Writer Wednesday


Unblocked the contemporary stories, might finish even the longer work I started back in September… but you won’t see them until next year! 😉 Might be this week, where we have a holiday, I have an Aunt Day and less time to write, so I decided to work on those instead of starting a new fantasy story…

From the book fair – the Espresso Book Machine. After the 2012 preview

IMG_8089 IMG_8088it’s now all over the world (almost), including this third world country! That’s a very good way to get into the Mondadori Stores here in Italy – and other places in the world. Although Createspace and Amazon send printed books to many bookstores, the Espresso Book Machine reaches country where Amazon hasn’t set foot yet, so… worth a thought!

Writerly links! Moira Allen’s good-bye and thoughts on the world of publishing, the good, the bad and the changes we all went through in the past beginning of millennium.

If that newsletter is gone, you can still learn from books if you grab this bundle before Christmas (or put it on your Christmas wishlist). I got them when they were separate bundles, and I’m still trudging through them. Wait for the end-of-the-year reading post to see the recommended titles (although it will come out after Christmas, so get it now)!

Numbers – 2015 Smashwords Survey and Authors Earnings report on the UK market. Food for thought. It’s an international market and we better be prepared… Have a great week!

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Writer Wednesday


In case you missed the publisher’s post (since it has no followers at the moment) – new release (as hinted in last Thursday’s post):

SMIgalpol_resizeTwo “Star Minds Interregnum” stories

Runaway

Yash runs away from his home planet to escape abuse. A short-lived rush through the Milky Way.

Psychometrist

A Galaxy Police’s officer to psychometry tries to nail serial killers and find missing persons.

ebook available on Amazon US, Apple US, Barnes&Noble, Kobo US and Smashwords. Cover art by Shafali Anand.

And then I have a poll that I hope you won’t ignore. I really want a title for my series of vampires historicals, so here are a few suggestions to pick from, or you can suggest your own in the comments…

Now, for the rest of the writing! September I won’t be writing anything new except the assignments for the online workshops, but I’ll be busy formatting and publishing stuff. I need to finish a couple of translations and want to republish a few stories with the discarded pen-name. Not to mention a couple more science fantasy thingies, so you won’t even notice that I’m not writing much! 😉

I’m working on the POD versions of the Star Minds collections that have come out so far (and the one that will come out soon) along with others… so I guess I can call September the Createspace month, LOL!

And last Friday there was a thunderstorm that left me without phone or internet for 24 hours, which means I’ve finally started on the last chapter of S.K.Y.B.A.N.D. – so when I’m not formatting or translating, I’ll be drawing. Hence not much room left for writing this month. Sigh.

Writerly links! Be patient – dream big and work to make those dreams come true. Like I’m trying to do. There’s KU on Amazon India now, and I’m following a discussion about it. Some authors still swear by KDP Select, but I won’t try it yet. I do want to experiment with that, but so far I don’t have standalone novels or novellas that might work on KDP Select/KU.

Good stuff from Dean Wesley Smith (besides his online workshops):

Secondly, PayPal now has a nifty new thing. You can send money directly to someone without going through all the PayPal issues. It’s called Paypal.me

If you have a PayPal account and are getting money from anyone, this looks very promising. I would most certainly go claim your name with your PayPal account now.

I only receive payments from Smashwords and Draft2Digital on Paypal, but since I went there to pay an artist, I claimed mine. And if you’re an artist, editor, proofreader, etc, go claim yours now! 🙂

More Zombie Meme at Joe Konrath’s blog about the tsunami of crap… And a wonderful parallel between running and writing by Kris Rusch. I’m married to Mr Writing, so I guess I’m obsessed! 🙂

That’s all for now! Stay tuned and have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


I spent the weekend finishing the translation and preparing the POD versions of the CVE with the new covers by Silvano Beltramo (you saw only half of them on the ebook version – it’s real wrap-up covers, yay!). The proofs are ordered, and should arrive this week. I tried the matte cover for a change. Next I’ll do the first B.G. Hope POD book, a collection of the body switches! 🙂

I’ve started on Star Minds the Next Generation, although it’s still just a prequel, while I decide what happens to Shan-leo and Dadina 10 years after the end of the trilogy. I’m introducing new characters, sometimes not human, and maybe some new alien (or one of the races that hasn’t been explored much so far – i.e. NOT the Reptilians, LOL!), but I’m still pretty much brainstorming with myself, although I have started writing down the prequel. It will be a short story anyway – or maybe a novella, who knows. That’s why I love improvising.

