novel challenge

All posts tagged novel challenge

Writer Wednesday

Published 27/09/2017 by Barb

Wrapped up a few things this week. The June and July novels are now complete and almost ready to be published. One is already available for pre-order, but by the time it will go live, it will have a bonus story, currently with the proofreader. And I made a book trailer for the whole series while I was at it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The other will go to the editor next week, therefore it should come out in the first half of October. It’s a Silvery Earth novel, and after that there will be a small collection about the southern kingdoms for Tori, then the whole collection of their fall for whoever is still unfamiliar with the southern kingdoms of Silvery Earth. I guess I should update the Silvery Earth series book trailer, LOL!

Now, the usual suspects may have noticed I haven’t requested their feedback on my latest novels… besides Tori when I needed her opinion on a certain character, that is! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am no longer looking for beta-readers (although I did have a first reader for the two novels above, since it was part of the challenge), but sometimes I might still need a fact-checker (right, Shafali? I’ll keep bothering you till the end of time!) for cultures I’m unfamiliar with.

So, no more betas – maybe I can leave one of those Goodreads group! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s probably quite rude on my part to go posting on their forum the new Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing post on beta-readers. They’re so well-meaning, then don’t understand the problem! But that’s another reason why I’m glad I no longer have an offline writers group.

Often I did like Dean, submitted pieces that I had already sent out, and they wondered why I had submitted them if I didn’t want their feedback? Maybe I should sent them the link to the article… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Or maybe they’ll read it on my Facebook feed, who knows… ๐Ÿ˜€

If you have set up a Google Alert on your name, you might sometimes receive alerts that mention your book listed on what you think is a pirate site. Might be, but might also be a phishing site! So, for the good of both writers and readers, who get scammed by these people, here’s how to get rid of them! ๐Ÿ™‚

“Should I give up writing?” never occurred to me. I may give up publishing, as I’ve said before, but definitely not writing. I’m not going to divorce Mr Writing any time soon! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And great comments too, from people who think just like me. I write therefore I am. I must make priority lists because of the popcorn kittens bouncing in my head screaming “Pick me! Oh, pick me!”… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, indie published or not, it’s a long term investment… forget the everything right NOW! And write what you love. You don’t like blogging? Then don’t. You hate social media? Don’t do them. I don’t do book signings. I struggle with panels. We all have a weak spot (mine is… people!)…

And I did it again! I’m on KWL blog this week also… how will I handle this popularity? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Writer Wednesday

Published 26/07/2017 by Barb

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Writer Wednesday

Published 14/06/2017 by Barb

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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜€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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I shall leave the announcement for the next bundle for next week… when I’ll have changed the pictures on the Facebook page! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But if you want a hint, just head there! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

Writer Wednesday

Published 07/06/2017 by Barb

Some writerly wisdom about books needing time to cook. Even mine are not always as immediate as they used to be. Yes, I’m still mostly a pantser, but since Technological Angel sometimes it takes me months before I start the actual writing. That’s why I decided beforehand which novels to write for the summer challenge – because they were already on my ToWrite list and ready to be jotted down.

I discarded one idea because I had a novella that was already almost a novel itself, so I postponed that one to after the summer. I knew I had to write the vampire novel during the summer anyway, I simply had to write it all in a month instead of two. Which is perfectly fine.

If I keep going like this, I might even be able to start it this month. Knowing I’d miss a week of writing in June, I chose a novella to expand as first novel, so it’s going quite well. I’m almost halfway through and if I can read it all in one sitting over the weekend to make the necessary adjustments (I’m aiming at the 17th, not this Saturday), then I can send it off with a few days to spare for the next one…

Busy writing summer, but since the heat is starting to show up, I’m very happy to just go home and write. And make covers. I like hiring other artists, but sometimes I like doing my own covers as well, so… Experimenting with transparent PNGs and art nouveau frames and stuff like that. It’s a Silvery Earth novel, of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Patreon update! I decided to start uploading the rewards even if there are no patrons. So on the 5th of every month I’ll post the “5 things I learned” posts (one is already live) and on the 10th I’ll post the monthly free short story. At least people reaching the page now can see there’s stuff behind theย  paid wall! ๐Ÿ™‚ I know “curiosity killed the cat” but since you’re not cats (are you?), you’ll be fine… just poke around and see if you find anything you like! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And if you like sci-fi, here’s another bundle of books… while you wait for the next one with yours truly, of course! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Should be out July 4th, the mighty Bundle Rabbit is working on it (and changing stuff around so when I get to the dashboard I go “AUGH!” like Lucy Van Pelt. I’ll get used to it! ;)), just stay tuned. If you like giving to charities, go to Story Bundle (or other curators on BR, I honestly don’t pick a charity since I’m in Italy and I wouldn’t know which one to pick).

And where are we going with e-books? Check Amazon’s latest… I don’t mind a moving cover – I had considered it myself and thought it would be cool on e-books – but everything else… nyeh. They say I can switch that off… well, I have an old Kindle Keyboard, so I doubt it would work anyway. And I certainly won’t use the laptop version (or the smartphone… that small screen makes me want to scream most of the time!)…

But well, maybe younger readers will enjoy that. Although… can this still be considered a book? The EU had decided for lower VAT on e-books, but if they’re like that, can they still be considered books? Mini-movies? What? Who knows. On DeviantART they were already doing motion comics, but this is something else.

And Mighty Zon is still in trouble – it might be customer-friendly but it’s really pissing off authors and publishers. And soon even customers will feel cheated by the fake books that climb the Amazon charts. Don’t put all your eggs in their baskets is still sound advice. I’m still toying with their AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) but it’s probably my last attempt in that department too.

Random Friday

Published 02/06/2017 by Barb

To complete May wordcount, I wrote another 5100 words in the last three days, so I’m pretty confident I can finish those three novels in three months. Here’s my prepping calendar with the (very few) trips on it – but then I’m the one who vanishes in the summer because it’s too hot to do anything besides writing at home, haha!

I watched Bamako and it’s an interesting take on Africa, with the trial within the story. They don’t often talk about themselves, so it was a window on that side of the world whereย  I’ll never go because it’s a warm country so it’s not on my map of travels (I really made a huge exception for India! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I’d move to a northern country anytime)…

It was a pleasure to see Aissa Maiga again (saw her in Bianco e Nero that I may have mentioned somewhere on this blog years ago – when one has such an old blog, it becomes a hassle to search things in it, LOL!), since she’s not only very talented, but also very beautiful IMHO.

I’ll have to make her a black princess on Silvery Earth sometime – maybe in the coming novel? Oh, wait, I do have a black warrior woman there… mmmm… Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

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