Writer Wednesday


Aaand… UPB has a new tagline, with special thanks to webmaster and illustrator Silvano Beltramo! Stay tuned for more changes on the publisher’s page

I might have to renew some of my own things soon, since the other day Open Office crashed without saving the few paragraphs of the new story… so I’m eyeing Netbooks, since they seem to be around again. When Techie Bro’s Netbook (a.k.a. the Writing Computer) broke, I was left without and after the other day I had gone back to write longhand for Draft Zero! I was so mad at the darn Laptop!

Still have to think if I want to move on to Windows 10 or get a Netbook with Ubuntu like Techie Bro’s. We’ll see. Might be an investment for next year. Just another thing to do on the To Do list, haha! But it’s not a “should” it’s a “want to” do thing, since it’s for the Writer.

Because yes, we need to have two hats. And I’m putting the publisher’s hat a little aside next year, because I want to write and find other income sources that don’t depend on me selling or not selling my writing. So, more submissions to traditional mags of short stories, and less of that darn publishing stuff.

Of course I’ll keep putting the works out, since it’s the only way to be discovered, but maybe at a less daunting pace (twice a month is a lot, even for a prolific writer like me). I’m going to try pre-orders in a different way from what I’ve done now, I’m going to try that branding thing with future titles and I’m going to keep experimenting and see what works for me.

And I must talk about bundles again because, guess what? SALES SALES SALES! πŸ™‚

Da vampires bundle is discounted from tomorrow to Cyber Monday, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. And First Glimpse of Secondary Worlds is discounted until the end of the month, when it will be gone forever. So last chances to have a taste of 12 different fantasy worlds from 11 awesome authors and yours truly.

And in case you missed it, on the KWL blog I explain how to be a curator at BundleRabbit. Now I’m going to spend the weekend with online workshops so I can move on with my learning and write the next story! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

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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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜€

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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Sorry I skipped the Random Friday, but it was a weekend full of excerpts! Hope you enjoyed them and headed to get the bundle from your favorite retailer. It was great sharing the blog with all those great authors. One more author interview to come, then moving on.

Last chance to get Shashank at 4.99$. Tomorrow the price will go up. I also uploaded a Star Minds sampler at 99c for whoever doesn’t know my science fantasy saga and would like a taste of it. The taste is clean, but asΒ  stated at the end of the sample, some books are adult only. Since they’re standalone, you won’t miss much if you skip a story or a couple of books (namely, read only book 1 of the Trilogy if you want clean stuff and skip one story in Star Minds Snippets).

Unfortunately i-Users won’t be able to try the lovely D2D template I used for this latest ebook, since Apple doesn’t allow “samplers”, “teasers” or other such things, even though they include complete books. So you better grab your e-pub elsewhere! πŸ˜‰

On all the books at the publisher’s page you will see only one link to the ebooks. That’s because I spent a good part of Sunday and Monday activating the universal links at Books2Read – they’re even geotagged (in fact I deleted all my Booklinker links and won’t be using that account anymore)!

If you want help in setting this useful thingy up, here’s an how to post. Like they say in the FAQs for authors, you should get one even if your enrolled in KU, since the link is geotagged so you don’t need to give all the Amazon stores links or go to bit.ly or other services. Get them even if you don’t have a Draft2Digital account – my vampires books are not on Draft2Digital because only Smashwords allows assetless pre-orders, so I imported them into B2R with the Smashwords link.

Some smaller places would probably have to be added by hand, like DriveThruFiction or (for my Italian titles) Feltrinelli. But there are already 28 stores supported, I’m sure they’ll add more. For example now I have even the WHSmith links on some books, although I admit I have no idea which distributor sends to them! πŸ˜‰ I even have some books at Angus&Robertson Selling Books to Australians Since 1886! πŸ˜€

With all this publishing stuff and housekeeping, I’m not writing much, but I intend to catch up next week when I go back to DayJob, LOL! My newsletter went out last week (someone reading this blog hasn’t opened it yet, please check it out, thank you) and already I’m changing my mind on some things.

I mentioned I intended to publish Da Strip, but I won’t, because it’s too personal and funny only for me. So I’ll find something else to fill the pages of my mag. I do want to draw more, but I still have to think about what I’m going to do. I’m definitely slowing down the publishing to concentrate on writing next year.

It will be my 40th anniversary after all! Been married to Mr Writing since the summer of 1978, to the dismay of the prospective boyfriends who had no idea of what was going on, haha! So next year I plan to write more, publish less and read more, since I have all those bundles to catch up on.

Speaking of bundles, this one is going to be fun – starting from the title. Funny by Design will come out on the 13th, but it’s already available for pre-orders at the usual suspects. And look at the company again! So, short summary of the latest bundles (out in November only):

Mythic Tales

Cats Cats Cats

Funny by Design.

The first two both include my book Beautiful, Funny by Design has Pat&Babs, the third and for now last body switch.

