Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Tag: dominion of the damned

Indiegogo Campaign Results

My Indiegogo book pre-sale campaign wrapped up the other day, and for those following and learning from my marketing efforts, I thought I’d share the results, along with a few observations.

Because Indiegogo won’t let you set a goal lower than $500, that was my “official” goal; but my unofficial goal was only $250, and I beat that by $5. Sure, in my wildest dreams I hoped that it would take off and get over-funded and actually serve as a source of income this month, as well as covering additional promotional costs, but I didn’t really expect that to happen, and it didn’t. Still, it accomplished the primary thing that I set out to accomplish, which was to raise enough to cover the costs of finalizing the cover, so all in all I’m calling it a success.

It did offer a few surprises, though. Where I expected to sell a lot of e-books and thought I’d do well to sell one or two paperbacks, what actually happened was that I sold several of the signed paperback packages and only a few e-books. The majority of my funders were friends–no surprises there–but I did have a couple of strangers buy some copies. I will say that I had hoped for more participation from friends and family helping me spread the word by sharing the link with their networks, but, eh, people are busy, and writers, like prophets, are rarely appreciated in their hometown, so I didn’t really have high expectations in that regard. The ones who did pass on the link, though, have my heartfelt appreciation, and have moved to the top of my list of favorite people. Just kidding about that last part. Sort of. ;p

I think my biggest takeaway is that for this sort of campaign to be wildly successful, one needs to have an established fan base full of people who will not only spend their money on your work, but also evangelize it for you far and wide. I do not yet possess such a fan base. But I do, thankfully, have enough people who believe in my writing and are enthusiastic about it enough to support me in order to get a cover funded, and that’s a really good start.

So would I recommend doing an Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign to a newbie indie author? It depends. If they’re looking for funding to write their book, then no. But if they have a small goal to match their small readership, I do think Indiegogo is an excellent way to take pre-orders in order to cover publishing costs. My main advice is to keep your goal small and your expectations low, and expect to do the main work of spreading the word yourself.

My other main takeaway is that I really need to find a way to get my work in front of more and different people, because I think pretty much everybody within the reach of my network has been told about it. To that end, I’ll be focusing the bulk of my marketing efforts from here on out on getting book bloggers and reviewers to review Dominion in the hopes of reaching new people. I know that there’s an audience out there for this book, and I believe it’s a sizable audience; despite the fact that there are people who are sick to death of vampires and zombies, there are also still plenty of folks who can’t get enough of either genre. Now I just have to get out there and find them.

Early Birds

I have a confession: I haven't written anything on Dominion in over a week. There's really no excuse, other than that my mojo has been seriously off since my dog had a seizure last Sunday night and we rushed him to the animal ER. Pete's fine (though possibly epileptic), but that event set off a chain-reaction wherein we had to get up early (oh SO early) on Monday morning to pick him up from the hospital and take him to his regular vet, which took up half the day, and recovering from sleep deprivation took up the rest of it, and meanwhile my husband decided that this was a perfect opportunity to turn our night-owl habits around and start getting up earlier EVERY day.

Y'all. We had night-owl habits because WE ARE NIGHT OWLS. This comes naturally to us, and I don't see any reason to fight nature, especially since neither of us has the kind of job that forces us to do so. But Matt's determined, and he keeps waking up earlier, and when he wakes up, Pete wakes up, and then Pete has to be sure to wake ME up. And as much as I have fantasized about what it would be like to be a morning person and get up early and knock all of my work out and have the rest of the day to relax and do fun stuff, the fact is that I am just not wired that way. It certainly doesn't help that now I'm forced to take a Benadryl every night to help me doze off in time to get a decent night's sleep.

So I'm still trying to adjust to our new schedule, and figure out how my writing fits into it. You'd think that I could simply do my usual routine in the same order, except earlier, and that this would not be a big deal. But for some reason it hasn't been working out that way. But maybe that's just because I spent the bulk of last week feeling foggy and unfocused and pretty much useless. Now it's a new week, and I'm starting to feel normal again, so hopefully I'll get my new writing routine figured out. I guess I need to do the 250 Words A Day Challenge again to get myself going.

In other news, if you're following my blog tour, in the last two weeks I've been interviewed at QuirkyGurl Media, and I answered a drabble prompt for Helmy Kusuma's blog.

And now I’m going to make myself write 250 words and then go do yard work. IN 75 DEGREE WEATHER, Y’ALL! ??? Fall ???

Sixty Thou and a Snippet

I passed the 60K mark on Dominion this morning, and I’m still muddling through the middle. Um, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not going to finish this thing up by mid-August like I’d planned. Too soon to tell whether this means I won’t be able to publish by Halloween, since I’m likely to pick up momentum once I hit the ramp up to the climax and then sail through to the end. But right now, I’m only averaging about 700 words a day, which is one scene every two days (and breaks from writing on the weekends), and I’ve got about five more scenes to go before I hit that ramp.

