The Writing Sparrow Episode 43 | Holding One Another Accountable: Sarina’s July-September 2021 Goals

As requested in my reader group on Facebook, I will be sharing quarterly writing updates and goals. If that’s not why you’re here, don’t worry – it’ll only happen four times a year. Hopefully, my process, goals, and achieved deadlines (as well as surprise challenges) will be interesting for you whether you’re here as a writer or as one of my readers!
 
Listen to find out what I’m working on, what progress I’ve made on my WIPs, and what I’m planning next. I’ll also talk about what’s coming up on my podcasts.
 
And if you’d like to share your goals with me, too, go right ahead! Let’s hold one another accountable *high five*

What happened to the podcast transcripts? Listen to find out.

Listen to the Episode


Support this podcast on Patreon.

For more from my podcast, browse the category right here on this website or listen with your favourite provider.

Sign up for my mailing list for updates on my books, excerpts, early cover reveals, and the exclusive freebies Shadow in Ar’Sanciond (the Relics of Ar’Zac prequel novella) and Pashros Kai Zo (a Relics of Ar’Zac short story, which isn’t available anywhere else).

Take me to the Welcome page.

The Writing Sparrow Episode 30 | Holding One Another Accountable: Sarina’s April-June 2021 Goals

As requested in my reader group on Facebook, I will be sharing quarterly writing updates and goals. If that’s not why you’re here, don’t worry – it’ll only happen four times a year. Hopefully, my process, goals, and achieved deadlines (as well as surprise challenges) will be interesting for you whether you’re here as a writer or as one of my readers!
 
Listen to find out what I’m working on, what progress I’ve made on my WIPs, and what I’m planning next.
 
And if you’d like to share your goals with me, too, go right ahead! Let’s hold one another accountable *high five*

Listen to the Episode

Read the Transcript

[The Writing Sparrow theme]

Sarina: Hello, and welcome to The Writing Sparrow Podcast. I’m Sarina Langer, and this podcast is all about writing, publishing, and marketing your book. You can find transcripts on my website at sarinalanger.com. Let’s get started.

[music]

Sarina: Good morning, friends and Sparrows. It’s the 5th of April 2021. This is Episode 30, and this is my quarter 2 writing update. First of all, thank you so much to everyone who listened to the first update back in January. I know it’s not writing tips or routines or any of the usual stuff, so it means a lot to me that you listened in any way to hear me ramble about my own works and progresses. From now on, I will of course give you those writing-related updates too, but I’ll also make sure to let you know what’s coming up on this podcast to bring it back around. [00:01:00]

So, writing updates. It’s been a very busy three months. Blood Song is finished. Blood Vow, I’m currently struggling through. I’ve reached the midpoint. More on that in a second. I’m preparing to do the next big edit of Blood Wisp during Camp NaNo. Let’s unwrap that a bit. As I said, Blood Song is finished. That’s pretty much everything said on that. Actually, no, it’s not. I’m introducing quite a few new characters in Blood Song, which is book 2 in the trilogy. I realized, by the time I was diving into book 3, Blood Vow, that I didn’t really introduce any of them properly and that I didn’t actually know any of them, so that will be fun in the rewrites. Already dreading it a little bit, but I know them all quite well now, so it won’t be a problem, it’ll just [00:02:00] take up a lot of time. But I knew what I was doing to myself, so there.

Blood Vow, I am struggling through right now, but I have reached the midpoint last week. I am officially in the second half. Normally when I read books, the second half goes by a lot faster. I’m hoping that the same thing will be true when I’m writing the second half of this, but we’ll see. It’s not that I’m really desperate to be done with it. I think I said this on my last update back in January that I’ve just spent so much time on this trilogy already that I’m really itching a little bit to move on to different worlds and different characters and just plan something completely different. I also really want to finish it now because I’ve been on it for so long. That is my priority definitely at the moment, and it’s going well. 

I’m in my second 100-day writing sprint right now. Today is– let’s see, what day is it? [chuckles] [00:03:00] Where are my notes? Yeah, I’m currently on day 42, so I’m nearly halfway through it. It’s going pretty well. I’m on track to doing at least 100,000 words this time around. Yeah, I’m really excited to think that by the time this writing sprint is done, that the first draft of Blood Vow will be done, and I’ve actually done writing this damn trilogy. Again, no offense, I love the characters and the world, just ready for something else. 

Speaking of which, Blood Wisp, Book 1. I’m currently preparing to really dive into again during Camp NaNoWriMo next month. Sorry, I say it’s next month. I’m recording this episode, at the end of March. It’s the 29th of March as I’m recording this. Of course, by the time you listen to this, it’ll already be April, I will already be knee deep, or probably neck deep, to the [unintelligible [00:03:58] [00:04:00] in Camp NaNoWriMo edits. It’s got a lot of rewrites coming. I think the worst is probably behind me because I’ve done a massive restructure on Blood Wisp, which was not great, and it was not fun. I might talk about that at some point in case you also need to do a really big restructure at some point. Yeah, so the worst is definitely behind me. [laughs] Watch as I take that back in three months’ time. I think the main thing that I need to do really is just adding in a few more chapters where I have changed what happens in it quite a lot, and just making sure that all the chapters actually are in the correct order and that I’m not doing anything really confusing. 

