Betrayed is With My Editor, Discovered is Being Drafted!

Betrayed is With My Editor, Discovered is Being Drafted!

Greetings all,

caught-front-coverI’m happy to announce that I’ve saved up enough to send Betrayed to Sara for edits. This means that once I get the edits back from her, I’ll be able to apply that feedback in my Developmental Draft. I’m three drafts away from getting that story out! Sara said she’ll need about two weeks to get back to me.

That gives me time to continue working on Discovered, the final book in the Oneiros Log. I’m already 10,000 words into that story, and I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing so far.

In Betrayed we meet two new characters, one of which is featured in Discovered. In Discovered, we meet four new characters. I’ve already decided I’m particularly proud of one of these new characters. Obviously, I think highly of all my characters, but every now and then one really charms me.

Oneiros, Caught is Book One, was originally just a bit of fun for me after working on The Journals of Bob Drifter. After talking to my brother about a few things I’d included in the back story, he really wanted to see where the story goes. The readers I’ve met agree.

Betrayed takes us from a place where Oneiros feels like they can live happily as a sort of super-hero family version of the A-Team to being literally hunted. The government has targeted Oneiros, and they’ve selected one of Dom’s old friends to lead that mission. This whole book humbles the family and shows that there are still deeper levels to the events that brought them into being. As is true of any of my stories, no one is safe. The events of this book forces every member of the team to truly look at themselves and each other. It was a hard book to write in a lot of ways because of how much these events test the team.

kaitlynDiscovered closes the loop in my opinion. Once I decided to write all three books, I always imagined it being the opening to a new super hero universe. Sure, there are other events that could happen, but I don’t currently have any plans to write any more stories in this universe. My dream would be to give the trilogy to Netflix and let them take the story from there.  So this story reveals the true origins of the team and the conflict with the mastermind behind it all.

I’ll keep plugging away on Discovered until Sara sends me her feedback on Betrayed. That means I’m hoping to be about 24,000 words into Discovered when I switch back. I might want to finish the Discovery Draft to Discovered before I do any revisions. It depends on how well I think that story is going (right now I think it’s great). If I do get right to work on Betrayed, I’d hope to have the Developmental Draft done by the end of July. This means I still have a bit of hope that the book will be released in 2020. Either way, Discovered will come quickly on its heels.

I wanted to take a moment to update you all on those projects. I thank you for the support and encouragement you’ve given me through the years. I hope to keep writing for a long time, and anyone sending positive vibes or posting reviews or recommending my books to others is a huge boost to my morale. Thank you so much.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

What Authors Owe Readers

What Authors Owe Readers

Greetings all,

I was just thinking about books I’ve been waiting forever for, and that led me to this post.

caught-front-coverFirst, I’m very guilty. I was supposed to have the entire Oneiros Log done by now (Hey! I’m getting there). I got derailed on quite a few projects, and while I still produced books, I didn’t publish the titles some of you are waiting for.

The thing is, authors owe readers stories. More importantly, they owe readers the stories they’re waiting for. Now, the author doesn’t owe the reader the stories the reader wants in terms of I want Kaladin to marry Shallan, but they do owe readers the next chapter in the story.

There should be some grace in this. For instance, any Stormlight book is some 700 pages. They’re huge, so waiting two years for 500,000 words is probably fair. But what about three, four?

Readers should be patient. I think Towers of Midnight had some issues here and there because they were working so hard to get it out there. So there’s a balance between the fact that the author owes the reader another story and the reader needing to be patient.

I dream of the day someone gets mad at me for not having this book or that book done. It hasn’t come yet, though I do have a few readers who are indeed waiting for Betrayed. Thinking about how angry I was waiting for word on the next Dresden book gave me some perspective on that.

Why is this important? Well for starters, it’s very hard to gain momentum when you’re not putting out product. A guy like George R. R. Martin can make anyone wait as long as he wants because he has his money. The worst readers can do to him is say, “Well, HBO ended it, so I’m good.” Please know that I don’t think that’s the case; I’m only saying if it was, no one could really do anything about it.

However, a guy like me trying to earn a living doing this needs to make sure that he’s always ready with the next book.

I get a lot of questions about being an author, and in the context of this post, I always say, “If you’re writing a story, don’t publish book one until you have the other two books in the series ready.”

