Writer Wednesday


I’ll have to admit September took me by surprise. In spite of celebrating Da Muse’s birthday last Sunday, the whole weekend didn’t feel like a new month. I almost missed the Happiness is post last Monday… maybe I need a vacation? I was off only four days last summer… well, the summer is not officially over yet, so this summer!

Anyhow! Another 10K written and books sent to the proofreader. I’ll have to finish the last novella before the end of the week or possibly the start of the next, then I’ll probably have two weekends busy with editing… and paperbacks. I actually even managed to link D2D and Findaway, but I can’t find the courage to start on audio books yet. Cause I hate them so much and can’t be bothered to listen to them. Maybe next year…

For sudden changes in DayJob schedule, I also started the translation of Brainwaves, so that as soon as I finish with the Star Minds Lone Wolves, I can get back to the Post-Apocalypse Chronicles and write book 2. And then the other books coming after that, probably. Writing the mini-series at the same time is actually better, especially if they’re either closely intertwined like Star Minds Lone Wolves or squential like Post-Apocalypse Chronicles.

Besides the online workshop, even Chuck Wendig says so!

Write all the books first. Write the series first. If it’s a trilogy, write the trilogy before trying to publish. If it’s a longer series, write the first three books, at least. Or, bare minimum, plot the books robustly, so that when the contract comes in you’re not rushing to figure out the story beats on a longer series.

And since the Silvery Earth Heroines are standalone, I can write them next year, even though I already have the covers by wonderful Federica Manfredi (she still has to draw the last one, but there is really no rush!). I’m also having fun doing covers with stock photos and rendering, so I might redo some of mine (meaning the ones I drew myself). I did an attempt for Firebird (one of the books I wanted to try in audio), but I still have to work on my skills, LOL!

In case you missed the announcement or are not subscribed to my newsletter, Otherside is out! Although D2D initially rejected it for Apple for links to competitors. I have no idea where they saw links to competitors, since I don’t put them anywhere in the books anymore. Only the publisher page, this blog and the newsletter subscription link. What will they do when I mention the competition in the text (with no links whatsoever) in Kristine the Youngest? Maybe Apple doesn’t want my books. Shame on them.

I downloaded all the reports from CreateSpace (50 paperbacks and the payments of the past four years) just in case they get lost in the move. Then I’ll probably just wait until they do it. My last paperback sale was a few months ago anyway. Not going to do it myself (it didn’t prompt me when I logged in, so I assume they’re already overworked by people moving before the closing).

Now I better go back to writing! The newsletter went out, the new title is up, I better get back to work! 🙂 Have a great week!

 

 

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Writer Wednesday


Last week I didn’t write much both because I was traveling and because I was revising (I did mention August would be  revision month, right?) but this week I’m slowly getting back on track. I’m still ahead of my prospected wordcount and should be able to relax also in October when I’ll be traveling again.

I’m very happy that I’ll reach that milestone of 500K I’ve been aiming at for three years already! 🙂 Like I said on a post, I don’t mind the writing, I’d happily do it for a living, but unfortunately I’m not selling enough to quit DayJob.

And even if I will quit it, I’ll probably keep other jobs on the side, because I noticed I need a break anyway between scenes/chapters/whatever, if only to brainstorm and imagine what comes next.

I’ll see what it’s like when I’ll have my 5 weeks off – if I can organize myself or fall apart! 🙂 No new titles until mid-September coz I need to send them to the proofreader so in the meantime you can take advantage of this Kobo Promo. During the course of the sale customers will be able to use an author-supported 40% off promotional code to purchase my eBook.

And I have 2 titles that have been accepted for this promo, so if you’re a Kobo user, hop to Kobo right now! Well, tomorrow! 🙂 And now you even know how many were declined and that there are 3 more still pending, LOL! That’s all the promotion and marketing I’m doing these days.

