Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Like it or not, self-publishing is here to stay. Just a few years ago it was an expensive vanity to self-publish. Today it is a valid alternative to traditional publishing, and authors owe it to themselves to understand the ins and outs of this nascent industry in order to make informed choices. Google self-publishing and you’ll find a myriad of sites offering advice. And, as ever, some will be extremely informative and some will be misleading, less than useless. I’ve done a fair amount of research, and I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface. Still, these are the blogs that I have found to be the most useful, and I hope you do too:

The Passive Voice
Passive Guy is a lawyer, but his blog covers writing, publishing, contracts and disruptive innovation. He posts daily and provides a lot of links to useful posts, along with his own dry comments. I spent hours reading his archives, and I’m glad I did.

David Gaughran
David is the Irish self-published author of works of fiction and Let’s Get Digital – a must-read. His blog posts are thoughtful and well worth reading.

Kris Rusch
Kristine Kathryn Rusch is an award-winning writer. She has a foot in each camp – self-publishing and traditional publishing. Her Business Rusch posts are excellent.

Dean Wesley Smith
A best selling author, Dean has also been an editor and a publisher. Look at his blog and you’ll see pages entitled ‘Think Like a Publisher’, ‘Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing’, and ‘New World of Publishing’. He posts regularly, is often quite sharp, is always insightful.

Joe Konrath
Joe is a strong advocate of self-publishing. His blog is a must to follow. His language is OTT at times, but go past that and you’ll find lots of keen observations and advice.

There are more blogs that are worth following, but those five will give you a good insight into self-publishing. Just bear in mind that, with the exception of Davud Gaughran, all those bloggers are American, so some of their advice/observations will not apply to Europe (where I’m based) or the rest of the world. That said, self-publishing knows no geographical boundaries. So far, Amazon is dictating the pace of change, and their primary market is the USA. They are gradually rolling things out across the globe, so we can expect the experiences of self-published authors in the USA to be closely replicated everywhere else.

What are your experiences of and observations on self-publishing? Are there any other blogs out there that you would recommend? If you’re not based in the USA, do you feel that self-publishing will take the same course or a different one in your country?


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2012 Goals

Happy New Year! May this year bring you health and happiness.

It’s the time of year when people make all sorts of resolutions – and promptly forget them.

So I’m going to keep it simple and set myself a few key writing goals.

Words per day
My current writing speed is around 1,000 per day. That’s nowhere near enough to achieve my goals, so my stretch target is to increase that to 5,000 per day by the end of the year. Yes, yes, I know – quality v quantity. Let’s see if both can be done. There’s a great post by Rachel Aaron entitled How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day. It’s well worth a look.

Finish the book!
And that means everything necessary to get it to a stage where it’s ready either to be self-published or traditionally published. With all the changes going on in the publishing industry it would be premature to choose now. Rampage Rising is the working title.

Short Stories
Write and self-publish six short stories set in the fantasy multiverse I created for Rampage Rising. From time to time I’ll refer to past events in RR, or say that Tanix told the tale of X. It adds to the depth and gives a sense of history. Interestingly, a number of beta readers and critique partners have said they’d really like to read about those tales. Why self-publish them? To familiarise myself with the process from start to finish, and to establish a presence.

Write the second book
Yes, I plan to write a series. *g* I do have an outline for the series, and I’ve written a fair few chapters from some of the books, so I have a pretty good idea of the key series arcs.


And that’s it. Two novels. Six short stories. If I manage that I’ll be a very happy lad.

How about you? What are your writing goals for 2012?

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100 Implings??

Allow me to explain.

The first story I ever wrote was about an imp, a thief of brownies. Fast forward and that effervescent character became the basis of a race of imps in the multiverse I was creating. I decided to make them an all-female immortal race, and I called their daughters implings. Any male children belong to the race of the father. Fast forward again, and by then I had my MC (Tanix) figured out. I wanted to write some background tales. Now Tanix is a good storyteller, and implings love stories, so that gave me a frame for the tales – Tanix and the (100) Implings.

Implings pester Tanix for stories all the time, bless their little cotton socks. And I seem to have numerous muses in my mind pestering me to write stories. I think you can see where I’m going here. *g*

The 100 implings are my muses.

Here’s an example of their pestering from my WIP:

Tanix spoke until dusk about his experiences on the Hel Maiden world while Chui made copious notes. They were interrupted when five implings came running in, bare feet leaving dusty imprints on Chui’s carpets. He tutted and went off to find a broom.

The implings clambered onto Tanix, kissed him, and settled down to the important business of rummaging through his pockets to search for interesting trinkets or, much preferably, sweet treats.

“You’re late, Tanikth!” said one who was busy unwinding his Dragonheart braid with sticky fingers.”

Tanix chuckled. “Am I, sweetheart?”

“Oh yeth!” said the impling. “Very! Our mummies told uth to bring you for dinner. Now.”

“Oh? They’re going to eat me?”

The impling looked offended. “No! You’re not cooked. And you couldn’t give bedtime thtories if they ate you.”

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