Becoming a Quality Quantity Author

A post just went up in a group I am a part of, and the question was, are you a Quality or Quantity Author? After my disaster at the beginning of the year for my debut novel, Lake Merrin (and many weeks of depression) I realised that you need to become more than just a four-novel a year author, you have to produce four books but at high quality as well. Hence, becoming a Quality Quantity Author.

There were two articles for each argument to this, one by Lorraine Devon Wilke and the other by Dean Wesley Smith. Each has good points (links below), but being a fantasy writer and also talking to successful published authors like Kimberley Clark and Nick Earls, I came up with a different approach.

Producing four full-length novels (around 100k) would be hard, and yes the quality will drop but what about short stories or novellas?

By the end of this year, I will have published seven ebooks and three paperbacks, two of which are novellas. These short stories/novellas range between four thousand to 21 k each, some taking a week to write and others a couple of months. What this does is create a reputation as an author.

Each short story ebook cost me around $200, that is a cover artist and editor.  The novella cost me another $150 for formatting and my new cover for the book $120. So three months of releases, 200 a month (600 in total) and in the fourth month a paperback another 270. The grand total (excluding printing) $870!

How much will it cost me to produce a novel, that could fluctuate between people? So far (minus my lousy choice of editor at the beginning of the year) it has cost me 4 to 5 thousand dollars.

I am not a rich man, but I do have an imagination that can think and produce many different story arcs, so if I produce one novel and at least twelve short read ebooks which will make around 4 novellas a year, why not?

At Oz Comic-Con, an author of four books commented on my novella; FableLands: Interrogation Part One, as breaking all the rules. It because in one book, I have three short serial reads in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person and the first three chapters of my book Lake Merrin coming out in December. I responded ‘I became a writer, so I didn’t have to follow any rules except for the ones I deem important to my own creativity.’

The argument with taking your time with your writing will produce a good book, that is determined by your readers. I have raving reviews for my short reads, but if it all was based on one novel, I am not sure that I would have a similar following.

The more you write, the better you become. The more you push your boundaries, the more you can be creative. In the end, do what you want to do, not what the creative industry dictates you should do.

 

Links:

FableLands: Interrogation Part One, Website or Amazon

Dear Self-Published Author: Do NOT Write Four Books a Year by Lorraine Devon Wilke.

Don’t Be a Wuss, Write Four Novels a Year by Dean Wesley Smith.

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The Halfling is the first book in The Halfling series, written by Melissa H. North. Pursued by her brothers from the Faerie realm of Grandelione, Eliana Ariarose flees through the streets of New York…

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The Five stages of an Author

Last Sunday during my regular writing group, I had an epiphany on my view of authors and writers, and the stages that they represent. This is my opinion, but I think it holds true. This is from talking and listening to other writers and paying attention to the raw data then collating it into a working theory. As I started to write this up for my upcoming workshop on author marketing and promotion. Understanding what stage you are at allows you to promote efficiency. This are generalisations, not like levelling up in an RPG. You can be at any stage or even jump from one to another without even knowing.

Really, I just like to categorise things 😀

Let first look at each stage.

The five stages of an author.

  1. Fledgling

  2. Amateur

  3. Semi-pro

  4. Pro

  5. Best Seller

5 stages of being an author

 

At the moment I think I am in the Semi-pro stage, just waiting for that opportunity to fire my bow hit that the next level.

What does each stage mean?

First off is Fledgeling or Beginner, that is someone who wants to write or has done some writing but hasn’t quite taken that next step saying to the world ‘Look I am here, and I am a writer.’

They might have entered a couple of competitions or joined a writing group. They are seeking the knowledge for that next stage. To realise that they are a writer.

Being an Amateur is someone who is now saying they are writing a novel and are doing it. This writer has just realised their journey, trying to decide if they want to go down the traditional path or self-publishing, but they not sure where or how to do that. So while they write their book-baby, they are doing workshops, going to master classes and getting advice from people further along than them.

The main difference between Fledgeling and Amateur is intent. That drive to finish their first manuscript and visualising the next stage.

Semi-pro is a known author, they have a website, social media platforms and a clear direction. They might not have published yet, but they are in the stages of doing so. They do regular posts about what is happening in their writing world and understand that social media is a tool but can be a double edged sword. They are also branching out to other writers to gather connections and reputation.

