The Latest Incarnation of the Doctor.

Now that everyone has had time to think about the announcement of Jodie Whitaker being the next actor to play Dr.  Who, I’m going to put my thoughts out there…
I think it is absolutely brilliant casting on the part of the BBC. They’ve been working up to this for years and it’s finally coming true!!!

Anyone who has followed my blog for a while, or who knows me via Facebook, knows that I am a massive Dr Who fan. I started with the Seventh Doctor (actually I started before that, but Sylvester McCoy was the first one I really remember and liked.) When they rebooted the series, I was ecstatic. I watched every single episode of the Ninth Doctor, the Tenth Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor.  I’m not keen on the way that Peter Capaldi portrays the Twelfth Doctor, but I love the stories, so I am willing to stick with the show.

Why am I so happy that the next Doctor will be female?

Quite simply, it means that the girls who watch the show with their parents now, will have someone as a role model that they are watching week after week, rather than once in  the cinema until their parents get the dvd / blu ray…

What? Does that shock you? I want to show you something… First you need to go and look at this article:

Then you need to scroll down to the fourth reaction and watch the video of the little girl watching the announcement. I want you to take a long hard look at the joy on that little girl’s face, and then I want you to think about it.

How many female role models does that girl have? If they’re not big name mainstream (Like Star Wars, Wonderwoman / Latest Ghostbusters) or if the show is older than 5 years (Xena, Buffy, Summer) or if they’re fixed squarely in the 16+ only bracket (Starbuck, Ripley, Sarah Connor) then today’s girls won’t have heard of them unless their parents are fans of the movies and shows.

The role models that girls now have are people like Beyonce and the Kardashians (Pop and Reality TV), Disney Princesses (I am beyond grateful for Brave, Frozen and Moana breaking the “need a man to be complete” image) and the young women who are playing the main roles in the Disney / Nickelodeon kids sitcoms or the ones on the CBBC shows. 
 
Dr Who taking on a woman as the next Doctor, that’s a game changer – it means that the young women and girls will see a blonde woman (or whatever colour hair she ends up with – I’m hoping for red, myself)  doing things that they are constantly told aren’t what they are supposed to be.
They will see her using her intellect, talking about science, asserting herself and saving all sorts of people – and hopefully they will see her doing it without the need to look to a companion for support. I’d love to see the first few episodes being about the Doctor and not the Doctor’s need for a companion in the same way that all the male doctors have “needed” a companion.
I will catch up with the stories from the Twelfth Doctor’s series, but can honestly say that I cannot wait for the Thirteenth Doctor to show us what she and the new showrunner and writing team have in store for us.
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Just in case you were wondering, I’m still working on the Re-write of The Tower and The Eye: A Beginning. The word count is notching higher and I’m hoping that what I’m adding is making it better than it was before…

Book 2 of The Secret of Arking Down, The Dragon’s Pendant is with my loyal group of  Beta Readers. It also has a wonderful cover that I will be showing off at the right time!

Book 3, The Second Door,  and Snow & Kitsune are also with the Beta Readers, so there are new books in the Pipeline!
If you like my writing whether here on the blog, or the books that I have published, I’d be ecstatic (yes, I have used that word twice in less than a thousand words; I like it!) if you chose to become one of my Patrons. Just go to https://www.patreon.com/KiraMorgana and click “Become a Patron”.
This will get you various rewards according to the amount you decide to pay, as well as help me towards the cost of publishing the books I have waiting… and I have a fair few waiting!

Well, I have to toddle off now, my youngest daughter is climbing the walls (not quite literally, but close) and I have more work to do… both writing and housework!

Toodles!
K.

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!

Multimedia Me…

Vlogging seems to be a huge thing at the moment – my son doesn’t watch TV, he watches Youtube (specifically a bloke called Noble) and I don’t think it will be that long before he attempts a video himself.

Facebook is full of Artists, Authors, Musicians and others that adore using the FB Live function.  I appreciate that it’s a great way of connecting with your fans. The thought of actually doing it however, is terrifying for me!

I’ve toyed with multimedia things before – I have a Soundcloud Profile where you can listen to me read Pika the Phluph and The Gribblebid Tough”  and an experimental advert for “The Tower and The Eye” .

I also have a Youtube Channel where you can see the Book Trailers for “The Land Far Away” ,  “The Tower and The Eye”  and “Hearts and Other Dead Things”  – the first two being trailers for my books and the third being an anthology that I have a story in.
You can also marvel at my awful taste in music… *grins*...  because I like to collect music that helps me write, but it’s not always what most people think of as good music!

So here I am, caught between my fear of looking stupid on Video and missing out on the people who like a more visual way of connecting with me.

I just spent half an hour looking into how Youtube works, it was eye-opening and disturbing. It also reinforced the feeling that I SHOULD be doing videos. Which in turn makes me feel more scared of doing it!

What do you think?
Should Authors embrace the Youtube / Visual side of marketing or should they ignore it?

Comment below if you want to discuss this question….