Caught and the rest of Oneiros taught me that. For starters, when you publish books in quick succession, you give yourself more visibility. We’re in a binge age, and people want that next series. However, they want that series readily available. Even as I mention the need for readers to have at least some degree of patience, I understand that people want to marathon a whole season of television. I do the same with books. I don’t want to read one book in a series; I want to read the whole series, and I don’t want to wait a year to move to the next book.

Sojourn_Ebook_CoverDoes that mean authors are evil if they don’t release books in quick succession? No. I confess Power of Words, Repressed, and Sojourn all distracted me from the book I probably should have written. Sometimes an artist has to go where the muse takes him.  You may want a book quickly, but you don’t want a quick turd. Again, there’s  a balance. I finally got Betrayed ready and COVID obliterated the chance for conventions (and therefore the opportunity to make what I need to get edits done).

That led me to start working on Discovered, and I even had the chance to return to Images of Truth. I have so many things I want to release, but I live on a budget. Yes, I owe you the rest of Oneiros, and I’m getting it done as quickly as I’m able with that budget.

What about the big guys? Well, I don’t think they’re being rude either. That doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes wonder what Martin is up to (probably editing another series). It doesn’t mean I didn’t wonder what Butcher was up to. As a reader, I found myself frustrated at the wait. As an author, I feel convicted about not having stuff ready to print.

So maybe you’re not personally waiting for Betrayed, but you might be waiting for the next Ice and Fire book or something of that sort. I agree, it is frustrating to wait. You have a right to that emotion. Authors owe readers stories, and they should be produced in a timely fashion.

On my end, I’ll start drafting Discovered on the first. Once I’ve saved up enough money, I’ll send Betrayed to Sara for edits.

So I’m curious. How long do you feel it is appropriate to wait for “the next book?” Are you satisfied if an author at least publishes something in that time?

Thanks for reading,

Matt

I’ve Finished the Outline for Discovered!

I’ve Finished the Outline for Discovered!

Greetings all,

caught-front-coverI’m happy to report that I’ve finished the outline for Discovered, the conclusion of the Oneiros Log and the story which began in Caught.

COVID has caused me to have to adjust how I operate. I was counting on conventions to earn the money I needed to get Betrayed a developmental edit, but no conventions in my life (at least so far) means no sales. The good news is the finances are (apparently) back on track for my normal budgeting. That means I can resume saving for edits. That will happen in time, but it will take time (about five months at most). That’s not the timeline I wanted to work with, but we live in the world we live in.

Rather than freeze completely, I’m able to work on other projects that I can have ready for when the world (God willing) gets back to normal. I typically bounce from one project to another. In a perfect world, I would have had Betrayed edited by now, so I would do the next draft on that while I let Discovered simmer. Since that isn’t an option, I’ve decided to get caught up in other projects, namely, Images of Truth. I was working on this discovery draft and set it aside to work on Sojourn in Captivity, which is essentially a prequel to Images. It really bugged me to have a draft 118,000 words written but not finished. So I’m going to take the chance to get that draft done.

shepherdNow, Images of Truth is huge! So I might not finish that draft before I start working on Discovered’s discover draft. I promised that I’d get Oneiros done, and I mean to do it. I’ll work on Images until June 1, then get cranking on Discovered.

The moment I save or earn enough to get Betrayed to Sara for a developmental edit, I will, and I will let you know. Maybe what I get out of this is getting Images closer to ready as well. If (and it’s a big if) I get that discovery draft of Images done, I’ll do another pass on The 1,200, which is scheduled to be the book I release after I’m done with Oneiros.

I wanted to post this to show you all that I am working hard to get this saga done and into your (very patient) hands. I’m also doing my best to keep the creative projects going so there I  don’t get stuck in the midst of this trial.

I’m glad I hit this benchmark, and I appreciate all the support you’ve shown from the beginning to now and, hopefully, the future.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Reedsy: What’s This All About?

Reedsy: What’s This All About?

So I was watching a Kindlepreneur video, and it introduced me to Reedsy.  I don’t want to take away from the video; you can watch that here.  The long and short is Reedsy seems to be a gift to the author world where it provides a one-stop-shop for your needs: Cover art, editors, marketing, you name it.

The down side? Well, because the company is very selective in who it links authors too, the prices are higher. How much higher? Well, that’s what this post is about. I’m looking to see if this company has what I want at a price I can budget for.

