Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pippa's Journal - MIA and What's Coming

Hi there, Pippa Jay checking in! First up, apologies for the two week absence without leave. School holidays with my three little monsters always takes a big chunk out of my online time, especially when it comes to blogging. And even worse, I decided to take on Camp NaNoWriMo this April, despite the two weeks of spring break meaning I'll only really have half the 30 days to work on my WIP. >.< Crazy, right? And boy, do I have lots to tell you about...

Status Update


ZG2 - 11776 words and counting...
Camp NaNoWriMo - This year I've decided to do both Camps (April and July) and the tradition 50K November event. After all the releases last year, I need to get some writing done, and the NaNoWriMo events are always good for giving me a much needed kick up the behind, especially since I have two remaining parts of a trilogy to write for my publisher! So, for April I'm doing Zombie Girl 2 (appropriate since part one releases this month in just over a week!), while ZG 3 is my project for the July Camp. I had planned to do a sequel to my superhero romance When Dark Falls for November, but with Tethered doing well I'm tempted to do the sequel to that instead. Decisions, decisions...

EXCERPT | GOODREADS
Available at... Breathless Press

All Romance eBooks | Bookstrand
Smashwords | Barnes&Noble
Amazon
EXCERPT |  GOODREADS
Available at... Breathless Press |
Smashwords | AReBookstrand

AmazonB&N
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I find the Camp versions easier since you can set your own word count (the only NaNoWriMo I've won was Camp last year by finishing off three short stories with a total word count of 20K) and I'm expecting ZG 2 and 3 to each hit the 20K mark. With my publisher now requiring a minimum 50K for all future submissions, this is the year I need to win the November NaNoWriMo. Wish me luck!

Sales and Kindle Unlimited - My March sales sucked, and so far April isn't looking much better. With a tough writing and release schedule set until August (when I plan to take the month off), I've not had time to devote purely to marketing (which isn't my favourite occupation anyway as many know). Since I'll shortly be touring for both Zombie Girl 1 and Keir, that'll have to count as most of my marketing until I can schedule time for more.

As for KU - I get paid more for borrows than for buys on my short stories. Sales of those dwindled to be replaced by the odd borrow, but overall I've had little if any benefit from being in KU. I plan to leave it at the end of the initial 90 days (which comes up in the next couple of weeks) and put my shorts back up on other venues. I will be testing it out again later in the year after Keir has been back out for a few months as I prepare for the release of the sequel.



Upcoming releases - Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened (part one of a YA dystopian romance trilogy) releases on the 22nd April. I'm also supposedly re-releasing my debut scifi romance Keir on the 7th May - my third year anniversary as a published author and what would have been Keir's third book birthday. I say 'supposedly' because right now we're still in 2nd round edits and I'm freaking out about it a LOT!

In June, the print release of When Dark Falls takes place, completing my definite releases for 2015. Phew! Since I'm taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo in July, taking a break for August (summer holidays for my monsters so a good time to do it!), then BristolCon in September and NaNoWriMo in November, I can't guarantee any other releases at this time. With ZG 2 and 3 hopefully done for the Camp NaNos, release dates for those will depend on being contracted by my publisher and their release schedule. Any self pubbed titles depend on my budget. I'm hoping to release my winter solstice SFR short for Christmas, but otherwise...


Big News
Over the spring break, I had three...no, FOUR...exciting developments. First up, my scifi romance adventure Tethered hit the number one bestseller at Breathless Press. Woot! I'm pretty excited! Not only about being a number one bestseller, but because I've done it with a science fiction romance! There are only 17 SFR titles on the BP site (Cyber), out of around 700 books, so to hit the top spot is extra awesome. And I took screen shots to preserve the moment for all eternity, lol. Tethered spent a whole week there before dropping to number 2, but is still the top seller in Cyber.


But that wasn't all for Tethered! It also got nominated for a RONE Award in the Novella category at InD'tale Magazine. Voting opens 4th-10th May. ^_^ (cute graphic made by one one of my fellow BP authors, Torie James).



And just last week, I had TWO of my titles nominated in the Love Romance Cafe's Best of Awards:
When Dark Falls for Best Fantasy Book, and my cute little teen zombie story Restless In Peaceville for Best YA/NA. Woot! Voting opens TODAY from 1pm EST and runs until the 18th. It goes without saying that I'd really appreciate your votes, but you have to be a member of the LRC yahoo loop. *flutters eyelashes* Yeah, I'm not above begging!

