I’m Baaa-aaaack

Wow, it’s been entirely too long. Perhaps not for you, but definitely for me. Discouragement is the only excuse I can offer, and I can’t even call it a poor one. Awful. Terrible. Horrible. No good. And more than that.

I can’t even use illness as an excuse as I am still somewhat ill. Perhaps injured is a better term. I can say, fellow writers and coffee addicts, that swallowing your coffee, despite what you might think, works better than breathing it. It does not work faster that way. Caffeine does not enter your bloodstream more quickly. It is truly most unpleasant. The doctor said it would take three weeks to clear out of my lungs and for the irritation and cough to quit. Of course that was before I caught a cold in said doctor’s waiting room. While wearing a mask and using sanitizer. So please be careful. My addiction tried to drown me. Beware the throat tickle while trying to swallow. Beware the cough-sneeze-whatever-it-was while your mouth is full of warm liquid.

Yet here I am after an embarrassingly long absence. And you thought you were rid of me. Bwahahahahahahahahah.

Cough cough cough coughcoughcough ahem ahem.

Perhaps it is the antidepressant giving me moments of feeling more like my real self. Truly people, if you are having problems, ask your doctor for help. It is a treatable condition, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Nor is it the “nothing” that so many people think it is. If you are too paralyzed to live your life, please, please, don’t just tell yourself you’re weak, or that you’ll “snap out of it,” or “it’s just the blues.” I still have work to do, but taking that first step has already helped, and I’m back to the indie writer’s fight.

Okay, that’s enough lecturing for one blog. But I do mean it.

Not that I’m not still discouraged. To sell books, you need to promote. To promote, you either need to pay for advertising or (in too many cases for the free options) have a minimum number of reviews. To get reviews you need to promote. To afford paid advertising I need to sell books. To get enough reviews to qualify for free promotion, I need to promote. Can I scream yet?

I know, I know, stop whining, shut up, get out there. Not easy for a confirmed introvert. There’s a reason I’m a writer. My fingers are much more fluent than my tongue. Calling me socially awkward is . . . hmm, pretty accurate, actually. Selling myself is even worse than selling my books. My first assumption is always that a new acquaintance will not like me. I try telling myself “hey, you have friends, so obviously that’s not true,” but I’m not good at taking my own advice. So getting involved in guest blogging and such things is less than easy. Also, it feels like I’m being pushy and begging to try and ask. I’m also not exactly on the physically attractive side of the social fence, so the planned “official” author portrait I’m planning terrifies me. I like being behind the camera lens, not in front.

Yeah, I need a publicist. One that will work for a percentage of royalties. I know I’m not the worst writer, or even near the bottom of the list, but a salesperson I’m not. Dammit, Jim, I’m a writer, not a professional advertiser! All right, that didn’t come out as amusing as I’d hoped.

Anywayseywhoo (oh yes, I am coming off the caffeine hard and fast), I will leave you with those thoughts. Complaints. Observations. Whatever you like to call them. Goodnight, dear fellow readers and writers, and please remember what I said. If you are struggling yourself or know someone who is.

Love to all!
And links to follow, including for a free short story!

Website http://llynkc.wix.com/kacie-llyn#
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EnchantmentsEndgame?
Book Links http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0KHUW0
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magics-guardian-kacie-llyn/1114134634?ean=2940015956313

Free Short Story http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kingston-kacie-llyn/1115373226?ean=2940044633025
https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/kacie-llyn/kingston/_/R-400000000000001085499
http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000333840/Llyn-Kacie-Kingston/1.html
http://store.kobobooks.com/pt-us/books/Kingston/uqly087luUyfUTznXLT17w
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333840

Advertisements

The Hazards of Being an Indie Author

No excerpts today, I’m going to pause in my cheating and write on an actual subject. Yay! (Aw, c’m on guys, I can hear the boos.)

Well, it’s been over a year since I self-published. The people who’ve read the book have given me good responses, at least so far. One actually said she had trouble putting it down, another told me there was a point where the story exploded for him. No better feeling than getting responses like that. 

