Meanwhile, on the other side . . .

Unfortunately I can't focus on writing right now, as I still have a month left of my Certificate IV in Music.

Anyway, just thought I'd show off this little song I recorded for my Original Music and Covers channel on Youtube. "20 Good Reasons" by Thirsty Merc.

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Looking for an Editor

Looking for an editor wasn't always in the books for me. I don't have a job. I wanted to do it myself. I still do.

But my friends at Critique Circle have pushed me in the right direction. I have a tight budget and a tight schedule -- two things that don't bode well for an editor. If I miss the Christmas rush, I hope this will all be worth it to help my book hold up in the market and make people want to read more of my work.

There are still elements of the plot that I'm removing from my book, so unfortunately it's in no state to be sent to an editor just yet. (Subplots appear halfway through as I've deleted them from the first half.)

When I've finished the second draft, it'll be time to send it off.

I've never worked with an editor before, so I've got no idea what to expect, or how much work I'll have to do after the editor's gone through it.

Prolificity Be Your Currency

In my bloggy musings I was led to this post by popular self-published fantasy author David Dalglish.

The Triumph of the Dalglish: How I Sold 200k Novels While Not Knowing Squat

His post explains why following the new swarm of authors won't work anymore. You can't win by writing one book, and then chucking links up every day, or even by getting a couple of recommendations on a forum. It doesn't work anymore because everyone's doing it.

The last section of his post enforces my theory of writing a number of good books and being friendly with people. He explains it so well.

Write. And then write some more. You know what’s easier than selling 10,000 books? Selling 5,000 copies of two books. And far easier than that is to sell 3,500 copies of three books.
So many people seem to want to hit the jackpot with just one book. To be fair, people out there do pull it off occasionally. I’ve seen it, even had friends do it. But I’ve seen some of those same people have their sales eventually dry up into nothing, and instead of giving something new for their readers, they keep shopping and pushing that same book, trying to recapture that old miracle.
Stop it.
Keep writing.
And I don’t mean crank out crap. Imagine that you have a fan base out there, one you’re steadily growing. Every book you write, make sure it’s something that audience will love and devour. With each new book, you’ll gather in the new, and satisfy the old.
I’m starting to ramble, so I’ll cut it off here. In short, if you want to self-publish, go in wide-eyed, your pride swallowed, and your ears open. Treat your readers, who are also your paying customers, with respect and courtesy. Don’t make excuses, but instead have the best editing you can have, the best cover, the best formatting, and the best presentation. Most of all, the best story.
And then do it again.
And again.
And again.

This is why, as soon as possible, I want to jump into writing full-time. I'm sure for a long time, I'm going to be doing half-half, working a part-time job while I write, but I need to treat writing as a job as well. There'll be a time frame every day where I just write or edit.

For some reason, I think it's important that I have that experience of the part-time job while writing. Perhaps to help me appreciate writing more when it's my main job?

I'm not prolific by nature; in fact, I'm the opposite. That's why I need the "this is a job" mindset. Only through treating my writing the right way can I turn it into a full-time, or even part-time job.

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Oh, the possibilities!: Three Bridges

Just over a year ago I posted about an idea I had for a four POV book to be written as part of The Válkia Chronicles. It could have been a novel or a novella, but I've been struck with another possibility.

I now want to condense the four POVs into three -- works well for the umbrella heading, Three Bridges. And the possibility I'm considering is this: Could I instead write 3 separate novelettes/novellas?

I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Would you rather pay for 3 separate novelettes at $1.99 each, or just a novel at $2.99?

Marketing: Is it worth it?

I'd love to write a long, helpful post on this right now, but I don't have the knowledge nor the time. What I do have is an article I just read and a theory.

Just Write

Don't read it all because it's not spot-on and sort of long-winded, but it's interesting to get the perspective. (For two much more useful articles that I say you MUST read, scroll down to the Further Reading part of this post.) The thing that did it for me was in the last line.