This month the publications will be all in Italian, so don’t expect any announcement on my part – unless the POD versions go live! 🙂 And remember that success doesn’t guarantee happiness – your state of mind does. And I’m not telling more about what I’m writing so I won’t create expectations. I’ve had experiences similar to Michelle’s in the past, when I told a story I wanted to write to a friend, and when she read the final product, she said she’d liked better my oral version. So… no more spoilers! 😉

Writers, well mostly indie authors, check David Farland’s latest series of posts. Especially the one on plagiarism and cyberbullying and follow his list of standards of excellence. I don’t have sock puppets accounts since I’d rather be writing (and even if I have 2 English pen-names, one is quite dead online, in case you didn’t notice). As for reviews, I don’t do them anymore, but if I like a book, I’ll post about it in my end-of-the-year reading advice. I wouldn’t go as far as Mr Farland not to read indie authors anymore, but I’ve always been wary of one-book-wonders, so if an author spends too much time advertizing his/her book, s/he lost me there and then. But that’s just me! 😉

Finally, I ended up on Barry Eisler’s blog because of Da Muse. I don’t normally follow him (although I read him when he is a guest at Joe Konrath’s) since I’m not really interested in politics. But this post isn’t his norm and it’s a writer’s point of view on books adaptations to movies or TV series. I thought he’s quite right (although the latest adaptation of a book I’ve seen in cinemas is 20 years old – Interview with the Vampire, I saw the movie and read the book and tried to compare, but it’s so long ago, that I will just shut up) and if I ever sell the movie adaptation rights, I do have a cast ready anyway… just kidding, might take years and they might get too old for the part, LOL!

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

Random Friday


So, yesterday I met fellow Wyrd Worlds authors Emma Faragher and Peter Lean – today hopefully we’ll have lunch with the wonderful woman who started it all, Steph Benion! Sorry if this post lacks of links, but I’m writing on a small netbook with Ubuntu, so… sloppy work. Apologies. And I even must hurry since the battery is very low and I couldn’t find an adapter for the plug.

Like I said, I didn’t bring my camera, but smartphones work anyway – so here’s me and Peter Lean, shot by his daughter with his Smartphone! 🙂

10402382_10203350373898799_1554892453521431542_nMy backpack is already falling to pieces for carrying too much weight (all those PRINTED books are heavy!!!). I’ve met a few interesting people as well – old and new friends – and I’ve bought meself a Loncon T-shirt (but Viv is going to see it first, yay!). A little nervous for tomorrow panel, but it will pass…

Signing off from London now… full report coming when I’m back in Rome, so don’t expect it next week! 😉 Scheduled posts coming… have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday


Writerly updates: The Hooded Man is out to betas. I’m back to translating the Snippets. And waiting for the POD of Superdeformed Threesome Millennium to check I did the coloring right before I upload the whole 15 years to DriveThruComics. Spent the weekend working on the booklet my dad wants for his 50th anniversary… I had to save the images at lower resolution, though, since the doc kept crashing (it had reached 120MB, and wasn’t even complete…). And I will have to scan a few more family pics… but there’s still plenty of time!

Publisher updates: February started well, with new sales of Ciaran&Harith, on Amazon and Smashwords. And someone bought the third book of Star Minds in Italian – except my proofreader noticed a mistake (one planet name for another – it’s not in the English version, so I mixed them up in translation). I’ll have to make an announcement as soon as I manage to correct the doc.

I don’t know if people can download the revised version from Kobo or they have to stick with the version they first bought (I don’t even know how that works on Amazon, and I have a Kindle… but that’s why I prefer buying on Smashwords, I know I can download the newest version of a title if I feel so inclined!)…

Writerly links. Hugh Howey – most books don’t sell. I don’t sell as much as him, but I’m still happy for each new sale (first sale of February is from SMASHWORDS, yay! :D). Like he says

Most books don’t sell. Knowing this as a writer, how are you going to feel about publishing your book? One choice will have you turning to the next story with a smile on your face, disbelieving that you can make your works available for them to be discovered or not. The other choice is to give up in frustration, your expectations unmet. Are we free to choose between these two options? I like to think so. But first, we have to understand how difficult — how very nearly impossible it is to see the small good in the world. It takes effort. But it gets easier the more we try.

