Welcome to Monday!
Six days remaining and I’ve not written a single word today– nursing a killer headache and a whole lot of other stuff getting done like laundry and such. I’m reminded every day that despite what life might tell us about how crappy people can be to one another (think Rwanda), there are also those groups of people that, while they might be in the minority of the population, are not to be ignored for their compassion and humanity.
It’s people like those (who know who they are), that inspire others to goodness and, I truly believe and hope, improve the world around us just by their being there. I’ve been very, very blessed to know some of these people. . . I hope that one day I’ll be in a position to follow their example and help someone else out too.
Those people know who they are and may or may not appear in the acknowledgments of my entries, so I’m not going to embarrass them except to say thank you.
Welcome to Sunday!
So, I got volume 3’s main arc finished off and cleaned up as much as I can and now I’m focusing on getting Four Squared set up and ready to go. I’ve got it planned out to a T– I think– and I’m going to be hitting it hard starting Monday.
[Volume 3 Word Count. Feels good!]
My patreon subscribers will be getting their copies as soon as they’re squared away and ready to go, whereupon it’ll go up for sale on my blog. Subscribers to my blog will get their discount coupons and then it’ll go to Amazon, too.
Also, I can’t say for sure that anything’s going to come of this, but I’ve been chatting with someone about doing an audiobook version of it as well. That’d be super exciting, but I can’t promise anything on it!
On the bright side, I can promise that E-Book formats will run the entire range– epub, mobi, PDF, so on and so forth. All DRM free!
I’m also looking into finding a good Print on Demand service that doesn’t require me to have an address to work from in order to send out books to people who order them. If you’ve got anyone you’ve worked with before, please let me know in the comments below!
Also, if you want to get my books for free, please consider becoming a patron– patrons who pledge 5 dollars or more get all my books for free, those who donate 20 dollars or more get printed versions of my books for free, too!
See you tomorrow!
Another day, another 2400 words. . .
I’m almost finished with volume 3, finally. This volume has been absolutely kicking my ass in terms of desire to finish it. I think a lot of it is my attitude towards the whole thing and generally just not feeling well. That said, I’m kind of okay with the way things are going, I hope I’ll be able to get more done over the weekend, though.
I’m really excited about getting the first volume published and, hopefully, getting ahead of the curve so I can have things lined up in queue and ready to go. I’m going to forgo graphic because it hasn’t really changed at all– I was just cleaning up stuff in preparation for posting it.
Instead, I will share with you what I’ve been using to help pull myself out of my funk. . .
Some time ago I punched ‘self discipline’ into a search engine and came across someone named Brian Tracy. Boiled down, his system is pretty straightforward.
The idea is to grab yourself a spiral bound notebook and write down ten goals. You do this every day in the frame as though you’ve already completed them. So instead of “I will make 20 dollars every day.” You would write your goals as “I make 20 dollars every day.” This works on your subconsciousness because while /you/ know you might not currently make 20 dollars a day, you’re giving your mind a command that says “I want this.”
Now, while you’re going through your day, while you’re sleeping or taking a long shower (god I miss those), your mind is working on how it can get you to a point where you’re making 20 dollars per day. Pretty straightforward, right?
Yes. That’s the whole trick to this. It’s ridiculously simple but also pretty effective.
Brian prescribes that you do this first thing in the morning when you wake up so it affirms your desire to do the things you’re setting yourself out to do. The other trick to it is that you write down the same goals daily, without referencing the previous day’s writing. You don’t have to get the same specific order down, you want the intent. You want to cement those goals in your mind. Because of this, you usually want to give yourself a time frame to accomplish these things.
I’m going to expand on this tomorrow, but McDonalds is closing here in 2 minutes, so I need to go find someplace to sleep, in the meantime, here is what my goal list looks like:
- I make 150.00 for every patreon post I make by January 1
- I have 2,000 dollars saved up to move by December 1 (because winter sucks!)
- Daily, I write 2,500 words without fail by January 1
- I have a stable address (preferably in a different state) by December 1
- My passport is in hand by Jan 18
- I published 2 volumes of the Dragon Slayers by September 15
- I wrote 2 full novels by January 18
- I have an emergency fund of 2,500 dollars by March 1
- My time management skills have improved greatly by Jan 1
- I have sold 500 copies of my work by January 18
Pretty simple, I know, but in 5 days I went from being monstrously apathetic to having some direction and, most importantly in my position, hope. . .
That, more than anything, is invaluable.
Welp, here we are with day 1 progress:
5,700 words on volume 3! Almost finished with it, I’m going to get chapter 5 polished up and polished off, then post it up first thing tomorrow– or maybe tonight if I get really ambitious. I also got a bit more planning done on volume 1’s revisions, I’d say I’m about 28% done with that, which I’ll get more done on when I can devote myself fully to it as I have with finishing volume 3’s main arc. The interludes will probably be done over the week as I can get a few words in here and there, but I really want to get volume 1 set up and done as polished as I can make it.