But the readers are so far very few. I simply cannot afford actual advertising so focus on social media, which might work better if I’d started with the hundreds or thousands of Facebook friends some have and tens of thousands of Twitter followers, but I simply don’t. I have found a number of free sources of promotion, but every one of them requires you to have a minimum rating of 4 stars on Amazon and a minimum of 10 total ratings. So, essentially, to find a format through which to sell books, I need to  . . . sell books. I suppose I could ask friends and family to read it and leave reviews, but there are two issues with that. One, it is frowned on in all of the forums I have encountered on the subject, seen as chintzy if not outright cheating. Two, I don’t think I actually know enough people to find ten that would be willing to do it. Narrowing the list of possibilities down to the readers, then narrowing it further to the fantasy fans, then even more to the female fantasy fans (yes, my male reader did admit that, exploding plot or no, it was a bit girly and best suited to being promoted as chick lit. Which I am fine with, as I am a chick and had asked him to read it to find out his opinion on just that subject.)

Funny, it never occurred to me that being shy and increasingly introverted would affect my writing career, unless I actually made it big enough to be invited to a con somewhere and froze during a speech, or threw up on stage out of nerves, or something even more humiliating.

Not that I thought it would be easy. Writing isn’t easy and despite what too many people think, it is work, and marketing is work on top of that. Without a big press behind you, it becomes even more work. You have to get people to pay attention to something completely unfamiliar. Sometimes I think it might be simpler to actually start a publishing company. It wouldn’t be the first I’d run into started for just that purpose. And I could help out some contacts that are also self published and also having problems getting the attention.

Part of the problem is that Indie authors still don’t have the respect that traditionally published authors do. We put just as much blood into our pages as the “real” writers do, sometimes more, but without the big names boosting us up, it is assumed that we are not worthy of that traditional contract. And sometimes that is true. I don’t have the distance to judge my own work as worthy or not so I’m not going to give an opinion one way or another. (It’s good read it if you like fantasy and faeries and elves and magic ahem sorry consider this a subliminal message. Did it work?) I have most certainly read Indie books that you could call dogs. Bad story elements, bad grammar, bad punctuation, I’ve seen every kind of woof on paper. Some would have been so easy to fix. If you’re not entirely familiar with the technical part of writing, either learn or get someone to edit it for you. The harder ones, the story elements, are for me just as hard to get past. I was reading the first book in an independently published series that was actually very good, until about halfway through the main character did something so completely stupid that, though I am curious about how the story turned out, I shall not read any further. The situation the character was thrown into was something so completely avoidable that it ruined it for me. And I have read real gems that did inspire me into buying that second book by the same author.

So, just like in traditional publishing there are good and bad authors. The worst dog I have ever read was traditionally published, and it was one that had the harder to fix kind of errors. I do notice a few more typos in self published works. (My favorite, which by the way was in one of the stories I loved, was during a scene where one of the characters is riding a horse in a hazardous area. Instead of worrying about his horse finding a pitfall, he is worried about his horse finding a pratfall. Of course the first picture in my head was of a giant war horse slipping on a banana peel in classic Vaudevillian over-the-top style. I laughed out loud. Then kept reading.) Since I’ve been taking writing seriously, I’ve noticed typos in every single book I’ve read, including ones written by the biggest names, published by the biggest houses, but the professional editors really do get rid of the majority, while an Indie author usually can’t afford the thousand or more dollars it takes to have it done without that magical contract. The best most of us can hope for is a friend or family member to borrow us a fresh pair of eyes. (I’ve actually got a volunteer for my next book, for which I am so incredibly grateful).

