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!

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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! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


charioteer-of-buddha_resizeSo, Kaylyn is done and going out to betas… They should get back to me by June, so in July I have time to revise and in August I can go to the London public libraries if I need to fact-check something! I already booked the editor for September, when I’ll set up the pre-order button on Amazon with a temporary manuscript. The other pre-order button will be set up as soon as I have the cover.

As for Charioteer of Buddha, I’m giving it away for free with the next newsletter, so if you haven’t subscribed yet, do it now. I will put the coupon for a free download from Smashwords in the newsletter. The newsletter will go out May 2, so you’ll be immediately able to claim the e-book. If you’d like to support me instead, pre-order it now for 2.99$. The price will go up to 4.99$ by Friday 5.

I keep thinking the online workshop is going badly, and then it’s not. If you’d like another point of view on WMG Publishing workshops watch this testimonial. I bow to an author who is not camera-shy like me. And I may be biased with these workshops, since when I grow up I want to be like Dean and Kris! 😉 (as if I were a youngster still, LOL!)

Anyhow, this workshop will be percolating in me for the next few months, like the others did. I shall work on this week assignment this afternoon, since until yesterday I was busy finishing a new Amazons story that sprang to mind when I thought about me and Da Muse – so there you have it, an Amazon painter and her muse, haha! Wait until next month and you’ll be able to read it!

TodayPeople_resizeAnd another title is out, a collection of all the contemporary stories I’ve written so far, both with the discarded pen name and the main one. Today People will come out in print as soon as I get the proof and check the interior (I already know I screwed the cover, LOL!) – which should happen today, thus I won’t start on a new story until tomorrow.

So making plans for the next month: back to Silvery Earth both to complete the Tales of the Northern Kingdom and to tell more stories of Amazons and Varian Emperors – which means a time gap in the history of about six centuries between Kingmakers and the fall of the Varian Empire. Sometimes it’s like writing historical novels, you have to check you’re not contraddicting yourself with something you wrote in another story! 😉

Also, coming soon and unmissable sci-fi bundle. Subscribe now to be notified when it will go live – but I’ll make sure to remind you it is, since I’m in it! 🙂 Limited time offer with nine other wonderful sci-fi authors… go grab it on May 1st! 🙂

And that’s all for now… I think you’ll have an Art Friday, so stay tuned! 😀 Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


SMInterregnumDTFWaiting for the final proofs from Createspace, then I guess those two titles will go live and appear on Amazon and other retailers soon. And there’s a new ebook out, Star Minds Interregnum, with cover of Mighty Marvelous Maurizio Manzieri. Working on the POD version of that one and Rajveer.

Week 2 of my online workshops and busy translating S.E.T.H. (included in Star Minds Next Generation Diaries) in Italian for a website, hoping to spread the name in my home country as well.

Inking SKYBAND 15. And already itching for going back to writing. I must be addicted! 😉 Or I look forward to applying what I’m learning at the craft workshop! 😀

Will probably start something new soon – but unfortunately the mornings at DayJob are not available anymore, so I’m left with squeezing everything in the afternoons. Will prove that I can find the time to write even when I can’t do the other things in the mornings! 😀

My wordcount has been very low the past two weeks, but I’m sure it will go up again as soon as I start the next story. Found a new beta and hopefully she’ll help me make things better… And of course keep going back to the faithful offline beta, hoping one day I can introduce you to her writing (if she gets out of useless rewriting hell)! 🙂

New Author Earning Report. I still can’t leave the DayJob, but well… eventually! I’m not touching the old stuff and putting out new stuff and keep learning the craft – even though I thought I knew it all! 😉 I’ll probably keep publishing some old stories, but also writing new ones. I’m in the mood for experimenting again, thank God! 😀

Not much else going on… back to doing my assignments and inking and formatting PODs… If you feel so inclined, go to vote your favorite authors at this Readers Choice Awards. Have a great week!

 

Writer Wednesday


So, I spent the weekend in Turin, meeting friends and – hear this! – buying a domain for Unicorn Productions! It’s not active yet, but I’m working on it with my webmaster. Sometime later this year I’ll be able to take a few things off this blog, close the Wix site for B.G. Hope and have everything in one place. Like a publisher. Because I’m a micro-publisher, it’s high time I have a real (static) web page!

Do not worry, blog follower, this blog won’t close down. The publisher page is for new releases and the newsletter and everything related to my published titles. This is still my private blog with random musings on everything and nothing. And there’s the (almost dead) Italian blog as well.  So I will still delight you with these useless posts for a few more years – until I have fun doing it, that is! 😉

Since there was much commuting time (by train) and a few dead time, I used it to write. I finished another Silvery Earth novella (and you who are waiting to beta-reading it, have patience, I’m going through it one last time, I will probably send it next weekend instead of the last as I had promised!) and started on the new SMNG story about Astrid and David.

Which brought the third rewrite to another story that I must re-read this weekend to send it off to the editor on Monday – so busy weekend of editing two stories for April publication. And checking those Silvery Earth stories as well, to send them out to betas. And writing Astrid & David. And… I love this job. The writing part, I mean.

Writerly links: a simple way to create suspense and the importance of routines. And don’t forget you never stop learning. Take an online writing course if you can’t afford a trip to anywhere (Utah, Oregon). Don’t think you don’t need it because you only have high concept ideas – if you never sit down to write those high concept stories, when you do, you’ll find out your writing muscle has atrophied.

Have a great week! 🙂

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