Monthly Archives: December 2013

Looking Back on 2013

What. An. Adventure.

I couldn’t find a better way to word it. Trust me, if there was, I would have, I’m an author after all 😉

Anyways, let me explain what I mean by that. This year I have had some pretty significant developments happen. At the beginning of 2013 I said that I would publish my first book by the end of the year. And, well, that’s happened! What has made me even more excited is that people are liking it and giving it good reviews. I couldn’t have asked for anything more (well, I suppose #1 New York Times Bestseller would have been up there too). But, this is a start, and for the people who don’t know how book popularity works, it is a slow process. There isn’t ever overnight success for a book (especially the first one in a series). I knew I wasn’t going to make money on the first book, but where you start to make money is the other books in the series cause that first one is all about establishing a fan base. Hopefully that fan base continues to expand. You can never have too many fans. 🙂

Next, I have tried the job market. Seriously I have. For those you reading this who don’t know much about me, well I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin in Creative Writing and Advertising (double major). I graduated Magna Cum Laude. Now, I’m not saying that to be a braggart, I’m saying that to tell you how real the struggle of the economy is right now. It is tough out there to find a job! All of the jobs I found were commission only sales jobs which, maybe at one point in my life, wouldn’t be that bad, but with my goal of publishing my book I needed for sure money.

And, then, do to pressures of not finding a job and the devolution of our relationship over the past years, me and my Fiance broke up. We were in a relationship for seven years, and I don’t regret any of it, but it was definitely hard on me especially when I decided to do it in the midst of my whole publishing adventure. We still try to maintain contact, but I believe in serendipity quite a bit. If it’s meant to be, it’ll work its way out in some form or another.

Anyways, it was in the midst of this soul searching and job hunting that I finally realized what I wanted to do with my life–become a teacher! Now, I wish I could just stay at home and write all day, that would be fantastic but I have a long way to go before I can make that a reality. So, I started thinking to myself (in the midst of all this) what is my personality suited for? What kind of career is suited to match the needs of both things, my hobby of writing and my need of money to continue my hobby? How can I become just a better individual? Well, I chose on the path of a teacher and am now going back to school to University of Wisconsin – Whitewater in the spring in order to pursue a teaching degree. I would like to be a High School English Teacher. This way I can inspire people to write, I can get summers off myself to write (and, in Wisconsin, the occasional cold day and snow day!)

I think, for me anyways, that coming out of college I will have a greater marketability about me. How many people do you know have published a novel by age 23? Not. Too. Many. So, I really hope that stands out, on top of the fact that the second one is in the works too. But, to make sure I increase my chances of landing a job (because I really don’t want to not have a job, it sucks. And, I’m broke) I want to join a few organizations. Sigma Tau Delta (English honor society) and I am actually attending a convention in late February to give a roundtable panel presentation on how to market your work effectively. Secondly, I want to join Boys and Girls Club or Big Brothers Big Sisters because it would show that I can work with kids, which always looks good on a resume.

Wherever my life decides to take me in 2014, I am ready for it. The struggles I have faced this year, have made me so strong and I am confident in what is in store for me come 2014. Stay tuned for a post soon that discusses what i plan on doing in 2014.

Supporting an Author

Hey everyone,

It is Christmas time. That means a bunch of things. It means, if you’re in college, you are on Winter Break currently and just got done with finals. (Congratulations I hope it went well for you). At any age it means celebrating time off with the family. In Wisconsin and the Midwest it means severe cold. Like, literally severe cold. Anyways, there is also one more thing it means that has been bred into us through years upon years of traditions. It means presents, family time, and a family dinner.

And, well, what better present than a gift from an author you know?! I have been in the process of getting my book up on Amazon, and guess what IT IS FINALLY THERE!!! Here is the link for that: http://www.amazon.com/The-Trials-Core-Michael-Thies/dp/0989566803/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387576205&sr=8-1&keywords=the+trials+of+the+core+michael+e+thies

 

I was pretty excited about this. But, I also bought 1000 copies of my book in order to sell throughout the new year. And here is the thing I want to express with you, us authors are broke people, very broke, so every dime of support means something to me. If you are someone who wants a book for free because you know me, I’m sorry, that hurts me even more. This is a little bit of a rant, but imagine working on something for 6 years and putting countless of hours and money into it and people want to have it for free, when it’s only $15? That’s like 2.5 dollars per year that I’m earning (not per hour or day or month). I would consider that not the greatest of pay rates. Probably the worst out there.

Anyways, with these 1000 books I now need to compete with selling them through my website, www.guardianofthecore.com and with Amazon. Amazon, I found out, is offering my book for $11.03 with Free shipping if you’re an Amazon Prime member. This is much cheaper than my 14.95 + flat fee of 6.90 for shipping. So, why should you visit my website and purchase books instead of going through Amazon? One word: Support.

