Cinema is a church

I’m not religious. Maybe because I never had any faith I could tie myself to. Maybe because organized religion has hurt too many souls for me to feel anything but apathy towards it. Still, every once and a while when I’m seeking something, I go to the movies.

The cinema. The multiplex. Whatever you want to call it.

I sit in those plush, leather chairs. Or velvet depending on which theater you are in. In total darkness. Sometimes with a friend, mostly by myself these days. And I watch the images dance across the screen. Light and sound moving together, capturing something that never was and never will be again. Introducing me to people and places that have never existed.

Delighting me, thrilling me, saddening me.

I experience the whole spectrum of human emotions in the span of two hours. For two hours, I feel something that I’ve never felt in any kind of church or temple. The feeling of, “Oh, there’s something bigger out there. And someone understands.”

But maybe I’m just sentimental. I am Californian after all. We make movies there. I think it’s in my blood to love them. Anything else would be blasphemy.

Making Print Book Covers

Making a Print Book Cover is a little different than making an EBook Cover. With an EBook cover, all you have to worry about is getting the dimensions right for the platform that you are selling on. With a Print Book Cover you have to make sure that you have the following things:

  1. The Spine
  2. A back cover, complete with space for the author’s summary.
  3. Space for a barcode.
  4. Make sure that the pages are cropped right.

Mostly, I have been making EBook covers. But just recently, I designed my first cover for Print Books and I was actually pretty happy with how it came out.

Writing on Wattpad

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but I’ve had a lot going on. I have still been working on my free wattpad novel, Finding Serenity. I think a lot of people jump onto a platform without really understanding it and just start posting. When you do that though, it’s really hard to get success.

As I’ve been writing on there, I’ve also been reading which I think you really have to do to understand what’s popular and what’s not. I’ve seen successful sci-fi and fantasy stories on there. But the ones that do really, really, well are usually romance.

Contemporary romance especially. As of 2015, the most popular novel on there was called Chasing Red and it has 260 million reads. It’s a sports romance written by Isabelle Ronin. Ronin’s work was so popular it got published traditionally and she is part of the Wattpad Stars program so she gets paid for her work whenever it is part of the website.

Wattpad stars has a submission process, and you’ve got to have a certain number of reads and followers to participate. Which means you’d have to be consistent in posting and very active on the website in order to get that kind of activity.

I’ve been actively writing on the website for less than a year, and only have 42 followers but I imagine it depends on the genre that you are writing too.

I think the reason romance is so popular has to do with tags and searching. It’s really easy to search for something like ‘enemies to lovers’ or ‘friends to lovers’ in the search tags. It is a lot harder to search for like ‘aliens take over the planet’ or something.

And while I don’t want to discourage anyone from using the website to post their writing, that is something to keep in mind. Romance writers will definitely find their niche here. Especially if you are writing contemporary romance or YA romance.

That said, it has been encouraging even to get something as simple as a like on my writing. The wattpad audience is a lot more interactive than the Kindle Vella audience because they’ve been on the writing platform longer and it is a social platform, not just an e-commerce store which is basically all kindle vella is.

While I do wish Wattpad would make their paying program for writers a bit more accessible, it is nice that there is a community for writers online to post fiction. There just needs to be more of them.

Writing on Wattpad

I have mixed feelings about wattpad.

One, I feel it’s oversaturated by fanfic and kind of hard to make a name for yourself as a writer on there.

Two, despite being a platform for writers it took forever for them to offer a monetization process for them. And they still treat it by the old industry standards.

Three, there’s this misconception that if you write online instead of publishing fiction you aren’t a real author. Which is so far from the truth. But if you, like me, grew up just as technology was on the rise and the print medium was still popular, it’s sometimes a hard thing to get over.

I’ve never really seriously published something on there. I’ve put things up and then taken it down. But recently, I’ve decided to try publishing a contemporary romance there which is big on the platform. It’s called Finding Serenity.

I’m doing this because I read about an author that managed to monetize her writing by writing a free novel, and then publishing the rest through Patreon or kindle. She makes a full-time income doing this. I want to try to see if I can achieve the same results.

I’m all about serial publishing and publishing alternatives. And I feel like this a good experiment. So, if you want to follow along, I am windermerepoets13 on wattpad.

Also going to be talking about my experience on here.

I hit 70 k on the magic school novel!

If you don’t know, I have stopped doing Kindle Vella because the concept I was working on with that novel was too similar to another idea I had. It is one that I like better, and one that I want to take the chance on and submit for traditional publishing. Meaning, I am going to try to submit to an agent and hopefully from there a publisher. Rather than publish my work serially either through Dreame the app that I write for or with Kindle Vella I am going to be doing this the regular way. So I am writing the whole novel out before putting it up anywhere and I am SUPER excited about how it is coming along. And I hope all goes well and I will find a way to get it out in the world.