Now becoming Pro, as this is not me yet, all this comes from watching more successful author and going ‘how did they do that?’

From my experience, here is a gap between semi-pro and pro and that is reader interaction and money. Fan following. At Semi-pro, you have made a name for yourself in the writing community but jumping to the next level, a book is needed, but that isn’t all.

With the money side of things, is that step from being in the red isn’t so large. You can comfortably fund your creativity, profit maybe not so much.

Best Seller is just that, they have such a following people live off their work and words.

There is a secret stage, Legend, now this is special, and most writers will never know this level, but they love these author’s books and are usually the ones that inspire most authors. I know 15 of my top number one authors that have done such, like Tolkien, Rowling; or even EL James (who isn’t in my top 15 but is a good example of leaping into legend-hood).

These stages are always in flux, you could one day be a beginner and tomorrow submit your synopsis to Random House and be on the way to become the next Best Seller. This is a guideline on each stage. In my upcoming workshop at Gold Coast Writers Association, I will be discussing how I went from Fledgling to Semi-Pro and my methods of promoting.

My Novella, FableLands: Interrogation.

I skipped my blog yesterday as I knew my publisher, Ocean Reeve was dropping off my proof copy of FableLands: Interrogation Part One. Looking though it makes the whole process real! Only months ago did I start writing this short story series and soon I will be at Oz Comic Con as a published author. How time flys!
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This isn’t the final copy but having the book in my hand. Seeing my name on its cover is a dream come true. I would never think that two years ago that a book on mine would be on paper.

I have some other great news, next month, the fourth part of FableLands, Sammy Trickster will be out for e-book and a new series Favinonian Tales, titled Rise of the Green: Trinity which is based in the same world as my main novel, Lake Merrin.

I am heading back to expose my readers to the rich history of Favinonia, so they can live and breathe in Amsul (the world Favinonia is set in).

Another thing is that I have been helped by my father to finish Lake Merrin, so fingers crossed that it will be out this year. I have my editors booked in, and away we go!
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On the 13th and 15th of September, I will be having a book signing at BELLA’s Bakery in Southport Central from 11 am to 1 pm, see you there if not see you at OZ CON!!!

 

What is happening?

It has been a while since I have written a blog. Some of it was due to the lack of motivation to write one, being distracted by either my writing or groups that I am a part of. Even typing this seems to be a little hollow and passing the buck. Just need to harden the truck up and do some blogs!

I have thought that Thursday will be my blog day, need to do something once a week. If I can’t do that, then why have a blog!

So what has been happening in the world of Samuel Colbran?

First off I now have a paperback of a superhero fantasy anthology which includes Kayla, Briana and Ciro with an addition of the first three chapters of the newly updated Lake Merrin! I have been ecstatic about this. Soon I will have a book in my hands with my name on it. It will be like book-crack for me!

This came about because I was invited to go to Oz Comic Con in Brisbane! Even a few of my author friends are going to have tables as well. They are Melissa H North and Karen Tyrell. It will be the first time I will have met Melissa, it going to be indeed fabulous!
LHN

There is one version on Amazon of FableLands: Interrogation, but you can buy off of me, a special edition of the book! Find out more at www.samuelcolbran.com.

My current working on a short story connected to the history of Favinonia (the country Lake Merrin is set in), called Rise of the Green. It delves into the rise of the fictional religion of Favinonia, in where the first saint rose, Saint Mela of the Green.

Saint Mela—the plague-ender; life-giver; and first saint—represents the Green Aspect. People who follow this aspect give thanks to the first saint for bringing the Trinity to Favinonia.

Discovering her story has been a highlight. It will be the first of three, under the title ‘The Trinity’ from the series Tales From Favinonia. There are about twenty stories to be written under this series name, some of the heroes of the past. A few of these stories will be about the political arena of Favinonia. This is mainly to expand the world of Amsul.

So that ends the first of, (fingers crossed) my Thursday blogs. See you next week!

