Writing in 2021 – Week 2 Update

Two weeks have already gone by in January. So, what have I done?! Let me tell you!!!!

First the ‘Meh…” My goal is to hit 10k words of writing a day. I am not there. Right now I’m averaging 3,227 words a day for the year. Which isn’t bad… my worst day this week was only 461 words, and my best was 4,403 words.

What’s holding me back? Editing, cover design, and publishing. That’s not really a big deal, then, because if anything’s killing my word count, it should be releasing books.

Which brings me to this week’s positives. I released three books this week. One was my new horror novel, The Devils of Dedlan Peak. Working on this book gave me the low word counts as I spent some time revising and designing. I also released one book under another pen name and a 3-book bundle for that same author.

So, not a bad week. Not the words I was looking for, but I’m not disappointed over all.

NEW RELEASE: The Devils of Dedlan Peak

Buy on Amazon

There’s something haunting the wilderness of Dedlan Peak. It preys upon anyone entering its territory, leaving a trail of torn-up bodies in its wake.

It’s supposed to be a camping trip for four friends. It’s also supposed to be a reunion between two estranged brothers.

Rob Silva hasn’t seen his brother in five years. He expects Kenny to have changed. He didn’t expect him to be a stranger. Though it looks like Kenny has done well for himself, he won’t talk about where he’s been. And he’s furious Rob’s brought friends.

A camping trip becomes a fight for survival. Can the five discover the truth about their stalker in time?

2021 Week 1 Update

Last week I set a goal of writing an average of 10k words a day. I haven’t achieved that… yet. But I did all right. Here’s what I accomplished:

  • I completed two different books. One was under a pen name, and finished around 20k words (and already published). The other is a new horror novel as myself (i.e. G.S. Wright). Final revisions are happening this weekend, along with my proofreaders doing their thing, and it should be out on Amazon first thing next week, coming in around 30k words. You’ll see the update here when it goes live.
  • Even though I didn’t publish a G.S. Wright book this week, I’m at least off to a good start with the plan of completing one a week.
  • I averaged writing 4,195 words a day, which is incredible for me. My worst day was January 1st, with 1,813, and my best was the 6th, with 7,480 words. I would have hit 10k that day, but I checked the news and got swept up in watching the coverage of the riots in D.C. Overall, a very good week for writing, and well in line with the quantity of many of the past pulp fiction writers, to which I seek to aspire. 🙂
  • Total words for week 1: 29,367.
  • Oh yeah! I almost forgot… I FINALLY got around to releasing the paperback of my last novel, Crawl, which I wrote TWO YEARS AGO! That is how far I’ve set my writing back…2 freakin’ years. Anyway, I’ll post a photo of it when I get my copies.

Goals for week 2:

  • Write and publish 2 pen name books.
  • Write and publish 1 G.S. Wright book (other than the one already written from last week)
  • Steadily increase my average word count above the 4k from the previous week, with days of hitting 10k.

I’m not ready to set any real challenges for myself yet, other than the goals listed above. Right now I’m seeing where my writing takes me, and I am going to change what I wish to write each week until I get a feel more for where I want my writing career to go.

2021 Resolutions

Here we are again, me making resolutions for a new year off writing. But first…

Last year was one of the worst years for my writing. In November, I decided to make a change, and starting as of last week, I’m all in.

In the past, I’ve always set word count goals of 1 million words for the year. I’ve hit a quarter of a million I think maybe twice? Maybe…

Anyway, I’m going big this year… 3 million.

Part two of this resolution is to write every day. I need to hit an average of 10k words a day to reach 3 million.

The third part of this goal is weekly books. That might be the craziest part.

Also I’m dividing my time between two pen names. Of course the only part this blog will focus on is the G.S. Wright books.

Anyway, follow me on Instagram or my Facebook page (and maybe Twitter) to watch how my year goes. Or here. It’s all good. I’ll try to keep this site updated frequently.

Maybe in the next day or two I’ll set down some more concrete challenges, particularly on a monthly scale.

Until then, I wish you a Happy New Year. 😁

Horror Novel Freebies and Sales

It’s Halloween Month!!!

To keep you immersed in all the horror you can read, I’ve got a bunch of freebies and sales going on, all month long, on my titles.

FREEBIES

Starting Halloween month off, here’s a steady stream of vampires!

