I Hate These Bleh Days.

I’m feeling kind of bleh. ☹

The woes of self-publishing have got me down again, but I’m distracting myself with candy intended for the Trick or Treaters. It’s yummy, and makes me feel better. 😊 (Plus, it’s an excuse to go out and buy more candy. So, win-win.)

The bleh-ness comes from just being so, so bad at the whole business side of this thing. Because there is no business side. It’s just me chucking finished books out into the great void and turning around to write the next. That’s great and all (and go me for having such an awesome work ethic!) but there’s no other part of this business. Just manufacturing. No marketing. No marketing strategy, no strategy whatsoever. I’m telling you I literally have *no* strategy, which is not cool, because living off my writing is like, the goal. Someday. Someday soon? (God, I hope so). Which means I need to get a strategy. Which means I need to be smart and do this business side but again, I’m so, so bad at it.

But I can learn, right? I don’t know. I can be kind of stupid. It feels like this whole process is taking forever, and I’m not getting any traction, which is my own fault, but still. I hate these bleh days. I need a pick me up. Maybe extra snuggles with Appa? I’d say something sweet, but I’ve already dipped into the kids’ chocolate, and it hasn’t helped much.

P.S. The cover for Better Than You IS coming. Like, maybe in a couple days. See? Business side of me is doing VERY POORLY but flaky artistic side of me is ROCKING IT. Maybe one day I’ll master both.

Maybe…

Because It’s A Possibility, IWSG

I saved writing this post for the night before (again) when my brain is dead, so I’m going to jump right in on the optional question:

What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

Think I’ve answered this one before, but self-publishing. I’ve seen *so* many friends embark on entrepreneurial dreams and they can because it’s a possibility. That’s what self-publishing is: the possibility for authors to put our art out there. I would still love to be traditionally published, but gaining an audience is crucial, and self-publishing is slowly—but surely—helping me do that.

Okay, my brain is officially dead now.

I’m going to go fall asleep on the couch with Appa 😊

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

The Case of CockyGate and Missing Reviews

There’s been a lot of craziness going on in the Indie world (in case you didn’t know. Which I assume you didn’t, since you’re not a self-published author. Unless you are, in which case, you probably know all about this. Recap for you!)

The first thing is this whole trademark thing. If you haven’t heard, an author by the name of Faleena Hopkins has successfully trademarked the word ‘Cocky’ in book titles, meaning no author—regardless of their publication date—is allowed to have that word in their title. It might not seem like such a big deal, but SHE TRADEMARKED A WORD IN A TITLE. So sorry, but I thought words were free for all of us to use? You know, to write and talk and communicate with. Is that not the case anymore? But, if the possession of a word in a title isn’t crazy enough, every other author who has that word in their title HAS TO CHANGE IT. LEGALLY.

(pause to really let that sink in)

You’ve worked for hours (and hours and hours) writing the thing, several more on imagining the brand/theme/colors, spent (even more) time and (lots of) money on cover design, editing and marketing, and now…what? You’re just expected to change it all? Because of ONE word?

But okay, let’s forget those who had to (or are in the midst of) changing everything for a second. Trademarking one word in the title isn’t really too terrible, right? Except that authors—now scared at the *possibility* of having to update their work—have come forward with their own trademarks. ‘Forever’ and ‘Dare’ and ‘Shifter World’ are all in the process of applying for trademarks. GUYS. What’s happening?!?!?!

The second other huge crappy thing is that Amazons is fucking us over. Authors, I mean. I considered going to KU (Kindle Unlimited) with my Arizal Wars series since I do absolutely no advertising and figure maybe I can score some page reads (KU pays by the page read, not the book purchased) and gain a little something there. Except, authors with LEGIT page reads are not able to access their royalties because Amazon’s saying they’re committing different kind of fraud like book-stuffing. Then a BUNCH of reviews went missing from like, a BUNCH of authors and they’re not sure if it’s a glitch or what. Regardless, losing reviews means less people’s opinions on a product which means (possibly) less interest from a potential buyer. And that’s the other thing—supposedly, Amazon is only allowing a ‘verified purchaser’ to leave a review, so if I lent you a copy of my book, you wouldn’t be able to review it there because you didn’t buy it. I don’t care who bought it, JUST REVIEW IT BECAUSE REVIEWS HELP US.

