Four days since I published my first novella on Amazon

Well.
Ten thousand copies sold! Ahahahahaha! Only messing, of course.
I have sold four copies in four days. One to myself just to check it looks ok on Kindle and one to my bezzie mate.
And TWO to complete strangers on t’interwebs! Words can’t express how awesome it feels to know that someone out there is reading my story. It’s amazing.
My little faerie story, Faerie Apocalypse – Aoife’s Tale, available here for a very reasonable $0.99.

Pressed the button

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…and published my debut novella ‘Faerie Apocalypse – Aoife’s Tale’ in the last few minutes. It’s a fantasy romance about a dystopian future where faeries rule the earth and humans struggle to survive under their rule. Available here for $0.99!

Quite nervous now!

I have no idea what the result of this action will be, but I’m looking forward to the journey and writing the next in the Faerie Apocalypse series.

The Roman story is also percolating away in my head but this work was in much better shape for publication.

So…watch this space for updates.

 

 

 

Progress being made…

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…of a sort. I’ve identified a cover for my first release. As soon as I saw it, I kew it was for me. I spent a happy evening faffing about with fonts and colours and text placing. I’m about to press ‘buy now’ over on the artist’s website.
It makes the whole thing that much more real when you actually select a cover. I’m having all kind of second thoughts now, about whether or not to even proceed with this whole self publishing lark.
However, I’ve had two beta readers go over the book recently as well as that sample edit mentioned in my previous post, so I’ll just have to have some faith in my work and get it out there.
Joe Konrath’s blog post is a big inspiration here too. The best time for me to upload my book is yesterday, it would seem.

Interesting times

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I may have mentioned in my first blog post that I had entered a competition back in 2011 for a story with an apocalyptic theme run by Samhain Publishing. I had come to the competition late and dashed off 24k words in 6 weeks. Even when submitting it, I knew I wasn’t quite ready but I had run out of time at that point and had to let the work succeed or fail on its (then) current merits. It was ultimately rejected and so it languished unread on my hard drive for the last three years.

Until I found this website: http://www.editingforauthors.com

They offer a free sample edit, so I took them up on it. I got in touch and got a friendly note back looking for the first ten pages of my apocalyptic work for review. I duly acceded to this request and then awaited their feedback.

It took one week, during which time I bit my nails to the quick, worrying that my work was so appalling that the editors were racking their brains trying to think of nice ways to tell me that I suck.

What I got back, however, was a really professional edit on my prologue accompanied by a note with a few salient suggestions on what might improve the work. Basically I received some realistic and very helpful comments. Certainly nothing I disagreed with anyway!

It was a revelatory moment for me, truth be told. I had some doubts about my writing, wondering if it was just pure rubbish with no merit whatsoever. But getting this sample edit done has given me the confidence to go on. I was told I had ‘clean’ writing, which I assume means that my work is not littered with spelling and grammar errors. Plus they really liked my apocalyptic idea, so I was quite chuffed with that!

I’ll work on their suggestions and then send them the full manuscript for an overhaul, the charge is a very reasonable $0.017 a word (paid in instalments) and I think they’re well worth it going by the sample.

So, the moral of the story is that sometimes it’s worth getting an objective outside opinion on your work. It can give you the courage to keep going when you’re plagued by self doubt.

Back to the grindstone

Well.

That resolution didn’t last long.
Real life interfered, I moved counties, I changed jobs and was too busy to write. Or even think about writing.
That’s changed though. I’ve been in my new job for seven weeks now and things have settled down a bit.
I’ve started back at the Roman story and have been having some success at getting things down on the page. Go me!
I’m hoping to have it in good shape before Christmas this year. It’s a long lead time, but I need it for editing.

I hope to post once a week now that I’m back in the groove.

Watch this space…

Best laid plans…

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…and all that sort of rot.

Not much progress to report since my inaugural entry three weeks ago.

Real life has a way of stamping all over your plans at times. I remain stuck on re-writing my first chapter so that it makes sense, works better, doesn’t make me want to kill myself with a dessert fork. This has engendered an internal struggle where I want to make a fresh start and yet also want to preserve the work I’ve done.  As writers we are told to ‘murder our darlings’, and quite frankly I thought my naturally homicidal (especially after a coffee or two) nature would’ve made that a bloody cakewalk. But it’s so difficult! However, I shall struggle on. Worse things happen at sea etc.

I have also been depressing myself with a look at the Kindle best sellers in my genre. Jesus wept! Some of them were un-readable at blurb stage, let alone the novel itself.

 There was one to which I took particular exception. It had an Irish theme, ‘Irish’ even featured in the title. 

I’m Irish, you see. Have been all my life. Also, I’m writing a mad alternate history as to why Ireland was never properly invaded by the Romans. Ireland pervades everything I write, I can’t seem to get it out of my work. So being curious, I wanted to have a look at what’s selling in the ‘Irish’ romance/fantasy market.

I checked this baby out.

To quote the fabulous Bernard Black of Black Books, ‘Don’t make me get sick into my own scorn!’

It is (to date) the most nonsensical thing I have ever downloaded to my Kindle. Mental plot. Boring internal monologues. Talking bleedin’ cat. Sentences that run on (and on!) and do not hang together in a way that imparts meaning and…I’ll stop there. I didn’t like it, is what I’m saying.

Luckily I had also downloaded Catherine Ryan Howard’s awesome book, Self Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self Publishing (2nd edition), to counteract the sheer dreadfulness of this ‘Irish’ nonsense. Catherine’s writing is a pleasure and the book is full of excellent, tried and tested advice for the ignorant newbie (which is me). I am most definitely in the target audience here. Bravo Catherine for putting together such a relevant and easy to read guide to what can be a very daunting area for beginners.

That’s it for me for the moment. But if you have read this far, could you do me a favour? Tell me the worst book you’ve read. E-book, paperback, whatever. Tell me. I’m interested.

Inaugural entry…

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…sounds a bit rude really.

Well, if you have that sort of mind. Which I do. Hem hem.

Anyway, this is my first post on The Blog. The blog I hope will chart my rise (meteoric or not!) as I enter the maelstrom of the self-publishing world.

I have submitted to the likes of Harlequin (I was insane, why did I ever DO that?!?) – I never heard back and going by the dreadful quality of my submission three years ago, I’m not surprised. It probably caused hysterical blindness in the poor unfortunate tasked with reading it.

Also tried Samhain Publishing when they were running a Special Call for submissions with an apocalyptic theme – I didn’t make the cut but for a few brief heady weeks I lived in hope that they were considering my manuscript for separate publication, but it was not to be.

The Wild Rose Press told me I had too much mythology and not enough romance for them, sigh.

Alas, for my work is that special little snowflake of fantasy/romance, neither one thing nor t’other.

And so, after a two year hiatus from writing, I’m dipping a toe back into the water.

I’ve decided to self-publish some of my earlier work (NOT the Harlequin stuff!! God that was AWFUL. I’m keeping that on the hard drive as a terrible warning as to what can happen when you think everything you write is awesome.)

Some editing and an e-book cover will be required and an awful lot of self discipline to combine this with my full time day job as a chicken sexer. *

I’m new to this and thought it might be instructive for me to chart my progress (however slow) towards this goal. If I tell the Internet I’m going to do something, then I’ll have to do it, won’t I?

Yeah. That’s me told.

*Not my real day job.