Edit: It’s LIVE! Damn that’s fast when you don’t publish erotica…

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012NVPONG

 

ASPcover

Yep, the only other “Orland” book I wanted to republish, now “In Review” at the ‘zon. Man, did it ever need an edit. This light comedy went from 70k to 55k and it’s so much better for it. I had so many rants and asides and digressions… It was a great exercise for my editing muscles, for sure.

I didn’t flog “Different People” because it was so “unBradlike” a novel, so dark and heavy, but this one? This one I’m gonna be logging the flogging hardcore. It’s still funny. Hell, it’s funnier now than it was then, in its New Revised Version.

And the best part is, if it takes off, and I have a funny feeling it will, it literally buys me time for the werewolves. I’ve really felt under the gun about $$, and if this brings in said $$, I don’t have to rush to finish “Werewolves of Brooklyn.”

And the an$iety on the financial front is dimming a bit already. In addition to picking up some editing work, my new master, Lord Kenpc of Amazonshire, is treating me a bit better lately. I haven’t achieved parity with what I was making last month, but, whereas my KU income started July at about 50% of what it was in June, it’s now trending upward, and is at about 70% (that last dip is pages so far today):

asdf

Personally, I think that aberration at the beginning of the program, that first week of rise and plunge, was Amazon working out their software kinks. But since they tell us nothing, we’ll never be sure. At any rate, I know I’m doing a lot better than some other poor bastards. And that’s with no new titles pubbed, either. Well, DP but that hardly counts.

I put up some freebies last week as well (don’t ask me why I totally forgot to flog them here), which reminded me of the Power of Visibility – see how my borrow pages rose after six days of freebies (Sam and Derek, Nick and Kyle, and Given the Circumstances). PRO TIP – 2 days is your max value for a freebie.

I gave away 1600 copies of GTC, thanks to some autobots that flag a sudden freebie, and the folks who Tweet the fuck out of that. For some reason, Sam and the Stepfuckers didn’t trigger it, maybe because they’re classed as “erotica” and GTC is “romance.” I also put a large preview of “Have a Little Faith in Me” at the back of GTC for this promo, since it’s one of those “if you like this you’ll like that” pairings. I did that for ASP, too, adding a chunk of “Apollo’s Curse” to the back there.

I’ve been working on reducing my caffeine, and increasing my sleep. A lot of why I got stymied on “Werewolves” was about what stress does to me. I refused to leave the computer every day, thinking OMG WOLF AT DOOR NEED MONEY as if just sitting here longer and longer would generate more content/income. I wasn’t taking walks, I wasn’t eating right, I was making up for sleepless nights with more coffee and then, I discover at the dentist, grinding my teeth at night because money. So I was getting more and more tired and unfocused and trying to fight that with more of the things that made it worse.

The very hardest thing for me to accept is that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I am building my own personal Rome here, a vast empire of books and audiobooks and who knows what else. And Rome burned on July 1st, no doubt, but I’m rebuilding.

The most fascinating part of Stacy Schiff’s “Cleopatra” bio, which I hope they keep in the movie, is that when Caesar came to Alexandria, Rome was a brick and mud shithole – it was only after the Romans saw the magnificence of Egypt that they went back and started building their great marble edifices. The “glory of Rome” was a long time coming.

For your enjoyment! Only one chapter done so far…this is hard work. I’m leaning heavily towards Shopify.com as my ecommerce retailer for these, but there’s no point in getting that started (and paying for it) until I’ve got at least a full novel to go with the two existing stories…

WerewolfGIMPOldTimeCasablancaYeah, I’m close. I’ve cut a few scenes out of the rest of the outline that aren’t needed and that were gonna slow the pace. Scenes which also, admittedly, made me tired, thinking about “how much more” I had to write to finish. I don’t have to pack it all into this book – look, if it’s a success, More Can Be Revealed in a later book, if it’s a failure, well then onward and upward.

So I have four scenes to write now, which will take the finished story to about 55k. And since, as always, I’ve been editing as I go, it won’t take much longer after that to finalize the story… Yeah, we’re on track for a pub date in the first week of August.

I had a moment of exhaustion this morning, that sense of O WHAT’S THE USE, as I watch my income shrinking. But it passed. Because I thought, well, what’s the alternative to this life, this particular package of permanent pressures? Back to the cubicle? Back to being berated for leaving, and I quote, “six minutes early,” when I did the work of ten men in a tenth of the time? Back to being shouted at by some manager trying to cover up their own failure? Back to gaining ten pounds every year sitting still all day, watching the clock, paid for my time and not my labor? No no no no no no no.

