A Day of Announcements.

Hey everyone!

So lately, I’ve been thinking.

And thinking.

And thinking.

Yeah. I haven’t been able to write much, so it’s given me plenty of time to consider where my writing career needs to go and what I need to do in order to get there.

The main thing for me is my approach to social networking.

But then something happened that made me re-evaluate EVERYTHING. And I warn you, this is going to be a downer if you’re a self-publisher.

So… What happened?

It started with The Vanished Knight getting over 175k reads. 

The pictures I used for its cover and for the one on The Heir’s Choice are creative commons pictures. I’m not really worried that I’ll get sued or anything like that but, you know… The more people read the story, the more nervous the free image idea makes me.

Besides that, the fact that I used two swords on the covers kind of limited the direction in which I can go for book 3, which I’m planning to publish later this year.

So. I started designing new ones. While doing that, I did my usual thing of going to Amazon and searching my genre (Epic Fantasy) to see how my covers compare.

And I noticed something very, very worrying.

Amazon now cuts off search results at 20k books. No matter what I did, I never got more than 25k books out of my search.

Maybe there’s a way, but I’m only a run-of-the-mill user type. You know, the exact type of person who’d be looking for a new book to read.

You’re seeing the problem, I assume.

Even if I enter the specific key-phrases into the search, I still couldn’t find my books, presumably because I’m not ranking high enough.

Which, as a person only barely starting out in the publishing game, is a nightmare scenario.


Because in my world, all this means that if you’re going to self publish or going to go the indie route, you better go in with a huge following of your own. 


Yeah.

Major.

Major.

Major Downer.

So what’s a girl like me to do?

She puts all her chips on the table. 

I’m doing really well on Wattpad. (175k reads for Fantasy is nothing to sniff at.) The Vanished Knight has its own built-in fan-base. But it hasn’t reached critical mass.

But it’ll get there. But to get there, I have to re-think my strategy.

So.

I’m taking a leap of faith and posting The Heir’s Choice on there as well. And I’m going to keep posting books on there for the foreseeable future. Because for me, Wattpad has something that Amazon doesn’t:

Discoverability

But, of course, this brings me to my big concern: 
I want to make a living as a writer. 

Which means that making my work available for free kind of defeats the object. (Except if you totally correctly point out that there’s no chance at making a living if readers can’t find me.) 
The solution? 
I’ve also decided to join Patreon
Patreon

What is Patreon?

Basically, it works on a similar concept as Gofundme or Kickstarter except for one major difference. With Patreon, the point is for patrons to pledge small monthly amounts (that they can pick) that will be paid over to the artist every month instead of one big fund that is aimed at something specific.

Here’s a bit of a better explanation (but the video is about per-artwork pledges. I’m too prolific for that.)

If you’d like to help me out, you’re awesome-sauce. All you have to do is click here and pick your poison. (There are rewards available if you want them.)

Maybe you’d like to check out Patreon for yourself? Click here. (it’s an affiliate link. I get paid for people who join.)

But what does all this mean? 

For one thing, I’m changing my focus. To me, it makes sense to direct traffic to Patreon, so it also makes sense to use that as a hub and branching all of my social-media out of it.

For one thing, Video gets better responses on Patreon, so starting next month, I’m moving over into Vlogging. I’ll still update this blog, but I think this is going to be the next step. I’ll still be writing posts here and there, though, but it makes sense to make sure that my time is spent on content that I can use everywhere.

As part of my Patreon rewards, I’m going to start hosting a weekly online hang-out, but you’re all invited anyway. I’m thinking that as my fanbase grows, it might be a great way to give my favorite writer buddies (I.E. you) some extra exposure.

There is also an All Posts page on Patreon where patrons can interact with each other and me, and I think this has vast potential as a different kind of social network.

So come on! It’s only $1 to get in where all the cool kids will be. Please do consider helping a girl out. Or just go check out the page and tell me what you think of it so far. 🙂

Any questions? 

What about my new covers? 

Well.

I’ll share the first two here now. The others will be revealed later in the year…

Thanks for reading! 
Thoughts? Anyone think I’m insane? 

Any further suggestions? 
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A Thank You, An Announcement and a $50 Prize Voucher

Hey all! I’m so seriously excited. Not only did I hit 1000 GFC follows, but I got the go ahead to make an announcement I’ve been dying to share.

Sadly, no official release date yet and no cover. Instead, I can announce that Doorways will be published under a better, more epic sounding name.

But as a show of my gratitude and because I’m just a tad evil, I decided I’m going to make you guys work for the title. I’m going to give you spaces, and you need to guess the letters. I’ll fill in the correct letters one at a time. So if there’s a repeat letter, I’m not slotting it in again before someone guesses the letter a second time. Only one guess per person and one letter per guess, please!

