One Year Personal Review
I’ve been deliberating over actually writing this or not. I decided to go for it, because I don’t think it can hurt, and I think some of you would be interested in reading it.
Before embarking on my journey of self-publishing, I used to work in some not so fun places. Lots of customer service and all of that. Just plain, basic things, and nothing very entertaining, but I didn’t mind it. I didn’t really like it, though, and I’ve always wanted to write, so on July 10th, 2012, I published my first e-book. I think I did it on Smashwords first, then I put it up on the other places after, so those places didn’t have it until July 11th, but I like to think of my “official” indie author anniversary as July 10th. It’s a pretty nice day, generally speaking.
So, anyways! I’m sure everyone’s done them, but a lot of places I’ve worked at like to do those yearly reviews, you know? I never liked those, and I’m sort of argumentative about them. I once marked down that I thought I went above and beyond in regards to dress code, because I try to look nice, right? Except, no, I was told that it’s impossible to go above and beyond on dress code. If you come to work appropriately dressed, then that’s it. Why did they have little check marks for anything besides “acceptable” then? I have no idea, and I asked that, but no one gave me a good answer. Just because. That’s just kind of silly, but I digress…
Now, as an indie author, I’m going to evaluate myself. If you’ve been following me for awhile, feel free to chime in, too. Let me know if you agree or disagree. I’d be happy to hear it!
First off, I initially planned to just write erotica shorts. My very first stories were Princess Miri, Moonlight Secret, Burning Need, Princess Miri’s Wet Sticky Mess, all written within the span of a couple weeks. I kind of cheated there, because I’d written the Princess Miri and Moonlight Secret stories a long long time ago, but I fixed them up and changed some things, and *POOF*, published!
Out of all those, I honestly didn’t know what exactly I was doing besides with the Princess Miri stories. I love all my stories, don’t get me wrong, but Moonlight Secret and Burning Need were kind of difficult for me. I think they’re good stories, and lots of people have enjoyed them, but I probably won’t be writing much more in the same vein as those.
Mostly, what I noticed within a few weeks was that I liked to write longer things. Hunted by the Beast and Dominant Dreams came up soon after those first ones, and both of those are noticeably longer. They aren’t long by any means, but I got to delve into more of what I liked.
And, basically, what I really like is plot. I think plot is kind of sexy, you know? I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense. Some people like to just read stories with an idea, but I can’t do that very well. A decent, popular example is something like… let’s say, the barely legal babysitter and the single father (or maybe not single? Scandalous!). It’s just the idea that arouses people, which is perfectly fine, but I can’t really get into reading or writing that too much. Something like that is more writing towards kinks or fetishes.
I won’t lie, I do it sometimes. Generally I add some plot in there, too, though. To a lot of people, that’s weird, but it’s just how I like to write. I think I provide something different and entertaining for anyone who wants a little more with their story.
That’s basically when it began. After feeling things out and getting more accustomed to what I preferred and how I preferred to write it, I went on to continue the Princess Miri series, Hunted by the Beast, and I started The Billionaire’s Ultimatum. These were all great choices for me. I did write some standalones in there, and to be honest you can read most all of my stories as a standalone if you like, but the plot was what drove me onwards, and I think people like that, too. The characters can build upon themselves and their world and explore it more, you know?
Miri started out as a bratty princess who was targeted by the daughter of one of her father’s vassels, but she became something else entirely. I mean, sure, she’s still kind of bratty, but I like Miri. I think Miri’s a really fun character. Thump grew, too. Then Allysin came into the picture, and we got to learn a little more about the castle from her perspective. Fleur evolved into… well, we won’t talk about Fleur (she’s kind of a bitch). The King, the citizens, Roy, all of it.
