Good week for me. Work is back in full swing and I feel accomplished.
In my writing world, I did more business stuff than I wanted to (wished I could’ve spent more time writing, but that’s how it goes.) I did finish the “second act” for my current short novel and I’m about halfway through it. I believe I can finish it by the end of January… it should be done by the MN Writer’s Workshop at the latest (which is my planned start time for the Hidden Rings series.)
After a lull in creativity, I wrote some future blogs. It continually amazes me how much there is that I don’t know or what new writing resources I find… there’s some good author tips coming regularly through the next couple months.
I got a chance to update some of my dates on my convention calendar and put them on my Amazon Author profile. Methinks I’m starting out 2018 with good plans and good intentions… we’ll see what tomorrow brings.
I am one of three people involved with an Indie-only bookstore here in Minnesota called 3 Maesters & A Crooked Quill. We are planning to launch our bookstore late summer (I can’t say much more than that at this time) but we are looking for MN authors (or those in bordering states) who would be interested in having books on our shelves. (We are primarily fiction, especially Fantasy, SF, horror/paranormal, and similar genre fiction)
If you’d like to be on the 3 Maester’s email list as a reader or supporter we’d love to have you sign up here: http://eepurl.com/c_HxQ9
We’re hoping to launch out big and strong and do this thing right! It may involve some crowdfunding elements… and honestly, if we don’t get some paperwork approval in Feb then we might not be able to move forward, but everything is looking great so far and we’d love to be proactive about establishing a base so we can launch strong. Thanks!
Wanted to say a huge thank-you to those who already downloaded a free copy of Wolf of the Tesseract from Amazon. I’m currently running a free promotion that ends today. If you want to download a free copy of it to read on your Kindle, tablet/ereader, or smartphone (kindle app) just click here to get a copy! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JGOEKK6
You might be wondering why authors give away books? Amazon, Facebook, and other online companies use fancy algorithms (basically, a math based AI) to determine who gets showed the most often and gets best placement in sales rankings, etc.) The more activity (even free downloads) that a book gets, the more interest Amazon has in presenting the book to others.
King among these metrics is good reviews. (BTW, a 3 star review is a “bad” review for amazon, most people think that’s the baseline, but only 4 or 5 is positive.) What writers really need are reviews, and the best way is to get people to read the book and then hope someone leaves positive comments (a little less than 1% or people leave reviews).
If you’d leave me a high review after downloading for free, I’d be as happy as Mabel with some Smile Dip!
I didn’t do much solid writing, but I got some outlining done for Hidden Rings and have 2 of 5 books’ rough outlines done. I’m hoping to complete them all in December so I can concentrate on writing the series throughout 2018. Over the weekend I did two, small holiday craft shows that were scheduled, locally (I literally called the day before each one and made the arrangements) … between the two I think I sold more than 30 books, so I’m very stoked about that.
This week I’m going to aim for outlining another of the 5 books… and reading. I’m in the middle of a couple good books I’d like to finish as well. If I can, I’m also attempting to set up some last-minute, out of state events for next month so I’ll be making some cold-calls to book stores, so cross your fingers.
Today is Cyber Monday and my publisher is running a free giveaway on Wolf of the Tesseract! I’ll be doing another birthday giveaway at the end of the month and will send out a larger push then, but get the book for free on Amazon today and tomorrow only! All I really want for Christmas are book reviews!
I completed all revisions on Fear in a Land Without Shadows last week and got it off to editing for final corrections. I’m very pleased with it and think it’s some of my best work ever (and it’s a huge book which reads something like Michael Crichton and Stephen King.)
So now what? Winter is getting close and it’s time to start looking at new projects. I’m gathering info on a nonfiction book about the enduring (and misguided) influence of Pat Pulling (who I think did more harm than good to the cause of Christ). I am also brainstorming and outlining the Hidden Rings of Mryddin the Cambion series which I hope to begin writing next year. (Time traveling gunslingers, pirates teleported to space, robin hood vs vampires, epic viking and samurai team-ups, plus a quest to save Merlin. It’s got something for everyone!)
