That's right, I'm doing another giveaway of a second book, La Bruja del Barrio Loco! I got one review from the last book I gave away, which is pretty good for a beta run. If you are a friend or an avid Kindle reader, and you download my book, please give it a short review! Psst, colleagues and friends, share the link on your Facebook walls or social media.
This morning, I also worked on another chapter of The Harvest. You can read the first chapter and part of the second because that's like 50+ pages of reading. The novel is now at 383+ pages, and my writing goal is to finish chapter 20 this morning.
I am also going on a writing vacay with my family, which will mean free printing at the hotel! That also means I will have a captive audience in the car, so I can read bits out loud to them. So, pray for me that this draft gets done. I really think I can finish it by Sunday.
This weekend I will also be reviewing a book or two. I downloaded different books by friends and acquaintances to support them. My favorite one I started reading, thus far, is Jukebox Loser: An Owner's Manual for Idiot Desires by Todd Heldt. It's funny as hell, and gave me a real nostalgia for the 80's and 90's. (I hope he does a printed version of it!) I also have a romance I am reviewing, even though romances are not my thing.
Well, time to get back to chapter 20. I'm in my zone, so I will catch you later!
Cross that finish line and curl up to a good book! Obvi, not at the same time. #Resist!
I'm doing it. I'm producing the next book all on my own again on a $0 budget with no beta reader, editor, or cover designer. I am grateful for all the work my friends have done, and their sage advice, but I need to hire a professional editor. I find this search to be a lot like dating, and to some degree marriage. (Make sure you have a real contract and invoice.) Ideally, the editor should be familiar with your genre (and write in it). Sample their feedback style first to see if it works for you and meets your needs. If it doesn't. Move on.
The real valuable lesson I learned is to slow down and copy-edit the shit out of my work, slowly. I also believe reading the printed and e-book numerous times is the best strategy for me. My last editor (thank you for the feedback on La Bruja del Barrio Loco) recommended that I read for specific errors, and that works really well because I know what my patterns are.
What about the cover? I have a writer group friend who is going to give me advice on my next cover. I've had the design in mind for a while, and I also have a friend who wants to take a crack at painting the cover. She's quite good, but also a teacher, so I am going to see what emerges (for $0 ha ha).
Wish me luck. My next book is going to be a set of three YA short stories, all dealing with folklore. I'm going for the PG-13 edition. What? You think I can't do it? We will see.
Well, The Harvest beckons, and I have a horrible migraine, but I'm finishing this novel this weekend.
Oh, I almost forgot. If you want to read a genuinely hilarous book, you have to check out Todd Heldt's Jukebox Loser: An Owner's Manual for Idiot Desires.
It is available on Kindle Unlimited and worth the read!
Get to the finish line! #Resist
This is it. Put your hands together and say a little prayer for me. One, I am doing a three-day giveaway of La Bruja del Barrio Loco, which starts on Saturday, and runs through Monday. If you download a free copy, or bought one, give it a positive, short review. I'll even take simple stars. Half of the profits for the year of all sales are going to my union chapter's strike or hardship fund.
Two, this weekend, we are going out of town somewhere, and I am going to finish my novel, The Harvest. That only seems appropriate since I love unions and all workers. My writing energy is amped, and I have the rest of the chapters mapped out, more or less. Can't be too restrictive with this creative process. But, it's going to happen!
I also want to thank everyone who helped me beta test my first giveaway on short notice. Folks did download my book, and I hope more do so this weekend. Just for laughs, my favorite Facebook comment came from a friend who is business savvy, and posted, "Oh no! The prophets!" The prophets are just fine, brother, just fine.
Finally, my printed markers should arrive today. This collateral is also a marketing experiment, to get more traffic and reviews. I ordered 50 because I need to start budgeting better, but I am going to test these out because I will be meeting people and giving away markers to readers. Pray for that too. I think markers are better than business cards. We will see.
I am sending you all good writing vibes!
Take more writing risks and get your WIPs done! #Resist!
I decided to beta test a giveaway on Amazon and the second book on Labor Day Weekend because I have this grand scheme of giving a long work away on Thanksgiving and reducing the price for Black Friday. Yesterday, some people did download the first book, which is a good start. Now, let's hope they at least give the book some star reviews.
I was reading over a thread on one of the writer sites, and there was a debate about at what point Amazon would start promoting books. Some authors said after 40 reviews, some 30. Then, this writer who had published 20 books said it wasn't about reviews, but sales. What is for sure is that the more popular books get more promotion, even when they are free (yes, I checked the free listings). Ergo, commercial publications often trump self-published books.
