I write like
Jack London

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Status Report - February 2016

This year didn't get off to the rousing start I wanted. As I said on my post from January 7th, we've had a lot of health issues with in-laws. Unfortunately, things haven't let up any.

On the down side, MIL ended back in the hospital for a week with breathing problems. While the docs were scanning FIL again for a possible source of the leg pain, they found a mass in his bladder. I'm driving him to Toledo for a second opinion next Monday.

On the plus side, MIL has improved greatly since the last scary stint in the hospital. She's still a little shaky when it comes to walking on her own, but she's off oxygen. We moved FIL into an assisted living apartment at the same complex where MIL is doing her rehab. Despite next week's consultation, he was in good spirits tonight and heading to the main dining room for dinner.

Why am I talking about all this?

The recent personal crises have definitely affected my productivity. I got A Question of Balance back from my beta reader some time ago, and still haven't had a chance to go through their notes. The proof copies for the paperback versions of Blood Magick and Zombie Love are still sitting on my desk. The good side is I'm fifty pages into the first book, but I still need to order the proofs for the next two books. Also, the file for Blood Sacrifice needs to be reviewed before going to the my paperback formatter.

Zombie Goddess is sitting at 40.5K, Ravaged at 18K, and Sacrificed at Murphy only knows because I'm writing it on an iPhone app while waiting in various places, and the app doesn't have a word counter.

Plus, I came up with a cool new idea for an urban fantasy series. I scribbled some notes, but trust me, I won't write it until the Bloodlines series is done.

None of the above has anything to do with Alter Ego, who is also way behind on her work. LOL

I was so stressed last week that DH made me take Wednesday off. It's amazing how a few episodes of Agent Carter and The Librarians can brighten your perspective.

Once again, I am SOOO thankful that I'm an indie writer. If I were under contract with a trad publisher, I would be royally screwed at the moment. I may be super slow right now, but I will get something published this year!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Deadpool PSA for the Ladies

Self-examinations are important. I say this as someone who has undergone a lumpectomy. Fuck cancer!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Batman vs Deadpool

This is SO much better than Batman vs Superman.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Poor Ahmed Best Never Got Any Respect

An interview with Ahmed Best about his Star Wars character, Jar-Jar Binks. He's such a nice guy who got s*** on by the fanboys.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Who Is Deadpool?

Since someone asked in comments a few weeks ago, here's a primer on the Merc with the Mouth from the lovely folks at New Rockstars.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Finding Your Path As a Writer

When does an indie writer ignore people who are telling her what to write?

Short answer:

When she's making money anyway.

Long Answer:

What I'm talking about here is subject matter, not grammar and spelling.

(Seriously, you should always fix grammar and spelling, assuming the critic is correct that something is wrong. Guess what? Sometimes, the critics don't know as much grammar, spelling or factual research as they think they do either.)

Many of the so-called experts, and that includes folks from both the trad and indie published spheres, have no freaking clue of what they're talking about. So how do you know when they're right and when they are wrong?

You don't. Sometimes their criticism has nothing to do with you or your story, and everything to do with the critics own hang-ups. So, here's some things to think about to keep you on your path, not someone else's:

1) Write what you like to read

This is not the same thing as writing what you know. A lot of people write to market, i.e. if sparkly vampires or stalkers are hot, that's what they write. These are the same people who deride you for not following that trend. But once the market's saturated with crappy knock-offs, the readers stop buying those books, and everyone loses.

If there's a genre you love, and you can't find enough material that can keep you satisfied, then write a story in that genre. Just because it's not the hot thing at the moment doesn't mean it won't sell. There's lots of readers bemoaning the loss of sweet romances, westerns, and gothics right now. If you're one of them, why aren't you writing one?

For example, I like BDSM stories with romance, which is a subgenre of erotic romance. There wasn't a whole lot when the big publishers tried to ride the erotica wave launched by Ellora's Cave in 2000. So I wrote a couple and published them under a pseudonym. They sold, and they continue to sell steadily.

2) Study the market

Sounds contradictory to No. 1, doesn't it? But I'm not saying write to the market. What I mean is there are times when you can anticipate trends in the genres you love.

