Writer Wednesday


15K last week and I reached 450K… 🤩 still 50K to reach my year’s goal, but this year I’m going to make it, yay! 😁 Going steady on Post-Apocalypse Chronicles book 3, stopping to research and re-reading Into the Wild since they’re now headed for Alaska! I’m having fun writing something set on Earth with the help of Wikipedia and Google Maps, but I’m much slower than when I can make up stuff, including geography, LOL!

This coming weekend I’m going to try an experiment with large print, since I’ve learned the specifics. As well as publishing a new title, just in case you miss new releases… although… did you hear about KDP books unavailable to international readers? If you’re American, it probably doesn’t affect you – except if you’re an author, of course.

But to all my international readers out there, if Mighty Zon fails you without even informing you, I shall remind you to go to the publisher’s page, where all the books currently available are listed. And if you don’t see it on Amazon.com, write them!

Or, better still, head for Smashwords, they will provide you with a very nice mobi file for your Kindle. Don’t be afraid to shop outside of that ecosystem! 🙂 Look, Smashwords even unveiled a new book discovery interface! 😀

And if you’re an author running Amazon Ads, stop them until the problem is solved… your international readers won’t be able to buy your book anyway!

Me? I’m not ready to dive back into Amazon Ads. Or to try Facebook Ads. I’ve been following a boosted post, it had many likes, but not one sale, so I guess that’s another waste of money. If I wanted to try it, I know I won’t now. And I’m also spending my last 5$ on Bookbub Ads.

If you really want to know about sales, I guess this blog is the best place to go! So Rajveer the Vampire is now at 99c for the time being, since it’s the first book of Vampires Through the Centuries. There are box sets of Silvery Earth if you feel overwhelmed by the quantity of books available in that world. And we got paperbacks for all the Star Minds Lone Wolves, yay!

I made a sorta/kinda priority list of what to implement of what I learned at the Business Masterclass, but it’s probably for next year. Mostly, audio books and BookFunnel (although the large print experiment also comes out from the masterclass).

We talked about the Also Bought and Amazon algorithms, and then those were screwed too. I have too many books out to keep track to all of them and none of them appears on Yasiv.com anyway, so I’m just going to ignore that. I’m kinda tired of fighting Mighty Zon.

Well, I better go back to writing if I want to reach my wordcount! Next week I’m going back to DayJob after 5 weeks… meh! I was quite disorganized this time because of the two trips, so next time I’ll plan it better! Have a great weekend! 🙂

UPDATE on the Amazoncalypse: They seem to be aware of the problem. I still think Kindle users should move over to Smashwords! 😉

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Writer Wednesday


Another non-writerly week with a little over 3K before I was off again. I knew it would be like that. Now I need to catch up. I do NaNoWriMo all year round, unless I know I have travels! 😉 I added another scene to Wanderlust, now I’m off with the next book.

Still going through the Business Masterclass notes as well, trying to prioritize things. But I won’t do anything before the new year starts. I have enough expenses this year already! But next year I should have no cover expenses (I have ready covers for 6 books that I still have to write), so I might try an audio book or two. And I’ll probably join Book Funnel too, to integrate it with Patreon and other stuff.

Anyhow, it’s november, so here’s how you NaNoWriMo according to Chuck Wendig. Like I said, I do it all year round, so I’m already in the habit of writing daily. If you want to start the habit, though, go for it! 🙂

And if you’re already an indie author, here’s an article on crisis management for authors, we’ve all been through those, right? Amazon requesting proof of copyright and threatening to close the account or stuff like that. I don’t particularly care about reviews, although apparently they sell books.

Personally, whenever I check them on Goodreads, I read both the 5 stars and the 1 stars to decide if I want to read that book. That’s Reader Barb. Writer Barb doesn’t read her reviews most of the time (and even if she does, she never ever comments on them or “rewrite” anything just because some reader somewhere hated it).

Now I shall get back to writing and typing my notes… I am a typist, so pretty fast, if I applied more butt-in-chair, I’d be as prolific as Dean who is a slow typist! 🙂 But this 500K/year goal kinda made me write more this year… I’ll have to stick with it! 😀

Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Writer Wednesday


Since I’m still traveling, I’m postponing the actual Writer Wednesday with a summary of this Business Masterclass. But I’m not leaving you high and dry! Here are some writers on writing/words of wisdom/writers’ quotes to keep you company until I come back! Have a great week!

