I love fantasy, science fiction, true crime, historical (non fic), classics, gothic horror and books about language and words. I’d be interested to see what my readers prefer. In fact I’ll make you a deal – whatever wins I’ll read a book from that category for my next read and review it – even if it’s not within my usual genre.
This is my response to post on Mythic Scribes.
The original blogger explained how he would be asked why he bothered to write – it wasn’t his day job, he didn’t make much money from it and it was a lot of effort. It’s a good question.
I get asked similar questions – why do I write? When do I expect to be famous? Wearily I try and explain again. Writing keeps me (fairly) sane, it’s relaxing and because I can’t not write. The stories are there, clamouring to be heard and whether I get them onto paper or the screen that isn’t going to change. I write because I can and I do. It makes me happy, it lets me escape. It lets me create something – and that, as you say, is wonderful. I sell books (not many but I do sell), but I don’t write for the money or I’d have starved long ago.
I’ve always made up stories, worlds and situations. It’s a part of who and what I am. If other people decide to mock it then that’s their problem. I’m not going to stop doing something I love because someone is too foolish or unthinking to think it worthwhile.
I’ve been asked what constitutes ‘success’. I think that’s relative. 6 or so years ago I wrote for myself and a small group of friends, someone convinced me to self-publish and see what happened. I sold a few books, then a few more. It wasn’t the ‘give up the day job’ level but then I never imagined it would be. More importantly whilst I was writing book 1 my mother was suffering from cancer she’d bravely fought for 18 years. It was a long and awful struggle, but she was stoic, courageous and I only heard her complain once. I published book 1 in June 2012 and she died in September of that year. I took a printed copy home to show her, and my disabled father – a man whose world was about to be shattered – and she smiled. Really, really smiled. Mum was pretty much bedbound by then but she got up and went downstairs. She called her mother, my sisters, told the carers, and the neighbours who visited. Despite it all, despite all the pain, and the indignity of her awful illness my book made her happy and proud. That is success.
The comments in the original post disparaging Indie/Self Publishing are interesting. I’ve had that too. Personally, I like self-publishing. It works for me. The deadlines are my own (and thus flexible), I can write what want to write and not what a publisher tells me. OK so all the marketing, editing and cover art is my problem but I know a good editor and several cover artists, plus I am learning some of this aspect.
It’s true there are some shoddy SP books on the market, but there are also some excellent ones. I’ve read plenty of traditionally published books which are crap – badly edited, badly written and should never have seen the light of day! Many self-published authors are extremely meticulous, very talented and dare to write edgier work.
I’d bet that many of the readers who disparage SPAs have read self or indie published work and not realised.
Check out Mythic Scribes.
It’s a very useful resource.
What are your views on this? If you’re a writer – why do you write? If you’re a reader then do you read self-published work.
So, you joined BundleRabbit… great! You’re just another hopeful author waiting to be picked up! And when you do get picked up, all you have to do is follow Diane’s advice – she is one of the authors of my first bundle and I couldn’t have said it better. She explains everything about how BR works for authors.
But wait, months go by and nobody requests anything. You see dozens of other great authors and start thinking… why not? Maybe I should become a curator! How hard can it be?
Putting bundles together at BundleRabbit is great fun, but it’s also exhausting. Not very hard, but there is a small learning curve.
First of all, you apply for “curator” status. Create a draft with your vision (it can include your book or not) and choose a release date, but check what else is coming out that month.
Try to book a release date that is not already taken. When too many bundles come out at the same time, even though they’re not in the same genre, it kind of clutters even BundleRabbit’s page… So please take a look at the calendar and select a date – and keep in mind it takes at least a couple of weeks for the whole publishing process, so it can’t be tomorrow because you’re so excited and just can’t wait!
Then you start browsing the marketplace. Since not all authors upload a preview, if you’re not already familiar with their work, I suggest you read at least an excerpt before choosing someone for your awesome bundle.
Even though BundleRabbit allows bundling from a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 25 books, try to stick to 10, especially if it’s novels, and don’t price them too low. You can always make a sale for a holiday, a special occasion, etc.
Create a Sales Blurb telling about all the great stories included and in the About section write some kind of curator’s note – like how fun it was to gather these people together and things like that. Don’t just repeat the Sales Blurb or the Vision! And don’t forget to fill the Thank You note!
You only need to provide a 2D cover and a background image – BR will take care of making the 3D cover, cover fan and… contributor’s copy, plus the “ads” for each title. You can use the forum of the bundle at first to communicate with authors (I did it with the fantasy bundle to ask their world’s name), but then you better create a mailing list, since not everyone wants to check the BR forums (or gets the email notifications).
