10/04/2017 – 16/04/207

Hi, all.

This week I finished the paper edit of Malice and Madness and typed it up. I managed to add a further 3.5K words doing this, and there are still more edits to go. This is now resting as I start the paper edit of the fourth book in The Midgard Born Series.¬† I have done one day of this edit, and as it’s now a holiday weekend, I won’t be doing any more until Monday at the earliest, but more likely to be Tuesday.

Also, I decided to take all the Random short story books out of KDP Select and to take them wide to all retailers. This will happen gradually over May and June. At the moment, Random is on sale in the UK and US for £$0.99. The last day of the sale is Tuesday.

I finished reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I have another 4 books on the go at the moment (one a non-fiction). I hope to finish a couple of them next week.

That’s all for this week. See you next week.

03/04/2017 – 09/04/2017

First week back and I forget to write the post on the Sunday. Argh!

Anyway, what have I done this past week? Well, I continued with an on-screen edit of the fourth book in the Midgard Born Series, which I finished. It’s all printed out ready to do a hard copy edit. However, before that, I need to finish the hard copy edit of my second Hunter Vampire Chronicles short story. This is already half done. When I’ve done that I’ll type up the changes and get back to the other book. It’s a juggling game, as always.

Today, which isn’t really last week, but hey, this is my blog, was the launch of Metally Fatigued, the first of the short stories in The Hunter Vampire Chronicles. It’s Amazon exclusive, and in Kindle Unlimited, if you want to go and check it out.

Metally Fatigued Cover

Reading has been going better this week, but I haven’t finished another book yet. I hope to do that today, or tomorrow.

Hope to see you next week.

Short Story Blitz

I’ve got a bit out of short story mode in the last few weeks as I’ve been working on something longer, but I have decided that this week I am going to up my story count again. So, I plan to:

  • Work on a story for a particular anthology submission
  • Look through the reject pile for stories I can send out somewhere else – and send them
  • Think up some new short story ideas – and maybe write one or two

What are your plans for this week?

Competition vs Competitions

It’s about a year now since I last entered a proper writing competition¬† (ie, a recognised competition rather than one on someone’s blog or in a writing group). Why? Because, to a large extent, I feel like it’s money down the drain.

If you enter a competition that has a large entry (let’s face it, those are the only ones really worth entering), you could be competing against thousands of other entries and there are never more than three winners and a few highly commended entries – and not all of those will win a prize. However, it is becoming increasingly likely that one of the conditions of entry is that your story appears on a website or in an anthology (even for those who are only shortlisted). This may seem like a good idea if you’re trying to make a name for yourself, but I’m not sure that it is.

The first downside is that you cannot easily use that story anywhere else. You won’t be able to submit it to very many publications because they usually require ‘first’ rights and that means that you have no chance of making any money from it yourself unless you self-publish. Even then, you may be restricted as to how soon you can use the piece in your own publication.

And some competitions claim rights even if you don’t win! (Always read the Terms and Conditions carefully.)

So, what do I do instead?

I either write stories specifically for self-publishing or I send stories to paying magazines.

Sending stories to magazines is as much of a lottery as sending them to a competition, but there are a number of advantages:

  • You aren’t trying to second guess what they want. There are copies of the magazine you can buy to do your research;
  • The maximum cost of sending your story off is an envelope and a couple of stamps;
  • You will be paid if your story is accepted;
  • Magazines publish a lot more stories than competitions name as winners, so the odds are better;
  • If you don’t succeed at the first magazine, there’s nothing to stop you sending your story to another one.

In my eyes, there’s no competition.

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albh blog post

A series of short horror story anthologies
for those who like their horror served with a touch of humour.