Signing up was easy. It took a few seconds. So next up was looking at what they offer.  Let’s start with editors. I’m happy with Sara, but it’s always nice to see what is out there.

I searched editors for Betrayed since that’s what I’m saving up for. I was pretty frustrated because I can find a paranormal romance editor, but just plain paranormal? Nope! Still I found an editor who looks great (worked for Angry Robot), so I sent a request for a quote. The good news is this makes it very easy to find the type of work I’m looking for. What I want to know though is what is the price range I’m going to need to budget for. I don’t know about other authors, but I have a very limited monthly amount I can budget with, and I need to see how this site’s services align with my budget. Unfortunately, I’d have to fill out the form to get a quote, and I don’t actually have time to do that right this second and write this post, so for now, I’m going to work on filling out the form and follow this blog up with more data.

I also looked up another service I truly want some help with: Marketing. So what if I want some help marketing Sojourn in Captivity?  Well, I found marketing for Space Opera, and I found a hit. I sent a request for a quote to him as well.  I actually filled this form out first.  We’ll see what we come back with.

The last thing this site gives (not nearly the last I’m interested in, just the last one I’m looking at today) is Book Reviews.  They offer a review for $50.  That’s in my budget, and reviews are helpful. The form was a little tricky, taking me a minute to figure out, but the gist is I upload my book and fill in some basic information, and then they have reviewers who look at it.

So the marketing information I requested took about 20 minutes to fill out. From here, I wait and see what comes back. We’ll follow this post (as I said) up in another, but my hope is this trial can help others see if this is a good fit for them.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

You’re Not Stuck! COVID Delays Don’t Mean You Can’t Do Something As An Author

You’re Not Stuck! COVID Delays Don’t Mean You Can’t Do Something As An Author

Greetings all,

handcuff
Image by Achim Scholty from Pixabay. 

I want to share a frustration I have with people sometimes.  People can let one obstacle beat them. I can’t go to the gym, so I can’t work out. Really? So lack of access to a gym prevents you from doing pushups or sit ups?

 

I don’t have any ground beef, so I’ll order out. Why? Does ground beef constitute the entirety of your food options?

That doesn’t mean that people don’t face obstacles. It doesn’t mean that those obstacles aren’t frustrating at times. However, we as human beings choose. We choose to let our circumstances defeat us, or we choose to endure our circumstances and move forward in the ways God provides.

As a nation, America is face with more restrictions on their lives that they’ve ever face. The malls are closed. There are no sports. And, for me, all the conventions I had lined up were cancelled. That’s a huge bummer!

IMG_2318Since conventions are my number one method of sales (and not profit), this means I’m at an extreme disadvantage. The hardest hit is that no sales means no income, which means I can’t save up money for edits on Betrayed. I can’t save for a cover. Even the money I had been budgeting is set aside because we want to be prepared for any true financial issues.

So the challenge question: Does this really mean I can’t do anything as an author? No!

You can too. First, for you hopeful authors who constantly say, “I want to write, but I just don’t have the time!” What, exactly are you spending your time on now? Maybe you’re blessed to still have some form of employment. That’s great. However, it’s not like there’s a game you “need” to catch anytime soon. It’s not like there’s a new movie you “just have” to see.

You can write that book right now.

caught-front-coverWhat about people like me? Well, the first thing I’m doing is working hard on the outline to Discovered (which looks to be a big one, by far the biggest of the trilogy). The other thing I’m doing is working a bit more on marketing. I’m building more campaigns for Amazon Marketing. Even if no one is buying now (and they are, even I sold a book or two this week), when things start moving forward, I’ll have a new armada of advertisements ready to go.

I’m blessed to be able to telework during this time. I’m still working. Heck, I might be doing more work than I would be doing if the building were open. This means time is still an issue. It might still be the biggest issue. However, what time I do have to myself, I spend on some form of writing. I might also do something else, but I chip away.

In the Navy, a common phrase you’ll hear is, “I don’t care what you can’t do; tell me what you can do.”

This attitude, this frame of mind, is essential. This time in our lives is definitely a challenge. We’re all worried. We wonder if we’ll get sick. We wonder if our finances will hold up. However, if we focus on our problems, we turn a blind eye to the solutions that are out there.

frustrated-4201046_1920
Image by Steve DiMatteo from Pixabay.

