A Chat Over Tea with Horror Author Villimey Mist

Welcome back for another author interview! This month I had a chat with Villimey Sigurbjörnsdóttir, a horror author from Iceland.

Vill and I go way back. I’ve been her editor since her first book, and she’s been one of my critique partners for just as long. We’ve seen each other’s writing at its best and its worst, and I can say from personal experience how hungry to learn this girl is and how far she’s come!

If you’d like more interviews to read after this one, you can browse all interviews here.

A Chat Over Tea with Horror Author Villimey Mist - cover image

S: Let’s start by talking about what you’re reading at the moment. What do you like about it?

V: I finished reading Diabolica Britannica the other day. It’s a horror anthology which I really like because there are so many varieties of horror in it that appeals to my dark soul. Psychological, Lovecraftian, even gory stuff. I highly recommend it.

S: I read it, too, and also recommended it for its wide range! There’s something for every lover of horror – even wimps like me who can’t take much. With so much variety, what’s your favourite kind of horror?

V: Gothic with haunting scenes and also the psychological horror. Anything that can twist my mind is great!

S: Which book has influenced you the most?

V: The Harry Potter books and the Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan. The story telling of  Harry Potter is riveting and imaginative, and I love the creepiness along with the heart of the protagonist of Cirque du Freak.

S: I haven’t read Cirque du Freak but will check it out! Let’s talk about your books though. What are you working on right now?

V: I’m currently working on Nocturnal Salvation, the third book of my vampire horror series. It’s in the editing process right now and is going along smoothly so far.

S: I must say, I personally love this stage, because my shitty first draft transforms into a beautiful thing of… beauty *ahem* But I know many, maybe even most, authors absolutely loathe this stage! How do you feel about it?

V: I both like and dislike it. I like it because I can add more meat to the bone, so to speak, and I can catch any errors or plot holes. I dislike it because I can be a bit of an underwriter so I’d have to look more thoroughly. I also tend to use many words way too often! So many convenient clutches…

S: I think we all have this problem! In my first WIP, I overused windows for reasons I can’t explain :O Do you know what’s next after this WIP?

V: The fourth book in the series. I’ve written down most of the plot so once all the hassle with book 3 is finished, I’ll sit down and write the chapter outlines. But in-between, I’m writing short stories as well and really enjoying it!

S: And wasn’t there something about a prequel, too?

V: Oh yeah, there’s going to be a prequel with Sophie at the helm. But I need more time to research physical and psychological trauma to really connect with Sophie in that book. I also need to channel my anger and frustration to it as well.

S: What do you enjoy the most about this process? It could be anything from writing the first draft to doing research to connecting with readers on social media. What do you like about it?

V: What I enjoy the most is being able to sit down with a notebook ready and write it all down by hand. That’s where my creative juices really flow out of me and I happily get lost in the process, which can be difficult, especially if I’m writing it at work XD

S: I admire authors who can write their whole books by hand so much! My hand cramps just thinking about it o.o

What do you enjoy the least? Why do you dislike this part of being an author?

V: The marketing process. I very often forget to market my books and I also often feel bad for bothering people about it. It’s hard to stand in the sea of thousands of other writers and shout out your book. But apparently, one person said that I was good at it, so I just need to discover what is good about my marketing and really hone that skill.

S: I think what you do naturally is social media. You’re killing it on Twitter, and I know you’re around on Instagram quite a bit as well. All that is marketing, whether you’re actively talking about your book, discussing horror books, or talking about your favourite cake. Marketing always sounds scary, but it can mean so many things!

A Chat Over Tea with Horror Author Villimey Mist - Nocturnal Salvation by Villimey Mist
Coming to your shelves in 2021!

Now, inspiration is an often-asked-after topic for artists of all formats. How do you approach it? Do you find inspiration, do you let it come to you, and how do you do it?

V: Music is a big inspiration for me. If I hear a song and I can let myself imagine different scenarios connecting to that song, I’ll be inspired. Watching anime has also helped a lot. Just seeing it all in action, with encouraging music in the background is very inspiring. I often listen to anime openings whenever I want to get into the groove of drawing.

S: What’s on your Nocturnal Salvation playlist?

