Friday 23 May 2014

NoiseTrade Books

First off, a big thank you goes out to my friend and fellow blogger, David Gaughran, who blogged about this the other day. If you are a self-published writer like myself, and don't already follow his blog, then you should seriously consider doing so. Like right now. Don't worry. I'll wait.

Back so soon? Good. On with the post then.

So what is this NoiseTrade Books I sound so excited about? Well, according to their FAQ section, it is a platform designed to help authors & publishers build their audiences by distributing free eBooks & audiobooks in exchange for reader data (email & postal code). It provides an intuitive way for writers to connect with readers outside of the more traditional channels like social media.

Here's how it works. As a writer, you sign up and upload any book you'd like to give away for free. This can be a full-length book, or some sample chapters from a full-length book. You can also specify a suggested tip amount, which the reader can elect to pay before downloading your book. As a reader, the only thing you are required to give in exchange for the free book is your email address and zip code, which is a fair trade if you ask me.

NoiseTrade has been around since 2008, but it only dealt with free music until early 2014, when the books portal was launched. At present, there are books on offer from several big name writers like Dean Koontz and Hugh Howey. And as of yesterday morning, my book, The Journey (Guardians, #1), was added to that growing number of free books. So don't hesitate to download. Heck. I'll even make it easy for you:

Wednesday 7 May 2014

IWSG: Going with the Flow

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and time for members of the Insecure Writer's Support Group to share their writerly insecurities with fellow members. The group was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can visit for more information.

Last month, I took part in the 2014 Blogging from A to Z challenge, and as a result, I was unable to post as part of the group. But if I had been able to squeeze the time between work and the Challenge, I am sure my post would have gone along the same lines with what I have shared in past months, which is that I am not writing nearly as much as I should be.

So, not to risk sounding like a broken record, I'd rather spend the remainder of this post focusing on something else entirely. And that thing is knowing when to throw in the towel. As writers, it is never easy accepting any kind of defeat. It could be something as simple as having to rewrite a scene, or something more substantial, like having to bring down the axe on a story that just isn't working.

For years now, I've been working on a particular story that has undergone more changes than Michael Jackson's nose. The present form of the story bears little resemblance to the one I originally set out to write. And I feel that the fact that I am still trying to marry these two disparate stories into one is seriously holding it back. It's high time I let loose and just allow the story go where it wants to go, rather than where I think it needs to be by the end of everything.

I guess my problem boils down to the fact that I tend to get quite rigid with my outlines. I've never been a pantsers. I prefer the structure that a well-thought-out outline brings to a story. But the very best ideas are the ones that hit you out of nowhere, while you're sitting in front of the computer and typing away. So I guess what I am trying to say is that I need to learn how to go with the flow by tapping into such bursts of inspiration more often.

What about you? Are you a pantsers or a plotter, or perhaps somewhere in between?

Monday 5 May 2014

Reflections on the 2014 A-Z Challenge

Hey, fellow 2014 Blogging from A to Z participants. It looks like we've made it to the end of yet another one. I've just earned my third straight survivor's badge (woo hoo), which I promise to wear proudly. And as has become customary after every Challenge, participants are expected to write a reflections posts, where they get to sound off about their experiences.

For those of you who missed it, my theme for this year was video game franchises. My decision to participate was made at the very last minute, so as you can imagine, I never did get to write any of my posts beforehand. What I did get to do though was delve deep into memories from my childhood, revisiting some of the video games that have helped shape me into the person that I am today.

Unfortunately, unlike previous years, I was unable to visit as many blogs as I would have loved to. I barely got enough free time from work to write and put each day's post up. To make matters worse, I also experienced an issue with my custom domain. As a result, my blog was inaccessible for the better part of the Challenge. I've since then sorted out said issue, and my special thanks go out to J. Lenni Dorner for going the extra mile to bring it to my attention.

My thanks also go out to the various A to Z Challenge co-hosts, and of course to all those who visited my blog or left me a comment. Even those who weren't all that into video games. Our little interactions were what made pushing through the Challenge worthwhile.