I adore fantasy and paranormal. In 2004 when I got serious about having a writing career, vampire romances were peaking and werewolf romances were on the rise. So I considered what would be the next big thing, i.e. which monster would take center stage.

The year before, an odd little duck of a comic book called The Walking Dead had been released. George Romero was still writing his zombie movies, and they were as popular as ever. However, Zombie Love was too off-the-wall for trad publishing by the time it was finished in 2005. In some ways, it still is. But I indie published it anyway, and it sold.

Does anticipation of a market trend always work? No. I couldn't have predicted BDSM romance taking off like it did. Which leads to...

3) Accept that you may love and write in a niche, and it's not a bad thing

Contemporary romance may be the most popular and best-selling genre on the face of the planet right now, but if you absolutely despise it, don't write it. Seriously. It's a good way to burn out your brain. And if you did a half-assed job because you hate the genre, your book won't be differentiated from the thousands that are out there. Furthermore, just because romance readers are voracious doesn't mean they are idiots. They'll one-star your book in a heartbeat if they think you don't respect them or their favorite genre.

The great thing about indie publishing today is that freaky subgenres that can't sell enough to sustain a multi-national publishing conglomerate CAN sell well enough to support the dozen or so writers that adore that particular freaky subgenre.

For example, M/M romance, lactation erotica, and serial killers as heroes are niche markets. Indie writers in these markets are doing very well because they enjoy the subject matter and they respect the readers of that subject matter. Very rarely would a trad publisher touch these topics, if it all, whether because of their own squick factor or the relatively tiny sales. However, those relatively tiny sales can still pay your mortgage if you write about it.

Finally, to paraphrase Internet Rule 35--if no book on a new subgenre is found at the moment, one will be written. Be the one to write that book!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Now, back to our regularly scheduled Deadpool programming--

Friday, January 22, 2016

Halloween with Deadpool and the X-Men

Well, it was relatively clean for the little ones...


Monday, January 18, 2016

Indie Book Promotion

Five years after I jumped in the indie publishing waters, I still see new writers debating which method of promotion works the best. Especially when comes to advertising newsletters, such as Bookbub, eBookSoda, Pixels of Ink, etc., results can vary wildly. Couple that with expectations of winning the author lottery, it makes me want to *facepalm*.

How many methods work? Therein lies the problem. Here's what I've learned since 2011:

1) There is no magic bullet. No perfect form of advertising. You will drive yourself insane and broke trying to find it. Do your research and stay within your budget.

2) Don't do what everyone else is doing.What used to work doesn't work anymore because of oversaturation by all the writers before you. By the time you learn about it, the ROI on that form will be shrinking to zero.

3) Don't be afraid to experiment. What works for Superstar Indie may not work for you, and vice versa.

4) Only do the forms of promotion that you're comfortable with. If you hate tweeting, it's a waste of your time, and your discomfort generally comes across to the public.

5) The only, and I do mean ONLY (assuming you've mastered the art of storytelling), method of spurring additional sales is to publish your next work. This method freaks out new writers because it means OH MY GOD! MORE WORK!

Um, yeah, if you want to sell more books, you need to put out more books. That concept eludes most people who believe they want to be writers. Yes, sometimes a person can write that one book that sets them up for life, but that's not always the case.

Take J.K. Rowling for example. How many of you had heard of her in 1997 when the first Harry Potter came out? I didn't learn about Harry Potter until 2000 when I was asking for book recommendations from other parents. 2000 was the year the fourth book in the series came out, not the first book.

Word-of-mouth takes time. When many new indie writers don't get immediate sales with their first book, they give up instead for writing the next book. Or else, they continue promoting that one book until their readers are sick of hearing about it. If someone likes your writing, you need to give them more product to enjoy. Your readers aren't going to buy the same title over and over again.

Unless you release three or four books at the same time, don't worry about promotion. If you do release a bunch of books at once, then by all means go to town on promotion, but only do what you can afford. Good luck!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Second Most Anticipated Movie of 2016

Okay, I'll give you folks a Deadpool break. The other movie I'm looking forward to is Avengers 2.5.