I know at the moment because I have moved things around so much that I’ve got probably quite an early chapter that used to be a late chapter where I have something like, I [00:05:00] remember when this happened, but at this point now, it won’t happen yet, [laughs] so this sounds really confusing, I imagined, but as I said it’s just because I’ve restructured it so much, so that some of the chapters that used to be at the end are now at the beginning and some of the things that used to be around halfway through one at the end, so there is some inevitable crossover where I’m talking about things that used to already have happened that now haven’t happened yet. [chuckles] Honestly, I think you possibly need to have done a big restructure to notice how confusing this really is. But I think it’s fine and I should probably move on before I talk myself out of it. [chuckles] 

Silence of Magic was another work in progress I was looking forward to working on over the last three months. It’s benched for now, as are all other works in progresses by the way. My entire focus now it’s just this Blood Wisp trilogy. Everything else is benched, [00:06:00]. But it may be next, I’m not entirely sure yet because I’m now also drawn again to coming back to Dreamer instead, but yeah, I haven’t quite decided yet so. At the moment, unless it’s in any way related to the Blood Wisp trilogy, it is benched, and will need to wait its turn. It’s something to look forward to. I’m really looking forward to working on something else, I may have mentioned that. 

[sighs]

Ooh, deep breath, nearly there. As I said, I’m in the second half of writing Blood Vow, but that’s me coming back to the trilogy again, and I was going to move on. Last time we talked in January, I think I had just sent Dreamer to my editor and I was awaiting her feedback, and I was then going to send it to my critique partners. I’ve got it back now from both of those of course. What I have learned more than anything else is that I should never, ever pants a book. [chuckles] [00:07:00] Please don’t let me do it again. Terrible idea, I cannot do it. It’s all over the place basically. It’s very chaotic. Most of it doesn’t quite make sense or doesn’t quite work out in the way that I wanted. If you’re a writer and you can somehow improvise the entire book without a plan, I salute you. But I have now seen just how much of a bad idea it is for me to do this. So, please never let me do it again, it’s chaotic. 

My editor really liked it, or at least she likes the idea of it, and I think my critique partners also liked the rough idea of it or the premise, but the execution, hmm-hmm. No. Let’s talk about the execution. I know it will need some very heavy rewrites when I come back to it. At the moment, I’m more leaning towards working on Dreamer next, but we will see what happens by the time I’m done with the book I promise not to mention again in these episodes. [chuckles] [00:08:00]

To be honest, what I’ll do is, I just start over, which seems quite drastic, but I think that’s probably the best thing for it. Because I’ve wrote it as a novella, I don’t have a massive word count on it anyway, and I think because I would need to restructure it so much and just change completely what happens and because I would need to add so much to it, I think it makes the most sense to just keep it in the background, maybe come back to it here and there for the one or two chapters that might survive and make it into version two. But I think otherwise it will be easier for me to just start over completely from scratch, or the plan this time, thank you. No, I will really need to plot it. I know I do anyway. I am a plotter, so I don’t know what possessed me to pants this one. Oh, that’s right, NaNoWriMo made me do it one year. There you go. I don’t regret doing it, anyway, for the record. [00:09:00] I’m glad I tried pantsing a book and I can now say with certainty that I cannot do it. Yeah, I’m looking forward to those rewrites, but they will be very heavy rewrites and I think I’ll just start over from scratch with a blank document and just try again, and hopefully, make it much stronger, because I still like the idea too.

While we are on works in progresses, I think I said at the start of January that the new prettier version of Darkened Light would be on Amazon by my birthday. It is, I managed to get it up, so now when you buy it, it’s definitely the pretty new version with a shiny new cover that you will get. KDP is struggling a little bit right now with some of my other books and inventing problems where there aren’t any [ahem] but I won’t go into the will make myself angry again, so let’s move on. 

Moving on to the marketing front, I said that I was going to try a [00:10:00] few things there. For the first time ever, I’m seeing results with my Amazon ads. But let’s not jinx it, it’s still really fairly early days, I haven’t done a second version of any of the [unintelligible [00:10:13] where I have gone in harvested good keywords that are working or keywords that aren’t working. I haven’t gone into any of that yet. I know how to do it, I just haven’t done it yet. I know I can get a lot more out of them and I will do at some point, but it will take quite a bit of time. I’ll probably set aside a day for it at some point. In case, you haven’t guessed, I’m a little bit busy right now with the trilogy I will try not to dwell on again. [chuckles] Yeah, it’s difficult. I know I can get out a lot more of those Amazon ads. I’m really pleased with how it’s going so far. As I said, it’s the first time I’ve actually seen some good results on them. Not massive results, but good results. So, it’s a good start, and [00:11:00] at some point, I’ll come back to that to get more out of them. For now, I’m happy to just let them run in the background. 