V: Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit, Found & Lost by Survive Said The Prophet, Still Waiting by Sum 41, Start a Riot by Duckwrth & Shaboozey, Home by Vince Staples & Richie Kohan, Swan Song by Dua Lipa, Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons, This is Me by Keala Settle, and Peace Sign sung by Caleb Hyles.

S: I wish I could write with music, but unless it’s instrumental, it’s too distracting.

Authors like to joke that, if someone were to look through their search history, they’d be in trouble. What’s the weirdest thing you ever researched, and which book was it for?

V: The red-light district and the Museum of Prostituition in Amsterdam for book 2, Nocturnal Farm. I had an inkling on how the red-light district worked but I learned a lot of interesting things about it through further research.

S: That sounds fascinating! What are some of the interesting things you’ve learned?

V: That the prostitutes have a union there. They get paid salaries, get sick days and vacation time. I thought that was awesome!

S: What do you consider the most important thing you’ve learned since you first decided to write a book?

V: Patience. It’s been very hard for me because I’m a very impatient person and I want everything done as quickly as possible. But the writing journey isn’t like that. If you pace yourself and try not to worry about time and deadlines, your experience will be a lot better.

S: I relate to that so much. I rushed my first book because I wanted it out there, but guess who ended up getting it re-edited (with all the trimmings this time) and re-published a few years later? *points at self* This idiot. 

When you’re not writing your book or reading others’, what do you do to relax and have fun?

V: I watch a lot of TV. It anchors me and allows for some mind-numbing fun. I also work out in the mornings, take walks while listening to podcasts, and do D&D with friends and my brother.

S: And finally, where else can we find you on the interwebs?

A Chat Over Tea with Horror Author Villimey Mist - author portrait of Villimey Mist

V: You can find me on Instagram as fangs.and.light where I post news about my books and my drawings. I’m also quite active on Twitter as VillimeyS so if you wanna chat, definitely connect with me there 🙂 I also have a blog/website which is in dire need of an update at www.villimeymistauthor.com

S: Thanks for chatting with me, Villimey!

As always, if you have a question for Villimey, leave it below and we’ll reply as soon as we can *high five*


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The Audiobook Diaries | Week 17

This won’t be a huge update, but there are a few things about the giveaway download codes and the release date itself that I wanted to add.

But first:

New here? You can start following my audiobook experience from the beginning.

Want to catch up or remind yourself what happened last? Here’s the previous entry.

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 17 - How to change your street date and how giveaway codes work

Your Audiobook’s Release Date

Way back in Week 1, I set the street date (aka the release date) for my audiobook. I had no idea what to put because I had no idea how long this process would take, so I guessed.

Before I continue, I want to stress that you shouldn’t change your release date once you’ve announced it. It’s okay to move it back if you need a little longer (don’t make a habit out of it though – it’s much more professional to set your date later and avoid this situation), but you should never move it forwards, because you’ve probably worked hard on building hype around a certain date, and you lose that by moving it forwards.

Now that’s out of the way:

I decided to move my date forwards.

I didn’t build hype around this release except for saying that I was working on an audiobook, linking to this diary here and there, and talking about the future release in general terms. I didn’t announce a date, so I had no public announcement to make because all anyone knew was that it was coming.

One of the reasons for this is that when you submit your audiobook with Findaway Voices, they will upload it to 43 online stores (at present – this number may change in the future). You can’t expect it to hit all 43 stores at the same time. Some simply take longer than others *glances at Audible*

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 17 - the full list of the 43 online stores Findaway Voices distribute your audiobook too
The full list of online stores Findaway Voices distributes your audiobook to. You can opt out of whichever ones you don’t want to sell with, but I’m not sure why you’d do that *scratches head*

So, announcing a date when only a fraction of the market (very likely not including Audible, since they can take the longest) was likely to be ready on that date seemed like madness to me.

Also, the audiobook is new, but the book itself has been out for four years. This is just a new format of an already published book, not a new release altogether!

You can, of course, approach this with as much hype and as many fanfares as you want, but do tread carefully.

SO, why in the seven hells did I decide to move my date forwards?

Giveaway Download Codes

Like with any book you publish, you’ll have the option to give away free copies in exchange for an honest review.

Excited that the big day was finally here, I invited my mailing list, my review team (for which I’d been recruiting again for this moment), and my Facebook reader group to sign up for a download code.

