naomi_jay: (fault lines)
So I'm revisiting the whole decision to self-publish at the moment, for a number of reasons previously discussed. Since June, my indie sales have plummeted and this month I've sold two books so far. That's pretty dismal. Reading about the Kindle Boards, it seems like a lot of people are seeing the same slump, but I don't really find that reassuring so much as depressing.

I already pulled NIGHT AND CHAOS and found a new home for it (I haven't signed the contracts yet, so I won't say much else because... well, there's not much else to say). WILD is probably next. I was determined to stick with self-publishing for the Vargulf Trilogy because WILD has been a tough book to categorise and that's made it a tough sell. It's not quite YA, it's not quite adult, it's not quite a romance but it's not a straight UF. I'd hoped it would find a niche through self-publishing, but I think I lack the marketing muscle to find readers who will love it.

It's currently on submission at two places, and a third has invited me to submit it to one of their lines when they open it for submissions in October. The third place is actually my first choice, so now I'm eagerly counting down to October 1st so I can be all, "hey, remember me?"

I'm glad I tried indie publishing this year but I don't plan to publish any more novels that way for the foreseeable future. Shorter pieces, yes - people are still buying UNGRATEFUL DEAD even though they could have it for free, so that's gratifying. But for me, for now, the future is not indie. I haven't achieved what I wanted to with it, and although I could stick with it and see if the theory of "ebooks are forever so readers will find you" holds true, that's not going to help my career right now.

Instead I want to focus on building on the works I already have out there. I've been pretty unfocused this year writing-wise, because I've spent a lot of time worrying about marketing, promotion, sales figures, and other stuff. Once Night Breed is finished, I'm going back to Shoregrave. I want to finish Halflife by the end of the year and make a start on the next Ethan project, Undertow. I also have plans for a trilogy set in Shoregrave featuring all-new characters.

I'm contracted for two more Urban Wolf books and I'd hope to sign on for more if possible. I want Shoregrave and Urban Wolf to be the focus for the immediate future and since both series already have publishers I'm very happy with, I see no reason not to continue working with them and really building a name for myself. I think I tried to spread myself too thinly this year and I don't need to. 2011 was the year of trying new things. I'd like 2012 to just be the year of Nome.
naomi_jay: (philosoraptor)
I would rather be doing anything else right now than making a list of gene mutations. Honestly.

Anyway, some bits and pieces, which is all I really seem to have to blog about lately, as so much of my time is being eaten by great big projects.

1. Remember UNGRATEFUL DEAD? The story where Ethan spends the night at a haunted morgue and almost nothing bad happens? It's now also going to feature in Static Movement's anthology The Morgue, as this seems fitting. It'll still be available for the Kindle and for free if you email me, but I like the idea of getting the word about Ethan out to as many places as possible, so that's that. (I cannot tell you how excited I am about my ideas for the next Ethan novella-possibly-novel. Like, seriously. I can't wait to get started on it).

2. In Shoregrave-related news, whilst trying to cram one more book onto my sagging bookshelves last night, I discovered I have an extra copy of AFTERLIFE. So, if you'd like a signed copy of my debut novel (wherein Ethan first appears), how about you leave me a comment here before Monday 8th August? I'll draw someone at random to receive it and maybe I'll throw in something else cool as well. Maybe. No promises.


naomi_jay: (ZP - x not to die)
Hmm.

NIGHT AND CHAOS has sold one copy this month so far. Count it, one.

UNGRATEFUL DEAD has sold none.

Cut for rambling )
.
 
 So. We'll see how WILD does and take it from there. Maybe May is just a bad month all round and maybe I'm being too impatient.
 
*This is all in my own head and nothing the agents put on me, but it's still true.
 
 
 
 
naomi_jay: (where is my mind?)
First of all, a massive thank you to everyone who Tweeted, blogged about, or bought a book for mine and others' efforts to raise money for Japan. I made enough money to make a small but significant donation to World Vision for the relief effort, so yay! I'll be donating my money on Friday when I get paid, because right now I'm pretty much a charity case in my own right.

Anyway! How was everyone's weekend? I rewarded myself for getting Wild off my plate by writing 6k on a short story. I've got the ending to write still, then I'm going to submit it to Static Movement's OBE anthology. My God. I was totally obsessed with out-of-body experiences when I was younger. It saddens me still that I never managed to have one, despite reading many, many books on the subject. I suppose there's still time.

I was also guest blogging at Splash of our Worlds about why it took me two years to write NIGHT AND CHAOS (which seems pretty speedy compared to some books we won't even mention). And I noticed a review for UNGRATEFUL DEAD at Tez Says which is cool since, given this is just a freebie for promotional purposes, I haven't been soliciting or expecting reviews for it.

