Category Archives: books

Analytics, queries, and anti-heroes

Here’s a few links I’ve gathered from friends and other bloggers that might be of interest.

A friend of mine handed me an article from the New York Times regarding the possibility that the same game changing analytical methods/data accumulation used in baseball (and online viewing) could be applied to future book publishing. I found it very cool and somewhat creepy. I hope the publishing industry gets bigger or more varied test audiences before it starts formulating procedure changes, but this does illustrate the fact that a tale well told needs to have the teeth needed to keep a readers’s interest or no one will finish (or remember) it.

This was a startling 180 degree take on query efforts. I believe if I ever query publishers again, this information and attitude adjustment will come in handy.

I read this shared link about anti-heroes and found it interesting. I also found a related article on heroines interesting, too, especially when applied to villains. I’m not sure I would take everything little thing said in the articles to heart, but it is always wise to be open to new suggestions and ideas. Always.

 

Update on sequel

The sequel to Sudarium passed the 40k mark a couple of weeks ago and is rapidly proceeding to nearly novel size. I believe I will follow a friend’s advice and combine them into a novel with a title to match the overall story (along with new cover art).

So, if you are one of the two people to have purchased Sudarium (and I already know who one of you is), let me know and I will make sure you get a free copy of the entire story since you already paid the price I will charge for the novel.

Making Connections

There’s a saying that if you want to be a good writer, you should read. Read a lot, in fact. It gives you a feeling for how others write, whether similar or different, and gets you used to what others produce as far as stories go. Your imagination is fine for coming up with a story line, but if you have no clue how to take the next step and type it all up, reading a finished story is an invaluable example.

I would argue that you also have to talk to other writers, too. Or at least visit with them online or read their blogs. There is a lot of useful information out there, and some people are kind enough to do some homework for you and post links and advice on their forums. Some even chat with you. All of this can save you some hard knocks.

My online friend Jana has such a blog and she often takes the time to offer links on her personal blog and put advice and talk about her writing issues in her professional one. She and I write on different subjects (she writes romance and action in a specific genre and I am more general and stick to platonic adventures) but her writing is far more mature in quality (as she has been doing this far longer), and it has been great to see what she goes through to produce her works, both the highs and the lows. It is from her that I gather quite a bit of the information I share here.

No one works well in a vacuum. Encouragement, sharing, compassion, sympathy, and advice are crucial to improving not only your writing, but also your life. Just remember to take the time to thank those who help you on your way, and pay back the kindness by helping others.

Thanks, Jana!

Challenges

Resolutions are great for some people, but I prefer specific attainable challenges over vague promises to do better. Knowing this, a friend of mine challenged me to render a piece of artwork, specifically to redo the cover for Sudarium this year.

You see, the cover for Stories from the Hut was done in one of my favorite graphic programs, and I actually designed it years ago in case I ever worked up the courage to promote my work in some manner. The covers for Maker and Sudarium, on the other hand, were created on the fly in a program never designed to do graphic work and it is a miracle I managed to coax anything resembling art work out of it. My friend thinks both covers give the impression the stories they represent are simple and somewhat childish, which isn’t the case.

So I am putting pencil to paper (mainly because I drew long before I could write or use a computer) and am having fun with the old school techniques. It’s actually been interesting to take these characters out of my mind and put them down for everyone to see. It has definitely been a challenge. After all, sharing my words with you gives you leave to see everything as you wish. Showing you what they really look like takes far more effort.

If the Sudarium cover comes out the way I want it to and represents the characters in the best light possible, I might do the same for the sequel due out later this spring. And finishing that sequel will be another challenge worth doing well. Wish me luck!

Crowdfunding: pros and cons?

I read an interesting personal post from an acquaintance/friend/author who is a far better writer and far more experienced writer than I am. She was discussing crowdfunding books. I had to agree with her thoughts that it might not be right for everyone and that it might not be something she would be willing to fund. Me neither. Aside from issues of trust, thanks to an unscrupulous few, I have no money to spare as I spend too much on my own paper and ink already. (laughs)

Seriously, though, it wouldn’t be easy for me to ask for funding. I am terrible at salesmanship. My main goal is to simply write stories. Whether or not anyone wants to read them (free or otherwise) is not up to me, but the reader, so I decided long ago to stick with Indie publishing and never self publish.

That said, this site is dedicated to writing and reading, so I am dutifully forwarding her links on articles regarding crowdfunding as it might be something of interest to anyone who stops by. This is a tough time for authors. Maybe this information will help.

Crowdfunding for Authors: Is it right and is it right for you?

Publish your next book with crowdfunding

Crowdfunding book wins award

The downside of crowdfunding