Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote 15K, most of which were on a new novella that may or may not spark a new series while I took a break from my futuristic story. Two days had no writing at all, but a cold kept me at home on Sunday when I was supposed to go out, so I managed to finish that story.

Half of one of the non-writing days was spent at the small and medium publishers fair here in Rome. A friend of mine had a thriller out, and I talked to the owner of Future Fiction about a project. You should check out what he does, with multi-lingual books and even comics. And if you’re curious about Italian sci-fi, he published an anthology (link to

I found this video of the world’s first artificial wombs and it made me think of my Rainbow Towns. The series in question is, of course, Future Earth Chronicles.

Tomorrow is the start of Smashwords End of the Year Sale. My books are all 50% off (except the ones that would become free, that’s just a couple of them). D2D announced the distribution to the Smashwords store, but when I enquired, they told me if would create a second profile, since I already have a Smashwords account, so I’ll just wait until the merging is final to send back the books to Smashwords.

So only some of my books are discounted until the end of the year, and only in the Smashwords store, where I’m sure you can find plenty of other deals. And if you’re only on D2D, add your books to the sale and see how it goes! πŸ™‚

That’s all for now… have a great week!


Random Friday

Warning, reader rant ahead.

So, I downloaded some samples of books from an article I read somewhere and then from the blog hop last week and in between longer readings I thought I’d give them a read, so I could decide if I wanted to buy the book or not.

I have limited reading time and a long TBR list, so reading samples before actually buying has become more of a habit lately. Except I was more than a little disappointed with certain small publishers who use up to 60% of the sample for their publisher shit.

Listen, I don’t care about all that boilerplate stuff publishers put at the front of printed books. I’m downloading an e-book sample, and you better let me read the story in that sample! Because 4 pages out of 10 (I’m simplifying, since I’m math-challenged) are not enough to hook me, and you’ve just lost a sale.

Now I almost feel sorry forΒ  the author who trusted you enough to license her book to you. Almost.

Second thing: if of a 20% sample of the whole book (is that how much Amazon lets you sample, or is it set by the publisher?), 60% is boilerplate and only 40% is story, I’m also prone to thinking this might be a short story, therefore not worth my money. Again, I’m math-challenged, so this thinking of mine might be wrong.

And then there’s those small publishers who publish only on their site or certain retailers, where 1) you need to register 2) I’m not even sure they have mobi file available. Sorry, guys. I have a Kindle. I don’t mind coming to your site, but if you’d allowed me to read the sample on Amazon, it might make things easier for me.

I already have too many accounts – as an author. I don’t want many more to be a reader. So, a couple of missed sales for you. You might not care at all, but I thought I’d let you know.

And I’m not naming names, but if you do that (put all that boilerplate stuff at the front of the ebook or not publish on Amazon at all), this is for you. Think about it. If you don’t care about those missed sales, good for you.

And to those of you who do things right, know that three of your books – for which I downloaded a sample – are now on my TBR pile and I will download them as soon as what’s already stored on K.K. goes down a little.

Now I better go back to that TBR pile, bundles of fiction and non-fiction, not to mention the paper books on my desk… I wish there were more hours in the day, but then… reading sends me to sleep, so I’d rather keep it for the evening! πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

on publishing

Michelle pointed me to a series of post by agent Sarah Polla and I’m giving you all the links here. It’s interesting because it’s an agent’s view of self-publishing – and we thought agents didn’t care! πŸ˜‰

Here goes the self-publishing/indie-publishing week at an agent’s blog:

What’s the deal with self-publishing

Interview with Marilyn Peake

Interview with Tracy Marchini

Interview with Karen Amanda Hooper

Interview with Michelle Davidson Argyle

Personally, I’ll stick to my own productions for Silvery Earth, as I don’t think any publisher (big or small) would do both novels and graphic novels – and that’s what Silvery Earth has. So I’m probably better off on my own for that.

But I can always consider other ways for other pseudonyms – even Dean Wesley Smith says we should keep feet in both worlds if we can, after all. But I’ll be able to tell you more about Dean Wesley Smith’s opinion when I get back! πŸ˜‰

So if any of you are still wondering what to do, please check all those very interesting posts… And please, please, please if you choose to self-publish, DON’T go with Publish America! I’ve just found someone on Creative Reviews who even sounds proud of it… where does he live? Ever heard of Writers Beware or Preditors&Editors? Why do writers still fall for vanity presses – in the 21st century? I wish him luck and hope he doesn’t get screwed…

On the Kindle Readers&Writers forum there’s a discussion about writers blogs and you can check your ranking on Alexa. I’m around 5million and change. Oh, well. I still delete those spam comments that tell me I rank low on Google because. Not interested, thank you. Spare me the spam comments and the spam emails – I’ll drive traffic here slowly but steadily, LOL!