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] dwg  directed my attention to this, which is relevant to my interests:



If you hang out at JA Konrath's blog for any amount of time, you'll see all of these arguments appear with almost clockwork regularity. Incidentally, it is worth hanging out at Konrath's blog for his insight and information on self-publishing, but you have to wade through a ton of attitude in the comment threads, which dulls the experience somewhat. I've said before that I don't think of myself as an "indie author," just as an author. I'm exploring all the options open to me a writer hoping to make this my full-time career, and that covers epublishing, self-publishing, small presses, and traditional publishing. So I get a bit peeved when I see the Us and Them division between indies and traditionally published writers, because, come on! We should all be on the same side, right? I get equally peeved whenever I see talk about agents and publishers as "gatekeepers" and how there's some big mafia-esque conspiracy holding the talented down and elevating the unworthy.

Look, it's really easy to get bitter and cynical in this business. It's really easy to look at the people around you, be they indie or traditional, and wonder what they're doing that you're not to be so successful. But the assumption I see over and over - that good writers are being shut out for arcane reasons - is ridiculous. I believe there's a lot of validity in self-publishing right now that didn't exist a few years ago, or I wouldn't be doing it. But I also believe that if my dream literary agent came a-knocking saying she adored my work and wanted to sign me up immediately, I'd go for it.

Because really, what I want as a writer is readers who will love my work. Whatever method works best to get my books into readers hands is the method I'm going to go with.

Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent. Here's a picture of some leopard geckos!*


*I am working very hard to bring leopard geckos into my life right now.

Link Stew

Mar. 16th, 2011 12:58 pm
naomi_jay: (rabbit hole)
First of all, thanks to everyone who's spreading the word about mine and other authors' efforts for Japan. I've seen a definite spike in my sales for NIGHT AND CHAOS and UNGRATEFUL DEAD over the past couple of days, which is awesome! I don't know what this translate to in terms of money to donate to World Vision yet, but whatever we make, it makes a difference, so thank you!

Now, a round-up of randomness:

I'm guest-blogging at Fangtastic Books today, talking about writing like a man. If you're interested in the massive mental effort I put into understanding the male mind in order to write DEMONISED, this is a blog for you.

I'm also over at Baffled Books talking about the role of the book blogger as part of my NIGHT AND CHAOS ebook tour (which I've been too busy to talk about much, but it is happening).

And there's a review of NIGHT AND CHAOS here at Books Glorious Books. Here's a taster of what they made of it:

The storyline was great. Really different to anything I have ever read before. The idea of experiments gone wrong was great and it worked really well.

So I think that's everything for now. I'm off to scavenge for food!
naomi_jay: (unicorn and woman)
So, guys, I really want to donate some money to World Vision to help with aid in Japan. I love World Vision, just for the record. Here's what they're saying about the quake and tsumani relief effort:

On March 11, 2011, north eastern Japan was struck by one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history – magnitude 8.9 on the Richter scale. Thousands are feared dead and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

In the wake of a disaster, World Vision is often one of the first organizations to begin relief work by distributing emergency supplies and sending highly-trained staff to assess and respond to the most urgent needs. We remain on the ground for the long haul, rebuilding communities and restoring hope.

Providing support to children and their families is central to World Vision’s efforts in the aftermath of natural disasters.  Your support is needed to help provide emergency supplies to those who have been displaced.  World Vision will also care for child survivors by establishing Child Friendly Spaces. These sites provide children with a safe place to play and help them to experience the structure and security that is often lost during emergency situations.

Unfortunately, like most other people I know, I'm cash poor and can't afford to donate enough to make a difference. What I can, and will, do is donate all the income I make from NIGHT AND CHAOS and UNGRATEFUL DEAD between now and Sunday 19th March to World Vision.

This means I need your help! I'm going to be Tweeting about this, and I'd be really grateful if everyone could retweet and spread the word. NIGHT AND CHAOS and UNGRATEFUL DEAD are currently both priced at $1.14. This is pocket change for most people, but it could turn into a really nice-sized donation for World Vision and get emergency supplies to people in Japan.

I've never done anything like this before, but it's a fond wish of mine to be able to donate to lots of different charities, so I'd love to make a big success of it and do something good for people who need it. Please help me spread the word!

ETA - If you don't have a Kindle, Amazon have a whole bunch of free Kindle apps for PCs, phones, etc.

naomi_jay: (ethan)

Yay, Quinn Smythwood, my fellow Queered Fiction author extraordinaire, read and liked UNGRATEFUL DEAD! I might make these short story freebies a regular part of my promotional stuff. It's fun, it's easy, it's free for all, and those three things are things I like. I've already got a few pieces in mind for DARK HUNT.

