Saturday, December 2, 2023


Coffee shop character of the day:

There was a guy (white, over 6', bulky, short grey/black hair, in his 50s (?), American accent) on the patio who asked us to watch his stuff while he went to the restroom.

His stuff consisted of a laptop and a carton of eggs.

The eggs might have made sense in the summer when the farmers market is just down the street, but the farmers market is closed for the winter. So... where did the eggs come from? Anyhow, then he came back and got on a phone call speaking in... Danish maybe? It was one of those Nordic languages they speak in the bleak mysteries where there is a lot of snow and the detective is slowly drinking himself to death.

So why the eggs? These are the important questions in life, and I'll never know.


Do you read serialized fiction? Since you're reading a blog, I'm guessing the answer is no. I'm not saying you're old or anything, but... Chances are, you're well over forty.

Anyhow, the young kids these days read serialized fiction. There are a ton of apps out there (Royal Road, Wattpad, Radish, and Kindle Vella to name just a few) and the idea is that you can read an episode or two while standing in line or on your break — stories for a world where many people don't have the time to spend reading longer form fiction.

Some authors make a lot of money writing serials. Most of them write steamy romance. But then again, that's true for novels as well. Romance is big, and there are rewards for writing what people want to read. Though I often have a romantic subplot in my books, I don't write pure romance. Don't get me wrong — I'd love to. But if I tried, soon there would be ghosts and a murder and... the end result wouldn't fit in the genre of romance.

So I've been writing a few serials on Kindle Vella, mostly because Amazon was giving big bonuses to authors even if nobody was reading the serial. Amazon has done a terrible job with Kindle Vella. If they'd done it correctly, they'd have taken over the American market by now. As it is, I suspect they'll shut down the platform at some point. But it's hard to be sad about Amazon falling on their face.

In any case, I'll probably stop loading episodes on Kindle Vella after I finish the current serial. It's too much effort for very little gain and I think I have maybe two people reading the episodes. Marketing fiction can be a challenge in general, but I have no idea how to market serials. With a book, I can discount the first one in a series and advertise that. A small percentage of readers will buy the rest of the series, and as long as you end up net positive, it's all good.

With serials, the price is fixed, based on the word count, so you can't discount it. Novel and serial readers are two separate circles on a Venn diagram, so the 2k people who get my newsletter every month aren't interested. How do you advertise to a cold audience?

The big problem here is that I am old (and terrible at marketing) and serials are a younger person's format. Oh well.

Picture of the Day

Here's my foster kitten, the lovely Lady Tyburn. Her right eye is looking really good these days — at one point, I thought the whole eye was toast, so the fact that it's comfortable and she can see with it is awesome. Ty is super friendly and loves to run up to me and boop me in the face with her nose. It's very cute.

Accomplishments of the day:

  • Remembered Holidailies existed and wrote this post!
  • Wrote the Dragon Fortune episode (1300+ words). I'll give it a quick edit tomorrow and then throw it up on Kindle Vella.
  • Went to a write-in at the local coffee shop. It was a little chilly on the patio, but not too bad.
  • Took pictures of Lady Tyburn's eyes and sent them to the foster coordinator.
  • Yesterday's final step count: 25,592. Today will probably be a bit less, but that's fine.
  • To-do still: I'd like to add some words to the urban fantasy novel I worked on in November.

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