Right now you are best writer you can be at this point in time.

Believe that, keep practicing and sending your work out, keep learning everything you can learn.

Understand that the more you write, the more you learn, the better you will become.

But right now you are the best writer you can be.

And that will be better than the writer you were a year ago, if you are doing things right and writing and learning.

And it won’t be as good as you will be in a year if you keep learning and practicing.

Imagine how much more you will know and how much better a storyteller you will be in forty years…

Dean Wesley Smith

Should A Writer Get An English Degree, Yes Or No?

This is apparently a question, so I will attempt to address it.

I have no idea what you should or should not do. Every writer tends to carve their own writer-shaped door into the industry, and then they seal it shut behind them, Cask-of-Amontillado-style. (I can make that Poe joke because I was an English major. I have a license for such literary shenanigans; if you are caught making such a pun without the proper degree, you will be hunted.) There exists no One True Way to become a writer except, you know, go read stuff, live a life, and write things down.

Keep reading stuff, living your life, and writing things down until you get sorta okay at it, and then later until you maybe get sorta good at it, and hey, ta-da, you’re probably a writer. Maybe even a professional one of some level of success from MEAGER TRILOBYTE to MIDLIST INKSLINGER to GRAND CONQUERING PENMONKEY OF THE REALM.

There, the end, go do it.

Chuck Wendig

Now, all that said, it takes more than writing to market to get a book that makes money and has oodles of readers. It takes more than writing to a niche to get that smaller but fanatically loyal fan-base. You also may write that cannibal comedy so well that it gets attention from readers across the board and starts the next big trend. You can’t predict how your book will do once it’s published.

You have to start by writing a great book of whatever genre you pick. You then have to either put the work in to get an agent or publisher, or publish it yourself and be willing to do your own promotion and marketing. Your writing has to be what sets you apart, the rest are no more than paths your writing takes to get to your goal. It’s a smart writer that spends some time considering which path they want to take.

That doesn’t make you untrue to your art. It makes you an artist who has a goal for their art and makes a plan for how to get there. There is nothing wrong with art for art’s sake, but if you want people to buy your art, then you need to have a plan.

Julianne Johnson

Be yourself.  Write to your standards, your taste.  The road will be lonely, because you’re the only one on it.
Know that when you put a book out, there may be elements beyond your control that bring it down.  You can control the quality, but you can’t control much more.

David Farland

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

Douglas Adams

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Maya Angelou(I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)

Writer Wednesday


Last week I got my 10K down… in the next couple of weeks I’ll only have three days to write as much, but it was all in the yearly planning! October is busy with non-writerly things, but surely between November and December I can make my goal of half pulp-speed (500K).

This week I did manage almost 6800words to the end of Draft Zero… And I added some meat to make it look more like a short novel! Hopefully taking this back on the road so I can give the final touches when I get back and send it off to the proofreader the first week of November, on schedule! 🙂

Are you gearing up for NaNoWriMo? I never needed it (I started writing long before NaNoWriMo was even invented and now I’m addicted, LOL) but if you want some inspiration and a great collection of non-fiction to kickstart your writing career, don’t miss the NaNo Writing Tools bundle!

Looky look! Curated by Kevin J. Anderson! And look at those guests! My own writing guru, even more prolific than me, Dean Wesley Smith! Craig Martelle of 50BooksTo50K that I hope to meet in Edinburgh next year! Joanna Penn! Kris Rusch (my other writing guru)! Blaze Ward – I met him last year! 🙂

And some day I’ll meet also Jamie Ferguson, I did a small contribution to her book on bundles! 🙂 It’s a StoryBundle exclusive and you should grab it now along with the other books! 🙂 Whooppee!

If you’re still on the fence about trad or indie, this post by D2D gives a pretty fair view on both. Of course it’s up to you and what you want to do with your writing career, but don’t forget your writing is IP. Might feel it has no value, but that’s not true. The sky might not be falling, but there are big earthquakes in traditional publishing.

Elsa’s story is now live and the pre-order for Kristine is up! 🙂 Don’t miss the closing book of the Vampires Through the Centuries and the mighty battle of Chittor! 🙂 Okay, it’s no longer historical fantasy, since it’s in the decade 2005-2015… tagged it contemporary fantasy, is that correct? Anyhow, meet Kristine Van der Aas, the Dutch girl who moved to Mumbai for love and became a vampire…

And while Da Muse is in Italy to shoot his latest movie, I shall head out of the country for a few days… Did I mention both Da Muses tend to come to Italy when I head out of the country? But then, even when they don’t (John Wick Chapter 2), I don’t go looking for them on the sets, so… I’m not a fan, they’re Da Muses, LOL!