And when your bundle is publishing, and you see the contributor’s copy is ready, please tell the authors they can download their own copy by going to their dashboard – bundles you’re in – and to the book in the bundle (where they will also find the “ad” a few days later).
It’s up to you or not to make a Facebook page for the bundle(s). I made just one for all my SFF bundles, both the ones I curate and the ones I’m in. Send out clear messages to the authors: when the bundle will go live on BR (it goes on pre-order on Amazon, Apple, Kobo and Barnes&Noble), when you do a sale on BR – and if you have a bundle that allows coupons, ask the authors if they need any for their giveaways.
Try to coordinate the efforts to boost the signal! And have fun!
This is the 1001st post on this blog. Hurrah! OK, so I know some folks post way more than that, and I don’t post every day but when I began the blog I wasn’t even sure it would last ten posts. New content is welcome, and followers don’t want the same old articles, or hear moaning every day – that is what Facebook is for…
I try and keep a mix, and hence the gaps. Also some days there is simply not enough useful content. I am sure most of you don’t give a damn I wrote 200 words, or saw a squirrel in the garden, or had a cold. I don’t know – do you?
So what’s happened over the last thousand posts:
Author interviews – many, many author interviews from a whole range of folks in a whole range of countries, writing a whole range of genres – fantasy, historical, science fiction, biography, books for kids, LGBTQ fiction, paranormal, romance, poets, black fiction, erotica, literary fiction and multi-genre.
Character interviews – I must say these are my favourite interviews. We’ve met gods, demons, vampires, demi-gods, an undead horse, heroes, villains, animals, men, women, gay folks, straight folks, folks who aren’t sure/bothered about that sort of thing, aliens, royalty, slaves and more.
Cover artists, narrators, editors and, of course, readers.
I’ve posted guides to Self-Pubbing on KDP and audio books; reviews; text speech and the evolution of language; the challenges facing authors and readers who have lost, or are losing, their sight; course reviews (historical fantasy, magic in medieval Europe, writing, social media marketing, Roman history); articles about how useful reviews are (or not); Hell Week promoting the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell series (look out for Hell Week 2017; Monsters and Myth; Greek Mythology; the influence of Fantasy in our society; Guest posts about research; important military anniversaries; Thunderclap. And information and news about my own books.
Blogging has brought me friends, useful contacts, a wider pool of resources (very useful – it’s amazing what you learn whilst looking for other things), and led me to look at articles I wouldn’t else have found. Blogging has taught me the uses of social media. Not to mention the wide and supportive network of indie authors out there, the challenges we face and the joys and successes of writing and publishing. It can be daunting and lonely, especially when new to the arena, but the world of social media, is large indeed. And blogging can bring promotion, laughs, support, information, advice and a field as wide as the world if used correctly. It’s also a good diary, a good way of processing thoughts and organising things (unless you’re me) and a good sounding board.
Yippee for blogs! May there be many more posts to come.
I’m in the process of uploading all of mine, so I’ll post up if and when I get selected.
BundleRabbit.com sells eBook bundles at all eBook distributors as well as on their own web site.
I have heard good things about BundleRabbit, so uploaded Rider, the first in my Tracker Series, to see how the process worked. And have been selected for an upcoming bundle.
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Welcome to Melanie Fraser
Where are you from? Born in South Africa but have lived in the UK since the age of 10.
Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m an Actress (and former singer and dancer) and performed in theatre, TV and film for several decades. I started my professional training aged 5 in Cape Town before moving to England. I have a recording studio in a peaceful part of the Isle of Wight where I record voice-overs and narrate and produce audiobooks.
I have two pet rabbits and also enjoy jazz music and reading – mostly historical espionage and crime thrillers.
On average how many books do you read in a month? Oh, usually one and a bit as I read fiction and non-fiction although I don’t get much time to read so it takes a while to complete a book.
Where is your favourite place to read? At night at bedtime!
What genres do you prefer and why? Do you have any genres you avoid? My favourite genre is espionage (love the mystery and intrigue)
Other favourites are historical fiction and non-fiction (one learns so much about the world’s past events – if only history lessons had been so interesting)
Crime/thrillers I enjoy too as I like to guess whodunnit and enjoy the suspense.
Why are books important to you and what does reading bring to your life? Those with non-fiction elements are the most important. Reading is my special treat at the end of the day.