I’ve actually been reading some stuff about goal setting and how to get things done, including long term planning and getting motivation going. I’ll share those tomorrow, but McDonalds closes in 15 minutes, so I doubt I’ll be able to get it put together.
That said, here’s the progress wheel for today:
So, it’s been incredibly hard to get myself writing. . . As in, I didn’t get much of anything done last month at all– between the depression and feelings of hopelessness (I’m all right now, I’ve had a chance to get my head sorted out. . . I’ll be all right) but in this, I understand that I haven’t really been keeping my end of the bargain here– I haven’t finished Volume 1 as I wanted to!
This isn’t cool and it isn’t acceptable. So, I decided what I’m going to do this month is lay out my plan and do daily updates on it until I get the first volume cleaned up and published. For the sake of completeness, I’ve included my handy daily goal wheel which will get updated as I add to the goals.
The daily goal right now has been to get volume 3 finished up but that hasn’t happened! I’m going to keep working on it, but in the meantime, I’ve set up a rough plan to fix the volume up and give it a cohesive self-contained story that people will enjoy and be aroused by– naturally.
So, I’m going to get started first thing tomorrow and I’ll post an update this time tomorrow night along with the updated graph might have fallen off track, but dammit, I know I’m better than this. I’m also hoping someone will learn something through this, so let’s find out!
Oh, and I also plotted out a pilot for a serial. . . You can expect to hear more about that this week, too.
So, here’s the graphic. Shaded areas show completion:
Whether you’re turning tricks on 5th avenue or shoveling sewage out of orphanages, you’re making money. For those of us who don’t have the masochistic streak to go into respectable professions like teaching and medicine or aren’t evil or morally bankrupt enough to go into politics or finance, you’re left with stuff like low key jobs in one of our fine minimum wage establishments with bright colors and fun names like Burger King and McDonalds.
There are other jobs, of course. Hell, all kinds of jobs exist out there, but I’m being deliberately simple to make a point. Grab your favorite ball gag and paddle, kids, because if you’re uneducated, unlucky or unfortunate enough to live in an impoverished area, your options are paying in the ball pit with pedo-clown or knob jobbing the King. But is that all there is?
Of course not.
Let me be frank for just a second: (Because Tammy is boring?) I grew up in a place where the level of poverty would be comparable to south Saharan Africa. We walked miles to get fresh water every couple of days, we had no employment to speak of and the closest thing we had to entertainment was chucking rocks at one another– and bb gun fights, because why not.
I say that because as you and I sit here, lit by the glow of our fancy display devices and our tears, there are millions of people the world over who’re never going to have this opportunity. Here’s a thought for you, 43% of Americans born into poverty never get out of it. 43%. . .
Can you even fathom that? I couldn’t, until I started looking at the world around me. Being homeless myself (for the time being, I hope) and having to see how people get by without access to stuff like safe shelter, a bed and a shower (not even going into the much more important things). So it got me thinking, how can I make money? More importantly, how can I teach others how to make money without having unfettered access to a computer or submitting to the, often exploitative and wholly under appreciated, ‘job market’?
This is actually a lot easier than it may sound. It starts by having something to provide that other people can’t. For me, what I can offer is 6 years experience as an Intel Analysis minion (meaning, I could probably get a job with an alphabet soup agency or something of that sort), I could go independent with that skill set or. . . I could write. Guess which one I chose?
Before we get started, let me lay out my credentials here and set some expectations. (Spoiler: they should be pretty low at this point.) I’ve been a freelance writer on and off for about a year before I got serious about it over the last 8 months. Most of my work was white papers, advertising materials and the odd piece of ghostwriting. After I stopped doing it part time, I took on some Internet Marketing stuff to pull together some quick cash. I’ll be discussing how these things tie in and how I (personally) went about making money from those ventures.
As for fiction, I’ve been writing fiction in various forms (and levels of ability) for around 2 decades. Only recently did I start getting serious about it, so I’m still rough around the edges, but I’m learning. Fiction is my first passion and it probably always will be, I love a good story and am always looking for new ways to relate experiences.
So how did I decide ‘writing for money will be my calling?’
I started by looking at my passions and my abilities in an honest, no bullshit way, and polished up those skills as quickly as possible. My trade requires very little overhead– a computer, maybe a pen and notebook if I’m feeling fancy. Said computer needs wifi access and a word processor, a USB key or 2 wouldn’t go amiss, either.
So when all is said and done, I wound up with this to start with:
Old laptop (80 bucks)
2 Thumbdrives (32 gb and 4 gb, about 25 bucks)
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (0 bucks)
Libre office (0 bucks)
Entertainment programs, games and stuff (0 bucks!)
A backpack wouldn’t hurt either, but for around a hundred dollars I had everything I needed to make TEH MONEH. In the next installment of this series, I’ll go over a sample plan I wish I’d followed when it came to it and how you can avoid the problems I ran into. In the meantime, let’s wrap this up.
I’m not going to promise you you’ll make it big, but I hope that if you’re willing to put forth the effort, you’ll make some awesome stories and maybe, just maybe, someone out there who needs the help will find something useful in my ramblings. I often joke about things like this, but I firmly believe that all of us need a fresh perspective now and then.