In other news, there appears to be glitter on my desk. Not lots of it, just like maybe someone was wearing glittery eyeshadow and split some on the desk and wiped it away ineffectively. I know it wasn't me. My days of wearing glittery eyeshadow are long behind me. It's not sinister or anything, this just doesn't seem like a sparkly office.


 


naomi_jay: (Demonised)
DEMONISED is released in a week! I've been so busy with other stuff lately, I haven't really talked about it much here. I do have the official blurb:

PI Ethan Banning is smoking too much, sleeping too little, and hearing voices. One voice, to be exact: the voice of the demon that possessed him on his last case. A voice that urges him to hurt, rape, kill, and Ethan doesn't think he has the strength to ignore it much longer.

When his latest missing person case turns into a murder investigation, Ethan finds himself fighting not just demonic urges, but black magic, an incubus with a hidden agenda, and a client who just won't pay up. Luckily, Ethan's got a few friends on his side, like Detective Anna Radcliffe, and his trusty dog, Mutt. If Ethan can ignore the demon long enough, he might just solve this case before it kills him.

And of course there's UNGRATEFUL DEAD. And I'll be guest blogging in March here and there. I don't feel that I've fully conveyed yet how much I love Ethan though. Because I love him a lot, and I want everyone else to love him too. I love him even though he's a chain-smoking, borderline alcoholic. I love him even though he's sometimes a bit too sleazy and spends all his money on late-night-shopping when he knows he's in debt. I love him because he loves dogs. I love him because even know he's possessed by a demon that wants him to rape and kill and hurt people (and himself), he keeps his (admittedly skewed) sense of humour.

And I loved writing DEMONISED because Ethan was just so much fun to write, even when horrible things were happening to him, or because of him. It's funny - he was supposed to just be a side character in AFTERLIFE, a little light comic relief to Yasmin's brooding, but he took over the book for me. That's why I ended up writing DEMONISED way before I started on Halflife, and why I suspect I'll write another Ethan novella way before Halflife is finished (and hopefully published!). He's just impossible for me to resist. He's not as funny as he thinks he is, but he's a lot nicer than he'd like to pretend, and even though he's always hopelessly out of his depth, he does his best to get through. I can't help but love a man like that, even if he's a man that I made up.

So I hope, in a week's time when DEMONISED is out, some of you will read it and love him too because I want to write lots more Ethan Banning stories.
naomi_jay: (ethan)
UNGRATEFUL DEAD is now live and for sale on the Kindle! I wasn't going to upload it til next week when DEMONISED comes out, but a few people asked, so it is done.

You can still get it for free by emailing me though! I don't want anyone to feel obliged to pay for it; it is just a short story. I've priced it as low as Amazon will let me but again, you'll never have to pay for it.
naomi_jay: (Demonised)
Hey guys, guess what I have?



Yes! A free, all-new, all-exclusive Ethan Banning short story for anyone who wants one! Interested? Just email me at naomi_jay@hotmail.co.uk and it's all yours. I'll be giving away copies for free right up until the released of DEMONISED on March 1st, after that ... well, I'll still be giving it away for free, but I'll also be uploading it to the Kindle.

UNGRATEFUL DEAD is set before the events of AFTERLIFE and DEMONISED, and nothing bad happens to Ethan at all, except he has to spend the night in a haunted morgue with no alcohol or cigarettes. Here's a taster to whet your appetites:

Snippety! )
naomi_jay: (Soul Reaver)
OMG. This year! This year, you guys. So much is happening all at once. It's now about two weeks until DEMONISED is released, and I haven't even started any of the guest blogs I'm supposed to be doing for that. I'm waiting until I have UNGRATEFUL DEAD ready to go, which will be very, very soon, but I'm starting to panic that all the lovely authors who invited me to write for them will give up in disgust because I'm so slow. I'm sure that won't happen, but you know, it's something I should keep in mind.

Submissions for Serve in Heaven, Reign in Hell are coming in nicely, but I'm now falling behind on reading and plan to catch up at the weekend. So if you submitted something and haven't heard from me, it's not because I'm ignoring you, it's because I'm saving your assuredly fabulous story for Saturday.

As far as my own writing goes, yes, I finished UNGRATEFUL DEAD. No, I haven't got back to work on Halflife, Blood and Bones, or Wild yet. I meant to do some writing last night, but I had this weird dizzy spell on the way home that I never quite recovered from last night, so I took a bath, fell asleep in it twice, and then went to my actual bed, which has far fewer drowning risks. I think I was maybe just dehydrated, because I feel fine this morning. Either that, or withdrawal from chocolate eggs. I wish I was kidding about that.

