me they plan on adding some sort of interaction so that if, for example, Shafali wanted to learn Italian while I study Hindi, we could follow each other’s progress and help each other. I’ve started reading the Assimil pocket guide, and apart from the funny French spelling of Hindi words, it’s already much clearer than that useless offline course. But I haven’t seriously started on it yet, so don’t test me! ๐Ÿ™‚

On the train I had the time to read Out of Tune by Michelle D.Argyle – another must read. I’m amazed at her range, every time I think “Maybe this is not for me” but end up engrossed. Well done, Michelle.

The Templars exhibition was inside a Hospitallier commanderie, which was kind of fun. But they had no catalog available, and my mom was very disappointed. I did a lot of people-watching at the Genova harbor before finding the exhibition of Lupo Alberto.

And then our greatest disadventure: the return train had no room for us! We had reserved seats, but they had changed the kind of coach, so our seat numbers didn’t exist… We had to wait for the tickets guy to be able to relax – it was an InterCity that did a lot of stops, so we were on edge until La Spezia…

A friend shared this before&after by Karri – which reminded me of my own compositions, although I don’t master Photoshop like her! ๐Ÿ˜‰ See what I mean?

MTSKreferenceOh, and let’s not forget the 18 things highly creative people do differently – especially Daydreaming and Taking time for solitude and… well, really all of them! ๐Ÿ˜€

I was hoping to add a film review, but I’m too busy editing, formatting and writing… maybe next week… have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday Surprise

Published 16/03/2014 by Barb

To celebrate the brand new cover by Cristina Fabris, Technological Angel will be at 99cents ONLY on Amazon, Kobo and DriveThruFiction and ONLY from today and until March 23! See the neat little email KWL sent me when I experimented with their brand new button “Set Promo Price”?

KWLsaleSorry for all those other currencies, the 99cents is valid only for US$ and euro on Kobo (link to Kobo US). As for Amazon, I set the price to match the US$ amount, sorry (link to Amazon.com). It should be lower on the other Amazon shops as well, but not as neat as Kobo.

DriveThruFiction is only in US$, so… ๐Ÿ˜‰ You can still choose between PDF, e-pub and mobi. Grab the first book of Star Minds at a discounted price for a limited time! ๐Ÿ˜€

Check also their Sales Guide for more special offers – DriveThru specializes in SFF, comics and Games, so if that’s your cup of tea, go and check them!

I also have bundles with them, like the five Books of the Immortals or the Chronicles of the Varian Empire – PDF or e-pub or mobi bundled for a discounted price. I have a banner running at the bottom and even managed to squeeze Star Minds in the Featured Product Window, see? ๐Ÿ˜‰

DTFsaleHave a great Sunday!

Writer Wednesday

Published 08/01/2014 by Barb

MaleLovers_resizeMale Lovers of Silvery Earth is now available on Kindle, B&N, Smashwords, DriveThruFiction and eventually Kobo and Apple. I’ve struggled with the CreateSpace template again – had to put back the italics to keep the formatting, like I did with the previous two, but now I’m waiting for the proof. I did less attempts with the cover template, since I found another way of doing it that took less tweaking (or I’m getting better at it).

What I don’t like of CreateSpace is that you can’t have a cart and buy one copy of all your books. You have to order proofs (max.5, who needs that many anyway) one by one, which means each book comes with it’s own mailing expenses. I wanted to order a final version of Star Minds Snippets, but now I’m wary, since I can’t order it along with the proof of Male Lovers. Maybe I’ll have to do a few more attempts in the CS dashboard before I become familiar with it – Lulu is definitely easier.

Anyhow – writing-wise, I’ve finished translating Star Minds in Italian, so maybe I’ll write a short story in English before starting with the Snippets translation. I have an idea wandering in my head, but I might need to solidify it more before I start writing. Da New Muse is already at work, sigh.

Writerly links of the week! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Kris Rusch’s discoverability part 5 – here’s a few more writer’s wisdom for you:

Because, in the arts, all we have is our individuality. The minute you try to do something the same way someone else didโ€”from composing a story to choosing a genre to marketing your workโ€”youโ€™ve failed.

The first rule of being an artist is to be an artist.

What youโ€™re creating is unique, because itโ€™s yours. Your job as an artist is to always strive to tell your stories in your way. Who cares if fat fantasy novels are selling right now? Who cares if none of your friends read romance?

Write your books.

And always work to improve.

Actually, I wanted to highlight half the post, LOL! And then you have Dave Gaughran on marketing – I’m not really enjoying it, and I’m not doing any of the things others do, except hanging out on Goodreads. Maybe I should try BookBub or ENT (or maybe not, ENT, like Fussy Librarian, wants at least 10 reviews, and none of my books has that mani – and I’m told it’s not easy to get featured on BookBub), or buy his book “Let’s get visible”! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Maybe I will put a marketing plan in this year’s resolution, or maybe not.ย  As usual, I’d rather be off writing.