So those are the things swimming around in my head. That, and pushing BTT and writing/planning to market for BTN. And Deadpool. And maybe going to see Solo.

If you’re interested in following the “Cocky” situation, check out #cockygate. The RWA (Romance Writers Association) is even involved with the reversal of the trademark. This shit is getting super real.

What do you guys think? Big deal? Not a big deal? Having a lovely Wednesday?

IWSG: Do it. I did.

Today I’m releasing my fourth book.

Woo hoo!

And also *don’t look at me*

Well it’s up on. On Smashwords and Amazon and I’m very proud of myself for having gotten to this stage. It’s taken a lot of time, and a lot of effort, and I’m happy I stuck through it all.

I will say Crusade Across Worlds was more difficult to write than the first three, partly because of how the story went, but it had a lot to do a lot with what I was experiencing in my own life at the time. Thank you to everyone who’s read Escape, Plague and Discovery, or who’s offered a kind or supportive word. It means more than you know. Truly.

So, yep, here it is.

Fourth book in the series.

And guys—GUYS—shit just got real.

CRUSADE ACROSS WORLDS - 2500

Fallon has just returned from three months of training and is eager to fight against those who enslaved her. Joining up with Reid and the gang, they set out to prepare for the Vermix’s final attack—a highly prophesied invasion that could mean the possible end to a centuries-long war. But when unforeseen events arise, causing the plan of defense to crumble, it will take everything they have to survive what will certainly become a turning point in the Arizal War.

Find it on Smashwords here.

Find it on Amazaon here.

For all of you terrified weirdos out there like me, I clicked the publish button. And if I can do it, you can too. And if you can’t, read through a few more of these blogs. You’ll find the encouragement you need.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

Arizal Wars Kickstarter

I’ve decided to do a Kickstarter campaign.

Yes, the excitement here never ends.

I’ve been going back and forth on it for a while. Mostly because I wasn’t sure that I could, which, taking a step back, I realized was simply fear. It’s not that I couldn’t do it. It’s that I was afraid of doing it. And what’s there to be afraid of? Not being funded? Okay, well that leaves me with no money, just like now. So, failing at Kickstarter means being in the same place. But succeeding would bring a change. Possibility. And hopefully funds, which is what I need to get Escape in paperback and Crusade in ebook. I’m really excited guys. I’ve been meaning to advertise but then I get bogged down with the whole writing thing. Most nights when I open my laptop, I think, “I’m going to research marketing. I’m going to look at Goodreads advertising and study my self-publishing sites and figure out what to do next!” But then I reread what I wrote the night before and a better sentence forms or a new idea pops in my head. “I really should say it this way. And I didn’t do a great job at describing XYZ…” I think it’ll be a quick edit and then forty minutes later, I’m working on the manuscript when I should’ve been learning how to sell it. But what can I say? I have a compulsion.

So Batman asked me what my plan was. He wants to get to the Castle-Mansion already and spend his days golfing and fixing me gourmet meals that can ONLY be cooked in a gourmet kitchen, apparently. Uh-huh. And, an avid South Park viewer, he mentioned Kickstarter. If the four Colorado kids could raise some ridiculous amount of money by claiming the name “Red Skins,” why couldn’t I reach a plausible goal of $3,000.00?

BECAUSE BOOKS AREN’T FUNDED ON KICKSTARTER, BATMAN.

…Or so I thought.

Apparently they can be funded. And loads of them are. And I mean LOADS.