Hitting 60 k on the magic school novel

I hit 60 k on what I’m calling The Magic School Novel. This is the novel that I am planning on submitting to agents and publishers once it is finished. I am pleasantly pleased with this because I normally write serially. This means I basically post my novel daily and write as I go.

I started doing this because I was frustrated with the publishing process. It’s LONG. First, you’ve got to get an agent. Then, the agent has to find an editor for you. Then you’ve got to go through edits. And then, finally, your book gets published.

When I found Dreame in 2018, it seemed like a simple enough way to get published. And it does take a lot less time to get published with them than anywhere else because it is serial fiction.

However, there are limitations in writing serially. It’s a lot harder to get an audience this way as it is based on all of your work. And not, say, a publisher’s connections with a publicity team. Or your agents helping you spread the word about your book.

I was so burnt out on hearing NO time and time again for things I thought were brilliant stories that serial fiction just seemed like a good option. But I realized to do the things I want to do as an author, like have a wide reach, I’m probably going to need an agent for that.

So, I am going to try traditional publishing again. This time with what I’m simply calling The Magic School Novel. And I haven’t written for traditional publishing in such a long time. You know, where you write out the full thing, and then edit, and edit again, and again and then send it out HOPING someone notices enough to sign it.

60 k is the furthest I’ve gotten on a project I’ve considered for traditional publication. I’m super excited about this. The concept is something I’ve been working on since 2018. I’ve got a good feeling about it. I can’t explain it.

I hit 40k on the new novel

So, last year in December and November I went through a lot of changes. I quit doing the Kindle Vella thing because I was so disappointed with the results. I also decided that I was going to focus on traditional publishing again after meeting with an editor and pitching an idea that I’ve been working on since 2018.

I’ve focused on writing this novel instead of any other projects aside from my Dreame fiction which is the only place I’m making money right now with my writing. This is the first time in a long time I’ve been attached to an idea long enough to write it the traditional way. You know, write, and then edit, and then submit a million times to try and get it published.

I’m not going to say much about it except that it is fantasy and involves a magic school.

I decided to focus on traditional publishing because I realized I don’t think I’ll be able to get to where I want by self-publishing. I don’t have a wide enough audience. Plus, this time will be different. I’m not a 20 something without a single published book to her name. I’ve got thirteen books published.

I’m convinced that this time it is going to be different. I know a lot more about writing and I’m excited to see where this is going to go. So, I’m going to be updating you on my progress and hopefully, you’ll follow along. Let’s see if I can get traditionally published shall we?

I hit 40 k or 40,000 words on this project and I am super excited. It’s something I have always wanted to write but was hesitant to do because I didn’t want it to be like the million magic school books that are already out there. But I think I’ve finally found a way to make this one mine. And I can’t wait to finish it and find a way to get it out in the world.

New Year

So I had some stuff that kind of threw me for a loop involving my job and that is why I haven’t really been posting. But here is the good news—-I’ve got 39 k of the magic school novel I am writing. I’m currently taking a digital marketing course on hubspot and learning some new skills. I am free of a place that drove me crazy and have the chance to go find something new.

Yeah, things are going to be difficult but I firmly believe something good is going to come my way. Things are going to change. And I’m writing this post to remind me of that. Also, if you want to support me right now—The Wolves of Glacier Falls—-is completely free on Dreame and if I get 500 followers on there I can apply for the pay to read program. I’m super close at 170!

Kindle Vella Week 17

Goals for the month:

  1. Get The Anointed up to 100 k, so I’ve got a few chapters ahead.
  2. Work on The Wolves of Glacier Falls, get that finished for Dreame.
  3. Start working on The Magic School novel.
  4. Work on UX design class again to finish up certification for writing app I want to create.

Okay, so maybe if I pick some goals I’ll be able to say motivated. It is so easy to become a hermit in Montana the instant fall and winter hit. It is colder, and darker. And for me, who grew up in California always surrounded by vitamin D and going to a place where half the year the sun is gone, its also SEASONAL DEPRESSION TIME. Or, as I like to call it, my yearly sadness. Not to make light of it at all but you’ve got to have a little humor about it right?

But this year I am going to try to stay on top of things and get back into the swing of things with updating. Re-read my story, and try to figure out what will happen going forward.

I also want to pick something specifically for Kindle Vella to write and I’ve thought a lot about how to make that platform work for me. I think a mystery might be what I write next for it because that is an easy way to hook people. Or maybe I’ll do a contemporary romance. Who knows? But I’ve decided that the type of project might factor into how well a serial novel does. Things were people have to remember a lot of facts might not do so well, whereas simple beach read type fiction is probably going to get a lot more reads because people can pick up where they left off.

I might be wrong about that, but it is something I’ve thought about a lot lately.