Some Projects I’m working on

Okay so aside from The Vampire Institute series on Kindle Vella, I’ve started some other things. The first is a personal blog where I’m going to write about projects and different things I like called Cambrian Culture. Its https://cambrianculture.wordpress.com.

The second is this new way of storytelling I’m trying, through Instagram. This has been done before by Rachel Hulin. She wrote heyharryheymatilda through a series of e-mails using instagram posts to do it.

I’m doing something similar, only I am using aesthetic pictures from pinterest. The series is called The Diaries of Series and I plan on doing some different ones. The first one is The Diary of Lucy Collins and it follows her summer with the Gold family.

Follow the account @thediariesofseries on instagram if you want to follow along. And don’t forget to follow https://cambrianculture.wordpress.com

-Cambria

Writing on Wattpad

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but I’ve had a lot going on. I have still been working on my free wattpad novel, Finding Serenity. I think a lot of people jump onto a platform without really understanding it and just start posting. When you do that though, it’s really hard to get success.

As I’ve been writing on there, I’ve also been reading which I think you really have to do to understand what’s popular and what’s not. I’ve seen successful sci-fi and fantasy stories on there. But the ones that do really, really, well are usually romance.

Contemporary romance especially. As of 2015, the most popular novel on there was called Chasing Red and it has 260 million reads. It’s a sports romance written by Isabelle Ronin. Ronin’s work was so popular it got published traditionally and she is part of the Wattpad Stars program so she gets paid for her work whenever it is part of the website.

Wattpad stars has a submission process, and you’ve got to have a certain number of reads and followers to participate. Which means you’d have to be consistent in posting and very active on the website in order to get that kind of activity.

I’ve been actively writing on the website for less than a year, and only have 42 followers but I imagine it depends on the genre that you are writing too.

I think the reason romance is so popular has to do with tags and searching. It’s really easy to search for something like ‘enemies to lovers’ or ‘friends to lovers’ in the search tags. It is a lot harder to search for like ‘aliens take over the planet’ or something.

And while I don’t want to discourage anyone from using the website to post their writing, that is something to keep in mind. Romance writers will definitely find their niche here. Especially if you are writing contemporary romance or YA romance.

That said, it has been encouraging even to get something as simple as a like on my writing. The wattpad audience is a lot more interactive than the Kindle Vella audience because they’ve been on the writing platform longer and it is a social platform, not just an e-commerce store which is basically all kindle vella is.

While I do wish Wattpad would make their paying program for writers a bit more accessible, it is nice that there is a community for writers online to post fiction. There just needs to be more of them.

I hit 70 k on the magic school novel!

If you don’t know, I have stopped doing Kindle Vella because the concept I was working on with that novel was too similar to another idea I had. It is one that I like better, and one that I want to take the chance on and submit for traditional publishing. Meaning, I am going to try to submit to an agent and hopefully from there a publisher. Rather than publish my work serially either through Dreame the app that I write for or with Kindle Vella I am going to be doing this the regular way. So I am writing the whole novel out before putting it up anywhere and I am SUPER excited about how it is coming along. And I hope all goes well and I will find a way to get it out in the world.

Hitting 60 k on the magic school novel

I hit 60 k on what I’m calling The Magic School Novel. This is the novel that I am planning on submitting to agents and publishers once it is finished. I am pleasantly pleased with this because I normally write serially. This means I basically post my novel daily and write as I go.

I started doing this because I was frustrated with the publishing process. It’s LONG. First, you’ve got to get an agent. Then, the agent has to find an editor for you. Then you’ve got to go through edits. And then, finally, your book gets published.

When I found Dreame in 2018, it seemed like a simple enough way to get published. And it does take a lot less time to get published with them than anywhere else because it is serial fiction.

However, there are limitations in writing serially. It’s a lot harder to get an audience this way as it is based on all of your work. And not, say, a publisher’s connections with a publicity team. Or your agents helping you spread the word about your book.

I was so burnt out on hearing NO time and time again for things I thought were brilliant stories that serial fiction just seemed like a good option. But I realized to do the things I want to do as an author, like have a wide reach, I’m probably going to need an agent for that.

So, I am going to try traditional publishing again. This time with what I’m simply calling The Magic School Novel. And I haven’t written for traditional publishing in such a long time. You know, where you write out the full thing, and then edit, and edit again, and again and then send it out HOPING someone notices enough to sign it.

60 k is the furthest I’ve gotten on a project I’ve considered for traditional publication. I’m super excited about this. The concept is something I’ve been working on since 2018. I’ve got a good feeling about it. I can’t explain it.

Why I’m quitting Kindle Vella

So, I took a break. Like a big one. I had to stop and think about if it was worth the effort for me to try and continue to post on Kindle Vella. Especially considering that I have a platform that actually pays me (Dreame). It got to be too discouraging to continue looking at stats and things and I have a concept that I like better of the story that I’m writing that I worry will be too similar. So.

The Anointed is still up. You can still read it on there if you wish. But there are so many changes that need to happen with the platform that I don’t think I’ll be using it going forward.

I took the time to figure out what I really wanted and while I do still think self-publishing is important, I’m not at a place where I can go all in and get the kind of audience I’m hoping for. So, it’s time to jump into traditional publishing again. This means finishing a manuscript instead of publishing it serially which is something I haven’t done in a long time.

I’m working on a manuscript right now that is at 22 k that is an adult fantasy romance novel. And I’m super excited about it. So, that’s where I’ve been.

Kindle Vella Week 17

Goals for the month:

  1. Get The Anointed up to 100 k, so I’ve got a few chapters ahead.
  2. Work on The Wolves of Glacier Falls, get that finished for Dreame.
  3. Start working on The Magic School novel.
  4. Work on UX design class again to finish up certification for writing app I want to create.

Okay, so maybe if I pick some goals I’ll be able to say motivated. It is so easy to become a hermit in Montana the instant fall and winter hit. It is colder, and darker. And for me, who grew up in California always surrounded by vitamin D and going to a place where half the year the sun is gone, its also SEASONAL DEPRESSION TIME. Or, as I like to call it, my yearly sadness. Not to make light of it at all but you’ve got to have a little humor about it right?

But this year I am going to try to stay on top of things and get back into the swing of things with updating. Re-read my story, and try to figure out what will happen going forward.

I also want to pick something specifically for Kindle Vella to write and I’ve thought a lot about how to make that platform work for me. I think a mystery might be what I write next for it because that is an easy way to hook people. Or maybe I’ll do a contemporary romance. Who knows? But I’ve decided that the type of project might factor into how well a serial novel does. Things were people have to remember a lot of facts might not do so well, whereas simple beach read type fiction is probably going to get a lot more reads because people can pick up where they left off.

I might be wrong about that, but it is something I’ve thought about a lot lately.

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 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 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. 😉