And, now that I have these 1000 books, I need to start making some headway in selling them. So, here is what I am doing for the holiday season and beyond. I am selling my book for $12.50. No, that doesn’t beat Amazon prices at all. I am sorry, I will never beat Amazon prices, but I hope that if you are true supporters of me and the work and effort I have put into something for 6 years that the extra 5 dollars that you’ll spend on my book, purchasing it through the website, will not break your bank. Also, here’s another great thing that purchasing it through the website offers you and that Amazon cannot. A signature! That’s right, any book that gets ordered through my website (or directly through me if you come into contact with me via everyday life) will receive an autographed copy of the book. HOW AWESOME! If that something isn’t enough, you even get cool little “Guardian of the Core” bookmarks.

I don’t mean to call anyone out or make people feel uncomfortable lol but if there is one thing that annoys me more than other things, it’s asking for a free copy of my book. It’s not like I ask you for a free “insert service here”. Anyways, I’m not saying “BUY MY BOOK! IT’S SO AWESOME!” but, what I’m saying, is that if you do ever plan on purchasing it in your life, please order through my website to help support me more as an author than what Amazon would support me (since they take a % of my profit). And, if you don’t plan on purchasing my book, which is cool, reading isn’t up everyone’s alley, you can still support me by telling people who do read and that you know about my book. They are probably going to be bored over winter break so tell them about my book! It’d mean a lot to me. If they ask you for reviews you can show them this website: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18242825-the-trials-of-the-core

With all the said, thank you for reading. I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my rantish topic but I hope you all understand the position I am in as an author. It’s not like I get paid an hourly rate to do what I do. I hope you all have a happy holidays and if you purchase one for yourself, or your friend, I hope you enjoy it!

An International Review

Hey everyone,

So, more good news. Another review came in this one was from a, Nadia Batista, who lives in Portugal and has read my book. She gave it a ★★★★ 4 Star review on Goodreads. That is awesome on so many different levels. Hopefully it starts picking up some international steam now. That would be fantastic. There is a bunch of things that need to happen before that happens, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

With that being said, here is the link to the actual blog post. http://eu-e-o-bam.blogspot.pt/2013/12/li-ate-pag100-36.html  What I post below is the rough translation of what is posted in the blog post. Keep in mind that I do not speak Portuguese nor does my mom. She was a Spanish teacher for 35+ years and there are similarities between Spanish and Portuguese so that is why I say this is a rough translation. Where she got stumped, we went to Google Translation.

 

1st part – First sentence on Page 100:

-> “If water is blue, why must this one be red?”

2nd part – What does the book deal with:

-> Trials of the Core tells a story of six youngsters who compete amongst one another in order to become Guardian of the Core.

3rd part –   What have I found until now?:

-> You are going to enjoy the book more than one expects. In spite of that at times it reminds me of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, this is going to be quite agreeable literature.

4th part – What does the protagonist find?:

-> There is no protagonist in this story. Amongst the six competitors the story is told, not favoring one more than another. Now, how much to like all the characters…that is another story.

5th part – ??? No idea. Couldn’t understand this.

6th part – Are you going to continue reading?

-> Of course.

7th Part – The last sentence of the page:

-> “Everyone else had to travel by foot – but time was no issue for him now.”

 

I was very excited for this review. As a first-time author, not really knowing what to expect going into this whole process, I find it really really interesting that people from other countries are enjoying my books. That makes me feel good on a whole different level. Again, I think a big reason for this is because this book deals with the issue of self-realization which is an issue that is global, and not just in an isolated pocket.

Spread the word about, The Trials of the Core, to your friends. Also, don’t be afraid to check out the website at www.guardianofthecore.com.

Thanks for reading!

A Delayed December Launch :(

Hey everyone,

Alright so this is the saddest thing in the world to announce (at least for me) but I have been promoting my official book launch for December 10th, for forever now it seems. And alas, I do not believe it is going to happen (unless a miracle happens). In truth, I am not sure when it is going to happen anymore. How did this fiasco happen? Well, that, my friends and followers, is what I’m going to explain because I was quite distraught when I read the news.

So, with self publishing, we publishers have a few options to go with to let our books have the chance to be distributed nation-wide. Those options are CreateSpace (CS) or LightningSource (LS). There are probably others, too, but these two are the main players. Anyways, I went with LS because they offer a return policy, unlike CS, which is very important to get your books into bookstores, some bookstores are hesitant not to take books without a return policy because it is a rough economy out there. Also, LS does not put that they are the publisher on their books like CS does.