Anyway, my plan for the rest of the week is just "catch up, omg!!!" I'm going to write tonight, come hell or high water. I want to get 1k done on either Halflife or Blood and Bones. Tomorrow, Kyle is going camping at the seaside (I'm not jealous!), and I plan to spend the evening editing Wild. Friday, 1k on something again. Weekend, submissions and guest blogs. I also need to catch up on [livejournal.com profile] tessa_morelock stuff at some point, because I do actually have news in that area.

I also need to nag my old boss because I left my wrist brace at the Isaac Newton and she said she'd send it to me and she hasn't. And I kinda need it and I'm not going to pay for a new one when she can post that one to me for free via the Unversity post service.

Anyway, that's me. I think I'm now caught up on being aware of everything I need to catch up on, if nothing else.
naomi_jay: (Demonised)
I did some pretty horrible things to Ethan in DEMONISED, so I decided to write UNGRATEFUL DEAD, a short story in which nothing very bad happens to him (except he bashes his knees a couple of times, but I think that's pretty good going compared to the events of DEMONISED). And I finished it today! Huzzahs! This feels like quite the achievement, since I've done no writing of note for like, two weeks, and today I wrote nearly three thousand. I'm hoping this will get me back on track with my other projects (although I have a bunch of guest blogs to write before I think about anything else).

Anyway, the point is, the first draft of UNGRATEFUL DEAD is finished. Behold!

6538 / 6538
(100%)


Originally I was going to submit it to a Static Movement anthology, since it fits the theme of one of the open ones, but then I decided it would be much more fun to use it for promotion. So once I've re-read it and done the necessary, I'm going to ask my lovely editor at QueeredFiction if he can format it for the Kindle for me, and I'm going to put it up there dirt cheap. I'll also give away free copies to anyone who wants it.

This is a prequel short story, set before the events of both AFTERLIFE and DEMONISED, and it's just a fun, dumb story in which Ethan spends the night in a haunted morgue and then breaks into a funeral home and then goes home. I'm hoping it'll be all ready to go before the end of next week, and then I'll start pimping it out, yo.

ETA - Look! An awesome review for NIGHT AND CHAOS from [livejournal.com profile] yolandasfetsos . Further huzzahs!
naomi_jay: (whale)
So, I have random stuff. First off, two of the Static Movement anthologies I'm in, Serial Killers and Something From the Attic 2 are now available. Huzzahs! (And yes, that's an excerpt from my story, CASSANDRA LEE, on the Amazon product page ^_^). I'm particularly excited about the Serial Killers anthology as there are a couple of articles in there in addition to the stories that sounds pretty interesting.

Speaking of Static Movement, Submissions for Serve in Heaven, Reign in Hell are coming in steadily, and they're of a great quality. I'm really pleased, in an odd way, that it's not just the regular Static Movement writers submitting. As much as I like and admire everyone over there, it's nice to see fresh blood coming in, as I hope it'll draw more attention to SM and lead to bigger things for them, and I'm totally down with that.

I'm not down with my writing, or lack of, recently. I still haven't really recovered from the slump I hit after the DEMONISED edits. I've dabbled with a couple of projects, but I can't really settle on anything, and I haven't even touched the three projects I should be working on - Blood and Bones, Halflife, and Wild. I don't know if I'm just a bit burnt out at the moment? My last three weeks at the old day job were mentally exhausting, and my first week at the new job, whilst good, has been tiring too. Not to mention the amount of time I've been spending fretting over NIGHT AND CHAOS. Over the weekend I have a couple of stories for Serve in Heaven... to read, and after that I plan to get some writing done. I think my focus is going to be on Wild; I realised today that I'm putting off self-publishing it because I'm so worried about people hating it. And I decided I had nothing to lose if they did, so I'm going to go ahead and damn the torpedoes, or something.

Speaking of torpedoes (see how smoothly I do this), I'm thinking of throwing a Twitter party for NIGHT AND CHAOS. We did one last year for SILVER KISS, and I was pretty happy with it. It was basically a week of using a #silverkiss tag to promote the novel and get people talking; I'd put questions out there, and everyone who tweeted back using the hash tag went into a draw for a copy of SILVER KISS. Are we interested? If it goes well, I'll be doing the same thing for DEMONISED in March.

Speaking of DEMONISED (this one is an actual segue), I'm aiming to finish the Ethan short story, Ungrateful Dead, either tomorrow or over the weekend. Tonight I'm just going to go "meh" and curl up on the sofa and think twice about the amount of hot chocolate I drank today. One day I will learn that hot chocolate makes me sick, no matter how delicious it is. One day. But not today.

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Dirty Little Whirlwind

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