New Non-Smut Daily-Writing Stuff on Wattpad

So real quick, and belatedly, because I forgot to say here, and then someone reminded me, and then I forgot again and someone else reminded me again… So anyways…

There’s three new mostly-daily-updating things on Wattpad, because I’m stuck with what I’m meant to be doing, so trying doing different and entirely new and several things at once to fix being blocked on Losing Everything and Love Letters, because that worked last time.  Sort of.

So anyways, the new things are…



(Epic fantasy, no smut, kind of religiousy only in the sense it’s, well, about the garden of Eden)

Ashlin dies, and then wakes up, very surprised that she has.

She remembers dying, remembers it precisely, and is completely certain that she did. She is equally certain that she hadn’t expected there to be anything else afterwards.

But yet, here something is.

She is somewhere. A place she doesn’t understand. A place whose very existence doesn’t quite make sense, and which is equal parts horrifying and magical, beautiful and cruel.

With very little other choice, she explores this new world, trying to find a place for herself in it.

Slowly, she begins to work out where she is, and what is happening around her, and what she needs to do to find peace.

Oh, spoilers, if you’re reading it over there… the city is built on top of the garden of eden! urban sprawl comes to paradise! ha!

This is here.


Fame (Except Not)

(Kind of gxg celebrity fanfic, just to try.)

I meet someone famous. And I lend her a dress.  And then she kisses me, and then things get really complicated.

This is here.


Adventures in Heroland

(Sort of epic fantasy-ish but also slightly silly)

Harriet Ironspike is a tax collector, but not the exciting kind. Not one of the highly-skilled operators of the Special Assessments Office with their ultra-light chainmail and automatic crossbows. Harriet is only an initial assessor, a form-filler, who has to call in the SAO when things became complicated or tricky. Which means that the SAO always get all the credit for the most interesting audits she does.

Harriet doesn’t mind that. She doesn’t mind her job. In fact, she actually quite likes it, even though working where she does is sometimes tricky. She is in the difficult in the northern province of Karmelt. Or Heroland, as everyone calls it.

Karmelt is in the northern marches, and is full of heroes. And bandits. And dragons. And orcish raiding parties. Which the all heroes fight endlessly. And that fighting is all very well, and like all the residents of Heroland, Harriet is glad someone does it, but it does create certain complicated issues around their taxes. Like irregular incomes and capital gains and deductible expenses for dragon hordes.

Any cash-based employment with haphazard accounting needs to be treated with a certain care by the tax authorities, and unfortunately, those tax authorities are Harriet.

Only Harriet.

For the whole province of Heroland.

And it isn’t just heroes she has to deal with, either. It’s heroes, and orcish mining corporations, and elvish agricultural collectives that everyone knows are growing illegal narcotics off in the woods, and worst of all, it is doing audits of dragons.

Harriet hates doing audits of dragons, but tax season is coming and she knows she is going to have to before the financial year is out.

And this one I’m pretty much writing from the blurb!

This is here.

Tiny Flash Fictions

I was just bored and blocked and tried this!  Um, stories as short as can possibly be…



Unlike Orpheus1, he did not look back.  It made no real difference.


Visiting the Fey

In the end, terribly hungry, knowing it is unwise, I eat a little of the food.  And although there must be an end to this story, as I sit here, chewing, I know I shall never know what it is.

Confessions in a Lifeboat

And then there were only two of us.  And in the end, hungry, I ate a little of the meat too.

Lazy and Apples and April (Why I haven’t written anything in ages)

Oh, and also, I know I went quiet again, and it started because dramas, but now its mostly just the mid-autumn seasonal-affective-disorder too-much-apple-sugar April glug.

I hope.  I assume.

Um, back soon, anyways.

And April-apple-glug because i just realized it happened last year too, so maybe its just me.  Which is a bit alarming, but never mind.

But nows I must go and write a thing for the other one.  And if you don’t know there’s another one, um…  read this first, but there is :)

Writery Stuff: Linky about Marketing (Um… Not)

So yes, this is actually not so much a clever and useful linky about marketing as one about why I don’t, and maybe people shouldn’t, and how maybe that’s okay because marketing, or at least social-media-type marketing, perhaps isn’t very useful for writers.

