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

Kindle Vella Again

So, a while ago I was documenting my experience with Kindle Vella. When it first started no one really knew it was out there. And it was cluttered with things like Role Plays and a bunch of other nonsense that I wasn’t quite happy with.

I’ve tried writing on Wattpad, and have started to understand the type of content that works there by reading as well as writing.

And so I decided to do the same with Kindle Vella. I read one of the serials which was actually Hot Vampire Next Door by Nikki St. Crowe. It’s a steamy adult paranormal romance novel and actually pretty fun.

So, now that I understood the tone and what was popular on there I decided to give it a try. I think with platforms like these it’s really important to write FOR the platform if you want to be successful. I don’t think literary fiction is going to be popular on something like kindle vella, unless maybe you were already an established audience.

I took this week to rework a story I had published on another platform a few years ago and published it on Kindle Vella. This one is called The Vampire Institute and it’s about a girl who signs up to be a blood donor for vampires. Of course, it’s a romance.

The first seven episodes are up now and the first three are completely free! If you were able to read Her Dark Love that is the story I reworked for this. Click the cover to go read or at the very least like to support!

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.

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 16 Wrap up

I dropped the ball. The holiday season is upon us. It is getting colder. It has already started to snow where I live, which means I spend all day in a cold apartment doing my “real job” and by the end of the day, I have no motivation. On top of which, I ended up with a sinus thing and was out of commission for about two weeks.

I can finally breathe through my nose again. Miracle of miracles. The thing about winter is that once it comes, I lose all motivation and I have no energy to do anything. I keep on convincing myself I need to update, and that I want to update, but my heart isn’t in it.

I’m excited about other projects at the moment but trying to get excited about a book no one is paying attention to on a platform no one is paying attention to is extremely difficult. Perhaps if I updated more, that might change things. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll sit down on my day off and do a hardcore writing day for The Anointed and schedule my chapters several weeks out. Who knows?

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.