Elf Mastery Blog
I've decided to make some pictures of various scenes in Elf Mastery, but as I can't draw I'm making them in DAZ Studio. I will eventually make a page for them, but for now I have just finished my first picture so will post it here. It is from the first scene in Chapter One, with Kyla being driven to Equinox by Grizzlesnout, the goblin coachman.
I saw 15 straight days of use in the Kindle Select library. Not always a lot, but I'm always excited to know someone, somewhere is reading Elf Mastery. I have also decided to create a series of pictures to go along with the book. As I can't draw, I am using DAZ studio.
Also, I am currently working on Chapter 24 in the second book, Elf Doubt. It is pretty rough at the moment, and many changes will need to be made in edits, but just want to get everything down.
Also, I am going to be running a DnD 5e campaign using my world setting! Pretty stoked for that, as I can world-build while having fun! Have to make some adjustments in the game to line up my world with that of DnD. As I didn't want to run a modern setting, I am setting it about a thousand years in the past, at the time of Kinsel King, in the city of Haven (the modern location of High Haven in Elf Mastery, and the namesake of Kyla's dorm, Haven Hall.)
And as an added note, I put one of my free days as this coming Halloween. That means Oct 31, 2016, you can download the ebook for free on Amazon. I mean, it's only a $3 book to begin with, but everyone loves free stuff.
I have been back on the Kindle Select program through Amazon for over a month. For those of you who have not been following my exciting life, I finished my first 3-month stint in the summer and decided not to renew so I could post my ebook on Smashwords and Kobo. However, after seeing very little action on those sites I signed up for another 3-months of Kindle Select. Seems to be paying off. While things are still slow overall, I have gone two weeks of having constant readers from the Kindle library as well as a few sales. So far Kindle Select seems to be the way to go for me. Also the 5 days of free ebook giveaways are very useful. I have been using them for holidays.
Can't say everyone will have the same results, but so far for me Kindle Select is shpwing more success than the other venues I have tried.
Well, I got a new 5-star review on Goodreads this week, so that was great! Also, my building manager read back book and loved it, so that's wonderful too! All in all a good week. My only disappointment is not much has happened on my Kindle Select since I re-activated it. Someone read the first chapter or so in the library and that was it.
As for book two, I'm nearly done Chapter 21. I'm about at the halfway point, by my best estimate. Hard to say for sure as things develop as I write. Getting more work done now that I'm back in school than I did during summer. Today was a bit lazy, though. Tired of reading textbooks, man. Tired of reading.
New review at Portland Book Review is up! The link isn't working when I paste it in my text so am creating a button below.
After ending my last Kindle Select contract I posted my book on Kobo and Smashwords. While I'm grateful for having done that, as I had to reformat the book and thus learned quite a book, I never saw much activity and missed my participation in the Kindle Select library. So I have suspended (not cancelled) my book on those sites, though the paperbacks are still available on Blurb and Createspace.
This not only means people can read my book again through the Kindle library, but also gives me 5 days in the next term for free giveaways. Thinking of doing that through Canadian Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we'll see.
And finally, for those who care about salmon, I watched the salmon spawn for about a week and have distressing news. A lot of those guys died in the attempt. Many dead fish at the bottom of the spawning run. It reminded me a lot of my own dating life, which tends to die in the attempt. I did start to see more successful jumps over the little falls on the way, though I never did see any make it up the final jump at the end into what I am going to call the Pool of Love, where the fish who make it will actually breed.
It has been suggested that I add a glossary to Elf Mastery as some of the names are difficult to pronounce and not all readers are familiar with many of the mythological creatures mentioned. I agreed, and decided it is also a good way to add some details that didn't make it into the book. It is a work in progress: I just finished the 'A' section. I added a Glossary button on the right side of the page that will link to each letter.