At any rate, it’s coming along. Here’s a snippet from today’s session:

The smell of rotting meat assaulted them, making Hannah’s stomach churn. She had to swallow against her gag reflex as she followed Zach into the tiny cell. Inside, strapped to a gurney, lay Bob. Except he didn’t lie there so much as writhe and squirm. The sight of him made her want to gag some more. His skin showed visible signs of decay, and it had mostly sloughed off where the restraints came in contact with it. His lips were missing, and as he strained toward them and gnashed his teeth, she saw that his tongue was gone, too. The flesh on the bottom half of his face had mostly rotted away.

Zach pulled a pair of gloves out of one pocket and put them on. From the other pocket he drew a scalpel and forceps, along with an empty vial that he handed to Hannah. “This’ll just take a sec’,” he said as he leaned over Bob and began carving out a small chunk of his thigh. If the pathetic thing on the gurney felt the scalpel cutting into him, it was impossible to tell. Zach grasped the sample with the forceps and turned back to Hannah. She tucked the gun under her arm and opened the vial so he could drop it in. She secured the lid and handed it back to Zach, who put everything back in his pockets and stripped off his gloves. “That’s it.”

A hand grabbed Zach’s sleeve. He let out a high pitched scream as it yanked him back, and as Bob pulled him down his other hand, or what was left of it, slipped free of its restraint. It grabbed Zach around the back of the neck and tried to pull him down toward those gnashing teeth. Hannah pointed the gun and fired. Bob’s head exploded like a melon, and his hands went limp. Zach fell backward on his rear and scrambled back against the wall, breathing hard. “Shit!”

Hannah brandished the gun. “Thought you said I wouldn’t need this.”

He pointed accusingly at Bob. “That’s never happened before!”

“That’s no reason not to expect it.” She reached down to help him up. After a few deep, calming breaths, he examined the corpse. Raw flesh and gray skin coated the wrist restraints and lay globbed up on the gurney. This time Hannah had to swallow the bile that rose in the back of her throat.

Zach’s face had gone pale. “He just slipped his hands off, like they were gloves.”

Dominion Snippet

I’ve been wanting to post snippets and sneak peeks as I work on Dominion, but I haven’t because, mainly, I’m never sure how to walk that line between enticing the reader and spoiling what happens. But here’s a bit I wrote today that I’m pretty happy with, that I don’t think is too spoilery:

The conference room doors opened. As they broke apart Hannah tried to stifle her smile. The red-headed vampire stepped out and said, “They’re ready for you.” When they both stood up, she glanced at Hannah and looked pointedly at Alek. “Just you.” She went back inside.

Alek looked at her apologetically. “This probably won’t take long.”

“I’ll be fine out here.” She smoothed out his jacket and straightened his tie. “Here,” she said, wiping a smudge of lip gloss off his face with her thumb. “Okay.”

He smiled at her, a smile that said everything in his life really was okay, at least in that moment. Then he went inside and closed the door.

How George R. R. Martin Killed My Novel (except not really)

This is my least favorite time of year. Strike that — it’s my second least favorite, behind those long dreary (and occasionally icy) weeks of winter when the holidays are done and you just want it to be spring already. Now the summer holidays are done and I just want it to be fall already, but it’s not quite as bad as the winter doldrums, because that time of year is depressing, whereas this one is just irritating. And hot. I will never be a fan of Oklahoma summers.

But the writing is plugging along. I passed the 50,000 word mark on Dominion last week, which NaNoWriMo has trained me to see as this great milestone and feel like I should have a party or something, even though with this book that’s only the halfway mark. But it’s not as far along as it should be, mainly because I made the mistake of deciding it would be a good idea to re-read the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series so it would all be fresh in my mind when I read A Dance With Dragons.

BIG mistake, at least as far as my writing goes. It’s generally just not a good idea to read a book that you’re fannishly obsessive about while you’re in the middle of trying to write your own story. It’s especially not a good idea to engage in an entire series that you have such feelings about, and ESPECIALLY when the shortest book in said series weighs in at around 700 pages.

So now when I sit down to write, I find my mind wandering to George Martin’s characters instead of thinking about what my own should be doing, and instead of writing I want to go outside and sit in the shade with a tall glass of lemonade and lose myself in Westeros all day forever. It’s especially bad now that I’m up to the third book, which is my favorite (so far) and heavily features my three most favorite characters (who I can’t even mention by name because even that would be a spoiler to you TV show fans who are trying to stay pure). In fact, I would be reading it right now, but I promised myself I’d post a writing update today, so here we are.

Clearly, I need to get me some ASoIaF/Game of Thrones icons Got some.

But I am still forcing myself to write, and once I get going I remember how much I love my own characters and care what happens to them, so that’s good. I’m planning to have Dominion ready for publication by October, in time for Halloween–which seems fitting, seeing as how it began on a Halloween.

And now I’m off to read.