Hello and welcome to the revamped WIP Wednesday, I used to do this when I first started but somewhere along the way I got rather lost. So I am taking this back to basics and each week I will fill you in on the projects I am working on though of course the amount of detail you get will depend on how far along I am.
This is a short story for a charity anthology, this is in the final stages of editing and is a holiday romance. I have to say I found it quite difficult, as you will all know love and romance are not my normal main plots in a story so it was challenging resisting the urge to slaughter everyone.
Another short story for a charity anthology, this again is for a charity anthology and is quite taxing, it has a dark, twisted undercurrant and deals woth disturbing subjects but is more realism than my usual fantasy which is making me push myself in different ways. The base plot for the story was one I wrote for a different anthology which was never published and fits very well with the required subject for this anthology.
Is yet another short story, this is the first story for my Patreon, normally I will only have two projects running at once, however, because the first two have run over from last year I am having to work hard these first few weeks. I will confess that at this minute I am still undecided if all the stories will be a the same genre or just in a similar vein. I was initially thinking of making this double up as eventually eing the second volume of ghost stories but it may be that I make is more of a general horror genre, I would like to tie in some of the stories with the month they appear in so we shall see.
This is the novel I am working on currently The Role Of The Dice, I am really loving this story and will elaborate on it more next week once I have at least one less project to tell you about but for this week I will share a graphic for it…
When you get an idea for a story, when you feel inspired by the voices in your head to sit and write, your biggest challenge is getting your fingers to keep up with the words. You sit and hammer on the keyboard as fast as you can, hundreds if not thousands of words flowing from you at each sitting. Eventually you reach the end and then the real work starts.
I think it is fair to say right now I hate editing, I am more or less in the process of editing voices from one document to another because despite hitting a clear formatting button something is wrong with the file and it keeps resetting things I don’t want. To be fair this is working in my favour in the long run though as with each pass I am doing I am picking up on more silly errors. You know the type, the silly typos spell-check misses because nothing is spelt wrong you just intended to type on and ended up with no. But even this is not the hardest bit, because you know this is the necessary evil you have to go through to get that book out there.
The hardest part for most of us is the next stage.
You have your book, it looks all pretty, you have editing, double checked, banged your head against the wall, edited again, bought proof copies, spotted a couple of error you still missed and fixed them, then you hit the publish button and any confidence you had disappears.
You now have to sell your book, it sounds so simple, Twitter is full of people selling books but be honest how often have you every clicked on a link? You share to your Facebook page but unless you have already got a few books out there selling well most of the people seeing the posts are friends who either believe you should give them a copy for free or they want to support you but they are not really interested in buying or reading your books. Even when you do a give-away and people read it so few leave reviews that it makes it impossible to bump your books up the Amazon logistics chain to get it to a point where they get recommended.
Amazon are also now taking away the cheque option for payment, no I admit the idea of waiting until you have earned enough to receive a cheque was frustrating but more frustrating is trying to find a bank account here in the UK where you will not end up paying the bank more than you are receiving from Amazon. The cheapest one I have now found is going to cost me £2 for each overseas payment received which means I need to earn at least that each months from book sales before I cover the costs and that goes for each market. I don’t know if the decision to change this policy was due to people taking too long to earn enough to receive the cheque and it was messing up Amazon’s books or whether it is a way to reduce the number of people who decide to self publish but it does mean that instead of moving on to the next project the amount of time taken up doing marketing will have to increase.
Of course it is not all doom and gloom if you can just stick at it and increase the number of titles you have out there up for sale, and that is may aim for the next six months, life is going to get hectic and I might miss out on some of the summer sun by being sat at my desk but I want this enough to make those sacrifices.
Does the change to the way Amazon pays effect you? Any tips for marketing?
This is a bit of a non post in some ways, it won’t tell you really what I have been doing or what I am up to but hopefully it will allow you to see I do have a plan.
In fact I have several plans but since some of them involve winning the lottery, marrying a millionaire wrestler or selling film rights to me book or all three I will stick to the ones that might actually be achievable.
The first is along side Voices there will be two other books out this year, Dragons Mark and the first part of the Queen of Ages Trilogy, Ascension. I have decided that as I like to write in different genres it makes sense that I find some way to differentiate between them so the fantasy/Dark Fantasy books will come under the banner of my Keys to The Castle books, then once I write in other genres I shall come up with a name for those as well, the idea for this is as I build up the home-made swag I can have some which relates to the general genre as well as the specific books.
The swag thing is still a side line, something to go along side the books, an added extra as you will, one of the hardest things is proving to be not wanting to keep it all for me as I make things up lol if you want a quick peek you can look at the Etsy store here or via the website there is still not much actually up there yet but I do have more waiting to go up once I take some photos I might even create a link page here at a later date.
I have recorded the vlog today and I discuss a couple of things on there but I know now that if I want to make changes to my life in terms of a career from writing then I have to make it happen no one will do it for me.
I feel really positive right now and I feel like even though other people might not see a lot happening at the minute that the future is looking bright.
First let me say what a wonderful time I had , and highly recommend if you get the chance to attend one of the Hourglass events you should. In fact next October they are going to be in Peterborough, The Darker Side of Fiction event is looking for authors and bloggers to attend so you should certainly consider it, I hope to be there as an author but if not shall be there as a guest so we can meet for a coffee or something a little stronger in real life.Check out the Facebook page here
Now back to the weekend just gone, I have filmed the before and a clip of the ballroom but not much on the night, I was too busy enjoying myself but I shall intersperse a few pictures in this post. So let’s start with a selfie…
The camera on my phone is not brilliant for photos in low light as the flash is on the rear facing camera only but I do like the rather gothic feel it gives this photo.