I watched salmon spawning today. There is a stock pond with a man-made salmon in one of the local parks. I go there for a walk sometimes, and today noticed a bunch of little salmon swimming up the waterway that runs parallel to the river. I hadn't watched salmon swimming upstream before, so spent some time. It was different than I expected. On TV, it seems like salmon are leaping up falls in groups as the diligently forge the way ahead. This was rather different. The waterway is a series of small falls - maybe a foot or less in height each - separated by pools where the water slows before taking the next fall. The salmon were collected in these pools, pointing upstream. Occasionally one would press forward into the white water of the fall, only to scurry back. Even more occasionally one would attempt the jump. During the time I watched, I saw three attempts, only one of which succeeded by flopping onto a flat rock and then off again into the next pool. I know fish were succeeding, because as I walked upriver each pool was full of fish, and they couldn't have gotten to where they were without succeeding on all the previous jumps. I finally got to the end, where the water falls from the pond, and that waterfall was bigger - maybe three feet high or so. I did not see any fish in the pond, though there was a reasonably steady stream of salmon flying back from the falls in failure. I noticed these fish were larger than the ones I had seen in previous pools. I assume this is not a quick swim, but one in which the salmon are growing and gaining strength as they swim upstream. I don't know how long it takes salmon to grow but I plan to check again in a couple days to see if many have made it into the pond.
It got me thinking about my life, and how slow and plodding it sometimes feels to get the goals I want. My book still only has a few reviews, for example, and while I have high hopes it is painfully slow. However, I am still working on the second book, and continuing to press forward, so I suppose that slowly I am improving and getting stronger. I think it's better that way. Sudden success may not allow as much personal growth as the extended duration of working for a goal. It is kind of an encouraging thought, as I have been getting frustrated lately and now feel a little more motivated to work on my skills and continue writing.
Also, tomorrow is the first day of the term for me so I will be starting classes. Here's to a semester of working hard and (hopefully) success in school and in writing!
Nothing exciting to report today but thought I'd check in. I've been working on the sequel to Elf Mastery, which is called Elf Doubt. The third (and final) will be called Elf Righteous. There's a pattern, see! I don't want to say to much lest I get into spoiler territory, but safe to say Kyla is going to question some of her political loyalties in Book 2.
Also beta reading for someone on Goodreads. I try to do that for someone every couple months, as I had some great beta readers for my book and it was very helpful. Anyway I got through the first half pretty quickly but slacked off this week so I'm catching up on reading it. Only problem with beta reading is that I have to read on a screen, and I'd really prefer to read on paper. Oh, I know, you're saying I could print it off and read it, but that'd be a lot of ink to print a whole book, and it would limit my ability to leave notes in the margins.
First world problems, I guess. School starts for me next week so going to have a lot of reading and essays coming due in the next couple months. I'm kind of excited, actually, as I've had a lazy summer and I'm getting antsy. Of course I can always find something to do, but as much as I hate routines and schedules it is nice to have something appointed to do every day.
Waiting patiently for a review which should be coming next week, so will let you know how that goes.
I spent the better part of twelve hours reformatting the ebook version of Elf Mastery today. The thing is, a reader had found a typo (I wrote 'Now matter' instead of 'No matter') so I had to fix it. You're thinking, one typo? That's not so hard to fix! The thing is, the book exists in a few different formats. Amazon and Smashwords have different requirements for uploads. By itself not a big problem, except that a couple weeks ago my hard drive crashed. I saved my files but lost all my custom settings in Microsoft. I also forgot how to format. So I had to re-learn formatting and set up my settings. While I was fixing the typo, I also decided to change some fonts and tweak a couple things (Kyla's debacle at the end of Chapter One is less due to her own ignorance and more due to an unreliable mail system. This change was a concession on my part that perhaps I had made her a little too ignorant at the outset, though I maintain she is a sheltered individual unfamiliar with bureaucracy).
At any rate, in all the mucking around I always worry I created new problems Did I make a typo as I re-created my Table of Contents? I don't think so, but after several hours looking at a screen my eyes are no longer trustworthy. Better check in the morning. And then more fun making adjustments to the print files.
All in all, I kind of enjoyed the ordeal. Formatting, though frustrating, is still a bit of fun. I wonder if I could turn a profit doing this sort of thing?
Ah well. Time to sleep, as my brain is shutting dowwnw,fnsdfa.s,m.
I recently finished several years of employment with the Canadian government to pursue a Master's degree. My secret goal is to become a self-sustaining author. This blog is dedicated to the first book I have ever put on the market.