Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And the prequels to Future Earth Chronicles are now out in a single 90K book! The cover has the alien symbol with a stylized human brain at the center because… brainwaves! Gotta love those alien psy-vamps! 🙂

Last week I wrote 13K+ on two entwined books. I’m working mostly on the second book of the Duology and I had to do some research about Holi in Delhi. Besides someone saying that last year there were no celebrations because of the pandemic (my friend told me lockdown hadn’t started in India for Holi, since it was in early March…), I found this other article that even time-travels to the upcoming festival!

Yes, Holi is next week this year, but according to them:

“Holiyappa, 2021!

The event took place on the 29th of March, 2021. It was organised in The Junction, Green Park Delhi. The event promoted to offer lovely music to the audience so that they could dance and enjoy. It presented some famous DJs like Dj Dheer and DjTanuj.Its theme was ‘Music, colours and good vibes’.”

Note that it’s the only event that is set in the future in the article, so it’s probably an uncorrected (except for the date) excerpt from last year.

Anyhow, my characters already enjoyed the Rang Leela, even though it hasn’t happened yet, LOL! Actually this whole Duology is written in the near future, so I plan to go back to each chapter/month when we get there (like, I dumped a few paragraphs in March of Book 1 last week, and will do the same when April comes along). So this might see publication at the end of the year.

I might start writing some real time-travel stories later this year, but I still have to take the online workshop about writing time travel, as well as read a few time travel stories. I’m almost done with the bundles on KK, so soon I’d have to switch on the new Kindle again, and upload all the books I have gathered so far. Sigh.

I got an email from KDP saying they will no longer accept mobi files for reflowable ebooks. So I’m just going to upload word.doc from now on – I used to put up the Smashwords mobi files when there was a big ToC, but whatever. I can always upload the Smashwords epub files instead! 😉

Should writers write every day? It depends. If you need to get into the writing groove, you probably should. If you have already found what work best for you, ignore all advice. Also, remember you might change even a true and tested way of writing through your life. I agree with Chuck Wendig’s advice:

The greatest advice I think I offer to writers these days is to Know Thyself. Which is to say, figure out who you are as a writer. Your processes are your own to discover. Your voice is your own to seek and to find. Who you are and what you write and further, how you write, is something literally nobody else can tell you. So, should you write every day? Some will tell you YES YES YES, some will tell you NO NO NO, but the answer is, well, shit, I dunno. It’s both. It’s neither. All/none of the above. Maybe it’ll help you. Maybe it’ll hurt you. Maybe it’ll do the one until it does the other, because things work… until they don’t. You only learn this by trying.

Writing advice, and the conversation around is, is always to help you crystalize and contextualize your own way of doing things. And sometimes, it’s there to challenge them. I was a pantser at the start of my career until I realized I had to — had to! — be a plotter to get a book done. But Wanderers was a book I wrote without an outline. So was Dust & Grim, Book of Accidents, and Wayward. I was a pantser, then a plotter, then a pantser. None of this is permanent. I’m not permanent. My works will change and how I approach them will change, too.

I was a total pantser, now I’m a half-plotter, especially if I need to stick to a calendar of events (be them real history or fake history on a secondary world, or even alternate history on our world). And even if my voice is more or less the same, I changed and so will the stories I tell and the way I tell them.

Now, for reading and writing pleasure, check out this Kickstarter. As Kris Rusch says, it includes a book on writing as well as a full collection of fantasy books:

If you want to read the Fey, the best way to do so is to back the Kickstarter at the $30 level. You’ll get all seven existing books of the Fey, the new novella, the only Fey short story (at the moment), four other fantasy novels, and $600 in online writing workshops (at the time of this writing), all for your $30.

If you’re a writer, here are the rewards – lots of goodies and lots of learning for you. Also, re: Kickstarter for fiction writers (from Kris’s blog post above again),

Many of you are daunted by the idea of doing a Kickstarter. Dean and Loren L. Coleman are running a free class on Teachable called Kickstarter Best Practices For Fiction Writers. Investigate it. If you don’t feel ready, you have the knowledge in your back pocket for when you are ready. If you are ready, make sure you’re doing the Kickstarter the best way possible.

Know that Loren L. Coleman also has a Kickstarter on how to do a Kickstarter for your fiction. Crowdfunding Your Fiction: Best Practices can be yours for 2$! A few more days to go and it already reached the 2000$ stretch goal, so more goodies for your two bucks! 🙂

And that’s all for today… have a great week! 😀

***

Do you like space opera? How about military science fiction? Do you love the old masters and especially the book club, where you bought one book and received ten more? This is way better. https://20bookpacks.com/IASFA-Sci-Fi-Book-Bundle

The International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (IASFA) is a professional organization focused on aligning readers with authors. We are building the organization that currently numbers over 600 authors published within the SFF genres and growing. Stay tuned as each month we’ll offer full book samplers for free along with less frequent paid book bundle promotions. Help yourself to find your next favorite author by joining the IASFA newsletter. https://iasfa.org/book-promotion-calendar/

The Science Fiction Book Bundle will be available from May 15th thru April 4th.