I’m also trying some other promos. I’ve actually got four scheduled for April alone, so that’s exciting. But it’s too early, I think, to talk in detail about those. I’ve made a note, and if all goes well, I’ll do an episode on what exactly I’m doing, what exactly the results were, and how you can use it as well for your own books. 

In my first update roughly three months ago, there were two things I was unsure about. Patreon and short stories and writing and/or submitting them to anthologies. Patreon, I can now tell you is probably a definite no, because I know I don’t have the time for it, and there’s absolutely no point convincing myself that I have the time for it because I know that I don’t, so I won’t go anywhere near that. Short stories are a little bit different. I have actually [00:12:00] written two, I think– yeah, two sounds right. I have submitted three short stories and a drabble. A drabble for those of you don’t know are stories that are exactly 100 words long, which has been quite an interesting and fun challenge. I’m actually quite enjoying it. I’ve had said drabble and one short story accepted through an online magazine. Who wants to party with me? Yes, go me! It got accepted to The Raconteur Review, which I’m very excited about. I believe they will go live sometime in the summer. I haven’t got a date for it yet. The other two short stories I’m currently waiting on a response to, so I will see what happens with those. If they don’t get into those anthologies this time, maybe it’ll work out at some point with another anthology in the future. I’ve actually really enjoyed writing short stories. I’ve got a plan for it now.

I think that’s what [00:13:00] I was lacking, honestly. I have just mentioned how I can’t improvise stories. The same is definitely true for short stories. I realized that what I really needed for that was a plan, something that I could plot with. I’ve got now something in place for that and it’s going so much better. I actually feel like I can write short stories. Yay. Who’d have thought? I’ve got a few more ideas for others, and at some point, I will write them. Right now, my entire priority, as we’ve already mentioned, and I won’t go into it again. Let’s just move on. 

What’s coming up on this podcast? Well, quite a few things actually. I’ve had quite a few guests on, possibly more than otherwise. I haven’t had that many solo episodes. Whereas now I have a couple of planned, I haven’t recorded them yet. Just for April, I think I’m pretty much entirely scheduled already, everything is uploaded. [00:14:00] What’s coming up next is, I’ve done a writing routine shared with Julia Blake, she’s back to talk about her routine. I have recorded two interviews with Rachel Grosvenor, one about what a writing coach can do for you. And one, which I’m very excited about, about the pros and cons of self-publishing and traditional publishing with an unbiased look at both. I’m really excited about that one, because to know that, well, more pretty much every writer is torn between, which option is right for you, I have considered that and I know it’s such a big topic, so I’m really pleased to have someone with so much knowledge on both sides to talk us all through it. It’s a very exciting interview, but I don’t think it’s coming up until May. But yeah, it’s going to be a very interesting one. 

I have also, yes, got [00:15:00] [unintelligible [00:15:01] something on audiobooks, that’s finally coming up. Sorry, just quickly checking that. We’ll be doing an interview hopefully with Dana [unintelligible [00:15:07] hopefully being back. I have enough, so yeah. If she’s listening to this, we need to talk, Dana. [chuckles] I’m excited about that, and that’s pretty much all that I have got planned right now. Of course, there will be more writing updates coming in three months’ time. There will be more writing routine chats of other authors, which I’m enjoying immensely, and I hope you are too. 

The plan right now is to get to 50 episodes, this is 30, so we’re still a little way off actually, and to then possibly cut it down to, doing these two times a month as opposed to every week, but that’s not entirely decided yet, we will see. I’m back at work now, just two days a week at the moment I’m recording this, but I know that as we’re slowly coming out of lockdown, eventually I’ll be back [00:16:0] again five days a week, so I also need to think about how much time I’ll have for podcasting and whether once a week maybe be a little bit too ambitious, and it’s been a little way off. So yeah, we will see.

Those are my goals for the next three months. It’s basically all entirely Blood Wisp related. It’s finishing the trilogy, it’s finish writing Blood Vow sometime in the next one or two months, hopefully, and then editing Blood Wisp for Camp NaNo. Probably finishing it off in May, I’m not so deluded as to think that I can pull it all off in one month. And then sending that on to my critique partners, which will feel amazing and there’s cake planned for it, and possibly some cocktails and a [unintelligible [00:16:50] and some other very relaxing things which I will need very badly by that point. 

Then, the next work in progress that I [00:17:00] will tackle afterwards, I haven’t quite decided on yet. Currently leaning towards Dreamer, but it might also be The Silence of Magic, we will see. 

Thank you so much for listening in. Those are my goals for the next three months. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you maybe need some accountability for your own goals, feel free to get in touch, either leave a comment on this episode or better yet, maybe reach out on either Instagram or Twitter or via my website. Links for all those are coming up in a second. Let me know what you’re working on, let me know what you would like to achieve, and we can hold each other accountable. Thank you so much. Have a great April, May and June, and we will do the next one in July. Thank you very much, and bye-bye. Have a great day.