The challenge I offer you is this: Whatever you do, make sure you understand you’re making a choice. Even refusing to do anything or “failing” to make a choice is still a choice.

Naturally, you have the right to choose whatever you want. My problem would be if you try to avoid or lament the consequences of that choice as an excuse for why you can’t do something.

The guy who says, “I could write that book, but I’ve been meaning to watch the entire ‘How I Met Your Mother’ series for years now,” will get no beef from me. However the guy who complains about how he never has time to finish a book while watching that show may get a different reaction from me.

So here are a few things you can do if your finances prevent you from buying a cover or paying for editing services:

Draft another book.

Make revisions on another manuscript.

Study marketing.

Work on building your marketing plan.

Build your email list.

Send your readers an email (man I’m terrible at that).

This period of stress in our lives does create problems, but it doesn’t mean we have to give up on our goals.

I wanted to share these thoughts to motivate you to get moving in some way. This isn’t unique to writing either. Maybe spend some more quality time with your kids. Maybe turn this into an “in home” second honeymoon. Chip away on those home projects you’ve “been meaning to get around to.”

This time is stressful and challenging enough. Let’s use it to look for opportunities.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

 

A new 4-Star Review for The Journals of Bob Drifter!

A new 4-Star Review for The Journals of Bob Drifter!

Greetings all,

Bob CoverI’m always happy to announce reviews for my work, and it’s even cooler when it’s a good one. I found this review for The Journals of Bob Drifter on Goodreads. Writers typically have to challenge themselves. Original ideas are a debated myth in these days, so finding ways to stand out or be unique are important. I appreciated the reader calling Bob ” … different than any other book … ”

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Soundtracks for My Books!

Soundtracks for My Books!

Greetings all,

I’m still plugging away on Discovered’s outline while I’m saving up money to get Betrayed edited. Since I’m such a fan of music, I thought I’d do a little exercise where I picked out title soundtracks all of my books.

The Journals of Bob Drifter: “Off He Goes” by Pearl Jam.

 

So one thing that I don’t do very much is pay attention to lyrics, at least not where soundtracks are concerned. I think it could be a bit boring to narrate a novel to music anyway. What I listen for is for a song to match the feel and tone of one of my projects.  I love this song, and I think the tone is perfect. I like the sound. I like the tempo. I’d be thrilled if Bob were to be made a series (not a movie!), and this song were selected as a title soundtrack.

Caught: “This is Our War” by Halocene

 

So this is a band I’ve been meaning to endorse for a while. Honestly, in my dream scenario, Halocene does an original song for Oneiros, but this song is pretty close to what I’d want. I honestly think the lyrics match up okay too (but don’t hold me to that). This song has the change-up in tone and emotion that any soundtrack song for Caught would have to have.

Repressed: “Eighteen” by First to Eleven

 

 

So yeah, I’m double-tapping this, but the song works, and I really do like it. The tone shift from Caught to Repressed is something I went into with open eyes, and I wouldn’t change it. This song has that coming of age feel, and Repressed is more or less a coming of age story. Kaitlyn has some ways to grow, but the woman she becomes at the end of this saga is one I’ll love for as long as I’m alive. So this little Y-A, female-lead story has a song that’s more or less an anthem for such a mindset. It’s not where Kaitlyn ends, but it is where she was at that time in her life.

Sojourn in Captivity: John Williams, please compose the soundtrack!

 

Perception of War is my Space Opera, and I can’t imagine a space saga ever happening without John Williams composing the soundtrack. Perception of War isn’t as romantic as Star Wars, but I’d trust Mr. Williams to apply the proper mood to each scene and nail a great opening credits song.

 

Stealing Freedom: The Pretender by Foo Fighters

 

So this is probably the one I’ve thought the least about. I’m not even sure why. But when I thought about what I would want if Stealing Freedom were made into a movie, I thought, “What band do I like no matter what mood I’m in?” Answer: “The Foo Fighters.” They always rock out, and this song fits wonderfully.

What are your thoughts? Are there any songs that you think would go well with one of my books?

Thanks for reading (and listening),

Matt

The Alpha Draft of Betrayed Is Finished!

The Alpha Draft of Betrayed Is Finished!

