Sunday, May 19, 2013

Do you have a blog I should be following?

I will admit, I am really AWFUL about following peoples blogs back. I tend to catch new posts via Twitter, which occasionally get lost in my insane feed. Anyway, if you have a blog I--or anyone else who reads this post should check out leave your linkage in the comments. Be forewarned though, if you post anything you shouldn't I will delete it.

PS--the monkeys are actually an old joke from a Guest Post Mike Mullin did on my blog back in the day. You can see it here. No, I don't actually have monkeys that write my books for me. That would be nice.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pages of Pigments IV, and a HUGE POMI ANNOUNCEMENT

I forgot to post yesterdays, Pages of Pigments! It was because some creeper took a picture of my  baby in a grocery store and ran off so then I spent the rest of the day totally FREAKED OUT. But before we get to the excerpt, I have something WILD to tell you. We have been working hard to get POMI released, and after consulting the stars, and my editor we have reached a shocking conclusion!

It must be two books. 

I am as shocked as you are. When I wrote the book it was definitely a standalone. I toyed with the idea of a sudo-sequel about another character that might be a novella one day, as well as a sort of history book. But the thing is, I knew I was going to be flogged over the ending. So then I wrote an alternative ending for those of you who need the happy ending spelled out for you--but the truth of the matter is, what happens after the first ending is more important. Because it isn't bad. That is an underlying current in POMI; hope when there should be none and that is what the second book is going to help me convey  The first book will end with a question unanswered, and the sequel that will be named soon will answer that.

So POMI is coming out soon, very soon since I got to shave part of the ending off--and the other book? Looks like it will be ready this fall.

Anyway, back to Pages of Pigments
(Don't hit me) Standard warnings apply--not yet the final edited version. Also mine, but feel free to share so long as you don't claim you wrote it.
...Leo pulled a page from Lucia’s book and drew the big oak tree that stood just outside the classroom window. It danced and shook on the page just like it was really doing in the wind. For the longest time Lucia was content to just watch.
The images Leo drew were beautiful, but Lucia thought they had nothing on the artist. The setting of his jaw that was highlighted by the bouncing of his curls in the candle light.
When Lucia picked up her pencil, she had no intentions, but her fingers had a mind of their own. She sketched swans, a sky full of them. They weren’t as good as Leo’s, but they weren’t bad either. Lucia felt as though there was just something missing.
“What have you drawn Lucia?” Mr. Garcia asked from behind her.
She hadn’t heard him approach, his footsteps muffled out by the sloshing of the persistent rain.
“Lovely,” her teacher said, eyes twinkling as with a secret, “you we’re always so found of the swans.”
Lucia was growing tired of other people knowing more about her lives than she did, but she wasn’t at all surprised to hear this information. She did love swans, and she seemed to love them more when Leo was the one doing them.
“Something is wrong with them,” Lucia said flatly, “it’s like… like their soulless.”
Mr. Garcia sucked in a quick breath, as Leo mumbled something Lucia couldn’t make out. The old make recoiled, like she had reached up and struck him instead of making an observation about her own art, and for a moment, he said nothing.
“That’s an interesting choice of words Lucia.”


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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday for Writers #2 How to NOT Publish a Novel in SEVEN COMPLICATED SCREW UPS.

I'm hiding, and I feel bad about it. People keep asking me, and I don't know why, but everyday someone asks me how to publish a story, or a novel, or poetry. It's stressing me out guys.  It's not that I don't know how to publish a book--if I didn't, none of us would be here! But that it's that I don't even know where to start explaining it. I am sure you could run out and Google how to publish a novel in 3 easy steps! But the truth of the matter is it's more like; How to Publish a Novel in 3 easy steps, and 267,000 complicated crappy ones that you are probably going to screw up the first time.

Originally, I wrote some uber boring basics post but since I am a nonconformist, I decided to go with How to Not Publish a Novel.

Screw up #1: Don't rush out and publish the first thing you have ever written. Write the book or whatever--set it aside. Read some other books in the same genre. Write something else! THEN come back to it and start the editing process--which if you're new, should be as slow an painful as possible. THEN have someone who is not a blood relative or your bff from Kindergarten read it. Someone who likes the kind of book you have written.

You have failed miserably if the person who reads the book starts with, "Well, it's not my kind of book BUT..."

Please don't ask your mother.

So am I guilty of this screw up? Absolutely not. My first book was called It Sounds Like Thunder; it was was about the Vietnam war from a child's perspective. It could have been a Pulitzer Prize winner! If, say, I had more than The Encyclopedia Britannica as reference material. Also, I was 12 when I wrote it and I am 29 now.  Just FYI--my first published novel, Skeleton Lake, originally released by Red Iris Books in 2011 was my thirty fifth book and I still didn't publish it without a hitch!

Screw up #2: Signing with some unknown or unproven publisher or e-publisher. There are so many reasons not to do this. Far too many of these places make you do all the work and still keep a cut of the money. Why have your own cover done, own editing, own formatting--and then let them put their stupid name on it? It's probably because you were so dangerously happy about getting that elusive ACCEPTANCE letter that you didn't bother to read the fine print OR you didn't care. Some snarky people that want to feel superior would rather have any publisher than say they were self published. That is so bourgeoisie! 