You probably know by now that KDP now sends the Kindle books to, but I doubt there are many English readers in French speaking countries (in fact it will probably be as dead as, but whatever! ;-)). Please do check this wonderful article on ebooks in Europe (and why I haven’t bought a single book from Kindle yet – might change if I go through, I’d like to avoid that VAT that increases the price of Kindle books).

And Smashwords/Apple iBookstore expanded their distribution, but I tried to find my stuff on Apple Italy and couldn’t search by author (and couldn’t find any of my titles)… so maybe it’s early. Or maybe it’s just me who can’t use Apple Apps! πŸ˜‰ (I have only i-Nothing, LOL)

You can also upload your books on Indie Aisle, although I’m not sure how it works yet. It’s not free like Feed Books (i.e. you can set a price), so it’s probably very close to Smashwords – except it doesn’t distribute. Dunno, haven’t opened an account there yet, so if somebody has, please share! πŸ™‚

links and…

Back to Linky Links! First, I thought I’d share some links from Writers’ Forum that I bought in London last May.

Guidelines for a new pulp fiction publisher, based in the UK. If you think you have something for them, send it out – doesn’t have to be long, as the complete manuscripts can range from 23000 to 40000 words. Hey, it’s pulp fiction, OK? πŸ˜‰

And if you’re still willing to do competitions, here’s a list of some (all with entry fees and cash prizes):

Aeon Award (max 8000words) closesΒ 30 Sept.

Brighton COW Short Story Comp. closes 31 Aug, 30 Nov.

Flash 500 competition closes 30 Sept.

Writers of the Future Contest closes 1 Jul or 1 Oct – methink this is specific for sci-fi and fantasy, as it’s what most writers at David Farland’s forum aim for, but I might be mistaken.

Now, most of the rest might be up to two weeks old (which means ages old in Internet-Time…), but I thought I’d share them anyway.

Mickey Mills ponders about Facebook ads. I’m not sure I like ads in the first place, and certainly didn’t buy anything from an ad…

Erika Marks has a guest post on getting organized which goes nicely on Victoria Strauss thoughts on internet and procrastination – the first not strictly “writer beware” post from Lady Victoria I’d like you to look at! πŸ˜‰

Blood-red Pencil on selling a book as a tea

Agent Jessica Faust on wordcount in epub world – which was actually explained better by Dean Wesley Smith, but I can’t remember the link to that post. But there you have it, it’s confirmed by an agent.

Books&Such on promo tips for you website AND Facebook.

Dean Wesley Smith on researching fiction. He’s right. It’s fiction! It drives me crazy to see people think novels are facts – novel are by definition fiction. Based on real stuff, maybe, but still a novel.Β  That’s why as soon as I finish a first draft of facts for my historical novel, I’ll have to go back and add the fiction to make it more real! πŸ™‚

You probably heard also about Mrs Rowlings self-publishing… Dean Wesley Smith’s predictions, Passive Guy’s comments… and Joe Konrath, of course! πŸ™‚

Two more links: Joe Konrath on your second storefront and Passive guy on writing for Harlequin

Have a great weekend!

Saturday links and comments

Another week is already gone! Isn’t time flying? Mid-January already and I feel like I’m waaaay behind my self-imposed schedule. Sigh. I have to limit blog reading to once a week, or I wouldn’t have time to read anything else. So here’s what I found this week in Blogland.

Michelle’s series about small publishers is worth a reading and a thought. Even if I don’t think a small publisher would take on my fantasy stories, I might consider them for the sci-fi romance or other titles NOT based in Silvery Earth (I do have a couple of futuristic worlds, although I’m afraid my sci-fi is very “fi” and not enough “sci”…). Please check part 1, part 2, part 3,Β  part 4, part 5, with interviews to small publishers, authors and whatnot.

A reminder: Emily White has a thing called Goober Writers Anonymous (see that badge on my sidebar?) and she’s still looking for more submissions. Check her desperate call for entries and join the club. I might send her another post myself as soon as I stumble in self-publishing! πŸ˜‰

Blood Red Pencil suggests a change of course for 2011… which is what I wanted to do before reading the post! Step out of your comfort zone! Dare to be bad! Or excellent! You don’t know until you try… πŸ˜‰

Clarion Foundation gives their blog preview for the year to come. If you write genre, you should check them (if you don’t already), their posts are always very informative for world-creation and other interesting stuff.

A horror story of an author and Hollywood here. One more reason to be happy to have given up screenwriting, but also a cautionary tale for a fantasy writer who has created her own world…

And finally Agent Jessica Faust on NANO and what’s next! As I’m not a fan of NaNoWriMo, I’m totally behind her with that! πŸ˜‰

Have a great writing weekend!

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