books

November 2014 Life Update

It’s been a while since I’ve done a non writing update, so I thought I’d made a post of what’s going on in my life.

My daughter turned one about a month ago. It was not a happy birthday. It was a birthday filled with the battle of vaccination symptoms and a cold. It lasted over two weeks and involved a rash, multiple high fevers, and a mild case of chicken pox. I’m fairly certain there’s a room in hell that was exactly like what my life was during that time. She’s better, which is lovely, but now we’re dealing with tantrums and high pitched screams. Life as a mother is so much fun!

I burned myself out on reading a couple months back and it’s taken me a while to want to read again. That actually worked out perfectly since fall TV started and I had several new shows I wanted to watch. I’ve slowly whittled them down and my schedule is no longer ridiculous, just bordering on it.

I’ve got several hobbies, reading and watching TV are just two, so bear with me.

I finished crocheting a baby afghan and started a new one. I’ve got two friends with babies in their future so I need to get on the ball with that.

I’ve got book reviews written until February of next year for my review website. I only need to review five Christmas movies and a New Years movie and I’ll have the year in movies done too. I currently have less than a hundred followers on that blog, but I post 4 times a week so I’m hopeful that will continue to rise. Even if it doesn’t I like having the documentation for my own benefit. Since the reviews are mainly just my opinion it’s not the best review site and probably an acquired taste.

Fantasy Life 2Fantasy Life

I’m desperately trying not to buy the new 3DS game Fantasy Life. It looks like they made the game specifically for me and if I think about it too much I might explode. I’m not letting myself buy it because I spent my money on The Sims 4 (something I do not currently recommend, if you’re a fan wait until an expansion pack comes out that you’re interested in) there’s also the fact that Christmas is coming. I’ve made it very clear what I HAVE to receive and if my husband doesn’t get the hint then someone else better.

Um…

Owning a home is a lot of work, most of it not fun.

My husband is pretty awesome, most of the time, he’s currently sick, but I can’t hold that against him.

That’s pretty much it. I’m going to try and post more non-writing, side quest posts. Hopefully things that are relevant to my potential readers interest. I guess that means I should buy Fantasy Life because it’s a fantasy RPG and I write fantasy series. OMG It’s like I was meant to buy that game. Now!

I have a problem.

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Write Your Own Fantasy Story By: Tish Farrell

Write Your Own Fantasy Story

Write Your Own Fantasy Story By: Tish Farrell

Synopsis:

Provides tips on how to write fantasy stories, including how to get started, how to create characters, and how to develop plots. Includes suggestions from famous authors.

Review:

I didn’t realize this was a YA book when I checked it out, evidently I’m blind because there was a huge YA sticker on the spine. Oh well.

I would definitely recommend this to a young, beginning writer. It was filled with great advice and good writing prompts. I wish I’d read something like this when I was young because I know I would have enjoyed following the writing tips it listed.

Since I have a little more experience I didn’t get much from this book. There were a lot of references to fantasy writers and advice and little snippets that they’ve said other places, nothing original, though.

Still I might find myself doing one of their writing prompts just for fun.

Here’s a line from the book I liked:

“Read other writers’ work to help you improve. Be grateful for their guidance, but don’t envy them.”

Have You Ever Read an Amazing Book?

Have you ever read a book that was so amazing that you knew if you wrote hours a day for a thousand years you’d never be able to write something that good?

I got that feeling when I read the first two Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. It seemed like every word was chosen purposefully and they were all perfect. I loved it!

I’ve read other books and felt the same way but also a bit depressed. Like why bother? I eventually get over it and realize that I may never write something that amazing but I’m still having a good time.

Have you ever read a book and thought that? What was it? How did you feel?

Dear Amazon

Dear Amazon,

If you could please send me another credit. I don’t care if it’s for legal reasons or what just give me more money to spend on books.

I’ve only got a few dollars left of the $60 you gave me and I still have like 163 samples left to read through. I’m bound to find more books I have to own and the credit I have left is just not going to cover it. Sure I’ve already bought four books but there are so many more out there I need.

So hook me up bitch.

I’m sorry I shouldn’t have called you a bitch, I take that back. Please don’t let that color your opinion of me. I hardly ever use that language and I was just trying to be cool so you’d like me.

Let’s get back to the purpose of this email. I want more Amazon money for books.

Please?

I’m serious here.

I need my fix man.

What’s up? Why you no send more money?

You know what? You’re a fucking bastard. You give me a sweet little taste and now that I’m hooked you’re going to make me pay?

How do you sleep at night?

Sincerely,

Give Me More Money Now!

End of January and Bonus 2012 Total

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January 10th I released three episodes in the Amelia Bennett Chronicles. They did not do as well as I had hoped but oh well. I loved writing them and any time I need a break from writing Book 2 in the Twin Moons of Andove I will write more episodes. Anyway, not only did I release 3 new titles but on the 25th I published on more platforms. The AB Chronicles are available on Kindle, Kobo, and Pubit; and Stolen Memories is available on Kindle and Kobo. January ended up being my third highest month in regards to sales, unsure how the money side is going to land since my episodes started out at $.99 then I increased the price to $1.99. So here are my sales totals for January:

Kindle .com: 12

Kindle .uk: 3

Pubit (Nook): 3

I published Stolen Memories on September 1st so I was only published for four months in 2012 and I only had one book available. For anyone that cares to see the numbers of a newbie published author who has done little to no marketing here they are:

2012 Total Sales: 79

So close to breaking triple digits! With January’s sales I’m up to 97, so I just need one person to read all the episodes in the AB Chronicles!

