Tag Archives: self-publishing

The story behind the Ninja books

And now a little background on how “How Ninja Brush Their Teeth” came about.

It all started because I was sad.  I had put up a snippet of some other writing on a writers forum and it was pretty much hated across the board.

Even my husband, my love, my best friend, the one who I bounce all my ideas off of hated it too.  So, I was sad and deflated and couldn’t bring myself to write a word for a whole week.  And instead of writing, I browsed the internet, reading writer forums, writing blogs, looking for inspiration when I finally found a blog by Kristin Kathryn Rusch that basically had one central theme.  If you are a writer, then suck it up and write.

It lit a flame in me. I licked my wounds and put myself back on the keyboard and because I was out of ideas and just needed a quick writing exercise , I looked for a writing prompt and came up with two words: Ninja + Toothbrush.

That’s the story.  What started out as a writing exercise of 1000 words has now grown into what I hope to be a three book series.

Inspiration can come from anything – but most often, at least for me, it comes from a recent defeat.

Cheers!

~R

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Hygienic Ninja and my publishing schedule

It’s usually when I start posting specific dates for things to happen that suddenly life decides to prevent whatever I have predicted or scheduled from ever happening.  For kicks, you know, because when things happen just as planned – it’s boring.  Ask any storyteller worth their salt – they’ll tell you.  You want to put your audience asleep?  Have everything be swell.  This ties into my belief that God can be compared to an author and if your life is getting too easy and boring – be prepared for a little ‘conflict’ or ‘plot twist’ hiding in waiting around the next corner.

/tangent

I have a tentative publishing schedule planned for the next three months!

How Ninja Brush Their Teeth will be released sometime in December.  For the reason posted above I wont give an exact date, but the date is in my head and I’m working really hard to get there.  I have a couple more revision passes to go, some plot thingies to add and then re-familiarizing myself with the whole HTML formatting hocus-pocus that I admittedly totally forgot how to do since the last time!  Gosh, it’s only been since August, too.  Oh well, I’m hoping it’ll be like riding a bike…

In January I’ll be going into heavy revision of Why Ninja Dress Like Pirates, my part 2 of the Ninja series.  Depending on how that goes and when my beta readers get back to me, I’m hoping to release that towards the tail end of January.

And for my third installment of the Ninja series that I’ve tentatively named, Ninja Verses  Soccer Mom Super Villian, will hopefully be done, revised and up for sale late February or March.

During all of this, I’ll be working on a historical fantasy based on late 1800’s Seattle which I’m really looking forward to for the change of pace.  No, it’s not Steampunk, but more Wizard of Oz-ish/Odyssey kind of thing.   Not sure when that will be done though, I’m hoping before summer.

Anyway, that’s about it on writing updates!

Cheers!

~R

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I write therefore I wroted: Update on writing stuff

This is not a picture of my mom. This is Grandma Moses and is my mom’s facebook profile picture. She is just being silly.

Hi mom,

I thought I’d give you an update on what I’m writing about these days.

I’m pleased to announce  ‘How Ninjas Brush Their Teeth’ is now done and in the hands of beta readers.  I’m just waiting to hear back from them to find out what needs to be added, switched, corrected and deleted from existence.  The shock of red pen-marks slashed all over my manuscript is never fun, but each time it happens it gets easier and easier, and the story always ends up being 100 percent better because of it.

You’re probably wondering why your daughter is writing about Ninjas brushing their teeth.  Well, mom, you had a weird child.  And you’re pretty weird yourself so it only makes sense that these things are passed down in the genes.

And no, it isn’t a children’s story about oral hygiene. Those are totally played out now anyway, since Spiderman and The Hulk got that material covered years ago.  A generic Ninja would have no voice in that crowd.

Anyway, I’m hoping somewhere in the first half of October, How Ninjas Brush Their Teeth will be out and up on all the major e-distributor sites ready for sale.