I do that with all of my stories now, and I’m trending towards longer, which I think a lot of people prefer. I want you to know the characters and feel more intimately about them. When Miri clears out the dungeons and takes them over for her and Thump to use, and then she treats it like a very private place where they can hide together, be alone, talk and learn and explore their sexuality safely, I want you to kind of realize how Miri feels, you know? She’s a princess, and sort of a brat or a bitch, but she’s a human, too, and she’s not immune to weakness. She just doesn’t have anyone and she’s not sure how to relate to anyone, and so Thump being hers and exploring with her and letting her have her moments of being a spoiled princess while also being the dominant monster troll that he is, well…
I find that a lot sexier. Miri’s emotions and need and desires, and her shortcomings and fears and worries; it makes the entire scene more intense to me. It’s sexy and erotic, but it’s also something more, too. That’s how I feel about that, at least. You can’t get that in a quick barely legal babysitter story, you know? You can get the sexy and erotic part, but you can’t get the “more” that I personally want to go along with it.
I could give examples of this sort of thing throughout all of my stories, but if you’ve read them it’s probably easy to see, too.
In addition to all of that, I’ve started working more towards adding paperbacks, novelizing my serials, and working on audiobooks. The paperbacks and serials-to-novels are somewhat obvious, but one thing I’ve noticed is that I need to have a good schedule of this. I have a “Publishing Schedule” tab on my website, but I need to fix it up a bit. My general plan when I started, and what I want to do now, is to have a new novel for you all every ~2 months or so. The paperback first, then the e-book after. I have a lot of reasons for why I do it in that order, but they’re kind of boring marketing stuff, so I won’t go into that. What this generally will mean is that ~6 months after the start of a series, the novel version should come out soon after. That won’t always be exactly the case, but I should be able to stick pretty closely to that schedule for the foreseeable future.
Audiobooks are interesting and difficult, but in a good way. The thing with those is that I really want to find narrators that bring the characters to life, you know? Sometimes I go searching for the perfect narrator, and other times I’ll put a story up and let people send in their auditions. The audiobooks I have so far are good, but some of the auditions really miss the point. They aren’t bad by any means, and these are professional narrators, but I can tell when someone’s not really into the story and only wants to make money.
I want to provide you with an amazing experience, and so I will only produce audiobooks with narrators who can put the necessary emotion into the scenes. You’ll find a lot of audiobooks that lack this, and some of those audiobooks are alright. If you just want to “hear” the story, they’re perfectly great and I’ve got nothing against that. For what I do, because I want to provide you “more” in the e-book and paperback versions, I want to find narrators that will help you experience the story, too. Overall, I just want to give you more, because that’s what I would want.
And so! That’s about it. That’s where we’re at so far. I appreciate everyone coming on this journey with me, too. As an indie author, I think that the reader/writer relationship is a bit closer than with a big publishing house’s authors. I try to be a little closer, and like my stories I want to give a little “more” than what you’d get otherwise. I just want to let you know about what’s up and I like to provide you with as much as I can. I’m writing more, working on more, and will continue to try and discover ways where I can improve this in the future.
Also, my business attire is impeccable lately. Far above and beyond! (I like to write at night a lot while wearing pajamas. Shh, don’t tell anyone!)
What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinions. Whether as a new reader or someone who’s just started checking out my stuff, I think all opinions, feedback, questions, or comments are useful and valid, and I like to hear them!
Why do you write in so many different genres and styles?
Hello! Happy Monday!
I don’t know if anyone is actually curious about this, but I feel like it’s an interesting topic, and one that you don’t see a lot of writers talk about or do. Mainly, why do I write in so many different genres and styles?
Well, honestly, I don’t think they’re all that different, but here’s what I’ve got so far. Monster stuff is a big one, and then contemporary romance is the next. I recently finished my paranormal romance series(Soulless, Heartless, Hopeless), which was fun. I’ve also got some fairytale stuff, too. Historical, romantic comedy, noir detective mystery, urban fantasy, and a few more things that probably fit into one of the above but are a bit different, too.
All of these have erotic content, though, so I guess that’s the thread that binds them? I don’t know if that’s a good reason and I don’t really accept it, myself, but it’s there.