Signup and get one weeks’ worth of daily devotionals sent to your email for free courtesy of my In the John devotional series. Just because it’s got biblical content, it doesn’t have to be dry or boring… this is the devo book that is totally “what Jesus would read in the bathroom.”
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I didn’t know anything about Donna Migliaccio (or her publisher, Fiery Seas Publishing) or The Gemeta Stone books that she writes. I stumbled on them quite accidentally while chatting about nonrelated items on a forum over at Absolute Write and Migliaccio was kind enough to send me a review copy for my Inside the Inkwell blog.
Comparatively speaking it felt like a splendid mix of RA Salvatore and Christopher Paolini. Whereas Salvatore can read stylistically like a fantasy version of Stephen King (for all the pros and cons there) Paolini can sometimes keep on point and keep it short—perhaps to a fault. Migliaccio’s writing is a good mix and keeps the story moving nicely but the worldbuilding feels more smooth and established, like Salvatore.
It had some elements that give it a YA feel, but also some that seemed more like it targeted a mainstream market; by that I mean there is a kind of coming of age in the characters as they discover their inner strengths and overcome Daazna (who is a real jerk—so that’s a good bit of characterization by the author.) That said, general lovers of fantasy would be a good fit for Kinglet and the upcoming sequel in the Gemeta Stone series.
When I was in 7th grade one of my teachers commented, “Reading is so important that, if all he would read is comic books, I’d buy my son a subscription to every title he wanted. It’s the foundation to everything.” A few years prior I’d gotten into comics when my grandmother gave me a box of classic golden-age titles she pulled out of storage. It certainly opened my mind to new worlds.
My crowd-funder is meant to do the same thing–inspire other readers by giving away a free comic book. The comic book, being developed by myself and my art team, is an original “one-shot” comic and a prequel to my Wolf of the Tesseract series. I’ve got agreements with 6+ local comicons who want to distribute a total of 5,000-10,000 copies of this for free to people–especially to young readers.
I’m launching this fundraiser to 1. encourage child/teen literacy by getting something in front of a specific, targeted audience and 2. promote my YA fiction series. The crossover from comics to the novel will be easy because the comic sets the stage and action that occurs in the novel and encouraging teens to read larger, print books is my ultimate goal!
The Kickstarter campaign is not meant as a money-making vehicle. The funds raised are only a portion of the costs necessary to develop, print, ship, and distribute 5,000 copies of the comic book; $2,500 is not a significant sum, but I’m only trying to cover enough of the actual cost to put books in kids’ hands; once we exceed that amount, additional funds will go towards purchasing more printed copies and paying for a stretch goal. I’ve already committed to paying the art team from my own pocket and cover artist Rebecca Alexander donated her art as a favor!
Lots happened over the weekend. I did my writing and blogging and then I used a vacation day I’d banked a while back to get out and film a set of television interviews which will run in the Twin Cities . I also sat with a blogger and recorded a podcast that day and finalized a book signing for Barnes & Nobles in St. Cloud. The big thing for me, however, is the huge comicon coming up this weekend. Come on out and chill with me at Wizard World Minneapolis (if you still need tickets, get them online and use coupon code AUTHOR to get 20% off).
My other big iron in the fire is the comic book I’m producing as a prequel to Wolf of the Tesseract. It will be done by the end of June and I’m planning to give away between 5,000 and 10,000 copies at different comicons I will attend in the upper Midwest (MN and the surrounding states). I’ve got agreements in place for distribution (“first 1,000 convention attendees” will get a free comic at the door kinda thing). Now, I’ve just got to crowd fund the rest of the costs. It’s actually pretty low for a comicbook kickstarter—I’ve just got to get the word out there as broad as possible later this week when I launch. (If you’re an author and want an advert for your book, we’re talking thousands of readers with targeted marketing for pretty cheap! Contact me for info!
I did realize that if my current novel will be done on time I’m going to need to speed up my writing from one chapter per week to two for the rest of the month. That should be possible. I usually accelerate on the homestretch anyway. I’ll try for two chapters this week but commit to one and see how it goes (especially once I launch the comic promo.)