Reader Feedback: How’s the Ad Experience?

Right, so here’s a question that’s been on my mind for a while with regards to improving the site: How’s the ad experience? I ask because while WordPress informs me that ads appear, I don’t see them. Probably a combination of being the site creator and having adblock running 24/7.

But those who aren’t me, or perhaps do or don’t have adblock … how’s the ad experience? What kind of ads are you seeing? Are they loud? Distracting? Not applicable to the site and subject matter?

I ask because if I up the domain subscription, I can remove ads entirely (or have control over them), and it’s a step I’m considering taking.

So, I ask you, readers: What do you see? Is it annoying? Complimentary? Clashing?

Comment below.

Being a Better Writer: My Personal Editing Process

Welcome back! So, very quickly, first the news, nice and quick: There’s a Labor Day Sale. You should check it out. Boom, done, on to the next docket: The Dragon Award winners have been announced, and there are some who are very unhappy about it (guess who?). If curious, check that out here.

Now, onto today’s post! Today’s topic comes by way of surprisingly convenient request. Why the surprise and convenience? Well … because as it turns out, I actually received a request for a post of this nature a week or so after I’d written it … but as a reward for my Patreon Supporters, who usually get access to behind the scenes stuff and the like.

That said, it was a request for a Being a Better Writer topic, and aside from one caveat (that being that this is my approach, and other authors likely differ), it’s worth looking at. So often with BaBW we talk about writing in one form or another: How to improve, what to watch out for, even how to take care of yourself while writing. But aside from my own personal commentary on what I’m up to during the fact or some Q&A responses, we’ve not really talked in-depth about the process and steps from start to finish of a novel once the first draft is done. And there are a lot of steps!

Now, that said, the particular steps presented here? These are mine. Not in a possessive way, but they’re the steps that I use when taking my book from “finished draft” to “finished product.” They’re what I’ve settled on over years of writing and millions of words written. I bring this up because this is not the editing process that was used by any of my old teachers, from Sanderson to Kent (it’s actually much closer to Larry Corriea’s editing process). Each one of them, when answering a similar question, spoke of a different process than the one I use, with different steps, though—and I will stress this—we all still accomplish the same goal.

My point? This is the editing process I use. You can pick and select what steps from it you wish, but in the pursuit of making your work the best it can be, I would highly advise using it (and other’s processes) as a template, not a perfect guide. Know your weaknesses and build a system that is designed to ferret them out and fix them as you edit. Find steps that work. This post isn’t meant to be the way to do it, but a way.

So, that said, let’s get to it! My editing process, in several steps, with examples.

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The Dragon Awards

In case you missed it, yesterday the winners of the Dragon Awards were announced and awarded.

What are the Dragon Awards? They’re a set of awards given out by Dragon Con, a Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Gaming con with over 70,000+ attendees—a pretty significant number compared to other cons out there. Still not heard of them? That’s fair. After all, this was their first year.

Yes, up until now Dragon Con has never had an award. But seeing the absolute meltdown going on over at the Hugo Awards over the last few years (where a tiny, frankly dying con has entrenched itself into the SJW blogsphere in an effort to save itself, insulting a rejecting anyone who didn’t agree with their narrative and taking steps to make sure only the “proper” people were involved, voting, and nominated), and hearing the cry from that same group of “Don’t like it? Go find a different award!” Dragon Con stepped up.

The result? An award that can both take nominations for and be voted on by anyone—anyone—with an e-mail address and an interest in the subject matter. For a con that is attended by over 70,000 people annually. Compared to the Hugo’s paltry attendance (most years below 5,000, actually) and rules and regulations that restrict voters to those who can pay a fee (and now, with recent changes, follow more stringent requirements), Dragon Con seems like a breath of fresh air.

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The Labor Day Sale is Here!

At long last, it’s live! Everything I’ve published on Amazon.com is now either discounted or free! Just in time for anyone who wants to kick back and dig into a good book while waiting for burgers to be done, a bus to arrive, or really just any activity at all where you can think a good book or few might come in handy.One Drink Cover

One Drink? Free as a bird. You can grab Jacob Rocke’s original outing for absolutely no cost. 100 pages of ghostly wolves, smirking shamans, and philanthropic werewolves, with no DRM whatsoever. Click the image or the link, and get cracking.

Of course, why pick up just one adventure with Jacob Rocke in it when you can get two?

Dead Silver FinalDead Silver, starring Rocke’s shaman friend Hawke Decroux, is only $2.99 through next Monday. The bigger, grander, more fleshed-out sequel sees Hawke heading to the town of Silver Dreams, New Mexico to help Rocke catch a particularly troublesome chupacabra bothering the town’s livestock. When he arrives, however, Rocke is nowhere to be found, and the chupacabra attacks have taken a brazen, deadly turn. 451 pages of adventure and mystery in the New Mexican desert, completely—as usual—DRM free. Click the image or the link to face the desert.