Anyways! I write them because I like that. That sounds kind of like a cop out answer, I guess, but it’s just fun to me. I enjoy exploring new genres and taking my own spin on them. I think that’s what this boils down to, really.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I prefer medieval fantasy-style stuff. Or I used to prefer it, anyways. I don’t think that’s a good mindset to get into with this kind of thing. I mean, hey, if I just wrote medieval fantasy all the time, I’d have a lot of that, and that’d be great, but… then what? I know authors who do this and have read more than my fair share of books from authors who basically never branched out from any one genre. It honestly gets stale and you can tell in their writing.
One random example–and I’m only using her as one because I honestly really love her writing, so it was kind of a love/hate thing, but I’ve got tons of respect for her–is Elizabeth Haydon. The first three stories in her Symphony of Ages series were WONDERFUL. I absolutely adored them and I would suggest them to everyone and read them over and over again(and I think I have). They’re kind of fantasy romance with adventure and action and all of that. After the first three, though, it started going downhill. I believe I enjoyed the 4th, but the 5th was kind of lacking, and I can’t say I enjoyed the 6th at all.
After she “finished” that series(because honestly it just kind of stopped, and I’m not sure it ever really fully concluded anything), she started up a YA series set in the same world. I haven’t read those, but I think that’s an interesting thing to do. Mostly, the other books were VERY adult, with sex and violence and all of those kinds of adult things. I have no idea how her YA fantasy books are, but I’m sure they’re nice because she has a wonderful style and tells a good story.
That’s really the thing, though. She got herself stuck in the Symphony of Ages books and I think it showed. By the end of the 6 book series, I don’t think she was as into it as the first three books. It feels like she wrote more because she felt like she NEEDED to write more, and not because she wanted to. Sometimes this can work out, but I think a lot of times it leads to burn out and disappointment.
I’d still read her books if she continued with the series, but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea on her part.
In the same kind of genre, Jacqueline Carey does an excellent job of writing the same but switching it up, too. Her Kushiel’s Legacy books start with three wonderful books, then continue on with three more great ones(my favorites of hers actually), and there’s three more after that. They’re all in the same world, but each set of three switches the main character, and so provides a new and interesting fresh look at her world of Terre d’Ange. Though, to be honest, I’m not sure the last three worked out so well with that, but they -were- interesting, just not really my favorites. Or, I’ve only read the first on of there(the seventh overall), so maybe I’ll change my mind when I get to the last two? I don’t know.
And even still, she has other books that are great, too. Her more traditional epic fantasy books kind of fit with the Kushiel’s ones, and then she completely throws you for a loop with some urban fantasy/paranormal stuff later on. I think this is great and a good idea.
So that’s where I stand, really. For my own writing, I want to write interesting things and continue writing them. If I’m really into an idea, I think I’ll tell a better story than otherwise. I want you, as a reader, to love what I’m writing as much as I do. I do “force” myself to write things, also, but I try not to push it too far. I try to explore new genres and test out ideas because I want to. It’s more of a “forcing myself to do this because I want to” instead of a “forcing myself to do this and I hate it,” which I think is a key difference.
And, honestly? I think it’s turned out well. I never liked contemporary stuff much before, so I rarely wrote it, but I wanted to try one. My best friend isn’t really into reading anything fantasy and she sticks to just contemporary stuff when she reads(which isn’t a ton, but she does read a few books a year), so I wanted to do it for that reason, too. I wanted to write something that she would want to read, so I wrote my Billionaire’s Ultimatum series.
I didn’t really like it at first, truthfully. I didn’t like it because it was HARD for me. But, on that same note, I think it became a much better story because of that. It made me think and decide on different things and try out new ideas and a new style of writing. I never liked first person point of view much before writing that, either, but I thought I’d try that out, also.
Now? I like contemporary. I think The Billionaire’s Ultimatum is a fun story and I’ve received a lot of good feedback on it, so I think I probably did a good job writing it, too. I didn’t like how hard it was for me to write it at first, but I got better with practice and I really loved the idea of the story itself, so I kept up with it. It’s different, it tested me, and overall it was fun and a good experience.
