Tag Archive | questions

Try Something New (For writers) – Part 2

Hey, everyone!

Before we get into today’s discussion, I have a few updates for everyone.

  1. If you’re a reader and still want to read my work, you can find me here: https://tapas.io/Akaluv89. Personally, I don’t agree with how this site charges per chapter for certain stories, but my stories are FREE! I don’t believe in charging for first drafts. Love for an Angel and Clash of Tides are posted there, along with some short stories. Future online works will be posted there, too. The account WILL NOT be deleted. 
  2. I am going through contest submissions now, so the winner will be announced next week!
  3. I will respond to everyone. Many of you have messaged me to do reviews, comments, and awards; I promise I’ll get back to everyone!

I have many things going on in my personal life right now, so I haven’t been giving WordPress the attention it needs. However, the weekend it coming up, so I’ll be able to catch up on blog posts and stuff soon. Also, I got my ticket for Tokyo! I’ll be heading to Japan next month!!

Now, today I want to talk about:

Try something new

(taken from https://giphy.com)

In a past blog post, I mentioned that if something isn’t working, then try something new. I’m a big, big believer in not staying in just one place – which is probably why I don’t have a house – so if I see an opportunity to move on, then I’ll do it. I get it, moving on and trying something new is scary. As human beings, we want to be comfortable, but unfortunately, that isn’t how the world works.

As Lisa Nichols says,

74793ffcdbddd78786d47ec7063d927f--lisa-nichols-quotes-phoenix-rising

(taken from: https://www.pinterest.com/mcneilpamm/lisa-nichols/?lp=true)

This is so true, and it’s something as writers I feel holds us back. I’ve heard from many, many of you that using one website wasn’t enough to get traffic for your work, or even that your marketing for your self-published books wasn’t good enough.

If something isn’t working, move on to your next opportunity! Please, please don’t stick to the same places. I wanted to hold off on giving some good news, but recently, when I joined Tapas, one of my stories got featured. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it, but it made me glad I moved on from one website and tried something different.

Between Writing.com and Tapas, I gained what I didn’t after three years on Wattpad. I got noticed for my work. I want the same for everyone. Moving on did me good, so please consider that for yourself.

As the saying goes, “If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.”

Excuses don’t get us candies and nuts, they just slow down our progression, or halt us in our journey.

Question: Have you ever tried something new for your writing or writer’s platform? Did it work for you?

 

1500 Followers Writing Contest!

I still can’t believe it! This blog has reached over 1500 followers, and as such, I want to do something fun for everyone. The focus of this blog is in writing, reading, and the writer’s journey. So to celebrate all things related to writing, I’m holding my first writing contest!

Happy

(Taken from giphy.com)

The prize is a $25 Amazon gift card for the winner. My hope is the winner will find new stories to read and check out some of Amazon’s indie’s writers who need support.

What is the writing contest you ask? Well, I decided to do a novel writing contest based on the first three chapters of a story.

I’ll be looking for the following:

Do your first three chapters engage the reader?
Does the writing flow well?
Do you have a hook, established a hint of backstory and a specific setting?
Is the writing free of many spelling and grammar errors? 

When writing a novel, it’s important to ask those questions. The first few pages of a book are critical in getting readers interested, and if it doesn’t capture the readers’ attention, then it’s hard to grow a readership.

For the contest, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been writing or what genre you write in. I’m just looking for those four criteria.

If you want to help judge the contest, please let me know. Of course, if you decide to help judge the stories, you can’t submit your own work.

If you want to join the contest, please comment with the following:

Your Name
The title of your story
Summary
URL where we can read it

I know some writers don’t post their stories publicly, so if you want to keep it private, that’s fine. While judging the stories, I can also leave you a review if you’re looking for feedback.  Please let me know if there is a passkey to access your work. You don’t have to post the passkey in the comments section. If anyone wishes to email me with a link to their work, that’s fine too. You can email me here: Email Me.