And mostly so how because of all that, I shouldn’t feel guilty because I don’t, and maybe you shouldn’t either if you do too!  Which is good, like not feeling guilty!


Um, seriously, because I think some people reading this are actually writers, like from back in the day maybe, although some people aren’t.  So if you aren’t, just ignore, but for the writers, um, this…

Please shut up: Why self-promotion as an author doesn’t work

Which is useful!  And actually did help.  As in, help with confidence and feeling less like I don’t do enough, rather than with the actual marketing.  Because it’s basically saying the “twitter doesn’t sell books” thing and also the “best marketing is write another book” thing, and I think maybe hearing those over and over, with convincing-ness, is actually very useful!

So here you go!

And yes, I know it’s maybe only telling me what I already wanted to hear, but that can be nice too!  Even if only for the less guilty-ness :)  But also, I think actually she’s right, and kind of explains better than I can what I was vaguely feeling but hadn’t worked out how to say.  And say properly.  Like with reasoning and evidence and stuff!  And in a lot more detail than I ever could.

Which is why just linking rather than trying to say it myself!

So yes, maybe less useful than actual marketing advice, but maybe actually more useful too, because it might help you not feel guilty or lazy or useless or not committed because you don’t bother doing social media as much as some people say you should.

Because for that, it helped me heaps!

And yes I know this is a blog and so social media.  But you know what I mean!

Anyways, that was just in case someone found it useful.  Except instead of just posting a link I went on and on.  Oh well.

Oh, and for credityness, this is from the Passive Voice, which is about the only booky thing I look at, but you should too!  Because useful!  And also, one day when I’m rich and famous he’s going to be my lawyer.  Not that he knows it yet haha.  And also, he is a fine example of how to just post a link and not go on and on and on about it…  um…  :)

Okays, so yes, now I should stop.

And so I will!

Random Thought About Kindle Unlimited

So if someone in the US or UK or whatever has a kindle, and has 6 or 7 books in Kindle Unlimited, and every month they borrow those same books on their own kindle and sit there, while watching TV, scrolling through or whatever one does, until they get to the magic percentage that counts as a borrow, does that not get them paid for KU borrows and effectively give them a free Kindle Unlimited subscription?

Because 6 or 7 books times $1.50ish for each borrow means $10ish a month which is what a KU subscription costs.  For those in funny places like me who don’t know that.

So that’s nice!

But worse!  Because also, since anyone can publish anything on Kindle, except bad naughty things Amazon doesn’t like obviously, then couldn’t some random customer just put up 7 books of one page of, say, “minimalist poems”, and borrow each one each month, and then get paid, and pay for their KU subscription that way?

Um, where “minimalist poem” means “I am. A poem. Then I am not”.  Or whatever.

Or do KU borrows only count the first time each reader borrows something ever, so not on re-reads?  Because if so than this devious plan probably makes less sense and may not be worth the trouble of doing every month…

And also, um, wait…

Hi Amazon!  Wave!  And if you see this, I’m not in KU-land and don’t have a kindle so don’t go deducting one borrow from everything on there with my name because I said this!

But also, um, if you troublemakers out there are ever doing this, and you’re terribly grateful for the idea and you saw it here, then read my stuff too!  Ha!

Wait, Amazon, that was a joke too!  Um….


So anyways.  All of that.  Cheating and stuff.  What fun!  Which is all very nice, but never mind, because actually all this is kind of thinking small.

Small, because if, say, a group of authors got together and by arrangement all read each others books every month the same way as that, like in front the TV, so dozens of them were involved, then wouldn’t they all gets lots of borrows and money and also go up in the bestseller lists?

Which is good.

And what’s really good is that doing that way wouldn’t have the costs that actually buying each other’s books would have, for money, assuming they already had KU subscriptions anyway.  Because presumably, while its okay to buy 1000 copies of your own book just to push it up a bestseller list, most people won’t because, well, you have to buy a 1000 books.  So unless you’re completely sure that being number 37 in “Fiction – SF – Robots – Erotica” or whatever is going to sell a lot more copes than you just spent paying for them, it probably isn’t worth doing.

Because of the buying of the books.