I didn’t realise at the time that I could only access the download codes once we’d reached the street date – in other words, you can only download and hand out giveaway codes once your book is out, not before.

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 17 - an example of the download codes you can generate

Unlike with paperbacks and ebooks, where you can send copies to reviewers as early as you fancy, you will have to wait to do the same with your audiobook.

I could already request the codes (read: the button was clickable), but I kept getting an error message, so I emailed Findaway Voices, they investigated, and explained the reason to me.

Fortunately, you can change your street date at any time leading up to the release, so I did that.

You should also offer your narrator some of these codes. Chances are, they’ll want to promote it, too, and this is an easy way to do it!

Wait, so Is Your Audiobook out Now?

Yes and no.

My new street date was Monday August 31st, and I received an email late on Wednesday telling me that Findaway Voices had detected four new links for my book – it’s available on GooglePlay, Apple, Scribd, Chirp, Kobo, and hibooks.

It’s not yet available on the other 37 stores.

So, no, your street date isn’t really when your book will be available.

At present, there’s no easy way to tell where your book is out and where it isn’t. You’ll receive an email when new stores are added, but there’s no page where they’re all listed with ticks and Upload Pendings.

I know they’re working on adding one, but right now, I’m checking Audible myself every day to see if it’s there. Because I’m impatient and can’t wait for the email.

Summary:

  • You can change your release date/street date any time until your audiobook is out.
  • Your street date arriving doesn’t mean that your audiobook is available everywhere, so don’t go announcing it like you would the release date of an ebook.
  • If you’re enrolled in VoicesPlus, you can generate and hand out 100 download codes – but only once the street date has arrived!

What’s Next?

There’s only one thing left:

Global publication *rubs hands together* *muhahaha*

As I said, publication varies and takes longer on some stores than others, so I’m currently waiting to hear that it’s on Audible. I’ll make an announcement once it is (since it’s already on Google and Apple)!

If you have any questions about the audiobook production process, leave a comment and ask away!


For all entries in The Audiobook Diaries, look here.

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September Goals 2020 | Just… Write All the Things *shrugs*

This will be the shortest goals post ever, friends and bookworms. It’s September, and that means I’m going back to work near the end–not for all five days like I usually would, but for three days + two when I’ll be working from home. I don’t know how busy with library stuff I’ll be on those days. I’m torn between being tempted to start writing and marketing at the weekend and being grateful for those two days of not needing to go anywhere.

(the little devil on my shoulder is asking me, ‘Why not both?’ Indeed. Why not both.)

Long story short, I’ve no idea how much I’ll have time for this month. This will be a new type of routine for me, but I’m excited to carve out something that works for me and my books.

So, instead of the usual book-specific headers, these are my goals for September:

  • write a lot (The Silence of Magic, Blood Wisp, some short stories maybe)
  • read a lot (all the things!)
  • market a lot (mainly the audiobook once it’s available everywhere)

*shrugs*

It’s not impressive, but it is what I’ve got. It’ll be more specific at the end of the month once I know what I’ve done ^-^


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August Progress | One Submitted Audiobook (*throws confetti*) and One VERY Messy Re-Structure (*inhales tea*)

Ever sit down to reflect on how much progress you’ve made and have no idea how much progress you’ve made? I genuinely couldn’t remember where I was at the beginning of August o.o

I looked back over my post earlier this month, where I said August would be all about my audiobook, and it kinda was (and still is) :

The Rise of the Sparrows Audiobook

I spent a good chunk of time this month listening to every chapter and sending feedback where needed. My narrator got on it right away, and long story short, I approved and submitted it *throws confetti*

My purse is a lot lighter, but I can’t wait to share this book and see how much you all love my amazing narrator <3

All being well, it’ll be out on Monday, but I don’t have much control over this part *shrugs*

For all the details, read my audiobook diaries.

Blood Wisp

I may have mentioned this before, but I expected the re-structuring to be monstrous…

And it was.

But it’s done now and I can actually rewrite the thing rather than obsess over the non-existent structure and very messy first draft :O

The Silence of Magic

The above didn’t leave too much time for this WIP, but I did write a little bit, I named some currencies, and I named almost all the countries. Some are a little harder to figure out, but I do at least know the general direction for them, which will help a lot when my characters talk about them.

