If you’re in Cork, Ireland, I would recommend stepping into Alchemy Coffee & Books on Barrack Street to check out this fine offer:
Alchemy is the place where I wrote almost the entire first draft of Emma’s Story. I went there after work, and I went there during my weekends. I used to sit on one of the bar stools over by the window to the coal yard and write, with my laptop on the shelf and with a coffee and a brownie next to it.
It’s how the story got done.
Sure, I might have done some writing at home, and perhaps in a pub once in a while, but it’s writing in the window at Alchemy that I remember. They’ve moved the bar stools now, and put two small tables and chairs in their place. Better use of space like that. It gets crowded enough in here as it is anyway,
I’m very happy to have been able to work out this deal with the staff here. I consider them friends of mine, and they always seem happy to see me. Sometimes I get a free coffee.
I don’t know that I’ll make a killing selling books at the local coffee shop, but it’s a fun little gimmick, and it’s getting me some good attention. That’s the main thing for now I think. If I’d had sequels lined up to release I’d have put more effort into promoting the book and trying a little harder to sell it.
There’s no follow-up though, and my series I’m working on won’t launch until early July. For now, this is mainly just for fun, and to try and learn a bit about self-publishing. In that regard it’s working out great, and I believe I’ll feel a lot more confident once my new stories are due for release.
That said, if you want to have a closer look at the book, you’ll find it here. Also, since sales on the book have dropped off I’ll be raising the price to 2.99 tomorrow morning. I won’t be doing any more promotion for it in a while, and as such people will mainly only find it through word of mouth.
A while back I wrote a poem to go with my book Emma’s Story. As part of promoting the book I turned the poem into a slideshow and shared it on instagram (I even paid a few Euro to promote it). I’m quite happy with how it came out so I wanted to share it here too:
The poem tells of the events of the story from an outside perspective and from the angle we expect that kind of story to be told. Then, towards the end, it turns around and says that the story’s really told from a completely different point of view.
When I originally wrote the story, I didn’t want it to be a subversion of the traditional fairytale. I didn’t even think about it, and it wasn’t until after the second draft that I realised I had. That’s probably just as well. If I had actively tried to subvert the trope the story would have been very different. Most likely it would have been worse too.
Now it’s really just a story about a young woman facing a difficult decision, and not about a supporting character in someone else’s adventure.
However, from a certain point of view the story really is about the fair maiden that the hero wants to win the heart of. Only, it’s not really told as such, and if anyone tried to call Emma a fair maiden to her face she’d probably punch them…
In other news, I’m not getting rich, and I won’t be able to quit my day job anytime soon, but I have sold a few copies. It’s not enough to make back what I paid in advertising, but it’s more than enough to be encouraging.
I’m happy with how I’m doing, and I’ll do better next time.
TLDR: I’m releasing Emma’s Story on Amazon in February. The work on the Lost Dogs series is progressing nicely. Marketing is scary.
In this case “ages” means about two months. That’s how long it’s been since I last posted here. It’s time for an update, because there are things to talk about but first a bit of self promotion…
To begin with. I’ve finally gotten around to setting a release date for Emma’s Story. You can pre-order the eBook version of the story here. There’s also a free preview of the first four chapters available on InstaFreebie, here.
As I’m writing this it’s about a month left until the book becomes available to the public, but I’m already excited, and last I checked there were three pre-orders already. Admittedly, at least one of them is from a friend who doesn’t even have an e-reader and who’ll order the print-version of the book as well, but still.
It’s cool to see that it’s working and that things are happening.
The first draft of the book is still available for free here on my website, on this page. That version is 13 chapters, while the final version going up on Amazon is 17 chapters, so there’s a bit of a difference. Overall the story is the same though. You’re welcome to read the first draft, but it’s not as good as the final version.
About that update?
So, yes, things have happened.
Last I wrote, I was about a third of the way through my writing sabbatical, and I’d finished the first draft of the first two stories. It was still warm enough I could sit outside and write as long as I dressed warm enough and brought my blanket and it didn’t rain.
That’s all changed.
The sabbatical is over since two weeks, and it’s cold enough I even have to dress warm while sitting at my own desk at home (I’m too cheap to turn on the heating). I’m burning a lot of stories, and the writing is a bit slower – but I’m still making progress.
Back then I’d finished the first draft of the first two stories in the Lost Dogs series. I’ve now finished the first draft of two more stories, and the second draft of the first one. The first story has been sent out to beta readers, but I’ve not heard much back from any of them so I’m going to have to start chasing them down about it.
I’m currently working on the second draft of the second story, and I’m making decent progress. The last few days have been busy with setting up for the launch of Emma’s Story, but as most of that is now done I’m able to get back to writing again – or editing, as it were.
I also had some advice from a member of the publishing/marketing group I’m part of that indicates that my plan for my stories is sound. What they told me is they’re writing all of their stories in the same setting, and they’re doing a lot of short stories about side characters from their longer novels and such. Apparently it’s working out for them, and as it’s very similar to what I’m planning to do I found it very encouraging.
Setting up for the launch of Emma’s Story has gotten me to think a lot about marketing lately. It’s been daunting, but I’m slowly warming up to it. I’ve got a mailing list (sign up here), and I’ve ordered two promotions. I know of someone who’s doing a newsletter who’ll hopefully include me, and I’ve been in touch with two people running fantasy pages on FB that may also come in handy.
I still haven’t sent out a newsletter as I don’t have any subscribers yet, but who knows what’ll happen. I’m really concerned about spamming people with useless crap they don’t want, so I probably won’t send anything unless there’s a new release coming up.
Finally, it’s kind of nice to be back to work after all that time off. It was great to have twelve weeks free, but there’s a comfort in having the daily routine of going to the office as well. Unfortunately, work requires a lot of time so it’s a steep price for that daily routine. It’d be cool to work part time. I don’t expect to be able to do that this year though – maybe next.