And since you’ve got two already, why not complete your set?

Unusual Events: A “Short” Story Collection is just $5.99 through next Monday. Ten fantastic Unusual Eventstales are contained within its 515 pages, each one different from the last. In the Unusuals Universe, a young teen struggles with the pressures of high school and the sneaking suspicion that there may be more to the mysterious malady plaguing him lately than most would think, while a mother works to come to terms with her new “condition” courtesy of a trip to South America. In the far off wild of Alaska, two men end up stuck in a tree thanks to a curious bear with little to do but talk to pass the time. Elsewhere, a killer stalks the streets of the Indrim Empire, hunting her prey, and a young woman recounts her pursuit of her city’s own armored superhero in search of an interview. Ten stories, 515 pages, all DRM free. It’s nothing ordinary. It’s Unusual Events. Click the image or hit the link, then open the pages and begin your journey.

One Drink‘s sale extends through Friday, while Dead Silver and Unusual Events are available at their discounted prices until Monday, the 12th of September.

 

Don’t Forget Monday!

Actually, this post serves two purposes. First and foremost, it’s a reminder that starting Monday, everything I’ve published will be on sale. You can check the details here, but the short of it is that come Labor Day, you’ll be able to get my entire library for less than $10. Over a thousand pages worth of reading. If you’re looking to catch up before Colony comes along, Monday is the day.

But that’s not all, and thus we move to step two of this post. Monday is also going to feature, as it has been in the past, the rise of yet another Being a Better Writer post!

Yeah, pretty standard for this site, but seeing as I broke the chain while I was away, I figure a good reminder can’t hurt.

So now, on to other news. Work is back in full force on Colony. About halfway through the second Alpha, should be mostly done with it sometime next week, at which point the story will move into Beta! Still aiming for an October release, so warm up your kindles! I’ll have a bit more information on pricing and the like, as well as a cover to show off, soon, but for now it looks like the Beta is going to weigh in at around 330,000 words. Yes, that translates, based on your publisher, to a book that’s between 1,000 pages (Amazon, who go by 330 words per page on average) and 1,430 (Tor or one of the other big pubs—can’t remember which—who estimate a 233 words per page average). Unless something crazy happens and I cut a chapter or two (unlikely based on Alpha feedback so far), that’s around what the final copy will be.

In other words, this is a big book. Any wonder it took so long to get this close to release.

But I’m close. And speaking of which, I want to get another 10,000 words edited on it today, so I’d best be off.

Catch you Monday, and enjoy your weekend.

Incoming Sale!

Readers, I am now officially back! Back at posting (Patreon post about fishing coming fast!), back at editing (Colony is aiming at an October release, so time to get my work in gear), and back home (Ah, computer desk, how I have missed you). The trip home occurred almost without a single hitch … and that lone hitch was an inexplicable case of my luggage somehow teleporting on ahead of me and arriving a full twelve hours before I did (I suspect a secret shadow flight that my bag was placed on by mistake, perhaps serving Unusuals).Yes, everything is as it should be.

Well, except for one thing: No matter how I try to spin it, I still did lose roughly three weeks of editing time on Colony with this trip. Which is a little harsh. I could have had the second Alpha done by now. That’s a delay on my end, and a delay for you readers anxiously waiting on your end.

Now granted, I did make a nice paycheck while I was up there. But that doesn’t really give anything to you guys for waiting patiently over those few weeks. So I figure, why not mitigate that a little?

So boom, sale. Starting Monday, September 5th, my entire collection is going to be discounted. All of it. That’s right, even the new stuff. What can you expect?

Well, for starters, One Drink, my first book, will be completely free MondayOne Drink Cover, September 12th through Friday, September 9th (which is all the further Amazon will let me make it free). One Drink introduced readers to Jacob Rocke, the Unusuals Universe, and a strange case involving a vengeful, ghostly wolf. As my first-published, it’s not exactly the most impressive thing I’ve ever written by a long shot (it’s only got 4 stars on Amazon and Goodreads) … but it is a fun, quick read that gives a good idea of what’s to come, and like I said, it’s going to be free.

Of course, a free book is all well and good, but One Drink has been free before. If you’ve already read that one and are looking for a longer, more in-depth read, then I’ve got good news for you: The sequel, Dead Silver, is going to be half-off for this entire upcoming week. From Monday, September 5th to Monday, September 12th (again, Amazon limits how long I can have a book on sale) you’ll be able to pick up Dead Silver at 51% off. Yup, normally $5.99, Dead Silver is going to be $2.99.

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