And that’s it–a super short progress report after the super short goals I set at the start of this month 🙂


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Mini Book Reviews August 2020 | Morning Star, When You Were Everything, Diabolica Britannica

Oh hey, it’s ANOTHER new monthly post! I must be getting my shit together :O

Every month, I post mini reviews of the books I’ve read that month. I’m not a fast reader, so these posts won’t be long *ahem*

(also, just writing this title made me realise how widely I read these days #highfive)

Please note: I’m using affiliate links throughout this post, so I may earn a small commission if you purchase anything through my links at no additional cost or hassle to you. It’s one of the things that help me keep this blog running, so thank you <3

mini review banner - August 2020. Books read: Morning Star, When You Were Everything, Diabolica Britannica
Mini book review image Morning Star by Pierce Brown

MORNING STAR by Pierce Brown

Review: I actually don’t know how to review this o.o As I’m writing this post, I’m just under 100 pages away from the end. There’s just been a wedding scene (damning enough on its own), and the only part of the vows Brown shows is the ’til death do us part’ bit, so I’m sweating and frankly, I’m terrified of the last 80 pages. I’m not ready for it, and I’m pretty sure I’ll still be in a lot of pain when I have finished it.

If you love sci-fi with excellent everything and more pain than you can handle, you need this series.

Favourite Quote:

Maybe that’s just the nature of us, ever wishing for things that were and could be rather than things that are and will be.

(I wrote down so many though)

Rating:


Mini book review image When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk

WHEN YOU WERE EVERYTHING by Ashley Woodfolk

Review: I went for this audiobook whenever my feelings weren’t ready for more Morning Star. It’s narrated extremely well, and it’s also weirdly nostalgic for me because my BFF and I fought when we were the MC’s age, so I feel a lot of this book.

Due to the topic, it’s also full of teenage growing-up drama, which isn’t really my thing – I knew that from the blurb going in though, so I didn’t take a heart away for that. It’s not like it mislead me. I did take one heart away because I don’t really care overall. I can easily put this book down and do something else.

BUT it’s well written, really well narrated, and I think it’s an important book for young readers to help them realise that not all friendships last forever, and that this is okay.

Favourite Quote:

Everything feels like a memory in a city when it snows.

(This is also the opening line <3)

Rating:


mini book review image Diabolica Britannica

DIABOLICA BRITANNICA by Keith Anthony Baird

Review: I always struggle with anthologies. A lot of these stories were great, and I’ve found some authors I want to read more by. It also had stories that didn’t work for me. As with all anthologies, the wide selection of different talents is its blessing and its curse *shrugs*

Since it shows off a wide range of British horror authors, you’re guaranteed to find stories you’ll love! It’s very worth a read if horror is your genre (or even if you’re a wimp, like me – none of them terrified me!), and with the profits going to the NHS, there’s no reason not to give this a try.

Favourite Quote:

In many ways, Ruth had never really left. But when she heard about the village being revealed again after six straight years of draught, she knew she had to go back. To see the only place where she had ever belonged. To relive that time when she had become her true self. To make sure.

from The Flow by Tim Lebbon

Rating:


What did you read this month? Did you love it?


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A Chat Over Tea with Fantasy Author Rhianne Williams

PHOO! It’s been a while since I’ve done an interview for this site. I won’t go into details again, so I’ll just throw the word burnout into the room and trust that you get it. The plan is to make these a regular thing as I originally wanted to!

This month’s interview is with the busiest of bees, Rhianne Williams. You might know her from her many writing projects or maybe from her website Little Novelist, where she helps other writers achieve their writing dreams.

Today, we’re talking about world building, how to juggle a gajillion WIPs, and what she’s working on at the moment. Video games are mentioned somewhere in there too.

A Chat Over Tea with Fantasy Author Rhianne Williams | Interview banner

S: Let’s start by talking about what you’re reading at the moment. What do you like about it?

R: I’m currently reading through the Vortex Chronicles by Elise Kova. It’s the next series after Air Awakens. I always have to be careful when reading Elise’s books as they usually give me MEGA book hangovers and then I have to not read anything for a while. I love the worlds Elise creates and honestly I just love everything Vi is also such a character. Originally I had planned to read all five books on my honeymoon but that got cancelled due to Covid and as Elise was running Air Awakens August it seemed right to pick up this series finally!