First thing to discuss is the stress of getting ready in a limited time frame, rather like leaving your novel until a week before a deadline it means you have to cut corners and are not quite as prepared as you would like. Okay the shortcuts taken in getting ready may be seen quicker but they are at least fleeting, whereas the cracks in your work can pervade your whole writing career.
The first thing I realised after leaving the house was I felt incredibly overdressed, another reason the arrive the day before and stay at the hotel next year but stepping out of your comfort zone is a good things sometimes and I definitely went with the old maxim of if you do not feel confident fake it, and so upon arriving at the hotel we entered the foyer and moved towards other masked and gowned people.
No the one slight negative I would say is that most of the getting to know each other seemed to have been done during the day at the actual signing, the evening event is more social and although I still chatted to a few people and met some amazing authors and readers, you feel a outsider, like you have been invited to a party but you do not really know anyone and they all know each other, it also does not help that no one looks like their author profile picture in the evening, I certainly don’t look like mine…
And no the cleavage is not that impressive in real life it was just the camera angle and the dress. The thing is unless you are really confident in yourself these events can be daunting, there were women of every age and shape there but you cannot help but to compare yourself and your dress choice to others, I still felt fine until we had official photos taken, one of which I shall be posting on the kitchen door to keep me out of it for the next year lol but seriously by the next one I attend I intend to have the most glamorous before and after shots ever.
This is the one and I know you are all going to tell me how good I look because you are all far to lovely to be realistic but seriously there is far too much junk in that trunk.
You are also treated to a rare photo of the daughter which she will probably demand I remove so enjoy it while it lasts, though as she does not read the blog she might not notice if no one tells her.
But anyway back to lessons learnt, and the fact is I learnt more about myself than anything else, about which of my insecurities are holding me back and make me self concious, that I really want to be parter of this type of creative community and that I need to really focus and stop procrastinating to make it happen.
I am my own worst enemy!
There was of course entertainment and I did do a little video of them so you will see that on Friday, we failed to win anything in the raffle and left before the disco was really in full swing (I had been at work that day) but here is a little food porn to excite the taste buds, I did not take a picture of the starter because basically I was starving at that point but I did take photos of the main and dessert…
I realised that when the last book launch did not go off how I wanted it to that I have become disillusioned and allowed it to effect my belief in myself, how can I expect anyone else to believe in me if I do not have it in myself. So next month I shall do the A – Z challenge again, at the same time I shall be reworking a couple of parts of Disintegration and Voices then I shall be back at the start of May ready to push both while working on The Dragon’s Mark, if I want to make this my career and earn an actual living from writing I need to push myself and find the faith in myself that I had at the start of the year.
At the end of the day yes, luck and fate play a part in success but we cannot complain if we fail to push ourselves and do everything we are capable of to achieve our dreams. Part of that means sacrifice, in my case spending less time chatting online to friends or wasting time playing games on FB when I could be writing, the morning after may not look pretty,
But it will be worth it to reach your goals and get the life you want, so I shall leave you with a final picture, until the next event, and know how incredibly lucky I am to know you all have my back and are always willing to gove me a shove forward when I feel myself falling back, I know I am already ahead of the game in that respect xxxx
As you know I am busy working away at finishing Voices Across The Void, and today I thought I would share a little bit about the inspiration behind the stories. Voices is not your typical ghost story collection, not all the stories are intended to scare, that maybe in part because I do not find the dead anywhere near as scary as the living.
Voices is about just that, the voices of both the living and the dead, the ways in which they may connect and communicate. Just as no two people are the same, it would be wrong to think that in death everyone becomes clone like and act in the same way for the same motivations. just like the living they are all different.
That is the premise of this book, stories are told from both sides of the Void, some by the living some by the dead, some well you will see for yourselves if you read the book. There are stories to hopefully make you laugh, think, possibly feel the hairs on your neck go up, and one, well one has made every who has read it so far cry. One story, a humorous one was inspired by one of the programmes I discussed yesterday, it plays with the idea of ghost hunting shows and what would happen if the ghosts were not quite so subtle in their responses, that is one of my favourites but as always with my stories has a little bit of a twist.
Anyway that is it for today as I need to get a couple of other things done before I delve back into editing, I do however want to thank Heidi for her suggestion that is helping so much in the editing process. At her suggestion I am using text to speech software to read back my work to me, it works really well for those silly typos where you type in instead of on and the spell check obviously fails to see it. It also reminds me to add extra commas and shorten sentences, I have a horrible habit of forgetting readers need to breathe.
The book is out a couple of copies have been sold, now the nervous wait for reviews to come in and the hope someone likes what you have written. So far no loans through the KDP programme or Kindle Unlimited and I do wonder if it is the lack of reviews which make a difference there or whether I have not got the labels and tags right, time will tell on that and if there have been no bites after a couple of weeks I might consider seeing what I can change.
It has become a fine balancing act between promoting the book and annoying friends by filling their newsfeeds with it. The thing is I know the more books I get out the more following for them I build up the less I will need to post that goes on my personal Fb page rather than my author page but for now at least there is not much I can do and I guess anyone who gets really upset me is probably not a friend who wishes me success.
Next up of course while still doing promotions for Disintegration is getting Voices back on the front burner a process which I have begun already by sorting out the pile of paper stashed on my desk for the last few weeks.