I’ll announce the winner on August 26th!

I hope you’ll join my contest! Submissions are accepted until August 12th. If you have any questions, please let me know!

Let’s get writing (or editing)!

Get writing

(Please note: I know some of you have given me awards, and I’ll posts those next! I’m just so swamped with things on here! But I promise I’ll do it.)

Building Yourself Up (For Writers)

Hey, everyone! Before we begin, I want to say,

Winter is here

Just kidding! But I am excited about Game of Thrones tomorrow, but no, I really wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last blog post. The amount of support and advice I got was overwhelming. I feel much better about my decision to try and get traditional published or even self-publish, so instead of anxiety now, I can focus on finalizing Clash of Tides for querying.

So, today I wanted to discuss building yourself up. As writers, we are always trying to improve our skills, grow our readership, and just maintain a presence online.

We already know how the greats did it: Stephen King, J K Rowling, and many other authors. However, in today’s world, lots of people are building up their brand.

Of course, as writers, it makes us feel better when we read about other writers getting rejected and still succeeding. But what about business owners, musicians, and other artists that start from nothing? Well, there are plenty of stories about them. During the last few days, I’ve researched people that are inspiring, who help me to keep moving and not give up.

So today, I want to talk about a company that changed how we read, buy books, and even look at publishing: Amazon.

I’m not sure if any of you know this, but Jeffrey P. Bezos started Amazon out of his garage at 30 years old. Yes, out of his garage at only 30 years old.

This information is taken from http://www.fundable.com:

 1994: Jeff Bezos quits his job and launches Amazon out of his garage.
Within 30 Days, it is doing $20,000 per week in sales.

1995: Bezos raises an $8 Million round of funding from Kleiner Perkins.

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 per share.

1999: Bezos is named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for popularizing online shopping.

2009: Bezos acquires Tony Tsieh’s Zappos through a stock swap.

2013: Bezos acquires the Washington Post.

If we look at these dates, it took Jeffery 4 years before he really got noticed for Amazon. Along the way, it wasn’t always an easy journey. Think about it, if he gave up on starting Amazon, where would we be today? Of course, I’m sure someone else may have made self-publishing a thing, but Amazon is now a legend in the online world. Honestly, I feel that’s how it is with writing. It’s a long, never ending road of working hard and waiting for our stuff to get noticed.

Growing your readership and improving your craft takes time. So please, to new and old writers (and this may sound strange coming from me), please don’t get discouraged. For new writers, at a minimum give yourself 1-2 years to build up your craft and presence online. Seriously, don’t rush the process like I did. If you ever need someone to beta read for you or help you with your stories, I’m just an email away. I started this blog to help other writers, that’s what I want to do. If another writer offers to help you, take them up on that offer. Really, you have nothing to lose.

The most that will happen is they won’t get back to you, but if they do, that could be some valuable feedback. I started this blog to help other writers, so I’m here if you need me.

Lastly, I’ve almost reached 1500 followers! Once I do, I plan to hold a writing contest! The prize will probably be a $25 Amazon gift card, but hey, that is some free books. More details to come.

Question: How long did it take you to build up your craft and presence online? From what I’ve noticed, it takes about 1-2 years to build up a readership.

(I haven’t forgotten about the comments. I will respond to you.)

 

 

 

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

First and foremost, this post isn’t about the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. There are already plenty of blog posts, books, and articles about the various methods of publishing.

Today, this post is about which path I should take for my stories. As Clash of Tides goes through beta, rewrite, and then editing, I’m getting ever closer to the publishing phase. For the past few weeks, I kept thinking about what route I want to take. Honestly, I already know the benefits of both, but the scary thing is knowing which one will work for me.

With self-publishing, I’m in control of everything, so I do like that aspect. When I originally wrote Clash of Tides, it was for New Adults, especially for other black women who don’t see diversity with lead female characters. I know for a fact that publishers will have writers change their stories to fit more of a Young Adult audience. For Clash of Tides, I want Elena to be in her 20s, period. Personally, I don’t like how publishers will force writers to change their work, but I get why they do it.

