Writer Wednesday


Last week was an all-time low for wordcount, but the yearly wordcount is 330K. I spent the first half of the week revising Torik’s story and the second half drawing those strips of his childhood, so no new words were written from Thursday to Sunday.

It gave me time to decide a couple of things (like adding strips to the strip, and then I’ll have to put them in the right ordere whenever I do the paperback, LOL!) and prepare for the next novel, with a timeline and traveling traced on the map like for Torik’s story.

I also opened an account for Silvery Earth Kids on Instagram, although currently there’s more stuff on DeviantART. But since I plan to release it at the end of the year, I will trickle posts on there while I work on the strip. I’ll post finished strips and WiP possibly every other day…

Hopefully when I release the paperback there will be a few new fans. For Pinterest, I’ll open the account after the summer when I’ll redo a few covers and clean up my back list (but I’ll need a lot more energy than what I have now!).

If you’ve been following Kris Rusch’s posts on licensing or how to rethink a writing business, you might have seen in the comments that there will be another licensing expo in London in October. Since I won’t be able to take that unpaid leave, I won’t go, but hopefully next year I can plan to go there (since I’m already going to Vegas in February/March and London is only slightly closer for me, haha!).

Now that I know those things exist, I will keep an eye on them. This year is already all booked, though, so let’s just look forward to the next! 😉 Now counting the days to 20BooksEdinburgh – and the non-writerly things I’ll do, like axe-throwing! Ghost tours! And mingle with other authors, since it’s also a writing retreat! 😉

One more week and I’ll be off… Now I better go back to writing so I can wrap that novel in Edinburgh! Have a great week! 🙂

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Writer Wednesday


I’m wrapping up Torik’s stories and hope to write a short story this week before moving to the sequel/other-side-of-the-story The Path of Metal, that I will probably finish in Edinburgh (unless I’m really quick and write a short novel in a week and a half, but I don’t think I’m that fast, LOL!).

Looking for a conclusion also for the strip, so I can prepare the books. Going back to my notes on the middle ages, the drawings of the strip are definitely fantasy! 😉 At this time the northern kingdoms should be approximately Vikings, but that’s not how I dressed Torik in Silvery Earth Kids (or the other Humans, for that matter). Oh, well, it’s not Earth and it’s not historical, so who cares? 😉

Aaand we have another Star Minds Lone Wolves Team volume! Kudos to my Australian Kobo user who managed to get it before it was published! The glitch in the KWL dashboard lasted at least until Monday (then I stopped checking, cause I really don’t care)… I considered reporting it, but it doesn’t really matter! 😀

And hey, the whole series is science fantasy, see this lovely article on cross-genre books? I write all over the place, but definitely for

The Fantasy anchored reader: This reader is looking for a way out of real-life, wanting nothing more than to escape in a world where nothing is impossible: supernatural creatures, life on other planets, worlds hidden in plain sight.

Oh, and it’s my turn on the Infinite Bard! Go check that story on how Alain became a vampire, in case you missed Nightly Bites volume 2! Well, it’s also at the end of Kristine the Youngest… so if you want a taste of Vampires Through the Centuries that now crosses over with Future Earth Chronicles… go check that story! 🙂

If you need help in ditching MailChimp for MailerLite, head over to David Gaughran. I’m in no hurry to restart a newsletter since it had no organic growth while this blog does, so… welcome new readers! This is Writer Wednesday where I ramble about my writing and the publishing industry! I even modified the blog header or something to make it look more professional! 😀

I also promise to resume the Backstage Pass Sunday posts on the publisher’s page in September… but currently I’m melting on this side of the world and barely have the energy to sit at the keyboard and ramble twice a week. Hopefully in September I’ll be able to resume that other schedule.

Because yeah, I probably need a more lively static page with all my books, since my readers don’t seem to be here. Except I don’t know about engagement. And I hate ending my posts with questions. They don’t make me want to answer, so I don’t do what I wouldn’t react to.