The Subjects’ Aim Book Review

I sit in front of the computer reflecting on this amazing story. It is strange how a piece of literature can be a mirror to your past experiences.  The relations of emotional turmoil the two main characters, especially Subject B, can just hit the right nerve that takes you back to a time of pain and hurt but also of hope and triumph. This is like a second birth for me, seeing that not only am I over past experiences but also can reflect on how they build my life. I, thank you, P. R Castle, for your gift, The Subjects’ Aim.

This one will be hard not to spoil, but I will try.

I do sincerely connect with both of the main characters, Subject A and B in different ways. is my past anger and revenge, I too have been haunted by a past presence that affected my mental stability. Seeing this person behind every tree, or just lurking around a corner. That planning and need to remove said person to alleviate this constant anxiety.

On the other hand, A is my present self, reflected as my acceptance and growth. Oh yes, the pain and fear were there at the beginning, but through training and recognition, you can move towards being free. Some think that forgiveness is the one that wrong you, no it is always for you, to free you from those emotions of anger and fear.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

 – Yoda

Like a wise old puppet said, there are two paths, one of hope and one of darkness. It is you who chooses the path before it chooses you. This book connected to me beyond most others. The duality between and  is fantastic, hats off again to P.R Castle’s novel. I look forward to her next book!

P. R Castle Website: https://www.prcastle.com/

Amazon link: The Subjects’ Aim

Reviews for Briana: Knight

One thing I have noticed with Amazon is that your reviews are not pooled together, one could be on Amazon UK, another on Amazon Canada. The only one that is shown on the whole service is the old US of A’s Amazon. So I decided after my last marvellous free promotion I will pool my reviews into one blog.

On the 29th I will have my third part out, Ciro: Founder and also I will be part of a book launch as a guest author. The launch is for Brhi Stokes,  and her book is Caligation (here is a quick review I did on it, Review of Chapter One of Caligation)

You can pre-order her book, now from iTunes or Amazon.
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There is my book, number 3 (it has dropped to 4 now) and that is another thing. Each Amazon site is separated from the others on how they rank. On this one, I am, ranked as third while on UK Amazon I am like rank 78. Not that I am complaining, it is just you don’t get a clear idea how you are going and where you should direct your marketing.

So these reviews will be coming from multiple sites.

Let us start with Goodreads!

D. Scarlet rated it 5/5: it was amazing
I enjoyed the second book in the Fablelands Series even more than the first as my understanding of the arcs became clearer. Also, I really enjoyed Briana’s brutal brand of honour! You go, girl!!!

KStar rated it 5/5 it was amazing
The second in the series makes me ask more questions, I am looking forward to reading more of this series

Kathryn B. rated it 5/5 it was amazing
I enjoyed Briana: Knight (Fablelands#2). A bit darker than ‘Kayla’ – The dialogue and interplay between the characters drew me into the story. Waiting for the next one!


Kevin C rated it 5/5 it was amazing

Sage rated it 4/5 really liked it
Love the serial format, how the characters work off each other and the core story concept. Quick read, enjoyable, and looking forward to the next one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet

By Steven S. on 16 July 2017

Thoroughly enjoyed this short and thrilling mini journey, some dark and fantastic moments with great descriptive storytelling. The story pulls you in immediately with the intrigue about the perilous situation at hand.

Amazon US:

on July 15, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the second book in the Fablelands Series even more than the first as my understanding of the arcs became clearer. Also, I really enjoyed Briana’s brutal brand of honour! You go, girl!!!


on July 6, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the second book in Samuel Colbran’s Arcs short story serial. I enjoyed the characters and the Arcs world he hints at in his first book, Kayla: Genius. In Briana: Knight, the world is explained further, and Briana is introduced with her strong Arc of valour, courage, nobility and strength. Don’t think that makes her hold back though: this teen is ruthless! I’m looking forward to the rest of the series, especially Sam: Trickster.

on July 17, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Love the serial format, how the characters work off each other and the core story concept. Quick read, enjoyable, and looking forward to the next one. Powerful character, Briana is the epitome of inner strength when she doesn’t always think she is. Really well-balanced novella.
And Finally Amazon Australia:


Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

There is much happening in this short story. A contest of wills and intrigue. This book is well written, would read more.

5.0 out of 5 stars loved it 🙂

5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed Briana: Knight 

So I averaged 4.83 stars for all my reviews so far. A success!

Book cover was done by Julia of Shooting Star Shooter