There of course a third group of people. The group of people who don't know better. The group of people that think when that sleaze publisher puts your eBook on their site it's worth something. But they probably get less hits a day than I do. You never want to be the person who doesn't know better in this business.

Another huge reason you don't do this is because of rights! Say you have a contract with them for 3 years (which is short in book rights land). Say they never even publish your book, but control the rights, say they go bankrupt. You can't just pack up and go somewhere else at this point, your rights would be tied up in court. You can't even publish it yourself!

Reason three this is a bad idea--you don't actually know if they are going to pay anyone. Ever. They have no proven track record, and they don't have anyone to really make them do it. Sometimes their inability to do this leads them to what happens at the end of reason 2! And it could be a long time before anyone notices--book royalty payments are a slow business.

Reason four this is bad, bad, BAD; you don't actually know what other kinds of books they are going to publish. It could be total garbage but you'd still be stuck with them.

Anyway, I'm guilty of this one. I kicked of Red Iris Books with the one other Author that runs it--and though I wasn't really screwed over and we had what ended up being an amicable split, we did break up on the day I was supposed to have a book published by them and that didn't happen.

Just say no!

Screw up #3: Publishing a book... and then not publishing another one for an extended period of time. I know Cassandra Clare and JK Rowling can go years between books but that doesn't work for indie authors. It would be like starting over. Everyone will have forgotten you.

If you want my advice, and I guess you do since you're reading this blog; I suggested you have at least 2 books ready to be published when you start and release them with in little amount of time. And of course, all this time working on the next book.

And I am guilty! Though, it wasn't by choice. You know how I said I split with my indie publisher on the day I was supposed to have a book release? Yeah I also went into labor that day and had my baby the next. I wasn't really in a place where I could publish a novel by myself. But I eventually moved on.

Screw up #4: Thinking your book will sell it's self. It doesn't matter how awesome you think your book is, no one will buy it if they haven't heard of it.

One day, I might share marketing strategies. Sometime after I convince SOMEONE (David Haviland*--I have my eye on you!) to be my lit agent. Then it will matter less, but now my future marketing strategies are locked away in a SAFE. That is how hardcore they are.

Screw up #5: Making every tweet about your book.

If you do this, I will hate you forever and ever AMEN. I unfriend these people. Everyone hates them, even if they aren't pissy enough to say so. (Don't worry, I am.)

Screw up #6: Taking on bad reviewers.

Just. Don't. It doesn't matter how wrong they might be. You can't.

Trust me on this one K?

Screw up #7: Taking bad advice from people on the internet.

I'll just let that one hang there.

Seriously I could tell you things like, not using spell check, not formatting your book properly, but everyone on the internet will tell you those things.

About the author:

Angela Kulig is 29, really! She enjoys twitter and talking about herself in the third person. She writes books and tweets, a lot.

Angela Kulig founded what was likely the first ever publishing co-op. She writes mostly paranormal romance.

*I'm not actually looking for a book agent--but David Haviland wanted to be my lit agent I'd make an exception. Because I have a serious crush on Andrew Lownie. 

It's almost embarrassing. Well... it would be if I had any shame at all. (I don't, that's why I'm an author)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pages of Pigments Part III

I didn't forget about the third installment of Pages of Pigments! As you know, the later I blog the more trouble I'm causing. Standard warnings, this is the not the official edited version--soon though. Don't forget to enter the giveaway which is posted below the excerpt
Just a reminder, Heroes and Vallenez is currently FREE for Kindle. Go check it out. 

 “Wait here,” Oliver instructed.
Sure, William thought. I’ll just stand here, at the foot of the stairs in a mostly empty building. Bloody. That doesn't look suspicious at all.
Oliver ran out the door, and down the street. William watched until he was out of sight, and then heaved a large sigh, which he immediately regretted. The gash across his chest tore a little bit further at its edges, sending new little streams of blood down his chest, reminding William once again that it hurt.
William assumed Oliver had gone to get his car, though he hadn't said as much. He tried to occupy his time by tracing the wood grains of one of the large banisters; but secretly, he hoped he would slip back into the time of castles and torchlight.
Many of The Illusionists had visions of their past lives, but William never really had. He often had moments of déjà vu but those moments seemed to be growing fewer and farther between. Now William knew that was because he wasn't who he thought he was, not at all.
“Man, are you okay?” a voice asked, and William jumped.
New drops of blood appeared, and slid down to join the rest.
“Sorry. I didn't mean to freak you out or anything, but it’s not every day I meet a guy bleeding and blocking the way.”
William mumbled an apology so quiet that even he couldn't hear it before stepping away from the stairs he had forgotten he was standing in front of.
The boy that was staring at William with concerned green eyes had hair so orange it should have been on fire, and freckles like endless stars in the sky.
“No, I just mean—do you need me to call someone or something? I don’t know if you noticed, but, you’re bleeding,” he said
“I’m okay. I will be. My ride should be here anytime.”
“If you’re sure, anyway, I will be right up stairs if you change your mind.”
The red head started up the stairs, but he never took his eyes off of William’s, and he had no idea what to make of that. He was halfway up before Oliver’s black sedan pulled into the fire lane.
“I’m Ripley by the way.”
“I’m William.”
“You? Do I know y—?” Ripley started, but was cut off by the sound of Oliver’s horn.
“I’m sorry. I have to go. I’m pretty sure one of my fathers is going to kill me tonight, but if not I’d love to see you again sometime.”
And with that he ran. William thought he might have heard Ripley tell him to wait, but Oliver sped away as soon as he slammed the passenger door. 

