Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote less than 6K, only one story instead of two, and spent the weekend working on the strip, so I can get it out of the way and give the laptop to Techie Bro and see if he can fix the printer problem. I have reached 300K this year anyway, so I’m not worried – besides, I did mention that if I didn’t reach my goal I wouldn’t berate myself.

It’s almost as if back in January I already knew there would be life rolls coming along during the year, LOL! Well, it’s also the 10 years anniversary from my start in indie publishing, which means this is probably a year of assessment, more than production.

This week I’ll be busy with those online courses, so if Tori wants to do the virtual writing week with reciprocal accountability, I suggest we do it next week, after I send off the two books of the trilogy still to be edited to Mighty Editor and might be more in a writing mood.

I might write a story this week anyway, but again, I won’t berate myself if I’m not as productive as I used to be. It’s been a really shitty summer this year, but hopefully the worst is gone and things will get better from now on. Welcome to September, LOL!

Monday was spent with the Kickstarter Best Practices free workshop and trying to set up my first Kickstarter. Still under review, though, so I won’t say much at this time. The learning curve is steep, but eventually I will jump. Stay tuned.

Yesterday I wrote more than 2K on the new story and went to see the doctor, today I have an appointment for my right arm that still hurts, I’ll probably have to do more physiotherapy. We’ll see.

The weather has cooled down at last, so it’s easier to do everything, including a morning walk. Wishing you all a wonderful week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I forgot to post the cover of the new title… so next week you’ll get two, LOL! Yes, another story is coming, that might end up in Male Lovers of Silvery Earth Volume 4 if I ever write more in that area. Both covers have the M/M couple designed by Ravven, although in completely different contexts! 😉

I’m starting the Portals Collection Workshop, so I don’t know how much writing I’ll be doing in the coming nine weeks. There is still a story I hope to write this week, but then I don’t know. Meanwhile, last week I wrote 8600 words, which might be less than usual, again, but it’s short stories. I write more when I plunge into longer works! 😀

I might have slowed down and become unhappy with what I write because the critical voice has awakened. I didn’t have it before, but now that I followed a few workshops on craft, sometimes I stop and I hear the teacher’s voice “Some setting would be nice!” or “You need more depth!” which kicks me out of creative voice, LOL!

But then, I always wrote the bones first and then added the meat. So in the end my process hasn’t changed much in the first draft, it’s the one revision that brings out those voices. I’m still having fun writing and exploring new genres, though, so I’m not going to stop. Like I said many times, I might give up publishing, not writing! 😀

I definitely need more income streams, so I’ll be studying that too this year. Comics and strips don’t seem to sell, so I’ve given up the third strip even on Instagram. Translations – I need to do a search of what sells in the Italian market before starting them, but I hear much resistance for e-books from my Italian friends.

They still want to go to the bookshop and buy paperbooks (when there’s no lockdown, of course), and going to the bookshops in my area is still on my mind, but then Covid happened, and this was put on a shelf for better times. When? Dunno. Hopefully some time in the next couple of years.

I still have at least until 2023 with the day job, so plenty of time to organize whatever will come next. Possibly more anthologies in collaboration with other authors, possibly more bundles, we’ll see. And speaking of bundles, don’t forget to check the twenty fantasy books for a single low price. It doesn’t get any better than that. https://20bookpacks.com/IASFA-Fantasy-Bundle

Last week I rewatched all the series of Robin of Sherwood for inspiration for my stories – although that’s historical fantasy, so I also checked my historical novel, The Fern and The Cross, to make sure the history and details were correct! 🙂

Which meant I skipped my Saturday Night Fever with some Bollywood movie, but whatever! Next weekend I’ll watch two, LOL! I will also try to get back to reading, I’m falling behind again – and I even received two paperbacks I had ordered some time ago.

I guess that’s all for today! Have a nice week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last post of the year, so time for doing the maths, right? I managed to spend less than 2K this year, but the earnings are still under 500. BUT I did publish quite a few titles in spite of Covid, not to mention all the words written (which I can post next week, since there’s still tomorrow to count)! :)

Last week I wrote under 3K, but, like a mentioned, it was mostly an editing week, so I’ll have those books ready for publication soon. I even did quite a few covers, although some are still in mock-up state! 🙂

What plans do I have for 2021? Wellll… do you have another question? No? Okay, I’ll try, but I probably won’t stick to this plan. Except for the first three months, that is. The program for those is as follows:

January: Future Earth Chronicles Book 11 and 12 – the sequels.

February: A couple of Silvery Earth titles that are still unpublished at this time.

March: Before Future Earth Chronicles – two prequels.

