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Kindle Vella Week 15 Wrap Up

October was the month of doing nothing. I barely updated. I got distracted by a writers conference I attended. I started work on a werewolf novel and then that werewolf novel got messed up by my computer so I am restarting that novel. I had a bad sinus thing and so everything got messed up. I put off working on the UX class.

Not a lot got done. My own fault. But sometimes that happens. You slip up, and then you get back to it. So, November will be the month of getting back to it.

The hard thing is getting excited about a project that isn’t seeing any growth or readership. While I still like the story, there are other projects I’m passionate about right now. It feels like pulling teeth trying to post on something that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Obviously, not posting this month is an issue. And I know there are things I need to work out on my end. But kindle vella itself has issues and its just easier to work with Dreame where I do have an established audience and I actually, you know, get paid.

A new month. A new chance to see if we can make this work.

Kindle Vella Week 15

So after almost a month of being distracted, it is time to get back on track. Posting regularly not only on the blog but with The Anointed. I’ve been posting since August, and because I posted mine during the Kindle Vella launch I get bonuses.

I’ve gotten two so far. The first for August was $24, and the second for September was $44.02.

A bit dismal, considering if I had submitted The Anointed to Dreame I would have gotten a signing bonus that was worth more then that. And probably could have been earning royalties by now. But I did say I would give the platform a year and see how it works and it hasn’t been a year yet. So.

On novel writing news, I am at 43 k on The Wolves of Glacier Falls. I haven’t decided for sure what I am going to do as far as publication. I had written it with the intention of posting it on Dreame. Werewolf fiction is big on there, as well as online and so I was curious to see how much I could make. The first book I wrote for that—The Red Cloak Girls—-is my highest earner on there right now.

It was a bit messy because it wasn’t as planned out as I normally do. However, I am writing The Wolves of Glacier Falls completely before posting it serially. So it should be different this time and we’ll see how it all goes.

If I submit to Dreame, I would get a signing bonus from them as well as a word count bonus. And then once I had 500 followers for that I would be able to get royalties.

Its a whole different experience. So far, for serial fiction, they are the most reliable. But we’ll see where the year goes.

Kindle Vella Week 14 Wrap up

How did I let this month get ahead of me? The writers conference took up a majority of my time. And my obsession. Suddenly, the last week of October is upon us. I’ve been distracted by the cold and just a bunch of other things. I let the month get away from me.

I haven’t written a novel that wasn’t posted serially in such a long time. Going to the writers conference made me think a lot about what I want out of my career. The thing is, while I still believe in self-publishing, and the importance of it, traditional publishing can still take me further.

But with Dreame there is that instant gratification. Knowing I’ll get royalties and I don’t have to wait for someone to review my work or anything else. For me, waiting has always been the difficult part. It’s why I became so disillusioned with submitting my stuff in the first place.

You’d work for ages on a manuscript, get rejected, but you’re still writing. Putting in the work. For what? For one person to say yes? And then to have to go through that process again with a whole different group of people?

Writing can crush your soul if you let it. Getting told no so often makes you doubt yourself. But the thing is, I AM a published writer. Published digitally. But I am still published. I get paid for my work. I’ve published 12 stories in several years on a digital publishing platform.

Yet somehow, I still let imposter syndrome get in my way. I still think I’m not good enough for print. I started sending my stuff out when I was 13, so that probably had a lot to do with it. I was not a seasoned writer and I didn’t know my craft as well as I do now.

Writers conferences always remind me that there is more out there. I just have to remind myself that I am good enough to take it. So, now its time to get on track. Ask myself what I want. And go grab it.

Kindle Vella Week 14

No change.

Partly my fault. Partly….I don’t know. I was busy obsessing and prepping for the writers conference that I attended on Saturday and Sunday. It was good. It was on Zoom, and provided me with some insight on things I hadn’t thought about.

I’m working on a werewolf romance novel that is at 35 k, 35,000 words. I’m intent on putting it on Dreame. But the conference made me ask some very important questions about what I want to do as far as my career. So, who knows?

Maybe I’ll start submitting again.

I would like to think that someday, the internet will come up with a way for fiction writers to make a living online. I just don’t know that we’re there yet and I don’t know if Kindle Vella is going to be that program.

Kindle Vella: Week 13 Wrap Up

I didn’t update for two weeks. This week, I was too excited for the writers conference I was going to. I was too busy working on The Wolves of Glacier Falls. I’ve hit 31 k on there, or 31,000 words. It’s going to be for Dreame. I worked on everything but The Anointed. My Dreame stories have been what I’m focusing on because I am actually encouraged by the numbers I see there compared to kindle vella. I almost feel like you have to have serval stories on there to have any progress but its hard to tell because its still so new.

There was too much going on and I just felt like there was one thing I had to let go. I’ve got to get back on track with a lot of stuff. The class that I’m taking. The end of the year approaches as October gets closer to the end and it just seems to go faster and faster and its easier to forget stuff.