Do you have a favourite book or author, why do you think you like this book/author so much? I have many favourite books and authors – too many to mention here. However, the following are some of them:
Rachel’s Shoe by Peter Lihou
Rachel’s mother’s ingenuity in protecting her daughter and Rachel’s admirable strength of character in dodging her former captors had me hooked.
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
The graphic detail of the killer’s methods and the pursuit of the Illuminati were compelling.
Birth of An Assassin by Rik Stone
Great atmosphere and descriptions of the terrain as a backdrop to Jez’s dangerous challenges – one of the best books I’ve found so far.
I also love the styles of authors, Simon Sebag Montefiore and BenMacintyre.
What medium do you prefer – e-books, audiobooks or paper books? Would you care to expand on this? I prefer hard copy as I like the feel of a book. However, e-books are convenient for downloading and as one can increase the font size, that helps too.
How do you usually find the books you read? For example: recommendations from friends, promotion on social networks, your local library, following authors you already know? I browse bookshops and charity shops as well as finding them on Amazon and Goodreads – the latter through information in groups. Once I find an author whose style I really like, I follow their upcoming books. Recently though, I found Ted Allbeury’s “The Twentieth Day of January” after hearing about it on BBC Radio 4 and loved it.
When choosing a book what makes you stop and give it a second look? What makes you turn away? The blurb will attract me if it is a subject that intrigues me. Then the first page has to capture my interest for me to continue to read it. The cover isn’t vital but it helps if it is suitable for the story.
What makes me turn away is if there are glaring grammatical and editing errors – I feel this is insulting to the reader and shows sloppiness and a lack of professionalism. If the book doesn’t capture my interest on the first page – as mentioned above – or the writing is clumsy, I move on.
Do you read reviews by others and if so do they influence your choice? Yes I do read reviews but usually after reading a book as I prefer not to be influenced by anyone.
Do you “judge a book by its cover?” No. Often a cover can be ghastly but the writing is superb and vice versa. The writing is much more important to me.
What do you think is the most important aspect of a book for you? Plot, world-building, strong characters etc.? What turns you off? Short sentences, good grammar and spelling and excellent research are vital as well as the plot and believable characters. I like a good pace to the book. Too much description hinders pace and can be monotonous which would definitely put me off.
Does the behaviour of an author affect your choice to read one of their books?No, I don’t think so.
What are your views on authors commenting on reviews on sites such as Goodreads? I think it’s fine for other people’s books but I don’t think authors should give ratings or reviews for their own books – that’s bizarre.
If you had to pick three favourite books to take to a desert island what would they be? I’d say the three I listed above! Although I’m currently reading a wonderful book which meets all the criteria I mentioned above called “Beneath Sunless Waves” by Stephen Makk so If I could squeeze in another one, that would be great!
Do you think bricks and mortar bookshops are in decline? Hopefully not. I’m sure there will always be a need for actual books for us in venues.
Another interesting interview about working in Film making from Brizkids Casting.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
My first job in television was as an office runner for the BBC Drama Serials Department in White City, London. I worked there for a year before moving on to Productions, my first being the period drama ‘North and South’ as a Production Runner, working in the office and providing support for the Line Producer, Production Coordinator and Production Secretary. From there I moved on to Floor Running, starting on the soaps and continuing drama. I then slowly moved up the ‘AD Ladder’, becoming a 3rd AD and now currently a 2nd AD. Since starting as an Office Runner at the BBC, I have been in the industry for 13 years.
Before working in the industry I was (and still am) a keen film/television fan and used to enjoy making my own short films with friends. I studied Film & TV Production at…
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Over the coming weeks, I will be changing and expanding the interview and promotional opportunities available here. There will still be great features and some of them will be available at no charge but for the enhanced/expanded features then there may be a small charge. Of course, for that, you get more. More tweets, more choice of features, promoted on my new author interviews promotion page. Of course, if you simply wish to participate in one of the free features – that’s great as well.
There will be a range of the following:
Swift Six – short author or character questions
Dirty Dozen – author or character interviews
Editor, cover artist or narrator interviews
‘Weeks With’ a particular author
Days in the life of characters or authors
Zweihanders – double interviews with character lovers or siblings
Good cop/bad cop – heroes and villains going head to head.
Here’s the new Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Erana-Interviews-and-Features-215319805541102/
And there will soon be ‘Friends of Erana’ page listing useful services, contacts and allies of The Library of Erana.
If you’re a blogger and willing to co-host, feature or help or your an author, cover designer, audio book narrator, or of course a reader then do get in touch.
You can either use the ‘contact us’ link in the page menus or drop me an email at email@example.com