Greetings all,

caught-front-coverThis is one of my favorite things to post. I’m happy to announce that the Alpha Draft to Betrayed, the sequel to Caught, is finished!

This means the Oneiros trilogy, (quadrilogy  if you want to count Kaitlyn’s little story in Repressed) is nearly finished.

Betrayed will go to Sarah for editing. While I wait to send it (I have to save up the money for the edits first) and get it back from her, I’m finishing up the outline to Discovered, the third and final book in the saga.  That project is going well.

I think I’m still on track to release Betrayed in October, but that depends far more on my ability to save up enough for the edits than the time it will take to work on other drafts. That’s not to say time isn’t a factor, but it’s a smaller factor than the budget at this point in my life.

In other Weech news, recent events involving Corona Virus have lead to the postponement of the Annapolis ComicCon and the cancellation of Four State ComicCon. Obviously, the health and safety of people is paramount. My opinions (which aren’t relevant) on the decision don’t change the age-old adage, “better safe than sorry.”

That means the next event I’ll be at (pending any further decisions) is AwesomeCon, which I’m always thrilled to be at.

As always, I’m grateful to everyone who’s shown their support over the last five years. If you’re in doors for whatever reason, and you haven’t tried one of my books, please consider one of my stories to help the time go by.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Farpoint: Lessons From Disappointing Sales

Farpoint: Lessons From Disappointing Sales

Greetings all,

ChibiFarpointAnother convention has come and gone. Farpoint was a good time. I had a lot of fun. The kids were there again this time, and I got to hang out with my whole family. This really came in handy.

You see, the sales weren’t exactly what I’d hoped.  I sold thirteen books. That’s fifteen less than MarsCon the month before, and no where near the 50 books an event I had last year.

So how do you deal with it? Well, first you keep your chin up. We authors have to have thick skin for so many reasons. You have up and down events and years, and you have to celebrate every high (even if it’s just one page read on KDP), and endure all the lows (sitting in a book store watching people pointedly turn away from you to avoid your pitch).

The next thing I do is try to see what might cause this issue. There are factors.

  1. This event didn’t exactly have a lot of foot traffic. There were several cool people. They were fun to talk to, but there just weren’t a metric ton. I’d be shocked if there were 4,000 people total in attendance. I don’t know the statistics, but that’s certainly how it felt.
  2. I didn’t have a new book. Sure, my Testimony is coming soon, but it’s not out, and Betrayed isn’t ready either (but it is getting close). I had a handful of people come up to me to tell me how much they loved one book or another. Those who didn’t already buy all my books picked something new up, but what did I have for those who already bought the books I’ve published? I think at least five people came buy looking for my newest book, and I didn’t have it.  That’s on me.
  3. I’ve been to several Farpoints.  I intend to be at more. But those people are pretty familiar with me. They’ve bought my books. You can oversaturate an area or a convention. This is one of the main reasons the wife and I are trying to expand where we go.

 

RaidenANDGambitSilver lining: The wife is doing some amazing things.  We had prints this time, and two of them sold. She also sold another 12 chibis! Seriously, those things are adorable! What that did is relieve some of the stress and financial burden from the lack of book sales. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have Julie and her art there.

There’s another con coming in a new area. Annapolis ComicCon is next, and that’s a new area with (hopefully) new readers. It’s a one day con that’s smaller, so I have to adjust my expectations accordingly. If I set fifteen books, a few chibis and a print or two, I’ll be pretty satisfied. I also have Four State ComicCon coming up next month too, so those are opportunities to turn the ship around and meet new readers.

I hope this information is helpful. Again, you have to always work to keep a positive mindset in this business. Things come and go, and it’s still fun to write books, and it’s even more fun when people stop by the table to tell you how much they enjoyed your stories.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Busy at Farpoint!

Busy at Farpoint!

Greetings all,

I’m busy working at Farpoint this weekend. I’d love to see you all there.  I’ll, of course, fill you in on how things went (day one was encouraging).

As always, I have three books available for 99 cents.

An Unusual Occupation, Repressed, and Sojourn in Captivity, are all on sale for the duration of the convention. Please consider trying one of those titles out if you haven’t yet. If you have, please consider taking a moment to give them a rating and review.

I’m always happy to have a chance to meet new readers and say hello to those who’ve already given my work a try.

Wish me luck at the table!

Thanks for reading,
Matt