That said, it was so lovely to go to the writers conference even if it was on Zoom. It’s always nice to get to talk to other people in the industry and people who understand exactly what it is you do. I received positive feedback on the magic school story that I’m working on so I am going to keep working on that.

I actually wrote a completely different opening scene yesterday instead of what I submitted. Then, I ended up getting ANOTHER idea for an opener. Oh, the joys of rewriting.

Week 14 it will be back to the regularly scheduled program. Updating The Anointed. Working on the UX design certificate. Getting back into gear. I feel like when fall comes around, things get colder, and you just get lazier because all you’re trying to do is staying warm. And that is kind of where I’m at this week. But I’ll get back on track and hopefully everything else will too.

I Attended A Zoom Writers Conference

I’ve been going to the Authors of The Flathead Writers conference since I was in my 20s. I’ve participated in the writers group, Authors of The Flathead, on and off for about the same time. This year the conference was assembled on zoom.

It was all day, and everyone stayed in the same chat. I was a little nervous because I have to use Zoom for work and was worried it wouldn’t be has fun. I was wrong.

They had writers, agents, and editors of all kinds talking.

I got to meet with editor Chelsea Cambeis from BHC Press who gave me some really good feedback on the magic school story I’m working on. I get to listen to her talk tomorrow, and I’m super excited to see what else she has to say.

I was worried it wouldn’t feel as inclusive as it does because it was on zoom. But they actually did a great job keeping everything on track. Next year they are hoping to be able to do it in person and usually its at our local community college.

If you aren’t able to travel for whatever reason, consider finding a zoom writers conference. Even if you aren’t able to be there in person it is really nice to be able to listen to other writers and people in the industry. I’ve seen a few online recently besides Authors of The Flathead so if you can find one, definitely check it out.

New Blog!

Hi everyone!

As a fun side project, I’ve created a pop culture blog that will focus on 2000s and Today. I just recently wrote a review of The Spirit Room album by Michelle Branch, and I plan on doing a lot of other albums, books, movies, tv shows and etc. over there. So, if you would like more content from me, you can find it and 2000sandtoday.wordpress.com. So I’m looking forward to sharing some of my other interests with you and hope you’ll drop by.

-Cambria

Week 13 of Kindle Vella, Why Self-Publishing IS a valid option

Welcome to Week 13 of Kindle Vella. Today, I thought I’d talk a little bit about why I’m so frustrated with the lack of support Kindle Vella has received and the importance of self-publishing in general.

This morning, I happened on an old writing forum I used to look at back in the day before social media was a thing. I was looking up a publishing company and found a post from 2019 discussing vanity publishing and self-publishing.

There was a writer on there who was COMPLETELY perplexed as to why someone would “vanity publish” i.e. pay money for publishing. And, I feel, these writers have very little knowledge of self-publishing and why we must have it.

Back in, I want to say 2016, I published a novel that involved LGBTQ plus characters. It was called All The Right Notes. Now, I lucked out, and I found a publishing company for this. Totally Bound Publishing. I published it under a pen name, C. McGrath, and I’m sure you can still find it out there somewhere if you really want to.

But I received a vicious, vicious editing letter from one of the publications I sent it to that basically tore the whole thing to shreds. Now, most publishers won’t send you something that thorough with a rejection. They’ll just send you a nice thanks but no thanks letter. This publisher took the time to go over EVERYTHING they thought was wrong with my book.

At that point, I thought, okay. No big deal. I’ve been rejected plenty of times before. But years later, I thought isn’t it weird my book made an editor angry enough they wrote a whole thing detailing everything wrong with it? I can’t speak for the editor. Maybe they really just didn’t like my story.

But, while publishing is trying to change, there are places that are still stuck in the dark ages. Places where certain types of manuscripts would not ever be able to get a footing. Based solely on the ideology of the people working and reviewing the work. This is why making it possible for writers everywhere to share their story is important. Why vanity presses and self-publishing are valid options for people, despite whatever snobbish notions the writing community has about it.

Free speech is something we take for granted in America, because everyone can post every hateful comment they think before breakfast. But how quickly we forget there are still countries out there that don’t allow this–not only in their printed works—but in their media. And as long as there are such places that exist, there must be places outside of the traditional institutions a person can share their ideas. Revolutionary or not.

That there are still people who don’t think so clearly don’t know the history of publishing. Edgar Allen Poe, at eighteen, self-published his first work in 1827.

Stephen King did what many writers today do and created his own publishing company and published People, Places, and Things in 1960.

Mark Twain self published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1885.

Margaret Atwood self-published Double Persephone.

There is a notion that if you do not publish the traditional way, somehow you are less worthy than a published writer. Despite there being even modern, recent examples of writers, Colleen Hoover for example, who have proven this notion wrong.

As long as there are governments controlling writers (look up the Kakoa Page scandal that just happened recently with the Chinese government issuing the publisher pamphlets in regards to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet about what they could and couldn’t write that encouraged self-censorship) and media controlled by corporations that seek to hinder a persons message, there must always be someone that is willing to get that story out there for them.