Would you like me to ask you questions about the blog post? Please, be like Tori, who comments without being prompted, thank you! *Hugs, Tori!*

I hope to get to reading some non-fiction about the business of writing soon, but things like Amazon Decoded and Author Branding currently make my brain even mushier. Maybe I better wait for September for that too. I’m planning to re-educate myself from then on, so…

For now I’ll just go back to writing. And researching. And drawing. Have a great week! 🙂

 

 

Writer Wednesday


I wanted to make an Random Friday post, but since most of this stuff is writing-related, I might as well do it here. I’ve been checking articles on the Innovation Center site of DayJob and found a few things that might interest writers in the future.

First I read their report on AI and how it will disrupt jobs in the coming years (including mine, yay! I’ll be free to move away from this country and start my micro-publishing venture elsewhere!). That report was generic, mentioning how white collars would lose jobs in finance, insurance, law and medical diagnosis, but Joanna Penn is talking about how AI will disrupt authors, so that’s more specific! 😉

The report mentioned how children of today might have to change seven jobs during their lifetime, five of which haven’t been invented yet. Consider this is very traumatic for Italians who looooove their steady job that gives them a pension. Personally, I look forward to be laid off or quit and start a new career from scratch. Scary, but also exciting.

There was an article on quantum computers and a comment gave me an idea for a sci-fi story, or at least a spark, l’ll have to ponder what the story will actually be, it’s just a premise for now.

Then there were links to articles I found interesting (mostly because they allow me to forego opening an Instagram account, although I’m still on the fence for Pinterest). Forget Instagram, Amazon is the Influencer Platform of the future. Now, how do I get to an influencer who might like my books and help me promote them? That is the question, isn’t it? 😉

And speaking of new jobs, the next gig economy will be on-demand knowledge. That’s as cool as it sounds, although I have no idea of what kind of wisdom I’ll be able to impart, but that’s another story! 😉 I’ll keep an eye on other innovations and keep you posted if I see something that might interest writers.

And then, there’s this awesome post by Kris Rusch on how we should rethink the whole writing business (part one). I’m not yet following the workshop about the Licensing Expo because I’m not ready, but eventually, I will.

So yeah, the future looks bright if I can get rid of the current chains. I’ll also get some input at 20BooksEdinburg, surely, but I won’t attend another business masterclass until I’m ready to actually set up that micro publisher. And I’m signed up for the Anthology Workshop, so here’s to selling a few short stories between now and whenever I can finally take off as a writing business.

In the meantime I’ll finish publishing the Lone Wolves Team stories and the last Lone Wolves short novel, which will take us to Worldcon – my last Worldcon for a while – and I will probably publish The Path of Wood, The Path of Metal and The Path of Dreams (a.k.a. Silvery Earth Kids prose) and the strip Silvery Earth Kids for the Holidays. Mighty editor is busy until mid-October and I have to try something with the much neglected Italian market before the end of the year.

If you want to catch up with what’s already out there, here’s the list of my titles discounted at Smashwords. Also, a new anthology is out, and the theme is MOLES! And stories are not  just about the cute little animals, although that’s the mole I’m talking about. And yes, the Silvery Earth Kids strips debuts there in black&white, so if you want a sneak peek, go get it now! 🙂 There’s even the paperback if you’re a fan of print! 😀 Have a great week!

Random Friday


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, writers’ quotes, anything to ponder in a cool place away from the heat… Have a great weekend! 🙂

Listen, here’s what I usually tell authors: you can, with some earnestness and enthusiasm, maybe sell a few books. Maybe you can even sell tens or hundreds of your book. And that’s not nothing. Every sale of your book is a pebble thrown into a pond, and a pebble thrown into a pond creates ripples that may reach the shore. Meaning, even one person who reads and loves your book might share their love of that book with others — and if they love it, they share it, and on and on. A CHAIN OF LOVE. Like an orgy, but slower!

(…)

Obviously, yes, you should talk about your book.

You should share it.

You should be ready to commit to interviews and podcasts and exploring ways to get the word out. And your publisher should be your guide through that. If they’re not, you should be self-publishing because what’s the point?

Beyond that the solution to all of of this is the solution to many a writer’s woes:

Write the next book.

Always, always, always write the next book

Writers write, and you’re a writer.

So go write, writer.

Go write.

Chuck Wendig

 

The idea that you can only get ahead by cheating is especially pernicious because it creates more cheaters. It’s like that old cliché about the underworld where you can only join the inner circle after your first kill. You have skin in the game now, and it’s attached to your own ass.

However, it’s a lie.

While competition is greater now, the tools we have to reach readers have improved immeasurably: Kindle Countdown Deals, reader magnets, BookBub CPM ads, permafree, Facebook Carousel ads, cross-promo, RobinReads, free runs (now gold again in KU btw), Kobo promos, BookFunnel, iBooks First Free in a Series, BookBarbarian, merchandizing opportunities, mailing list automation – this is just a tiny sample of the powerful options we have at our disposal today.

When you put them together, it’s a heady mix. Incredible marketing campaigns that catapult books into the charts, bringing in thousands of dollars a month, or even tens of thousands of dollars a month. And all cleanly.

If all that sounds too hard, you’re just going to have to pull on your big boy pants and get stuck in. No one owes you a chart position, a readership, or a living. You have to build it yourself. Okay, sometimes you do work hard and don’t get the reward you deserve. That sucks, but that’s life. You must persevere.

David Gaughran

No matter if you’re extremely successful as an indie author or just starting out, all of us will need to adapt and change. Maybe Amazon will change KNEP again or another service will rise up while others go extinct (I see your days numbered, Nook). We have virtual reality, augmented reality and who know what other “reality” is coming down the pike. Change will continue to happen and disrupters (like the Amazons of the world) will continue to affect the publishing industry.

The challenge for us as authors is to hold two incongruent ideas in our mind at the same time: We need to be as creative and inspiring as we can with our fiction but also need to understand marketing and its implementation in the real world.
Ron Vitale

So: how often should you publish?

The answer is: as often as you can while maintaining quality and avoiding burnout. This is going to be different for each writer, but if you try to push yourself too hard and put out books before they’re ready, you will lose readers. If you push yourself too hard and get burnt out, you harm yourself. If you don’t publish books and don’t advertise, you will lose your readers, so there is a balance in between publishing frequently and getting smart with advertising. Unless you sell so much that you can employ someone to advertise for you, you will probably have to choose between either of those activities. You can either spend a lot of time writing, and not that much advertising, or you can devote more energy to marketing and less time writing.

Somewhere in that equation, there is a balance that everyone needs to find for themselves.

Patty Jansen

1. Write every single day, with or without inspiration

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”

-Stephen King, On Writing

Writing needs to be your breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between snack. You need to be writing in every spare moment in your life. When you aren’t reading, you need to be writing. Most writers pace the hallways or the four walls of life, waiting for a single moment of inspiration to hit them into their chair behind the computer and create a bestseller. It will not happen. Inspiration will come, but you have to pave the pathway with hundreds and thousands of words to earn that vital inspiration, to make that bestseller. If you do not practice, you do not learn. The more you write, the easier it will become. The more you write, the closer success will be.

Justin Osborn

Writer Wednesday


So, diving into Torik’s story, and it turns out he can’t be really a dragon rider, LOL! Anyhow, the Path of Dreams is taking shape, 11 or 12K in I’m just starting to tell Torik’s journey.

I still don’t know how I could pull it off, though. Possibly putting Childhood (i.e. Silvery Earth Kids prose version) as prequel at the end of the book. Since I’m in no hurry to publish this (or the strip Silvery Earth Kids), I’m just going to take my time with it.