So, in my experience, you are slightly safer with a traditionally published work as far as readability, but only slightly. And the Indie books tend to be–I was going to say cheaper, but that’s only half true. Those published as ebooks are definitely cheaper, usually by a lot. The print books, not so much. I did find that I could have mine produced in print profitably for around a comparable price to a traditional novel. My plan was to sell that cheaper too, but to do that I would have had to pay people to buy my book. Yeah, not gonna work. I priced it at the smallest margin I could get to make a profit through any supplier, so I guarantee that my profit margin is tiny in comparison to one of those “real” writers. All the books I’ve sold have been in ebook format, but there really is something about pages between your fingers. Especially when those pages came from your own brain.

And I digress, as per usual. As I was saying, in my experience as a reader I haven’t noticed a huge amount of difference when it comes to quality. True I’m careful about what I purchase and skip over any with egregious errors in the descriptions, but I really haven’t been disappointed any more often than I have with books purchased at a bookstore.

So maybe if you run into one of us, you’ll be willing to give us a chance even if we can’t wave those comfortingly familiar logos at you. And maybe you’d be willing to go onto one of those merchant websites and leave one of the magical golden tickets known as a rating or a review. We are writers too! At least most of us are.

Thanks all, and pleasant reading, writing, editing, ect.

Links are below, including a free story.

Website:  http://llynkc.wix.com/kacie-llyn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EnchantmentsEndgame?

Twitter: llynkc@gmail.com  Rassilon27

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0KHUW0

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magics-guardian-kacie-llyn/1114134634?ean=2940015956313

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/4397796

Free Short Story: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333840

Finally!

This one is actually about writing.  Sorry.

So, it’s real, it’s in print, it is a physical thing not just a nearly random collection of pixels.  I considered going through it one more time looking for typos, but the last ten or more novels I’ve read, including novels by my favorite bestselling authors, all had typos, so I felt it was an impossible task. I will always hold to my conviction that the things breed when you’re not looking. And I’m in good company. I’d name the authors, but it would take to long and they might sue me, so I’m not going to.

It’s published! I can hold it! A couple people are even reading it! I am very excited.  Wish the price could be a little more competitive–and by competitive I mean way cheaper than other books–but I guess comparable to similarly sized softcovers at the bookstore isn’t bad.  $12.50 was the minimum I could price it and not actually have to pay the publishing house if someone bought it.  Other books I’ve run across at Barnes and Noble of the oversized paperback variety seem to run anywhere from $10.00 to $13.00, depending on the number of pages, so at 320 pages I’m not as far out there as I feared. 

And it’s still out there in pixel form for $3.99.

Anyway, I’m done talking about the green stuff.  Funny how it often isn’t green any more but is usually the same kind of nearly random collection of pixels.  Kind of unsettling when you really stop to think about it.  So I won’t.

By the way, if I ramble it’s because I’m writing this sitting terrified at my basement desk just waiting for the mice to attack.  I am really beginning to not like them.  They got into the Christmas decorations.  Wrong.  So, so wrong. 

So.  As I was saying before my brain derailed.

The long road has come to an end.  Or at least a four-way stop for a pause while I finish typing the sequel, The Hunt.  I do love stories about the Wild Hunt, but they are too few so I wrote one of my own. 

But I can only type it between figuring out how to market my books.  I just don’t know if I have the stuff.  I really would make a terrible used car salesman.  I see book promos by other authors that go something like this:

Read this!  Exciting adventure!  Beautiful romance!  It’s the best thing you’ll ever read!

And I just can’t.  I’ve been told it’s a good story by those who have read it, I would read it if it was something I ran across in a book store, I’ve even gotten some enthusiastic reviews, but self promotion is just so . . . not me. 

Maybe that’s why I despise mice so much, they remind me too much of me.

Nah, it’s the running across my pillow in the middle of the night while I’m sleeping on it.  Not to mention trying to take a shower with one staring at me from across the room.

Okay, enough tension.  I can feel beady little eyes on me from every corner.  I know they’re just waiting.  Dang you to heck, people who sold the neighbors mouse-infested hay. 

In parting, here are a few links. 

