Become a Bestselling Author!

Cyberpunk Girl

Okay, no… that’s not really what this post is about. One of the writing groups I belong to had the question “Is becoming a bestselling author a dream or a goal for you?”. My answer was neither (which is a bit unfair, since the group is specifically about becoming a bestselling author)…

My answer was that I wanted to sell a few copies of a lot of books. Sure, having a book become a bestseller would be amazing and incredibly validating, but I’m good with writing a lot of books and having people who like them buy them even if not that many people know about them. That’s my ultimate goal, to have people like my stories enough that they buy all of my books, even when I have dozens on the market.

Is that goal realistic? If I work at it I could probably do six to eight books a year. That means it will take around three years to twenty books (give or take a few months). At twenty books I should be able to earn a decent living, if not an extravagant one.

So, long-term, I want to earn my living from that process.

In the meantime, I have work I do day to day, as well as the work I do for writing and marketing. Sometimes that work takes up a lot of time.

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Dreams

A Highway With No One On It

Well, I’m working on getting everything ready for the show in April. I have one book on the market, but I will hopefully be launching three (three!) more at the Geequinox, two of which will be the first two books of the Jenny Dark series.

This is ambitious but possible. I have an editor selected, and I have the writing mostly done. The second draft of A Long Walk is well on its way and the first draft of book two of Jenny Dark is complete. The first draft of Jenny Dark book one is more than halfway – although I did lose my place a little bit, which slowed me down. I’m back to speed on that one, I know where I left off and I’m catching up.

Anyway, the point is that I will have four books with me at the Geequinox, sitting on my table (I might have a fifth, but probably not).

I don’t know if I will sell all my books or even most of my books. I’m going to take a risk on it, dream big and hope people like my little stories.

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Afterward

If you are reading this, hopefully, you read A Long Walk. If not, the index page has all the chapters on it, or you can get it for Kindle (or in dead tree edition) on Amazon. If you want to go for the dead tree edition it will cost you money, but the other methods are free.

I wrote A Long Walk as a NaNoWriMo Project, and it was my first finished novel. Before that, I think the longest story I had ever finished was in the five thousand word range. A Long Walk was a ten-fold increase over my next longest piece. It was a bitch, and the finished product had a lot of issues. I added viewpoints and moved characters around. When I wrote it there were some major plot points I had planned to turn out differently, but the story made more sense this way.

After I finished I was going to take it easy, I was going to slowly accumulate some books, with a plan to make a living as a writer in about ten years.

Life had different plans. I ended up in a position where I had the time and resources to give this writing stuff a serious try, and I really wanted to make it happen. I’m still on that journey, trying to make the writing thing my living.

If you liked A Long Walk please join my mailing list. I send a message a week, and the occasional one when I publish a new story. There’s also a free ebook copy of Almost Like Wearing Nothing at All in it for you!

Feel free to leave a review if you liked it or not. Also, if you download the kindle version before you leave a review you get a free Kindle version and Amazon gives the review more weight by marking you as a verified purchaser. This makes me very, very happy.

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New Sites

I’m trying to figure out what to do for my two new sites.

I have not put anything at all on them as of yet. One is jennydark.com – currently not hosted. It’s for my series The Strange Tales of Jenny Dark.

I don’t yet know what that’s going to look like, as a website. I think I’ll probably have a lore section, with myths, legends, ideas, etc. Due to a series of conversations with my son I have a developed mythos here. Some things won’t be in my books, although most if not all will actually influence my stories more or less. Some of it is bizarre (Hell has no entropy).

I’m doing the same thing with my World of the Dead series. World of the Dead is an interesting world to me because it’s a lot longer post-zombie than most movies. Twenty years and the world is very, very different. I’m thinking the world of the dead is going to have a great deal of worldbuilding. I want people to see the world, of course only as I reveal it in the books (there are bits that will come out much later and matter to stories).

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I just had an idea

A Tunnel

I don’t know if I’m going to do it or not, but I’m thinking about doing a movie review channel dedicated entirely to zombies. I think I’ve watched almost every single zombie movie in existence, and there are a lot of them. Some are good, some are brilliant, and most are terrible.

The idea is to once a week (or a month, I haven’t really figured that out yet) review one of the almost infinite number of zombie movies that exist in the world. I have a couple of candidates for the first episode even (probably the original Night of the Living Dead, although The Girl with All the Gifts would also work).

So, what do people think? I’m tentatively thinking of calling it Reviews of the Dead, but it’s probably taken. Well, I guess I should find that out.

Okay, I checked… Reviews of the Dead is officially one of my youtube channels now. I will update once it has content.

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Meeting With My Cover Designer

Riot Cop from Below

I have a meeting today with my cover designer. In fact, by the time you read this, I will have already met with my cover designer. I will be taking possession of one of my covers, and seeing comps of another one I haven’t seen before. Hopefully getting comps of two more.