So again, if you want to gift me for my birthday, either take advantage of the Kobo sale or pick your book of choice on the publisher’s page or grab a bundle or a curated anthology. There. Don’t say I didn’t give you options! 🙂

Hilarious post on how to pronounce GIF (wich for me reads jif because the i makes the g soft in Italian, haha!) and other acronyms. English pronounciation is really random for us poor non-natives! 😉

As you should know by now, I’m a lot like Dean Wesley Smith – a one-draft, prolific writer who doesn’t believe in rewriting hell, er, myth. I might have started this adventure rewriting old stories, but now I started new (sub)series and I know I’ll never run out of “ideas” – maybe I’ll take a writing prompt or an adventure generator or whatever and just pop out a story. And I’ve quit my writers group since they weren’t helpful at all.

I’m not in the hamster wheel of doom since I write what I want to read but I dread the day I’ll have to work on moving my paperbacks from Createspace to KDPprint, hoping I don’t get any email requesting to prove copyright or permission from publisher (me). Probably before the Master Class. Sigh.

And I have new paperbacks to make in September. Double sigh. I still love writing and will keep doing it forever, but this publishing business is killing all the fun of putting the writing out! 😦

One last link – the branding masterclass for creatives by Dean Samed of NeoStock! And that’s all for today! Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


And the new Silvery Earth Heroine is out to celebrate my forty years of writing. To write Angelica’s story, I gleaned my old diaries (not necessarily of the age she has). I’m not an ambassador’s daughter, but my father was a diplomat. I don’t have a literary salon (it’s based on the French salons of the 1600s), I’m not a scholar, but I do know quite a lot about the History of Silvery Earth, LOL!

Anyhow, not sure I’ll manage another title this month, but since this is longer than usual, has a nice appendix with the history of Silvery Earth and the stories chronology, I think it could last you a whole month. The awesome cover art is again by Federica Manfredi who gets better with every cover she does for me (as if she weren’t a professional already, LOL!).

The ambassador’s daughter has gone back to Noavaria. She’s fifteen, experiencing her first kisses and dreaming of her future as a writer. She has set her eyes on mysterious Rohan Tallisman.

The novelist has a literary salon in Konigtown, where she married Alexander de Fors. She’s twenty-five and still in touch with handsome professor Rohan Tallisman, slowly uncovering his true nature.

The scholar has gone to Agharek to translate an ancient diary. At thirty-five she sees the fall of the last kingdom of Varia and escapes with the deposed king, Kareem.

The Magical Races are all but gone and Angelica is determined to write down the full history of Silvery Earth without revealing the secret of Rohan Tallisman, her first love.

If you’re still looking for an agent, get off this blog immediately! 😉 Here’s another cautionary tale for you. Just don’t. Period.

If you were confused by Kris Rusch’s post on over capitalization and hamster wheels, here you have another take on how cash flow can work for a writer. Or you can come to the Business Master Class in Las Vegas where I’m sure this will be discussed. If only I didn’t live in a third world country where it’s impossible to “do business as”… *sigh*

And I got world from Worldcon! Happy to share their email below:

Dear Barbara G.Tarn,

Thank you so much for filling out our Programme Participant Query form. We will be sending Programme Surveys to everyone who would like to be considered for a place on the Dublin 2019 programme, with the first set of surveys being sent in October or November, at which time you will be receiving your survey.

Later this year, we will begin sending programme participant acceptances. In the meantime, please take a few moments to review the Dublin 2019 Programme Q&A. In addition, we also have a Code of Conduct that we are asking all of our potential programme participants to review as well. Finally, given our challenges with the European Union’s GDPR requirements, we would deeply appreciate your sharing the Programme Participant Query Form with others since this is the only way we are able to contact people, and we would like to include as wide a selection of participants as possible in the Dublin 2019’s programme.

Should you have any questions about programming, please don’t hesitate to contact us at programme@dublin2019.com.

Sincerely,

Erin Underwood & Ian Stockdale
Co-Division Heads
Dublin 2019 Programme
Email: programme@dublin2019.com
Website: https://dublin2019.com/programming/

So if you plan on attending, join the program now! See you there! 😉 I’m sure I’ll have all the Star Minds Lone Wolves books out by then! 😀 Have a great week!

 

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote only 7K but I spent most of Sunday afternoon in blind procrastination (I should take Bubble Witch Saga 3 off the writing netbookw, LOL!). Maybe I was tired and needed a break, but I couldn’t come up with the next Lone Wolves Team story. So by the end of the day, I decided to start on the next project.

