I used to be a hypocrite. I mean, I probably still am in a few ways that aren’t coming to mind right now, but I mean about books and self-publishing. I’ve planned to self-publish for years. I liked the freedom, the lack of time restrictions, even the idea of having a fair amount of input on the cover. But during all those years I hadn’t ever bought or read a self-published book.
I did read fanfiction. I still do. Some of my favourite stories are fanfics. So I was aware that there were and are independent writers who are good at what they do (even if you have to search a bit harder to find them)… And still I hadn’t gotten a self-published book because a part of me worried it wouldn’t be good enough.
After I finally made an Amazon account (because I needed one to self-publish my own story) I started looking into other indie writers. There were the more professional ones (Hugh Howey, Johnny B Truant, Sean Platt, David Wright) and those not so much, and also a few friends had published before me. I bought books from each type, picking up the occasional random book just because it looked pretty. I now have about 40 self published books on my kindle.
I wish I had realized indie books were this good sooner. They have this honesty to them (something I’ve found in good fanfic as well). There’s no general public that you have to appease, and so certain stories have more depth and truth to them, if only because they can. The restrictions are gone. You want to write a 58 part space opera? By all means, go right damn ahead. Your ideas are a little off, avant garde meets forgotten-your-meds? Someone’ll like it. I’ll probably like it. Even if I don’t, I have to admire that you wrote it and put it out there.
Indie books are the garage band music of today. They may not all be perfect and polished, but they have heart and passion in them. If you don’t read indie books, or self-published stuff, and you’re worried about quality– give it a go anyway. Check the Look Inside feature, decide whether the person’s grammar is up to standards, and give their book a try. You might be surprised.
(I’m not saying bad grammar is ok. But typos happen, and just because you didn’t have a team of editors to catch it doesn’t mean the book is bad [and if you do have a team, they might still not catch it]. Another great thing with indie books- the author can update the file. I changed my file out about 12 times since I first published Larkspur. A typo here, an extra sentence there.. and now it’s all good.)
(Was going to wait until I wrote today’s 3K, but I’ve barely started.. so I’m going to do this and then go write).
I’m told this is a thing! So Delphinium’s going to be released on June 20th, and as a part of my ‘you have to do it, people know’ plan, I’ve also set up a Facebook Event. It’s open to the public, anyone can join, and I freely encourage questions and/or chatter. I’ll probably work out a thing where I give away a free copy or two, maybe of Larkspur and maybe the upcoming Delphinium. Please do join, and ‘invite’ anyone else who might be interested or interesting!
I have a tentative date for Delphinium’s release (those signed up for the newsletter know the ‘about this time’ date already 😉 No hard promises yet though). But to hit it I have to start working *today.* Boyfriend’s visiting friends in Florida now, and my summer classes are relatively low intensity, so it’s writing time. No distractions.
Right now I’m at 4403 words– not a lot at all sadly. The goal is ~30K to ~35K, at least double Larkspur and hopefully longer. The good news is is that I have an outline, and I know far more about what I’m doing than when I was attempting the first book. I know I can hit a few thousand words a day, and at least the first time I set a public release date with Larkspur I hit it. Plus now I have far more people actually interested in my work. No pressure, right? 🙂
I have officially sold 100 copies of Larkspur: A Necromancer’s Romance 😀 I’m super happy and excited! Most of the sales are US, but a good percent is UK, and some up in Canada, and over from Amazon.de
The plot of Delphinium is blooming nicely (get it, flower pun) and writing it is going well. Loving the new thing I do where I outline, or as the selfpublishingpodcast guys call it, writing out the scenes as beats.
A wanting-to-remain anonymous source helped me fix my covers today. Specifically the text, which always looked a little wonky. I don’t know enough about photoshop (yet!) to get the text to blend in well. He also sent the photoshop files of the redone images, so I’ll be able to work on learning these things on my own. Super hyped and thrilled. Here are the new covers for the first three books in the Larkspur Series. Still working on covers 4-6, but expect the same template. (Also writing Delphinium, that’ll go into full gear in three days after I finish all my finals stuff).
Larkspur was initially just Pierre and Lizzy’s love story. It went from being just the first part, as a stand-alone, to maybe two or three books depending on where I ended. After that I planned to start something completely different. Maybe in the same realm, maybe 50 years ago, or 50 years in the future. I think in that sort of dis-continued way, and thought I could manage it with self publishing. Stand-alone-connected-adventures and such.
I still plan to do something like that, but not in as great or abrupt a scale. So the Larkspur books are now going to be both a little more broad than just Pierre-and-Lizzy’s romance (which is also true in Larkspur as well), and continue on for longer in terms of the time I allotted this set. I started thinking about theme as well, and how I was mixing two different themes together when one title referenced a flower, and the other a card game. So I’ve separated those. The next book in the Larkspur series will be Delphinium– a genus where one can find Larkspur, and occasionally just another term for the flower in general. The other titles will follow in this manner.
I’ll still write a bit out of order. The story about Ophion and Eglė seems to be staying put at just one book, and I’ll make that a stand-alone tale. Or if it turns into a series, I’ll sketch it out as a series and we’ll go from there. But I’m putting more time and thought to each set being.. allowed to be its own set. Before it was sort of ‘write random stories out of order’ and now it’s less.. insane.
Ah, and here’s Delphinium’s cover. Yes, another alteration of one of Henri Fantin-Latour’s Larkspur paintings. He has several. Yes, I plan to use most of them.
As far as stories in other realms- I am working on those too. After Delphinium is finished, and book 3 started, I’ll try and start the first book of another series. I can bounce from one to the other that way and show off more of Noctuina. But I don’t want to just start one series and immediately another.
Not a lot. Like 3 sentences. And they were sentences that I only realized had to be there after I started writing Spadille. I had made mention of Clandestina being a land of healers, and how this forced many of the spirits of death away. Upon rereading I realized this made it sound like illness and death weren’t a problem. This isn’t true. In some ways it’s more of a problem because there are few governing spirits of death, and mortal healers can only do so much. So compared to other lands, you have a higher survival rate in Clandestina after you’re wounded. The healers know their stuff, there are surgeons, etc. But at the same time ‘acts of God’ cannot be controlled. A plague is a plague, and one is more likely to show up in Clandestina to even the score because so many people are surviving physical wounds that should be fatal.
I’m learning a lot of this as I go along. I’ve had Pierre and these characters in my head for about ten years. I know them well. But at the same time this has gone through so many changes, and thinking about it is different than writing it out. It’s like a different part of the brain is being used. So as I’m typing I come up with twists I didn’t realize were there, and yet make total sense.
The problem being, I’m writing volume 2, and volume 1 is out. Again, I fixed it, but I’ve had 37 buys and over 1000 downloads. Some people might be confused.
I am going to try and keep explaining this in volume 2 and hope it doesn’t seem like a contradiction. I have to email Amazon and get them to update everyone’s files. Which really should be an automatic process, but that’s a rant for another post.