I did publish another Star Minds Lone Wolves Team mission booklet, though. I would like to thank the Australian Kobo user who is buying them all, if only for you I’ll try to publish them on time! 🙂

And even if I stayed at home this weekend, my brain was too mushy to actually do some programming. I didn’t even correct the Rogue manuscript! 😦 But it’s for August, so plenty of time for that. Will work on it this week or the coming weekend.

I started putting the lettering on the Silvery Earth Kids strip, though. I plan on doing a paperback proof at the end of the summer, with Lulu because I don’t want to send it live. It will help catch typos and uncolored parts and other weird mistakes.

Also, a preview of a few strips in B&W is coming soon, but I’m not at liberty to discuss that project yet. It will be available also as e-book, but I’d get the paperback if I were you! 😉 I don’t think print books are going away anyway… especially children’s books, as you can see from the following.

And speaking of an everchanging world and my decision to step back a little, please read this long but worthy post on the sale of Barnes&Noble and what it means for writers. And I know it’s a long post, but try to read the comments too.

I still hope to be able to quit the damn day job soon, set up a micropublisher and sell from my own website. Hopefully by then they’ll have invented something that allows writers and readers to meet without the retail giants. Some app or other tricky tech device.

You youngsters, please invent something for us old geezers! 🙂 Technology is changing so quickly we don’t know what will be available next month or next year. I’ve been reading a report on AI and the future of work, and how technology moves so fast that in 5 years we’ll need to relearn everything.

I miss the world that no longer exists, but I should stop living in the past and try to adjust to the future – it’s already here. Except I’m no longer young and catching up is hard. But slowly and steadily I can adapt to change. I was already thinking of re-educating myself! 😉

I live in an overly complicated country full of burocracy, hence I’m dreaming of moving to a simpler way of life. Like moving to a country with co-housing or that Irish island with high internet speed.

Change is good but scary. And it happens whether we want it or not. So we might as well brace up and ride the storm. We can get through this.  Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Last week I came to a grinding halt with Legends of the Moren Empire Volume 2. I don’t like it, I don’t think I can fix it, and I don’t want to work on it anymore. So the rest of the week I worked on Silvery Earth Kids – the prose version and a few more strips – reaching 9400words.

This is the last week I’m giving out wordcount, though. I have reached almost 280K already, and I proved to myself and the world that I can write 500K a year if I put my mind to it, so I’ll keep count for myself from now on. I’m also thinking of scheduling pre-orders for all the Lone Wolves titles, so I can shut down my brain for the summer.

And after the summer, we’ll see. I might try to break into the Italian market, and let the English market be for some time. Or maybe I’ll tend the garden of the English titles (close to 200 anyway), especially after 20BooksEdinburgh. I can’t really think right now, because the heat is really killing me, so I’m in survival mode! 😉

I spent most of the weekend reading and napping, although I did finish coloring the strip and drew a couple more. I’m not done yet and I might use some of the prose version as flashbacks in Torik’s novel, which I’m starting this week. I already wrote a short story about the bully of the strip, and now I want to follow Torik and Copperscales – twelve years after Silvery Earth Kids (which means, basically, that Torik is now an adult, but Copperscales is still a baby Fajrulo!).

I wanted to do another couple of curated anthologies, but I probably won’t have the strength, not even for a third Sci-Fi July bundle. But another anthology (not curated by me) should come out this summer, so you can still fill you summer reading if you feel so inclined! 😀

And it’s Infinite Bard day! Hop off to check the newest story by the awesome Debbie Mumford! Mine will be up in July, so that’s another free read for your summer! 😉 Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Last week I started Legends of the Moren Empire volume 2 and wrote almost 12k – but again, I have a very detailed outline that is the Italian version in a previous version with the usual fantasy elves and dragons that need to be turned into the new Silvery Earth. I’m also proud to announce that 5 months in I already reached half my goal, 250K (reminder to newcomers – I plan on writing another 500K this year).