Then again, maybe I’m just scared. Submitting a query letter to an agent isn’t has nervewracking as self-publishing. Sometimes, I wonder if I want to spend all that money myself – cover design, editor, marketing, etc.

Basically, all the below:

publishing

(taken from giphy.com)

Right now, I’m tired of feeling the disappointment and failure with my work. It feels no matter how hard I try, I never get a payoff. The thoughts of self-publishing and then barely seeing any reviews on my work would probably depress me, especially after all the money I spent. Then again, I know other writers go through the same things all the time. However, there is just something unsettling knowing that writers who write fanfiction online get paid more than a writer who actually tried to self-publish decent, original work. I mean, I know for a fact that some fanfiction writers get $300-$600 every three months from ad-revenue for stories that aren’t their own. And yet, a self-published writer who got betas, paid for cover art and an editing service won’t even crack $50 a month. Maybe that’s just the age we live in, but it doesn’t make me want to jump on the self-publishing thing. Mostly, it makes me want to quit writing and just learn something else.

Also, with how readership is these days, most readers don’t want to buy books. They want everything for free. I question how I would feel posting my hard work for only .99 cents and not getting one purchase. Sadly, readers rather pay $5 for a Starbucks drink than a writer’s story.

Ultimately, it’s a tough decision, and me, and you, as a writer have to decide. I’m at that point where I don’t even want to post my work online anymore. I mostly just want to write the stories I want to read and then store them on my hard drive for my eyes only.

As a writer, I know it’s not good to think that way, but the road taken has already broken me, and the road not taken may destroy me. Decisions Decisions. Well, at least with traditional publishing, if my stories got accepted, I would be overjoyed!

Now since Clash of Tides is almost put to rest, I have so many new stories I’m working on. All characters will be in their 20s, so New Adult to Adult stories. I don’t want to change that. There is already enough YA stories, and sadly, I feel most of them are the same. They are pretty much different settings, different characters, and the same storylines. A special teenage girl snowflake goes on a journey, meets a hot guy, defeats the villain, and then has a happy ending. I feel it’s time for something new to come along.

Whoa! That was longer than I thought it would be. Sorry if this came off like ranting, but I felt these are important things to consider. Thanks for reading, and I want to know,

“Do you have any fears about self-publishing or traditional publishing? If you already have done either, what was it like?”

 

My Return

I'm Back

Hey, everyone!

I didn’t mean to be MIA for so long, but my Vegas trip really tired my body out. I had a great time! I even got inspired to write a new short story that I may turn into something else later.

How is everyone doing? Sorry for the lack of updates. I do plan to update something soon, so I hope you’re ready to read some new content.

Also, I plan to get some artwork of my characters done again! Is there any particular character you want to see?

I’ll catch up with everyone soon.

Right now, I’m working on the following:

Planning my trip to Tokyo
– Learning Web Development, refreshing my Japanese, and working on Technical Writing
– Finalizing Clash of Tides and working on the second draft
– Reaching out to editors
– Plotting out 9/Nine Realms

Basically, I’ll be like

work work work

What are you all working on?

PS. I still need to respond to comments, and I’ll do that soon.

 

Goodreads, where should we draw the line? (For Writers)

Hey, everyone! It wasn’t my intention to post this topic today, but another writer and I have been discussing this recently.

To give you some background, and some of you may already know this, I learned a few weeks ago that stories posted on Wattpad are considered self-published by sites like Goodreads. You may be asking, “Aka, why is this important?”

Well, I’ll tell you. Some writers on Wattpad, mostly the popular ones, have been getting Goodreads reviews on their books. The issue here is, the stories they posted are first drafts, not finalized products. When we think of Goodreads, we think of a place to review published and finalized self-published books, not first drafts online.