The same with the Soulless series, too. The same with most of my stuff, honestly. The only thing I can’t really get too into is the gay shifter story I wrote, because it was just kind of difficult to really get a handle on the idea, but I think it turned out well. I’d like to write another gay male story in the future, or at least maybe bi-curious or something.
Anyways! I write in these different genres and styles because I like them and I want to try them. I don’t think any of my stuff is so far out there that you’ll be absolutely appalled if you see it in my catalogue along with something you’ve liked, either. I mean, some of it seems pretty far out there, but it’s still me writing it. I have standards and a general style and I promise to try to never disappoint any of my readers with sub-par, worthless junk.
Sometimes you just want to try something new, you know? Sometimes it’s easier to get eased into that new thing, though. If you like my writing, you’ll know generally how I write, and so it’s a nicer process trying something different as opposed to having to find a completely different author that you’re unsure about, and then reading their stuff, too. I know how much of a turn-off that can end up being, where you want to try, say, a science fiction book or something, but you end up finding the one that’s super confusing and weird and you have no idea what’s going on. Then you think you hate science fiction! And, honestly, I’m not actually a huge fan of science fiction, but I absolute love some of it.
It’s good to try new things sometimes. And maybe to take slow, baby steps, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
That’s the reason I do what I do, at least.
I’ve recently made a decision. It’s honestly a difficult one to make, because it involves a certain amount of risk, but I’m willing to do it because I think it’s a good idea. I had this in my mind the entire time I started this, but I was never sure if I’d be moving along as well as I have.
My writing has been going well, though. I’ve landed on some Hot New Release lists, a few best sellers(I need to update that, but so far it’s Fantasy Series, Gay & Lesbian, Comic Fiction, Fairytales, Erotica[Brazil only], and Fantasy Romance[Germany]).
I want to push it farther, though, and I think you, as my readers, deserve that, too. My catalogue will still mainly consist of fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance, with some other fantasy and paranormal things added in for fun, but I’m moving into something more.
I’m not trying to be vague there. What I mean is paperback books and full-length novel e-books. I’m working on some audiobooks, too, but those are mostly beyond my control. One’s available, though! (I’ll show that at the end)
Anyways! What does this mean for you, as a reader? Well, the first paperback book slated for release is the full-length Princess Miri book, “Princess Miri: An Erotic Coming of Age Monster Romance.” The title’s maybe a bit of a mouthful, but I wanted to sum it up in as few words as possible, and there it is. The paperback will be released with an initial price of $7.99, and the e-book will be released soon, too. I’m hoping to have both of them out in a week or two, but I need to wait on some outside things first.
And, next? The Billionaire’s Ultimatum series will be packaged up into a print book and e-book version. That’ll be a little farther down the road, in a couple months or so. I do most of this myself(and I still have to write new stuff, so there’s that).
I didn’t know where to price them, though. It’s honestly difficult. I think I’ve come up with a solution, though.
I’ll be pricing paperback books as low as I can for as long as I can, but I do want to reach a wider audience, too. I know most people use a Kindle and Amazon, but I have a lot of people who buy my books from B&N and iTunes, too. iTunes isn’t too important for this, but B&N sells paperback books, so I don’t want to leave them out. This is technical junk, but in order to sell to B&N, I need to raise the price a little. I’m -hoping- that the end price for most books will be around $9.99, but I can’t 100% guarantee that.
E-books are different, though! I can price those at competitive prices everywhere, with everything being relatively low. Herein lies the issue, though. The original Princess Miri series, bought as parts, is pricier than what I’d like to price the full-length novel version as. What I -want- to do is price it at around $4.99, with occasional sales dropping it lower. I’m almost positive this is what I’m going to do, but if anyone wants to offer comments or opinions, I’m willing to listen.
Mainly, the full-length novel is coming out approximately 8 months after the first Princess Miri story was released. The people who bought it then got to read it far earlier than anyone else. It’s the same story, and fully edited, everything professional, but I’m thinking for those people who wanted to read it early, it’s worth it. Anyone who waits and ends up wanting to read the full-length version can get it cheaper, but they need to wait months before that.
