Three, three, three-part post today. WOO-HOO!
BLACK SCARS ROUGH DRAFT HAS BEEN COMPLETED
Well, it was tough, but I managed to slosh my way through the rough draft of Book 2 in the Blood Skies series. The BLACK SCARS rough draft final word count came in at just over 93,000 words, longer than originally planned but shorter than my final randomly set target. (So it was both longer and shorter than I wanted…make sense? Good.)
Overall, I’m very happy with the draft. It’s good. Ok, it’s REALLY good, I’ll admit it. The ending is a tad weak, but overall I think the pace of the book is fairly even, I managed to introduce some characters, concepts and places I’ve been ruminating about for a long time, I think I managed to keep things unpredictable without pulling a DUES EX or too many plot twists out of my ass, and I even managed to tie the story in to the TALES OF A BLOOD EARTH series. Sort of.
Now…it’s time for a short break from writing. I have a lot of reading to catch up on, and I need to let my brain de-fog before I start in on what promises to be a pretty serious editing adventure.
In case you missed it, here’s the quick (and re-written) blurb for BLACK SCARS:
Something ancient has awoken. Primordial and wholly evil, a living shadow emerges from a prison made weak by the magical cataclysm called The Black. Now the Sleeper stalks the land in search of its old enemies, leaving a trail of madness and destruction in its wake.
Eric Cross, a Southern Claw warlock, has been sent to find the Woman in the Ice, the only known means to stopping this evil. Aided by a grizzled ranger and a band of wardens and inmates from a sadistic prison, Cross’ mission will bring him into conflict with the barbaric Gorgoloth, with vampire shock troops, and with a cadre of mercenary nihilists called the Black Circle.
From a lost temple once ruled by insidious wolf sorcerers to the vicious gladiator games of the vampire city-state of Krul, and finally to the deadly ruins of a city made from ice, Cross will play a pivotal role in an ancient conflict whose outcome will determine the future of the world.
BOOK SALES BLUES: EMO WEDNESDAY CAME ON MONDAY THIS YEAR
The BLACK SCARS rough being completed is the good news. The bad news? My sales suck.
Ok, maybe they don’t. But I felt like they did, at least on Monday.
It wasn’t just poor sales that had me down, but a lack of reviews. Worse, I have it in my head sometimes that I have to compare myself to other Indie authors as a means of gauging and measuring my success.
A word of advice. DON’T. DO. THAT.
Because suddenly, in your mind, EVERY other author is having more success than you are, in some form or another. They’re either selling more books, getting more and better reviews, they have forty-thousand hits on their blogs every half hour, etc. And THEN you start asking yourself “insightful” questions such as…
* Are their books that much better than mine? (I’ve read a few of them. They’re good, but I wouldn’t say they’re better.)
* Are they better at marketing themselves? (They MUST be, but, again, I see most of what they do, and if they’ve got some magic tricks they’re pulling then I have no clue what they are, because as far as I can tell I’m doing everything they’re doing.)
* Do they have more/more loyal Followers? (The answer here for part one is “No, not usually”, but this is where you get into murky territory. There are basically two schools of thought here: 1) have as many followers as possible to expand your potential audience, or 2) have a smaller audience that knows and trusts you and that would take a bullet for you. Despite my number of followers, I’m fairly certain I’ve been attempting #2, though I’m not sure how many of you would take a bullet for me. Because bullets, uh…hurt.)
* Am I marketing to the wrong type of reader? (This is another area where I probably need some work. I may have to go to more specialized book forums, places where military science-fiction and fantasy are discussed with relentless fervor, and I’d need to start the whole social networking thing all over again, in a totally new locale! Yeah…it might just be easier to take up alligator wrestling.)
* Do I need to get that 2nd book out there, since this is a series, and people are more comfortable if they see the series is actually going somewhere? (I’m hoping this is the case, and that having a Book 2 will help with sales a bit. Because pouring this much heart, soul and energy into something and getting what in my mind are mediocre results is emotionally exhausting.)
The intelligent part of my brain says: get over it. It’s only been out for barely over a month; people need time to read, and only a very small percentage of readers are going to write reviews.
But the whiny part of my brain wanted sales, as if that were some measure of success.
Guess what? It ain’t.