On October 1st (today!!!), you can read the Spilling Blood serial novels for free!!!! Episode 1 is available today through the 5th, Episode 2 will be available on the 3rd, and so on. You can grab a new episode every other day all month long! (episodes 13 and 14 will both be available on October 25th).

Also! If you would like to read the Spilling Blood series as complete novels and not as a serial, Book 1 (Spilling Blood Season I) will be available for free on October 17th through the 21st.

SALES

On October 1st through October 7th, enjoy bringing your friends back from the dead when you grab my novel The Unresting for $0.99.

October 9th through October 15th, get trapped underground with something that wants to eat you. Grab the complete trilogy of the horror series Crawl for $0.99.

If you want the complete serials of the vampire series Spilling Blood in Novel form, as mentioned above, you can grab Season I for free on October 17 through the 21st. But! Books II and III will both be on sale for $0.99 October 17th through the 23rd.

Finally, enjoy a completely different take on the zombie apocalypse with Died for You, $0.99 on October 25th through the 31st.

Writing Update Sept 25, ’20

I don’t do these updates nearly enough anymore. I used to do them on Mondays, but I’m gonna move them to Fridays.

Sharkbait

This week, I uploaded updated files for my novel Sharkbait on Amazon. This update fixes a bunch of errors that slipped past the initial editing and proofreading phase. this current version is 1.1.

I believe you can redownload or update the ebook on your kindle ebook device.

All future paperback purchases should be version 1.1 also.

Crawl

I am also nearly done with the paperback edition of Crawl. I wrote this book last Spring – not 2020 Spring, but 2019 Spring – and am just now getting around to getting it in paperback. I have been so distanced this year from my writing that I seriously forgot. Hopefully that’s changing.

Friday Update – 8/28/20

I’ve been sort of bashing my life back into order, like with a brick, before it has a chance to fall apart again. I’ve returned to writing, in various forms, both story and song. I’m not sure when I’m going to have anything to show for either of them, but their moving.

I am also getting Sharkbait ready for its version 1.1 release. This is just cleaning up a few editing and layout stuff, then both the ebook and the paperback will be updated.

I will also be getting the Crawl Paperback completed (finally) after Sharkbait.

I have sort of gone back to working on Hungry Gods 3, though it doesn’t have my full attention at the moment.

I’m also considering starting a Youtube Channel shortly. I’ve been enjoying the solo gaming videos, and am thinking about launching my own version. If this happens, it will be later. Still, I’m considering it.

Regardless, it may not be too long before I actually release something, so I hope to see you again soon, but with purpose. 🙂

Writer’s Life Milestone

Last night was one of the highlights of my writing career – I had the honor of being chosen to give the commencement speech for Wakapa Academy’s graduating class of 2019.

If you would have asked me, when I had graduated clear back in ’91, if I would ever be able to stand in front of a full auditorium of students, faculty, and their friends and family… the truth is… I wouldn’t have been able to picture it.

It was their special night, not mine. Yet to be chosen as the guest speaker will be one of the top milestones of this #writerslife.

Originally, the English department chose 3 of my books, Broken Things, Soul Sister, and Sharkbait – one for each grade level – to read for their third quarter. This was followed up with a meeting with the school board sharing the student’s work, an end of quarter parent-student meeting to show off their work, and a morning for me to spend with the students.

Being the local author, I was able to go in and spend a few hours with the class, answering their questions, discussing the books, and discussing life in general.

There is a wonderful intimacy to these events, one in which the students can share common themes from their own lives. There is a level of unexpected sharing, of connecting with the students and their own life events that as a writer you cannot fully expect, and it creates a candid moment when an author can see his writing through someone else’s eyes.

I also got to see the creativity and artistic talents of these students based around the books. There are some gifted artists, poets, and storytellers coming out of Buhl, Idaho. Watch out, world.

So there is a certain honesty and vulnerability that pays for a writer to put into his writing. Maybe not all the time, but we as human beings should seek to connnect with our audience, at least from time to time, to say, “Hey, I feel the same as you, I’ve been there. We’re not alone.” And to do this without preaching. Because at the heart of our art, it is our honesty and vulnerability that resonates with the audience. Not judging. Not preaching. Just sharing.