S: As someone who LOVES everything world building, I have to ask: what is it about her worlds you love?

R: Elise has such an incredible imagination. She really knows how to pull the reader into the book and make it feel like the places she’s made up could be a real place. As a patron of Elise’s I recently learned she spends months building the world before she even starts thinking about the story as a whole. Which naturally fascinated me as an author. I also got to watch her build the world for the novel she is writing with the help of her patrons.

S: Which book has influenced you the most?

R: I wouldn’t say that there is ONE book that has influenced me. Pretty much any book that I read was an inspiration. I love the emotions evoked in writing, and the excitement of a new world!

S: I completely agree. Any book that can makes us feel something is a winner! But let’s talk about your books. What are you working on right now?

R: Oh gosh! What a question. Well, at the moment, in the very time that I am writing out the answers to these questions, I am working on editing the 4 books in my fantasy series called The Kane Saga which consists of a trilogy and a prequel novella. Then I am also writing the first draft of a stand-alone dragon fantasy, AND I am working on the outlines for a new fantasy series. At the moment it’s just three novellas but I am planning on five more books in the series which has a working title of Project Kerradin.

S: Knowing you, I’m not surprised you have so much going on, but I think it’ll look like a lot to most writers. How do you balance so many projects? I had three books on the go this month, and I felt overwhelmed at times!

R: Haha! Yeah… I’m not the best role model for authors. I tend to get myself in a flap for the most part. I’ll start with the easy one. I schedule in 1 hour of writing every morning Monday – Saturday. In this time I can do between 26-1100 words. I average 500 though. Edit wise. They’re done in queue format meaning I do one edit after the other. So for example, Kingdom of Lies is with my Beta’s so I’ve gone through the critique feedback on my novella, then when that’s done, I’ll start on book two and do one round of edits on that. Then if my betas are done by the time I finish I’ll go back to book one. Outlining I just fit in, in whatever time I have. Five minutes at work, ten minutes on my lunch break, shout for my husband to write down the scene that popped into my head while I was having a shower etc. 

S: *marvels at how specific 26 is* Do you know what’s next after these WIPs? Given how much you’ve listed above, this might seem like a strange question, but I know you’re always thinking about the next project!

R: Nope. I have a few ideas but I’ll probably let some of them come to fruition before. I might even do another stand-alone as I do have a little elf that has been vying for my attention, and a reincarnated gender-bend author too. I am on the lookout for new ideas though, so maybe something new will arrive soon!

S: I can’t believe you said no and then listed two ideas and mentioned you have more! I knew that no was a lie 😉

What do you enjoy the most about this process? It could be anything from writing the first draft to doing research to connecting with readers on social media. What do you like about it?

R: Writing the outline and the first draft is my favourite bit. It makes me so happy to create, and that’s the part I love the most. Creating. The other part I like is finally holding a copy of the book in my hand and having people tell me they enjoyed the story. 

S: What do you enjoy the least? Why do you dislike this part of being an author?

R: Editing! I hate editing. As much as I know it makes the story better, I really hate it. If I could go from first draft to finished manuscript without the editing I would love it. I always find editing takes longer than writing the draft because I do so many drafts/revisions after the first one. For example, Kingdom of Lies is on draft 6 already haha.

S: So many authors feel that way, but I don’t get it XD Maybe it’s because I used to edit for a living? Seeing how much the draft improves through all these edits, how they start to sing… *sigh*

ANYWAY. Inspiration is an often-asked-after topic for artists of all formats. How do you approach it? Do you find inspiration, do you let it come to you, and how do you do it?

R: I let it come to me. Inspiration isn’t something you can capture, at least not in my opinion. It can choose to strike at any point. For me, it usually ends up striking at the most unlikely places. Either when I am driving to work, or in the shower. 

S: Authors like to joke that, if someone were to look through their search history, they’d be in trouble. What’s the weirdest thing you ever researched, and which book was it for?

R: If i’m honest… nothing haha! I write fantasy so there’s not that much to research. Not like a thriller writer might research ways people die, or what happens if you stab someone in a certain place. I tend to just look up mythologies and then find a way to twist it. 