[music]

If you enjoyed today’s episode, maybe learned something along the way, hit the subscribe button. You can also connect with me [00:18:00] on Twitter @Sarina_Langer, on Instagram and Facebook @SarinaLangerWriter, and of course, on my website at sarinalanger.com. Until next time, bye.


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Transcript by speechdocs.com

For more from my podcast, browse the category right here on this website or listen with your favourite provider.

Sign up for my mailing list for updates on my books, excerpts, early cover reveals, and the exclusive freebies Shadow in Ar’Sanciond (the Relics of Ar’Zac prequel novella) and Pashros Kai Zo (a Relics of Ar’Zac short story, which isn’t available anywhere else).

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The Writing Sparrow Episode 20 | 2021 Goals and January-March Goals

A Sparrow in my reader group suggested I do these updates as podcast episodes, so here you go – this is the first one 🙂

If you want to know what I’m working on, these are a good way to get caught up on my WIPs! I’ll be doing these instead of the previous monthly goals and updates.

Listen to the Episode

Read the Transcript

Sarina Langer  00:08

Hello, and welcome to the Writing Sparrow podcast. I’m Sarina Langer, and this podcast is all about writing, publishing and marketing your book. You can find transcripts on my website at sarinalanger.com. Let’s get started!

Sarina Langer  00:27

Surprise and welcome back friends and sparrows. I bet you didn’t think you’d see me again so soon. It’s the 26th of January, this is Episode 20, and today just so happens to be my birthday. And I really hope I’m not jinxing this because I’m recording this back in December, but I’ve debated when to do this episode. It includes my goals for this year, so it made sense to me originally to do it on January the first, but by the time I thought of doing this episode, I’d already recorded the interviews of Elisha and Briana and I didn’t want to mess with the date tag in each episode. And then I realised that if I do it on my birthday, I can have Episode 20, a milestone of a kind, on my birthday. And that also has a nice ring to it. So here we are. Surprise!

Sarina Langer  01:16

As you might know, Elisha and I talked about how to set goals and make things happen at the beginning of this month. So it only seemed right to me to do an episode with my goals. Feel free to join in, let me know what your goals are this year, and maybe we can hold each other accountable. I think I need this especially because, as I think you’re about to see, I tend to set too many goals, and I get really carried away when I’m excited. So I have a feeling that I’ve once again taken on a little bit too much this year. But we’ll see. Maybe if you let me know here and there that I’m doing all right or just check in to see if I have completely buried myself under everything I’m trying to do. I don’t know, it might be helpful.

Sarina Langer  02:03

But let’s start with my plans for this podcast this year. I definitely want to have more guests on because I really, really love those chats. I mean, so much more than I thought I would because I’m really very introverted. But I’m learning so much from all the guests that I’ve had on and it’s so much fun talking to everyone. And I hope that it’s also really helpful for you as the listeners to hear all these different viewpoints and all these different experiences. I’ve also had some very specific episodes requested, for example, how to create an audiobook and also quarterly writing updates, which this is the first one.

Sarina Langer  02:45

So I will be doing an episode like this one once every quarter, and this is going to be instead of doing the monthly writing updates and goal setting on my author blog, which I’ve done for pretty much the entire… well, all of last year. And I realised sometime in December that I don’t actually enjoy blogging all that much anymore. I’ve thought about how often I might be able to do it instead, I’ve asking my reader group on Facebook and one of my sparrows there, Rhianne – hi! – suggested that I do them as podcasts instead. So here we are. You will now get quarterly writing updates from me four times a year.

Sarina Langer  03:29

Speaking of writing updates, all my writing plans for this year… there’s a few of you. Starting with Blood Wisp – that’s the whole trilogy, not just the first book, although I would really like to just publish the first book because I’ve been on it for so long. If you listen to my look back over 2020 in December, I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve been on this trilogy for two or three years now. I think it was in early 2019 that I got the third cover. So I got the first covers for the series even in 2018. So I’ve sat on them for a little while now. And it would be really nice if I could finally share them, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve, I’m nearly done writing the second book, the first book is proofing. I’m hoping to get to it and start editing that properly very soon. And then the second book right now is at 20… 62,500 words. So that’s not too bad going for a first draft. I’m nearly done with it, I have roughly three scenes left to right. And then I can go into Book Three. This is the first time I’ve tried to write the entire trilogy before publishing or even just properly editing the first book, by the way, and I’m not sure I’m liking it, but I’ll do, I don’t know, maybe I’ll do another episodes on that at some point. I can compare how it’s gone with my previous approach and maybe what I’ll do going forward because this has been quite tiring, I think.

Sarina Langer  05:00

And the next work in progress I’m hoping to be working on is The Silence of Magic. It’s one of the first books where I’ve had the title really early, I normally really struggle to name things that’s, you know, whether that’s books or characters, especially surnames, who do characters need surnames names. Anyway, um, yeah, it’s going okay. I’m hoping to get the first draft of that done this year, but we will see. It’s, it’s kind of this book that I’ve been wanting to write for quite a long time, I suddenly had the blurb and the first sentence and title and an idea for the cover just very quickly, all in one go one Christmas, not 2020 Christmas or even 2019 Christmas, this has been coming for a little while, it’s been sitting for a little while. So I’d really like to get a move on with that, and actually really immerse myself in this world because I’m really excited about that.