Except Monday afternoon, when I went to actually do the translations, I ran into another bump. I wrote those stories 20 years ago and I didn’t remember much of them. I re-read some, and 5 out of 6 had either rape or a tragic ending. So I’m definitely not recycling them at this point.

One is already included in the appendix of the next Silvery Earth Heroine (a relatively clean one, with no rape and no tragic ending) but the others… I can’t even stomach to reread them, LOL!

Doesn’t help that I keep thinking about a reader’s comment of them being “not so good” (we’re talking of Italian readers of a photocopied fanzine of the late 1990s – loooong before the indie publishing revolution, but it still stings).

So yeah. Not so good. Forget them. Chapter closed. Still wrote 316K by the end of July, so still on track. I’m going to improvise this month, but then, everybody takes August off, right? Right? 😀

I’m doing a last pass on a couple of stories (that I wrote this or last year, not 20 years ago) to decide if I want to publish them or not, and then I’m moving on. I’ll probably go back to the Lone Wolves and start writing Elsa’s story, or maybe Cherry’s story. And when I have my 3-hours train ride I’ll go through Hariel’s story and all the Team’s stories I have so far.

And we got paperbacks! Thank you to all of you who bought the Sci-Fi Stories anthologies and hope you are enjoying them! 🙂 The success of the second two makes me want to work on the fifth right now, but I shall wait until September! 😉

When I’ll also do the paperbacks for my own books – the anthologies are via BundleRabbit – although it’s not clear for how much longer Createspace will be available. Maybe I should start moving everything to KDP Print. Sigh.

Have you read the Bad Romance article I posted last week? See Kris Rusch’s reaction to it and the comments she got. I know some writers who write to market, but I don’t see them having a long career. I know writers who write to market because they want to make fast bucks. I’m sure they don’t enjoy it. And the ghost writers who sell their manuscripts? If I could do it, I could quit DayJob right now, LOL! I’m prolific, but only writing what I want to read! 🙂

There’s also a free Reedsy course on how to hack Kobo – or how to take advantage of Kobo Writing Life’s promotion tools. If you don’t go direct to Kobo, think about it. I have submitted a few titles to upcoming promos, we’ll see if I get accepted! 😉

Oh, I almost forgot. Authors Earnings at 2018 SFWA Nebula Conference report. Unfortunately the post with slides is very visually-impaired un-friendly, but I’m sure there’s the recording of the whole talk somewhere… And if SFF doesn’t sell well in paper might be because we’re getting older and have trouble reading small print? 😉 I love my Kindle for fiction – had to re-buy the ebook of The Silver Metal Lover cause the paperback was written too small…

And welcome to August, hoping the heat goes away a little, because it’s frying my brain and I can’t even write, sigh. Have a great week! 🙂

 

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! 🙂

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! 🙂

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! 🙂 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! 😉 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! 🙂

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! 🙂

OH, SALES SALES SALES! On DriveThruFiction and DriveThruComics everything from Unicorn Productions is 25% off! 😀

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! 🙂

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

Writer Wednesday


And the third “youngster” is out! This is Jes-syd, Iso-bel’s ex-boyfriend, and he’s a hacker in the truer sense of the word (not a security cracker)! 🙂 Star Minds Lone Wolves – Hacker is now available as ebook at the usual suspects… and no WiP of the cover, since he wasn’t on a cover before.

And he isn’t inspired from a drawing either. I debated between two models and ended up choosing the one that looked more like the description I gave of him in Iso-bel Aya Shermac. I had seen that guy first and wrote the story with him in mind, so this time no NeoStock model for our Sire hacker! 🙂

One young man, two passions: computers and Iso-bel Aya Shermac.

Jes-syd lost his home planet at twenty, and with it his beloved girlfriend who survived but vanished on him without explanations. Five years later he works at the Serenaide Labs and has a new girlfriend, another survivor like him, but things don’t go smoothly between them.

The Tech Fair and a visit from Ypsilanti bring the news that there are more survivors on the dead planet, hidden underground in what’s left of the Vaurabi Labs. Jes-syd’s mother made it with a few more and Jes-syd hopes to get back with Iso-bel again – whenever he manages to find her and give her the good news.