I publish my sales because I think it provides a nice contrast to all the articles and posts I see of authors who are selling in the hundreds and thousands. It’s possible I’m the only one who can barely break 10 sales in a month somehow I doubt it though.

Hurdles

Hurdles

So after just posting the question of whether or not I should upload my books to other formats before or after I’ve gotten some editing done there are two blog posts by authors I respect saying get your work on everything possible as soon as possible. So right now I am reading up on how to upload to Kobo and Barnes and Noble (pubit!). My husband uploads apps to Apple for a living so I’m going to see if he can look into that for me. I seriously doubt if I will get this done by the end of the month, there is just too much going on in my non-writing life to be able to get done all that I want to and need to with my writing. One thing’s for sure I won’t be able to afford edits on Stolen Memories until February at the earliest. I want to get the edits back from AB Chronicles before I set up a time for SM to be edited. It might come down to getting edits done on Book 2 before I can get professional edits done on SM, maybe I can read through it again and catch some things that I’ve missed. Publishing is an expensive hobby/career.

When I think back to just six months ago I’ve learned so much about publishing. I use to think that writing was the hard part, if I could only finish writing a book doing everything else would be a breeze. It’s amazing how much I didn’t know. I was sure I knew what I was doing dreaming about becoming a successful author. I knew nothing. At least it gives me something to laugh at while I try to figure out my cover art and how I should word my mailing list sign up sheet.

I’ve never thought of myself as someone who jumps into something blindly, we studied cars for well over a year and spent several weekends test driving before we finally made a decision. When we moved to a different apartment we started looking 6 months before we could even give notice on our lease, I had an excel spreadsheet with all the information about each apartment we’d been to. Occasionally we will make quick decisions, but that’s life, sometimes you have no choice in the matter. With publishing it was something I had wanted to do for years, but when I felt traditional was my only option I didn’t put forth much effort. I wrote down ideas and started plenty of things, but I never finished any of them because it seemed so hopeless. When I started hearing more and more about how popular Indie publishing was becoming and how eReader’s were making an audience available that hadn’t been before it all of a sudden became an obtainable dream. It was no longer on the level of winning the lottery. I would be able to publish, I may not sell anything, but it would still be out there for people to find.

When I started writing I chose a genre that I had read a lot in and I thought I could do well with. Halfway through I started looking into what else exactly I needed before I could publish. There was cover art, formatting, social media, website, editing, so many things that I had never given much thought to, some I wasn’t even aware of. Finishing something was supposed to be the only hurdle and it turned out to just be the first in a long line. Here I am 3 months after publishing SM and I’m still working on it, still have plans for it. Maybe everyone who goes into self-publishing isn’t as unprepared as I was, but just in case know that you are not alone.

When the Walls Fell & Fragments By Monique Martin

So I just finished book three in the Out of Time series, I didn’t stop after book two to write a review because I had to read the third and find out what happened next with Elizabeth and Simon.

In When the Walls Fell they go back in time to 1906 San Francisco, CA days before the great earthquake to save Simon from possibly never existing. I’ve never been to California, and to be honest the most I know about their history is what I’ve watched in Briscoe County Jr., but I thought Monique did a good job of describing the environment and fashion. The romance between Simon and Elizabeth was just as intense and beautiful as before and the mystery kept me guessing. I liked that she has the characters make plans and then not go into detail about them so you feel the suspense build not knowing what is going to happen. Really the only problem I had with the book was that every man seemed to want Elizabeth. It wasn’t on the scale of Twilight ridiculousness but it did start to get annoying. I gave it 4 stars on goodreads.

I gave a little groan when I saw that Fragments was set during WWII and dealt with Nazis. It’s a book about time travel and the hero is a professor of the occult it was an obvious time to visit. My husband and the rest of the world find the Nazis very interesting and I can see the draw but ever since I read Masters of Deceit by J. Edgar Hoover in high school I have always felt that the Communists were the superior evil. That’s just my personal opinion, one I’ve yet to meet anyone that shares.

Anyway, Simon and Elizabeth go back in time to rescue a missing time traveler that they happen to know the wife of from the previous book. Elizabeth thinks this will be easy and they’ll be in and out, not sure if she’s never read anything about England during that time but obviously things do not go as planned. There are spies from everywhere and of course the previously mentioned Nazis and a missing artifact that will be essential in Hitler’s winning the war. All of that and I still liked the book. The mystery did not capture my interest this time around, just because I’ve seen/read this story a few times; however the continuing romance kept me reading and keeps me wanting more. Elizabeth isn’t a huge magnet for horny men and instead gets to have a taste of the green-eyed monster this time and Simon isn’t as pig-headed and stubborn and has almost accepted that she is going to do whatever she wants. Overall I’m giving it 4 stars on goodreads but I feel that it is more of a 3.5 star book. Which is still a good ranking in my eyes, I tend to hand out a lot of 3 stars.