My first experience with a school was several years ago, at the Magic Valley High School. They had chosen Broken Things for a One Book, One School program, which means that every student and faculty member read the same book in the school over a period of a few weeks. It was a similar event, where I got to go in and spend the day with the students. To this day, going into stores, or just walking in one of the small towns of Southern Idaho, I still occassionally have those past students come up to me to talk.

It is humbling.

When I was asked to be the guest speaker for Wakapa Academy, the English teacher said that the graduating class voted who for who they wanted, and that my name was on every slip of paper.

It is terrifying to get up in front of a full auditorium for the first time. It is just as frightening to live up to the trust and expectation of those who put you there.

I’m not what you would expect at an event like this. I look like a middle-aged dreadhead hippie. I’m sure I raised a few eyebrows. And yet that moment of taking the stage, fear gives way to taking action, to the prepared words that are for the graduating students. To hopefully live up to their expectations on their day. To live up to expectations from a very flattering introduction.

This graduating class is right up there as a highlight of my life as though one of my own children had been a part of it – certainly better than my own graduation. And it is difficult to share this experience, as the last thing I want to come off as is prideful and/or narcissitic. Yet it deserves to be shared, because the experience means a lot to me. I would expect most writers do not expect to have their books necessarily well-received, especially when you think of the challenge of connecting with High School students. Of students being told they have to read your books.

So to the Wakapa Academy graduating class of 2019, congratulations, and thank you for letting me share (and steal) some of your time.

(And a special thank you to the amazing teacher and principal who made this opportunity possible! ❤ )

How to Make $1 a Month Selling Your Books

That’s not a typo. Yes, just $1.

On Jeff Goin’s website there’s a blog post about how the average writer makes less than a $1 a month. Since there are so many blog posts out there dedicated to making much more than that, this blog post is for those who only want to break that one dollar glass ceiling.

First off, are you writing? If you’re making anything at all, obviously something’s out there. If you’re not actually in the process of writing, you’re best probably calling yourself an author. It has all the hype of telling people that you’re a writer, but is probably more honest.

Do you have more than one book? Because multiple books really helps. Each new book should get you at least a couple sales. Maybe even three! And if you are using bargain basement pricing, you’re going to need all of them to get that dollar.

Are you self-publishing? If so, that gives you more tools than the trad publisher, and more of the royalty goes in your pockets. TBH, if you are making less than a dollar month through a traditional publisher, there’s a problem with the relationship.

Btw… I’m not going into marketing here. That cuts into that $1 goal.

So before we start, you need at least one book, and hopefully indie published. $1 a month, here we come!

Kindle Unlimited

Oaky, so putting all of your eggs in one basket has always been lousy advice. But if you aren’t making that $1 a month, there’s no reason not to. Nobody’s looking for your eggs, apparently, wherever they’re shopping. You want to make a dollar a month? Go exclusive with KDP Select and get your book(s) in Kindle Unlimited.

Why? Because of page reads. Let’s say Amazon pays you an average of .0045 cents a page reads. Each page is roughly the equivalent of 250 words. A 10k book is about 40 pages, which is worth .18 a read by a single person. If you’re writing this short, you need an audience of 6 people to get that dollar.

But you probably have your NaNoWriMo book up, at least, right? And that’s a nice size book sitting at 50k words! That’s .90 cents, right there! You only need one reader and a second somebody to read the first few chapters to get your dollar! Woohoo! Per month! Now you’re living, right?

Exclusivity gives you two other tools. One is Free Days! You’re an artist. You shouldn’t have to give your art away for free. You should expect people to pay you for your work. However! Free is still a good draw, and though most people will take your free book and run, you might get a few readers who’ll read it through Kindle Unlimited. Also, occasionally a free book run sparks interest and gets you some sales afterward. Also, if this is book 1 in a series, if people actually like what they read, they’ll read the rest of your series afterward. You can go free every three months.

Instead of going free, you can do a Kindle Countdown Deal and mark your book down to $0.99. This gets you $.70 per sale, so all you need is to direct two people and you’re good.

Anyhoo…

Paperbacks

I have to throw this one out there. You’ve got a book, make it a paperback, charge $12 for it. Why twelve? Because your goal is to sell one copy (maybe two, since you had to pay for shipping, right?). Take that book to a library! Use your sexy writing charisma (or hutzpah!!!) to sell that book. Librarians are awesome. If you have a decent relationship with them, they’ll likely buy your book. At $12? You’re done for the year! There’s your dollar a month! Sometimes parents and friends can also be this sale, but we’re not shooting for the moon here, any one sale will do. That was almost too easy, right?