Events

The April Fools for Love event, sponsored by the SFR Station, is happening all month long and there are some awesome giveaways! Go take a look!


On Friday I'll be at Romancing the Genres talking about Hope for this month's blogging topic, and how it just isn't enough. Speaking of RTG, they're celebrating their 4th blogoversary with a huge Facebook party HERE. I'll be one of the hosting authors with a game, chat and a giveaway on the 30th April at 7pm BST.

The triple posting on diversity at Spacefreighters Lounge got a mention over at The Galaxy Express, where Heather Massey further adds to the discussion and gives a few basic suggestions on how to introduce a little diversity to books.

Ping Pong

My co-bloggers have pretty much summed up my thoughts and feelings on Clean Reader, and I've commented on both. At the end of the day, I put a huge amount of effort into the words I choose for my stories, and since I write for adults and YA, I feel I already cater to the need of my readers in terms of content. But my main objection was that the app creators and distributors did so WITHOUT PERMISSION from both publishers and authors. This breaches copyright as much as pirating does. I don't believe there would have been anywhere near half the outcry if they'd been upfront about the introduction of the app and at least given an opt out (better still, an opt IN, but definitely an opt out should have been offered). I hope those concerned have learnt something from the whole episode.

But even if an opt in version is brought in, I will not be making my books available through it. As a reader for more years than I've been an author, I can't even bring myself to highlight an ebook or bend over the corner pages of a print book (I can't stand watching my hubs and eldest do this to mark pages). Have I read books where some of the words make me flinch? Yes. Do I scrub them out? No. The author chose those words for a reason, and changing or obscuring them fundamentally changes the story they're trying to tell me. If I find a book especially offensive, I just don't read it. There are millions of other books out there, and the massive virtual TBR pile on my Kindle is proof that I don't need to go editing someone else's book in order to find something great to read.

Sharon, totally get you on the being a friend to yourself. Last year exhausted me with the constant releases and touring, and I resolved to get more savvy about the whole marketing thing. I've failed on that. But I've also learned that a lot of the things I spend time doing were actually a waste and didn't make any difference. I just felt I had to be doing them because everyone else did. So I've dialled back a bit, tried a few new things because I actually found them fun, and now take more time out to do the fun things and get back to writing. Because it's all about the writing at the end of the day.

Laurie, congrats on the release of the full version of Inherit the Stars, the reviews it's getting, and also on your and Greta's inclusion in the box set of Sing a Song of the Stars. I just know the good stuff will keep coming!
And re Clean Reader - I honestly feel too exhausted at the thought of providing varying versions of the same book in order to cater to everyone. I think sometimes we try too hard to please everyone - an impossible task. With YA as well as adult titles to my name, I feel I've covered enough bases, and I'm sure there will still be readers who refuse to be pleased by anything as much as there are readers who will adore everything an author produces. Somewhere we have to draw a line and say 'that's all, folks!'

Donna, loved the post on what you learned from reading other forms of fiction. I'm not a fan of advocates for 'read only in your genre' advice - I really believe that reading a wider range of fiction expands an author's mind to write better even if they stick to only writing one genre. And of course, it helps if you want to add another sub-genre to what you're writing.

Greta, on tweaking a book for re-release - I'm having to re-edit a book I got the rights back to as part of the reversion. I have to say not only am I glad to be re-editing from scratch, but to be including things that had to be cut as part of the previous publication process and building on areas I think were lacking first time around. I know I've improved in the five years since I first wrote Keir, and I wanted the re-release to reflect that too, as well as give some readers what they'd asked for - more of my villain, more of my hero...well, just more! And you're right - if film makers can do it with their extended versions and director's cuts, why not books?

I think where it becomes unfair on readers is when an author puts up a book that isn't actually finished/edited, then continually edits and reposts it based on reviews as they come in. I feel that using readers as critique partners in this way, when they have downloaded - perhaps even paid for - what they expect to be a finished product, is grossly unfair, disrespectful, and ultimately damaging both for the author concerned and all other authors. I think this is part of what has given self published books a bad reputation. Re-releases due to a need to update details about the book, change the cover, or where rights have reverted to the author or the book has been taken up by a new publisher are all perfectly fair reasons for a change.

Next week it's all about releases as I unleash Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened on the world and prepare to re-release Keir. Eeep!


1 comment:

  1. I think that's the key: "finding it fun." Funny, it's a lot like writing a book. If we write in a genre or about a topic we don't enjoy, the book is not going to be our best (and anything less has no chance these days).

    Huge congrats on topping the bestseller list, and for the award nominations too!

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Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.