This isn’t to say that publishers don’t serve a purpose. Obviously, they do. They are a good, reliable source of income for writers IF you can get your foot in the door. That said, there are still people who can hold it closed if they don’t like what you have to say. But the notion that there is only one way to publish legitimately is an outdated notion that needs to go. And, the fact remains, as long as the old guard has its foot there, it’s always going to be harder for certain kinds of writers to break through.

After all, it isn’t the publisher that makes the writer. It’s the writers that make the publisher. Which is why there must always be many options for writers, self-published or not, to get their story out there. It’s books they burn in revolutions not weapons and there must always be a way for words to spread regardless of who might not approve of them. Like governments, for example.

So, while I too, dream of publication in the traditional form, I will always champion for any alternative forms out there—whether it’s paying for it or being one of the chosen few from the literary elite— that let writers tell their stories when they might not have another option.

Kindle Vella Week 12 wrap up

Confession: I didn’t post an update this week for The Anointed. Why didn’t I? I’ll be completely honest. I am focusing on a new novel I’m writing for Dreame. In fact, I’m focusing a lot more on my Dreame stuff. I’ve talked about Royals and Rebels book 6, which yes is still in the process of being written.

But I’m also working on another project, The Wolves of Glacier Falls.

Werewolf novels are extremely popular on Dreame. I wrote a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood called The Red Cloak Girls with a werewolf spin, and at the moment, it is my top earning story on there. There is one author on there that got enough reads that Dreame/Stary did a special, printed version of the story.

Right now, I find myself encouraged by the place where I am seeing growth. On Dreame, I am continually getting paid, and seeing growth. It’s really hard to be excited about a platform where there isn’t much happening with it. And if my hits on Dreame are any indication, it’s not my writing that is the problem. Ahem.

I know what you’re thinking. “But Cambria, if you skip writing weeks won’t you lose what little audience you have?” Honestly, I’m not even sure if I have an audience on kindle vella. I know there have been readers and I’m pretty sure it’s mostly people that read this blog, which I thank you, lovely readers. But not a lot of people seem to be seeking my stuff on there.

Granted, I only have one story on there, so maybe that is it. But I didn’t feel too bad about skipping an update and focusing on a new project that will bring me more income then the one on there is right now.

In fact, I have written 22. k words (22,000 words) of The Wolves of Glacier Falls. With my roughly 1,000 words a chapter that puts me at 22 chapters.

I did say that I was going to give Kindle Vella a year, exactly. I would finish The Anointed and try writing other stuff on there. But you know….it’s not encouraging when even the company that created it isn’t talking about it, ANYWHERE.

That said, if you haven’t checked The Anointed and dig fantasy romance, please go check it out. The first three episodes are free, and every read helps me continue on with this project.

Also: MY WRITERS CONFERENCE IS THIS SATURDAY! I get to have an editor review some of my stuff, so fingers crossed it goes good. And don’t forget to check out my stuff on Dreame too. Royals and Rebels has five books in the series, each one focusing on a different prince and love interest. And The Red Cloak girls only has one book at this point but it might have more.

I also thought I would update you on the top reads for Kindle Vella right now, which haven’t changed in the month of October.

  1. The Marriage Auction by Audrey Carlan Romance/Action Adventure
  2. Demon Accords Beginnings by John Conroe Fantasy/ Science Fiction
  3. The Life by Jordan Silver Romance
  4. The Galatian Exchange by Pepper Pace Science Fiction/Dystopian

Congratulations to everyone that is making kindle vella work! May the force work its magic on the rest of us too. 😉

Kindle Vella Week 12

I was supposed to write this yesterday. But, as I opened up the blog post, I felt completely uninspired. As numbers don’t increase, I’m beginning to feel less and less enthused about Kindle Vella. It isn’t the programs fault. I feel it has to do with Amazon and the way they’ve done zero publicity for this thing. Also, that Kindle Vella operates within kindle instead of having its own app for users to find the product is another downfall of the system.

Without an app, Amazon is expecting writers to do ALL of their own self promotion via social media. Obviously, this is the norm. Even published writers have to do this. However, relying on other social media platforms to drive traffic isn’t the most reliable thing.

As we saw yesterday with Facebook’s outage, the internet can be unstable. Best not to have all of your eggs in one basket. Which isn’t to say that Amazon creating an app separately for Kindle Vella would solve everything. But it certainly would drive a lot more traffic to the stories.

In comparison, Stary Publishing LTD who runs the app I write for has both an app, Dreame, and a website version. All of their readers find their content through both of those platforms. Also, they have an app made specifically for their writers to check their income, their story stats, and post their content. They’ve only existed for about three years and are out of Signapore. So, if they can create a functioning platform for writers to monetize serial fiction, Amazon should definitely be able to.

Not only that Stary has different platforms based on different genres allowing writers to find their niche and gain popularity based on it.

Amazon has the means and resources to make Kindle Vella into the kind of monetize giant it should be for writers. Yet its introduction has been lackluster. We’re in October, the year is winding down, and here is to hoping that the remaining months and following year will encourage Amazon to give Kindle Vella the justice it deserves.