Writer Wednesday


I was hoping to publish the spy story this month, but the Italian betas destroyed it, so I decided to postpone. I had in mind to write more anyway, so it will definitely be a novel, hopefullyΒ  before the end of the year. And I’ll be publishing only Italian titles for the summer, the next English title will come out in September – probably mid-month – so stay tuned.

Slowly starting on the August novel knowing I’ll have to interrupt for Worldcon, but I have a long weekend ahead (Monday off work, leaving on Tuesday), so I might be able to throw in 10K before I go.

I printed out flyers and catalogs to display on my table on Friday at the convention – I’ll be in the Creators Alley for one day. I tried out a new look, but it probably won’t last… it’s high maintenance and I hate high maintenance! πŸ˜‰

Same hair, same T-shirt, special guest Da Other Muse

Anyhow, I should be fairly recognizable… if you’re in Helsinki and see someone with blue “chatouches” – that’s me! πŸ˜‰

Now, the writerly links! The art and science of selling books with social media, something that I may explore in September because currently I already feel overwhelmed. And how to get book reviews as an unknown author – another topic that I’m postponing to after the summer. I really should start gathering reviews on the latest titles, sigh.

How Facebook Groups for Pages can help authors – although having lost the possibility to interact in group and events as my author page, I lost interest in that stuff. If I activated the author‘s group, would anyone be willing to join? Considering the low interaction levels of this very blog, I doubt it would help much, but feel free to share your thoughts in the comments…

I’ll also have to study those polarities of book marketing, because I’m not sure where I am yet. But again, after the hottest season of the year and my most hated! Looking forward to the cooler Finnish weather but sorry it will last only for a week, sigh!

Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Writer Wednesday


Wrapping up Shashank’s story, I finally finished reading all that non-fiction. It was wonderful and entertaining and idea-generating, but now I look forward to going back to novels! πŸ˜‰ I disagree on some historical facts with some of those authors, but others gave me insight I wasn’t expecting.

I even re-watched Bajirao Mastani, since the Maratha Peshwa appears briefly in the novel – it reminded me to look up those fearsome whip-swords Ranveer Singh is handling in the movie! Shashank is the son of a weapon seller and he’s always interested in weapons, even those dreaded firearms the author hates.

I sent off the novel and maybe will write a short story to go with it. Unless it turns out to be a novella or something bigger, in that case I’ll postpone to September, since it’s definitely NOT a novel and it wouldn’t be long enough for the challenge. I have until Friday to figure it out, during the weekend I want to prep for the August novel.

Next week I’ll be deep in my sci-fi novel and ready for Worldcon! I’ll repeat all this, but if you happen to be in Helsinki, here’s my panel schedule.

As you can see, I’ll be in good company! πŸ™‚ And hopefully I’ll be able to sightsee a little too, since I’ve never been to Finland.

Some writerly links – Mastering Amazon Ads. I will have to do a few more experiments, but so far the ads I ran brought 0 sales. And tips to promote your book @OurAuthorGang.

Want to support an author’s or illustrator’s new book but can’t afford to buy it? Here’s what you can do. And if you do buy it, please leave a review.

And a long podcast on Joanna Penn’s blog – I read the transcript, but if you like podcasts, go listen to how to write fast, publish slowly and focus on your author marketing with Rachel Aaron. Lot of good advice, I’m keeping the transcript for later use! πŸ˜‰

All of these excellent marketing and branding tools will have to be put to use after the summer, when the novel challenge is done. But I do intend to focus more on marketing (no more than a weekend per month!) and try some stuff. I’ll have to make sure I target the right people, since here’s what happens when reader targeting goes wrong.

Maybe the historical novelist indeed had a game of thrones in his story. And there’s no copyright on titles, so he was free to use the sentence. But yeah, they probably attracted the wrong crowd.

So for the last quarter I’ll focus on other marketing and branding experiments, and maybe even my Patreon page might become project-driven instead of monthly as it is now. While I focus on each of my series for the above, I’ll try to make up my mind and figure out what I want and how to achieve that slow growth I’m aiming at! πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

Happiness is…


Writer Wednesday


And here you have Kol-ian in all his might in another great bundle! πŸ™‚ Love Magik Glow is now live with 7 great QUILTBAG stories, including the trilogy about the technological angel and his gorgeous brother-in-law! πŸ˜€ Get it now!

