Wednesday, January 28, 2015

California Dreamin' and Free "The Divine Wheel"

I’m now living in San Francisco, and by that I have to lessen my writing every day, actually, I’m lucky to write a thousand words per day. God, there is so much to do here, I mean, I’m a nurse in my home country but I need to take a few exams before I can take the exam that would approve me of license in California. My head aches just thinking of it, seriously…  
I have to take Toefl, if you don’t know that it’s an English proficiency exam. I have already taken it but I failed in speaking, not really failed but I haven’t met the requirement grade to pass it in the state I’m applying at, which is 26. And do you know what my score was? 18. Bleeping 18. I stuttered a lot in the exam and wasn’t prepared, I became lax in practicing. To be honest I haven’t practiced at all, like nothing. But now I’m practicing very very hard with the speaking section, and preparing for the retake exam this February. Pray that I pass, I’m begging you. Anyway I passed the reading, listening and writing sections with flying colors.
So that’s why I don’t write that much, not until I passed my exams. If I passed them and have a nursing job in the city then I’ll be writing like a freak again. I’d be publishing a book every month.
And my sales froze, as in they are dead now. So I’m going to make my very first installment in my Trinity Nexus Series free. Yeah, that’s right, my labor of love I’d be registering for free. Can you believe that? I reckon than if I got a nursing job then it would surpass my monthly allowance from indie publishing easily (not unless if I write erotica, if you know what I mean).  
I’ve been working on a few titles, one of them entitled “Sandmen” and the other is the continuation of The Gamer.

That’s all for now.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Bestseller Theories

I’ve searched this on the internet but never found anything like this.

The Bestseller Theories.

With my restless mind and thinking too much of many nonsensical things, I thought about deconstructing why bestsellers are bestsellers. What are their appeals to us that they made our brains remember and cherish them? Why do we consider discussing about these books in an extent that the same discussions go on for years? I want to know.

This harebrained idea of mine came to me when I was searching for ‘how things go viral’. This has been a part of my marketing research which then led me to ‘marketing: word of mouth’. Both are informative and insightful on how the minds of the human race of the 21st century work.

It was first pointed out by Aristotle in his ‘Modes of Persuasion’ (I’ve read this on Forbes if memory serves): Ethos, Pathos, Logos—Appeal of Authority (sometimes called ethical appeal), Emotional and Logical appeal. And then there is the element of ‘positivity’—which is greatly used by some headline makes for baiting the people to read the whole article. And they also putting that ‘positivity element’ in their article even there is grimness to it, they will put hope. This is cats go viral.

But we’re not here to talk about felines and their world domination plans, we are here to talk about why bestsellers stay in the reader’s heart.

So without further ado, here are my crazy theories (that would be in bullet form—yay enumeration!)

  • The Hook Theory/Key Element

Of course, a good book needs a great hook, and we will find this in every bestseller that turned into movie in the recent years. I’m talking about an unknown author with his or her equally unknown book that became a sudden success.
One should be observant with their very first pages. It’s art on its right.

  • Prose Speed Theory/Engine Element

This needs an experienced writer (doesn’t always mean you should be really experienced to do it), a somewho that mastered his/her writing voice to a certain degree. This means the flow of the writing, the connection between sentences and the minimal redundancy of the phrases—the organic The organic flow that keeps you going and going and going until it’s 3 am and you need to wake up early. If you want a good example read books by Gillian Flynn.     

  • Plot Theory/Fuel Element

It’s all in the story. We always wanted to know what will happen to the characters that have been put into stressful circumstances—a collective circumstances meaning the plot itself. The danger looming. The mutiny that is about to happen. The infidelity. The certain death. All of this makes us care for the fictional people in the pages.
There is also the world the author created which is also a part of the plot (this is for the fantasy and scifi novels though)—look at Harry Potter, it has all the elements, but what I loved about it when I first saw in it theaters was the world J.K Rowling created.

  • The Push Theory/Wheel Element

And finally, the Push. This can be done subtly or in more obvious way. In the ‘obvious’ team it’s all about the cliffhangers at the very end of each chapter, and now, as I see it as a trend, in the very end of every book in a series. The subtle ones are more difficult because the Push in them is the mystery element. That thing that every character is talking about in the book but none of them actually saw it in person. Hugh Howey’s WOOL is a very, very good example.

There are many more theories of mine in my skull, which I would further refine in the coming days. I also thought of incorporating every theory in those bestsellers on our bookshelves—a detailed review so to speak of each bestselling book.  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thank you for the views!

Since this is “Chronicles of a Writer” I’ll be honest with you in this blog’s pageviews: 588. Now I have no expectations of that in becoming utterly higherthat once dreamed. But mind you, indie authors really care about that during the first months, eve years sometimes. It’s normal. It happened to me and sometimes I’m still longing for that overwhelming pageviews. But I think I’m in this show long enough to not to care about such petty things (No, not British).

Sure, I’m happy someone is able to find this little public diary that really is against my beliefs in sharing myself to people who might not care, but hey, I’m not promoting this site, so I didn’t plunge the information of this blog in their throats—all people who’d come here came in their own freewill (which I promote greatly).

588 pageviews. That’s a lot, at least for this indie prawn—gives me confidence at times how matter small that number is compared to the big guys. It’s not an Amanda Hocking number or Hugh Howey’s number, but that, my friend, is my number. And you know I’m proud of it when you read this.

