Update on Stone Ram map

Blank white book w/path

I’ve been meaning to update the map on my 2014 release Stone Ram. Why you ask? Well the original map’s banner was cut off. Also the sun diagram was essentially the same sun used on the Argentinian flag. Nothing against that flag, as it’s lovely, but I was looking for some originality here. Lastly, I wanted to add some more terrain to the map and make the Kingdom of Rek’s boundries more tighter, so in the southwestern section you’ll notice the addition of the Jagga Plains. To take a look at the new map click HERE.

The truth about “bad” reviews

Quill_pen

Some of the newer writers out there might get a little peeved at bad reviews. But seriously, what is a bad review? How does a review become bad?

Well, technically, it’s when a reader doesn’t like your book. Ok. Let’s take a look at this. So someone didn’t like it. Does that make the book bad?

Course not. Listen, unless most or all of the reviews are bad there’s really nothing to worry about. As a reader, I’d actually be suspicious if all the reviews for a book were glowing. Wouldn’t that look suspicious? There’s enough of those fishy reviews to go around anyways.

So here’s my take on “bad” reviews. They’re good. Why? Because they add legitimacy to your book.

So when you free yourself from the unrealistic fact that everyone will love your book, you’ll be more relaxed, and your writing will flow.

Expectations and you

circle-thumb

Do you have expectations? Sure you do. We all do. Expectations exist as markers for out success. In the materialistic hierarchy that we live in it’s easy to start comparisons between yourself and the guy or gal down the street.

But what about unreal expectations, and chasing success so hard that it becomes a task to take pleasure in other things? What do we do about that?

Well I’m glad you asked. If you’re trying to hard, then I’ve got news for you, you’re burdening yourself with added pressure. And comparing yourself to another’s success is just going to get you down. Sure there are some people out there who get motivated by knowing that they’re at the bottom and want to work their way up, but obsession with success and unrealistic expectations is not the mindset to subscribe to.

Of course it’s important to measure your success, but instead of worrying about others, why not try competing with yourself? It will take the edge off and make your chosen task at hand more enjoyable.

Compete with your former self. Figure out what it did wrong, and work on fixing that. This way your focus is more inward and free of unnecessary distractions.

Besides, worrying about what your rivals are doing is not the key to improving yourself, instead work on improving more each day by analyzing your mistakes and seeking out the right information to get you going in the right direction.

The Author who is also a Book

Universal Pen

Ever wonder where I (or any writer for that matter) get my fiction ideas from? I’d say it is a combination of things. First life experience comes into play. The combined collection of memories accumulated from my day-to-day events. Both good and bad.

I have pain. We all do. That’s what makes us human. I take my pain and use it in my stories to give humanity to my characters. Look at Tullus or Celestra from my Leopard King Saga series. Or Liberty Rise from Mindcop Dossiers.  I’d be selling them short by making them omnipotent. Who wants to read about characters like that?

It’s cliche, but troubled characters work best when drawn-upon from personal experience. That doesn’t mean you put yourself in the story. In that case you’re better off writing non-fiction (Which I read a lot, by the way.)

Fiction is a compass that points towards life. No matter how make-believe a story is, or if its genre is pure fantasy. People read to learn more about human nature and find meaning in their lives and the world around them.

What do you think?

The truth about editing

cropped-blog-header-ver3-tuvan-uner1.jpg

If you’ve ever published a book, or have considered publishing a book. Then remember these five words: editing is an ongoing process.

You’re probably wondering what I mean by that. Well, it’s simple, don’t think for a moment when you’re published that the work is done. Let me explain.

When I first embarked on my independent writing career I knew nothing about producing the best book possible. I thought that writing the book itself was enough.

Sadly. I was wrong.

A lot of editing goes into a book. First you self-edit it when it’s done, then you turn it over to a skilled editor and he/she tackles it before you confirm or reject their edits.

Then the beta-reader stage begins. Trust me. You should have at least half a dozen beta-readers. The reason for this is the more eyes, the better their chances of catching manuscript errors. But trust me, it doesn’t end there. Then you give the beta-read manuscript another look before handing it back to your editor before it is published.

But wait. You’re still not done. After you’ve published your work, typos, grammatical errors and other unwelcome guests will pop up. Sometimes, you’ll spot em on your own, other times, readers will notify you.

It is your lifelong duty as an author to always update your books when errors are spotted. Books are like people, they’re constantly growing and needing corrections to be better.

Will your work ever be perfect? Never. But then again, who is?

When is it time to quit?

240px-circle-question_svg

This post is for all those writers out there, or wannabe writers. Or anyone who is invested in the arts. So pretty much everyone artistically-inclined.

Quitting. It’s a disease that affects the best of us. And it can really hit you when you’re about to break.

There are many causes: Family issues, work, health degradation, etc. But let’s narrow it down a bit. It’s called Lack of Commercial Success in the Arts.

Trust me, it’s great how now anyone can become a writer. The gatekeepers no longer block hopeful writers who dream of publication.

But the onslaught of indie books has made the market more difficult to break into. Especially when you’re just starting out.

But what if you’ve been in the game and are still struggling to sell books?

Well you have two options. You can keep writing, or, you can quit.

If you decide to quit then that is your choice. Especially if other pressing matters take center stage in your life. However, if you keep writing, you should remember one thing. Do it for yourself. Don’t write for an audience, or fame, or a huge payout. If you do this I can almost guarantee you that the pressure to succeed will dissipate, and your love of writing will be the only thing that matters.

Take it from someone who has pondered quitting.

Should you pay for book marketing services?

icon-with-question-mark-hi

I recently invested some change in getting more exposure for Guns And Dogs, my newest release. You’re probably asking did it work?

Here’s my answer.

I went into it with low expectations, after all, most books don’t sell millions of copies overnight. Not unless you’re JK Rowling of course. But the object of gaining exposure through paid advertising is investing for the future.

Sure, you may not sell a ton now, but the seeds planted through this service will most likely help in the future. Of course this isn’t a guarantee, but then again, what is?

So here’s my final verdict: if you have the money and the company is legit, you should go for it. But just remember, good things take time, so make sure to be patient.

Work resumes on next project

LA-BANNER

Even though I’m in the midst of promoting my latest release, Guns And Dogs, I’ve slowly begun jotting down words for the next novel in the Leopard King Saga, to be titled, The Leopard Apocalypse. Release date is scheduled for late 2017,but this is subject to change.