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. ūüôā

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 Wide Release

It took me longer than I was expecting to put together this wide release.¬† First came life things, then came a bug in the ePub, then came various hitches with several different retailers.¬† However, it’s all come together and Persinette is now available at a variety of e-book retailers.

Persinette_2

A hundred years before Rapunzel, there was Persinette. Before the Old Witch ever locked Rapunzel in a tower, a Fairy set out to change Persinette’s destiny.

Read the French fairy tale that inspired the Grimm Brothers’ “Rapunzel,” learn about the authoress Mlle de La Force, and discover answers to questions such as why Persinette’s father traded her for a fistful of parsley and how she survived for years alone in her wilderness.

Includes translations of the French tale “Persinette” (1698), the Italian tale “Petrosinella” (1634), and the German tale “Rapunzel” (1812-57), along with background information on each of the tales and their authors.

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Retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Kobo

Smashwords

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Buy direct:

Payhip

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Add to Goodreads or write a review

Librarians: Purchase Persinette for your library catalog with Overdrive or EbooksAreForever


Disappointments in Final Books

I jotted down this list last summer, after I’d read a lot of final books in trilogies/series and found that a lot of them were disappointing for the same set of reasons.¬† I wanted to write up the list while it was still fresh in my analytical-reader mind.¬† I meant to turn it into a blog post then, but a lot of crazy life stuff came first.¬† So, here it is now.¬† Feel free to add your own in the comments. I figure I can refer back to this list with my writer hat on later.

So, without further ado, things I thought made final books weak:

  • New set of main characters introduced, taking time/focus away from those we grew to love in the first two books.
  • New plot/story arcs introduced out of nowhere, then not given enough depth or resolution as the others.
  • Last minute betrayals, romances, or deaths included for “extra drama.”¬† These feel last minute because the betrayal/romance wasn’t set up or hinted at in previous books, and death wasn’t a possibility or a true risk before (no minor characters had died, so why should a major character die now, etc.)
  • Plot holes and other evidences of a rush job in writing, as if the author/editor were on a much tighter deadline than the previous books, less time allotted to think ramifications through properly, or they’d spent years mulling on or simmering over the first half of their story but only now discovered their ending, and so on.
  • An ending that isn’t given enough time or development to balance out everything that came before it, to feel satisfying or resolved.¬† (“In late, out early” misused).
  • Not enough hope (to counterbalance all the previous darkness)
  • Too epic, losing sight of the intimate stories and scale of the previous books and what made these compelling.

Anything about ending books that bothers you (as a reader)?


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! ūüėÄ


Call and Response poem

I’m going to be collecting a few things I’ve done elsewhere, here, to make up for the lack of interesting things lately on the blog while I work on writing and translating.¬† The first is a poem-response sent to a folklore aficionado acquaintance.¬† Check out his tumblr for lots of cool faerie-lore.


Interview

Today my interview with Lisa Carter for her Literary Translator Spotlight went up.

I’m overdue to update you all on what I’ve been up to, but being elaborate¬†will have to come later. ¬†Suffice it to say that I’m writing and translating incrementally behind the scenes. ūüôā


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. ūüôā

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. ūüėČ

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.

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* –¬†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.


Amazon release: Persinette

Now on Amazon (International link)

Persinette_2

Description:

A hundred years before Rapunzel, there was Persinette. Before the Old Witch ever locked Rapunzel in a tower, a Fairy set out to change Persinette’s destiny.

Read the French fairy tale that inspired the Grimm Brothers’ “Rapunzel,” learn about the authoress Mlle de La Force, and discover answers to questions such as why Persinette’s father traded her for a fistful of parsley and how she survived for years alone in her wilderness.

Includes translations of the French tale “Persinette” (1698), the Italian tale “Petrosinella” (1634), and the German tale “Rapunzel” (1812-57), along with background information on each of the tales and their authors.

***

I first began working on my translation of “Persinette” by Mlle de La Force in Spring 2013.¬† The first third ended up being my translation project for Lisa Carter’s online translation course “Defining Writing Style.” After the class ended, I finished translating the last two thirds of the tale, I ran the whole thing by a lot of other pairs of eyes, I produced multiple drafts, and then I began work on the supplementary materials. I had a working first draft of my e-book put together to show my editor Kristy by April 2014, and she led me through the next two drafts rearranging and expanding the material.¬† I handed in my final draft at the end of August 2014, but then life hit us both in the guts until the beginning of this year.

So here I am, two years after I started. It’s been quite a journey, and a lot has changed since I began, both in my life and in my writing, translation, and research experience. I’m excited to begin all over again with my next fairy tale e-book. ūüôā

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Cover designer: Niki Smith

Editor/Formatter (for all but the public domain translations): Kristy Stewart

For more information, see my translation website: www.littletranslator.com

Purchase on Amazon.


Persinette on Patreon

Persinette is available as an exclusive early release for all Patreon backers for the month of March.

Description:

A hundred years before Rapunzel, there was Persinette. Before the Old Witch ever locked Rapunzel in a tower, a Fairy set out to change Persinette’s destiny.

Read the French fairy tale that inspired the Grimm Brothers’ “Rapunzel,” learn about the authoress Mlle de La Force, and discover answers to questions such as why Persinette’s father traded her for a fistful of parsley and how she survived for years alone in her wilderness.

Includes translations of the French tale “Persinette” (1698), the Italian tale “Petrosinella” (1634), and the German tale “Rapunzel” (1812-57), along with background information on each of the tales and their authors.

***

Patreon is also the only place you will be able to get the e-book with this version of the cover.

I was going to say more, but a lot of important and exhausting life-things happened in March, so this is what I’ve got.¬† Thought I would go ahead and post this now while it’s still March….


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.


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