Fireflies & Laserbeams

Writing Update

Saturday October 16, 2021 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Writer's life | Leave Comments

On old start of a cover I tried to make.

I can't remember how much I've said about my current WIP. It's a space opera, with the theme of Vampires in Space.

I just passed 18,000 words on Book 2 in the Mészárosa Trilogy, Salvāre. The first book, Vim Dicaré is all but done, including the cover, just a few tweaks left and another round of final line edits with Lauren. But I plan to finish all three of these books before I publish. The writing is going a little slower than I would like. Not because I am struggling with it, it is pretty well outlined, but I am laboring to put my butt in the seat and actually write. That is the real challenge I'm facing. I want this for a career and adding words has been a slough. Makes me wonder if I have what it takes.

I'm not interested in filling my time with video games any more. The writing is always there, and I never regret the time I spend doing it, but there always seems to be fifty other things that need attending, or --


I'm easily distracted. I have all of the covers done for the, a plan in place, a wonderful editor that gets me, all I have to do it write the damned books. I am hoping to really focus on writing over the next two months. I would love to have it finished before the end of the year. It is doable, but will require diligence and perseverance.

I want to publish all three next year.

I hope your writing is going better!

Here is a little taste. This is raw and unedited and might not even make it into the final copy:

The behemoth cargo starship Rougarou moved into the open maw of the quantum gate and in a flash, it disappeared from realspace, swallowed up by the receding wave of energy. In front of the ship, a tunnel led them forward through netherspace, bucking slightly as the ship settled in front of the energy wave like a surfer on the North Shore of Oahu. René Trahan had never seen such a wave, but it was how the story had been passed down through the ages, as the Trahans had been merchant traders on Earth when ships sailed the oceans, and they were one of the first to take up the space lanes after the quantum tunnels had been opened. But this wave was invisible to the eye and only a practiced helmsman could maneuver with such a soft touch that the ripples from the wave smoothed out so quickly that not even a cup of water was spilled in the ship.

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Effacement release lessons learned

Friday February 5, 2021 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Book Release | Leave Comments

As hard as I worked for this book release I still wasn't really ready. I think I rushed it a bit, simply because I was so excited to have a book out in the real world!

I should have developed a team to review the book out of the gate. I still don't have a single review on Amazon yet. That was a mistake. I have broken the top 500 in one category, but gains are fleeting unless you keep selling. I did get one 5 star review on Goodreads from a professional reviewer, so that was incredible and affirming.

I am still recruiting people to do book reviews. I've opened an account on Bookfunnel and StoryOrigin. If you contact me on my Facebook page you could get a free book to review that way even. Reviews actually carry weight in the algorithms on Amazon, so it's pretty important to grab those as quick as possible. I've read that 50 seems to be the magic number but that isn't verified, if that is even possible.

I learned a lot about Facebook ads, and Amazon ads and Bookbub ads. I should've prepared sooner to do a build up on Bookbub prior to my book release. They have a decent book launch program, but it all costs money.

I learned about building a mailing list and how to grow it using list sharing and giveaways. I don't have a lot to give away quite yet, but that will come as I write more books. I'm several thousand dollars in the hole at this point, with editing costs and ad costs, and ISBN costs, and distribution costs at Ingram, but these are all up front and the book is alive now and will be forever. I'm proud of what I put out and hopefully this will be something that will pay me back for a long time to come. But if not, it was certainly worth lessons in cover design, formatting, distribution, and marketing that I will take with me for the next book.

I am going to work on creating a how to self publish guide while it is all still fresh in my mind.

This part of the journey is almost over. Just pump the ads occasionally and do a couple of promos. Speaking of which, there will be one coming up next month where the book will go on sale for $0.99 on Amazon. It will run from March 8th to the 15th. Hopefully, I can arrange for a Bookbub promotion at the same time.

I am pursuing an audiobook version on ACX, which will be available on audible at some point. More on that as it develops. I did send out my first newsletter today, so that is a milestone. If you aren't a subscriber there is a link on the top right. And here.

In the meantime I work on the next book, Vim Dicaré, Book One of the Mészárosa Trilogy. I would love to have you onboard as part of my street team for the next launch!

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