Sarina Langer  05:56

And then there is Dreamer, which is a temporary title, I haven’t named it yet, so don’t get too attached to that, it’s not very good as a title, obviously, which is part of why I’m not keeping it. But I have a feeling it’ll end up being pretty different. I’ve written the first draft of that during NaNoWriMo 2019. That sounds right. So it’s sat for about a year. And then last month in December 2020, not to get confused with all these dates, I decided to come back to it because I really needed a break from writing the Blood Wisp trilogy.

Sarina Langer  05:59

As I said, I’ve been on it for a little while. And just looking again at the first draft of Dreamer I’ve felt excited to work on that. And I thought it could be quite a nice thing to do, whereas I’ve just felt a little bit tired of spending all this time for the Blood Wisp characters. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, I love them, but it’s a lot of time to just spend with the same people and Dreamer has, it’s a bit different for me. Because I normally write dark epic fantasy. So I’ll make up my own worlds and, and the magic system and all that. And it’s normally in third person, or normally have more than one point of view character. And in Dreamer, it’s, well it’s mostly set in our world, but to be honest, I’m still changing all of the names. So as opposed to you could read it as an urban fantasy, if you want. Really that’s what it is. But it could equally, could equally read it as an epic fantasy, if you like, I suppose, because I’m changing all the names. And it’s only got one point of view, which is quite different.

Sarina Langer  07:35

It’s the strongest… no that’s not right. It’s the character in it is the most based on me of any characters that I’ve written and her best friend is the most based on my best friend. So I feel like I’ve put the most of myself into this book. But I’m not sure yet if I’ll publish it, so it could be wasting your time talking about it. But um, yeah, I’ve revisited it in December, I’ve done a quick first edit on it, I’ve sent it off to my editor to do just a quick manuscript critique and really just to see if she thinks that it’s got a potential future at all. I’m half expecting her to get back to me and say, Sarina, no, this is rubbish, burn it, no one must ever see this. And if she tells me to burn it I’ll burn it, but by the time this episode goes live on my birthday, I should know, and hopefully, it’s not anything quite as bad as that. But let’s see what she comes up with.

Sarina Langer  08:30

And then there’s also is based off of my Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy. And that’s, that’s very, it’s very early days, I’ve pitched the idea to my editor on Instagram, and she’s really into it. And I mean, I’m really into and I think you might be really into it, but it’s really, really early days. I haven’t done any plotting on this. I have no idea if it’s got any future at all to be honest, it could be absolute rubbish. But… let’s see, To be honest, the main reason I’m recording this episode right now, still on the last few hours of December is because I really want to start plotting it. I have a few– well actually, no, that’s a lie. I have no ideas at all for it apart from some really fun things. And ,but I want to, I feel like I can’t start plotting it while I still have the Episode Notes for what I’m doing right now saying that I want to plot it if that makes sense. Although it’s just occurred to me talking myself through it that I could just have changed the notes. Oh, well. So this is how organised I am at the end of the longest year in history. But yeah, let’s move on from that.

Sarina Langer  09:44

There’s also my Facebook reader group. I really want to spend more time there. I set it up, well, I think it was last year. I think it wasn’t 2020. I have to check that, but I really want to do better posting there every single day apart from Sunday because we all need a break. I really love my reader group, it’s a really fun place to be, I think we’re having a lot of fun and I’ve been pitching some, you know, some early ideas, I share excerpts of my books, and, but it’s, I don’t know, it’s Facebook. You know what I mean? Facebook is always such an afterthought for me, and I feel bad about that, because it’s my reader group, it shouldn’t matter that it’s on Facebook, it just so happens that Facebook is a great and easy place to do something like that. So I want to spend a lot more time there. And I have some ideas of what I might be able to do there and how we might be able to shake things up a bit and have even more fun.

Sarina Langer  10:36

And then there’s also my mailing list, similar story as to the reader group minus Facebook. I want to, I don’t want to spend more time there, because I’m already emailing my subscribers once a month, which I think is plenty. But I want to do even better delivering what I’ve promised, I’ve got some freebies on there. I’ve got some signup incentives, which I think are really cool. If you don’t know, it’s, I’ve got the prequel novella, to my Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy on there, you can get that on there for free. I have a short story that also relates to the trilogy, which isn’t available anywhere else. So I think that’s quite cool. And, but what I haven’t done as much of is giveaways specific to the mailing list and I haven’t been sharing as many teasers on there either. Mostly because I spend so much time just writing this trilogy that I feel that those things that I could share from Book Two and Book Three would spoil book one. And I really don’t want to spoil things, especially not so early when things could still change so strongly. So I also want to do better with that, I want to spend more time there.