Writer Wednesday


So it’s spring – depression and earthquakes (real or metaphorical). The earth is still shaking in Emilia Romagna (not that I feel it, but I have friends there) and DayJob is shaky for the “new” tax that should be paid by June 18th. The only good thing Mr.B had done was eliminate the tax on “first house” (if you have money to buy a second or third house, you also have money to pay taxes on those, right?) – now it’s back. And a region of Italy has no houses to account for. Can’t the government take the hint and try to find the money where it actually is instead of taxing poor citizens that have lost their roofs?

Anyway, at DayJob we’re supposed to accept payment for that tax, and the management doesn’t seem to know how to handle the “emergency”. So it’s a constant flux of e-mails and instructions and they have no idea of what to do. We’re already losing professionality without this mess. So – depression for five hours a day. Can’t quit yet, because the other source of depression comes from Real Job or Indie Publishing. Smashwords is backlogged with the premium catalog and keeps rejecting novels without TOCs, Amazon KDP has probably found too many pirated books among the freebies and wants to be sure I’m the owner of my own copyright and every day I seem to be wading a river of mud instead of just another day. Add the crazy weather with temperatures going yo-yo, and you can imagine how I look forward to being off everything for a couple of weeks.

The only thing that keeps me happy in all this? Well, writing, of course. On Silvery Earth they don’t have phones, PCs and the internet and life is much simpler, LOL! Which means I’ll never stop writing, but I might slow down the publishing part – I probably was going too fast. So stop, breathe and then keep going. I mean keep writing. If it’s not ready, don’t hit “publish”. I might publish a couple of Italian shorts, but I’m not really selling any Italian titles (did I mention Italians don’t read?), so why bother? I’ll just go back to writing the next English book.

And maybe eventually I’ll have covers like Joe Konrath. I mean, even Dean Wesley Smith and WMG Publishing are redoing their covers, but I don’t want to change the looks of Silvery Earth’s titles yet… Unless everybody at Chicon7 tells me my covers suck, that is! 🙂 Anyhow, better go back to writing now. It eases my depression, you see! 😉

Writer Wednesday


I shall open this post with Kris Rusch analysis of the publishing world in her excellent post about Scarcity and Abundance. I think there is abundance indeed, which is good for readers, but can be very frustrating for writers. A Goodreads author “retires” from the marketplace after four books on KDP, burned out by his marketing efforts – who can blame him? Although he was brave to put out those four titles, but then he wasn’t very patient, having burned out after only eight months.

I still think we should diversify and don’t let all the eggs in one basked – specifically Amazon’s. Not because Amazon is Eeeviiil (like Scott Turow insists on saying rebutted again by Joe Konrath), but because the more wide-spread is the title, the better it is for the author. I haven’t sold any copies of SKYBAND on Lulu in two years, and when I uploaded the PDFs to DriveThruComics, I sold one copy after a couple of months.

As for 2011 sales (and I mean actual sales, not free review copies, ebook weeks or giveaways), I had 11 on Smashwords and 18 on KDP vs. 4 all-time sales on Lulu – which, by the way, seems to have been kicked out of Amazon. Glad I didn’t pay the MarketplaceReach for all my titles, although I’ll probably have to make new editions on CreateSpace, sigh. Anyway, they said I should have received emails about the change, but I didn’t. Oh, well, I will sort it out some other time – I don’t feel the pressure to have print versions, considering I haven’t sold any in the past two years. Oh, yeah, I sold 2 out of the 4 Lulu sales.

This year (two months and a half in) 8 sales on Smashwords, 7 on KDP and 1 on DriveThruComics. See how slow is the growth? I’m happy with these numbers, but I understand someone doing it in the hope of getting rich quick might be frustrated. I’m in for the long run. I’ll celebrate in April when I’ll get my first Smashwords payment (minimum for Paypal payments is 10$ and I closed 2011 with 9$ and change…) – one year since I started this adventure (and as the minimum for the Amazon check is 100$, who knows when I’ll see that one! 😉 Maybe I should try to get into the Kindle Singles…).

So what? It’s a 5 year plan. I’m not panicking yet (OK, I panicked last December, but now I’m happy again). I won’t be able to quit DayJob this year nor the next, but I hope to get the first 100 fans (95 to go, yay!) by December. They might be spread throughout three pen names, but I don’t care – OK, I’ll be jealous if B.G.Hope sells more than Barbara G.Tarn, but that would only prove the point: no need to have marketing burn out! 😉

I don’t Tweet (under any pen name) and B.G.Hope has no official blog nor Facebook page – and she doesn’t have a novel out yet. But she tackles a more popular genre – contemporary fiction probably has a wider readership than adult fantasy, so she might sell more, eventually. Time will tell.

I’ll just keep writing and looking for alpha/beta readers – and if you want to know what I’m really looking for, please check this post (thanks, Stephen, for the link) and also how other writers such as Michelle take the feedback (I follow the Stephen King rule mentioned in her post). Oh, and even Blood Red Pencil has a post on beta reading.