So, in spite of the heat and a weekend away from home, I still managed to get some writing done. I’m adding the last of the meat and hope to do a final pass next weekend, after which another novel will be off – not just to the beta-reader of the challenge, but to the cover artist, who is also a necessary beta-reader, and maybe another beta if she has time, but she’s probably busy with her fan-fiction contest…

We’ll see. I might just leave it at 2 – the cover artist because she’s from that culture and she can point out cultural mistakes, the “paid” beta because it’s his challenge! πŸ˜‰ BTW I got a sketch of the cover, it’s going to be a great addition to the Vampires Through the Centuries covers! πŸ™‚ And I might send an excerpt to Unusual Historicals again, hoping they don’t forget the second half of the bargain – the giveaway – like they did with Kaylyn last year…

I have written stories based on illustrations or covers in the past, in fact I might do it again in August, since I’m already thinking about the cover of that novel… and it is indeed fun – writing a novel from a cover or a story from an illustration. My two latest examples are Star Minds Third Generation – Iso-bel Aya Shermac and Starship Pilot (link to the inspiration art by Techie Bro)… Even though the second has only been used to illustrate the story for Patreon patrons, it still started from there! πŸ˜‰

The writerly links of the week! The Newbie Author Marketing Manifesto – not sure what platform I have since some of those I have high and some I have very low for having been 7 years at it, but well…Β  As for the 3 tools, I have a website with a byline and this very blog. My email list is still lagging behind, but I’m waving madly to all of you blog followers and Facebook fans! πŸ˜€

If you’re having a bad writing day, read this post. Happens to everybody. I often flirt with Mr Procrastination, in spite of being married to Mr Writing. But it’s a muscle, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. So practise, practise, practise and you’ll forget what Writer’s Block is! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I never joined KDP Select and KU… it’s because it’s broken. And Amazon doesn’t seem to realize they’re pissing off customers too. Mighty Zon might fall soon if they don’t the address the scammers breaking the Kindle Store! 😦 If you’re an author, don’t use clickfarms. Or even better, don’t be Amazon exclusive – I do have sales on Kobo, D2D and Smashwords, and you’re missing on readers by ignoring everybody else.

And if you’re a KU subscriber, please please please tell Amazon to do something about these people. Or soon all the indie authors will leave KU and your subscription won’t let you read anything… Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And I’m in another, upcoming bundle! πŸ™‚ Please like the page and wait for it! And a reminder that this (below) bundle is currently available only on DriveThruFiction and it’s a limited time offer, it will be gone after the summer! If you haven’t read the Assassins’ Guild stories, you can grab them in your favorite format here! πŸ™‚

If you want to subscribe to my bimonthly newsletter (the next comes out in September), please do so and don’t ask me to add you manually – I wouldn’t know how to send you the welcome email with the free story… Or you can support me on Patreon, where I regularly post both for writers and readers! πŸ™‚

And hello to the new followers, thank you for deciding to follow this very blog for whatever reason. Not going to ask anymore! πŸ˜‰ Now, to the writerly news.

Novel #2 is well underway and I hope to have that first draft ready for “meating up” next weekend. I’m kind of jumping back and forward on this one because it has a predetermined outline, but I’ll still need to read it all in one sitting or two to see if it flows. Reaching the 20th century is easier and harder at the same time.

I mean, I can describe Jaipur or Delhi like I saw them last year (even though the characters are in Jaipur in the first half of last century), but at the same time… I don’t know. I guess I should do more travelogues, it would definitely help when I write! πŸ˜‰ That darn setting still tends to escape me.

I’m still unsure about a secondary character and I’ll make up my mind when I reach the end and then cycle backΒ  to add some meat. I don’t know why the first draft is always very sparse… maybe I need to think about it more before I cand add stuff?

Or maybe it’s just that my brain is fried during the summer? I hate it when cicadas sing all day, it means it’s too darn hot for my tastes and I should move to Iceland! 😦 Glad I found a nice desk fan for the writing times… πŸ™‚

I’ll start the writerly links with this post by Tracy Cooper-Posey – why should historical characters sound like they’re speaking funny in historical novels? Since I’m currently writing historical fantasy, I think it’s perfect timing. I’ve had some betas pointing out some too modern terms in my fantasy too, but I tend to write plain English (with American Spelling – like Tracy, I grew up with British spelling) for the very reason she states.