Then I might continue with more Vampires Through the Centuries (like I hinted in the latest Sunday Surprise) or start a collaboration with someone and explore other genres. Or I might come up with an urban fantasy setting and write that shelved project. Or I might write a few more Silvery Earth books (4 Quests and 5 Heroines are more or less outlined). Or I’ll improvise and be content with it! 🙂

I should probably celebrate on April 1 – not an April’s Fool, but the first novel’s Bookversary. Can’t believe Books of the Immortals – Air is already 10 years old! Not going to celebrate all the others, or it would be an endless party from April on, but you got the point! 😉

I might start studying how to market a book, but the 2020 pandemic edition might soon have to change – although some things never change. When I’m done with the current online workshops (still a couple pending), I might enroll in David Gaughran’s Starting From Zero.

 

Writer Wednesday


In the past week I poured out another 13K or so, but I’m still under 350K for the year’s total. One more reason next year to concentrate on writing and see if at the third attempt I can reach that goal of 500K a year! 🙂

Of those 13K I had to downsize them to under 12K because it’s a submission. I don’t think I could have made it a full novel, so I just compacted it into a shorter work to submit next year. I will need some feedback and fact-checking before I send it out.

In case you missed it, there’s a Christmas gift from the fine folks at WMG Publishing. I can vouch for their online (and offline) workshops, since I’ve done many and already have 2 on my Teachable dashboard.

If next year you want it to be The Year of Writing Madly like I am, please take this lecture

CARVING TIME OUT FOR YOUR WRITING

it’s free if you hurry and get the coupon before January 22nd.

I might also experiment with old titles and see if I can pull off the illustrated books for adults feat. Print only special editions of novellas or shorter novels. Because I also like beautiful books, but I’m not sure yet how I can produce what I have in mind. I may have to actually publish those in 2019, since I need time to gather the inside artworks (or make them)! 🙂 Comics and art books (or books with art) are still better in print (along with non-fiction).

I will also put marketing on hold to see how the new Facebook algorithms affect authors and what happens on BookBub and Instafreebie. Also how to make a more effective newsletter, to find more subscribers and spread Brand Barb around the interwebs.

I shall conclude with the Smart Author Podcast notes on the Indie Author Manifesto (also a 30minutes podcast). And here’s the original inphographic for you!

Writer Wednesday


The past week there was very little writing, but I was busy setting up the anthology I announced on Sunday + doing online workshops + preparing all the uploads before the retailers shut down for the Holidays (see the box set page) + there was the small and medium publishers book fair in Rome, in a new location, so I did attend that one too.

During the weekend I managed to add some 3K to the latest sci-fi novel before sending it off to the proofreader and this week I’m finally getting to write that story I need to complete by the end of the month if I want to submit it to the market I wrote it for. It’s a Silvery Earth short story anyway, so it won’t be wasted, but I’d like to submit it first! 😉

And about the short story challenge… having more or less decided to write at least 10 novels in various series and maybe a couple of novellas, I don’t think I can also manage the 30 shorts in 60 days. It would take all the fun out of the writing. So I’ll still be writing short stories in January, as many as I can cram in, then I’ll move on to next year’s projects.

Now a short rant on the book fair, where I attended a couple of professional panels just to get a feel of how publishing is doing in Europe. It’s still stuck in the 20th century, trust me. Grants and prizes are only for traditional publishers. Translarions only through traditional publishers. And nobody mentions the indie revolution because we’re the shadow market nobody wants to think about, from Holland to Italy passing through France.

Italy is actually the worst. Now it has agents dealing with Italian authors (when I tried them in the 1990s, they dealt only with foreign publishers for translation rights). And they still put vanity publishing and self-publishing together. And the only way for an indie to sell paper books without a distributor is to attend these book fairs (that are totally indie-author-unfriendly) and share the table (otherwise it’s way too expensive).

I’m really considering starting some kind of indie authors’ guild, in Italy for now, but maybe it could be a good idea to have a European Indies Association/Federation/Guild/whatever you want to call it. We could book stands at book fairs and sell our books there. I personally hate it, but I’m afraid it’s the only way on this continent where traditional publishing ignores us.

Anyway, the only writerly link is about craft this week (might be also because I’ve been doing craft workshops, LOL!): Chekhov’s Gun: using story details strategically. Now if you’d like me to elaborate on the workshops – well, I’ve been taking the Writing Series and Writing Science Fiction workshops and I highly recommend them (like all the other workshops from WMG).

I still have the sci-fi assignments to do, but I’ll do them in January, writing the stories that spawn from them. After I finish the current short, I need to go back to my spy story. I even asked a few questions to the Italian police who had a stand at the book fair! It’s slowly becoming a novel, but you won’t be able to see it until next year.

Have a great week! 🙂

 

Writer Wednesday


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! 😉

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! 😀

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! 🙂

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! 🙂 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Writer Wednesday


And it’s official that the Sci-Fi May Day bundle is on all retailers and The Path of Fire (Quests Book 2) is out! 🙂

coverSci-fi May Day bundle blurb:

From the far reaches of the unknown come these stories with space ships, aliens, new planets—and more! Take a voyage of imagination with these science fiction tales. Stories to thrill with and ponder about.