If you want to make money writing, the first and best place to start is in your heart. Ask yourself, is this something you really want to do when the fires of novelty and passion have smoldered down to embers? Are you willing to keep hammering the keyboard when your muse is off getting sloshed and hanging out with that skank, procrastination?
You won’t make a fortune, the starving artist trope is alive and well with writers and every day more of us flood the annals of Amazon and Goodreads with our slop or people’s inboxes with our penis pill adverts. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for you. Especially in a global marketplace, your work will find an audience. It’s just going to take perseverance and patience. Oh, and proliferation, you have to proliferate.
Now that my rambling is out of the way, let’s talk about my writing. . .
I’ve updated the Dragon (S)Layer page to reflect some changes in both my approach and some other things with the series, including the announcement of the first novella getting prepped to ship! Holy crap, I’m going to have a book out!
Also, the release schedule for the rest of the series and some other goodness. If you like fantasy erotica, or you’re just curious, be sure to take a peek! I owe thanks to so many people who’ve graciously donated to my Patreon page. It helps me buy food and do laundry, improving my quality of life severely.
So I have to give shout outs to them. These people are fantastic human beings (not because they give me money, either, seriously. <3) and are worthy of your support as well. Below are some links to their content, be sure to send them your love and check out what they have to offer. You might find something you like!
Links to my Other Stuff:
See you next week!
So as I was trying to get some of my client work done, I started thinking about how I’m going to get Volume 1 up and on Amazon and a few things came to mind.
This is going to be a semi-self contained volume that introduces the characters and gets the ball rolling on the story (duh), so it has to be interesting enough for people to want to pick it up and read it and go on to buy the next volume.
From the reviews it’s been getting on Lit-Erotica (link below), the general reception has been fairly positive but it’s going to need some editing for content, flow and pace. Additionally, trying to squeeze in a complete story arc would probably be a really good idea if I want to show that I can tell a story.
At least I won’t have to worry about hitting the target release word count; combined, all the individual parts of Volume 1 total 34,586 words. My goal release count is 30,000.
What are our other goals?
25 Reviews attached to the first volume in 1 month.
I’m going to be advertising this on my usual haunts to get people to review it (honest reviews, obviously) and see about building up from there. I think it’ll be really important to getting more exposure. I also plan to bug the hell out of people on my blog and my Internet friends to leave their honest reviews about it.
4 Pieces of insert art. (optional)
I’m a HUGE fan of insert art that used to be included in fantasy novels. That said, I can deal without it if I have to. Money is a bit tight this year, so maybe I’ll hold off on that until I’m prepared to do a print run. (Wouldn’t that be awesome?)
Sell 500 copies within 12 months.
I think this is a realistic number. Even if I -gave- these books away or sold them for 99 cents, 500 copies sold would be a fairly easy number to reach and I think it could do a lot for my confidence.
Put together a marketing plan.
A lot of self-pub authors think they can just offload their books and make tons of cash right from the get go. The realities are often very different. Especially in a target niche so saturated with content; sex sells, but good -God- is there a lot of competition. This is why my series, marketed as an erotic fantasy adventure hits a few different notes.
I’m not trying to be everything to everyone, but right from the start, my story sets itself apart by introducing unusual characters, an unusual situation and an epic-esque scope. So is it fantasy with a lot of sex or is it sex with a fantasy backdrop? Not really the point, but it’s easier to tell you that it’s not another ‘Debbie does the pizza guy’ story. (Not that there’s anything wrong with pizza <3)
Some ideas I’ve had for pushing this is through my usual publishing channels in comments and in the content I publish, forums associated with the community and such obviously. Another thing I plan to do is poke around for book review sites and see if I can get some reviews from them and, finally, looking for ‘top reviewers’ on Amazon to see if I can get one of them to take a look at it.
Second volume and ancillary e-books.
WHAT A TWIST! I’m going to keep putting together the second volume and try and get Breaking Diamonds ready for prime time so I’ll have 2 books out there instead of 1, and then 3 instead of one… See how this works? Leap frog the content enough that I’m producing and releasing something every 30-45 days without falling behind in my client work or burning the hell out. Yes, I can pump out 10k words at a stretch if I push myself, but that’s not sustainable.
Set up a MAILING LIST.
Because of the kind of client work I do, I see a lot of emphasis put on mailing lists and such. I’m beginning to understand why and I think it would be a good way to encourage people to get involved with my burgeoning author platform, I’m just not sure I have the gumption to maintain it like I’m some kind of social media guru. I’m going to see what I can figure out about how to make this work for my goals, but this seems kind of important.
Be forewarned, dear reader, what you see on Lit-Erotica is -DRAFT- material. There will be plenty of revision and polishing before I go full bore with marketing it, and furthermore the story will be edited to reflect lessons learned on LE and other sites as well as personal tastes/observations.
So! All that said, it’s 0900 and I need to get to work. Seeya later!