Being a blogger should be 0.000009% of being an indie author, most of the times they/we should be writing great stories because it’s the only way to gain traction in every online retail bookstore. Writers should remember that, that’s why we are called writers in the first place. One shouldn’t be scowling about low pageviews, one should be scowling about the sales—no, not the sales yet, traction would exist if the book is there for quite some time (that is if the writer isn’t paying for ads)—one should be scowling in stories undone, stories that should be in the readers hands.       

So yeah, I still care for the pageviews but only a part of me, just a few cells floating around my body. But I’m still thankful for that number. I’m not a hopeless dreamer, I’m just a realist. The times my books have been downloaded are still few, well not that few but few. Of course there are more free books I’ve given away than the actual brought books, and free would always remain stagnant in kindles and the ereader, they wouldn’t be reading those for months—the chances are very low, and this passive marketing is very slow and the fantasy genre is a hard sell if people don’t know you or if there’s no hint of romance in your books—admit it, we’re in the trend right now, Teen Girl + Teen Boy = Romance… Romance + adventure + fantasy = sales. There should be a subtle sexual tension in there too to complete the YA urban fantasy experience. Romance I have, but just a tad, nothing too complicated, at least in book one.

These pageviews I have, like I said, have been without promotion in other sites. I’m not checking other blogs yet so that means I’m not commenting on any blog related to mine. I know what you’re thinking, It’s stupid. I’m in my stupid stages in being an indie, it’ll pass (time of approximation: unknown).   

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Gamer continuation

The Gamer is not just a short story. The original plan was a standalone novel, and “The Gamer” is just the first part. Its main title is “Hackers”, it’s the story of the corporate genius that made the HyperWorlds possible. I’m yet to study some law to validate some human rights he violated because of what happened in the protagonist of the Gamer. It would be fun and there would be a twist (obviously) in the end.

I’m just finishing the next installment to the Trinity Legends and the third book of Trinity Nexus. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Divine Wheel comeback and the 3rd Nexus

Now I’ve thought a lot about this, so I changed the name of my first book from “The Last Disceptarix” to (its original title) “The Divine Wheel”. I know, I know, that’s a shitty move, but it’s a sensible move because the word Disceptarix is so alien to people, and in the past I had more sales with it.

And I don’t know if it was just coincidence or someone that viewed my last post gave pity on me, because I had a sale immediately when the title has been changed. Weird huh? I don’t know but I’m thankful. Maybe it was from Kboard—*shrugs*.

Also, I’m releasing the next installment for Trinity Nexus this month. Its past title was “The Unbecoming of Deaths” but I changed it to “The Grim Articles” because of its aesthetics on the cover.  And I’m going to reveal it here side by side with the first installments. So feast your eyes imaginary readers!!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Failures of an Indie Author

This isn’t completely about that, this is about being proud of our failures so we can smile at our little successes. Why am I writing this is because I have so so much failures recently that I thought of myself as less, and we all have those days, when that darkness creeps in and take all the things with colors. We always put a middle finger up to those days, forget about them like a bad break-up.
But those people we are seeing, those who already succeeded, failures are just dusts to them, they just swipe them away. That doesn’t mean that they do not care about their work, it only means they take it as a lesson and nothing more. It isn’t personal it’s just lesson; a noun you could improve on once you used it over and over again.
So let me tell you about my failures of a generic indie author that only makes coffee money out of his writing:
  • I earned 2.88 dollars this month in all channels my book is available. Do you know why? Because I don’t advertise. I trust that people will see me, I trust the word of mouth. The lesson here is for me (or to any indie author) to start that spark before the fire, to advertise, to put that book in front of the eyes of people who care. The other lesson (which is effective in the long run) is write fast. Don’t think about it, just write fast.
  • I have two harsh, and I mean harsh reviews. The first one was justified because I’ve accidentally put out an unpolished work. The other one is just mean, you know those people who get high on shitting on someone, that kind of person.
  • I have no sales in Amazon in months! Seriously, they are all free downloads, and oddly, I’m happy with it. They’ve found my book even though I’m not advertising. But see, free download has the possibility to be not read, it think, I have no experience in this so I’m just assuming with my crystal ball.
  • No one is reading my blog about writing (this blog). I can go with that, it’s like a not-so-serious diary, it’s like my special thing. And also I have no followers. I dig that too. Same reason.

That’s it? Seriously? Yes that’s it. And I think, us, indie authors with no sales think of this too much because life is very long, day after day we watch that flatline of no sales. And it hurts, it definitely do, because it’s long, we obsess over this damn thing of not being heard of what out babies (books) have to say.
I have success in writing, yes, but telling it here would make me look like an asshole. They balance my failures in being and indie in someway. But we are about our failures, and how to embrace them by just admitting them and just do some-fuck about it. Yes, “some-fuck” is my word. Mine!
To finish this nonsensical post off, here’s a quote from an inspiring man:

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
-          Henry ford

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Changing Covers

How many times have I changed the cover of my books? Too many is the answer to that, and, lo and behold, once again I’m doing it one more time.
I’m not satisfied on the covers, and whenever I’m like that, there’s this voice at the back of my mind that keeps telling me “change it, there’s something lacking, you can do better.” I’m doing this because I can. Professionally made covers are very expensive and sometimes (for me) unrewarding.
I can’t believe that there are some covers that not at par with some great indie covers. Sometimes in my genre I see a cover digitally made that still has the round edges of the brushed used on the cover-art, as in it was obviously there and hasn’t been smudged to at least make book look well prepared and not ill-prepared.  
I’m not that great in doing covers, I have many more lessons to have, but I’m trying to make it professionally done.

Right, so anyway, I’m now in the process of changing the Trinity Nexus series (for the preparation of its third installment), the Trinity Legends, and the Gamer.