I’m Feelin’ That

Immersion. It conjures up the memory of that first dive into the calm of Jolly Roger Bay in Super Mario 64 where the music immediately switches to a deeper, still soothing tempo as you descend into blissful underwater exploration…like diving into a memorable story, yah? ImFeelinThat

Extending exploration from the gaming world to the writing world, it’s not an Indie Author Journey unless you’re supporting other indies! So I randomly searched Twitter, discovered author Chris Stevens, and took a dive into “I’m Feelin That! Stories of Love, Life and Lessons Learned.” I’m not usually one to read short stories by choice, but the cultural aspect, I could connect with. It’s very straight-forward writing making use of slang vernacular, with different POVs to switch things up for a varied range of content. What I liked the most: reading about lifestyles that differ from my own. Story that stuck with me the most? Brothers In Arms.

~Tael

The Accidental Blogger

Once you start researching self-publishing, an avalanche of tips outpours. Obviously if you’re choosing to self-publish, it’s because you want to avoid the more popular, historical route. Rebellion! But self-publishing has become so normalized and saturated that a prescribed set of guidelines exists here as well.

Do they suggest blogging? No. Not really. But maybe it helps.

Is that how I accidentally started this blog? NOPE. I did it because a recurring piece of instruction was having an author website. Sure, you have your Goodreads page, Amazon Author Page, and BookBub Author Profile, but I guess that isn’t enough. As an indie author you COULD have an entire website dedicated to your literary accomplishments, but it seems like big britches to me. If you’re just starting out, you’re not going to have a full roster of upcoming events, a collection of novels you’ve written, and accolades from the New York Times reviewers to showcase on your professionally designed, visually spectacular, high-traffic site.

I also feel like all the tips suggest that you present yourself as an author first, which is not the case with me. I’m a person first, with multiple hobbies, and this one I’ve invested in greatly. I actually don’t visit the websites of the authors I love. These things didn’t exist when I was younger. I don’t even follow them on social media. I just read their stuff when I’m ready to read their stuff. If I did though, I’d want to learn more about them as a person and not just as an author. Sure, seeing when their next book signing is might be cool, but it’s likely not going down in my city, I’m not traveling to attend one, and even if it was local, I don’t feel a strong urge to have my favorite authors sign my copies. I guess it’s not a big deal to me. I’d much rather either A. See if they’re gonna be releasing any new novels soon or B. See if they’re talking about something personal that I can connect with. I’d rather visit an author’s site to see who they are as a person; what other passions they have, pictures of their pets, favorite snacks, their kids. Anything humanizing that shows they have a life outside of authordom.

The tips don’t tell you that, though.

So when I revived my old WordPress site, I realized it automatically has a blog attached so I I may as well use it. Blogging is generally a writer’s dream, but I always shied away from it because I never had an angle. Sure I could gripe about everyday life, but who wants to really read about some stranger’s gripes? You see that enough on Facebook with the over-sharers who feel they need to tell you that today they ordered a buttered croissant for breakfast instead of the usual toasted bagel.

Most blogs have a focus. Maybe it’s recipes, maybe it’s travel, maybe it’s cosmetics. I feel like the Indie Author Journey could encompass a lot and its relatable. Whenever I’m writing anything, I want it to somehow be relatable. The feeling of connecting to others through writing is incredible.

We are not plastic products put up on shelves, manufactured according to the current self-publishing code. As such, our websites and social media don’t have to look the same or give off a similar vibe. In a medium where personal style should most definitely stand out (HELLO, we’re WRITERS!), I’d rather not be a polished here-is-my-author-page-from-the-bestselling-last-novel-graduated-from-s0-and-so-university-award-winning-Nobel-Peace-Prize-top-reviewed-but-the-review-quote-only-says-something-basic-like-riveting-and-thought-provoking-yet-it’s-still-a-highly-acclaimed-review?

Can I just be me? Without all the airs?

Not in today’s society. -.-

#TruthTrebles

~Tael

 

The Three-Four-Seven-Nine-Forty Book Trilogy

Seems to be the trend nowadays. First novel of the Fallen Angel series. Book Three of the Steamy Hearts boxset. Sixty-eleventh part of the omg-you-need-to-keep-reading-this-unlimited-number-sequence. A hot tip to indie authors, especially those looking to set up recurring passive income, is to write as many books as possible and throw them on Amazon. The idea is that the more books you have, the more your promoting of your other books will eventually get your OTHER books found. I think.

A specific comment from one of my Chaos (un)Controlled reviewers was, “I personally liked a lot because it seems like every single young adult book has to be a series of at least 3 books when sometimes I just want one pleasant self-contained book.”

It certainly does feel that way sometimes, huh? I agree. Not knocking series at all; I’m considering doing a non-linear prequel to Chaos (un)Controlled for my next writing project. But Rixa’s story isn’t incomplete in Chaos (un)Controlled. University Heights could be revisited, sure. Other characters could get a spotlight. It’d be cool to take a Tales approach; where elements of the prior games are touched upon in the later games, giving the player refreshing “Aha!” moments, if they’ve played the others. But I don’t want to return to it just because series are the cool thing to do right now. There would need to be a real reason.

Currently, as an adult reader, the thought of starting a new series (from a reader’s perspective) is akin to climbing a mountain; my mind sees “Book one of…” and immediately responds, “Do I really want to get into this?” Finding the time to finish one novel takes awhile as it is. It’s like getting into a new television show. It’s like…now I gotta watch it and be invested. Thinking of the obligation is exhausting enough… -.- Let’s take a look at the series I’ve encountered and made it through:

Harry Potter. This one was an accident. The first three books were gifted to me and I ended up loving them and grateful that the journey continued after the first.

Fifty Shades of Grey. This one, I was conned. An old co-worker raved about how she loved this series so much, she re-read all of them in a week. Barnes & Noble happened to have a ridiculous sale, all 3 for $9.99 so I went for it. First one was amusing. Second one kept me interested. Third one was painful. I could only crawl through a few pages at a time for each reading session before major ADD kicked in. I finished only because I had committed to the first two.

Twilight. I was gifted the first book for this one too, and despite the purple-prosey writing style, it did keep me captivated enough to keep going through all 4.

Divergent. First one was awesome. Second one cool. Third one, bleh.

Seems like series have a habit of losing steam the further they go along. With the exception of Harry Potter.

Let’s look at a non-linear series. The Coldest Winter Ever was phenomenal. The long-after subsequent prequel Midnight offered a very different tale that I was sold on. I’m a sucker for Japanese culture blended into anything. The sequel to Midnight however, fell flat and unrealistic and lost my fandom. Whatever we forgave or gave a pass to in the first one, began to pile on as the outrageous elements became a Rollout. I recently learned there was another release in the non-linear series; A Deeper Love, which follows Winter’s sister apparently. It’s on my reading list because, of course, the commitment.

If potential readers can find the time to commit to Chaos (un)Controlled, just ONE standalone book, I’ll be happy. Whether many are jumping on the series bandwagon for the sake of sales, or love of an epic story-journey, I still say there’s a niche for the pleasant, self-contained book that the busy reader with time-commitment-issues can store on her shelf.

~Tael