S: But aren’t those things still just as important in fantasy novels? I read a lot of fantasy, and the body count is pretty high!

R: Well… yes. But in a fantasy you don’t have to have too much in-depth knowledge – which is what I meant. 

Sure you need to be realistic, you can’t have someone running around after being stabbed in the heart, but you don’t need to know where the trace evidence would be like you would in a modern thriller/detective novel way.

S: That’s very true. And I don’t think our readers look for those kinds of details, either – at least nothing that specific!

What do you consider the most important thing you’ve learned since you first decided to write a book?

R: When I wrote my first book, I completely pantsed it. I had no idea where it was heading or what was going to happen at the end of it. But it took me three years to write that fist manuscript and another 18 months to edit it. Whereas now, I spend time outlining my books which means even if I stray from the path I always know where I need to get back to, and it takes me less time to get those words down on the page.

S: See, I’m a plotster, too, and I think your reason for outlining is why every author should at least plan a little: if you know where your book needs to go, you can’t really get stuck! And there’s nothing worse than getting stuck halfway through the middle and not knowing what to do. It might still be tricky with an outline, but at least you know what your characters need to aim for!

But I’m getting distracted *ahem* When you’re not writing your book or reading others’, what do you do to relax and have fun?

R: Play the xbox or watch TV. I’m a big binge watcher so watching only one episode is really hard for me haha! And I can literally spend all day playing Skyrim or The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. Sometimes I play the sims too but I can get bored of that super quickly.

S: I’ve lost so many hours to all of those games. Although, I admit, Skyrim has lost its magic for me. It feels depressing after putting so many hours into Elder Scrolls Online – it highlights everything that’s gone to shit in Tamriel since the good old days XD

Before you go – where else can we find you on the interwebs?

Author portrait of R. S. Williams

R: The best places to stay in contact with me are over on Instagram, on my Facebook page or on my email list. I have one for readers and one for writers

S: Thank you so much for stopping by, Rhi!

If you have a question for Rhianne or me, leave a comment below and we’ll reply asap!


You can find all interviews here.

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The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT’S GO TIME)

This has been the most exciting week yet! In short: IT IS DONE. The full version is below, but first…

New here? You can start following my audiobook experience from the beginning.

Want to catch up or remind yourself what happened last? Here’s last week’s entry.

Now, onto the excitement…

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT'S GO TIME)

Proofing the Audio Files

My priority this week was to continue proofing the uploaded audio files. I made a good start last week, but I really wanted to wrap it up this week.

On Monday, I received this email from Findaway:

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT'S GO TIME) |  the email from Findaway Voices telling me my audiobook is ready for review.

Since I had already been listening to the chapters as my narrator uploaded them, I was pretty much caught up.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to listen and provide feedback on your entire audiobook within ten days, I strongly recommend you do the same thing. Let’s be honest, chances are you won’t be able to wait anyway.

On Wednesday, I listened to the last chapter and provided the last two bits of feedback (one sentence read twice and one word misread, if you’re curious).

That same evening, my narrator uploaded the new file and told me that we were good to go.

So I did this:

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT'S GO TIME) | I submitted my audiobook for review!

Which resulted in this:

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT'S GO TIME) | Audiobook submission confirmation

Wednesday evening was exciting, I tell you!

(I’m also super relieved to once again know for sure how much money I have in my account)

My audiobook is now being processed and checked to make sure everything is good to go and we didn’t miss any mistakes. Once it’s passed quality control, it’ll be uploaded to every online store known to listeners.

Which means the marketing can begin for real! *throws confetti*

Pricing Your Audiobook

Every author I know has struggled at least once with pricing their book. Fret not – FindawayVoices suggests three prices, and you simply pick the one you want:

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 14 (IT'S GO TIME) | how to set your audiobook's price

This makes it really easy and hassle-free!

You can also set your own price, but let’s not forget that FindawayVoices knows what it’s doing. I went with the recommended price and thanked the gods of fiction that this option exists.

Once you’ve set your retail price, they also make suggestions for the library price/the price libraries pay to stock your audiobook. I went with the lower price here, because many libraries are struggling (I know mine is!) and I want my book to be easily accessible to people supporting libraries.