Speaking of sales,  The Girl and the Guitar’s have been dismal.  Aint no sugar-coating it.  It is what it is.  I pretty sure most of my sales have been from you and dad and some really supportive friends of mine.  And for each of those I’m extremely grateful!

Interview with an Android is averaging about 10 downloads a day – but it’s free so those numbers aren’t amazing, but I’m hoping it will grow an audience hungry for more of my work.  It’s received some really amazing reviews in the meantime – which is surprising for me since it was one of the first things I’d written, and not very well, I might add.

You just never know what’s going to resonate with readers.

Ninjas. I’m hoping for ninjas.  And if that doesn’t work, I might try exploring rabid Chihuahuas for a change of pace.

As for my lackluster sales, I think I have a couple of things going against me at the moment.  One, my covers suck!  They suck so much that I can’t make print versions of my books at Createspace because the resolution is so bad. With print versions I’d be able to hand them out and try to drum up some local word of mouth – or something!  I really need professional help with the covers or Photoshop – but I can’t afford either.  I’m just stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment, but don’t worry, because I’m not worried – it will all happen in its own time and I’m in it for the long haul.  In the meantime, I’ll just keep writing and building a nice back-list of content to put up throughout the year.  And maybe beg for book cover money for Christmas, birthday and mother’s day gifts…hint, hint, HINT!

Already, I’m starting to write the sequel to How Ninjas Brush Their Teeth, and have a third planned.  I also have about a dozen other stories waiting to be written and more being thought up everyday.  I’ll never have a shortage of ideas, thanks to your weirdness genes.

Love you!  Call you later!

-R

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Learning to be a self-publisher

Learning to self-publish is easy, but learning to self-publish well is hard.  I recently dipped my toe into learning HTML so I could have cleaner documents to convert into all the different formats that the major self-epub vendors use.  That was much harder to learn than I thought it would be.  It turns out I’m a spaz and have to read and re-read simple instruction several times before they get through my thick skull and are absorbed by my skittery little mouse brain! *grin*

I think I finally have a handle on it, barely, but it’s getting better.

I’m way behind on a lot of writing this summer – things got busy, but I’m hoping with the new school year and after my kids adjust to a new school and things begin to settle down more, I can really buckle down and get more content up.

As of now I only have two short stories out there which are linked over to your right!——>

And so far have had zero sales on the Kindle. 😛

It has only been a week, and I’m hoping putting more content up will eventually lead to a bigger online presence and more sales.

I’m looking at this long-term and building an audience is a slow process that relies mostly on word of mouth.  I don’t think I have ever bought a book from an advertisement or because of a tweet or a Facebook nudge – but I will always pay attention to a book recommended by a friend.

In the works I have another novelette, this time a pulpy, action and adventure story with ninjas, and on the drawing board a short military sci-fi (toasty but not burning)romance.  Still debating on whether to write those under a pen name since it’s written with a totally different style than my other works.

Also, I’m on my last revision pass of Pandora Mech and would love to have that thing up in stores before November (video game release month) because most of my intended audience for that particular book are gamers and they will NOT be reading in November when Halo 4, COD Black OPS II and all the other games are released. 

But for that to happen it really depends on the kindness and availability of beta readers who are willing to help me file down the rough edges.  And the people I know who do that really well are busy and have lives and sometimes, it’s a lot to ask.  But, if it doesn’t get done by then, it will come out eventually and I have many stories yet to tell and  feel like I’ve found my rhythm writing short fiction/novelette and novella length works and am looking forward to making them available to read soon!

Cheers!

-R

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Cover attempt 2.0

Here’s the second attempt on my own with a mock-up of the story title and my attempt at filling in some of that empty space in the corners.

Blah.  What sucks is that I know how good it could look if it was in the hands of someone with more technical skill.  It’s kind of frustrating for me to look at right now.

On the other hand I’m almost done with the story!  And I’ll be posting the first chapter as soon as it’s combed through in revision a couple of times.  😉

Cheers!

R

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