Done, done, done!

After two years of on and off writing, I finished the work in progress. Yes, it is a mess, but I adore this meandering slice of life story about inheriting a house and then suddenly everything goes wrong. But don’t worry. No one dies or is badly hurt. Are there a bunch of dropped threads in the book? Probably but since it is book one in the series, I don’t feel the need to tie all of them up. But yes. There will be some clarification when I add a bunch of words in the second draft. (Spoiler: I always add a bunch of words in the second draft… and often in the third draft too. )

Anyway. The messy first draft of House Witch (which is a title that doesn’t fits at all) is done at 46 500 words. Which is a decent sized first draft for me. The writing the end of the book also gave me some ideas for a partially written story set in this world. No, it is not the same series as this one. I wrestled with if I should make them the same series, but the truth is that they are too different. If this is series are small town paranormal romance, the other series is more mystery focused. Honestly the other series is my homage to an old swedish series about an antique stores owner that solves crimes. Just… with magic and supernaturals. Plotwise I might also have been inspired by semi recent swedish events. Look. If people insists on stealing coins and books I am going to be inspired.

Deadlines and distractions

I was so good on sunday and yesterday. I reached my goals, and made good progress. Today… was swallowed by being tech support for mum.  I wrote 140 words, far from the eight pages I needed.  The upside, is that I called and got a refund for Daytona Regency, which will cover half the cost for the new pricier hotel. (sigh.)

Anyway. I am on a tight deadline, so I cannot afford distractions like today. To make sure I reach the deadline, I am planning a weekend trip, so that I can just write for a weekend. With no distractions. I need that. The problem is that December is a very busy when it comes to travel, so I need to pick something close. (I am thinking Uppsala. I can take the commuter train, takes an hour-ish, cost 10 dollar and I don’t need to worry about fully booked SJ trains.)

But! Before and after said trip, I am going to be offline a lot.  Antisocial works wonders when it comes to removing distractions.

Edits, edits, edits

I have the feedback from Aliette, who very kindly agreed to beta read Vanished for me. She sent me her feedback a couple of days ago. So I am going to begin the edits on Monday.  I have 3 weeks to finish them. Then I am sending the draft to Laura Anne, so that she can point out everything that I missed.

While she does that, I am making another pass at Daughter of the Dark before sending it to the copy editor.

Yupp. It is going to be a busy couple of months. But the releases are getting closer!

So much for that plan

I am outlining a book.  A book that managed to wreck my publication schedule by being book 2 in the series. Not, like I thought, book 3. This is a problem, since I have already written what I thought was book 2, and planned to release it later this year. Obviously that isn’t going to happen. sigh.   I did consider releasing the books out of order, but I decided that while they are stand alone, more or less, it felt wrong to do so, since I think book 2 helps explains something in  the next book. Bonus, though: I will have time to write 2 books back to back.  Which, er, will also mean I have to revise 3 books.. hm.. maybe not such a good strategy considering I am a slow reviser. We will see.

I have learned one thing: planning for three novella length releases was obviously too much. I think I will aim for 1. And surprise you with two. Or something. Besides, Daughter of the Dark is a novel, even if it is a short one. I am aiming for all the books in the series to be 40-50 000 words. We will see if I succeed. This means that the draft needs to be 35 000- 40 000 words long. Or close to it.

I am looking forward to the challenge, since my first drafts tend to be a smidgen under 30 000 words. 🙂

Let’s discuss sales

So. Since it is almost 2016, I thought I would discuss the sales of my short stories and novellas. (Spoiler: They are pretty low.)

Exile: 28 copies, 14 from Amazon, 14 from Apple.

The Cauldron Bound: 11 ARCs, 8 free downloads, 17 sales ( Amazon).

The Alchemist’s Apprentice: 6 free downloads, 12 sales ( Amazon), 1 BN, 1 Adlibris

It is interesting to see though, that my sales at Apple have almost dwindled into nothing. Part of this is because of a bug that put my books in the Social Sciences category, and I was too busy to fix it.

Also, I am probably missing an occasional sale, at BN etc. But the sales numbers are  close enough.

As you see, the bulk of my sales for the Cauldron Bound was as free copies or when it was on sale, so I haven’t earned much money at it. But right now, I just want people to read my books. 🙂

However, for 2016 one of my goals are to earn more money at my writing. This is based on the fact that I have earned more this year, than I did last year.  Having more books out will help with that. Especially more books that doesn’t cost 0.99. Ahem.

That said, I am so happy for those of you that have bought and downloaded my books. <3. Now I just need you to get your friends to buy my books.  Then get their friends to buy them. And..  maybe even leave a review. 🙂

Lots of books coming

So I have been thinking about my release schedule for 2016. Oh, don’t worry. You are getting Daughter of the Dark, the sequel, and the collection.  But you are also getting all the separate short stories, since I changed my mind about just doing the collection.

So what does this mean? It means that in March or April, I will begin to release the short stories, once or twice a month. Then, in June or July, Daughter of the Dark will be released. Then in Sept or October, the next novella, then the collection in Dec or so. And then, we begin it all over again. Except instead of short stories, there will be bundles and print editions coming in early 2016.

So why am I doing this?  Because, I have looked at some successful romance authors, and noticed that this is what many of them are doing: They release the first 3-4 books in a series really close to each other ( in some cases, that IS the series), and then market it heavily ( like first book in the series free or discounted).  Then there are also the fact that I am a slow writer. Or that isn’t quite true. I am a writer of the slow and steady kind, but what takes time for me is revising. Especially since there need to be several rounds of revising.