Your Complementary Social Marketing Toolkit

FindawayVoices emailed me a bunch of handy resources that explain how to market my audiobook, how royalties work, etc.

One of those resources is a social marketing toolkit I can use to, well, market my book on social media!

To be honest with you, this is the first time I’ve seen one *blushes*

I had no idea it was so simple o.o

I will use this as a template for all my books now, that’s for sure! I might also write a post on how to create your own *imagine that cute little thinking emoji here*

Summary:

This was THE week, friends and Sparrows! It’s go time! I’ve submitted my book, and the quality team at FindawayVoices is making sure it’s good to go as you’re reading this post.

What’s Next?

Once the quality checkers give the green light, Findaway will upload RISE OF THE SPARROWS to all online stores (I believe there are around 40 they work with), including Audible and wherever else you might prefer.

I’ll also get 100 download codes to hand out, so if you want to listen to this book for free… Let me know 😉


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The Audiobook Diaries | Week 13

Happy too-hot Friday, friends and bookworms!

Thank kittens for fans and ice cream in this heatwave *melts*

It’s been a busy week of listening to my audiobook’s chapters. I’m nearly there, and am hoping to finish early next week. (having said that, I won’t have time on Tuesday, so I’ll either double down on Monday or finish on Wednesday)

You might think that this means I don’t have anything to share, but I have a few insights today about how to provide your narrator feedback and what should go into your audiobook’s outro.

If you want to remind yourself what happened last time, check out Week 11. If you’re new here and would prefer to start at the beginning, start here with Week 1.

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 13

Quality Control

Since Monday, I’ve spend one or two hours every day listening to the chapters while reading along with my paperback copy. This does get a bit same-y, but it’s important to ensure everything is as it should be.

Most chapters have been fine, but I’ve found a few smaller problems like a sentence read twice or a word missing or changed. I’m not actually too worried about the latter unless the missing or changed word changes the meaning, so I only point out the ones where it makes a difference.

It’s important to remember here that unlike me, my readers (listeners?) won’t read along with the paperback. They’re highly unlikely to know if my narrator reads ‘as’ instead of ‘since’. (bad example because this specific substitute didn’t happen, but I can’t think of one that did :|) The meaning is the same, so I’m happy.

How to Give Feedback

On your FindawayVoices Production page, you have the option to add a comment to every uploaded chapter. When you find something that’s not right, the best way to present it is like this:

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 13 - An example of feedback for my narrator on an audiobook chapter

This tells your narrator when the error occurred, the exact sentence you found the error with, and what the problem is.

You get this comment box for every chapter, so any feedback you provide will already be in the right place provided you clicked the right chapter number.

It can be tempting to highlight everything, but the best thing to do is to not be nitpick-y.

As authors, we naturally read the book a certain way–we wrote the things, after all! Of course we read everything our way. Your narrator, however, will not read your book your way but their way. That doesn’t make their interpretation wrong, so don’t get hung up on it.

I know I’ve said that before, but I think it’s important to say it again and again. The last thing you want is a negative relationship with your narrator! They are professionals, remember? They know their stuff–and in this case, they probably know it better than you do; having written the book doesn’t also make you the expert narrator.

Your Book’s Outro

I got an email from FindawayVoices this week. My narrator reached out to them about the outro–what did I want her to read for it? What about the production copyright–what should she say?

Now, in case you’ve forgotten, this is my first time, so my reaction was something like:

‘… like, the acknowledgments? Production Copyright? If you don’t know…’

I replied and asked for clarification. It’s probably something super easy and I’m just not coping well with this heatwave, but in the first instance, I was clueless.

As usual, they got back to me within a day. This is the common structure FindawayVoices recommends:

‘This has been [Title], Written by [Author Name], Narrated by [Narrator Name], Copyright [Year of Manuscript and Name of Rights Holder], Production Copyright [Year of Audiobook Production] by [Rights Holder]’

To use my book as an example, it will be:

This has been Rise of the Sparrows, Written by Sarina Langer, Narrated by Leanne Yau, Copyright 2016 by Sarina Langer, Production Copyright 2020 by FindawayVoices.

