State of Writing

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Very busy in my non-writing life, which is pretty normal for me, but I’ve been working on some things that have kept me from writing as much as I’d like. I’m throwing a little more attention at it now, leading up to November’s nanowrimo. I’m planning to complete The Gunslinger of Distaslias (book 2 of my Hidden Rings series) as my Nano entry. It’s pretty well outlined, along with the rest of the series which I hope to complete next year, but I need to get this one out of the way to stay on track for my writing timeline. I’m due to complete Wolves of the Tesseract 3 by the end of Feb.

Sidenote, I have two books scheduled to drop in November: my comedy and a thoughtful/nerdy devo book for my faith-based audience. I’ll post info about both over these next couple weeks, and promise to get a new info-blog up about some writing and marketing advice!

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Increase Reviews with This Simple Trick

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The data is in: most humans are lazy. But you probably knew that already. Obviously, I mean other humans and not you… if you’re on my blog, you’ve already slain the procrastinary beast and written a whole book… a book that you need reviews for, but asking a reader to leave a review by navigating to amazon and typing in an overwhelming few letters, followed by the relentless scrolling to the review section followed by the seemingly endless finger movements required to type and submit “I liked it,” is just a bridge too far. Seriously, folks are lazy.

Only half a percent to a little more than one percent of readers typically leave reviews. Usually, you will need 500-1,000 sales to break out of that 5 review hole (before algorithms start to help out and many ad services have a 5 review minimum.) Here’s one trick I recently learned about to help increase reviews: create a direct link to your book’s review tool…

Continue reading Increase Reviews with This Simple Trick

State of Writing

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It’s been too long since I wrote a blog (almost a month now.) I promise it’s for a few good reasons. Firstly, my day job has been very busy. Secondly, my weekends have been packed with conventions. And thirdly, I’ve been pretty deep in edits and other book work.

Dekker’s Dozen 3 is in the bag and ready for ARC readers, Ashes of Ailushurai is still in progress, and Wolf of the Tesseract 3 is in prewriting (once the outline is done I hope to be in nanowrimo season, and plan to write my next Hidden Rings of Myrddin the Cambion). I’m also on the final edit of The Shadowless. I’ll probably share cover art soon.

The business side of the industry is also bogging me down. I’ve been reading books by different experts and looking for ways to take my writing to the next level. Hopefully that happens and soon!

State of Writing

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I’m half a dozen chapters deep on revisions for Dekker’s Dozen. I like to give it an initial revision right after completing a rough draft. It’s always interesting to see where i was initially going a different direction with things until the story presented something different/better. I find that an early revision while things fresh helps snip off frayed edges and loose ends like subplots that never developed or foreshadowing that isn’t quite right for how things actually turn out.

On the other side of the writing world (the less fun business/production side,) I have most of my cover art ready for Shadowless and I’m only waiting on art now for my comedy. I want to get banners for both and redo all of my graphics, etc.

This week, I’ll keep plodding along on these edits. I’m not pushing anything major at the moment–I’ll be at MN Renfest slingin paperbacks all weekend, so that will take a mental toll on me. Feel free to drop by for a visit!

State of Writing

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My blog has been a little more light than normal on content, I’ll admit. There are good reasons for that. I have been both finishing books as well as selling like a madman. I spent all of last weekend at the region’s largest renaissance festival selling books… and every weekend before that, too, for the last month or so. I did finish Dekker’s Dozen 3 and I am in the process of wrapping up final touches on several other books (cover art, editing, etc.)

This week, I’d like to work on an outline of my next story that I want to write this fall. I have lots of ideas, but I need to start whittling them down and focus on what story lines I must begin to tie up as I conclude a trilogy and close out one of my book series (while also injecting enough emphasis on another series that I’ll write that also takes place in this same universe).

State of Writing

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So I had a big weekend. I flew to Indianapolis and helped staff a gaming companies table for the weekend (more news on that in my mid-month newsletter,) at GenCon, a huge gaming convention. I picked up a couple cool items while there as well.

On the writing front, I didn’t have as much time to write as I’d hoped–but I AM in the last chapter of Dekker’s Dozen 3. There isn’t any real reason to think it won’t complete this week (probably by the end of monday or tuesday, depending on how much catch-up work I try to accomplish on monday.

Review: Beren and Luthien (J.R.R. Tolkien)

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I feel like an idiot for not having really leapt into Beren and Luthien before now! There are shadows of LOTR written all throughout the book. I have had this book since it released and only now got around to reading it after intending to pick out the passages from the Silmarillion in the past.

This is the show that they ought to be making for the upcoming Amazon series!

Everything about this story increases the intensity with which one reads the Lord of the Rings with (for instance, how Elrond feels about Arwen’s devotion to Aragorn—Elrond is the son of Tinuviel/Luthien who gave up her immortality for Beren.) Continue reading Review: Beren and Luthien (J.R.R. Tolkien)

State of Writing

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I just got back from my vacation last night, hence the late post. I didn’t have much for internet connection and didn’t spend a lot of time writing… it wasn’t the time (or especially the place) for it. I have trouble writing when away from home unless I’m alone and have access to a good chair. Still, I did get a few thousand more words and I’m firmly in the climactic final moments of Dekker’s Dozen 3: Austicon’s Lockbox. I would be greatly surprised if I did not finish it as I travel to Gencon this week. I tend to write a lot when I’m flying solo at cons… and that puts me on target (or just a few days over) from my goal to finish the 1st draft by the end of July. It’s really my only goal: to finish DD3 before saturday evening. If you’re in Indy and doing the con, come and say hello and maybe do some game demos at the SFR gaming booth (they manufacture the old TSR game Dragon Dice which is still alive and kicking!)

Why Whitelisting Matters

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We writers can live and die by our mailing lists. I wish I’d have known years ago what I know about them now—I would have started building and maintaining mine right away! But a mailing list is only good if people read your newsletters/posts.

I could talk all day about crafting content that matters or how to engage with/acquire new subscribers (you can search through my archives for more) but there’s a little key that you ought to know about to improve visibility: the whitelist.

Continue reading Why Whitelisting Matters