Sarina Langer  11:47

I also want to up my marketing efforts by a lot. I mean, I have a box set out now, I have a perma free series starter, I have two books on KU. So I feel like if I can’t see at least some success of all of those great things then I don’t know. I will be keeping religious track of everything that I’ll be trying this year, I promise you. And if I come across anything that really ends up making a big difference, or anything that works well or is easy to set up, anything at all that, you know, sees some kind of positive results for me, I might do another episode on this as well, to share with you what I’ve done, how it’s worked, maybe why it’s worked. And then maybe you can try it and hopefully it’ll help you see some success as well.

Sarina Langer  12:32

The other thing I might come back to, honestly, it’s very undecided right now, is short stories and submitting them to anthologies. If you remember last year, I’ve done an episode with Beverly Lee about how to write short stories and submit them to anthologies, because she’s done incredibly well with that and she continues to do incredibly well with that. Every time I talk to her about it, I get really excited and I want to do it. But on the other hand, I’m thinking Do I have more, do I have the time for that? Do I want to take on even more? And I mean, short stories are quiet, they are very different to write to full length novels. So I don’t know, it still sounds incredibly fun. And I do really want to do it. But it’s then having the time to set aside for it, you know? And I think we’ve just seen that I’ve got quite a few works in progress on the go already. So I’m not sure if doing any additional writing on top of that is really the right way forward. But then again, if I get a really great idea for a short story, I might write it and then see if it fits into anything. And I don’t know, maybe that’ll be how I approach that. I suppose you’ll hear more about if I’ve done anything at all this quarter in the next quarter in April, we’ll see.

Sarina Langer  13:52

And the final thing is something that I’ve been sitting on sort of coming back to here and moving away from again, is Patreon. I’ve never done anything like that before. I’ve seen and I know that it’s worked really well for some authors. And similar to short stories and anthologies, every time I talk to someone about that I get quite excited and I feel like it’s something that I could maybe do quite well. And I’m getting a similar feeling from the idea of doing a Patreon as I did with this podcast. I was really excited about it and I really wanted to try, but I was also dreading it just a bit. As I said, not a people person, so who just sitting in my office talking to myself as I’m stretching my hand right now. It’s a, well, it was very awkward to begin with and I feel like Patreon might also be quite awkward to begin with.

Sarina Langer  14:48

But look at me now, look how much fun I’m having with this podcast and all the people I get to talk to and, and I mean some of the awkwardness is totally still there. But I’m also really enjoying it. And I think maybe I could also really enjoy having a Patreon. So I’ve got some ideas for that. But I think it’s something that I need to research a lot more. And maybe, yeah, I don’t know. It’s, it’s another one of those things where I think, Do I really have the time for that? As I’ve just mentioned, I realised last year that I don’t actually enjoy blogging all that much anymore, or ever, I don’t know. And a part of me thinks that Patreon is just going to be another type of blogging. I could be completely wrong about that. Because, as I said, I haven’t done all that much research on it. So who knows? But yeah, it’s something for me to research, that’s for sure. And maybe by the time I do the next one of these quarterly updates, I have a better idea of what I want to do with it.

Sarina Langer  15:53

Oh, and I just remembered another work in progress. Because that’s what I really need. It’s fine, though, it’s already written. I’ve had the cover and formatting redone for Darkened Light last year, so it’s got a really pretty new cover, the formatting now matches the second book, they look more like the duology now that they were supposed to be. So I really should launch that, I’m probably, well actually, by the time this goes live, it might already be live on Amazon. I’m not sure yet. Hopefully, I suppose this could be my first goal for it, couldn’t I. Make sure that the new version of Darkened Light is out by my birthday. Taking a note in just a second, as soon as I hit stop. Yeah, we’ll say keep an eye out. If it’s not out today, by the time you’re hearing this on my podcast, if you can’t find the pretty new version on Amazon, make sure you hit me. Yeah, thank you very much.

Sarina Langer  16:53

So, those, those are my goals for this quarter. Oh, my God, that sounds like so much now. Well, not just for this quarter, because let’s, if we’re just focussing for a second, please, on all the works in progress, then I think we can all admit that that’s going to be way too much for just one quarter, this is going to be more of a yearly thing.

Sarina Langer  17:12

So to sum up, on this podcast, I want to get loads and loads and loads more guests and their knowledge and their experiences. I want to do more requested episodes like how to create an audiobook and also these quarterly writing updates. In terms of works in progress I want to finish the Blood Wisp trilogy, I will finish the Blood Wisp trilogy, and I will publish at least the first book. And I will finish the first draft of The Silence of Magic. I will see what my editor says about Dreamer, which has yet to be named. And I will see where that goes and I will, by the time that you’re hearing this, I will hopefully have made up my mind about what to do about this spinoff of the Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy. I don’t know if you know, but Blood Wisp was actually also a sort of, is already a spin off because that’s set in the same world but with different people, although there may be one or two cameos in that. So yeah, quite excited about that. But um, as I said, I will see where that goes. And if I think that I can do anything at all with this, by the time this episode goes live, I may well have decided that it’s rubbish, and not worth pursuing. But will see.

