September Summary: Publishing, Prose and Poetry

This was the month that The Tower and The Eye: A Beginning finally made it back onto the market!
It took me quite a while to get the story to how I wanted it and it wouldn’t have made it had it not been for the wonderful people in my Beta Reading Group, my two patrons and an Editor friend…
I’ve made a start on the re-write of Book Two – A Party at Castle Grof – and have also written a short story that will be put into the Quargard Chronicles. I’m in the middle of a second story for QC as well. Hopefully that one will be finished by the end of the week…

But because I love all my fans, I’m going to post the first short story in my Fan Group on Facebook for you to read! If you’re a Patron then you already have access to the new story on my patreon page and in the group. If you haven’t joined the Fan Group already, then just request an invite.

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I’ve also been working on a couple of Land Far Away projects, one for the Sketchbook Project and one of my WIP’s, currently titled “Fingle and Springle” (That’ll change when I get to the other end of it!) so I’ve been working on my poetry writing… it was this that inspired me to take part in a Poetry competition.

I wasn’t expecting to win anything – Poetry isn’t really my thing. I tend to stick to rhyming couplets and I don’t pay much attention to the meter or any of the technical aspects that true Poets agonise over.
The challenge was this:

This week you are asked to produce a Cinquain.

The cinquain, also known as a quintain or quintet, is a poem or stanza composed of five lines. 
Examples of cinquains can be found in many European languages, and the origin of the form dates back to medieval French poetry. The most common cinquains in English follow a rhyme scheme of ababb, abaab or abccb.

See link here: www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/cinquain-poetic-form

and the Subject was Regret… so I had a go.  This was the result.

Summer

As Summer comes to a graceful end,
Children prepare for the return to school,
Parents breathe out relief as they send;
Their offspring back to education’s rule,
Hoping that they don’t look the fool.

Teachers sigh for the freedom of Summer,
With no alarm clock ringing out the hour,
Laden down with lesson planned mummer,
Hoping that their students haven’t got dumber,
And that their efforts will show fruit and flower.

I don’t think I did to badly on the form, but I didn’t get the feel of Regret I was looking for! As I predicted I didn’t get even a single vote, but that doesn’t matter much to me. It was the challenge to my writing abilities that I did it for and it was definitely a challenge!

Next Month is the run up to NaNoWriMo. I’m still not certain exactly what I’ll be working on for it, so watch this space!

And the Tower is Back, Baby!

Well, the rewrite of “A Beginning” has not only been completed, but is also published and available to buy again!
There’s a sneak peek from the second book in the end matter as well as the rewritten main story, so I’ve tried to pack a lot into a little book…

The rewrite of Book 2 – “A Party at Castle Grof” is underway, as is the writing of “The Quargard Chronicles” (as mentioned in my last post) – a collection of stories and poetry based in the world of Quargard. That’s going to take me a while to put together, but hopefully it will have illustrations as well.

I’m also planning a limited edition hardback of twenty of each of the series books. The first ten of “A Beginning” will be numbered and will only available as a Goal on My Patreon Page, as a thank you to anyone who chooses to support me.
Again, this edition will have illustrations and maps of the dungeon that the book takes place in, and will take me a while to put together, so keep your eyes peeled!

Places to buy:

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/49979

Amazon e-Book – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beginning-Book-One-Tower-Eye-ebook/dp/B004UCDGDM

Amazon Print Book – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/149619151X

Also available via Kobo, Apple and Barnes & Noble

I’d better get on and write now… before my kids interrupt me again!

Toodles!

An Author’s musings on the Past and the Future…

I’ve been looking back at my publishing career to date, in an effort to decide how to proceed with the next few years. I started writing seriously in 2008 and had a few short stories published in various anthologies. I didn’t start publishing my own work until 2011.

One of the questions I get asked from time to time, is how many books I publish a year. I never actually knew the answer to that – once a book is out I tend to forget about it, unless I am actively promoting it.
I used to say that I made about £30 a year… putting me firmly into the “Hobbyist” section of Independent Authors.

