indie publishing

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Writer Wednesday

Published 29/11/2017 by Barb

So I did this writing challenge last summer… I wrote three novels in three months. The first came out in September (with a slight change of title and cover before the paperback came out, but the beta-reader hated the original title anyway, haha!), the second was the programmed vampire novel of the year, Shashank the Fledgling that went live Nov.2 and the third one…

here it is! Ladies and gentlemen, I present you Brainwaves (Post-Apocalypse Chronicles Book 1) the first title in the Future Earth series. Do not worry about the “book 1” thingy, it does end, but I already have in mind a sequel…

Bel lives in Rainbow Town, a multi-level underground settlement for survivors of the Apocalypse that wiped out 21st century civilization. She shouldnโ€™t have a care in the world, pampered as she is by technology, but she still misses her ex boyfriend. And when she tries to contact him, he is nowhere to be found.

The Wanderlust Bug has bitten Raj who feels uncomfortable in Rainbow Town, and not only because his ex moved on. His memory losses leave him uneasy and he wishes to go out in the great unknown, even if it might mean certain death.

With the help of Shani, who has broken into the forbidden Darknet, Bel and Raj are truth seekers in a too perfect town that feels more and more like a golden prison.

A standalone post-apocalypse novel exploring the future of Earth.

The cover is by the awesome Leah Keeler who has made Bel even more beautiful than I had envisioned her, LOL! And the above pic shows how her cover fits my K.K. best… which is perfect, even though it loses its colors! ๐Ÿ™‚ But I still love my K.K. and hope it never dies on me because the new Kindle are ugly like hell! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Brainwaves is the last new title of the year, since the others won’t be ready on time. Draft2Digital suggests to upload everything before the 11th and I’m sending stuff to the editor on the 12th, so… next week I’ll prepare some box sets of sub-series of Silvery Earth in case you want to gift someone for Christmas…

And the new titles will come out in January. I have also a couple of cover artists lagging behind, so… next year for more new stuff! Well, a collection of the Fall of the Southern Kingdoms (so technically nothing new) and a couple of new titles so far. Not sure what I’ll be writing after I send out the current projects to Mighty Editor! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Still making plans for the new year (I know, still one month to go, but one must be prepared, right?) and I’m wondering if anyone would be interested in a magazine of yours truly’s ramblings about the various series, with backstage and short stories and comics and stuff – all in print only, since images don’t come out very well in ebook format.

Of course the cost of paper is higher and I’d have to ask at least 4.99$ for a 150-160pp magazine… Unless I make a PDF-only version on DriveThruFiction. Thing is… will it be a failed attempt like Patreon? Should I give it a try with Issue #0 and see how it goes? Or should I just not bother and concentrate on the other projects?

Let me know in the comments. I might change the newsletter too and if I don’t do the mag, I could put more exclusive content in the bimonthly newsletter, that would then become longer… would that bother you? And if you haven’t subscribed yet, what are you waiting for? The next newsletter will go out in January anyway…

I’m full of questions today! Let’s move on! Writerly links… Mark Coker’s encouraging podcast notes (or you can listen to the podcast, if you prefer) and David Gaughran on the birth of the Kindle and its store. Still holding tight to my Kindle Keyboard, as you’ve seen above! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last request, please share these #Instafreebie giveaways of Half-blood, Guisarme and the Painter, thank you! Now I better go back to writing… gotta wrap some projects before the end of next week. I’m afraid my wordcount isn’t very high this month either, maybe next year I’ll hit that half-pulp-speed of 500K words… that’s a goal! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week!

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Writer Wednesday

Published 15/11/2017 by Barb

So! New title out just for Tori, so she can read the rest of the fall of the southern kingdoms! I’ll make a one volume version whenever the cover artist delivers the cover. I need her to complete the sub-series about the southern kingdoms, but then I’ll probably give up asking her. Friends are friends are friends, but they tend to put you at the end of the line, so…

Luckily I found another couple of cover artists who are faster and better. Besides Federica Manfredi, who will do the Silvery Earth Heroines covers and has already started on the next one, there’s another wonderful lady that I found on DeviantART and her great artwork will soon be revealed.

I’m redrafting a short novel or novella that should be no longer around (it might still be at some retailer, but hopefully by the time the new version comes out it will have vanished everywhere) and giving the last touches to the first Post-Apocalypse Chronicle book. Wait for these Future Earth books to show up on retailers before the end of the year. A new kind (for me) of sci-fi! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And I joined #Instafreebie, where you can currently find 3 free short stories: The Painter, Guisarme and Half-blood. Go claim your copy if you haven’t read them already. And feel free to share those links with your friends!