Sarina Langer  18:27

Then in my Facebook reader group, I want to spend more time there and do better at posting every day. On my mailing list I want to do more giveaways and I want to make sure that I actually share a teaser every month like I promised. One giveaway that we can look forward to right now is I had this idea while I was editing Dreamer, there’s someone in there, I have no idea what to name this person. So I think I will do a giveaway where the winner gets this character named after them. Ta daa. So yeah, if you fancy that, sign up for my mailing list and maybe you will have a future character named after you. Wouldn’t that be neat? I don’t do anything terrible to them, at least not in the first book, so don’t worry about that. Then I want to up my marketing efforts. I might write some short stories and maybe try the anthology thing but no promises at all there. That’s more of an do if you have time thing, I think. And I want to make up my mind about Patreon this quarter, and maybe have an update for you on that by April.

Sarina Langer  19:31

And those are my goals for this year, and partially also for this quarter.

Sarina Langer  19:37

So your action step for today is to, if you haven’t already, sit down, figure out what your goals are, and if you fancy let me know what they are and we can hold each other accountable. Thank you very much for listening. Until next time, bye bye.

Sarina Langer  19:54

If you enjoyed today’s episode, maybe learn something along the way, hit the subscribe button. You can also connect with me on Twitter @sarina_langer, on Instagram and Facebook @sarinalangerwriter, and of course on my website at sarinalanger.com. Until next time! Bye!


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This transcript was done by Sarina.

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Happy release day, Brightened Shadows!

My youngest is out in the world!

*throws confetti*

Today is the day: Brightened Shadows is out, and I couldn’t be happier <3 It’s had the largest number of pre-orders out of all my books, which bodes well for its future.

The price is in the process of going up to $2.99, but if you’re quick, you might be able to still get it for 99p 😉

Just like Darkened LightBrightened Shadows will also be available on Kindle Unlimited. Unfortunately, there’s been a delay with the paperback, but such is life. 

Thank you SO MUCH if you were amongst those who pre-ordered. Seeing the numbers go up higher than my previous books has made my month <3 And if you didn’t pre-order but would like to support me on release day:

Buy Brightened Shadows

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go eat my weight in chocolate and gingerbread 😉


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October Goals 2020 | The Blood Wisp Heat Is ON! Also NaNoWriMo Denial/Acceptance

Happy (Almost) Most Wonderful Time of the Year, friends!!

The veil is thinning, spirits are getting more chatty, and – as is tradition – I’m trying to talk myself out of doing NaNoWriMo next month while kinda talking myself into it. I fail at this every year, and I’m starting to accept my participation as an inevitability.

So, that’ll be one goal this month! 😀

What else is happening?

Blood Wisp

With my more-or-less done decision of doing NaNo, I want to put the heat on these rewrites. There’s much to do, and I know I’ll be happier going into NaNo with them done. This will be my priority this October. Fortunately, my NaNo prep should be pretty light, because…

NaNoWriMo

I’ll be writing The Silence of Magic *high five*

(me: ‘I’m considering maybe doing NaNo this year if there’s time.’

Also me: *talks about it like it’s decided*)

I’m very aware that I only just burned out earlier this year and that NaNoWriMo usually puts a lot of pressure on me when I’m also working somewhere else, so I’ll be taking it slowly and won’t stress over the end goal. Having said that, I also know that I’ll struggle to not work on it should I make it within 10k of winning *shrugs*

And I believe that will do! I’ll need October to get used to my new routine of being back at work, so the goals above will be plenty.

What are you up to this month? Are you preparing for NaNo too?


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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!


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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?

Week 17

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?

Week 14

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.


For all entries in The Audiobook Diaries, look here.

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The Audiobook Diaries | Week 11

Remember how we went from Week 5 straight to Week 8 because there was no news? And see how we jumped right to Week 11 now?

Well, things are now happening fast!

See the links above if you want to remind yourself what happened last. If you’d rather catch up from the very beginning, read the audiobook diaries from Week 1!

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 11: Approving the sample and going into production

The Extended Sample

Sunday afternoon, I got this email from Findaway Voices:

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 11 - extended sample notification

*ensue minor freak-out*

My narrator had read and uploaded the entire prologue, and it’s fantastic. I had goosebumps at all the right moments when I listened to it, and I can’t wait to share it with the world!

I listened to it on Monday, and then I slept on it – the last thing I want to make are rash decisions because I got carried away in the excitement!

So, on Tuesday, I started to listen to it again…

and immediately stopped.

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 11 - Production dashboard
The production dashboard once the extended sample has been uploaded

As great as the sample of the prologue is, my main character doesn’t feature in it. Her story – and therefore the overall tone – doesn’t begin until Chapter 1. I felt that, while the prologue was fantastically read, it didn’t really give me an insight into how my narrator would read the rest. The prologue sets everything up, true, and it sets the tone, but my main character isn’t in it, so it didn’t feel like the right example.

I emailed FindawayVoices and asked if it’s possible to get a sample of the first chapter. Now, I understand that this is potentially inconvenient and that they likely do a sample of the first 10-15 minutes, not whatever chapter the author wants (I mean, they’d just have asked right away if that were the case), but I wanted to ask. Just in case.