But with KU you pay a flat subscription.  So you only have to waste time.  So by borrowing and “reading” you get a  benefit, and maybe it is worth doing.  Perhaps.  So isn’t this kind of a flaw in the whole scheme?  LIke it’s relying on people to be too lazy to cheat?

Which seems sort of naive…

And I am not saying do that, not at all, and again, I can’t anyway.  I’m just kind of wondering…

Update: I’m so totally writing some robot erotica now.  No, this is nothing to do with tropfest.  Okay it’s a little to do with tropfest, and if you have no idea what I’m on about then, um, here!

“Guest Post”: Lace Winter on Writery Business Matters

So this is a “guest post” like the interviews last year were “interviews”…  so um, completely not.

Basically, I said something the other day about Kindle Unlimited and free books and stuff, which led to discussions, which led to Lace Winter saying this, and its heaps and heaps of info and very useful and even has links and things, so basically, way to important to be hidden down the bottom of the ugly comments screens where no-one can see it.

So, um, now it’s here!

And if you’re only here to read smut, you are completely not going to care.  Just to say. But if you’re a writer, maybe you will!  Because useful!

Oh, and bit at the start is because I said rude things about how publishers don’t offer as much support as they used to, is all.

And anyways, Lace said all this…

You’re right, the bottom line is that it is a) difficult to get traditionally published, b) if you do obtain a traditional publishing contract, you don’t have a big name so they aren’t going to aggressively market your book — but they will expect YOU to aggressively market your book, c) in print at least, once your book is no longer new, it will likely no longer appear on bookstore shelves, and d) your royalty cut from a traditional publisher will be a very tiny fraction of what it will be from Amazon.

There is a lot of evidence that if you are a new(ish) author, marketing a first book, that you will likely make more money with it by self-publishing, as long as you hustle and have a reasonable marketing plan (which does not mean blast out tweets about it 20 times a day). Since the trad publisher will still expect you to market your book on your own, you aren’t really doing anything you wouldn’t be doing anyway, except you’re doing it more for yourself.

In terms of the royalty you can expect from Amazon when self-publishing, it is comparable to all the other major platforms out there (Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, etc).

As for whether it makes sense to go with Amazon or the other platforms, there is some disagreement out there about this, but since Amazon commands the lion’s share of the ebook market, this is where you will make money. Since most readers are more familiar with Amazon than the others, this is where they will look for your book. Since reviews sell books more than probably anything else, it therefore makes sense to concentrate your reviews in the place where most people will see them, i.e. Amazon. So, for this reason, it may actually make you more money to have your book only on Amazon. That said, there are some strategic reasons why it still may make sense to have your book on multiple platforms.

So, if you are going to concentrate on Amazon only, then you might want to take advantage of the deals that being in Kindle Select can offer (like free days, countdown deals, etc). Being in Kindle Select now means pretty much automatically being in Kindle Unlimited, and this is still a very new paradigm, so the industry analysts are still figuring out. However, some analysis has been done, and at the moment it looks like a good deal for authors as well as readers, as long as authors are strategic about how they use it (you can, for instance, selectively have some books in KU and others on Amazon but not in KU, and there are some strategies around this).

As for the services that trad publishers offer that Amazon doesn’t… well, actually Amazon has their own publishing house, and if you do sign with them, they offer the same services (and higher royalties than most if not all other publishers), but this is not the same as self-publishing on Amazon. It’s true that if you self-publish anywhere you will not have someone freely providing editing or cover design. Nevertheless, editors and cover designers are out there to help you — obviously, they are not working for free, but if you are going to be serious about marketing your book, it makes sense to invest a little in professional editing and design. This doesn’t have to break the bank, though. You can, with this kind of help, have a self-published book, both ebook and print-on-demand, that looks every bit as polished and professional as anything a trad publisher can put out.

I highly recommend looking at ‘Three Tips for Finding the Perfect Publishing Path’ by Kristen Lamb (and I also highly recommend her book ‘Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World), ‘Author Marketing 101: the Verdict on Kindle Unlimited’ by Matthew Kadish, and pretty much everything in the ‘Marketing’ section of Nicholas Rossis’ blog. Then, finally, wander over to ‘Giving Books a Voice’ by Eva Gantz for social media marketing tips for authors (Kristen Lamb has a lot on this, too).

