Random Friday


Haven’t been doing much, so I’m posting the Words of Wisdom, Writers on Writing, whatever you want  to call them, and happy new writing year! 🙂

Keep your ear to the ground. You can’t just hide out in your writing cave. Remember, the market changes. You need to be able to alter course if necessary, so stay informed of what’s happening in the industry, what other authors are doing, what the book trends are, etc. That doesn’t mean you jump on everything that comes your way, but you need to be aware of it. Don’t be the last one to catch the train.

Pay it forward!!! Support your fellow authors. Buy their books. Review their books. Share their releases and successes with your followers. I can’t tell you how many opportunities have come my way because of friendships with other authors. It takes a village to build a successful writing career, and your fellow authors are your village.

Cara Bristol

I love to write. A lot of you love to write, I bet. But, as with any love, there are days you hate it. Some days, writing feels like endless toil. There are days when writing acts distant for no apparent reason, because writing can be a passive-aggressive jerk. Writing is the sort of lover who breaks up with you, then slinks in naked while you’re taking a shower, like nothing happened. You’ll stay up all night with writing and regret it when you have to go to work in the morning. There’ll even be times when you’re trying to focus on something else, but writing won’t stop talking to you no matter how politely you ask.

Simply put, writing is an asshole. Writing steals your money and spends it on stupid things, like another gimmicky book on how to write better, and then it acts like it bought that book for both of you. Writing will take you to heaven and back all day long, but the next morning it’ll be gone without even leaving a note.
Because writing is love, and love is hell.

Robyn Bennis

Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.

– John Green

If you are the kind of writer who can write the same thing over and over again and not get bored, then you might be able to develop the kind of brand loyalty that Child is talking about.

I can’t. I don’t want to repeat myself. So even though I know what he did is very smart, it’s not something I can or will replicate. I have to plan my own brand work around that decision.

That said, I am much more interested in building brand loyalty than I am in building customer loyalty. I didn’t have the words for this until I started this series.

I don’t want people to buy my books because they’re discounted or because I keep offering better and better variations of a good deal. I want people to buy my books because they enjoy my books.

Kris Rusch

Impostor Syndrome is real. Flip the script on it. Don’t let it have power over you. Admit you’re an impostor. Then admit that we’re all impostors — none of us belong here because art and story are forbidden, interstitial places. This thing we do is Buccaneer’s Den, it’s Mos Eisley, it’s a secret moon colony. Not a one of us “belongs” here. We all booked illegal passage through blackest night and sharky waters to get here. We’re not one ship, we’re countless life-boats strung together — a glorious flotilla of freaks.

This is who we are. It’s what we do. And what we do is sometimes hard. It’s hard for me. It’s hard for you. It’s hard for Stephen King. It’s hard for J.K. Rowling. King probably thinks that Rowling does it effortlessly, and Rowling probably thinks King sails through every draft, and the truth is, it’s hard for them, for you, for me, for every penmonkey that ever done monkeyed with a pen.

When a story reads effortlessly, it was not written effortlessly. In fact, the more effortlessly it reads, the more effort probably went into making it read effortlessly.

It took work.

Chuck Wendig

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Random Friday


So, I’m going to stay a little longer on last year. After doing the accounting (which is always depressing, by the way, but I need to do it every year to check how it’s going and if it’s worth keeping going), let me tell you that last year’s best seller was Pilot (Star Minds Lone Wolves 2). People loved Shanell. Icy Aya came second because she was also in the Sci-Fi July Redux bundle.

The bestselling book in a bundle is Beautiful, though. I’m still working on the illustration for the paperback, and I hope this year to publish it. It’s fun to draw Kerrien and Rithvik in a Chibi-style and it’s a shame I can’t color them, but the book with interior color illustration would be way too expensive. Maybe one day I’ll do a collector’s edition in color, but first I need to finish the b&w version! 🙂

And I’ve been reading 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, which is really interesting, although it’s kinda adding to my new year’s depression, LOL! But it’s really useful to put some historical backbone to the Future Earth Chronicles and when my TBR pile goes down a little I hope to buy Harari’s other books.

