Category Archives: Reports

From coniferous forest to….

Currently pausing forward progress on my novel rough draft by going back and readjusting/revising generic mountainous forest setting description to…this.

Aka I did my research wrong in the beginning and I need to go back and adjust several chapters to be more awesome.

(Current wordcount: 245k)

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200k and other milestones

So, last week I hit a few milestones!  Unlike my 100k blog post where I went into all kinds of detail about my novel-writing journey to that point, this post is going to be fairly short.  I think.  <.<

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200k reached April 19, 2018 😀

I hit 200k on my novel wip.  The day before, I also wrote the scene I’ve been writing towards since April 2015–so, three years.  I wrote it all in a day, so that means I ended up writing 3k: 2.5k that afternoon and another 500 words of tinkering and adjustment in the hour before bed.  I don’t think I’ve ever written 3k in a day before, especially not while sick, but probably not even when I was healthy.  I’ve written much more than that in collaborative writing sessions, but writing solo where all pieces on the board to figure out are mine is different.

Honestly? I’ve been kind of exhausted and reeling ever since.  This scene is a crucial turning point.  The fall-out of this scene would also traditionally be the spot for a cliffhanger, since it changes everything for the protagonists up to that point, but I’m not going to split this into two books, so I’m going to keep going.

Nevertheless, reeling.

At this point I have no idea if I’ve pulled it off.  I’m sure the answer is both yes and no,  and that I will need to adjust things that come before, during, and after the scene to make it really clinch.

However, let me just say, it was EXTREMELY WEIRD to feel both the relief and satisfaction of having completed The Scene and the sadness and anguish for the characters and the turmoil they are now in.  I’m not a writer who cackles gleefully or otherwise enjoys putting characters through a difficult time, so…WEIRD.

~

In any case, my other bit of news is that I’m on track for this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’m working on revising the fairy tale I’ve chosen to be my sequel to Persinette.

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The fairy tale is 96 old book pages, and I’m retranslating/revising another 30 of them this month.

~

If you want to check out my novel’s first chapter, join my fiction mailing list.

If you want to support my fairy tale and folktale translations, see my patreon.

Till next time!~


Persinette’s 1st year, Bk2 Update

Persinette_2Just dropping in to talk briefly about how Persinette did in its first year (pre-order in March; April 2015- May 2016).  For a bit of background, the only paid advertising I did was at the very beginning.  Occasionally I dropped the book into free promotional opportunities, but nothing regular.  I sought out its first review, but none of the others.  The only passive advertising I’ve got going is its book page on Goodreads and the link on my Twitter profile.

I could be missing numbers because I tallied things up really quickly for curiosity’s sake.  Canada looks low, for example, but the rough percentages are right:

Sold: 141 copies
Amazon: 116 (US), 9 (UK), 1 (France), 2 (Canada), 6 (Australia)
Kobo: 1
B&N/Nook: 1
Apple/iBooks: 5

Total free copies given away during promotion: 113
KU1 borrows, while enrolled the first 3 months: 10

Price point: $0.99
Earning roughly $0.30/book
Royalties: ~ $45

Goodreads: 14 ratings, 4 reviews – 4.14 starred average

Based off this, it’s not worth it to go wide-release with Book 2, considering KU1 gave me 10 borrows while I was enrolled and there’s been no traction at all at the other retailers.  So my plan right now is to leave Persinette in wide-release but release all subsequent books as KDP Select/Amazon-exclusive and see where that puts me.

If you happen to be reading this and you’re a Kobo/iBooks/B&N fan, feel free to buy a copy and leave a review on one of the other retailers and change my mind. 😉

And yep, Patreon is still a better “return on investment” than the Persinette e-book, but I’m doing this for love, curiosity, learning, and practice more than anything else.

~

As for how Book 2 in the French Fairy Tales & Folklore series is coming, I’m almost done with the translation rough/research draft.   The fairy tale is 96 pages (17th century style) whereas “Persinette” was 34.   It contains two poems, versus “Persinette”‘s one.

It takes me anywhere from a half hour to an hour to work through a page’s rough draft, although the 6-line first poem took me an hour to get to a satisfactory level.

I’ve got several ideas on how I’m going to present the tale in book form, but at this point I’m not sure if it will be released this year or in 2017.  We’ll have to see!

