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 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.

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

The Mythical Moth

I woke to find a moth on my wall, it is beautiful and majestic. As it inspired Melissa H North, I too am inspired to create a story about the humble moth.

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MELISSA H. NORTH

While doing some research today for my book and its mythical world, I came across how amazing the humble moth is. When most of us think of a moth, we believe them to be drab brown insects that hide between the fabric of our clothing or flutter obsessively at a glowing light.  We think of moths as the boring cousin to the beautiful butterfly, however, on delving deeper, I found that moths are quite extraordinary creatures.

The Luna moth doesn’t have a mouth and can only live for one week. Its whole purpose of life is to mate.  The Polyphemus moth has eye apertures on its wings to confuse prey looking for a snack. The Hornet Moth looks like, well, a hornet! (But without the sting). And what about the mystical wood nymph; this moth has evolved to look like bird poop in a clever ploy to deter prey.  So the moth…

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Let’s Talk: Filler Words

Nearly always we use a lot of fillers in our very creative work. It is second nature to be somewhat indifferent to the purposes of this language. Sometimes it happens but not all the time. Thank you for pointing out this very important lesson for us.

Wow, that was hard to use all those fillers, thank you Brhi for your blog, this will help people overcoming that safety net of Filler words.

Brhi Stokes

Today, we’re going to talk about one of those little things you probably don’t even realise you overuse: filler words.

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Why Stranger than Fiction is a must watch for Writers.

Stranger than Fiction written by Zach Helm is one of my most favourite movies of all time, as I write this blog I am watching it as well. I have seen it at least ten times, and every time it inspires me to write and create.

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A little bit about the movie, it is about a man Harold Crick (Will Farell) who is a tax auditor who wakes up hearing a voice narrating his life. And in this movie, again not wanting to spoil it, he finds outs something, and this drives the plot along. To understand what is happening he goes to a Literature Professor (Dustin Hoffman) who helps him figure out what is going on. Unless you have seen this movie, I don’t want to go into the whole thing, but it is fantastic.

Why I think this is a must watch, is the blurring of the illusion between the author and your character. We talk about as writers that our characters can surprise us and cause us, the author, to go down a path that we did not plan for. Being a freeform writer over a planner, this is more natural to run on the whims of your characters.

This movie makes me think if my character was real; one he would hate me because I am a huge dick to what is constantly happening to him. But this allows my imagination to go on a tangent as if one of my characters changes their mind and change the direction of the story. Like when he is talking to the unconscious Stinky Pete in the first chapter to him just standing in line thinking of drinking a few ales. It always felt that he did this, I just merely tapped into this reality and words flow.

So Stranger than Fiction shows the complex relationships between the writer and their creations, and at that moment you realise you do not have full control over said characters. All you can do is just enjoy the journey.

Review of Reflection of Sandra

I had the fortunate experience to meet Michelle Heynen at her book launch, being a fellow author at Inhouse Publishing, I wanted to show my support. What amazed me was the beautiful story that was created by Michelle.

A little story from the book launch, Michelle read out a letter from her book, a thank you letter to her mother. This is why I love this book, the connection that I had with this piece. The emotion poured off me and tear unbashful fell from my eyes. It made me think of nearly losing my mother seven years ago, I could never imagine how I would react if she were gone. Michelle allowed me to experience something that resonated with those feelings. It is not about sadness but remembering the gift which was given by someone who is the closest to you.

The courage of Michelle celebrating her mother’s life and the grief that comes from losing someone. An emotional roller coaster ride, as in real life there are ups and downs but striving through this is what makes this book amazing.

Another gift that Michelle gave the reader is the beautiful poems at the start of each chapter, reflecting the journey of her family during this trialling event.

Reflections of Sandra is a well thought out and emotional connective book; it can help a person who is going through a troubling time, showing the path to acceptance. Alternatively, it can be for someone who is looking for a great story of an incredible person.

Thank you, Michelle, for allowing us to join your journey.
To buy her book either head to her website, Inhouse Publishing Bookstore or Amazon.