A young Sire survivor who loves computers and his first and only love, a lone wolf hacker who is trying to fight his own grief. A Star Minds universe standalone story of hackers, crackers and survivors.

Bonus story: Wonder Man or how Hariel earned his Codename

And last week I wrote 11K of Hariel, our Wonder Man and the eldest of the future team. I hope to finish his story this week, so I can write a couple more team stories to submit to trad markets before the end of the month. I’m at 292K, so pretty much on schedule to reach my goal of half pulp speed before the end of the year! 🙂

For those of you who arrived late and have no idea of what I’m talking about, here’s Dean’s post about pulp speed. I’ve been trying to reach 500K since 2015 and it seems that this year I’ll finally reach the goal. And I hope to sustain it for the coming years.

And for those of you who just joined, I shall remind you that some books are discounted at Smashwords only for the month of July, if you want a taste of how I write. Or you can subscribe to the bimonthly newsletter and get some free short stories as well as the news from this writer if you can’t be bothered to follow me on Social Media or this blog.

David Gaughran on Amazon Algorithm – whatever that means. I don’t bother with it anymore. Obsessing with sales just hurts my head, so I don’t care anymore. Although I’m happy when I see those spikes at some retailer! 😉 Also, I certainly want to be a long term writer! 😉

And being a writer who has dabbled in screenwriting, I can tell you this review of Save the Cat is spot on. I haven’t read the book itself, but if it’s for screenwriters, it’s NOT for fiction/prose writers. Trust me. I tried it. I have a cinematic prose, I thought I can easily turn it into a movie screenplay… not! So unless you’re trying to break into Hollywood, just ignore that book! 😉

Now I would like to take your time to read the last instalment of Adventures of a first-time editor about the Anthology Workshop. What, you don’t want to join the Writer Club? Bad writer, you! I hope to see you in 2020 at the Anthology workshop. Unfortunately I can’t afford those offline workshops more often than every three years, sigh.

Now I better go back to writing… 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! 🙂 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! 😉 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! 🙂

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! 🙂 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! 🙂

Also, I enrolled some books in the Summer/Winter Sale at Smashwords… go check all the authors participating! 🙂 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! 🙂

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! 🙂

 

Writer Wednesday


Productive weekend meaning I finished a first rough draft of the vampire novel, I uploaded the first Star Minds Lone Wolves book and put together the first sci-fi anthology. 13K written, 3 covers (including the one for the bundle Sci-fi July Redux) and formatting that had to be redone Monday morning because 1) I found typos and 2) I hadn’t set up the title right, so it had been rejected at Draft2Digital.

So, here’s the universal link for Adventurer (Star Minds Lone Wolves) and the pre-order universal link for Sci-fi Stories – Starships! 🙂 The latter still has no cover on Amazon (sigh) but hopefully our man at BundleRabbit will solve the issue by the time this goes live.

The first cover – you heard about it on Sunday. The second cover is again by Techie Bro, one of his first, and newsletter subscribers already saw it on Starship Pilot which is also the story included in the anthology.

Now stay tuned, because you’ll soon hear more about Shanell. Her novel (and new look) will be revealed in July with the second sci-fi anthology.

The first three Star Minds Lone Wolves books will come out during the summer, but the next three probably next year. And I’ll have to do a few more composite covers of stock photos for my team in this sub-series of my science fantasy saga.

For the paperbacks be patient, you know I don’t like ordering them during the summer… 😉

Now, some writerly links! 5 ways to spice up your Amazon book pages – if you have time. I might do it for the newest titles, but not right now, LOL!