~

ETA: Updated books sold with Apple’s/iBook’s numbers.  And they’re all Australians! Hello, Australia!

 

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Story accepted!

Happy All Saints’ Day!

My Alsatian folktale retelling “What She Saw By Lantern Light” will be published in Enchanted Conversation‘s and World Weaver Press‘ joint winter anthology, Frozen Fairy Tales.  You can find out more information, including the announced table of contents, here. You can find Frozen Fairy Tales on Goodreads, here.

I’ll post more once the anthology’s released. 🙂

Until then, I put my Bibliography back up, fully fleshed-out.  I took it down a couple years ago because it was depressingly empty and I felt having it up was rather pointless (and discouraging).  But now it is much fuller! And there is a point to having one! Woot woot.

 

 


Persinette Stats

Persinette_2I love stats posts.  I don’t even know why.  There’s just something about them that are so fun?

Thanks to Rachel Aaron and Travis Bach for creating KDP Plus to consolidate Amazon numbers, though, or I might never have gone through the headache of doing so quite yet.  If you’re a self-publisher using Amazon, their graph-generator is absolutely fantastic.

So! Some quick stats for Persinette‘s first three months on Amazon.  I should also say, for its debut, I had enrolled it in Kindle Unlimited v.1.

Books sold from April to June: 51

Of those, 10 were from KU1/KOLL, 5 during pre-order

Books given away for May’s free-promotion week: 135

I’ll let you in on a secret, though.  July goose-egged! I was expecting a drop-off with the summer slump and the 3-month end, but not to fall all the way to zero.  Craziness. ETA: Oops! Misread my reports, haha. The confusion happened because I put a stop on my payments when I moved. Handy feature!

Otherwise, Goodreads has 3 reviews and 7 ratings (avg rating of 4.86) currently.  That’s fantastic for such a niche, little book.

Overall, I’m very happy with how thing are going, (especially since numbers picked back up in August even though I wasn’t doing any sort of promotion, haha).  I’m working on my next translations and projects, but in the meantime, numbers to grin at.  Not a shabby start at all.

ETA: I forgot a fun stat! Countries represented in the above? Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, USA, and the UK.

Hi readers! 😀


Promoting Fairytale Non-fiction

Persinette_2Here are some of the things I have learned in the past three months about selling short (46 page) e-books and folklore/fairy-tale translations & non-fiction.  You have to admit, it’s a slightly different story than trying to promote or sell a novel. In no particular order:

1. Being in the Amazon Top 100 in the Folklore & Fairy Tale categories isn’t enough to sell books, especially when you have no reviews. I figured this out when I was hand-selling copies of my book, before I made its existence public knowledge. These categories are just too small, and not browsed often enough.

However, the same isn’t true for being in the Top 100 in the corresponding free categories. Those do get drive-by “sales.”

2. Here are the three paid promotional sites that produced a spike in sales even though my e-book wasn’t a novel:

3. The Indie View was the only effective way of getting an early review from strangers out of every other method I tried, and it’s free. I searched the first 150 or so of their listed reviewers, looking for everyone who liked fantasy, Christian fiction*, non-fiction, and short stories. I applied to 5 reviewers who listed some combination of these. Of the 5, one responded that they were full up and would have to pass. Then another responded enthusiastically–and bumped Persinette up first in line, ultimately giving it its first 5-star review. 🙂

4. Getting a 5-star review as its first Amazon review has done more to sell the e-book than anything else. This is self-explanatory, and is most likely true for any kind of book, be it novel or non-fiction.

5.  Goodreads is hands-down the best way Persinette has been discovered by strangers, especially once listed on Listopia lists for its various categories.  If you haven’t listed your standalone or first-in-series book anywhere on Listopia, do so. Even just a single-vote by its author is enough to help readers find your book. You don’t need to go extort votes from anyone in order for Listopia to be an effective promotional tool. 😉

6. KDP Select results: I matched my genre pulse ad up with a 5-day free promotional period that started not long after I got my first 5-star review. I was very pleased with the results, though the genre pulse ad was only effective the first 2 days of the promotional period.

If I could do it again, I would split the 5 days of free promotion into a 3-day period and a 2-day period and promote each one.  Experiments, experiments.

