Did An Amazon Pre-Order Work for Me? No

The other week I put the final book of Artifacts of Avalum on sale on Amazon Pre-Order. This was the first time I’d ever tried an Amazon Pre-Order, as the changing of the rules made it easier and more convenient, since I didn’t have to 100% ready, uploaded manuscript prior to beginning the pre-order period. This I like. But did a pre-order period do anything for me? Did it magically boost my sales or make my book more find-able?

The short answer: No.

But, the long answer is more like: I did absolutely no pre-marketing for this book, and if you know self-publishing at all, you know that just because you hit the publish button that doesn’t mean your book is suddenly find-able. It only means that your book has suddenly appeared on the shelves of 15M+ books on the virtual Amazon store.

So market people, market! (Oh, by the way, did you know that all three books of the Artifacts of Avalum series are now available for purchase at all major ebook retailers!?!? And they are all on sale for $0.99!! Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Nook)


Lol. So would I do a pre-order period again? Maybe. Possibly. IF I was ready to kick up my marketing at the same time. But getting a book ready for publication is enough work, let alone developing the marketing plan. So Maybe. Depending on the book.

Have you ever bought a book pre-order? I don’t think I ever have. But if you have, I would love to know.


A Map of Avalum: Artifacts of Avalum Trilogy

Part of creating fictional words—especially fantasy worlds—often includes making a map. I drew this map of Avalum by hand while writing The Torc, and then elaborated on the map while writing The Circlet. World building can be the most exciting part of writing fantasy. In a way, it’s like playing Creator. How do you shape your world?

I was planning to including this map in The Circlet (I felt it wasn’t really needed yet in The Torc), but I forgot. So I’m going to post it here before I publish The Chain in the next week. A bit of pre-publication bonus material!


You can see that I’ve included a number key and legend that describe the important locations in Avalum. Without this key, even I would be lost because it’s so hard to hold all the little details in my head. I find the big stuff often sticks, but the small details are easy to misplace. I wouldn’t want to end up putting a portal in the wrong location, or moving it from the south side of the mountains to the north. When writing any kind of fantasy— low fantasy, high fantasy, or epic—I find a map is a great addition and source or visual information. Plus it’s also fun to draw.

What do you think? Have you ever drawn a map for one of your books?


New Writing Goals!

Today I’m happy to announce that I’ve finally found the time to share with you my new writing goals for the next 12 months. This goal really began at the beginning of July, and so far I’m struggling to meet it, but I am getting more work done.

So what is the goal?

My new goal is to write 500 words a day.

This is much less than the goal I had back in 2017/2018, where I aimed to write 1,000 words a day and actually managed to make that word count by the end of the year! I’m very glad I did that, writing 1,000 words a day for a year taught me so many things! One of those being that with a day job, trying to write 1,000 words a day and keep up with editing and rewriting and self-publishing and submitting was nearly impossible. But I still did it! So this time I’ve decided to pull it back a bit and aim for that first 500. Except for the month of Nano where I will triple that every day. Below you can see a shot of my tracker for the first few weeks. As you can see, it’s been a challenge to meet that every day. I even forgot about my goal for a day. Two days. A few other days here and there, but slowly the goal is beginning to become a habit and stick in my mind. And that is a large part of why I set these goals, because being a writer with a day job is not easy. It is hard to find time to write, it is hard to remember to write, and it is hard to set goals that are realistic. This helps.

Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 5.30.12 PM

I’ll try to update once a month so you can see how I’m doing. If you want, feel free to set your own goal and work along with me for the next year. Writing is always nice with company.

Wish me luck!


Happy Holidays 2018

Just a quick stop in today to say Happy Holidays 2018! Thanks to all who read my blogs, books, and musings, I appreciate it all. I’m going to spend some time over the next week thinking of everything I want for this blog in 2019, and also setting some personal goals for writing, reading, and world building. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something new to read, here is a free story for you, just follow this link. 


I wish you all the happiest of holidays and coziest times of winter (or summer, depending on which hemisphere you live in I suppose!), I’ll see you in 2019!