In the end it's all about stats: the hidden ones and the real ones. If you're writing and trying to self-sell and net-promote, do your own stats. Calculate your investment of time and money in writing versus social media. Do you want to spend 80% of 80% of your time Facebooking about cats in the hope that you'll make a 2.12% increase in sales on a book you had to write in 18 days? Do you want to spend 80% of your time creating unpaid market propaganda for the social media industry?
Or would you rather step away from the hype altogether and spend as much time as you can being a 100% writer?

Some things in the comments were more useful, though. Using a tool such as Twitter is not about linking your book 3 times a day. It's about connecting with potential readers, or possibly people who are reading your work. If you use Twitter to shove your book 3 times a day, people will get tired of you, and the thing is, people just don't click on those links that much.

My book isn't available yet, so I haven't even had the chance to link anything. But I promise you, just thanks to the title in my profile description, I've had people showing interest, asking for me to let them know when the book is out.

And hopefully they'll love it.

My theory? Write good books with good titles and good blurbs. Even better, write better books with better titles and better blurbs. Get more stuff out there. Devote your time to writing. Write novels, and in between, write shorts and novelettes. The more you have out there, the more people can read if they like your work, and they'll be even more likely to talk about you.

Use Twitter and Facebook to update your progress, but don't over-market. Maybe link it a couple of times once it's out. If people have shown interest, let them know. Apart from that, be friendly. If people ask about the book, let them know about it. Stay calm.

Send the book to some reviewers (look up blogs that review your genre or price) to give it a start, mention it on your blog, then forget about everything and write the next project. Update Twitter and Facebook a couple of times a week with your progress -- say, every time you finish a chapter, or a few chapters -- and apart from that, retweet or comment on the Tweets that connect with you.

Getting Focused Followers on Twitter
I write fantasy, particularly high/epic fantasy. So to get followers who might be interested in what I write, I follow people who follow authors who write in a similar genre. So I would go to Christopher Paolini's profile, click "followers", and then go down the list, following around 50 people, for example (aiming for English speakers), and then move on to George R. R. Martin's profile and do the same.

A few days later, I'd use "ManageFlitter" to unfollow the people who didn't follow back, so I don't hit the wall of Twitter's "ratio" system.

In Summary
Focus on the writing! Remember that books take months to find their wings, but once they do, they'll hopefully keep flying. Word of mouth grows exponentially, but it takes time for your book to get started, so give it a bit of a push at the start. Interact with your readers when you can.

And the more work you have out there, the better. (But make it good.)

Further Reading
I found these articles today. It would be in your best interests to check them out!

The first one discusses how to work Amazon's algorithms with an emphasis on the initial push.
Social media doesn't sell books (In a way, it does -- read the next article to find out how.)

This one discusses with 3 "prominent" authors how effective they think social media is, and how to use it effectively. That is, by being "social" (meeting people and being down to earth), only "promoting" when you have free promotions, and having a web presence (getting interviewed on blogs, simply being there on Twitter and Facebook).

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October Revision Update

Chapter Seven. I call it the mammoth. 4,500 words it was.

Last weekend I edited half of it. This weekend I edited the other half. I think it's better. I still need to get the computer to read it to me.

The melodrama, oh, the melodrama! Gone now. Yay!

Oh, the action's the same, but I'm not all like, HE PRETTY MUCH DIED.

I hope I'm not doing this too wrong. Am I wrong to think the plot doesn't need that much changing? Your first draft will be terrible, they said. But I'm certain that's a totally objective statement. It depends how you write your first draft, how much you planned, and how meticulously you wrote.

I wrote to a general and sometimes meticulous outline. Surely my drafts will need less revision than that of a pantser.

I think my plot is the best I can do right now, and to change it dramatically would be to delay something that doesn't need to be delayed. I'd end up with something different, but not necessarily better.

I want to add things. I dropped 1,000 words this chapter. Soon I will be descending into the novella wasteland. My dream wasn't to hold a thin little book in my hands -- I want something that makes me proud, and for some reason, that doesn't cut it. My goal is 200+ pages in print. I think that's a decent place to start.

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Welcome to The Dark Corner of the Mind. My name is Ryan Sullivan and my aim with this blog is to help others with their own writing, as well as to make note of some of my own writing endeavours.

Here at The Dark Corner, Real Life is both our best friend and our worst enemy. Look to him for inspiration, but don't let him get in the way too much.

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