I’ve sold 67 copies of BLOOD SKIES since June 5th. That averages out to about 1.76 copies sold per day. And while I could use more reviews, sales like that aren’t all that shitty for someone who a few months ago was a COMPLETE unknown, and who did this without any publisher (or even a clue, for that matter).
In the end, I was just being an EMO fruitloop. I knew I wasn’t going to go from Joe Nobody to George R.R. Martin. Still, I had my hopes…but COME ON MAN, GET REAL!
Oh well, it was probably just my proverbial time of the month. (Anyone who says men don’t have mood cycles like women do is smoking crack. Evelyn LaFont already implied she and I are on the same cycle, and I think she’s right.) That or the nicotine fits (I quit a few years ago…apparently I need more time…)
Thankfully, my wife talked me down from EMO WEDNESDAY ON MONDAY, because she’s awesome like that. The Screwdriver helped, too. ;D
Damn it, I’ve been tagged! Again! This time by Carissa Elg, who’s been very patient while I’ve avoided doing this. ;D
I was a slacker and didn’t play last time I was tagged (sorry, Jen Kirchner…don’t hurt me), so I’ve decided to be un-lame and participate this time, at least to a certain degree. This time, I’m two weeks late. Sorry Carissa.
I’ve been busy, what can I say?
So, I’m supposed to tag 8 other peeps that I would like to know the answers to the off the wall questions below.
Actually, here’s the thing — I’m not going to tag anyone.
– Because I don’t want to lend to the whole “Why didn’t he tag ME?, doesn’t he think I’m cool?”
– Because I don’t want to put that sort of pressure on people.
– Because right now my brain is very close to tapioca consistency. Tagging anything aside from the wall behind me is asking too much. (And even that is a bit of a stretch.)
– Because I just stink. ;P
Actually, the biggest reason is that I don’t want to tag anyone is that I don’t normally use my blog for this sort of thing. In spite of the seeming randomness of some of my posts, I do try to keep this site focused on the book and things pertaining to the book, rather than myself. I used to have a personal blog. There’s a reason I don’t anymore.
HOWEVER, Carissa is super nice to have picked me, and since I could use something silly after the EMO of the past few days, I can at the very least answer the crazy questions that were passed along.
So, without further ado (and, if you happen to like “ado” and want more of it, I apologize):
If you were a vampire, which celebrity would you first sink your teeth into?
I’m not biting a guy. Let’s just get that straight right now. Well…okay, maybe Ryan Reynolds, since I have a total man crush on the Hannibal King character from “Blade: Trinity”…
Biting a woman celebrity? No thanks, I’m married. (But I’d totally bite my wife…hope you like vampirism, Hunny. This IS going to interfere with our vegetarian eating habits, though. ;D)
What’s your middle name? No, not your real middle name, your MIDDLE name.
Alan. I’ll accept STUD MUFFIN for the other middle name.
You’re stranded on an island. There’s a monkey with you there, but he’s not too chatty. You also have a ball at your disposal. A ship passes by, but it’s daylight. How will you attract their attention?
Throw the monkey at the ship. I’ll use the ball as a flotation device to get him back to safety. Or to keep myself entertained when the ship leaves me there anyways, because I don’t need a fucking monkey.
What are you secretly afraid of? And what are you REALLY afraid of?
Things that pop open (biscuit cans, champagne bottles, etc.). I’m REALLY afraid that BLOOD SKIES will end up being a total failure.
Describe your best friend in five words.
Smart. Funny. Hot. Loquacious. Antisocial. Just like me. =D (Yes…it’s my wife. =D)
What’s your current favorite song? What about the annoying one stuck in your head?
“Ignite” by Diorama. (You haven’t heard of it, or them, and that’s okay. German electro-pop.) For the annoying song, I’ll say “E.T.” by Katy Perry because I know how some people feel about her, but I actually like her stuff…
What’s the last movie you watched? Was it good? (Fishing for recommendations.)
“Lethal Weapon 3″. Not the best in the series, but certainly not bad. And a lot funnier than I remember.
Oh, wait, “new” movie? Uh…”Inception” is still new, right? ;D Actually, the last “new-ish” movie I saw was probably “Get Him to the Greek”, and it was frickin’ hysterical.
That’s it for now, thanks for sloughing through that excessively long post. Be back for “TALES OF A BLOOD EARTH” tomorrow! =D