Posts Tagged ‘Indie Writers’

Hey guys! Letting you all know that Evolution is now out! It can be found on Amazon at this link.

I had a lot of fun writing this one. It may be the best one yet. In the back of the book, it even has a glossary that defines many of the terms found within the Wasteland universe (fancy, huh?).

And just because it’s so awesome, I’m going to post the cover again.

WLC-Evolution

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It’s about that time again, folks! Book 3 of The Wasteland Chronicles, Evolution, is pretty much done, barring a few minor details. Here is the very awesome cover done by the series artist, Luke Atkinson! And yes, those are dragons!

Image

Expect the book to drop on 8/8/2013, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo! I am getting PUMPED!

Just finished the first round of edits for Evolution. After the first draft, the book felt weaker than Book 2, but stronger than Book 1. Now, I think it has a chance of being the best of all.

The book had been expanded from 48,000 words to 55,000 words…making it the longest installment of The Wasteland Chronicles to date. The end had a huge makeover – there was more tying up, and more setting the the new stage of the adventure that will be Book 4. All in all, the plot was a bit more complicated than the other two books, which might be why it’s better.

I think I was able to experiment by adding several subplots that also enhanced the main plot. The first two books were pretty straightforward, road trip-like adventures. By the end of the book, though, everything starts to come full circle, and what felt disjointed at first now connects with the first two books, bringing it back to what makes the heart of the series.

The xenovirus continues to evolve and do crazy things, outpacing the abilities of the characters themselves (hence the name Evolution – and also, on another level, the characters and their relationships to each other also evolve). At the end of the book, the xenovirus takes something from them they hadn’t counted on losing, and the books ends on a cliffhanger that I feel readers will love to hate me for.

I plan on one more round of edits, though I feel the first 80 percent of the book will remain little changed. The ending will probably have to be tweaked a bit, but I’m fine with doing that. After that round of edits, which I will hopefully have done soon (at the earliest, next weekend), I can start all the publication steps…copyeditor, beta readers, and then publication.

I wish I had more time to work on it. If I could just have one week of time, then I could have it out by this weekend. At the latest, it will be out in August…but hopefully, I can have it out much sooner than that.

I know people are curious, and it seems when I post these crazy numbers on Facebook, it might seem like I’m taking off.

I don’t believe I’m going to “take off,” although I do believe if I keep at it, keep writing quality books, and keep promoting, I’ll experience a gradual climb as a result of hard work.

That’s what I’ve done. I’ve worked really hard on my writing in the past couple months. I’m starting to see the first results now, and I’m starting to re-preoritize finishing new projects rather than promoting the ones I already have.

So that leads to the question – am I really a gazillionaire? No. I work in a warehouse, so I definitely don’t think I’m a gazillionaire. Although I’m making more than I did before, I still have yet to see my first royalty payment. That comes at the end of February (for the month of December…a writer is always paid, but always late), and I won’t see any royalty for January until the end of March…and by that time, Origins will be out, and hopefully my fantasy novella will as well.

So this month, without counting the free promotion I did, I had 119 downloads on Apocalypse.

My thoughts: that’s over twice as many as I had last month. At this time two weeks ago, I had less than thirty sales in January and three reviews (Now, there’s eight reviews and hopefully more are coming). That’s pretty cool. What’s cool about some of these reviews is that I believe  they are from people I don’t know, and they are generally rating the book 4-5 stars. Which is awesome.

How much money is that, exactly? Probably about $236, minus taxes. Nothing to sneeze at, but I’m not quitting my job any time soon. If I had several other books, maybe. Despite what you see in the news, runaway bestsellers (one-hit-wonders, if you will) are actually pretty rare. That’s why they make the news, because they are the exceptions.

I’m telling myself not to check my sales page as often as I do, but I keep coming back to it. I need to at least have a few more books out there. In fact, I should be writing now instead of writing here.

But still, I’ve never had that many downloads in a month. Ever. It’s really cool and I hope it lasts.

The reason is clearly because of the two day free promo. Maybe they don’t work for everyone, but it seemed to work for me. It’s almost two weeks later and I’m still seeing a boost. All I know is I’ve had 80ish downloads in the past two weeks.

Currently, I’m holding off the promotion (though when the paperback copy is ready to go for Apocalypse, I plan on doing giveaways on Goodreads). Right now, I have to finish my sequel, Origins, my fantasy, and my romance. Yes, I said romance. I don’t know if I’ll actually finish that one, but we’ll see. It’s been interesting to write, and something out of my normal purview.

I’ve been posting (spamming, more like) about it often on Facebook and a bit on Twitter, but here are the numbers (as of 10:12 p.m., so there’s still a few hours left on the giveaway).

U.S. Downloads: 1768

U.K. Downloads: 96

Germany: 8

France: 3

Canada: 9

Brazil: 1

Total Downloads: 1885

This might sound a bit weird, but I was expecting a little more. A few blogs posted about it…nowhere as many as I thought. Then again, the download numbers might have been a bit lower without that promo, but for the most part it seemed the readers found the book on their own. By late afternoon yesterday, Night of the Necromancer was already in the top 10 in both free paranormal and free horror.

Then again, who am I to complain? 1,885 is a large number of people to have your writing in their hands. I bet a lot of people don’t get as high on the lists as Night of the Necromancer got.

ImageThis was the only screenshot I took, and it was taken probably late morning of Saturday 1/26/2013. As you can see, this is Night of the Necromancer at #15 on the free horror column.