I’m also reading a book on Cyberwar but it’s written in second person and it’s almost irritating, like the author is talking down to me. I understand it’s something “for dummies” (not in the official series, it’s a book in Italian for people who know even less than me, obviously), and every now and then I find things that can be useful to make more credible hackers, but still…

Well, if my hackers improve, you’ll notice. I’ve done my best so far with Hariel, Jes-syd, Alain and Shani (who will soon meet more hackers on Future Earth, stay tuned, we got male, female and even transgender hacker in the future!) but I’m not a computer expert, only a user, so I’ll simply try to avoid the worst mistakes (pointed out also in Putting The Science in Fiction, BTW).

And that’s all for this week! I shall leave you with all the novelties at Draft2Digital last year, although I haven’t tried them all yet – and possibly never will, but I won’t say never! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


On Sunday I had a panicky moment. Here’s what I posted on my private Facebook profile:

End of the year panic. A revised story vanished from Dropbox. Laptop said document no longer existed.
In my backup I had deleted the file – I had worked on it from Laptop and not on Dropbox. Fishing it in the recycle bin saved the day. Tears ready to flow out are gone.
Resaved on the Dropbox version and even printed it for a final read before a January publication (as soon as Wendigo sends me the cover art, that is!).
Feeling much better now. Will go back to Future Earth Chronicles after lunch, though! Phew!

Yeah, I had to do some Bubble Witch Saga to calm down, switch on laptop again after checking there was no trace of the edits on writing netbook, and retrieve the file – December 2018 version. Dropbox had the August version still. I probably picked the wrong file (from Documents on Laptop instead of Dropbox) when I started working on it and was surprised not to find the document with the new title – doh! It was on Dropbox!

Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Last week I added 2520 words to the above story as well as Future Earth Chronicles Books 3 and 4 and started on Book 5 for a grand total of 9K – which brings the 2018 final wordcount to +537K. Very happy with this result! Now here’s to duplicating it this year, LOL!

Last couple of days to get 10 novels for 5$, then the Sci-fi July Redux bundle will be gone forever! Don’t miss this opportunity! And if you prefer audiobooks, someone is giving away free coupons. I still can’t wrap my mind on listening to someone talk instead of reading, so I’ll pass – but I promise I’ll try to set up a couple of audios this year, just not in January! 😉

I’ll also probably take Dean’s challenge again, the short stories one this time, but I want to finish this cycle of Future Earth Chronicles (i.e. the first 5 books, there’s probably 5 more with other characters) first! 😀 I really need to write more short stories, so the challenge is an excellent way of forcing myself to do it – and if some of them span novellas or novels… well, even better, right?

New Years’ plans next week, although I already mentioned them before… in the meantime, have a great week and a WONDERFUL 2019! Happy writing, reading or whatever is your preferred pastime! 🙂

 

 

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote close to 15K and by Christmas I managed to more or less wrap up Book 3 and 4 of Future Earth Chronicles. I had to move some words from book 3 to book 4 and rewrite on epilogue and add a new incipit, but at least now both are around 41K (otherwise it would have been 47K and under 40K). Taking a break to revise a story I will publish in January, then onward to book 5! 🙂

And we’re at the year’s roundup post! The Publishing achievements are 16 new titles, of which one is in Italian and 12 also have paperbacks (including a paperback for a book that came out last year). And since I have 6 Star Minds Lone Wolves novels and novellas, expect more box sets next year, along with more stories (the Lone Wolves Team and a collection of the shorter stories).

The writing achievements! As you know, I reached my goal of 500K two weeks ago, producing the above mentioned 6 Star Minds Lone Wolves + 15 Lone Wolves Team stories (still mostly unpublished, stay tuned), 1 Silvery Earth Heroine, 1 Vampires Through the Centuries short novel and revamped what became the Future Earth Chronicles – new blurb and cover on Book 1, Brainwaves, and publishing Book 2, Wanderlust, while writing the rest.

Now and until the end of January I hope to write Book 5, then I’ll take a break from this series and write 15 more Lone Wolves Team stories. In 2019 I hope to write at least 1 if not 2 Silvery Earth Heroines because I have the covers and they’re wonderful and I look forward to showing them off. And I also have the cover for what I have decided will be Fairy Tales Revisited Volume 2.