I mean, I understand I better avoid 21st century slang, and I did use the “thou” and “art thee” once in a fan fiction, but it was precisely because the character had been locked up and sounded funny to modern English speakers (I sort of mention it in Kaylyn’s novel – Kris tells her that she has a “Shakespearian English” since that’s more or less the time she stopped speaking English).

And as a reader I hate even accents, so I say NO to that kind of gimmick. I hate it as much as purple prose and jolts me out of the story immediately! You want to keep Reader Me happy? Write in plain English. Your translator in some other language will thank you, trust me! πŸ˜‰

And since the heat makes me sleepy, I can’t really read more (reading also makes me sleepy…) so I’ll probably have to pass a couple of interesting bundles because I have already too many books to read. I’m even supposed to vote for the Hugos, except I have read none of the nominees! 😦

Oh, and if you want to be on A Small Gang of Authors, here’s their joining page – you can either be guest, like I was, or join them (if you have a Blogger account)! And Bundle Rabbit has added the collaboration tab, so if you’re trying to set up an anthology, you can use that feature!

Just in case you’re new, Bundle Rabbit allows indie authors to set up their own bundles (and cross-pollinate their readers with other authors) and readers to discover new authors by buying a favorite name along with a few more. I currently have two curated bundles (means that I put them together) – one of fantasy novels and one of science fiction (space opera or humorous sci-fi) – and my books have been chosen for two more that I will announce as soon as they go live.

My next curated bundle will have vampires, so if you have a novel-length vampire story, join Bundle Rabbit and upload it, so I can find it in September when I start putting together the next one! πŸ™‚

Check also the Book Spoltight on Library of Erana (supposedly just one, but there’s actually two, LOL!), with even very short excerpts to give you a taste. Have a great week!

 

Writer Wednesday


Ta-daan!

So yes, you can go and grab it now! On BundleRabbit or on the retailer you pre-ordered it! πŸ™‚ Book trailer here, in case you missed it… I look forward to reading all those amazing books, but I’m still on the previous bundle and had to stop to read non-fiction for the current project. And have you seen how many bundles are available for your summer reads?

I’m also prepping flyers for Worldcon, even though the final calendar hasn’t reached my inbox yet. There you go, busy gal folding paper stuff… I printed 50, but I’ll display only 10 at my first panel, since only 20 can get the free bundle… look me up at Worldcon! πŸ™‚

Wordcount for June was 63K. Currently working on the July novel and since it’s historical fantasy, I have a batch of books to read and some quick Wikipedia checks every now and then. But my paper books pile is going down (I prefer non-fiction on paper)…

of these 3 – 2 are read and the third can wait, yay! πŸ™‚

Some writerly links! 12 truths about publishing – if you want a writing career, that is. Customize your produtcivity to fit your life – for those of you who still have trouble finding time to write. I have a part-time day job and Monday I didn’t write a word of fiction, but I didn’t panic. I usually catch up on weekends (Sunday night I had already 20K in the new novel)… πŸ˜‰

Some thoughts on writing a scene because terrible minds sometimes say absolute truth, like #0 says

As always, writing advice is bullshit, but bullshit can be fertilizer. Maybe this page of scene-writing advice helps something grow in your narrative garden, or maybe it’s just something to shovel out of the way. Use or discard at your leisure.

And ways to stay motivated in this shit-shellacked era of epic stupid because you never have enough motivation do you? I know I can beat Mr Procrastination if I put my mind to it, but can you? πŸ˜‰

Now I better go back to writing. 18th century stuff… but ideas keep bouncing in my head like popcorn kittens! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


Aaand… here we go!

Star Minds Next Generation

It’s available for pre-order on all retailers and will come out soon! So you’ll have both fantasy and sci-fi for your summer reading! πŸ˜‰ I’m very happy with the authors in this bundle – this time I have met most of them personally.

You have a great variety – from my Goodreads friends Steph Bennion and Ubiquitous Bubba, who were interviewed on this blog for Wyrd Worlds, some workshop buddies I met on the Oregon Coast (Rebecca Bates, Michael Lucas, Russ Crossley, Blaze Ward, Robert Jeschonek), to the man who made us meet (Dean Wesley Smith – the kind of writer I want to be when I grow up) and a few more that I found browsing the awesome content marketplace at BundleRabbit.

