Thursday, May 19, 2016

Just Keep Writing

There's so much advice out there about a writer's platform and social media connections that you could drown in it.

None of it worked for me.

I do believe that you should have some sort of social media footprint. People need to be able to find you on the web. If you enjoy connecting to people that way, have at it! It may build you a good fan base, but don't bank on it.

Some people say to put your head down and write. That social media doesn't result in direct sales. Only a pile of books under your name will give you credibility.

I believe in that one more than others. At least I think it's a method that I can work with. But I have to add - advertise wisely. And there are as many thoughts on that as there are successful authors.

I've been going through forums and articles reading advice from all quarters. It seems like many of the successful authors are writing their pants off! They have put out 10 - 20 books and are making thousands of dollars per month. Whew.

They also spend thousands on advertising. Some monthly, some quarterly, but all of them put a lot of money into advertising to maintain a constant flow of sales.

All of them said that releasing a new book gave them a good bump in sales for the month.

I planned to write two books this year. In comparison, I look like a slow poke. Some of those successful authors put out a book every 1 - 5 months. Wow. I suppose as a full-time writer you could rack up sufficient word count to do that. As a part-time writer, I will try to push towards three books a year. Just writing those words made me anxious. Maybe I'd better make that a goal for 2017.

And now, back to writing...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Space Fantasy

What is Space Fantasy? 
I think it is Fantasy that requires space travel and aliens.

Why isn't it just plain Fantasy? ships?

Why isn't that Science Fiction?
Because the science part isn't very important?

I have asked a lot of people about how to classify Facade. The immediate reaction to aliens and space travel is that it should fall under Science Fiction. But the story is mostly about a lost culture. On the other hand, to say it was Fantasy without a magic system or a quest or even any wizards seems wrong.

It is more of blend of both, perhaps. I asked Alex to give me a Fantasy image and Scifi type for the cover to infer a combination of genres.

Space Fantasy just feels right. It happens on multiple planets and there might be a kind of magic in the psychic skills of some characters.

It isn't a new on Amazon. When I searched for books with "Space Fantasy" as a keyword, over 35,000 books popped up. But it isn't a proper category.

Facade will be 1/2 price until Sunday May 15. Starting Monday it will go up to $2.99. Grab one while they're cheap!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Garden Report

It's planting time.

I've gotten lazy. I don't start all my own plants anymore. Mostly because I have the local Herb Festival where I can buy healthy, organic seedlings of heirloom varieties. And a couple of local growers have stands at the market where I can pick up anything I need.

I started early with packed 6-packs of freckled lettuce and a spicy mix. I carefully separated them out and had enough plants to fill a bed. The lettuces are just forming heads now. We will have lovely salads for awhile. I had planned to follow them with stir-fry greens, but the garden had other plans. Apparently the Acorn squash that failed last year must have managed to produce viable seed, because I have an awful lot of volunteer squash coming up in that bed.

It will be a gamble as to what kind of squash forms because they tend to cross-pollinate. I'll keep my fingers crossed for something edible.

I've got all raised beds this year. It was surprisingly easy to get them ready. I don't know what makes the difference between raised beds and a plain old garden bed. Maybe because they seem like separate items and I can weed one in a few minutes and it's all done.

My compost is coming along nicely. I was able to add some to all the beds. Last year was the first time I had great carrots. I think it was because of all the compost I added to that bed. My regular soil is a heavy clay and not good for any root vegetables. Fingers crossed, I'm hoping for another good crop of carrots.

Spring was a roller coaster of cold rain and hot dry days. I did a lot of watering. And after I put all my tender vegetables in the garden we had a night down to 44 degrees. I know the basil won't be happy about that. It'll be back up in the 80's this weekend.

Now I'm off to pick my first ripe strawberries!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Facade Now Available!

Only on Kindle. Discounted through April 30th for $1.49. On May 1st, the price will go up to $2.99.

Grab yours now!


Thursday, April 21, 2016

What's the Opposite of Grimdark?

I recently discovered a thread on the Kboards asking for recommendations of NobleBright, books that were basically the opposite of Grimdark.


I am not a fan of Grimdark. It's too dark for me. That's just my personal taste in reading. It's obviously very popular with other folks because it's everywhere.  I thought I was bucking the trends by writing my lighter, happy-ending, good guys win stories. Turns out, there's a lot of us!

At some point, I will make a list of all the authors and recommendations on that thread so I can add their books to my To Be Read list. I wasn't surprised to find a few authors that I have already discovered chiming in. But it reminded me that I've forgotten about a couple of series that I'd like to get back to.

Lovely! More books that appeal to me.

In other news...
Today I was interviewed by a friend for her blog. She will be putting it up on Tuesday. I'll post a link to that because she asked me a lot of questions about A Changed World books.

Still waiting to hear from Kindle Scout.

The interview reminded me of some back story that I had intended to put in the new book and promptly forgot. So I need to go back and figure out where it might fit. Luckily I'm only about 1/3 of the way into the first draft.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Last Days on Kindle Scout and Other Things

Facade is in its last days on Kindle Scout. The campaign ends on April 17th.

In comparison to what others have achieved with their marketing, I haven't done very well. So if they are going to judge me on that ability I will get a very low score. I have all my eggs in the story basket. I am hoping that writing a good story will win their approval. Since no one knows exactly what they are basing selections on, I might still have a chance of being chosen for publication.

If you haven't voted for Facade yet, please hop over to Kindle Scout and take a look. I would appreciate a nomination!

On the bright side, I think that being in Scout has boosted visibility of my books. Lethal Seasons and Scattered Seeds have continued to sell a book or two every other day. More eyes on my books is always a good thing.

In other news...

I am 18,000 words into the rough draft of Speculations, book 3 of A Changed World. Life is getting more complicated for the folks at High Meadow. I had to spend some time on research yesterday. Thank goodness the internet makes it easy to find odd facts like the harvest dates for spring wheat. I am also glad that I kept such good notes on the previous 2 books. It would be very time consuming to have to scan through the books to find out that Harlan's horse, Jelly, was a Paint.

Allergies gave me brain-fog for about a week and I got very little writing done last month. Whatever makes me all sneezy and itchy must have stopped blooming because I am in better shape now. The story is at a flow-point and I have been able to hit my goal word count all week. If I can keep this up, I may have the book ready a little earlier than planned.

Spring has me out in the garden most days. The weather has been a roller coaster of too hot and too cold. I am working on building up my garden stamina. Over the course of the winter I lose my weeding and digging muscles from too much time sitting at the computer. A couple of days of very sore muscles are in my future.