I’m catching up with the copyright classes at Writer-in-law. Fascinating stuff, even if not always applied to writing. But sometimes to art – it matches the posts by Colleen Doran about artists that copy/plagiarize from other artists. (Can’t find those posts too, so I’ll link to this copyright for artists). I do use photos for my covers, but as reference, not as they are. And I try not to copy from other artists. As for writing… well, I know there’s no copyright on ideas (or titles). And I like to make up my own stories! 😉

Kris Rusch’s discoverability series talks about readers. What kind of reader are you? I have limited time, so I prefer short books and indie authors. My latest attempts at reading best sellers went “Meh”. I mean, I liked the Nora Roberts’ dead-tree book, but not enough to check more of her work. I still have dozens of other writers I want to try, so I won’t get back to her anytime soon! 😉 And I like supporting other indies by buying their books – but no, don’t suggest me your book, I’ll buy it if and when I have the time to read it! 😉

Have a great week!

Stop the bashing!


I have heard of a secret Goodreads group for authors where the current hot topic is reviewers. I didn’t join because the premise sounded ludicrous: How to deal with broken promises of reviews/interviews with no explanation after sending free reads for that purpose. Should we post these reviewers/blogs/bloggers or not to alert our fellow authors?

Excuse me? OK, it’s only a discussion, but if everybody votes for “yes”, that’s bashing. That’s a group for whining authors who complain about something that didn’t work over which they have no control. It’s like bashing a reviewer who gave a bad review.

Here’s my experience with BoI – Air on Smashwords (which is the easiest place where I can give away freebies to chosen people) where I published it on March 31: Downloads (free sample&paid) 66 – Sold 9  – Paid (half-price) 1. Which means the other 8 were given with coupons 100% off to reviewers. Reviews? 4 (and 1 is from the “paid” copy). What happened to the 5 other people who got a free read and never posted a review? Who knows. Maybe they haven’t read it yet (we all know how many ebooks we download to our preferred ereaders, I don’t think anyone can read that fast). Maybe they hated it and would rather not say. I don’t care. I’m not going to say who they are, I’m not even going to ask them “What happened to that review you owe?”.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. Eventually those reviewers will post something or spread the word otherwise. It’s like whining about piracy. I don’t think we need a sort of Writers Beware for Goodreads Authors. Or, if you really want to be an Indie Author Beware place, make it a public group. Stand up and take responsibility, like the ladies at WB do. Or the Self-published Author’s Lounge. Don’t hide behind a secret clique of wannabes.

A last reminder: writers write. They write a book, publish it and start writing the next one. They shouldn’t waste their time whining and bashing online or pretend to be Indie Author Police. Everybody makes mistakes. Get over it and move on. You won’t give free copies to that person again, and that’s it – maybe s/he was mean to you and perfect for someone else… maybe life got in his/her way when s/he was about to read your book. No need to blacklist someone. Move on. We’re all grown-ups here, aren’t we?

Guest post – Amy Eye


I’ve been rambling about Creative Reviews for some time now… did I mention it’s the best GoodReads group ever? 😉 AND it has the best founder… please, ladies and gents, welcome the only non-writer of the week, Amy Eye!

Hiya Everyone!! It’s time for a random guest blog from me, Amy!! Barbara has kindly asked me to come over and share a few things with all of you awesome followers of her blog!

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Amy Eye, and I started a group called Creative Reviews in this wonderful, mystical land called GoodReads. This exclusive group in the magical land is what I am here to tell you all about.

For all of you reading-types out there, GoodReads is a wonderful place where people from all over the world gather together and talk about their favorite books, their not-so-favorite books, and to meet some great people. In Creative Reviews we take all of that one step further. We are a community of people here to help authors get honest reviews on their books, and we also help indie authors network, share new ideas, and have access to all sorts of resources.

But there are millions of groups on GoodReads…right? YUP!! There most certainly are BUT Creative Reviews is different – so different, in fact, that I am going to tell you guys all about it! What makes this group special are the people involved. Never before have I been a part of a group so active, so helpful, and so enthusiastic. About a month ago, I put up a small little post about wanting to try to do something special for Christmas. I didn’t dare dream what happened since I put up that post.

We had a suggestion from one of the members to have a Christmas anthology put together by the members of Creative Reviews. And guess what? We are not only doing that, but we are also donating every penny to charity. Authors and book reviewers from all over the globe are coming together for what I am pretty sure is the first charity book put out by a group on GoodReads. Christmas Lites will available for purchase starting November 25th (at least that is the tentative date at this point). So help out two wonderful organizations: http://www.ncadv.org/ and operation e-book drop.