Stock up now for your spring and summer reading! 10 sci-fi novels at 7.99$

PathFireDTFThe Path of Fire blurb:

Raykim is bored. His strange looks mean nobody wants him. Sila fear him, Humans think he’s a demon, Fajrulo don’t care.
A young half-blood with blue hair and bat-like wings, pointed ears and yellow eyes, he has the power of Air and Fire. When he makes rain pour over a gladiator ring, something unexpected happens.
It’s the beginning of a new life, finding friends, moving away from his birthplace and slowly – very slowly – growing up. The quest for Keneith’s mother becomes a journey though life’s highs and lows.
Throughout the whole continent, a story of coming of age and falling in love. And dragon cubs. A Silvery Earth short novel.

I’m currently reading the sci-fi bundle, since I’m back to the Star Minds universe to write Star Minds Interregnum Volume 2. Procrastination techniques before starting as usual, but once I start a story, I usually go quite fast – circling around for a clean first draft.

Suggested posts this week: Attitude. It’s everything in writing. And please don’t be this kind of author – I’m sure there’s the female equivalent. I use a pen name and my avatar is still a drawing, but even when I post pictures of myself, it’s certainly not a model that I pass off as myself. Those are the people trying to game the system.

So, don’t run from who you are. And accept responsibility for your writing career. And here’s to killing another sacred cow of publishing: talent. Now get yourself in one of those online workshops by Dean Wesley Smith or David Farland and learn to be talented! 🙂

Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


So, Norman Blood is wrapped and out to betas/proofreader. Kaylyn is almost wrapped – second draft still in creative voice because I found more stuff to dump in and came up with a few more things and betas pointed out a couple more, so there. Second draft and almost 60K.

Then I’m taking a break from fantasy and history and heading back to the science fiction stories (well, science fantasy, since my science is really more fiction than real) with Star Minds Interregnum Volume 2 – a couple of stories inspired by the drawings of Techie Bro who is also a very good artist, but don’t tell him. Hopefully he’ll allow me to use his digital paintings as e-book covers, haha!

I’m done with Teams in Fiction and later in the year I’ll do the Science Fiction Classical workshop (for the brand new series I hope to start next year). And by the way, Essentials Workshop is now FREE on YouTube, so go and listen to it. I also recommend any of the other online workshops available, especially if you’re in a dry spot, dealing with writer’s block.

The new series? One of the SMI Vol.2 stories? Spawned from online workshop assignments. So they’re good for your muse, if you’re fighting with her. I’m not fighting with mine, but it was great having those ideas. Now I shall let everything sink in before I start applying it, LOL!

I’m still learning and honing my craft – I want to DO BETTER! Which doesn’t mean I’ll rewrite the old stories, but from now on I’ll be more careful in the physical descriptions of my characters. I never wanted my stories to be all-White, but since I discovered Writing with Color, I hope to improve my depictions of PoCs in my SFF and historical stories.

I apologize for past works. I won’t use food to describe darker skin ever again. I will learn to describe Asian eyes properly. I wasn’t aware I was insulting anyone. In my defense, English is not my first language, so I lacked the vocabulary for more diverse descriptions, so thank you for helping me expand my knowledge in that field! 🙂

Oh, and… latest marketing tip: write the next book! More books out, more discoverability! See Author Earnings presentation at RWA if you don’t believe me… So go back to writing and remember Heinlein Rules!

Have a great week and happy writing! 😀

Writer Wednesday


I’m going to be slightly telegraphic this week. Writing: one more tale of the southern kingdom written, one last to go. Then I’ll be back to the vampires through the centuries for the long weekend ahead. Jumping on a train Friday night and coming back next Wednesday – which might mean next Wednesday the post will be late, unless I manage to do it from the netbook! 😉

Publishing: one more title out, Lovers, revised version of an old comic book fanzine – revised only because Joris was an elf, and now he is a Genn, the elf-like beings of Silvery Earth! 😉 And I added a couple of things from Beautiful, since Kerrien is from Caer Nittak and he knew Kolia! 😉

And then, since I’m doing the Teams in Fiction workshop, a reminder of the available ones for the coming month:

ONLINE WORKSHOPS

Class #1… July 5th … Author Voice
Class #2… July 5th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #3… July 5th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #4… July 5th … Plotting With Depth
Class #5… July 5th … Character Development
Class #6… July 6th … Depth in Writing
Class #7… July 6th … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #8… July 6th … Cliffhangers
Class #9… July 6th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #10… July 6th … Teams in Fiction

I can vouch for Author Voice, Depth in Writing and Teams in Fiction! 🙂 Go book at least one and try it! 🙂 I shall try not to skip Friday’s post… Have a great week! 🙂

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