Friday, March 31, 2017

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(This is my monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group post. For those looking for the April A-to-Z Challenge post, click here)

NOTE: For some reason comments are not working on this post, and I can't figure out why. They work on the other post I made today. I had the same issue last month with IWSG, but then the comments magically started working again in the middle of the day.
If you reply to my comment that seems to work, otherwise I make no promises. :-(

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I had a good month!

A few bits of news:

1) I officially sold my first story!
Yes, I've self-published books and stories before, but this is the first time someone actually chose my work to be good enough to sell, which is a nice feeling. It will be appearing in Strangely Funny IV, an anthology of paranormal humour edited by Sarah E. Glenn and published by Mystery and Horror, LLC that will be released in late May or June of this year. They've published some really cool stuff in the past so I'm excited to be a part of it. Check out the awesome covers on some of their past editions:




2) The Revised and Expanded edition of Ten Thousand Days is done!


I've hinted at this for awhile, but I've been working on a major overhaul and update to my first book, Ten Thousand Days. This will probably warrant it's own post down the line, but I've mentioned before that I was never fully happy with the original version of 10K Days. I rushed it to print and I've learned a lot about writing in the last two years, so I really wanted to make sure it was the best possible book it could be. The original story was about 40,000 words, but the updated version is over 70,000. The characters are much better fleshed out, the plot has a proper arc (the original didn't really have a third act) and the setting is better realized.

If anyone bought the original version and would like to check out the new one, Amazon should update your file when you sync your device. If for some reason you can't get the new version, hit me up and I will gladly send you a new one file.

If you haven't read it before, now's the time to do so: It's on sale right now for just 99 cents as a special re-release price. It will go back up to $2.99 in a couple of weeks.

3) I'm participating in the 2017 A-to-Z Blogging Challenge!


In case you missed it at the top, I'm taking part in the "post a day" challenge for the A-to-Z blog hop. My theme this year is "Weird Canadian Facts and History," which is appropriate since this year is Canada's 150th birthday. Today's letter is "D," so your lesson is on "D'Arcy McGee, Irish Rebel and One of Canada's Founding Fathers." Check it out, it's about a guy who hated Britain so much he helped found a brand new country.
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April IWSG Question:
Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

Wow, this topic is highly appropriate.

Short answer: Yes.

I took part in the A-to-Z challenge in 2015, and released Ten Thousand Days just a few days after it ended. I did not take part in the 2016 challenge, the year I released my second book, Hell Comes to Hogtown.

The result? I sold the same number of copies of 10K Days in the first month that I did the entire last year for Hogtown, despite Hogtown being (in my opinion) a much better book (at least until the Revised Edition of Ten Thousand Days came out).

Now, I know much of that can be attributed to some people being excited and supportive simply because it was my first book, but I wouldn't have even known those people if I hadn't taken part in A to Z. Blogging and commenting every day created a momentum and introduced me to lots of new writers and bloggers. It was marketing and networking without the dirtiness of calling it marketing and networking.

I am 99% certain that my very first sale was to Kristin Cleage (who has a really great and fascinating blog about her family's history and genealogy over at Finding Eliza), someone who I would never have met if it weren't for the A-to-Z Blog Hop. I know a few of the others were thanks to them as well.

So yes, A-to-Z was very valuable to me in the past, though unfortunately I don't have a new book to roll-out this time around. But maybe I'll still make a few new friends who will be excited then the next book comes out.

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group here.

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