Oh, and Axelle, Wanderer is available both in ebook and paperback! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Happiness is…


Writer Wednesday


And October is gone too, can you believe it?Β  I wrote almost 24K words and all the stories planned for the month. Onward to the next task – two more shorter works to submit to anthologies, a redraft of a novel with sequel and two more stories that can be done in December as well. And I’ll be more or less done for the year, unless I get to work on another novel in December.

I’m slowing down production not because I’m depressed or anything, but because it takes me more time to add all the stuff I learned in the online workshops in the first draft. Sometimes I procrastinate starting because I can’t find an opening with depth. To which I end up saying, “To hell with depth, let’s get into the story, I can always add depth later, cycling back!”

Next year I’ll be celebrating 40 years of writing and it’s still fun and entertaining and everything. But I won’t lie to you. I am currently depressed by the state of publishing. I’m tired of trying to keep up with trends, marketing, retailers and social media who keep updating and upgrading while I’m slowly trying to catch up. Things are changing too fast, so I’ll slow down the publishing until things settle down a little.

Which means I may keep for myself some of the writing I’ll do next year, or maybe not. I do have quite a few projects lined up, maybe I’ll just write them all and then take a month off to publish them all! πŸ˜‰ We’ll see. There’s still a couple of months to go, right?

So, yeah, more changes a-coming. Necessary evil, I’m afraid. I’m depressed, but not while writing. If you are writing under the influence of depression, though, check this advice. I found no support in writers groups, but maybe the offline people were more a critique group than a support group – I was the only one prolific and indie and all that stuff.

A story of piracy to circulate between authors and readers alike. It’s not that I don’t want to give away free books, but like this author, I’d like to make a living. Now, I’m not as successful as this young lady here (I don’t write YA, which is probably the most pirated genre of publishin), but I hear her pain and bow to her initiative that proved her point.

Creations, even in the digital age, should earn some money to their creators or soon you won’t have any content to download anymore. I do receive alerts of pirate sites with my books, I don’t do anything about them, but that’s also part of my publishing depression. Why keep publishing if they don’t sell because of piracy or undiscoverability? I may as well keep writing for myself like I did for 33 years…

And in my publishing depression I try to decompress with funny stuff. I’m working on the paperback of Da Strip. I’m watching comedies on DVD. I try to read funny stuff (maybe it’s time to get back to those paper books on my desk… I believe I have one that is funny).

I’m not really writing funny stuff yet, since that’s not the point. Depression has not affected my writing or creativity, but is hitting hard on the publishing life. I don’t have Impostor Syndrome and I don’t feel a special snowflake, and I do know the rules or I wouldn’t know how to break them.

I guess I will have to ponder about the branding thing. I know I’m the brand but I still can’t see my name that big on the cover – I love my cover art too much (mostly because it’s paid commissions, not cheap photoshopping of stock images, LOL!).

Besides, rebranding the 70 or so Silvery Earth books is too daunting. And those are the ones with the smaller author name on the cover. Sigh. Last but not least, the November bundles! Mythic Tales is out today and Cats Cats Cats will come out on Friday. I am determined to change subject on Fridays for the month of November, so I’m telling you now! πŸ™‚ Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


This month’s writing is almost done, except one last story that should pour out within the week. Then I may write something in the same “universe” to submit somewhere – I’m currently reading the previous anthology to get a feel of what they’re looking for and I’m mostly having a blast. Ideas churn in my head with each new story – I know the where and when of mine, but the story is still nebulous.

These last 2-3 stories are shorter works, but in November I’ll get back to longer works. I have deadlines for submissions, so I’m doing those first. Did you read about Dean’s latest challenge – write his age? I could do it this year, I’d have to write/publish one story a week, but two months have already gone by since my 52nd birthday, LOL! I still need to reach my goal of half-pulp-speed (500K a year) and I probably won’t reach it this year either, so I’d rather skip this challenge… which will make it more worthwile whenever I decide to actually do it (when I’m 55? 60? We’ll see…).

Anyhow… next week I’ll be off DayJob, so I’m already putting up some kind of schedule. I’ll have to work on more PODs, even though CreateSpace is closing down its shop. Might be a good time to try KDP print. At the same time, Amazon seems to be less and less author-friendly. Which is a good reason for not having all the eggs in that basket.

This very interesting analysis that tells a tale of two marketing systems also got me pondering. I supposedly should use the Wide Tortoise method, although I’m using neither right now. I’m giving up on the marketing weekends again after reading of Facebook’s new policy in Pages newsfeeds. They keep offering me to boost my posts, but there must be some other way to reach fans! 😦

I don’t know, I also have to sign up for Pronoun and possibly other sites, so… one thing at the time! πŸ˜‰ I also should add a “clean fantasy” label so my newer books. Gone are the times of those “Adults only” titles on both Star Minds and Silvery Earth. I called them ACE-friendly, but maybe, at least for Silvery Earth, it’s just clean fantasy.

