Graphics goddess and genius creator of wicked words and wondrous worlds ~ also known as fantasy author, Sîan Glírdan
Alliteration aside Jan (and Sîan) is an independent publisher, the author of Milele Safari, short stories in Dreamless Roads ~ a fantasy anthology, soon to be released cyberspace-memoir, A Freebooter's Fantasy Alamanac, and the forthcoming Havenlands fantasy series - watch this space!
… don’t worry it’s not too serious, just crazy time management for the forseeable!
Regular visitors may recall that I’ve already posted about a new ‘fun’ factor in my daily routine (I’m SICK of being sick!) Since then, things kind of ambled along with the new medication, with only a few botty slips of short duration. So, I went off last Friday to Gastroenterology Outpatients with a fairly sanguine* hope that I was doing OK with the meds and could carry on with a similar schedule (with tweaks and variations on the steroids I was taking). And therein lies the rub – I’ve been experiencing some thankfully low-key side effects from the steroids with a mostly bearable tremor in the hands. I’m fairly good on the keyboard, but the shakes are interfering with putting on make-up. This isn’t a huge problem as I rarely wear it, but I’ve got to…
This is kind of a New Year Post… except that all this month I’ve had to go for a colonoscopy, scan and finally out-patients to get my conclusive diagnosis on what sort of IBD I have. That’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease – NOT IBS (irritable bowel syndrome, although it sure felt like it!) which isn’t quite so aggressive, hence the syndrome and not disease… 😦
So – the verdict is in and it’s Colitis rather than Crohn’s disease, which, luckily is pretty manageable if you can tolerate steroids. I can (or at least I was OK with the ones I had to take for a while for respiratory reasons). I started up with them yesterday, the day after I got out of the hospital pharmacy with a humongous bag, along with some upmarket Rennies for calcium replenishment, and a great big box of miniature gunshot grit, the purpose of which I’m not…
Yes, a soft launch, because I’ve still got do a fair amount of updating to things that’ll take a while to fiddle with, like the DWP video, to include newer publications and upcoming projects.
By and large, though most of the pages are now up to date, including the latest 5-star reviews pages for all the books. So, while we’re quiet in the lull before Xmas (I’m planning a proper re-launch for the New Year) I’ve put all the changes on so that all who know of us can come in and have a look-see at all the new look additions.
Chief amongst these are:-
the Publications page to include book trailers for all the titles I’m primarily involved in. This will be one of the few new marketing services available from us – so new that I haven’t got a fee in mind for it, talking of which…
on the re-named ‘Publishing know-how’page (formerly The Source) where I’ve added a tariff of editorial and design services for those customers who don’t want to do the skills exchange thang, so they can ‘shop and drop’ and leave the hard lifting to us, mostly on an hourly rate.
the removal of the link to the DreamWorlds forums. It’s replaced by a link to this blog, on the basis that this is now the more logical ‘active’ and relevant shop window for idle enquiries and community issues.
In respect of the dear old forums… Well – we all know they’re there to be used if needed! If the commercial side of things develops and there’s a need for specific extra-curricular activity, like chatting, ranting and generally having a good moan, or reaching out for fellow writerly experiences, solutions, empathy etc, then we can adapt existing areas as an add-on for that purpose. 😀
Please do let me know about any questions, concerns, or constructive feedback on the new-look site – this is why it’s a soft launch so I can resculpt to make it the most use to us all! 😉
Yeah, I know – we’ve been here before! And we will be again, no doubt, but me and DreamWorlds have been going through a major phase of transition these past several months. Most visible (or in the case of this blog, invisible) is that I’ve been focussing, of necessity, on my physical surroundings and making my home ‘future-proof’. As far as you ever can. Naturally, this has involved physical and fiscal expenditure, which isn’t over yet and is about to be applied to the writing and publishing side of my life.
This summer I undertook some digital formatting work for a friend in the USA. She’s a serious writer, lyricist and musician and so she wanted to do things professionally on a paid basis. Now, I was quite happy to do the skills pooling thing, but she insisted so I had to go and find out how much one could ask for what was essentially a very quick and easy file formatting exercise for around a dozen or so images. Naturally, as my client was based in the US, I needed to look into exchange rates. I had no idea what to charge!
Sooo… off I toddled to Amazon/Kindle Direct Publishing to have a look at their tariffs for editorial services. I decided to undercut them, as I’m ‘unproved’, and because, for what I was going to do there was, quite frankly, still a good time-based profit per image. Long story short, my first fee-paying client was pleased with the job. I was pleased with the unexpected income.