Magic’s Guardian Print 
 https://www.createspace.com/4397796

Magic’s Guardian ebook

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0KHUW0

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magics-guardian-kacie-llyn/1114134634?ean=2940015956313

Author website:

http://llynkc.wix.com/kacie-llyn#

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/EnchantmentsEndgame?

Kingston (free short story)

Smashwords (you must go here for the Kindle version): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333840

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kingston-kacie-llyn/1115373226?ean=2940044633025

Sony Reader: https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/kacie-llyn/kingston/_/R-400000000000001085499

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/pt-us/books/Kingston/uqly087luUyfUTznXLT17w

Diesel: http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000333840/Llyn-Kacie-Kingston/1.html

Any ads listed in the post not related to Magic’s Guardian or Kingston are not mine. Just so’s ya know.

Love and luck to my fellow indie writers, and good reading to all.

Below images courtesy of:

eyes from © Joseasreyes Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
trees from http://www.stockfreeimages.com/© Magicinfoto | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos
peacock from:www.stockfreeimages.com Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images © Nfdx

CreateSpacemagiccover-001

kingstonlargecover

Back to Blogging

Hello, all. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the energy or inclination to post in my blog. Well, that’s not quite true, I suffered no lack of inclination. My issue came from having so many things I wanted to do, I’d get frozen in my free time. Do I edit this series, write the next book in this one, keep retyping the other, edit my friend’s book, organize my writing space, watch the dozens of movies I’m behind on, work on the Halloween project I’ve been preparing for since last Halloween, etc. It takes so long to commit to what I’m doing, much of the doing time is gone before I get there.

(Regarding the book I’m helping edit/proofread, it is The Midnight series, starting with The Midnight Within, out this July on Nook, Kindle, and I’m sure other formats I’m not yet aware of. If you like your vampires with blood, this is for you. No angsty I-want-human-blood-but-I-refuse, just old-fashioned horror, slaughter, and some clever commentary while they do it. Well, not so clever from a couple of the characters, but the twins are my favorites. Read it, you’ll see what I mean. Yes this is a shameless plug but it is a plug of somebody else’s work and I mean every word.)

I did unfreeze enough to complete a couple more of my Scarydolls. They’re nothing like as fun as Spirit of Halloween’s Zombie Babies, but I can’t rely just on those for my project because I don’t own enough of them. I also got quite a bit of organizing done in my writing space, though it’s not close to done. Got a little further on the editing, and a some done on each of my series. But blogging, self-promoting, updating my author website and Facebook fan page, basically anything having to do with selling anything was put in a box in the back of my mind and shelved away in a cobwebbed corner.

It doesn’t help that I suck at self-promotion. But I’m working on it. I post a blog and Make It Public. The number of readers doesn’t matter, it’s that I do it, because it goes against my very nature. Someone could click on my blog and read the very words I’m typing now, and THINK about them, even form an opinion. Scary.

But I’m working on it, blogging, Tweeting, and next will be posting on a few forums. Maybe, just maybe, I can sell more than two books. If not, on to the next one, and the next, and the next. Hey, I have plenty floating around on paper and in my head. Maybe I can find a more exciting blog inspiration too. Still thinking about having a character or two as a guest blogger. It would be a good writing challenge, taking someone like, oh, Puck, and throwing him into a situation he would . . . well, Puck being Puck he would probably love it, and most likely would find a way to attach some kind of mischievous virus to my blog so perhaps he wouldn’t be the best to invite. If anyone could figure out how to sour milk through a computer, it would be him.

So we’ll see. My fiction is usually much more entertaining than my fact. But for now, back to the editing, writing, typing, and watching movies. Cheers, all, and good luck with your writing and marketing. One successful author encourages us all!

Just in case anyone cares, here’s all the links to my books, web site, and Facebook page. Or at least the URL addresses. For some reason links don’t like me, so if they don’t work, I grovel at your feet begging forgiveness.

Web: http://llynkc.wix.com/kacie-llyn#

Magic’s Guardian Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0KHUW0

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magics-guardian-kacie-llyn/1114134634?ean=2940015956313

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EnchantmentsEndgame?