Short Story Prompt 2

This is our second Short Story prompt for the 31 Short Stories in 31 days challenge.

Not doing the challenge? Not a problem. We’re hoping this will inspire you to create your own masterpiece!

Prompt:

It is a wonderful sunny day filled with joy and happiness until an unexpected arrival turns everything upside down.

Peaceful Lake

Short Story Start of the Year!

Let’s have some fun and get some writing done.

We’re going to start writing short stories daily this month. Let’s aim for a short story a day, but if that doesn’t work for you, it’s okay. A short story a week is still awesome. Set your goal and we’ll be here to help you reach it!

If you’re not part of the discord, connect with our streamers and they’ll get you in.

Do you have the guide? Our streamers will be happy to link you right to it if you don’t. Make sure to check them all out!

The first of our daily writing prompts is:

An injured horse finds it’s way to the front yard of a woman who just can’t let the animal suffer.

Twitch Writing Community Member The Unique Lee

Today we’re going to spend some time chatting with The Unique Lee, a fun twitch writing streamer! Hope you enjoy the interview.

Here’s a bit about the Unique Lee:

The Unique Lee is a mid-twenties half-black queer goth maybe vampire and full-time freelancer. They focus on slice-of-life and romance-driven stories with queer multiracial (sometimes goth) characters living their best lives in a fantasy or urban fantasy setting. Many of these numerous stories have been posted across the far reaches of the internet on various social media platforms.

When not writing their stories they’re drawing them through cartoon illustrations of their fantastical worlds or telling the story in outlandish comics.

They may sometimes be heard yelling in the cornfields of Ohio where they dwell or cry out for help under the mountain of countless lists they continue to produce.

What do you stream? (or write in what genre)

I am a creative variety streamer focusing on digital art and creative writing. I enjoy writing a number of different genres usually focusing on LGBTQ+ themes, romance, and slice-of-life while using multiple forms of storytelling ranging from comics to novellas to games.

What is your streaming location?

http://twitch/tv/theuniquelee

How long have you been streaming?

I’ve been a Twitch Affiliate since March of 2019

What is your favorite thing about streaming?

I love being able to chat and share my work with others and streaming allows me to do that in real-time. The chat and I get to have meaningful discussions about stories or the nature of the writing world or just talk tropes we’re tired of. Being able to bounce ideas off so many wonderful people is motivating and invigorating for my creative process.

How do you keep your viewers engaged?I keep viewers engaged with both meaningful and everyday conversations and with fun channel point games. Conversations that involve dissecting a trope or popular plot device help keep everyone talking about something they feel strongly about while the fun and relaxing channel point games allow viewers to easily engage with me, the streamer, in a less mentally taxing way. I also maintain a relaxing environment in my chat which allows viewers to feel at peace when talking in chat. Having a relaxed and calming environment allows everyone a chance to work with ease and without pressure.

Where can people find you?

I’m most active on twitter at (twitter.com/theuniquelee) but all of my social media are listed on my carrd (https://theuniquelee.carrd.co)

Twitch Writing Streamer Feature! Cryssalia

Tells us a little about you:

There is nothing to be told about me. Even I have nothing to say about myself if I were to be honest. Although perhaps, I could start with introducing myself. My name is Cryssalia, a college student of English Major that resides in Malaysia who aspires to be a writer. A Non-binary bisexual, so yes, I am an LGBTQIA+ ally.

I’ve always been passionate with storytelling, built from the love of books since I was only six years old and I dreamed of creating stories that could either reach the shelves or tv. I picked up writing when I was nine, but only became more passionate in the craft when I was fourteen.

I honed my craft from Fanfiction, and in 2018, I begun to pursue original works. It was a struggle, as I was too focus in making my draft perfect, compared myself to other writers and envy them when they are published. It was my biggest mistake, and I lost the joy of storytelling because of my own negativity.

However this year, I have found the perfect writing family and one of them once told me, “It doesn’t matter if it’s self indulgent, just write it!” and it kickstarted my love to write once more. It was my initial drive to write, because I thought it was fun. Now, I’m looking forward to create more stories that I can enjoy with others.

I know when I’ve caught your streams they are always fun. What do you stream? (or write in what genre)

I stream worldbuilding, art, and writing. The genres I’ve written in so far are Dystopian Sci-Fi and Magipunk Fantasy

How long have you been streaming?
Since July 2020 at HTTP://twitch.tv/Cryssalia

How do you keep your viewers engaged?

Talk with the viewers or put up pomodoro writing sprints for them.

What is your favorite thing about streaming?

Able to interact with viewers, gain new ideas, learn about cultures and religions and make a community.

Where can people find you?

People can find me on Twitter or join my Discord server:

https://twitter.com/cryssalia

https://discord.gg/jUpvmpx

It’s fantastic that you’re a part of the Twitch Writing Community. Your streams are fun and I am thrilled to be able to share your stream with so many others!

A Short Story a Day Challenge

We’re declaring January Short Story Creation Month

The energetic start to the year is intended to foster a fun, creative beginning and forward momentum to launch 2021 forward together!

To add to the fun of it all there are several Twitch Writing Streamers who will be joining the challenge. We’ll be streaming writing, chatting, and conversation about writing. We are going to make this a fun, active month together!

For the month of January the goal is to create a short story every single day for the entire month. Much like creating a consistent creative flow in November, we’ll be doing that in January. Each short story will need to be between 1000 and 15, 000 words on any genre.

You will be able to visit:

http://twitch.tv/CoffeeQuills

http://twitch.tv/TheLadyWrites

And many others to enjoy the conversation and encouragement as we grow our short story backlist.

Would you like to join us?

You can either visit the streams or sign up here if you want to be more involved!

Watch this space for writing prompts, a guide book, and how to use your short stories to build your author career!

31 Short Stories 31 Days – Jan and Aug 2021

We’ve done it before and we’re doing it again.

Starting the year off with energy and momentum is a great way to set your year on the right path. This isn’t a planned ‘New Years Resolution’. It’s a goal setting exercise for starting off the year strong. Let’s do it together!

challenge word in transparent glass shapes

As the Twitch Writers Community continues to grow and thrive, challenges are common. We’ve opted to give life to a challenge we’ve done before.

Join us in January to start the year off with 31 Short Stories – A Short Story a day is a huge boost in creative expression, back list growth, and new worlds to play in.

If you don’t hit 31 short stories, but you’ve been writing daily towards that goal you will end up with more stories than you began with.

Our general guide is

*1000 words to 15k words

*Short story in any genre

For myself, I will be aiming for 5000 to 10,000 words in each story daily. They become great fodder for collections, short story releases, and bonus stories.

1000 word short stories are GREAT for patreon supporters, book collections, bonus stories, and newsletter reader magnets.

Watch this space for an upcoming guide, book of writing prompts, and more!

Dale L. Roberts, our first Author Interview!

We are going to begin conducting Author Interviews and expanding our horizons! Check out our first one with Dale L. Roberts!
He is an expert in both Fitness and Self-publishing.

With a portfolio that is more than 40 books long, his passion for healthy living is visible in each creation. Now, he turns his passion for helping others toward fellow self publishers with the Self Publishing with Dale Brand. His thriving business is now redirecting to supporting his fellow authors and helping them develop their brand.

Check out his interview below.

The Self-Publishing Success Formula


self publishing business

Are you looking for other ways to monetize your self-publishing business?

Wouldn’t it be nice to do the work once but be paid in more ways than one?

Then, you may want to consider diversifying your self-publishing business beyond Kindle Direct Publishing.

The Kindle Gold Rush

kindle publishing businessNot too long ago, everyone and their mother was publishing on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).

The barrier of entry was rather low, so naturally the Amazon Marketplace was flooded with new work.

Naturally, quite a few releases were great while most books sucked eggs.

The crappy books were due in large part to would-be writers, aspiring self-publishers and a few nefarious individuals.

While I could write an entire post on these fly-by-night crooks swindling the Amazon customers of their money, I’d rather focus on the bigger picture.

The Truth About Kindle Profits

truth about kindle publishing

FACT: Kindle e-books make up a smaller share of the publishing business.

Heck, take a look at this boring data about the projected e-book global book sales for 2018 (I’ll wait…) >>> link to stats & stuff.

Okay, now that you’re back…

Wait a minute…you didn’t look?

Damn it!

That really well-crafted article by Statista stated the 2018 e-book sales projection is at a 25% share.

WTF?!

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, indeed!

So, if that were to apply to current trends, then we can assume 75% of the book market is still unaccounted for.

And, I just ended a sentence with a preposition, so suck it, grammar snobs!

Show Me the Money…In Self-Publishing That Is

how to profit in kindle publishingIn a recent interview with uber-successful self-publisher Jason Bracht, I asked him what advice he’d give to himself if he could go back to when he started.

The paraphrased answer is, “I’d publish to paperback and audiobook on all my publication.” (See the interview here)

Jason stated that he’s made upwards of $10,000 to $20,000 per month in e-book sales alone. (see his videos here)

So, why would he suggest publishing to paperback and audiobook?

Because those two streams are highly viable and under-utilized.

Createspace: Paperback Books on Amazon

Createspace (an Amazon Company) is one of many online resources for publishing your work to paperback.createspace paperback books

The neat part is you can publish your book to over 6 different channels.

So, what’s the big hang-up?

Why aren’t more people using Createspace?

Okay, I get why some people don’t want to tackle paperback books.

The formatting alone is enough to drive you to drink.

But, if you don’t initially release your book to paperback, then consider a physical book as a good next step for a proven e-book.

Funnel a small portion of the Kindle profits from a book to hiring out someone to do it for you.

Come on; don’t be a cheapskate!

Think about this anecdotal evidence…

Sorry, I’m too lazy to Google a reputable resource, so do it yourself…

Over 60% of global book sales comes from physical books.

So why the hell would you NOT convert your Kindle e-book into a paperback?!

In fact, I can personally tell you a large portion of my self-publishing income lies on the under-used platform, Createspace.

KDP: Createspace’s Long Lost Twin Brother

If you haven’t heard yet, then I’ll give you the scoop.

Amazon revealed that KDP is Createspace’s long lost twin brother.

Okay, okay. That’s horsesh*t, but…

The truth is KDP recently unveiled its paperback option.

And, the best part is the format and layout are nearly identical to Createspace.

Now you can kill two birds with one stone.

If you are leery about putting all your eggs in one basket, then simply ignore what I just shared.

Either way, publish your stinking content on e-book and paperback.

Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table!

Audiobook: The Red-Head Step-Child of Self-Publishing

how to make audiobooks

Hey, you know where else you’re leaving money? ACX!

ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) states this on their website:

We have 1,611 titles open for auditions, 43,083 producers to choose from, and 78,843 audiobooks on sale at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. (as of February 23, 2017)

Say what?!

They only have 78,843 audiobooks?!

But, there are millions of Kindle e-books on Amazon alone.

Why aren’t they available on audiobook?!

Here’s where it gets juicy!

If someone purchases your audiobook and signs up for an Audible membership, you get a bounty.

Do you wanna know what that bounty is? Huh, do ya?

Give up?…$50!

Holy crap! Fifty-freakin’-bucks simply for putting your content on the market.

And, the best part is you still get royalties for that book! WHAT?!

ACX KISS: Keepin’ It So Simple

Last thing to note about audiobooks on ACX.

It’s zero risk. ZERO.

You find a narrator, they do all the work and you split the royalties.

Done.

ACX kicks you an additional 25 promotional codes which essentially is money in the bank.

I develop raving fans from gifting copies of my audiobook.

The cool part is when someone claims the gift, I get a small royalty.

Nice, right?

I put together a series of videos about ACX and how to do it step-by-step (click here to see the playlist).

If you are outside of the US or UK, then don’t sweat it.

If KDP offering paperback as an option is any indication, then Amazon and ACX will open up to more regions in the near future.

What’s the Self-Publishing Success Formula Anyways?

self publishing successOh, sh*t! I didn’t think you were actually interested.

The self-publishing success formula isn’t some inside secret.

Nor do you have to opt-in to an email newsletter for a downloadable PDF of it.

I’ll give it to you simply for reading through this entire post…

Except for you skimmers or speed-readers…

Nah, I’m just kidding; you get it too!

This is it:

  1. Produce the content
  2. Release it on all platforms
    1. Amazon KDP
    2. Createspace
    3. ACX
    4. Heck, be brave and go for these alternatives:
      1. Smashwords
      2. Draft2Digital
      3. NookPress
      4. Pronoun
      5. Babelcube
      6. Amazon Video Direct – that’s right, repurpose it to a featured film, why not?!
  1. Collect the profits

So, for you algebra nerds:

  • b = book
  • d = online distributors
  • $ = money
  • x = 1-9 different distribution channels, choose your number

The Self-Publishing Success Formula

b + d (x) = $

Now, go write your own paycheck, you savvy self-publisher you!

 

Till later,
Dale L. Roberts

#1 International Best-Selling Author

SelfPublishingWithDale.com


Bio:

Dale L. Roberts is a full-time self-published author, former professional wrestler and personal trainer. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife Kelli and cat Izzie. You can find more from Dale at YouTube.com/SelfPublishingWithDaleLRoberts.

Two Marketing Cornerstones

Great. You published a book. That’s a fantastic step forward for any publisher. You have more books on the drawing board? Fantastic as well. How do you ensure success? You need to have a plan. While we aren’t going into extensive details in this post, I will list a few things you will need before you launch that book and at least one after.

A marketing plan is an outline for how you expect to share the book with the world. This plan can be extensive or simple, but there needs to be one in place.

You need to have a newsletter, which is promoted in the book. This gives your new readers a chance to interact and learn about you in a way Facebook and Twitter can’t. While you can and should maintain accounts on both social media platforms, it is your newsletter that encourages readers to enjoy conversation with you on a regular basis. You should be actively engaged in these conversations.

Reviews are the social proof that encourages readers to purchase your book. Some books are bought right off the shelf because of the cover, or the blurb, but the reality is it’s the reviews that generate sales from anyone uncertain about the purchase. Getting reviews must be part of your marketing plan without question.

It is a wonderful thing when your books are well received. A good marketing plan includes the above to ensure that happens for a long time to come. You should also have a website because readers will search for you. You should have your social media accounts monitored because some will try to reach you sooner. These are the essentials, but they are far from all you can do to get yourself in the eye of a reader.

Watch for future articles where we will begin to discuss how to get reviews and what to do to get your newsletter set up (and much more)

What are some of your favorite tricks for contacting readers?

 

Finishing the book

Many authors think they have to start with their author career by doing a lot of things. Some argue they have to take this class in creative writing, while others argue they don’t have a grasp on the industry, or my favorite is – they don’t have time.

None of that matters when you desire to become an author. The first thing you do is finish the book. When I say finish the book, I mean the first draft. There are many steps that follow – revisions, edits, more revisions, more edits, proofreading, editing, and the list goes on. Nothing will move forward without the first part – the book.

The best way to know you’ll finish it is to start it and commit at least 2 hours each week to the progress of the story. This could be fantastic. Most prolific writings commit to a daily writing goal. It doesn’t matter if the content created will be removed later, as long as the daily writing goal is reached. Even books filled with the need to edit, are completed books ready for the chain of work that follows.

Another great way to know you’ll finish the book you want to write is to imagine where you want the story to end – write that first. Once you’ve got a clear vision of the end of the book, writing what comes before it flows much easier for many authors, new and experienced.

What else can you do to help your book along? What do you think about ‘writer’s block’? What would you like to know?

We will cover these questions and others in future posts. What else should we add to the list?

Have fun today and always!