Now, I’m starting to go through the transcripts of the Smart Author Podcast. I know, I should just listen, but listening to people talk without visuals… not me. I can watch an online workshop with videos, but podcasts… not my cup of tea, sorry. But since there are those very useful transcripts… there you go! I get to read a little, LOL! ๐Ÿ˜€

If you were thinking of doing some online workshops, there’s a special offer right now. I still have two classic workshops to do after the Novel Challenge, but you shouldn’t miss this opportunity. And I was at the offline workshop Think Like a Publisher in 2011… now you don’t need to travel to the Oregon Coast to do it anymore! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re looking to replace Pronoun, here’s a useful link. Also, Draft2Digital distributes to Amazon, and they’ve been overwhelmed by requests – as per their email – but they’re still very fast in answering any query.

Now look what Joe Konrath came up with. Interactive ebooks – almost. Which has reminded me of a project I had that went to the backburner. Maybe next year I’ll finally get down to it. It will be different from this one, but hopefully as much fun.

And some interesting posts on KWL blog, like marketing group effort, or be a smart indie… They also have podcasts, like Joanna Penn, but like I said above, it’s not my cup of tea… feel free to check them! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday

Published 08/11/2017 by Barb

Sorry I skipped the Random Friday, but it was a weekend full of excerpts! Hope you enjoyed them and headed to get the bundle from your favorite retailer. It was great sharing the blog with all those great authors. One more author interview to come, then moving on.

Last chance to get Shashank at 4.99$. Tomorrow the price will go up. I also uploaded a Star Minds sampler at 99c for whoever doesn’t know my science fantasy saga and would like a taste of it. The taste is clean, but asย  stated at the end of the sample, some books are adult only. Since they’re standalone, you won’t miss much if you skip a story or a couple of books (namely, read only book 1 of the Trilogy if you want clean stuff and skip one story in Star Minds Snippets).

Unfortunately i-Users won’t be able to try the lovely D2D template I used for this latest ebook, since Apple doesn’t allow “samplers”, “teasers” or other such things, even though they include complete books. So you better grab your e-pub elsewhere! ๐Ÿ˜‰

On all the books at the publisher’s page you will see only one link to the ebooks. That’s because I spent a good part of Sunday and Monday activating the universal links at Books2Read – they’re even geotagged (in fact I deleted all my Booklinker links and won’t be using that account anymore)!

If you want help in setting this useful thingy up, here’s an how to post. Like they say in the FAQs for authors, you should get one even if your enrolled in KU, since the link is geotagged so you don’t need to give all the Amazon stores links or go to bit.ly or other services. Get them even if you don’t have a Draft2Digital account – my vampires books are not on Draft2Digital because only Smashwords allows assetless pre-orders, so I imported them into B2R with the Smashwords link.

Some smaller places would probably have to be added by hand, like DriveThruFiction or (for my Italian titles) Feltrinelli. But there are already 28 stores supported, I’m sure they’ll add more. For example now I have even the WHSmith links on some books, although I admit I have no idea which distributor sends to them! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I even have some books at Angus&Robertson Selling Books to Australians Since 1886! ๐Ÿ˜€

With all this publishing stuff and housekeeping, I’m not writing much, but I intend to catch up next week when I go back to DayJob, LOL! My newsletter went out last week (someone reading this blog hasn’t opened it yet, please check it out, thank you) and already I’m changing my mind on some things.

I mentioned I intended to publish Da Strip, but I won’t, because it’s too personal and funny only for me. So I’ll find something else to fill the pages of my mag. I do want to draw more, but I still have to think about what I’m going to do. I’m definitely slowing down the publishing to concentrate on writing next year.

It will be my 40th anniversary after all! Been married to Mr Writing since the summer of 1978, to the dismay of the prospective boyfriends who had no idea of what was going on, haha! So next year I plan to write more, publish less and read more, since I have all those bundles to catch up on.

Speaking of bundles, this one is going to be fun – starting from the title. Funny by Design will come out on the 13th, but it’s already available for pre-orders at the usual suspects. And look at the company again! So, short summary of the latest bundles (out in November only):

Mythic Tales

Cats Cats Cats

Funny by Design.

The first two both include my book Beautiful, Funny by Design has Pat&Babs, the third and for now last body switch.