And no, I get no kickbacks from them. :) I just found their stuff incredibly helpful to me. There are many others, too, but these are some of the ones I’ve been following.

Um, so that was Lace, this is Tess again.  I tidied up the emphasis bolds and the linkys but that was all :)

And also, because this seems to be how it’s done…  Lace’s blog and her twitter.

Short Story: Ardudunon and Iskamagos

So a story.  Which isn’t smut.  And probably I should have done this ages ago, but I didn’t and completely my bad.  This is for an anthology which promotes new writers, and is set in ancient Britain.

Um, so go look?  Maybe?

Anyways, the story is here.  Which is on the website.  And the anthology is here.  And please go look, because I think i was meant to kind of help promote it, and I failed miserably.  But there’s other people in it and so you should!

Thank you!

Update: apparently the anthology checkout thingy may not work, just to warn :)

And the Final bit of Islands in the Sky

Um, because I’m not completely sure who looks where and who’ll actually see this, but part four, like the end of the first book is on Smashwords now.  And the other places soon, probably.

But it’s only going to be there for a few days, like a week. So go get it if you want it!

Because the plan is to take those four free parts down, and put it all up as a single pay-for novel, like part one of the How to Make a Boat out of a Wardrobe Cycle or something.  So those four chapters are book one, and so is everything on Wattpad up to chapter five as well.

If that makes sense.

But get it now, like soon, because I am going to take it down again, because having separate bits of the same thing up twice is just confusing and weird and bound to annoy someone.

So, um, that.  That’s all!

Oh, also, I tidied up the SFF page here, because I forgot until just now.  After like a year.  Oops.  And sorry if that weirdly confused anyone who actually looked at it expecting actual information and stuff because they’d actually found Islands in the Sky and had no idea about the rest…  so, um sorry…

And now that’s all :)

Sometimes I Have A Slightly Surreal Life

So I just finished writing really graphic, filthy, bdsmy smut, and then I did the dishes.

Like not all the dishes, just the sticky pots and partner’s stupidly big wine glass which doesn’t fit properly in the dishwasher.  So it’s not like a huge chore or anything, but it’s still dishes.  Right after smut.  And for some reason that struck me as really quite weirdly surreal so I thought I’d share!

Um, I don’t completely know why surreal actually…  kind of something about because how I took off rubber gloves to sit down and type this?  And because I’m going to do laundry in a bit, and then vacuum and mop, probably, and while I do that I’m going to think about filthy smutty filth, and then maybe write it down later on?

Or maybe I’ll think about how to deal with an arranged marriage in a flying city, maybe that.  One or the other.  Who knows?

But maybe it’ll be smut.

Like, I really do spend a lot of time thinking dirty stuff while I do ordinary things.  Like more than normal people do, I assume, and way more then I used to before all the writery.

And it seems like there’s something about the gloves and mopping and dishes that probably isn’t quite what you’re all expecting either, that’s all.

So I thought I’d say!  And I did!

Um, stopping now :)

New Islands in the Sky chapter ebook

So just in case anyone is desperately hanging out for an actual ebook rather than wattpad, the chapter two bit of Islands in the Sky is now on Smashwords.  So this is the part with Cassa’s wedding.

And actually, its also here too.  Um, because I hadn’t updated that in ages, but now I have.  Um, sorry?

And there’s a map, remember!

So.  It’s on Smashwords as reader sets price for no reason other than whimsy and reminiscence, because way back when I did that.  And because I need to keep remembering not to make it tricky for people to pay for stuff if they want, I guess.  Reasons like that. But please don’t feel obliged or guilted on anything, because obviously its still free, and obviously on Wattpad too, and especially if you’re actually reading this here!  Just don’t!

But it’s here.  It’s not on Amazon yet but it may be, but I’m just wondering whether it’s wise to spam Amazon with 99c partial ebooks or better just to wait and do a whole book at the end.  So I’m thinking :)

Um, 99c partial ebooks because Amazon doesn’t let things be free deliberately, you have to kind of trick the system and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, so it might end up not working.

Anyways, that!  And thank you :)

Update: Oh, and Debt Collectors War is updated to be current too.   And um, sorry about the huge chapters, but its boring making pages. So I didn’t, much!  Go read on wattpad if you want stuff to look tidy :)