SamsReluctantSubmission“Sam’s Reluctant Submission” is on FREEBIE the 21st/22nd only!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BMTE12G

A good opportunity for me to cross-promote the Bradiobooks thing, and Sam and Derek: The Whole Story. I reserved the other three days of my freebie allotment for when I have my Shopify site (or whatever I end up using) all set up and ready to sell my Bradiobooks for reals. Right now I just need a little exposure/validation, so it’s a good time for a giveaway.

Steps1NEWAnd, I finally got over my nervous Nellies about repubbing “Kyle’s New Stepbrother” for fear they’d block it. I changed out the cover, added all the hot links to the Bradiobook version and the rest of the saga, and toned the blurb down just a tad in case that flagged my repub…and it went through! Whoo! (shh, that’ll go on freebie tomorrow!)

Yeah it was the new moon last week, no wonder I had no werewords, right ? :) Today I got a lot of work done on the existing content. I infilled Darien’s day at the butcher shop, thanks to Adam Danforth’s “Butchering” books and Bill Buford’s “Heat.” I changed the potential fate of the Mechanics Library from disco to condos, and made it clearer that Duke Daniel and Albeus were lovers, and that there’s a world of pain there I can leverage in a potential Daniel story later. So, no “new words” but I’ve erased the nagging little things in the existing content that were dragging me down.

 

Werewolf relaunch tomorrow!

Posted: July 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

WerewolfGIMPOldTimeCasablancaYeah, I’m seeing that I’ve been in a low-grade depression for about a month now, since, umm, let’s see…OH! Yeah. Since Amazon gave me my two weeks’ notice/pink slip in mid-June. It did feel that way, you know? Like you’ve been abruptly laid off, along with thousands of others. Like that falling sensation when you get called in for the bad news, the rug pulled out from under you, the future a gaping black maw inside which you can only see the sharp teeth of unpaid bills. No matter how you feel about the justness or unjustness of the change, this two weeks’ notice thing was bullshit.

It was low-grade depression, not the paralytic kind. I kept writing, kept feeling around for new ways to make money, experimented with pulling the stepfuckers out of KU (a disaster, they’re back in), put myself out there for editing services, edited and repubbed some “Orland” books, started recording Bradiobooks…

But the rest of my life suffered. Andrew Solomon writes about depression, and he said “The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality.” What vitality I had, which was mostly me running on stress, went into these projects, and there was nothing left. I haven’t been reading much, preferring to binge on TV shows on Netflix and (yeah I know) Amazon Prime. I’d look at movie listings and go, bwehhh, maybe tomorrow, bwehhh…

Well, I’m feeling that go away now. Made myself get out to the movies this weekend (Minions and Ant Man), stopped staring at junk on the floor and just leaving it there, *forced* myself this weekend to turn the tablet OFF when I’m bingeing shows (Turn, really good, Banshee, dumb but fun) instead of compulsively checking my sales numbers, my SoundCloud stats, my WordPress views, waiting waiting waiting for the Miracle Day, the moment I’m discovered like Lana Turner at the counter at Schwab’s (which didn’t happen anyway), that sense of powerless you get when the only hope for the future seems to be your “rescue fantasy.”

But nothing lasts forever, as my mom always reminds me. Good or bad. My problem with Duke Daniel is solved in my head, so I’m ready to steam forward with that again. I have to accept that there’s always a point in my novels where I just STOP and need a week to reset, to think. As long as there’s this nagging financial anxiety, stopping even for a week feels wrong, like doom. But it’s a part of the creative process. I have to accept that I can’t write seven days a week, no matter how anxious I get about losing even one day’s income by having to publish one day later than I would if I just kept working working working…

I know having a new book out in August is going to make a big difference in my income. I know that Bradiobooks will fly, eventually. I haven’t made many sales, but I’m pretty sure that this whole “PayPal me some $ and I’ll email you a Bradiobook” thing is too halfass/sketchy for people who aren’t hardcore fans who know me well.

A typical response to the quality of “Sam’s Reluctant Submission” was, “You have an excellent voice for audio recordings. Over the years I’ve downloaded and/or purchased hundreds of audio books, and I know what a good audio book voice sounds like.” So yeah, I’m going to succeed at this. I’ve acquired the domain “Bradiobooks.com” and when I have “A Little Too Broken” recorded, I’ll be getting a Shopify.com store (I can use my domain name for it) – that way people can use their credit cards for an instant download, all legit and shit.