Covers and Blurbs

Are people ignoring your ebook? Have you compared your cover to those in the top 20 of your chosen genre? If you want to run with the cool kids you probably need to start by trying to dress (cover) and act (blurb) like them. While this doesn’t necessarily become a sale, it might!!!

Writing

The more you have out there, the more likely you’ll sell a book. Any book. It doesn’t matter what they are, or even if you have crappy covers and blurbs. You very well might sell that book! Which brings me to…

Pricing

Price your book at $2.99 or higher. This price point, through Amazon, gets you the 70% royalty. Anything less? 30%. If you’re desperate and sell you book at the $.99 price point you need to sell three books. At $2.99? Only one.

In Conclusion…

Beat the average! Make a dollar per month! It’s possible! Maybe in the future I’ll talk about doubling this… or more!!! And don’t worry, if you are keen on keeping up the image of the starving artists, the above plan won’t derail your life. You wrote that book out of love anyway, right? Not fame and fortune. The masses will discover your book after your dead, surely, and then everyone will appreciate your greatness. Until then? Get that dollar! Get going and sell that book!

A Day in the Life of a Writer….

The day starts at 6:00 am. The alarms actually began at 4 am, and there are many of them, but they were all ignored. 6 am wins, because that’s when the rest of the family needs coffee, and though they could make it themselves, there’s a sense of disappointment, a let down, because at 6 am, I have that one job…

At this point, there is NO point to writing until the kids are off to school. This is actually ironic, because if I could have gotten up at 4 am, I would have had two solid hours of writing actually completed. Maybe even this blog post. I really don’t know, because I was unconscious.

Is everyone out of the house? Great! NOW the day officially begins. BUT NOT WITH WRITING!!! <- Caps for emphasis. It’s Yoga time, babee!!! All writer’s do yoga, right? I guess I’ve never asked other writers, but I’m going to assume so. I used to hit the gym… a couple times a week. People are impressed by writers who lift, because frankly they expect you to die any day of a heart attack from sitting at a desk all day eating donuts. Statistically… yeah its true. We’re ticking time bombs of death. My gym is currently torn apart and split between two houses, so yoga it is. Yoga is great, because it’s also a form of meditation, gets the brain ready for all that output I’ve got planned. Bonus: You can say you exercised.

Almost ready to write… but not quite. It’s a writing day, not an editing one, so it’s time to get my Hemingway on. That means “Write Drunk”. I am sure the great writers of the past had their reasons for creating this rule. I won’t argue.

Am I drunk yet? I’ve never been a good judge. But let’s say I am. That means it’s time to write!!! Ideally, this becomes a storm of thouands of words pouring from the brain onto the screen, hour after hour, as I create nothing less than another literary masterpiece.

Unideally (IT”S A WORD, DAMMIT!!!) but still okay, maybe I end up with an updated list of great book ideas that I’ll someday write. At the very least maybe I cleaned off my desk or threw the frisbee for the dog.

After all the writing is done, after the books are published, after the liquor runs dry, it’s time for becoming the bohemian socialite. There are options here, of course. I could do a book reading! This involves walking up to random people on the street and following them through stores reading passages from your favorite work until the kind store clerk politely asks you to leave. (Hint: Security is less friendly). I am 99% sure this leads to book sales, and I would encourage all writers NOT to skip this step.

I might also drink with celebrities, late into the night. This is a neat option, that will more than likely get my books turned into scripts and finally movies. You would be surprised how many celebrities hang out in a town like Buhl, Idaho. You might think the quantity rhymes with ‘Hero’. And (shrug), maybe it does. But remember, alcohol is a factor. And maybe that guy on the bar stool is a second cousin of some director guy.

Is it late into the night yet? This is where a guy starts ignoring those 4 am alarms. And this is important… learn to judge who wants to hear about your writing, and who is just humoring you so they can lure you to a cheap hotel with promises of buying a signed copy of your book when they actually just want to cut out a kidney and sell it on the black market. Fortunately, you can only mke that mistake twice, then the joke’s on them. HA!!!

Yes, the lifestyle of a writer is glamorous. And this was just a glimpse of ONE DAY! And remember… every scar tells a story.