And setting free the Sacred Cows of Writing Advice which can then take you (if you haven’t seen them already) to Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing and Indie Publishing. Chuck Wendig might have lacked the courage to slaughter the Sacred Cows of Writing Advice, but Dean Wesley Smith has no qualms whatsoever! 🙂

My apologies to my Hindu friends. Know that in the latest vampire book, Kris and Kiran finish a poor sacred animal who has been hit by a car (black cow in a black night) and has been left to die on the side of the road. And I saw at least two of those when I did my tour of Rajasthan, so don’t say it doesn’t happen, okay? 😉

And yes, it was also in my fan-fiction crossover Indian Moon – which, by the way, is now slightly outdated, but I might add it at the end of the book anyway as a curiosity… Along with The Raven, published in Nightly Bites Volume 2! 🙂

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

Writer Wednesday


And 17K last week! 🙂 Told ya. When I’m in the middle of a project, I go fast. I even had a non-writing day because, you know, life and stuff. And at some point I was procrastinating because I felt it was a boring chapter. Then it went smoothly, but boy was I making excuses! 😀

I probably need to write a side story to this one, because two of the protagonists of the previous novels have very little spotlight in this one, and since are one-POV novels, I can’t squeeze in their scenes or have them TELL the whole thing. So I just hinted at it, and then I will write something that goes with it, from their points of view – yes, two, since it’s a romance, LOL!

I’m also working on more anthologies and bundles, so stay tuned for a very busy publishing July! 😉 I’ll also start formatting and preparing the next title next weekend. Stay tuned for the return of Iso-bel Aya Shermac!

Now some funny advice on the (in)famous Kill Your Darlings by Chuck Wendig! Do, but don’t. As usual, take any advice with a grain of salt… And then I found this CreateSpace vs. KDP Print. I’m sticking with CS for now and until they dismiss it completely. Then we’ll see.

Now back to writing. And checking the editor’s files. And formatting. And making covers. What a busy week! 😀

Writer Wednesday


And as usual when I’m in between projects, I wrote less than what I was supposed to write last week, but now I’m well into the novel and hopefully I should churn out those 40-50K quickly enough to write another short story before the end of the month. I still have one on submission, and before I start sending out the new ones, I want to see if that one sells.

Also, I’m done reading my friend’s stories (he did it! 30 stories in 30 days! Yay!), so I hope to have more time to read other stuff – besides the research reading, that is. I may try to catch up on those bundles, some of which are no longer available… by the way, during the creative weekend I had time to make a bundle trailer for Thieves, go check it! 🙂

Translated from an Italian article: “Today we shouldn’t look at Amazon as just the biggest e-commerce in the world, but like a real search engine. Once upon a time it mattered to rank high on Google, today the aim for authors, entrepreneurs and businesses is to rank high on Amazon because with more that six hundred millions of registered users with a credit card, it’s the  most powerful search engine of the  world.”

And still, for authors, Amazon has a lot of problems. Book stuffing, clickfarms and all that stuff David Gaughran keeps warning us about. And speaking of warnings, only you can kill your writing.

And thank you for NOT liking my Friday post, either you’re NOT writers, you’re indies like me (good people) or you’re as deaf as the young author I tried to warn through private message on Facebook. Doesn’t matter to me, I’m not going the agent way, but if you get bitten, I’ll shake my head and say “Told you so.”

Anyhow, you have Dean’s opinion on the agents scandal and the many deaths of a fiction writer. I haven’t experienced any of those yet, but never say never! 😉 That’s why I haven’t quit the darn day job yet and I don’t want Mr Writing to be the sole source of income in this household.

So while I celebrate our 40 years together, I’m still looking for alternatives. After I get rid of some stuff, either through eBay or Etsy, I need to find something else, be it translations or maybe book covers or book trailers. Although even for the latter I use Windows Movie Maker, and all the pros would say it sucks. Sorry, not moving to Mac either, I have enough trouble with the various Windows versions and some Linux.

The latest creative weekend brought back a friend who started commenting on my Trust tablet (the cheapest on the market, miles away from a Cintiq or any other kind of tablets for digital painting) and which Photoshop I use and if I can use masks (yes, he taught me, LOL!) – I do not need to upgrade those, since my digital painting abilities will always be limited and I’m sure I can do photomanipulation even with an old Photoshop 7.0 – opening the layered PSDs with Photoshop Elements 11 that is newer.

So yeah, lots of pondering to do besides writing. And I really don’t want to go through another burn out for rewriting hell, so I’ll just keep going. Now I better go back to writing! Have a great week! 🙂

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