A friend posted this article about the real reason fans hate the end of GoT which made me realize that I write that kind of fantasy. An editor of the first couple of years even said my writing reminded her of George R.R. Martin (that’s why I bought Game of Thrones, but it’s still on my desk, TBR, since 2008 or something).

So, I write sociological fantasy on a secondary world. I don’t kill of my main characters in every book, since mine can be read as standalone, but I do change protagonist with every story. Yes, sometimes they’re related, but sometimes they’re not. I’m still filling the holes in the history of the world. The world itself is the series, not the characters.

So it doesn’t really matter from where you enter Silvery Earth, just start exploring… that’s why I have both a chronology and a more segmented list – like, if you want only certain kinds of stories, you can get just those and won’t miss much. It’s definitely an unusual series, with a lot of books, but then, it doesn’t matter at which point you come in. The other series are better appreciated in order (although the only series with numbered books is Future Earth Chronicles).

And we got paperbacks a go-go! The five Future Earth Chronicles (with alternating interior paper cream/white/cream/white/cream), the Vampires Through the Centuries Novellas and Male Lovers of Silvery Earth Volume 3. I even got my copy of Pulphouse #5 and it’s awesome! 🙂

And there’s a new story out at The Infinite Bard! Check what readers have to say about the first four and go read for yourself! 🙂 Read the latest story at The Infinite Bard! 🙂 Have a great week! 😀

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote almost 14K, wrapping the Lone Wolves and even writing the two short stories I need to submit for anthos. I already submitted them too. And I wrote a third that will possibly work for another antho, but I haven’t sent it to the curator yet.

So, productive week, hopping through series (Star Minds Universe, Future Earth Chronicles, Vampires Through the Centuries and Silvery Earth – yep, I think I touched them all!), the writing is still going great. Everything else… meh!

I lost almost an hour (bad connection? Firefox issues? Old computer? No idea, but it was very frustrating!) to gather the audiobook links after a Google Alert informed me I was on Audible. Firebird wasn’t there yet, but The Hooded Man and Otherside are available at most places at last. Except Kobo, still lagging behind. And I still have codes valid for US, AU and CA of Otherside in anyone is interested.

Well, I did publish the first five missions of the Lone Wolves Team, as promised. But, after Kris Rusch’s blog on Patreon and in spite of their recent ToS changes, I ended up closing my Patreon account, and after David Gaughran’s lengthy explanation of the MailChimp debacle, I closed that account too. My newsletter was discontinued anyway, useless to keep it open.

I didn’t open new accounts yet, though. After Tori was locked out of her Facebook account for a day, I was considering adding an admin to the author page, but then gave up the thought. I haven’t joined Pinterest or Ko-fi yet, and still haven’t decided which webcomics sites to join – but then, if there’s one project that might make me go through Kickstarter stress, it’s Silvery Earth Kids, so… I’ll ponder my option a little longer on that one.

As for the things that were on Patreon, I’m going to start a regular feature on the publisher’s page. Every Sunday Backstage Pass will take you behind the scenes of the books. So, for readers only, hoping they’ll follow that instead of the newsletter. I will post articles, deleted scenes, alternate openings, etc. starting next Sunday. If interested, be sure to follow UPB that doesn’t have a Facebook page because it was supposed to be a static place to find the books.

I might make the Pinterest page under that logo and Ko-fi as the writer/artist… I’ll think about it during this week as I get back to the Legends of the Moren Empire and Silvery Earth Kids… Have a great week!

 

Writer Wednesday


Last week was another 11K week, wrapping up the Lone Wolves Team and adding something to Silvery Earth Kids. Now I’m on Hal the Rogue and probably I’ll add his mother’s story at the end, since, like the other Lone Wolves books, his story starts with the hunt for Mr. H – that’s year 5245 of the Star Nations or 2053 on Earth in the alternative future of Star Minds.