How to keep your writing going for all 2014 by Dean Wesley Smith – in case you don’t have a routine yet. I do report to you guys, and I’m following idea #4 since 2012. Yep, I published approximately 25 titles per year since (although even my first year, 2011, was more than 20, even if they weren’t scheduled every two weeks like the following years). Might not all be in English, but well… still count as titles up! ๐Ÿ™‚ And no, I never show WiPs, only the completed manuscripts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Joe Konrath’s publishing predictions for 2014 with Dean’s comments. I don’t know what will happen with the POD books – I know I’ve sold none so far, but I’ll keep offering the printed version for the longer works. I hope to get to the Oregon coast for another workshop and then there’s Loncon, where I might have a couple more panels and maybe bring a printed book or two. But that’s in 8 month, so plenty of time to think about it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ By the way, if other SFF authors are going to London next August, get in touch with me and let’s talk about it! ๐Ÿ˜€

Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday

Published 13/03/2013 by Barb

Spent the weekend drawing – my usual procrastination technique… – but now I have started the next Amazon story, based on an old story of my space Amazons that was so silly it can easily be turned into fantasy instead of sci-fi. Except it was based on dreams and we all know that dreams are wonderful… until you wake up and realize the plot is totally unbelievable. So I’ll be struggling to make this story a little more believable in a fantasy setting than what it was in the futuristic setting. Some adjustments will occur, but that’s world building, folks! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I had approximately 10 “sales” (let’s say half were actually free-for-the-week e-books…) during the Smashwords e-book week and nothing on Amazon (unlike last July when during the Smashwords sale I kept selling Johnny&Marian full price on Kindle). Not that I check my Amazon rankings ever, but I do check the dashboard to see if and what I sold on KDP – just waiting for that first check to roll in! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyhow, I’m certainly not faking my way to the top bestsellers on Amazon – I’m saying it’s my (well B.G.Hope’s) bestselling title, not that I’m trying to send it to the top. I’m not sure how other people could do it, I know I put some tags when I upload to KDP, but then sometimes the ebook shows up with other tags. Like, I have no idea who put some tags on BoI-Air (such as paranormal) – and then I realized there are no more tags on Amazon, only the category… Mystery of Mighty A. I’ve given up trying to figure it out, honestly. I better be off writing, trust me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kris Rusch makes another excellent post on the state of publishing and indie authors and binge reading. No, I’m not a bestseller yet, but I’m working on it, LOL! And I most certainly will stay away from Random House and it’s imprints, especially Hydra (as I do write SF/F, the other imprints I don’t care). See John Scalzi’s note to SF/F writers on Hydra. And if you write YA, you better stay away from Alibi as well.

I guess traditional publishers are losing it. Check also the interview with Harlan Coben and his advice to new writers. And John Scalzi on the power to negotiate your contract, if you really really really want to stick to traditional publishing. Although if a math-challenged like me is doing her own “business” without the help of traditional publishing, so can you.

Especially if you’re younger than me and supposedly more technological than me. Yes, there might be people who are better than you at certain things (like cover design, marketing strategy), but this doesn’t mean you should sign contracts like the aforementioned. You can always outsource some things – I do outsource covers sometimes, (this year I’ll have Cristina doing some covers for me again – she did the BoI covers in 2011, in case you’re new to this blog) and always use outside editors like Katy or Tricia or Cassie.

Of course if you don’t want to bother your pretty head with business decisions, it’s your choice. Try not to end up in court like Patricia Cornwell, though! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Or see if you have the guts of Hugh Howey – read how he handled his deal with Simon&Shuster! Can you do it? Can you not sell your soul in the process? Kudos to Hugh for opening up a path for all of us – if we stick to what we really want! ๐Ÿ™‚

One last link is to David Farland’s Daily Kick about mining for good advice. David Farland is a teacher, so he nows how to help new writers. The other person he mentions might be someone like me – a writer who writes, but is unable to tell how he does it. If you asked me the questions Hemingway got asked, you’d probably receive a shrug and a grumble in return. Teaching is a talent that I don’t have *shrug*. That’s why I’m referring you to great pros who can also teach such as David Farland, Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Katryn Rusch.

Not that anyone is askingย my advice, but there were some discussions in my offline writers group about inviting an author to tell us how he wrote his one book – if he’s like me, he won’t be able to tell. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now I’m going back to writing fiction, as I’d rather be doing that. Can’t teach you much on how to do it, except just do it. Writers write. So get your butt in a chair and write. And stop whining. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will. Happy writing! ๐Ÿ™‚

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