I’ve got the new KDP dashboard now… doesn’t look like too bad a system, but I wish I could see which books have sold as well as in which formats / countries etc.
Using the historical tab and a bit of head scratching, I have figured out that I shifted a grand total of 319 books in 7 years. Only 110 of those were paid books. My best total year was 2012 but that was due to a free promo I did that year. The best year for paid books was 2016.

The most popular paid book is currently at an even heat between “Heir of The Dragon” and “Blossom and Kitsune” with “TTATE: A Beginning” close behind.
Kira Morgana is definitely the more popular of my pen names, but that’s probably because she’s published more books!

I’ve sold an average of 16 paid books a year (not including free books because they only occur in one year)… It’s positive that I have actually sold books… but I thought I’d sold a few more than that…
Doesn’t include anything sold on Smashwords though… hmm.

*wanders away to check figures on Smashwords.*

So, having deciphered Smashwords’ reporting system, I find that I have sold a total of 32 paid books in 7 years. Adding those to the KDP ones, I have a grand total of 142 paid books, giving me an average of 20 paid books per year.
Obviously the figures I’m quoting are all my self-published books. Anything published with the Small Presses I’ve been with or my collaboration with Maria K., I don’t have the figures for.
So, am I a successful author? Depends on the measure of success that you use…

What am I going to do?

Well I’m not giving up on writing; it’s often the only thing I can do that keeps me sane – my craft hobbies aren’t child friendly in the same way… and besides, I do have a few fans or I wouldn’t have sold 142 books in the last 7 years!
So I have a duty to get some more books finished and published.

However, this is where I run into a Catch 22 situation.

As an independent author, I am responsible for the whole process of publishing my books; there’s no publishing company vetting it or giving me an Editor / Proof-reader / Cover Artist / Illustrator / MS Formatter to work on getting it out to my Fans.

That’s a hindrance in a lot of ways, because it means I have to do or source all those things myself. Which means I have to have money to pay for (at the very least) an Editor and a Cover Artist. I’ve been incredibly lucky up until now in that I’ve got some incredibly talented and lovely friends who have helped me get this far. I also have a group of lovely people who beta read for me, which helps immensely.

Sadly, my current financial situation (in real life) is rather difficult. I don’t have the spare money to pay for the things I need to continue to publish my work, and the books I have out at the moment don’t bring in enough money to pay for it.

So I have some decisions to make.

I currently have 10 books that are complete first drafts in the Beta Reading Pile, 2 that are in the Formatting Pile and 5 that could be published as is, but that I am wanting to add to, so they are in the Re-Write Pile. There are another 9 that are in the Work-in-Progress pile.

I’m not even considering the ones in the Idea Pile.

So that’s another 26 books to add the 9 that are currently published.
Obviously the order I need to work on them is:

1) Formatting
2) Rewriting
3)Work-in-Progress
4) Beta Reading

Before I even CONSIDER looking at the Ideas!

However, before I can publish any of the books going through Beta Reading, I need to run them past an editor and get a cover for them…
Which brings me to the crux of the matter. I would be able to publish more if one of two things happened:

a) I sold a LOT more of the currently published books
or
b) Those of you who believe in me and like my work support me through the Patreon system.

(Or I win the lottery, but we all know the odds of that one!)

I’ll be working on getting (a) sorted out, but one of the best things that will influence it, is getting another book into publication. So the Formatting and Re-Writing piles are going to the head of the work queue (with one WIP at a time being worked on).

One of the best ways that you, the reader, can help me, is to write a review of my books that you’ve read (no matter where you got it) a review on Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, Apple, Kobo or Nook can help me to sell books.
Another way, is to recommend my work to friends who are looking for something to read, be that by real life conversation or virtual conversation on Social Media.

If you want to take route (b) and support me through the Patreon System, I will be incredibly grateful and shower you with perks…
This is my page is – https://www.patreon.com/KiraMorgana
Pop over and check it out!

Oh and if you got all the way to the end of the blog post, whatever you decide, I want to thank you for reading it!