Yesterday two more audiobooks should have gone live, but I will try to provide the links next week. I’m still trying to find the links for Otherside on Amazon and Kobo, way over 30 days since I hit that “publish” button! 😦 If Findaway Voices can’t get me on Amazon, I don’t think I’ll do many more audiobooks with them. Maybe a couple more, because I loved two of the narrators and would love to hear their voices again, but that’s it. And not before the end of the summer anyway.

Next week I’m off DayJob and hope to catch up on paperbacks. Not that I hear anyone clamoring for them, but if I don’t do them, nobody will buy them, right? 😉 And I’ll need some paperbacks if I get a table in the Creators’ Alley at Dublin Worldcon. Booked the flights (even for 20BooksEdinburgh), now time will fly – hopefully. And the summer heat won’t kill me before I get there! 😀

By the way, I will NOT be a panelist in Dublin (my first Worldcon without panels, yay!), so I better start looking for a space in the Creators’ Alley and bring the curated anthologies to that table! I have at least one other author at the con, Fulvio Gatti, he might help sell some! 🙂

Two unmissable posts this week: Great Advice from Joe Lansdale reposted by Dean Welsey Smith and Taming the Critical Voice by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

And since it’s May 1st… here’s the link to the Infinite Bard! The first three free stories are up! 🙂 Go check them! Show us some love! Check all the awesome authors participating, including yours truly!

The Infinite Bard, an international collection of authors who banded together to offer free fiction: epic adventure, spine-tingling action, thrills, chills, romance, humor, mystery. The Infinite Bard launches with three exciting stories. A brand new story will follow every two weeks. Visit the hub at http://TheInfiniteBard.wordpress.com/the-infinite-bard/ to see what’s new, then visit each author’s web site to enjoy each new story as it’s released.

Dive in to the first of The Infinite Bard’s exotic tales of excitement:

Diamond of the Sky by Azure Avians
Blind Spot by Donald J. Bingle
First Command by Chris A. Jackson

And I guess that’s all for now! Have a wonderful week! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


And after the Easter break, here’s another Eclectica author! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Donald J. Bingle, Writer on Demand !

Where do you live and write from?

I currently live in Illinois and either write there or while vacationing in Hawaii.

Why do you write?

Well, certainly not for the fame or the money! I like to be read and if you don’t write, submit, and publish, no one will ever read your work.

When did you start writing?

I played a lot of role-playing game tournaments twenty-five to forty years ago (I was the world’s top ranked player of classic RPGA tournaments for the last fifteen years of the last century) and that led to running games, then writing tournament scenarios, then writing for game companies like TSR, the my own stories, then novels, screenplays, and the rest.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write in the thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, steampunk, romance, comedy, and memoir genres.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

To be read. That means writing what editors and publishers want written, submitting it, and promoting it.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Writing is like acting or direct sales. There’s lots of rejection, but you have to keep writing.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Outlines take all of the fun out of writing for me, leaving only drudgery. But not outlining doesn’t mean you improvise. If you know where you want to start, where you are going, and two or three things you want to happen along the way, you don’t need to outline as long as you control the trip.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

For a while, I was kind of the unofficial back-up writer for DAW themed anthologies. I wasn’t famous enough to get invited to many of their anthologies, but when someone didn’t meet deadlines or too many people wrote to the short end of the expected range, the editors would have a sudden need for a story fast to fill in. I could write to spec fast and cleanly, so I would often get those gigs. After the exclusivity period for those stories ran out, I took them (plus a few others I wrote) and collected them by genre and put them out in a series of ebooks. This one collects some steampunk and historical fiction.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

I recently published Wet Work, the second installment in my Dick Thornby spy thriller series.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Jean Rabe and I are sending around a pilot script in an effort to turn our novel, The Love-Haight Case Files, into a television series.

FIND DONALD ONLINE

 

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