FindawayVoices got back to me (very fast, as always!) and said that’s perfectly fine – I can request it myself with the handy Request Second Sample button. I thought that was just for revisions on the sample I already had, so lesson learned and sample requested.

My narrator was just as reliable, and had uploaded the new sample by the next day.

This morning, I approved the sample. The production is now officially underway!

How to Review Your Extended Sample

This is daunting when you’ve never done this before and want to provide helpful feedback, but good news! You need not fret, because FindawayVoices sent me guidelines for reviewing the extended sample.

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 11 - how to review your extended sample

They had included a link in the email, and I could find the same link again on the production page. You’ll see both in the pictures above.

If you’re happy (and have hopefully slept on it first instead of rushing your decision) with the sample, you can click the green Approve Sample button.

If you had some issues with it, like your grim murder mystery being read too cheerfully or an accent being wrong, you can add a comment next to the Play button and request another sample of the same chapter.

You get up to two revisions of your sample, so you can make sure that you and your narrator are on the same page before you approve it.

This is not an invitation to show your narrator how it’s done.

It’s your book. It will inevitably sound a certain way in your head, but you need to accept that it will sound another way in your narrator’s head. You’re two different people – they won’t read it exactly like you read it to yourself. This is fine.

Remember that your narrator’s reading is their interpretation of your book. Accents and pronunciations of words you’ve made up are important, but you don’t need to micro-manage every little detail. In fact, you shouldn’t. You’ll only put off your narrator, and that’s not the right way to approach this professional relationship.

Your narrator is just that – a trained professional. They know what they are doing, so trust them to do their thing.

This is an opportunity to communicate with your narrator.

Up until this point, all communications has happened via FindawayVoices, but whatever notes you add to the sample will be seen and answered by your narrator.

I really appreciate the chance to talk to her personally (well, via chat, sort of), and it’s been nice to see that we want the same things.

Mistakes in Your Book

As we all know, no book is perfect. Every book has small errors in them – that’s just the nature of novels. Pick any book off your shelf, and I guarantee there’ll be at least one mistake.

Rise of the Sparrows is my debut novel, and I have put more work into it than the others because of that. When I first published it, I had 12 beta readers and got a professional proofread. When I re-edited it last year, I had the reviews as feedback and the chats about it with good author friends. I got a developmental edit, a line edit, and a proofread. I rewrote everything before I got my editor involved last year, and read over everything again when we were done.

It’s fair to say that we didn’t go easy on this book.

But my narrator still found three mistakes in the first five pages alone.

My first reaction was worry – we can’t have missed those things… so did I upload the wrong versions everywhere? o.o

I checked the extended sample against my version and against the version my editor sent to me last year, and I uploaded the right versions. My 12 betas, critique partners, own rewrites and edits, and my editors developmental edit, line edit, and two proofreads just… missed them.

Friends, that’s normal.

We all want to think that, when we make our books available for sale, they’re flawless, but that’s never the case.

So, if you’re considering getting your own audiobook, be prepared for some surprises–

And don’t forget to fix them in the ebook, paperback, and box set!

Summary

I approved the sample. The production of the full audiobook is now underway! *throws confetti*

What’s Next?

Week 13

My narrator is hard at work recording the entire book, and she told me that she’s on track to finish by the end of July.

Does that mean we’re done?

No.

Once she has uploaded the chapters, I listen to them and make a note of everything that’s not quite right – mispronunciations, missed words, background noise, etc.

As I mentioned above, things are moving fast now, so I expect I’ll have another update next week!

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


For all entries in The Audiobook Diaries, look here.

Sign up to BOOKISH WITH SARINA for updates on my books, excerpts, early cover reveals, and a free short story and novella.

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The Audiobook Diaries | Week 8

No, you haven’t missed Weeks 6 and 7. It’s just been quiet, so there’s been nothing to report! I do have a small update today, but first…

If you’re new to my audiobook journey and would like to follow along from the beginning, you can find all updates here. If you’d like to remind yourself what happened last time (it was three weeks ago), you can read Week 5’s entry here.

Because this is such a short update, there won’t be a summary at the end. There’s no need, as you will see. *shrugs*

The Audiobook Diaries | Week 8

Clarification

Earlier this week, I received an email from Findaway Voices. My narrator is pretty much done taking notes and ready to start recording from what I gathered, but she asked me to clarify a few things, such as whether a character at the end will be important in the sequels (this matters because if he is important, she’ll create a voice for him) or how to pronounce the many words I made up, like country names.

Today, I will put together that guide and send it over.

I’ll also include a note to say that the release date I set is very flexible since I didn’t know what I was doing. The last thing I want is for my narrator to stress over a deadline that doesn’t really exist!

And that’s it for this week. See? No summary necessary 🙂

Week 11

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


For all entries in The Audiobook Diaries, look here.

Sign up to BOOKISH WITH SARINA for updates on my books, excerpts, early cover reveals, and other exclusive freebies such as the short stories All that I Can Be and Bubak.

Take me to the Welcome page.