But then I should change the publisher’s byline that it’s “books for adults with a youthful mind”! πŸ˜‰ I mean, I’m an adult and I don’t really need to read about sex in every book. I also wrote all the violence I could think of out of my system. Mmm. I guess I’ll have to ponder and make a more generic byline “books for everyone”? Not really. “Books and stories” too bland?

Lot to ponder. Of course authors can’t make a living from books anymore, they never could, unless they were bestsellers. It’s even worse in traditional publishing, but even indies… most don’t thrive, including yours truly. But if you’re one of the lucky ones, you might find Trackerbox useful for your earnings. Here’s an interview with the creator, who has a kickstarter going for the Mac version.

I still go with Excel sheets and paper notebooks, but I’m not really thriving yet. Anyhow, if you want advice on self-editing your novel or five stages to revise it, there you go. And some habits of the world’s most successful writers. And a reminder that I have a few bundles out or coming soon… stay tuned for more!

Oh, and if you write mystery or romance, Hallmark is now accepting novels. I write neither, unfortunately, so go for it! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wendesday


And there’s a new bundle out with Technological Angel it it! This is all of cyborgs and machines and all that stuff, in fact it’s called Cyborg City! So if you’re all for sci-fi, go grab it at BundleRabbit which has also the links to the other retailers… it’s only 4$ for 12 novels!

Coming next is also Vampires of the World, which is already available for pre-order, plus a couple more not curated by me. Lots and lots of bundles this year! πŸ™‚ I will definitely finish the ones I got from StoryBundle in 2015 then I can start (or finish) reading the ones I’m part of! πŸ˜‰

For next weekend only, Honorable Assassins will be at 99c. The paperback will be available some time next week – I had to redo the cover and order another proof. Sorry about that… Let’s pretend I have the hardcover, while we’re at it! πŸ™‚

I also updated the pre-order documents for Shashank the Fledgling. I have added not one, but two bonus stories! The second is really short and I wouldn’t know where else to put it, so I added it to the ebook and the paperback.Not really bonus-stuffing here, at least the paperback (and the ebook, or course) is richer. I ordered a proof to see how it comes out, along with the revised version of Honorable Assassins.

Unfortunately it’s been a bad month for writing: only 22K for those two stories and some adjustments to other works. Maybe I should retake the novel challenge, LOL! Now I’m writing those final stories for the Fall of the Southern Kingdoms and then I’ll move on to the next project – a rewrite with sequel, then I will really stop recycling old stuff! πŸ˜‰

I also have to write three more stories, two from the current online workshop and one for some open call project with specific themes – there’s is more than one, but I’m afraid I can write only one of those three! πŸ˜‰ And the workshop’s not over, I might have to write another opening, so that’s another story I’m sure I’ll have to write… not to mention the opening of past workshops I didn’t have time to finish yet!

Tips for authors using social media on KWL blog. And a Kickstarter for Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, that will feature also yours truly sometimes next year! πŸ™‚

About telling a story vs. writing a story. I probably mentioned it before, but I’m a storyteller, not a wordsmith. I want to tell stories not spend days on writing down the right sentence of finding a brand new metaphor. I call that purple prose and I skim it when I see it! πŸ˜‰

I tried to read a Jack Reacher book, but I’m not too fond of first person narration, so it has gone in the backburner. I have enough reading to do before getting to that! πŸ˜€

One last thing: if you aren’t on Draft2Digital yet, you can join through referral now. They distribute to the usual suspects, have ebook templates (that I still have to try…) and now even allow audio! What’s not to love? They’re even better and faster that Smashwords whenever I had a problem… So, what are you waiting for? If you’re indie, join Draft2Digital! πŸ™‚

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Sunday Surprise


Happy Blogoversary!

Here’s to another eight years! I have definitely changed since those first posts back in 2009… and the world has changed with me, LOL!

Followers came and went and I salute you all who stuck with me. Thank you! Even if you just lurk and/or like the posts without commenting – at least I know I’m not writing to an audience of one (me)! Well, two, me and Tori, LOL!

A very special thanks to Shafali, Joleene and Tori who are the most active commenters to this day, especially Tori. Thank you for being there, especially Shafali and Joleene who seem to have been there forever (or at least from the beginning)! πŸ™‚

And for those of you who are new and may have never tried any of my books, here’s the chance to win one. In the comments of this post and this post only leave your preferred ebook format, and if you have a title or a genre that you prefer, add that one too. The full list is here.

One lucky winner will get the ebook of their choice! πŸ™‚ Feel free to share the post, but remember, only comments on this post (not on Facebook, not on Goodreads) will be entered…

Thank you and have a great Sunday! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ˜‰ 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… πŸ˜‰ Or maybe they’ll read it on my Facebook feed, who knows… πŸ˜€

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! πŸ™‚

“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! πŸ˜‰ 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!”… πŸ˜‰

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? πŸ˜‰ Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Happiness is…


It was followed by another in 2015. I should probably submit again… πŸ˜‰

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