Have a great week! 🙂

Random Friday


And with my fall and everything else, I missed Da Blogoversary! Nine years of blogging and I didn’t even celebrate! How many bloggers are still out there? Not many from my original blogroll… Maybe they moved to social media (where I don’t go, except Facebook). Maybe they stopped writing. Who knows…

Me? Still here, of course. Still blogging until I have something to say. I’m thinking of moving the Newsletter to Patreon (it would be a free  post, the paid one would be of other things), so if you’re really interested, you’d still get an email with the publishing news and possibly a free short every now and then, and I’d dump all those imported subscribers who don’t even open the emails…

Still pondering about that. How to split the tiers, what to give away for that money. I’ll probably do like Joleene, only 2 cheap tiers, but I still need to think about it. I know, why follow me on Patreon when I post for free here? 😉 But I hope to be able to bring interesting tidbits for readers… the ones I don’t know by first name, I mean. *waves at Tori and Joleene*

I keep getting new followers here, but I have no idea why you like my ramblings. Are you readers? Writers? Passers-by? I’d put in the usual poll, but I know you won’t bother answering. So here’s to another 10 years of blogging and have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


And my writing streak came to a screeching halt Saturday morning at 7K. I fell on my face (2 stitches on the chin), didn’t break anything, but my right wrist is wrapped until next Tuesday. I’ll slowly restart (as soon as the major aches are gone, and they almost are, tomorrow I go back to work), but it definitely fucked my schedule.

I had to postpone the editing I had booked since I won’t be able to finish Wanderlust before the end of the month with all the travel inbetween, sigh. And I’ll have to make the corrections on Kristine one-handed, but next weekend I hope to be able to set up the pre-order.

And I did manage to publish Cherry’s story, although not in September as expected. A few days later, there you have it, Mercenary, the winged chick with retractile wings based on Kol-ian’s old implant! 🙂 And I would like to thank Ravven for making 2 versions of Cherry, which made it hard to choose! 🙂 (yes, it’s stock rendering, but I realized I was following her on DeviantART and asked her if she could do a variation of some poses…)

And that’s all for now. On Friday I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing (besides recovering from the stupid fall). Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Even though I wrote only 7K last week, I have reached 400K! 100K more to go to reach my yearly goal! 🙂

I’m slowly diving back into the Post-Apocalypse Chronicles. It’s slower because it’s not an established universe like Star Minds or Silvery Earth and I need to stop and research as I move the characters around. I’m tackling the US in this book, then they’ll move on, but at the moment they’re still in places I haven’t visited. I’ll probably be faster when they get to Montana and Wyoming, LOL!

I am grateful for Google maps that even gives me cycling distances. My characters hiked out of Mount Mitchell in book 1 (Brainwaves), but they have a pedal car for the first leg of the journey that they have built themselves in Roanoke, VA. It’s been six years since book 1, so I have leeway to improvise some more, haha!

I’m still gathering the casting for this book and have a fairly good idea of their journey, but I don’t know what obstacles they’ll meet and if someone will die or simply drift away. I know more or less what’s left in the former U.S. of A. in 2450CE (that’s four centuries after the apocalypse), but I still need to write it down.

I will probably write the whole journey between now and the end of the year (I do need 100K more, right?) and then publish them closer to each other than book 1 that came out last December, more or less like I did with the Star Minds Lone Wolves (stay tuned for more of those, two more books coming out soon!).

Last weekend I didn’t write much because I did a couple more paperbacks. Allow me to briefly mourn the demise of CreateSpace once again. KDP Team is so un-helpful! They rejected one of the paperbacks as:

Cover

  • The author name you entered during title setup is misspelled. Please update your book details with the correct spelling.

The typo was ON THE COVER SPINE!! Not in the metadata (imported from the Kindle version), not on the cover (identical to the Kindle version), on the spine of the paperback. And they tell me to change the metadata?! No comment…

Now I’m going to change my pen name and put “Barbarea G.Tarn” on all my books because of one spelling mistake… on the spine! Not helpful, KDP Team, not helpful at all! 😦

Still waiting for my author copies, so sorry if I don’t give the paperback links yet. I do want to check they came out all right before sharing. Maybe I’ll just give them all next week on the publisher’s page (unless there’s a dead-tree lover among you guys, in that case, leave a comment and I’ll contact you when whatever you’re looking for is ready)! 🙂

Instafreebie is rebranding, but you’ll still be able to access your downloads. If you want freebies, that’s where you find mine. Or by subscribing to my bimonthly newsletter. I took down everything that was still on retailers as permafree. There are cheap versions in ebook format of many of my books – like the Star Minds Starter (99cent) and the Silvery Earth Box Sets (4.99$).

Now I better go back to my writing cave… have a great week! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! She was one of my first editors and read all the Books of the Immortals, then we parted ways and lost track of each other, so I’m very proud to have her on my blog again after so many years! Because guess what? Yes, she has a new book out! And it’s not fiction for a change! 🙂 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Shonell Bacon!

Where do you live and write from?

I’ve been in Lake Charles, LA, since 2001, but was born and raised in Baltimore. Where I write … well, pretty much anywhere. Usually, I am in my “home office,” a space I carved out of our bar room area. But with my phone and tablet and dictation, I “write” while in traffic, at the café, the park. If I have a digital device and my voice, I can write anywhere.

Why do you write?

Because of WORDS. I love them. I love the shapes of letters in words, how words sound in my mouth as they come out, how we can use them to create elaborate stories that touch readers in a myriad of ways.

When did you start writing?

I was about six. My mom had bought me a diary for a quarter at a flea market, and almost immediately, I began writing sports articles for my beloved Baltimore Orioles and for my favorite soap opera at the time, The Guiding Light.

What genre(s) do you write?

Mystery, rom-com, inspirational, non-fiction (on the writing craft)

What does your writing routine consist of?

Most writing routines for me consist of lots of COFFEE and usually some form of meditation, even if it’s a five-minute song to think on and listen to or an actual meditation session on one of my apps. Sometimes, I light a candle to fragrance my space, and then I say a prayer and reread previous writing to get me back in the writing headspace.

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

Don’t let fear stop you from writing.

Please do ramble about your latest project – what it’s about, how you came up with the idea, anything, really. We want to know about it!

Make Your Writing Bloom is my first project on writing. I always knew at some point I would venture into short books on writing. I’ve been writing articles on writing for over 15 years for various websites. As an educator, and especially someone who has the spiritual gift of “teaching,” helping others do something better is an integral part of who I am. I’ve been an editor for over 18 years, and the biggest joy of editing is seeing writers grow from one project to the next one. I continue that teaching into what I hope will be the first of many projects on the writing craft. Make Your Writing Bloom is the “love” project from me to writers who feel stuck in their writing and who want to get unstuck. From rediscovering their love of writing and favorite writing experiences to understanding why fear and busy lives can kill writing, readers will be taken on a journey that will, hopefully, get them back into their writing mojo.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Currently, I am working on the Make Your Writing Bloom online class; outlining my second project on the writing craft, 8 Questions for Writers; and playing around with the storylines for my next mystery, FOLLOW, the final book of my Double Inkwell Mysteries series. 

Please add your social media links

Web Page: http://chicklitgurrl.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shonbacon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chicklitgurrl

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chicklitgurrl/

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote only 5K but I was busy editing and formatting and uploading and all that other stuff soooo interesting! Not. My yearly total is still 392K, so I’m doing fine, right? 😉 I wrote one last Star Minds Lone Wolves story, an extra scene for Kristine and that’s more or less it.

Ahem, well, anyway, after a weekend of struggles with KDPprint, I think I mastered it and can now do a few more paperbacks with less hassle than the first. I also figured out the difference between proof copy and author copy. So I’m not giving the paperback links until I checked that the paperbacks are okay, LOL!

But, the e-book links are fine! In case you missed it, Star Minds Lone Wolves’ Thief is out! Please meet Mr. H, thief, chameleon and my favorite character although I couldn’t use the actual person I had in mind. I had to settle with this sexy vampire hunter by Ravven instead.

And if you want a sneak peek of the other two coves, go to the Star Minds page and scroll down… Cherry will come out at the end of the month and Elsa on Oct.15th or White Cane Safety Day.

Now I shall move away from the Star Minds universe to write the next Post-Apocalypse Chronicle… and get ready for the October Business Masterclass! 🙂

That’s all for today! Have a great week!

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