Since the stories posted to Wattpad are free, we’re wondering if it’s right that readers are leaving detailed reviews on unedited work. The “where should we draw the line?” question comes from the fact these stories are free. It is right that readers are posting detailed reviews and rating on books that are still in progress? Giving feedback on Wattpad is fine, but should that also apply to Goodreads? To explain further, I mean that some writers may not want early draft reviews posted to Goodreads, as they still have time to edit and fix their work. Not only that, but the reviews may hinder the writer from posting their work in the future.

Also, Goodreads has confirmed they won’t remove detailed reviews for first draft Wattpad books, as they are self-published to Wattpad. So, even if you, as the writer, request these reviews to be removed, they won’t do. In short, “completed Wattpad books are considered self-published. The same also applies to other websites like Fictionpress.”

However, posting work online as become even more complex with Wattpad’s ads revenue program and websites like Radish. With the revenue program, readers click on ads in Wattpad’s popular stories, thus providing money for the writer. And with Radish, readers are actually PAYING for the story (for those who follow me, I covered this in another post.) On Wattpad, even if the readers aren’t spending their own money, they are providing money to the writers by watching the ads.

My writer friend feels that if a reader paid for the story through Radish (or other sites like Tapas and Kindle, of course, they have a right to post the review on Goodreads.)

For myself, I have mixed feelings about this. It’s a known thing in the internet world that if you post your work online, you’re opening yourself up to this – getting bad reviews, people stealing your work, and losing first publishing rights.

Also, since this mostly happens to popular writers online, it’s to be expected. Honestly, you can’t get 1M+ reads and think you’ll get away unscathed. Some think the number of reads shouldn’t matter, but what do you think?

I do know this has happened to lesser known writers online, too, but not as much. In the end, it’s a moral argument. I’ll be honest about my feelings, though, when you post your work online, anything can happen. Some Wattpad writers and other writers on different websites feel readers are entitled, and I do agree with this.

We can’t stop readers from posting reviews on our stories, free, first drafts, or not, but what do you all feel about this?

The important discussion for today: Do you think first drafts posted online should receive reviews on Goodreads? Where do we draw the line with Goodreads reviews? Do you feel these reviews will hurt the writer’s future with trying to publish later?

(If you have an opinion, please post it. We want to know what other writers think about this. And as a warning, please be careful when you post your work online. We both didn’t know about the Goodreads thing. For this reason, I’m very glad I no longer post my long stories on Wattpad.)

1-year Anniversary!!

I wanted to post this earlier, but I had writing class tonight. So, I saw this in my notifications:

1-year Anniversary

 

Today, marks a year ago that I left Wattpad behind to create my own website. I’m always amazed how much can change in one year, but looking back on everything, it was for the best.

I’ve met so many writers here, and all of them are awesome, wonderful people. Basically, there are many adjectives to describe them ^___^

I don’t want to list out specific blogs, but I want to say thank you to everyone for supporting me throughout the year. When I first started this blog, it was to ease my pain from another writing site. Over this year, I regained my confidence back as a writer, and my self-doubt has retreated somewhere in the depths of my mind (and I hope it stays there).

If you are struggling as a writer, don’t give up. I know it sounds cliche, but you really have to keep pushing yourself. It’s a scary thought giving up before you even know your real potential. And that’s what I almost did, but now, I finally feel well-rounded as a writer.

So, I don’t have much to blog about today since this is just a thank you post, but I did see this eariler:

 

The Gunslinger by Stephen King was one of the first books I read that got me into fantasy. As for the trailer, I have my own feelings on it, but it sparked a question I wanted to ask you all.

If you had a choice, what medium would you choose for your stories and why? Would you choose a tv show, movie, anime, or stay in book format?

For my stories, I always imagined them in anime form. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about actors playing my characters. The joy of anime format is the characters can look the way you want since they don’t need a cast. So, what about you, what medium would you choose?