I wasn’t up front with this in the beginning, and I’m really sorry about that, but I didn’t actually know this was anything I was going to do, either. Going forward, my new direction, this is what I’m going to do, though.
Basically, if you want to read everything first, then you can buy all of my writing in parts. These will be full parts, with a story in each, with an estimated length of 8,000-25,000 words each(approximately 32-100 paperback pages). Once the entire story is done, I’ll wait a few months(at least 6 months, maybe more, after the release of the first “part” of any story), and release a paperback version and a novel-length e-book version.
I’ll make everyone aware of this in the future as best I can. The easiest way to learn about any of this is to follow my site(there’s a button on the side!) and/or sign up for my newsletter(there’s a link on the side!). Almost everything with multiple “parts”(though I’m transitioning to putting (#number) instead, because these are still full stories in their own right) will end up like this.
Again, I’m -VERY- sorry that I wasn’t crystal clear about this in the beginning. I completely understand that it might make some people upset. I know it’s not the best thing ever, but I’m working on getting some bookmarks and stuff like that to do fun giveaways, and if you’re angry about this, I’d be happy to send some your way free of charge. Just email me at cerysdulys (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know(they aren’t ready yet, but I’m going to get them set in a few weeks). You can also send me angry fanmail, or ask me questions, or just talk, and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
So! Again! Going forward, new direction. If you want to read something first, you can. It’ll cost a bit more, but it will be available to you FIRST. This, in my opinion, is pretty neat. If you like the idea of something but you’d rather wait and get it a little cheaper, or you prefer a paperback version? You can do that, too, but you’ll need to wait 6+ months or so.
I’ll also occasionally be holding book giveaways and things like that. I’ll do the book giveaways through Goodreads, so if you haven’t signed up there before, now is a great time to do it! I’m not very good at Goodreads(it’s misleading!) and I have no idea what I’m doing yet, but I’d love to make more friends there. Here’s my profile so you can add me: http://www.goodreads.com/CerysduLys
And, to end it, here’s a sample for the first audiobook in The Billionaire’s Ultimatum series! I think Lauren did a great job. Give it a listen and let me know what you think? =)
Princess Miri updates, and more! (An Amazon Top 100 International Best Seller???)
Hello to you all!
I’m currently working on a few changes and I wanted to let everyone know exactly what was going on.
First, the very exciting news! Princess Miri has become an Amazon Top 100 Paid International Best Seller Fantasy Series story! It reached 100 on the US list, 35 on the UK list, and 97 on the Canada list at its peak, and I’m sure over time it can reach even higher. This is really amazing and I want to thank all of you who helped it get there.
Because of the support and the interest in the Princess Miri stories, I’m going to be doing a few extra things for it. First, the paperback version that I mentioned a few days ago. I’ll release this at an initially low price on Amazon.com($7.99, with comparable converted prices for the UK, German, French, Italian, and Spanish Amazon storefronts).
After that, the print version will rise to $12.99 for extended distribution to other Amazon storefronts, B&N, and more. I might be able to lower the price a little further, but those are tentative prices based on expectations. It honestly all depends on the page count in the final book and a few other factors(mainly, CreateSpace won’t let me distribute to B&N and others if the price is too low, since then I would -owe- them money every time someone bought a book =/ ).
You still save quite a bit on the print version, -and!-, if you email me a picture of your book somewhere around your house(or wherever) and let me post it up here for others to see, I’ll send you some coupon codes so you can get the eBook versions for free! How’s that for a good deal? You can have a print book to keep your sexy secret safe at home, but an eBook copy so you can read about our haughty heroine wherever you go without anyone knowing. 😉
Besides that, I’ll be updating some minor things in the Princess Miri series over the course of the next few weeks. I’ll also be adding an epilogue done under Fleur’s point of view sometime soon, too(I don’t know exactly when, but it’s in my plans).
If you haven’t read any of the Princess Miri eBooks yet, you should definitely check them out. You can grab the first in the series for only $0.99, and if you like it, but want a paperback of the entire series, well… just wait a few weeks and it will be available for sale!