After some research on work breaks and lunches, and an occasional evening when I opted not to open that Microsoft word doc, I discovered you CAN fund a book. And I have three of them. So what am I waiting for?

NOTHING.

I’m planning a sixty day period from the beginning of February through the end of March (you know, when people get money back from overpaying the government) and I’m thinking my goal will be $3,000.00. Maybe $3,500.00.

As excited as I am about my real first stab at advertising and the campaign in general, I’m *really* excited about the Backer Rewards:

ANYONE who contributes will have their name listed in the final print version under a KickStarter Acknowledgements Page. I’ll be doing three designs of shirts, an Honorary Rogue Certificate (signed by Rox) to those who pledge $50.00 (Rogue Backer Reward), note cards, extra scenes, questions to the characters…. Lots of stuff!

I’m really excited. I’m excited for you, I’m excited for me, and I’m excited for the few fans out there because I can’t wait for you guys to see what’s to come.

(Hint—it’s going to be awesome!)

Stay tuned for more information or shoot me an email if you have a question.

And yes, you can come to the Castle-Mansion for a swim in the llama-shaped pool.

That went without saying.

Here’s To A Better October!

After my last post for IWSG, I felt rejuvenated and inspired and ready to tackle all the writing woes destined to come my way.

And then September happened.

Nothing writing-specific, but a lot of crap went down. September was tough. And apparently, it was tough for a lot of people. And I’m not sure why. I’m not sure why last month was so crazy or why it tested me (and a lot of people), but I think that’s what it was. A test. Something put in life to make us stronger. That’s what struggles are, right? Strength endorsers?

I’m still working on the first draft of my fourth book (almost finished!) but thanks to one of my writing mentors, Joleene Naylor, I’m working on the next part—the scary part—advertising. So I’ve been researching competitions, studying marketing strategies and oh yeah, writing, because an addict can’t give up her fix. For anyone who’s interested, I’ll be posting short stories under “Goodies” for competitions I’m entering. I’m not sure if this is what I need to be doing, but I figure it can’t hurt.

What about you guys? Are you still in the writing stage? Or have you moved onto the next part—the one that completely baffles (and somewhat terrifies) me.

If you’re a writer, be sure to check out Insecure Writers Support Group, or IWSG here. It’s exactly what it says—a support group for writers. I’ve only been a member for a few months but I really find it beneficial and inspirational and I look forward to the first of every month. A big thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for creating such an amazing resource.

Here’s to a better October!

OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD

So, okay. WHO has a review with a follow up author-interview?

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry… *wipes sweat from crazed happy dance*…but I had to. Can I just say OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD because that’s how I feel right now. Insanity mixed with a healthy dose of disbelief. This has been a good week. Like, an amazing week because 1.) I understood most everything I did at work and 2.) my books are currently free on Smashwords until the end of the month so I’ve averaged at least one sale (sometimes 2) a day which beats the last few months of epic nothingness and a choir of crickets. Oh and 3.) The Best Slice of Pie, a new book review blog reached out to ME. This happened about two weeks ago but Monday they sent me a questionare. Like, an author questionare. You know, the kind I’ve read a dozen times over and secretly envied the author who wrote them. And I finally got mine, an ‘interview’ applicable solely to the first book in my series, Escape from Harrizel.

*runs around doing happy dance again*

The sweat is definitely worth exercising my happiness over this tiny little step that projects me just that much closer to the dream of saying ‘fuck you’ to a cubicle and ‘hello lovely’ to my recliner forever.

Look at it. Waiting for me to sink and start writing.

Where the magic happens. Bam.

Where the magic happens. Bam.

It’s weeks like these that keep me going, reminding me that, okay, today is just today. But tomorrow can be something totally better if I work at it. And I am so glad I did. Because this feeling is AWESOME.

Want to read the review? Of course you do. You can find it here, along with the author interview (my author interview) here.

*happy dance ensues again*

Sorry about that. Sheesh. It must be a disorder.

I’ll have to look into that.