So by doing it this way, I get to maximise the impact of the releases. Or at least that is the plan.  Oh, I am also giving myself deadlines,since I really need to begin revising the second book. Ahem. And write  two of the short stories. That said, nothing is set in stone. It might turn out that some of the short stories gets pushed back, or a novella. You get the idea.

But 2016 will be an exciting year!

So that was Octocon

I am back from a lovely weekend in Dublin. I had a great time, wandering the city with my mum, doing touristy things most of Thursday and Friday.

Then at Friday night, I picked up my badge to Octocon and headed off to see my friends and attend panels. I had a blast.  i mean, it began with Catie squeeing and giving me fudge.  After that, it continued in the same way. I attended panels, with discussions and laughter. In between I got to know more people and discuss all the things with them and my friends.

Also, I attended the Timetravellers Ball, and I had so much fun. I am a bit sad that I didn’t have my phone, since there was so many awesome costumes.

I made sure to eat dinner with mum everyday, and all the restaurants we visited was located along Camden Street.  Most of the restaurants had been recommended on Twitter or in the program.  The food was very tasty. Even if the portions was really big in some cases.

I am definitely looking forward to next year.  Though I am also going to Eurocon which is 3 weeks later, and maybe something else so it will be a hectic autumn for me next year. 🙂


Rethinking things

I am pondering which strategy to use for the rest of the Portal Universe series. Originally I had planned to release the books quite a bit apart ( 6 months), but now I am wondering if it would be wiser to release them closer to each other..

The reason for this, is because I want to create a momentum. And one of the most effective ways to build momentum is to release things close to each other.  Originally, I had planned to do this by releasing the short stories separately, but the short story collection will be long enough that it would make more sense to release them together after the release of Daughter of the Dark.( Exile 8 000 words, Vanished 10 k +, 2 unwritten stories, 5000-10 000 each.)

So I think 2016-2017 will look something like this:

Daughter of the Dark

Short story collection

Novella 3 ( Really needs a title. Ack!)

Bundle 1

Bundle 2

Note: This is from Spring 2016 to Fall 2017 or so. It is tighter, but not a super tight schedule.

And no. Nothing is set in stone. At the moment I have a day job, but there are no guarantees that I will have it in March 2016 ( My boss is telling me not to worry, but I will not stop worrying until I have the new contract in my hand). If I don’t have a day job, everything publishing related will be on hold until I get a new one.

I would still be writing, I just wouldn’t publish anything new. Or if I did, it wouldn’t be with the help of pro editors which is what I am doing now.  But no use in worrying in what might happen, until it happens.


Irregular round up of what I’m writing and reading

The publishing:

First, Exile now has a permanent price of 0.99. The price has already dropped at Amazon, other retailers are coming during the next 2-3 weeks. Why? Because Kobo was charging 2.70, and since I want to charge 2.99 for The Cauldron Bound, I realised that was unsustainable.  Plus, I decided a low price is a good way to introduce new readers to my books.

The Alchemist’s Apprentice has been revised based on betareader feedback, now it is off to another beta reader, who has never read my stuff before. *bites nails*  The Alchemist’s Apprentice is also available for pre-order at Amazon. But you knew that already, right?

The Cauldron Bound is off to the copy editor sometime next week.  I… am nervous, honestly. It is a novella and I am wondering if you will like it. I think you will, but I cannot read your minds. 🙂


The writing:

When I began writing Vanished, the current WIP, I made pretty good progress, but then I took a break to revise The Alchemist’s Apprentice.  After I finished the revision, I have been poking at the WIP. So today I decided to sit down and write a synopsis. Which I did.  The result is 1100 words that tells me what happens in the story. There might have been some flailing on twitter and in the war room.  Why?  Because Exile is 8000 words long, with a 600 words synopsis. This synopsis is almost twice as long, which would mean that the story will be at least 12000 words, if not longer.. I am telling myself that nothing is set in stone. Though if it gets over 15 000 words, I will probably push the release date to next year, so that I have time to revise it properly. But we will see.

The reading:

I don’t talk much about what I read, since I got burned out on reviewing.  I also tend to read in bursts the last year or so.  Anyway, the last week I have been reading a lot of cozy paranormal mysteries lately. I like to do that for a palate cleansing, though sometimes cozies gets too caught up in the characters life so the mystery gets well hidden.  I like Juliet Blackwell, though, so I buy her books occasionally.  I picked up It takes a witch by Heather Blake, since it was on sale. It was good, but of the easily forgotten kind.

I have also glommed on the first three books in Annie Bellet’s Jade Crow series. I like them a lot. Highly recommended!


A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I have been busy this weekend.  I have bought a new laptop ( a shiny Macbook Air!), downloaded all the software I need.

And, I have edited and reformatted Exile. Yup. Exile has been tweaked and some rough spots smoothed over, so it is as new. It hasn’t been professionally edited, but it is as good as I can make it. I do have a plan to send it and Daughter of the Dark to Laura Anne at the same time later this year, since I am planning on bundling them.  ( And yes, this means they will be probably be available in print sometime in 2016.)

What prompted the edit?  I read through Exile and felt it could be tightened, so I sent it to Thirzah.  Thirzah did a whirlwind beta read. And then I fixed the things she pointed out.

The reformatting is because I screwed up. Overdrive offers a sample feature, but since Exile wasn’t split into chapters, the stores couldn’t show samples.  So I fixed that.  The new version for Exile isn’t up yet, though, since I want to add an excerpt from the Cauldron Bound.

I also wanted to wait until after Publit switched to the new interface which they do later this week. ( It should be up around March 10th.)

I am also experimenting with the cover size to see if Exile passes through BN’s and Amazon’s validation. It cannot hurt!  I would love for that to happen.