The question, “is this working in getting my books more exposure?” It’s hard to say at this point, but it does seem to be working, at least in the short run. I can only hope that all these readers like my books enough to tell other people – which is really the point of the whole thing. I’ve been really encouraged by positive reviews on Apocalypse that seemed to come as a result of the promo, and sales have definitely spiked a little bit.

There are always positive reinforcements going on, but right now I’m tired so it’s just hard to focus on them. I just want to say that it is really great to see some results after working hard, and I’m not just talking about the free promo, but the whole “operation build a platform” thing. It’s like I’m trying to push a heavy boulder – but hopefully once I get it started, it will be easier to keep the momentum going. I’m definitely, definitely a lot farther along than I was two months ago – even one week ago. There are at least 4,000 people worldwide who have read my name and have my books – that has to count for something.

In a way, having people read my books, even if they are free, is a victory. It’s a lot of exposure, and a lot of eyes seeing something I created, something I worked very hard on, and in some cases poured my soul into. Trying to put yourself out there is tough, because people are inherently skeptical (as they should be) of an indie author, because there is so much that is bad out there.

I think the coming weeks and next month will tell a more full story, but I’m hoping that this is enough to get a snowball rolling down the hill.

It’s been exhausting, in a way. I’m a little burned out on promoting. It seems for the past two months I’ve done nothing but format, check for typos (not all of which I’ve found), submit to blogs, and plan my free days – among other things I’m sure I’m forgetting. I woke up at 9 this morning, and slept three hours this afternoon, and I’m still tired. I want to get back to the actual writing bit, which is the reason I’m doing this.

I’ve sort of hit a bump with my fantasy novella – I’m having the usual crisis I always seem to have after a first draft, of believing that it’s horrible and stuff. I think maybe it is, but I might be able to fix it. It seems like a huge mountain at this point. I’m outlining book two of The Wasteland Chronicles, but am having trouble finding a way to keep the plot moving until the end.

Those are questions for another time, however. After this, I’m going to take a break from promotion for a little bit. I’ll still post on this blog for sure. I know lately all my posts have been about writing, books, sales, blah, blah, blah, but hopefully I can get away from that for a while. I don’t want to lose the magic of writing and creating a story, which is the reason I do this, anyway.

There’s still some time left on the giveaway, so if you’re reading this, hurry on over to Amazon and get your free copy of Night of the Necromancer.

As always, thanks for your support.

I’m starting to recognize a flow to the writing life.

I think this looks different for different people, but this is what it is for me, so far:

1. Have a good idea for a book. Usually gotten from reading/culture at large, or personal experience.

2. Write about that idea. Develop characters, outline, whatever…just get a vague semblance of a plot in your head.

3. Usually at this point, I’m ready to begin writing.

4. Write every day. Finish the first draft as quickly as you are able, going no slower than a pace of 1,000 words a day.

5. When finished a month, or the latest two later, let the draft cool for a while. Get some distance. Write some other stuff. Promote other books (if you have any). Decide whether or not what you have written is worth sharing. If the answer is yes, line up a good cover artist and a good editor. You will need both.

6. Edit the book. Read it through fairly quickly – you’re allowed to fix mistakes as long as they don’t bog you down too much. Take note of the parts that are entertaining, which are slow, and which are downright painful to read. Delete the painful parts, and see if the slow parts can be improved. If not, delete.

7. Go back to the start and edit again. Take out everything that is not the story. Take out everything that gets in the way. Repeat as often as necessary (up to six or seven times). Add anything that is part of the story (usually, this is not much).

8. Copyedit. Check for typos, missed words, spelling. Make sure the formatting is correct and Kindle friendly. Create front copy. Begin to set your book up for upload. Meanwhile, line up four beta readers prepared to give you an honest opinion. Listen to their feedback, and make changes where appropriate.

9. Make sure everything is absolutely as perfect as you can make it, within reason: the text, the editing, the formatting, and the cover. When you are sure, come up with a killer blurb, upload the book.

10. Meanwhile (and you can start earlier than this step, especially if you already have relationships with book reviewers/bloggers), try to line up some reviews early for the book. As soon as it is online, promote the hell of it. Promotion is something I’m still learning, and is something I can improve at in all links in the chain.

11. Continue promoting all of your work however you can. Start a new story. Repeat steps 1-11.

I may have missed a few things, but this is the basic gist. For me, it doesn’t stop when I’ve written the book. I want people to read it. Hopefully, I hope I can make enough for it to be a full time job. But I have to work for it.

Also, for the first time Apocalypse broke the top 10,000 paid. It is the the top one percent of all paid books on Amazon. And Night of the Necromancer has gotten over 1,200 free downloads.

Awesome. Thank you for your support.

Luke Atkinson and I (mostly Luke) are working very hard  to bring you, dear readers, a physical copy of Apocalypse, which will available directly from Amazon soon!

This should all be set and ready to go within a month’s time (as in…available in a month or less). I’m not sure on costs yet, but I’d expect something in the range of $6.99-9.99 (plus shipping).

Besides being able to have a physical copy in your hands, I’m also excited about doing giveaways! I’ll be doing several first edition SIGNED book giveaways on Goodreads whenever I have the first copies in my hands. Wowza!

It’s a very cool feeling. But the real star of show here is Luke and his absolutely mindblowingly good cover. Check it out:

ImageLeft: Back cover. Right: Front cover: Black middle=spine (too thin for text, alas…it is a novella after all).

I’m very excited about this print copy. I can’t wait until everything in the series is done, so they can all be collected in one giant book, something that I would expect to be anywhere from 120,000 words (on the low end) to 175,000 words on the high end (wowza indeed!).

I’m already starting to outline book two, so hopefully that can be done in no more than two months. Kewl!