So today’s about getting the car detailed at last (it’s filthy inside, another of those things I’ve been staring at and going I need to do something about that bwehhhh…), getting lab work done, staying out of the maid’s way (I know, bitching about income and having a cleaning lady, but I despise house cleaning more than anything, swore I’d never do it again as soon as I could afford not to, and omg it feels so good to come home to find that the Keebler Elves have magically cleaned it for you).

Tomorrow it’s back to werewordin’, recording the first chapters of “A Little Too Broken,” getting “A Serious Person” ready for repub (another case of having to chop chop the rants and digressions and detours and opinions, god why did my editors let me go on like that…). Oh yeah, and enjoying my freedom, not just stressing on how long it might last.

BicepYou know who I mean. There are so many pictures of stone faced hunks out there, with all the sex appeal of a box of cereal. These guys all have IT. You know IT when you see it. VGL yep, but also with the lights on upstairs. And what’s hotter than someone who has the imagination to really use all that lovely equipment?

DukeDanielCoverI’m taking a break from werewordin’. I’m torn – part of me (namely the part of my butt that registers the varying fatness of my wallet) is screaming O GOD I GOTTA FINISH AND PUBLISH NEED $$$ NOW NEW KU IS THE END OF DAYS.

But another part of me knows that I need to step back for a few days. If this flies, there will be more in the series-we-don’t-call-series-anymore-because-then-nobody-buys-the-first-book. And Duke Daniel, the villain of this book, is calling to me via this photo seen here. He’s been corrupted, but there’s a reason for it, and I don’t know that reason yet, but he’s more complicated than the Snidely Whiplashery I originally had in mind for him. So I can’t just kill him off, either. So I need to think. Shit. Thinking costs time costs money. Fuck!

But, my diversification project proceeds apace. $40 so far on Bradiobook income, 8 copies sold in the first two days, and no technical hitches on the users’ end. Hey, my KU income for those days was $40 a day, so I’m happy.  I’m going to go over the manuscript for “A Little Too Broken” and make the usual changes to script it – e.g., “Blah blah,” he snorted, you don’t say he snorted, you just snort. Or Tom said or Jamie said when you’re using the character voices to accentuate that.

I had huge fun recording “Sam.” Sam’s voice came out deep, masculine, but not too “hefty.” I did Derek a little haughty, kinda fey, except when he was turned on or angry, then I relied on my own Imperial Command/Bene Gesserit Voice. I channeled a light R. Lee Ermey for Sam’s SERE commander, and used my Movietone News/Right Wing Radio Fat Guy Voice for the excerpts from the FM 21-76. I’m learning to carry the variances lightly, so as not to blow out the volume levels (though when a guy’s getting ass-pounded he’s definitely not gonna whisper O FUCK, THAT HURTS MY ASS!).

A fan suggested I hire myself out on Audible as a narrator (you flatter me!), but I’m loathe to do it for a few reasons. I’m good at what I’m doing now because they’re my characters, I wrote them, I’ve read these stories over and over, the narrative is in my voice, and I know nobody can do me better than I do me. (Go ahead, make that joke.)

To do somebody else’s work would require that A, I really love the book. B, I’ve got believable dialogue to work with (none of that, you know, “I am going to sex you, Tyler Skylerton, up and down and all around, until you know that you are mine!”). C, I’d have to have a level of creative control that only a fool of an author would give me – the whole reason I’m doing all this is to *work for myself* to *answer to nobody* and not have someone second-guess all my decisions or, worse, tell me to do it my way and then want to change it. And change it again. And again. I’ve been through that mill in a day job, working for people who changed their mind sixty times before coming back to decision #1. No. No. No.

I’m also repubbing another out of print “Orland” book from 2004, “A Serious Person.” This one is much lighter and sillier than “Different People,” so I may flog it more than I’ve done with DP. It’s about a bipolar songwriter who writes songs for a Britney Spears type, then ends up on a singer/songwriter reality TV contest up against Herselfness – she must now write her own songs and he must now perform his. Silliness. This won’t take long, I’m scanning the pages now and the edit will be far less of a slog than it was going through the heavy darkness of DP.

So, the Gay Agenda for the near future is:

Publish “A Serious Person.”

Finish “Werewolves of Brooklyn.”

Write Adam Vance’s next science fiction series installment, “Artifice.”

Record “A Little Too Broken – The Bradiobook.”

Start on “Strength in Numbers,” Marc and Jesse’s Bitcoin adventure.

And that’s all I’ll predict. This business can change so fast, as we learned in June with two weeks’ notice from Amazon on the KU changes. The ability to throw plans out the window on a moment’s notice is a core skill in this biz.