Recommendations on Tablet to take to shows?


Hi all,

I’m looking into purchasing a tablet in order to use at conventions or shows, and am looking for people’s recommendations!

photo of woman holding tablet
Photo by Ree on Pexels.com

Ideally, it needs to be able to access both WiFi and 4G, in case of failure of the WiFi (or lack thereof). It also should be able to work with Square (which I’m sure is flexible and useable with most tablets). I’d also like it to last a long time and be pretty durable/hardwearing.

Any ideas? I’d love to get one pretty soon, so any advice would be awesome!

Revisions to Brass Legionnaire

Brass Legionnaire gets a make over, and Laurel Emperor is off to the Formatters!


Howdy everyone,

I’ve been working hard on rereading my original novel – Brass Legionnaire – and catching the many errors that seemed to slip under the radar of both myself, my beta readers, and my editor (or, as an alternative read on this, the small errors that escaped only because the big ones took the fire for the little ones. As my introductory novel to the world of the Steam Empire Chronicles, it is important to me that readers want to continue. So I’m going back and revising it.

Another major reason is that the translation process is (finally!!!!) about to be started on Brass Legionnaire, to translate the book into Portuguese, and I’d rather the translators work from an experienced writer’s skills, rather than a novice’s. So to that end, I have a question for my (handful) of blog readers. Once I update Brass Legionnaire’s manuscript, and I updated it to Amazon, B&N, etc., will that change my reviews of the book?

Another question is, will it update the book contents in everyone’s kindle account? Ideally that would be awesome! Anyways, everyone’s thoughts on the matter would be great.

In other news, Laurel Emperor is off to the formatter – the ebook version should be coming out sometime in September, which is perfect for everyone who needs a good read right as school starts again (so you can forget school is starting again!)

How to Publish an eBook!

Basic Steps outlining how to publish an ebook!


 

Salve!

Here’s a quick and dirty set of directions explaining how to Publish an ebook! Had to write this up for a fellow author interested in self-publishing, so here goes for you, hope you enjoy. Let me know if I left anything out!

Continue reading “How to Publish an eBook!”

Day 14 – Almost Halfway There

What other things would you like me to blog about? Provide your input after the article!


Salve!

For today’s post, I’m going to actually ask a question of my readers. What would be something you’d like to read an article about? As I’ve discussed before, my two most popular articles are those written about how to kill characters in novels. Gruesome (and highly entertaining) to write about – especially since I don’t take myself seriously in this regard. But what would be some articles you’d like to see? I can’t profess to being an expert at the craft of writing, but I do have experience and some thoughts/opinions about certain things.

Read more beyond the break

Continue reading “Day 14 – Almost Halfway There”

What is NaNoWriMo?

Learn about NaNoWriMo inside! Part 1 of a 2-part series discussion NaNoWriMo and the writing process!


CNW_Winner_1500-1

Hi everyone,

As many of you may know, this last year (time wise, not 2016 wise) I participated in both NaNoWriMo 2015 (November) and Camp NaNoWriMo2016 (July). I’ve compiled my thoughts on the experience so you can see if NaNoWriMo is right for you! This is the first post, detailing how the programs are similar and how they differ. The second one will focus on what I like and what I think could be improved

Continue reading “What is NaNoWriMo?”

Two new chapters done!

A brief update – I’m alive!


Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post briefly to let people know that a.) I’m alive and b.) I’m still typing. I finished up an entire chapter featuring everyone’s favorite bad guy/assassin/mechawolf thief. Now I’m typing up the end of a chapter introducing the newly handicapped but no less iron-willed Octavia.

By the way, the winner of the poster contest from my last couple of posts was Mrs. Judy Stone! Congrats! Your posters will be in the mail by Friday. Woo! Enjoy!

Input Needed: To mix chapters or not to mix chapters…

Input needed! Help decide how I format Iron Tribune!


I’m looking for some input on Iron Tribune. Currently, I have the story written in two parts. The first one is almost done, and consists of events in the eastern part of the empire and focuses around Constantine, Julius, and Alexandros. The second part focuses on events in Rome and focuses on Octavia, Corbus, and Marciena, plus one more surprise character. The events happen concurrently in the story, but I wanted to split them up. But right now I’m unsure about continuing this. The events in Rome do impact the events in the east, but mostly at the end. I’d love to hear the community’s thoughts on this matter. Would you rather have the story lines written together, or finish one before starting the other in the same book?

