New Year, Belated New Resolutions

Hello there! Hope you had a great Christmas and holiday season. No, I’m not dead, or even UN-dead. Last year was…complicated in a bunch of ways. I’d hoped to get more writing done over the summer, but instead did a bunch of traveling with family. Then NaNoWriMo 2017 turned out to be one of those years where I didn’t come out with a usable first draft. Instead, I came out with a much better idea of what I needed to do for the second book in the Jaiya prequel series, and a few thousand more words for the third book in the prequel series, the one about the notorious Commander Rijal.

My plans for this year are to stay away from the news media and news commentary sites, because all they do is drag my mood down and distract me from my writing, finish the third book in the prequel series and write the second book, and then edit all four of them and release the whole series together in late 2018 or early 2019.

Not sure where I’m going from there; I have an interesting space opera/romance idea but it needs to stay on the back burner until the Jaiya prequel series is completed.

Black Friday Sales at Amazon and All Romance ebooks!

fb-x-promo-christmas-40booksIf you like buying print books as gifts, Amazon has a great offer for you, running through November 28: buy $25 or more worth of print books (not ebooks) and get $10 off by using the coupon code HOLIDAYBOOK. Not sure what to buy? Scottish author Roz Marshall has put together a Paperback Matchbook promotion, featuring over forty books in all kinds of genres. Buy the paperback to give as a gift, or just to flip through at home, and get the ebook free to read on your preferred device. Marrying A Monster is one of them, but there are lots more to choose from, so click here to see them all! The promotion starts today and runs through December 10.

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All Romance Ebooks has a special Black Friday sale, today only, with over 25,000 romance ebooks listed at 25% off. Marrying A Monster is one of them, available in epub, mobi, and pdf format. To see the rest of the romance deals, just go to the main site and search under “tags” for #AReBlast.  Hope you find something you like!

Happy Thanksgiving! Just Got Done with NaNoWriMo 2016!

Finished my novel-as in, finished writing the whole plot-with a total of around 52K words yesterday, about 11:30pm. This was not the easiest year I’ve ever done this, nor was it the hardest, but it was one of the less melodramatic. I went through some setbacks in terms of wordcount and stuff distracting me from my project, but I didn’t spend as much time being huffy and upset about it as I sometimes get, and I didn’t end up hating the novel project or the characters the way I sometimes do.

This was a prequel novel to the main Jaiya series; dealing with the parents of Vipin, the hero of Marrying A Monster. I enjoyed writing it, and right now I feel good about how it turned out. Catch is, now I have to polish up and publish the second and third book in the Jaiya series and write, polish and publish two more prequels before anyone gets to read this thing I just wrote.

Lessons learned: I need to not plan on being able to write ~4000 words per day on my days off from work. I can do that under exceptional circumstances, but I can’t do it on a consistent basis, and the times when I did it were the only times my wrists and elbows really protested.

I didn’t do as much dictating as I hoped, and the Windows Dictation tool proved to be very squirrelly. I used it for a couple of scenes early on. One scene I just found difficult to write because of what it was about (not ‘triggering’ or anything like that, just difficult), and in that case I found dictation helpful because it forced me to focus on getting the computer to understand what I was saying, half a sentence at a time, instead of getting hung up on the things about the scene I found difficult. The other section involved a lot of description of military hardware, and it was handy to have Google Images open on one screen (I use a dual screen setup)  and Word open in the other, and just talk out loud about what the hardware looked like to me and what it would be like to use.

Something which was amazingly helpful was the integration between OneDrive and the new version of MS Office I picked up over the summer. Save the main NaNoWriMo doc to OneDrive, open it up in Word just like any document on my hard-drive, and write away at home. Commute to work in the carpool, write between 80 and 200 words in Office Mobile using the same main NaNoWriMo doc on OneDrive. When I had free time at work (not that often), I’d try to fit in a Write or Die timed writing session, copy the results into a document on my work computer, email it home in the evening, copy/paste the new bits into main document. Those little niggling bits of writing really helped a lot on the days when I didn’t have time or energy left to write at home.

To those of you who also made it: congratulations! To those of you who are still plugging away: You can do it! And let me leave you with what were for me this year’s NaNoWriMo theme songs: Half The Battle, and Eastbound And Down.

 

News and Updates

Hello, everyone! Here in the USA, we are transitioning out of spooky candy overload and preparing for turkey meat overload. (Any comments mentioning the election will be marked as spam. Doesn’t matter who you voted for. I don’t care, and I am not kidding).

NaNoWriMo wordcount as of right now is around 17200, but since I’m aiming for 19000 by end of today, I need to get busy.

The big news is that I signed up with the Italian ebook aggregator Streetlib, and Marrying A Monster is now live (in English) on on the French retailer FNAC, and on the Mexican retailer Librerías Gandhi. It will soon be live on Google Play, Overdrive and a number of Italian, Spanish, Polish, Turkish and Russian ebook vendors and library services. I also have my own e-bookstore on the streetlib website.

I joined the Streetlib aggregator primarily to distribute my books to Google Play. Google Play is notorious for slashing prices on ebooks without the publisher’s permission, and Streetlib only allows publishers and self-publishers to set a single price for all the channels they distribute to.

The result is that the default price for my books through the vendors that Streetlib aggregates is going to be on the high side, except in cases where the retailer takes the initiative to discount them or price-match to Amazon (as FNAC and Gandhi seem to be doing).

MV Covers: Premade Book Covers At A Great Price

MV Covers* is run by an artist who is stepping back from the world of premade book covers (where the author picks out a pre-created design, explains what text needs to go on it, and pays for the result) to focus on logo work. Due to this, she is listing all her remaining premades at $15 a piece (which is EXTREMELY inexpensive for the quality of work she does) and is willing to make fairly major changes for a fee. I found a cover that I liked (for Loving A Deathseer, Book 3 in the Jaiya Series), but the woman was showing a bit more cleavage than I felt comfortable with, and I wanted her eyes to be more visible. The final pricetag for having that done and the fonts changed to more or less match what you see on the ebook cover to Marrying A Monster, was $30.

*Note: like many book cover sites, may be NSFW depending on your office’s guidelines.

Marrying A Monster featured on Digital Book Spot

Sometime back, I booked a spot for Marrying A Monster on Digital Book Spot, a website which publicizes free and $0.99 e-books. I found it to be a very user-friendly and easy to read website, with lots of books that looked interesting, in every genre from thriller to romance. Click here to check the site out!

Check Out Sweet Free Books!

Sweet Free Books runs a mailing list that covers free and discounted books, and today they are including Marrying A Monster! When I booked my novel for this promotion, I was impressed with the smoothness and efficiency of their website. This is all the more impressive when you consider the very modest fees they charge for book promotions. Many, many brownie points to the owner!

Click here to see a partial selection of the free and discounted books available out there.

Marrying a Monster is now live!

An exciting moment for me here: the book I first wrote back in 2013 and spent several months preparing for submission, is now available for purchase at a mere $0.99 on Amazon, NookiBooksKobo, All Romance Ebooks and Inktera. I submitted it to several ebook vendors through Draft2Digital, so hopefully it will go live at Scribd, etc. in the next few days.