This July LightningSource split off into LightningSource and IngramSpark (IS). IngramSpark is where they transferred all of their self-published authors, like me! Now, this is fine, I don’t have a problem going with IS. However, I did not take time to read thoroughly the time delay it would take from the time it is submitted on IS to the time it actually gets put up on websites like amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. I though it would be an instantaneous process like LS, however, it is not. With that being said, I just approved everything a week and a half ago. This was all before I knew the fact thtat a new, never before published author like me, can expect up to 4-6 weeks to get out onto Amazon. Now, I have NO IDEA why the heck there is such a lag or delay in this process (it’s electronic after all). But, so far, my book is not up there yet, and I don’t really know when it’s going to be up there. So, if you were planning on buying the book, The Trials of the Core, on Amazon you will not be able to until I find out that it’s up there. When that happens I will let you know.

Anyways, there is my plight. So, maybe it’ll be up on Amazon tomorrow, but I doubt it. But, do not fear, there is still hope! You can order the book from my website, www.guardianofthecore.com and not only will you get the book sooner than what Amazon would deliver, but you will also get a personally autographed book, something that Amazon cannot give you. So, go there, check out the site, and if you feel inclined to buy, then go for it 🙂

For other aspiring authors out there who are reading the blog, keep this new timeline in mind when you are planning your book’s release date. I do not want to see any other authors affected by this like me.

Why I Can Never Compete in NanoWrimo…

Okay, this is a personal confession, although I am an author I have never competed in NanoWrimo. For those of you who do not know what this is it is New Novel November Month. Pretty much you write an entire novel in one month. I know, as an author, I feel ashamed for admitting the fact that I’ve never competed or done this, but I want to explain the reason why this has been out of my particular reach. Since it is now December I feel as though this is the perfect post because, alas, I did not compete this past November 🙁

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s my writing process. Especially for new novels. I am not sure if this is unique to me or if lots of other authors do it, so I am interested in hearing other people’s viewpoints on this. For first drafts of novels I HAVE to write it out freehand first and then go back and type up everything. I don’t know what it is, but that is how it is done for me. When I finish with a whole notepad of chapters, I plop it down in front of me, turn on my Pandora music and then type them all up just listening to music. The whole process is actually very relaxing for me. But, with this process comes twice the amount of work, I know. Trust me I have tried writing it all on the computer first, but it’s hard. I think this happens for a few reasons:

  1. With writing online comes all the distractions of online too. Too easily do I find myself checking my Facebook, or if someone posted a new comment on my novel on Wattpad.
  2. Staring at that blank screen just doesn’t appeal to me. The cursor blinking me and mocking me for having no thoughts to jot down. Something I cannot handle.
  3. With a pen in my hand I feel more of an author, you know? I see the pad I need to write and thoughts just come to me. It allows me to organize my thoughts better and rearrange ideas if need be by simply circling the passage in question and drawing an arrow to where I need to place it.

 

On top of my crazy writing process, I feel as though I shouldn’t be starting a new novel. I am honestly floored when I hear other authors who are working on 3 – 4 books at once. For one, how do you have that much time? And Secondly, how do you have that many ideas? It’s craziness. For me as being a series writer and currently working on the second novel in my series of either 4 or 5 books, I just couldn’t imagine starting a new storyline when I still have one unfinished. I know I’ll need a new idea eventually and I actually do have another idea for a story once this one is done, but I just can’t start writing a new novel when I should be focused on what is here and right now.

Now, although I do not participate in New Novel November Month, it does not mean I do not write constantly. My original goal was to have the first draft of my second novel done by the end of November. However, I was lazier in October than I should have been so now I am pushing that to end of December. For the past couple weeks in November I have been consistently writing one chapter per day in my second novel and am less than 20 chapters from finishing it (I think anyways).

Personally, that is what writing is, persistence. I really do appreciate what NanoWrimo does in encouraging authors to start a story, but here is where I think the program goes wrong. By encouraging to someone to write a whole novel in a month you are pretty much telling them “do not have a social life” or have less of one. That is the quickest way to get burnt out and when you get burnt out at writing you are officially done. You won’t want to come back to the keyboard or pick up the pen again. That is why, in my opinion, slow and steady wins the race. I make it kind of a goal to get a chapter done per day, even in revisions. If you did that you would have a great polished novel done by the end of a year. (With taking breaks too.)

By simply writing a chapter per day, you ease your workload and still can have a social life which is very necessary for authors—we are people watchers after all. It’s like when parents tell their children they can’t play video games until they get their homework done. For me, I can’t go out with my friends until I get at least one chapter done, and as long as I do that I know that I will have another piece of work coming out in a decent amount of time.

What do other authors think about these things? Do you have a certain process you take while writing? What is it? Do you participate in NanoWrimo? Have you been successful in it?

All pretty interesting questions that I would love feedback on. Take care and keep writing!