Otherwise, the vast majority of my sales have come from the Amazon US store. Only now am I starting to get sales trickling in at the Amazon UK and Amazon CA stores. This is probably due to the fact that the 5-star review is now cross-posted to the other stores due to the fact that someone voted for it as being “helpful”.

7.  Kindle Unlimited results: Persinette has gotten very few borrows in comparison to sales. However, because the e-book is listed for sale at $.99, the royalties from the borrows should pretty much equal the royalties from the sales. I will know for certain when I get the full report.

8. Patreon is still my most dependable fairytale/folklore income stream. I find it ironic that the translations I post for free on my website do more to help support my hobbies than the rather more expensive-to-produce e-book. Still, I wouldn’t change my decision to publish Persinette.

– – –

* – Persinette isn’t actually Christian fiction, but I delve into the French Wars of Religion of the 16th century and their reversal during the 17th century in order to make a few points about Mlle de La Force’s life and bibliography, and so I wanted to be absolutely certain the reviewer wouldn’t be turned off.


Queen Cover

So, I’ve wanted a cover for my novella ever since I started putting it up to read on Wattpad last September, but finances are super tight and I wasn’t sure that would be possible.  Ideally, I wanted an illustration for my cover rather than stock art, but illustrated covers are by far the most expensive and my max budget for a cover at this point is $100.  So when I saw that Natasha Alterici had posted on Twitter that her freelance gigs had fallen through and she needed quick cash for her rent, I leaped at the chance to make one of my dreams come true.  And boy, am I ever glad I did.  Behold the awesome:

I have also been intrigued by Amanda C. Davis’ recent forays into designing covers for DIY practice.  She’s been tackling all kinds of covers, and I previously let her know that I was interested in her giving my novella a shot.  Am so glad I did that, too, because my laptop has been giving me all kinds of troubles, and there’d be no way I could do the cover design myself right now.  As soon as Natasha got back to me on the final cover, I sent it Amanda’s way.  Amanda posted her design/learning process here.

And here it is in all its gorgeousness:

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Art by Natasha Alterici.

Design by Amanda C. Davis.


2014 in Review

This year I

  • Went through a full submission process for my novella Queen of the Eight Banners, then decided to use the novella to keep experimenting with publication formats.  Hello, Wattpad.
  • Wrote a novelette, got it read/critiqued, but haven’t managed to come back to it yet, for reasons further explained below.
  • Wrote a short story and a scene snippet set in a world am developing, though neither particularly stand alone.
  • Decided to stop submitting stories to publication venues and focus on playing in a rejection-free sandbox instead.
  • Launched my fairy tale & folktale translation website in July.
  • Annnnd… also in July I became a full-time primary caretaker and my writing, alpha-reading, &c. pretty much came to a screeching halt.  However, I am still managing small monthly updates on my translation website.
  • Caved and got a tumblr page so I can keep track of my favorite artists (after Google dropped their RSS Reader) and also to support my translation website.
  • Started a Patreon fundraising page to support my fairy tale & folktale translation website, and we hit the milestone goal that makes having the patreon worth it–with only two patrons, which surprised me.

In other words, 2014 has been a year full of transitions. We’ll see what 2015 brings.


fairy tale & folktale translations

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, you’ll already know that I’ve launched a website for my fairy tale and folktale translations.  But we’re approaching the end of the year and I thought I would post an official announcement here.

I’ve had the website URL reserved for years, but only since July of this year have I started building it up, in preparation for an imminent e-book launch.  But that is news for another day.

My folktale translations are the only thing I’m writing at the moment, since I only have the time/energy to write a few sentences at a time every few days, but it’s working well enough to be able to post a translation per month.

For those interested, visit littletranslator.com


Queen of the Eight Banners

For long-time followers of the blog, you’ll know that I spent most of my early years here writing a novella entitled Queen of the Eight Banners.  I’ve done various posts about it, recording what drafting it has been like and what I’ve learned from the process of writing while battling the first years of my chronic illness.

Well, I set it aside in April of this year, not knowing what to do with it.  I’d pretty much resigned to just keeping it on my hard-drive, but I was also unable to fully “trunk” it in my mind.

Well, since September of this year, I’ve figured out something to do with it.

The experiment continues.

ETA: This post was auto-posted at the beginning of the month, but life has been so rough and health so bad I took it down until I was certain I could take Queen off hiatus.


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