If you’ve ever listened to an audiobook before, you’ve likely heard this structure right at the end of the book and will be familiar with it.

Summary

This week, I’ve listened to most of my chapters and have left feedback where necessary. Most ‘errors’ I’ve found were either a sentence read twice or a missing/changed word that alters the meaning of the sentence.

What’s Next?

Next week should be exciting, because I’ll finish my part in the quality control stage. I’m assuming my narrator will add the words she’s missed, and the twice-read sentences will be cut in editing – she might even already be on it!

If all goes as extremely well as it does in my head, I’ll approve the audiobook by the end of next week, which makes the next stage payment and uploading, I think *mild freak-out*

FindawayVoices might also do their own quality control, and of course they chapters will need to be fused together to form one book – right now, they’re uploaded individually.

Either way, I imagine next week’s post will be exciting!

If you have any questions about this process, leave a comment and I’ll reply asap.


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August Goals – All About the Audiobook

Happy August, friends and bookworms!

This month will be all about my audiobook version of Rise of the Sparrows. My narrator finished recording over the weekend, so it’s my turn!

Because I don’t know how long this will take, I don’t want to set too many goals. The audiobook is the priority, and we might have to return to one or more chapters several times, so it’s hard for me to judge how busy this will keep me.

So, this is my short list for this month:

The Rise of the Sparrows Audiobook

My priority.

For more information, keep an eye on my audiobook diaries!

The Silence of Magic

I’ve made a good start last month, but now I want to keep the momentum going. I won’t set a word count goal for this month though – I’ll write as much as I can when I’m not working on the audiobook.

Blood Wisp

Now that the pressure of Camp NaNo is over, I can dedicate more time to this WIP again. I feel like I’ve been saying this for months – and I probably have been – but it’s finally time to return to this trilogy!

I have some re-outlining to do, followed by some re-ordering of chapters, followed by writing new ones and improving the draft I already have.

All this will take time, so the only goal I dare set right now is the re-outlining and re-ordering. Everything after that will be a plus!

And that’s it! Short and sweet 🙂


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July Progress | Camp NaNo Success!

Can you believe July is over after today?? :O It’s been a busy month, that’s for sure!

My burnout has reminded me two or three times this month that it is not, in fact, over, but still watching me very carefully from the shadows. I overdid it a few times, so I’m still being careful after all. What can I say? These things take time.

Having said that, prepare to be dazzled with all my progress:

Brightened Shadows

IT’S WITH MY EDITOR

and I’VE SEEN THE COVER PROOF

It’s all happening now ^-^

I’m nowhere near ready to do a cover reveal (for once, I wasn’t instantly in love with the proof, and my designer is now on holiday until the middle of August), but it’s coming, friends and bookworms.

I also changed my NaNo goal at the last minute to include all remaining edits of Brightened Shadows – this was to prepare it for my editor. I focussed on this goal and reached it first, so I got my biggest Camp goal done before I could switch to the fun project:

The Silence of Magic

Working on Brightened Shadows first didn’t leave me much time for The Silence of Magic, but I made tons of progress towards the plot itself. I actually know where I’m going with this book now o.o

And it’s been quite a journey! I went from only having a faint idea and rough goal to having half-plotted the book and worrying it wouldn’t be a series after all but a standalone (and then worrying that wouldn’t work very well) to having the rest of it plotted and realising that it has all the series potential. So it’s been that kind of roller coaster!

I’m very nearly at my NaNo word count goal. Today’s writing session will do it. I’m cutting it a little close, but as long as I can reach it today, I’m happy.

Blood Wisp

Not gonna lie, I could have re-outlined this book this month, but I chose to prioritise The Silence of Magic – partially because, as I mentioned above, I’m cutting the NaNo deadline a little fine.

But Camp will be over after today, and Yua will get more of my attention again.

I bought and read Save the Cat! Writes a Novel this month, which will be a huge help when I start the new outline. It’s already helped me make sense of The Silence of Magic, and I’m confident that it’ll help me figure out Blood Wisp and its sequels too.

This Blog

You might have noticed that I haven’t changed anything yet, but I’ve got things scheduled for August!

Again, the delicate combination of Camp NaNo pressure and burnout-waiting-to-return meant that I didn’t push myself. But things are lined up and coming next month 🙂


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