You can find Princess Miri at all your favorite eBook retailers:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Apple – iTunes | All Romance eBooks(ARe) | Smashwords | And a few more!
If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. You can leave a comment below, or email me at cerysdulys (at) gmail (dot) com.
I love paperback books.
When I was growing up, they were the majority of what I read. Hardcover books always seemed alluring and mysterious and coveted, but paperbacks were simpler and easier to get. I never really went to the library, though. I don’t know why, but I prefer owning a book as opposed to borrowing it. It seems more real then? Like, what if I want to read it again sometime, but I don’t have it? I do reread my books every so often if I enjoyed them, but usually this is years later. I don’t -need- to own them, but I feel like I should.
I released the first Princess Miri as a paperback awhile back. I wanted to try it out since CreateSpace doesn’t cost much for the author(I bought a proof copy to check it out, but that’s it), and I wanted to get the formatting down. It came out alright, but since that’s a short story, I don’t see a high demand for it. It’s a really cool item, I think, but still.
Anyways! I was thinking about this, and I’d like to get more into it. Most of my short stories are part of a series, and I know a lot of people like to read the entire series as opposed to waiting. I can totally understand this, but for me it’s not really feasible, you know? Not to go too far off on a tangent here, but as a writer there’s a huge mix of stuff you need to deal with. I’d love to say that I only have to worry about the writing and can write all day and it’s lovely, but it’s not always like that. There’s editing, and I make my own covers, plus what if people don’t like the story? What if I fully wrote the Billionaire’s Ultimatum(which is approximately 395 paperback book pages in length), but no one liked it? As a writer, I loved writing it, but as someone who needs to sell her writing in order to pay bills and eat and all of that, it’s tough. Also, I’d like to think that most of my stories can be read as a standalone, since I try to do minor recaps here and there to bring people up to speed. If one doesn’t appeal to you, then you can skip that one and move on to the next in the series.
So, tangent finished there, I realize that some people prefer to read an entire series. And some people prefer paperbacks. My solution to this is that once I’m finished a series, I’ll do my best to promptly release a paperback version! I think that works out for everyone, right? Some might have new cover art, while others will have similar covers as the eBooks(though a bit different). I’ll also eventually release each story separately(like the original Princess Miri), though that’s more for fun than anything else, and random collectibility.
I’m also working on audiobooks, but that’s for another blog post entirely, so we won’t go there for now.
The full paperbacks will be a little cheaper than if you bought the entire series as an eBook, but you’ll also have to wait until the eBooks are finished in order to get one. I’d also like to say that I don’t get nearly as much of a percentage from paperback sales as eBook sales, so this is purely a fan thing. I want people to be happy with my writing and I want to please as many people as possible, and this is a part of that. Despite generally losing out on it and not making much, if any, profit, I’m still going to release the paperbacks for those who prefer them.
The two that are currently slated for this are the Billionaire’s Ultimatum books and the Princess Miri ones. The Billionaire’s Ultimatum will clock in at approximately 395 pages total, while Princess Miri is approximately 215 pages or so. I’m not sure exactly how to manage Allysin’s Sexy Side Story, but that will be included in the Princess Miri paperback, also. Do I put it in between part 3 and 4 like it fits, or include it at the end as an extra? I may also write an epilogue-styled story from Fleur’s point of view about what happens to her once she escapes from the castle.
Those are my plans as of now! The paperbacks will be done through CreateSpace and will be available at Amazon(.com, .co.uk, .de, .fr, .it, and .es) and the CreateSpace store. They -should- also be available through Amazon.ca, B&N online, plus a few others(I’ll get back to you on this one once the book is up and available). Technically you could order the books at a B&N store for instore pick up, but they probably won’t be stocked on the shelves otherwise(though I might be able to convince a few local B&Ns to do it, but that would be a New Hampshire/northern Massachusetts only thing).
So that’s what’s going on! If you liked this blog post or you have any questions/comments about it, let me know by “like”-ing it or commenting on it!