I couldn’t be happier or more proud of the group of people who have come together for his project. This is one of many reasons why I think Creative Reviews is such a special place. There are close to 1000 members now, many of them are indie authors. The family-like environment of the group is astounding. Instead of the authors being cut-throat in this very difficult market, everyone is looking out for one another: sharing tips, following blogs, celebrating successes, supporting through the failures.

Who or what are indie authors? Let me tell you who these amazing people are. They are people just like you and me. They are writers out there, pouring out their heart and soul into stories to share with the world. They are part-time workers, full-time executives, stay-at-home parents, and any other combination you can imagine – but one thing runs common through all of their veins: they all have a passion for writing, they all have a dream, and they won’t let anyone tell them they can’t follow that dream.

This is why I love helping indie authors. They are a bunch of dedicated, strong-willed, creative, artistic, and passionate people who want to bring their world into your home and share their creations with you. And I love them for it.

WOW – I must really care about all of this – I don’t think I have strung together so many sentences without a joke, sarcastic remark, or some random tangent in there in a very long time. Who knew I could be so serious!!

I guess I can say I’ll be doing the book trailer for the anthology… and of course you’ll hear more about it as soon as I know more! So, thank you, Amy, for showing up and giving us a different point of view on this brand new world of publishing!

Review Friday


Ahem… your usually organized blogger sometimes picks up the wrong date, which means that yesterday for about 30 minutes you had a glimpse of today’s post… So I better change it a little! 🙂

I obviously had time to catch up on some reading… the first still being a printed PDF, the second read on Kindle! I’m not really signing up for Goodreads challenges, but I thought I should augment the quantity of BOOKS I read – hence less visits to your wonderful blogs, but I’ll get by next week again!

So, I was hoping to have 3 reviews, but I’m not done with the third book (although I could already rave about it, haha). Hence only two. Here goes – copied and pasted on Smashwords, Goodreads and Amazon.

Alien Abduction by Terry Compton

5 star story with 3 star execution. Lots of head hopping and omniscient narrator (which isn’t necessarily bad, but needs some getting used to), and lots of indirect speech. The story is told more than shown and sometimes the repetitions slow down the action. I have very mixed feelings about this, I admit it! I liked the story, but those huge blocks of text made it for a slow read… do I want more? Maybe. Yeah, I guess I want to know what’s next. But I’m not in a rush.

Flidderbugs by Jonathan Gould

I’m not a fan of talking animals (and even less insects), but this satire was wonderful. I read it in two sitting and recommend it to both adults and children – the latter will enjoy the story, but their parents will be able to read the subtext. Must check more about this author!

I will interview Jonathan Gould next month, so you’ll hear more about him (his other book is also on my TBR list) soon.

What can I add? I wish I was better at doing reviews – check Joleene’s review of Air – but I guess I’m not. Should I stop review altogether on the blog or not? Do you find these snippets useful or interesting?

Authors helping authors


How was your weekend? Mine was productive, but but but… the heat is on again, so I’m a sloth again.

A few Writing World newsletters ago I saw a link  advertised about New Book Journal – that was back in July, so I kept it for my latest release, which I knew would be out Aug.1st. I must say I got a reply within 24hours of submitting my press release to the Contact Me page, and I posted the result as quick press on Saturday: the wonderful wonderful article went live then.

It came in with an interesting email, mentioning the forum Author Helping Author which I browsed, but in my summer lethargy haven’t joined yet. Because I need a fresher mind to grasp that concept of Amazon tags, which I’m sure is an excellent way of helping each other, but I haven’t figured it out yet. Anyway, here’s the link to the topic on the forum.

The wonderful RK Alan told me to tell my friends… here’s why you get this post with lots of links even if it’s not linky Friday yet. Now I better go studying that Amazon thingy (although I’m still baffled with my Author Central profile) and see if I can tag any of your books out there… and join another forum – although I don’t seem to be able to be very active on any forum, no matter how interesting the topic is… sigh! 😦

Oh, one last thing. Tomorrow is Leigh’s birthday. She’s a fellow Serial Centraller and the only one who still posts daily (and would have continued posting on Serial Central if all of us hadn’t dropped out), plus she was brave enough to put her novel on Smashwords, so please go to her blog and help her to reach 100 hits on her birthday! 🙂 She really deserves them, so spread the word! 🙂 I’ll c-ya tomorrow for the b-day wishes, Leigh! 😀

New Book Journal announcement


looky look at the wonderful post announcing my latest baby! Ain’t it cool?

Shiny New Book Journal announcement and he also has a FORUM for authors helping authors…

Share as much as you want! 😀

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