Once all the letters are filled in, I’ll enter all the people who guessed (whether they guessed right or wrong) into a draw and the winner will get a $50 Amazon voucher.

Please please please spread the word! The more the merrier, right?

Okay. Here are the spaces: 

The War of Six Crowns: The Vanished Knight

Get guessing!

But before I go, I just want to say thank you. Your advice and support have meant so much to me. It has been an honor to get to know you. 

Standing Behind David and Michael

I’m not going to say much today. Just that I read this today.

For those of you wondering what that link is for: It leads to a website for a book I was seriously looking forward to.

See… I read the query for that book during last year’s WriteOnCon. And of ALL the books’ queries I critiqued (and I saw quite a few), Woven was the one I most wished would get a deal.

And it had. Except the publisher withdrew it. Because one of its authors, Michael insisted his bio be treated the same as David. Even though Michael is gay.

Now. I’m not going to discuss sexuality and the rights and wrongs of who goes with who. (Not really my business.) But I will say this.

Acting like anyone is somehow less than someone else because he’s different is wrong.

A human is a human.

The equality of man is supposed to be considered self-evident. I stand by that belief.

And as such, I will not ever do business with that publishing house. In fact, I’ll even think twice before even buying anything they publish. Maybe some of you will think this is extreme of me, but I live in a country that still carries the scars from having had people see others as less than them.

Inequality and discrimination does untold damage. Far beyond what those inflicting it can imagine. And I refuse to stand by and support it. In any form.

And now, I’m serious. (A Landmark Announcement)

For those of you who are wondering, I’m posting the Paying Forward winners on Monday. I have about 8 people left who still need to claim their prize. If they don’t claim over the weekend, I’ll post the names anyway, because you’ll need to hassle them into contacting me. We don’t want any of our sponsors to feel like they’re any less appreciated than they are. 😉

Now… on today’s rant post. *Sweet smile*

I almost do want to rant. I actually want to go to a nice solitary place and scream my lungs out. Why? Because… well… the industry I’m in for my main job sometimes drives me apeshit.

People I have to work with are… well… not your average sort of person. While I have met wonderful people in the same industry as me, going through a dip in the market is showing the dark side of three of them. In one week. And when I say dark-side, I’m talking about them being willing to do serious harm to other people’s businesses in order to get a few inches ahead. I’m not going to go into more detail, since I think it would be unprofessional.

But suffice it to say, I’m seriously tired of this nonsense.  See… I actually own a quarter of the business I work for. Which means that I’m beyond pissed off that people are trying this crap. Worst of all, we just need to grin and bear it, because that’s what will get us ahead in the long run.

Yeah. I know. Being a strategic thinker sucks when you want to drive a few miles and beat someone’s face in with a shovel. Or his telephone. Or his laptop. Yeah… laptop would have the right sort of ring for my writing soul. Since most of the aggravation comes from the e-mails I have to read.

Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway. The business is fine. We’re smarter than to allow a few idiots to do damage. Still, I know that turning into a big green rage monster every two or three days isn’t healthy when you’re not Bruce Banner.

So. I need to focus on something else. Like… say… my new alternate career, writing. Yeah… that’s a much healthier thing to work on at the moment. But I also know that I don’t work at it nearly hard enough when I don’t have some sort of goal or incentive.

Therefore, I now have a goal. Within the next five years, I want this writing gig I have to be a viable alternative career. In other words. I want to be able to produce enough, of good enough quality, to make royalties to the value of $7500. Every. Single. Month. For at least a year.

Dun dun dun…

Now I know some people are spitting coffee onto their screens. She’s gone mad! Mercenary! In an industry where writing’s done for the love… 

Let me put you at ease. I’m not going to write for the money. I’m just using a goal in order to get myself to get more writing done. I’m not going to sit here and be complacent with my current publishing deal. Yes. Publishing the series is awesome. But. Except for the series, I have four completed rough drafts, three rough drafts in process, and about eight viable stories that I want to draft out. Not to mention the twenty or so ideas milling around waiting to get some attention. And what did I do with them in the past four months? Nothing. Not a single thing.

And that’s what I want to change. Because I know that I’m currently writing stuff people are looking for. Not because they’re looking for it, but because I have these amazing ideas. Even if something turns into a slow seller, it doesn’t matter. Because then at least, it’s done. And it’ll be out there.

So why am I telling you this? Well…

Remember when I put a count-down timer for my edits? And when I told you when I’d self-publish by if I didn’t sell or get an agent for my book? This is exactly the same thing. Holding myself accountable to you my readers and blogging friends keeps me going.

The more insane the task, the bigger the incentive. Because if there’s one thing I hate, it’s falling on my face in front of a lot of people.

I know quite a lot of people will think me insane. And hey, I might be. But you know what? A lot of people tuned in to the Misha Show to see if I’d sell my first book. I did. And my second.

Now it’s time to up the stakes.