Now there’s this Meme going around, I saw it on Loralie and Viv‘s blogs, they haven’t specifically tagged me, but said I could pick it up and pass it on. So here are the rules.

  1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
  4. Tag 7 authors.

I’m posting an excerpt of CVE – The Left-handed Warrior, soon to be revised for publication (so this is the pre-editing version of p.77 from line 7 the 7 paragraphs).

They materialized on the battlefield – or the place of the carnage. The caravan of wagons was already in sight of Hurlevent, where a ship awaited them, but the attack had stopped them.

Sunray started shooting arrows, never missing his target, while Blondsun concentrated on his power. Balls of energy started hitting Humans, setting them on fire.

It didn’t take long. Sunray and Blondsun went closer to check the survivors: some Genn children hidden in the luggage, two women and a boy who stared at them with green eyes filled with terror.

Blondsun rushed to his brother’s cart, knowing it was too late for Silverstar. His body had already vanished, leaving Penelope alone on the seat, with her throat cut open.

Blondsun’s tears choked him. Silverstar was with Ether, but Penny needed to be buried. He took her in his arms as if she was asleep. Now he knew the same fury and hatred that had pushed Kurt to seek revenge. The Emperor would pay.

***

Vario X woke up with a start. He felt a presence near his bed. He saw a shadow standing next to him, the curtains open on the darkness of the night.

Vario opened his mouth, but no sound came out. His mistress slept, unnaturally still. The silence was overwhelming.

Like they did, I won’t tag anyone in particular. But if you’re a writer and want to participate, leave a comment so we can check your entry! Happy writing! Oh, and… happy spring (if you’re in the northern hemisphere, that is! 😀 For my Australian friends, don’t worry, the heat is almost over! :-))

Writer Wednesday


Smashwords has been down most of yesterday and KDP isn’t that fast in making books public, but finally before dinner I was able to upload also on Smashwords. Except they were backlogged, so I didn’t manage to see the titles go live before going to bed. I might have to update with the links today, whenever I find them.

New releases: Books of the Immortals – Prequels FREE on Smashwords (when it gets premium distribution, I’ll ask you to go and tell Amazon about it, LOL) and Love&Prejudice by B.G.Hope – revised edition. Also during the weekend I went on Lulu, so now you have 5 more issues of S.K.Y.B.A.N.D. + Omnibus 2 – all in print and available. Next weekend I hope to work on the PDFs for DriveThruComics although I’ll sell only the single issues there, as the PDFs of Omnibus are too big.

I also participated in the Self-Publishing Survey with only less-than-50-bucks royalties for 2011 (on all sites, so I haven’t seen a dime, LOL!), please help them to reach their 1000 Indie Authors goal: if you’re indie/self-published go and waste 20 minutes there instead of wasting time on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter or your favorite social network/time waster! 😉

The Technium talked about the 1000 True Fans, but the post (AND the updates – haven’t read the comments, though) are from 2008, so before Amanda Hocking. I think now it’s easier to reach those 1000 True Fans and be able to quit your day job.

My indie publishing expenses were higher last year than what Dean and Kris mention in their posts, but I live in a non-English-speaking country and had to hire editors. Although attending the Think like a publisher workshop and finding cheaper editors and new betas should see my expenses plummet this year. Last year I also paid my friend Cristina for the BoI covers, so hopefully this year I’ll spend less and earn more.

Before Smashwords crashed, I managed to see I sold one copy of the Italian novel on B&N – some Italian who emigrated to the US? Considering I haven’t sold any on Kindle Italia… I’m happy! For more on the Amazon/B&N/Big 6 feuds, you have Writers Beware and Joe Konrath (guess whose side Joe is on? ;-)). Personally, I won’t keep all eggs in one basket. I haven’t sold a copy on XinXii yet, but I’ve just started – less than a month ago – and it took me a couple of months to start selling on Smashwords and KDP, so I’m not in a hurry.

And now I’ll stop checking those numbers, like Shelli Johnson suggests. Reminder to myself: write from your heart, and don’t bother with numbers – you were never good at math anyway! 😉

I’m also reading the Ninc Binder where at some point they mention guest posts or blog posts in general should be 250-500 words long (which goes along Stephannie Beman’s post on 9 blogging tips). Now, that’s what I did last year with my shorter daily posts, and it took me almost two years to find 40 subscribers. Now I post longer posts every other day and I’ve found 40 more in six months (although the new blog schedule is only 2 months old).

Which means Dean is right once again: no blind following the “rules”, do what works for you! For me, as I plan on writing much more this year and publish under 2 pen-names (3, but the Italian stuff only needs revising and formatting, so I don’t count it as writing), the new schedule with less-but-longer posts works just fine.

I’ll also follow less blogs because I want to read more fiction – which includes the manuscripts I requested from Loralie’s Crit Partners Blogfest) and until I can quit Day Job, I’ll have to limit my interaction with other bloggers/authors. Sorry guys&gals, got some writing to do! 😉

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