Oh, and Axelle, Wanderer is available both in ebook and paperback! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday

Published 01/11/2017 by Barb

And October is gone too, can you believe it?ย  I wrote almost 24K words and all the stories planned for the month. Onward to the next task – two more shorter works to submit to anthologies, a redraft of a novel with sequel and two more stories that can be done in December as well. And I’ll be more or less done for the year, unless I get to work on another novel in December.

I’m slowing down production not because I’m depressed or anything, but because it takes me more time to add all the stuff I learned in the online workshops in the first draft. Sometimes I procrastinate starting because I can’t find an opening with depth. To which I end up saying, “To hell with depth, let’s get into the story, I can always add depth later, cycling back!”

Next year I’ll be celebrating 40 years of writing and it’s still fun and entertaining and everything. But I won’t lie to you. I am currently depressed by the state of publishing. I’m tired of trying to keep up with trends, marketing, retailers and social media who keep updating and upgrading while I’m slowly trying to catch up. Things are changing too fast, so I’ll slow down the publishing until things settle down a little.

Which means I may keep for myself some of the writing I’ll do next year, or maybe not. I do have quite a few projects lined up, maybe I’ll just write them all and then take a month off to publish them all! ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’ll see. There’s still a couple of months to go, right?

So, yeah, more changes a-coming. Necessary evil, I’m afraid. I’m depressed, but not while writing. If you are writing under the influence of depression, though, check this advice. I found no support in writers groups, but maybe the offline people were more a critique group than a support group – I was the only one prolific and indie and all that stuff.

A story of piracy to circulate between authors and readers alike. It’s not that I don’t want to give away free books, but like this author, I’d like to make a living. Now, I’m not as successful as this young lady here (I don’t write YA, which is probably the most pirated genre of publishin), but I hear her pain and bow to her initiative that proved her point.

Creations, even in the digital age, should earn some money to their creators or soon you won’t have any content to download anymore. I do receive alerts of pirate sites with my books, I don’t do anything about them, but that’s also part of my publishing depression. Why keep publishing if they don’t sell because of piracy or undiscoverability? I may as well keep writing for myself like I did for 33 years…

And in my publishing depression I try to decompress with funny stuff. I’m working on the paperback of Da Strip. I’m watching comedies on DVD. I try to read funny stuff (maybe it’s time to get back to those paper books on my desk… I believe I have one that is funny).

I’m not really writing funny stuff yet, since that’s not the point. Depression has not affected my writing or creativity, but is hitting hard on the publishing life. I don’t have Impostor Syndrome and I don’t feel a special snowflake, and I do know the rules or I wouldn’t know how to break them.

I guess I will have to ponder about the branding thing. I know I’m the brand but I still can’t see my name that big on the cover – I love my cover art too much (mostly because it’s paid commissions, not cheap photoshopping of stock images, LOL!).

Besides, rebranding the 70 or so Silvery Earth books is too daunting. And those are the ones with the smaller author name on the cover. Sigh. Last but not least, the November bundles! Mythic Tales is out today and Cats Cats Cats will come out on Friday. I am determined to change subject on Fridays for the month of November, so I’m telling you now! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday

Published 25/10/2017 by Barb

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! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I don’t know, I also have to sign up for Pronoun and possibly other sites, so… one thing at the time! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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”! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday

Published 18/10/2017 by Barb

I am done with one of the southern kingdoms stories and hope to wrap the second by the weekend. Then I need to write another story by the end of the month so that I can send everything to the proofreader in November, when I’ll move to redrafting an old story and writing two more shorter works to submit to anthologies.Rithvik and Kerrien were interviewed at Library of Erana. I love those two still, almost two years after I published their adventures. I have to slap my hands so that I won’t write a sequel to that story, already enough projects lined up! ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway, you can find them in the Mythic Tales bundle that comes out Nov.1st! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writerly links: Myths about writing you need to stop believing. And I was on KWL blog again, in case you missed it. Kind of ties with the myths of the previous link, so don’t take it for law! ๐Ÿ™‚

Some good advice and tips for Indie Authors. And how often they should publish – I’m definitely slowing down but I have other projects coming up.

More unconventional writing advice and #3 goes well with my guest post at Sue Vincent’s. #7 is also very important. You need to find your process and don’t panic if it changes through the years. Mine certainly did! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And finally, if you want to win NaNoWriMo, here’s an excellent post on what you can find in the NaNoWriMo bundle this year. Like I said, I shall pass because I still have old bundles to go through. Have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

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