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Heroes + Vallenez is FREE (for a limited time!)

Pages if Pigments part III is coming later today, but I did not want this to get lose in the shuffle! Heroes & Vallenez is free on Kindle right now--but it's not forever. Click the cover and go get it, I'll wait here.

Just a few notes about H+V. It is a middle grade short novella. It's also just a glimpse of The World of Barneby Knotts a series I am  releasing very soon. I know Vallenez is a bit of an ass--but he's a smart kid who's had a rough life. Give him a chance ;)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

So many updates, so little time.

I hate blogging on the weekends, but here I am anyway. There is so much going on that I could probably blog everyday for the rest of the month so I am trying to combine things to keep that from happening.

First Chapter 3 of my free serial, The Gods of Market Street is up now. Thank all you wonderful people who have told me how much you enjoy it on Twitter. I smile every time I read a tweet from my readers saying they are reading my serials or books, so I feel like a bad person--but I have to ask you to please, please remember to vote for it on jukepop. It's free for you to read, but I will completely upfront with you and admit I only get paid if it is a top serial. Since I normally get paid for my writing it is almost a step in the wrong direction. BUT I love being able to let you read my books for free so I am really hoping it works out for both of us. Thank you so much for your time!

Speaking of free, my friend and Publishing partner Larry Kollar is having a huge week. He's got a New Release, Pickups and Pestilence--the Sequel to White Pickups; and his Anthology Oddities is FREEEEEEEEE go grab all of them if you are missing any! I did all three covers.

Also Larry is having a KINDLE GIVEAWAY! Run over and enter, I'll wait here.

In other news, I hit 6k Twitter followers. It was pretty shocking since wasn't I just making the 5k announcement? I wouldn't be anywhere if it wasn't for you.

Don't forget that awesome Pigments of My Imagination giveaway I'm having. You can also read the first three chapters for free here. It's still on schedule for release of May 27th--it was looking like it might come out early; but of course there was a set back *sighs dramatically*

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday for Writers #1 Why Your Second Book Should NOT Be How to Publish a Novel

Everyone on the Internet is a freaking expert. That is why I absolutely hate giving people advice on anything. Not a day goes by where someone with thousands of followers less than me on Twitter wants to give me advice on how to gain more followers. Because clearly, they are so much better at it than I am.

You can't make this crap up.

I am not sure it is an epidemic—yet, but I have noticed a disturbing trend as I sit back and wait for some social media website or another to do tricks. It is the number of self published authors who have decided to write books on self publishing. For laughs I decided to go check some of them out. An outrageous number of them are second books. That's right, these idiots think they are qualified to tell you how to make a life changing move after doing it exactly one time.

You want to get driving lessons from some punk with a learners permit?

You wouldn't even pay to get your haircut from someone who had only done it once, but someone has to be buying this garbage. Here is a hint, you can get it all for free. And starting today, you can even get it from me.

As a general rule, I don't really like blogging how to things for writers. There are a lot of personal reasons for this. The first is, I am not an expert. I publish my novels, I have been published by an indie press, and I have founded a publishing co-op. That isn't the same thing as having all the answers. That's never going to happen. The second reason is, most readers don't care. So many people forget that writers are not your target market. Despite what their sheer numbers on Twitter would lead you to believe, there are more non-writing readers than the other way around. Lastly, there are a ton of other resources out there already for free—which I am sure is where most of these How to Self Publish Your Novel people got their information from to begin with.

I am pretty sure it has been over a year since I had broke my how to rule. I might have slipped up—if someone was absolutely wrong on the Internet! But suddenly people care what I think. I have no idea when it happened. It just did. Randomly, I'd have some new follower ask me for some kind advice or something book related every week or so. Now I am up to like three a day. Many times they ask me the same kinds of questions. Since someone took the time to ask me, I like to take the time to give them the answer without just sending them to some other website. Thus, it was starting to take up more and more time. So I have decided to devote a day a week to helping other writers. I will even take questions. You can @ me on Twitter or leave them in the comments. I will do my best to get to all of them, but please try and be specific. I get asked how to publish, or even how to write a novel almost every day. That's like asking someone directions to a destination across the world. Every time I read a direct message like that I think about it for three seconds, wondering if maybe there is some easy, Twitter sized answer I hadn't considered. Then when I realize again that there isn't my brain melts down.  

Don't make me do that.