This is all a fun learning curve, and I am definitely writing longer works because that makes a difference, too. These days, it has been hard for me to focus on the novel because I wanted to produce a certain number of books a month, but I am going to stay committed to finishing The Harvest, even though I started The Awakening. The story is still very alive, so I'm not worried about losing energy for that piece.
My friend also suggested that I use the Midwest Book Review site. However, there is not guarantee they will do a review, I don't think, and the service costs $50. Right now, I'm focusing on my bookmark promotion, and I have to be frugal with my budget, but I will definitely explore that site more. All of this experimenting is fun, and I appreciate all the advice other writers are giving me.
Keep learning and honing your craft. #Resist!
I am testing a free book giveaway on Amazon of La Bruja in the Orchard (Monday, August 27 and Tuesday, August 28) before I do my big Labor Day giveaway of La Bruja del Barrio Loco.
If you download any of my books for free, please let me know what that experience was like and give them a short review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.
Thank you for your support!
This morning, I finished another chapter in The Harvest. It was a bit rushed, and I am already rethinking how I will revise large portions of the novel. The pacing was fast, probably in my eagerness to get done, but the chapter still captures the spirit of what I had in mind originally.
This morning, I am having my husband print some small double-sided markers. We'll see how the final version looks. I have a few places in mind I want to drop them off. Mostly, I think I'm going to carry them around, in case I run into fans of speculative fiction or avid Kindle readers.
Also, his morning, I am pimping a few books and author sites from "friends" on writing groups.
Even though romance is not my genre, I have been reviewing more romances by other self-published writers. This one is on my list. The print is a bit overpriced, I think, but the Kindle version is $2.99 on Amazon.
Carmen Baca has another book out Las Mujeres Misteriosas that is bound to be a success. This is her first self-published book, but look at that gorgeous cover!
It is available on Lulu for $8.99.
Finally, check out this cowboy's books: John F. Green's books. He has some interesting speculative fiction I want to add to my Goodreads list.
That is all the pimping for today!
Write, write, write and maybe, pimp books for a friend. #Resist
This afternoon, I went to the 57th Street Books on the South Side. I was hopeful that they would take La Bruja del Barrio Loco, but they don't take consignment books. I'd be willing to donate a few copies, but I have to email the manager and director. However, I did find a spot to leave my newsletter, but after looking at all the materials, I decided to craft a bookmarker instead. I would be more willing to grab a bookmarker than a newsletter. (There is a draft below.) They did say I could do an event, so maybe I could do a reading on the books in the near future. For now, I am happy to leave the print media.
One thing they did tell me is that they take books from https://www.ingramspark.com/, except that ingramspark charges to produce a print and e-book. I haven't had any experience with this service, but I am willing to look into the site, if independent bookstores are willing to use this service. However, I will have to try them for the next book, Rita vs the Duende. There are some restrictions with Amazon, but I can still use both sites to sell my books (I think. I haven't read the terms and conditions for ingram).
Stay productive and keep experimenting. #Resist
Last night, before I went to bed, I was reading the e-version of La Bruja del Barrio Loco. I often re-read copies of my books a couple of times to make sure the typos are obliterated or minimized. Thus far, I have found one, but last night, I had a nightmare that I found other typos. I woke up really upset, and then, I realized there were no mistakes in the sections I read last night.
Yesterday, I also sent a brief thank you to JA Konrath. He is a successful, self-published writer, and he inspired me to put my work out there. Plus, he gives really great advice to noobs. Anyway, one of the things he was talking about was marketing. And, it looks like I am doing a lot of things right. However, he did suggest that people experiment. That is why I am going to put my newsletters in a few areas in the neighborhood and coffee shops this weekend.
The next big experiment is to do a give-away of Rita vs the Duende and The Awakening (not set on that title because it's overused), Book 3 in La Bruja del Barrio Loco series. I am thinking a two-day deal when people can download the books for free. Also, I have been thinking of rewriting a short and giving it away. I had a concept of making the grandmother mute in "Descarado", which will be in the Antojitos section of my site.
Well, it's going to be another day of a long-assed meeting, and I am still not done revising my courses (hence, all the reviews last night).
Write, write, and market some more. #Resist
I use this book in my English 101 and Creative Writing classes because the stories are so excellent and serve as great models for writing students. This second edition features amazing writers like Octavia Butler, Stephen King, and George RR Martin. One of my favorite pieces is "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth" by Cory Doctorow because essentially a bunch of tech-nerds are left to rebuild a devastated wasteland. The stories range from dystopias caused by diseases to the abuse of technological advances. (Sadly, there are no zombie stories.) Most of the stories end with a glimmer of hope and compel to reader to examine what conditions lead to terrible conditions. I would recommend this book for fans of end of the world scenarios because you just might discover some real gems in here.
Dr. Jesú Estrada,