Then I’ll write a few more Future Earth Chronicles books and Vampires Through the Centuries books, since the series have crashed together. Again in the hope of reaching those 500K, but if I don’t, I won’t beat myself! 😉

And sorry if I didn’t enroll anything, but the Smashwords End of the Year sale is now on. If you want, though, Sci-fi July Redux is now on sale, and will be gone by the end of the year. 10 space opera novels for 5 buck… get it now before it’s gone! 🙂

Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesdey


Last week I ended up writing 12K and even started a related short story I plan to submit to a traditional market (and if they reject it, I know where to publish it next, haha!). I’m still discovering where this is going and it’s a lot of fun – glad I’m writing them all at the same time! But then, it’s the first series with books that need to be read in a certain order…

Soon it will be time to set up next year’s challenges… although it’s probably going to be a yearly goal for the wordcount, since I know that if I want to reach that 500K I need to write 10K a week, which I did this year and can do again the next. I might try the 30 short stories in 30 days challenge – when I’m done with these series books, that is! 🙂

And a post for you wannabes who think they can write to market: The Hero’s Dead-end Journey. I actually went to a couple of panels by Steven Barnes when I was still trying to conquer Hollywood, during the Screenwriting Expos of 2006-2008. He’s a nice, funny dude and his post is spot-on. Go read it!

You should know by now that I’m not a Big Fish all hype, quite the opposite, but I’m not a newby either. I don’t have a formula for you, although I’ve been indie publishing since 2011 and have almost 200 titles out (90% in English, 10% in Italian). I am grateful for every single reader who manages to discover me even though I don’t do ads and don’t tweet and don’t try to sell my books to every person that finds out I’m a writer.

Of course I still need my day job, probably will need it for a few more years to pay the editors and cover art, workshops and travels, but eventually, hopefully, I’ll find my True Fans… although the first two will always be in my heart, since they’d become friends by now! *waves at Tori and Joleene*

I had friends that were all hype and no substance. They no longer write. So there. Keep doing your thing and ignore the hype (I’m like Kris for that, I tune out every time a one-book-wonder tries to hit me with hype). Keep in mind that 20 books might not be enough to 50K – I have almost 200 and are nowhere near those 50K. But I keep forging ahead anyway!

Because I’m addicted to writing, LOL! Or married to Mr. Writing, like I sometimes say. Now that I’m wrapping up those 500K written, I look forward to what I’ll write next year. And I may rest for a day or three between projects, but not always, and not necessarily, because I miss it. Yeah, I’m a junkie like that! 🙂

Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Writer Wednesday


Book 3 and 4 are really one split in two, so I didn’t really stop “between projects” except for the creative weekend with Cristina (so last week only 8K), that I used for my large print and illustrated paperbacks experiments. Book 3 clocked in at 47K (Book 1 is 42K, Book 2 is 44K) and I probably have as much to write in the next, then on to book 5!

Hopefully I’ll be done by the end of January when I can take a break… In the meantime have a sneak peek at the first five covers on the series page… The blurb for book 4 and 5 is very limited, I’ll make it better when I write them – it’s only a vague idea still! 🙂

Bundles Galore – Remembering Warriors is on sale for the last month of its shelf life. Grab it now at 3.99$ before it’s gone! 🙂 Other bundles are still available, but they’re diminishing… I will do another couple next year (along with the next iteration of Sci-fi July for the Worldcon). By the way, this is the last month of shelf life of Sci-fi July Redux too, so if you want to suport us, buy it now, if you can’t afford it, wait until it goes on sale closer to Christmas! 🙂

And I have one more reason never ever to get on Twitter, where people (newby writers) even attack longtime professionals like Nora Roberts! I might have not read her books, but I do know who she is, it would never cross my mind to accuse her of stealing my title/idea – which, by the way, is not copyrighted. It’s the execution that is. I hope that woman sinks into oblivion with her second book, she doesn’t deserve a career as a writer.

And if the above isn’t enough to dissuade you, here are six miths about traditional publishing (and not from Dean Wesley Smith’s blog!). But Indie Publishing isn’t easy either, especially if you put all your egs in one basket and your basket is leaking… Maybe the future will really allow us to go direct to readers with no middleman…

First The Why, Now The How: 25 Ways To Keep Making Stuff  by Chuck Wendig. And How To Make A Pretty Facebook Page by David Gaughran – cause we all want a pretty Author Page, right? 🙂 I still think the Publisher’s page has problems on mobile phones, but I don’t seem to be able to find a solution. Next trip to Turin I’ll consult with my webmaster…

Now, as soon as I reach my yearly wordcount, I can stop and do another curated anthology (probably starting before Christmas, but I doubt I’ll be able to publish it this year – sometimes writers are really slow! ;)). In the meantime, you have your choice between, the two Nightly Bites, the two Sci-fi Short Stories and the Rocketpack Adventures curated by Russ Crossley. The paperback make excellent Christimas gifts… just sayin’! 😉 Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Okay, so the new series title is… Future Earth Chronicles! Sorry, Tori, but it felt the less spoilerish of titles. And it does deal with Earth in the future. The page is now called Futures of Humanity and includes both the standalone and the Future Earth Chronicles series (and look at that gorgeous Smashwords series page!).

So, Brainwaves has a new cover and a new blurb, but it’s the same text, so if you already got it, no worries, it’s just an outside job. And Wanderlust is out! While working on rebranding, I realized Brainwaves actually came out at the end of November, so since we’re at the end of November again… Book 2 comes out 1 year after book 1!

But fear not, you won’t have to wait that long for the next instalments. As you can see from the Smashwords Series Page or the Publisher’s Series Page (Futures of Humanity), there is already am assetless pre-order for Book 3 and I’ll set up the assetless pre-order for Book 4 as soon as I finish Book 3 (depending on how it ends, it will be either March or April 2019).

Last week I wrote 10K and have a couple more chapters to finish Book 3. I plan on starting Book 4 in December. And since I reached 478K yearly total, I’ll probably celebrate the reaching of my goal sometime the first week of December, yay!

Now a couple of writerly links. Even David Farland has advice on when to stop polishing your manuscript. So stop endless rewritings right now. I’m feeling very lucky that I started writing before wordprocessors and learned to do clean first drafts in the age of the typewriter (of course they sucked, but they taught me to write quickly and finish everything, LOL!).

And I’m keeping an eye on blockchain for books – what indie authors need to know seems extremely important, but at this time I cannot implement it. Which will give the blockchain solutions time to get more widespread and tested! 🙂

That’s all for now! Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Let’s proceed with some order! Writer Wednesday roundup! 🙂

1) Wordcount! Last week almost 17K, getting me close to my 500K/year goal, yay! In spite of life rolls, I’m almost done with book 3…

2) Da Series! It’s changing name. Used to be Post-Apocalypse Chronicles, will be Future Earth Chronicles. Or maybe Gaia Reborn. Because the post-apocalypse thingy makes readers think it’s a Mad Max-like world. It’s not. The planet is doing fine with less virus… ehm, humans tampering with her! 🙂 So, this weekend I’ll make up my mind and update the series page, make the new cover for Book 1, etc.

3) Plans! Finish Book 3 first draft by Friday so I can go through it during the weekend and then start on Book 4. Both will come out next year, but I’d rather get done with them before I take a break from this future! Did I mention I’m having a blast? Well, I am now! 🙂

4) New Release! The spy story is finally here. Only the final version for now. Maybe eventually I’ll publish the first version (short story) in a collection. So check Joint Operations if you’re not so much into SFF! 🙂

Joint operations work best in the War on Terror.

Ajay Roy, officer of the Research & Analysis Wing – Indian secret services – is about to apprehend a known terrorist.

Sarah Aiken, MI6 operative, has just discovered a biological father she didn’t know existed.

Ajay & Sarah have worked together in the past and should probably work together again.

Being a spy is not as glamorous as in movies, but it’s definitely an international job.

5) Sales! The bundle Thieves will be on sale from Thanksgiving to the following Monday, then it’s gone forever. So if you want to read some theft stories, grab it now before it’s gone!

Meet a bunch of past, present and future thieves, some not even human! Either protagonists or antagonists, thieves populate this box set in a great variety of stories.

Steampunk, urban fantasy, science fiction and contemporary stories where something is stolen and all hell breaks lose – will our hero recover the stolen goods? And if he or she is the thief, will they get off scot-free?

6) Writerly links! The Rewriting Metaphor courtesy of Dean Wesley Smith! I’ve been in Rewriting Hell back in 2008 and swore never again! 😀 Which was prompted by a question he got and his public answer. You might prefer David Farland’s advice on balancing productivity and art… the beauty of being all different, isn’t it? The most important thing is to be positive, pleasing and optimistic!

7) That’s it! But I like #7, so I thought I’d finish with it! Should I always do that? Nah, too neat! Have a great week! 😀

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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