18 March, 2023

E-Pub Love

I recently resolved to support non-Amazon bookstores with e-pub now my main digital book file. For the time being, while my Kindle still works, I'm able to forward my purchased books to Amazon for conversion into their proprietary format (whatevs, Amazon). Once my Kindle finally bites the dust, though, I'm not inclined to replace it anymore and will be going to Kobo for my e-reader (or even Barnes and Noble). 

The great thing about this is that I head straight to online stores that are -- GASP! SHOCK! -- dedicated bookstores. Smashwords and Kobo are now my go-to places for e-books though I still try to buy directly from small presses whenever my favorite authors release new stuff through them. Smashwords, especially, at least outside direct sales from publishers, offers indie writers the highest royalty rates, and I'm really, really hoping my auto-buy writers eventually offer their books there. 

At the moment, around 30% of my auto-buy writers use Smashwords for one of their storefronts. Majority distribute widely, and only one is semi-exclusive with Amazon. Charlie Cochrane, whose Cambridge Fellows mysteries is my cuppa and who's since expanded to other gay cozy mysteries, one series being released through Riptide Books, who distributes widely, and another Cambridge offshoot series sold exclusively through Amazon. 

I do think that romance writers tend to benefit more from exclusive Amazon releases given the KU program, which attracts romance readers who are also the most voracious readers around (go romance fans!). I noticed those M/M writers who write romance as more of a side story to their suspense plots or mysteries or whatnot prefer to distribute widely, for which I'm eternally grateful as I gravitate toward those books over pure romances (mysteries being my favorite literary genre alongside paranormal suspense). That allows me to support them outside Amazon and, additionally, support online stores dedicated solely to all things bookish.

15 March, 2023

A is for Ameinias

I guess it makes sense to kick off these weekly alphabet posts with a nod to Ameinias, who was the inspiration for the first Ghosts and Tea sequel that'll be out on June 1. 

In Greek mythology, Ameinias was a young man who fell in love with the beautiful Beotian hunter Narcissus, who had already spurned his male suitors, according to the version of Narcissus's myth by Conon (Narrations, 24) [1] ... Narcissus also spurned Ameinias and gave him a sword. The latter committed suicide at Narcissus's doorstep after being rejected by him. He had prayed to Nemesis to give Narcissus a lesson for all the pain he provoked. Narcissus walked by a pool of water and decided to drink some. He saw his reflection, became entranced by it, and killed himself because he could not have his object of desire, [2] or gazing endlessly at the image, he slowly pined away and was transformed by the nymphs into a narcissus flower. Others say he was instead filled with remorse and killed himself beside the pool—and from his dying life's blood the flower was born. [3] Wikipedia

The book in this case has its own take on the Narcissus - Ameinias connection, and it's not overtly stated. The important elements are all there, but the focus of the book is really about Freddy and the gang figuring out the ghosts' backstory and coming up with a plan (always a nutty one in the end) for helping them move on past the "veil-thing", as Prue calls it.

Narcissus is a favorite myth to mine for story ideas, and heaven knows I've sucked it dry by now. However! This book's been a fun one to write, and I do hope the nod to our tragic heartbroken lad comes through nicely. 

12 March, 2023

Talent and Endurance


April A - Z Blogging Challenge

So there's this fun, helpful challenge that's been going on for years now: the April A - Z Blogging Challenge. It's meant to help writers keep the creative wheels turning, but of course not everyone participates for that reason. I'm curious, I admit. I'd love to try it out but adjusted to my ability to keep up considering my time and energy limitations. 

I know I'll never get something posted each day (save for Sunday). If I do jump in and play in the sandbox, I'm looking at a much more widely spaced weekly schedule, which means my take on the challenge will last me the rest of the year. I'm doing this outside the group and am following my own rules, so no pressure, at least. 

As for the theme, I'm not even going to go there, but I'll be posting mostly random stuff -- anything to do with the books I wrote / am writing (inspiration, process, etc.) and a host of stuff that interests me on the whole. I think that'll be a good way of getting myself back into personal blogging and ensuring this site doesn't get neglected. 

I'll still be blogging in a vacuum and won't be sharing links elsewhere to my posts. I'm taking my online rehab seriously, and so far it's been a very good experience. But as far as the blogging challenge goes, even though I'm not going to constrain myself with rules, I'll make sure to at least follow a set schedule every week. I'm thinking of Wednesday for the post to go live. 

Also -- if you tried to access this site yesterday, my domain wasn't working properly since I was attempting to set up a single-page all-purpose site, which gave me too many problems to be worth it. My poor domain got dragged from Blogger to the site and back, and it took time for everything* to settle down and work properly again. 

Lesson learned. I'm not moving from here.

* Clearly I'm no techie since I know nothing about the workings of domain names, transfers, security certificates, what have you. I'd refer to them as domain thingies, but I'm already embarrassing myself by using "everything" in reference to all the tech wizardry that goes on behind the scenes.

10 March, 2023

Fare Thee Well, Tumblr

End of a very brief era, it looks like. I deleted my Tumblr account because I don't need another space for long posts anymore. My Mastodon instance just increased their character count from 500 to 1,500, effectively making that decision for me. I held on to Tumblr in the event they finally join the fediverse, and from there I can decide which platform to use for my online socializing and so on. Had my Mastodon instance kept the 500 character limit, I'd still be sticking around Tumblr and making that choice when the time came. But they didn't, and it's a bittersweet moment for me -- I know, what a weirdo, getting all mawkish over a social media platform. 

thanks for the great memories and amazing company

I've been on and off Tumblr for around three years now, and it's been a fun and crazy ride. I love the creativity over there. The clever jokes and posts, the deadpan humor that comes at you at a hundred miles an hour, and the images. Whether art, photography, or even AI-generated, that place is a treasure trove of intelligent, unique talent (visual, written, and other things).

This space (Blogger) will be around for a good long while, whether it goes private for a time or stays public -- depending on my plans for it. Mastodon's a godsend for someone like me, but it's not infinite, and we've already had a couple of large instances shut down for different reasons. My instance (sunny.garden) by far feels very safe, and I made sure to donate to the admin since it's their time and money that's keeping the place available for anyone who wants to be a part of it. 

But in the event something were to happen to the instance, I either jump ship to a different one, or I simply withdraw from the platform altogether and just stick around here, which is a space I have a hell of a lot more control over. That's the plan, anyway, and since Blogger's a longform-friendly platform, there's still no need for me to open up a new Tumblr account. And should I find myself down to just one place online, I'll adapt as well as I can and simply focus on writing and publishing -- as one should, really, if they're serious about improving themselves, which is a never-ending process.

But that's thinking far too much about things that might not even happen at all, so it's best to take it one day at a time. Hell, that's the overriding lesson that got branded into my brain when COVID-19 first bulldozed its way into collective consciousness, and the world stood still. I shouldn't think too far into the future. Far enough, at most, but no more than that.  

So, anyway -- many, many thanks to everyone who made me feel welcome at Tumblr. Rest assured, I'm following your accounts through Blogger's reading list feature, and I'll keep in touch. And when the day finally comes, I'll see everyone again in the fediverse, and I'll follow you once more.