I write a lot, but I haven’t been marketing to the degree I should be. Also, I haven’t released the second book in the world of the dead series because I am still editing it. It’s taking longer than it should, but I’m doing it. Should be launching in early January.

Mid-January will see my literary novel “An Accusation” (title may change) coming out, and by late January, early February I should have the first two novels in the Jenny Dark series out.

I’m going to be working on my cyber-noir series Nic Styx after that. It’s a fun concept and I can’t wait to get started. I don’t know how it will go, but I have the story for book 1 already complete, have to turn it into a proper outline, then take the bit I wrote years ago, update it, turn it into a proper book, I have the first few chapters written – and I do mean written. It was done longhand.

I’m wrestling with an idea – I like when books, especially in that genre, use elements of media to tell part of the story. I don’t see it being used a lot lately. It’s a thing that John Brunner used back when he was writing Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up. Now, I originally used some of that in my story. I’m trying to decide if I use it or not. I’m inclined to say yes because it’s something I like.

I guess I’m going to have to go to the well of common information and make a decision. So, both Reddit and Facebook will be getting threads created on them.

I might tackle my vampire novel before I hit the second Nic Styx book. I’ve been trying to figure out what sort of flow works best for me. Do I bang through one book then another book in the same series, or do I move from concept to concept? I know that I wrote one World of the Dead novel, then the second one, with a long break between, but they were back to back.

Jenny Dark is going in a weirder order. I wrote a third of book 1, then NaNoWriMo started and I wrote book 2, now I’m back to finishing book 1. So not only are the back to back, in fact, they are out of order.

So, my vampire novel, it’s a standalone and is probably more literary in both its plot and goals than most of my stuff. Not as much as An Accusation, but close. It’s the story of a vampire and a human that fall in love, but it is very, very far from Twilight. This isn’t anything like that, not only in that my vampires are much more the classic vampire (although I am going with the sunlight kills version), but in that the relationship between them goes very, very differently than expected.

Anyway, that’s kind of an update on what I’m working on. I will try to put comps for my covers up when I have them.

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Facebook Promotion – an Exercise in Frustration

A Misty Lake

A few years ago Facebook was the tool for self-promotion. You put up a page and you posted and people saw your posts.

I have people who follow me. A hundred and some. I post something new on my facebook page every single day. The way the algorithm works with Facebook, maybe six of those people see my post. Six. I think my recent high was thirteen.

I follow pages because I want those pages to be what I see on my feed. I don’t do it because I want Facebook to decide not to show me their posts.

The thing is, there’s a way to ensure that the people who subscribe to my page see my posts. Guess what it is? That’s right folks, I can “boost my post” for only a couple of dollars a day. Here’s the thing, I’m trying to build an audience, get new people interested in my work. Get people on my mailing list (if you join up I will send you a free short story – of course, it’s on this site too, but that way you get it in ebook format. Right now I’m giving away Almost Like Wearing Nothing At All to new subscribers). The thing is, Facebook has really created a situation where email lists are the tool that authors need to use.

I hate using email lists. Seriously, I don’t like subscribing to them, I hate getting a million messages. I would prefer it to just show up on my facebook feed. Odds are good that if I’m on Facebook I’m not doing something terribly important, and that’s a good moment to go check out the post from the writer I like (for the record most of the pages I subscribe to are writers… they tend to post content I’m interested in reading).

So, I guess I don’t have too much to say except that I really hate the way Facebook is doing this, and that I have no choice but to build my email list. Seriously… join my mailing list, you won’t regret it!

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NaNoWriMo Day 12 and Dropping Stats

A Baby goat

It’s a weird thing, my consistency with this blog has been off a tiny bit since I started doing NaNoWriMo. It’s because I’m trying to update the blog with the info from the day before, so if something interferes with me writing I end up being a little bit late (or a fair bit late).

Anyway, yesterday I made my target plus a few words. 2516 I think. Still haven’t made up for my missed day, but it’s inching closer every day. I get just over my goal and occasionally a fair bit over. If I keep doing that my average will be over 2500 and at the end of the month that’s what matters.

Now, dropping stats. I know consistency is the most important thing for gaining readership. It’s vital. At the same time, I keep being just a bit late, or a few hours late. It seems to be killing my traffic. I’m going from an average daily readership of a hundred and some to seventy some. I need to get back to the consistent schedule.

I’m not sure how feasible that will be in November though. I had a couple of thoughts about it. For example, I could write in advance and then just update my NaNo count when I get it done. Something like that.

Anyway, the book is going incredibly well! I think I might throw a passage from it into the blog post tomorrow, just a quick sampler to show off what my writing is looking like at the moment.

Anyway, it’s a shortish post today, sorry. Other stuff on my mind right now.

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