So I’m still riding the fantasy bundle, reading all the other books, and already I’m starting a new journey, a trek to the stars with these wonderful fellows. I made a book trailer for it and it will come out on Independence Day (which, by the way, is the birthday of my Australian friend, maybe she’d like one as a gift? πŸ˜‰ ), so stay tuned…

The indie community is really great. Because there’s no such thing as a self-published author – that’s so 20th century thinking! πŸ˜‰ And also this small post on negotiation is a good way to remind us that traditional publishing is still tricky. And if we want to tackle the audio market independently it’s getting easier every year. Now Draft2Digital offers audiobooks as an alternative to ACX…

It’s really a great time to be an author. Final wordcount for this month in July, but know that I finished and sent out the first novel of the challenge. Onward to the vampires novel that must be finished by the end of July… have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


So, it’s official, I’m in the Worldcon Programme! I can’t be more specific right now, but stay tuned for days and times. Great panels coming ahead, really great panels. Looking forward to them! If you happen to be in Helsinki for Worldcon 75, let me know! πŸ™‚ I will post my schedule closer to the dates…

Aaand… three months after the Anthology Workshop, I made a sale! My first professional sale! So, time for a little happy dance! πŸ˜€Ahem! Where was I? Ah, yes, the novel challenge. Probably three-quarters done, but I’ll need to go back and add the meat during the weekend. Some things never change, some things do. I still have to print it out and make the additions on paper. At least I don’t do the first draft longhand anymore! πŸ˜‰

A good reminder that writers (or any kind of creative person) are the worst judges of their works (besides giving it away for free or cheap, that is). I currently think my novel is a mess, but I’ll let the first reader and proofreader be the judges.

For a good laugh, how to fail as a writer – let’s not forget writing by committee. If you don’t write by committee, you’ll never make it! And on a more serious note, what makes a $100K Author (don’t look at me!). I am currently running an Amazon ad, but so fare it’s only expenses and no sales. Will report after I complete 3! πŸ˜‰

I shall leave the announcement for the next bundle for next week… when I’ll have changed the pictures on the Facebook page! πŸ˜‰ But if you want a hint, just head there! πŸ™‚ Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


While cleaning the spam comments I found an old post of mine from 2010… Let’s see how things have changed since!

Anyway, here are my six:

1) Find an agent

2) Publish a novel (first step of MANY :-D)

3) Start the Silvery Earth web page

4) Become a best selling author in my genre

5) Write and publish all those Silvery Earth novels/stories/graphic novels (for that staircase, the sky is the limit! ;-))

6) Quit the day job and live of my writing (and I’m not greedy, I only want to be able to quit the day job).

#1 Nope. No thanks. No longer looking for that.

#2 Done. First of many as advertized. I started publishing in 2011, but I do not wish to count how many are novels or collections or whatnot. That’s almost 150 titles to check, so… just gone and done it! πŸ˜‰

#3 Even better, I have Unicorn Productions web-page, with all the books in all the series and genres and languages and whatnot! Yay! This happened in 2015…

#4 Er… still working on that… And even though I definitely love SFF, I’m also tackling other genres lately, so… maybe I haven’t found my true calling yet! πŸ˜‰

#5 Done and even added the Star Minds series and the Vampires Through the Centuries and the Body Switches

#6 Still working on that one too. By the way, I tinkered with the Patreon rewards again, since it was too complicated having tiers with the same amount. Would you prefer a Paypal Donate button? πŸ˜‰

Moving on! Wordcount for May is 32K, not counting this week. I also spent almost a week doing non-writerly things so I’d be ready for the Novel Challenge starting tomorrow. So hopefully in the next three months I’ll write a lot more because a) I have a challenge and b) it’s the summer, it’s too hot to be outside, hence more time to stay in and write! πŸ™‚

Last week I formatted all the ebooks that will come out this summer, did the covers and so on – I only have one story that will go to the proofreader on Monday and will come out in August, but I’ll tinker with that cover during the upcoming long weekend (June 2 is national holiday in Italy) and since it’s a novella, it won’t take me long to format it for publication.

Still two more authors’ interviews for the Fantasy bundle, then I’ll introduce the Sci-Fi bundle coming in July. Still waiting for Worldcon to let me know my schedule, but I hope to have a panel or three. At least I’m in the list of the Also Appearing now, yay! πŸ™‚

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

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