If he had a watch, he'd be making sure to stay on schedule
If he had a watch, he’d be making sure to stay on schedule

Possible Blurbs for Antioch Burns

Two Blurbs for Antioch Burns with some teaser bits!


Hi everyone,

Antioch Burns will probably be uploaded sometime this next week! I’m so excited! Last thing on my plate is the website and webstore blurbs. Take a look at the two options below and let me know what you think!

Continue reading “Possible Blurbs for Antioch Burns”

Novellas & The Self-Published Author

My thoughts on Novellas & The Self Published Author


child with piles of books forest

 

By Daniel Ottalini

A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel.

There is undeniably something instinctively attractive about novellas for the self-published or small-published author. Think of it this way, a novella is faster to type, edit, format, and requires only an ebook cover, reducing costs and time in multiple areas, even with multiple checks and reviews.

So why novellas? Well, for one thing, exposure in this industry is key. You are more likely to catch more ‘browsing’ readers with five books out, even short novellas, than with two novels out. By reading one, you have a good chance of them reading more, especially if they are well done. You charge less, so people may be more willing to take a chance, especially on a 99 cent or free loss leader than on a $3.99 100,000 word novel. And they do work exceptionally well as loss leaders, bringing in new readers who, having identified the quality of your work, are willing to lay out money for your other written works.

But are they really worth it for a beginning author to write? As a self-published author, I’m struggling with this situation. First, time spent on novellas is time NOT spent on novel number three. Second, I am having a hard time mustering the effort to finish up the last leg of Antioch Burns. Having the cover ready (wow, that came faster than I thought!) has helped, but still, this hill seems extraordinarily difficult to climb. My first novella is only doing mediocre in sales. In some ways, I attribute this to the higher cost – $1.99 – rather than the more traditional $0.99 cents. I’ve also been forced to cut back on what little promotion I do, due to some other issues. I suppose that you must be prepared to offer your novella for a reduced price, or provide some other tantalizing tid-bit for readers in addition. Now these may be more personal components in some ways, but they are, in fact, a factor for many others. Burnout, exhaustion, weak story lines, all can reduce the effectiveness of a novella.
For example, the delay in Antioch Burns is actually a good thing at this point. This is the first I’m sharing with you, but the novella will be delayed until Spring, 2014. My publisher has some personal things to attend too, and currently I’m not quite happy with the novella. But this is good. Why? Because I can add that extra tid-bit into the novella, like the first chapter of Iron Tribune. Yes, exciting, isn’t it? Already, this is getting me into the mood.

So in the end, what’s my final opinion? Novellas are great, if you can commit to them and pump them out completely. In some ways, the smartest self-published author waits to publish book one until they have novella one or even book two. Just a thought, as I certainly didn’t begin that way.

What do you think? Novellas & Novels together? Novellas first? Or are they a waste of time?

 

How to deal with Failure

How to deal with failure – an observation and commentary.


By Daniel Ottalini

man-yelling-at-computerEveryone fails. Be honest here. At some point in your life, you will fail at something. Maybe it’s not getting that promotion or being told you’re being let go. Maybe it is part of your hobby or something within your family. Maybe it even involves your writing. But everyone has that point where they are face to face with failure.

So…how do you deal with it? How do you get beyond the feeling that you’ve done everything wrong and it is all your fault?

First, get back on your feet. Realize that sometimes, you did everything right (or ‘write’ so-to-speak), and it still wasn’t good enough for the situation.

Second, learn from the failure. Thomas Edison spent years trying to invent a lightbulb. When asked why he didn’t give up, he responded (paraphrase form) that he didn’t just fail to invent a lightbulb, but he discovered 100 ways how not to make a lightbulb. So learn from your mistakes and failures. Personally, I’ve learned how to be a better communicator, a better author, and even a (slightly) better publicist because of my mistakes.

Third, be willing to ask for help. Sometimes, you will not know why it was that you failed. Your submission wasn’t accepted, or your proposal wasn’t picked. Obviously, not all situations will provide the opportunity to ask for feedback, but still it is helpful to ask. Any decent person in most fields with time and desire can provide you with feedback, and some will.

Finally, look for the support of your peers. This is why it is good practice for authors to get novels beta read before sending it off to the editor, and why professional authors have multiple editors examine their work. One person is not the end-all, be-all of authority and wisdom. Find a good support group and see how you can grow.

And when in doubt, take a hot shower, eat some chocolate, and go to bed early. That always helps too.

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