It’s, therefore, a no-brainer as to what I need to do if I want to get some extra income from somewhere or other, to help pay all the bills, both domestic and publishing-wise.
The upshot is that I need to make some money whilst not disrupting my everyday activity and fields of interest too much. Also that I can no longer treat writing and publishing as a hobby…
As sales are not going to support me in the style I’m accustomed to, it’s high time to get commercial with my publishing skills and resources.
Don’t worry if you’re used to doing the skills-pooling thing with us – that’s already a financial transaction without the necessity of moving paper or digital money! 😉
So that can go on – barter is the basis of all commercial activity after all! But, as my professional contact list gets longer and I’m in touch with people like my Texan friend, who have existing providers and just want to ‘shop’ with me, it’s time to get fee-savvy and start offering an ‘off the peg’ service to prospective clients.
Oh, yeah – and I suppose there’ll have to be a conversation with the benefits and tax offices. Guess I need to bite the bullet with that one soonish…
It won’t happen overnight, but from December 1st, 2017, there’ll be a tariff of various editorial and design services, for those who want a prêt-á-porter approach for file conversion, cover design, etc, etc, on the DreamWorlds Publishing site.
I’ll keep you informed on here as the changes go up – if there’s anything you want to know, just get in touch in the usual way! 😀
… an April Fool. It’s relaunch day for DreamWorlds Publishing – the BLOG!
It’s relaunch day for DreamWorlds Publishing – the BLOG! Also the old firm itself has had a good bottoming for Spring, in preparation for us getting a little more serious about the publishing and editorial side.
Since March 2015 I’ve been in a kind of hibernation career-wise (yes, yes, add in suitable jolly quip for the c-word). However, having just gone through a major phase of home ‘improvement’ that involved interior walls being bludgeoned out of existence, cookers thrown on a skip and kitchen cupboards being retired with extreme prejudice, I decided that the blog could do with a major overhaul as well. Before the kitchen outfitters arrive and I’m forced to spend enormous amounts of money courtesy of a new mortgage to release equity in the old homestead, to make it me-friendly for the foreseeable, I’ve also been considering sustainable income options for the future too.
The coffers will be looking healthier than they have for some time, but a fair whack of the new funds are already earmarked for loan repayments, new and spiffy black goods for the new kitchen, etc, so my thoughts have been straying to other marketable skills to bring in additional revenue. Preferably before I’m tempted to do something completely bonkers and get rid of my teenaged motor…
So, dear friends and colleagues, the time has come for me to look at ways to streamline and refloat DreamWorlds Publishing. Now, don’t get too worried by this! Please.
We’re still going to be functioning as a collective and doing the skills-swapping and sharing, so payment in movable wealth isn’t necessarily going to be rearing its head for our established family pot. However, in my other endeavours, I’ve been networking with people who prefer a more business-like arrangement and are willing to send me actual money for editorial and/or production and design work. So, I’m currently talking to the Benefits Office about a change in my potential earning status in anticipation of a small, steady stream of income coming in to help keep things tootling along for more than luxuries like food, shelter and keeping the pooch in the manner to which he’s been accustomed. Also that this blog will be seeing a lot more activity, so you all know what I’ve been getting up to on a hitherto unprecedented basis!
We’ll see how it goes. It may mean that we can afford to do more things. It will definitely mean that The Qworks will finally happen. At the very least!
As most of you will know by now, I’ve been trying to improve on my merchanting skills by dint of embracing Twitter (and Facebook a bit – it’s just not ‘me’ so much) and in particular by joining theRave Reviews Book Club. Now before you think this a recruitment post for them, it isn’t! Honestly. What it’s about is using your various author platforms to drive business to the sales point of your titles.
Now, this is essentially a huge team-tagging exercise for a month-long book and blog block party where there were up to three separate blog posts a day by the RRBC members participating. I chose to post on 3 separate days for Dreamless Roads (which isn’t an RRBC supported book as there’s only me who’s a member on there so they don’t usually promote it), and Milele Safari and A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac (which are promoted). For each book blog I wanted to put the Kindle version of the book on a Countdown price for that day for 99 cents/pence. Unfortunately I couldn’t do this in the end for AFFA, but I had brisk sales for Milele and Dreamless on their days.
The Dreamless Roads post day was the most successful!
This was in terms of visits and Kindle ‘sales’ with100 comments and FORTY, yes, FOUR ZERO SALESon the day.
Now, as you know Kindle Unlimited lets readers have the books for free, but you still get a cut of the revenue from the membership deal every month, so, for once we’re going to make some modest grocery shopping money, and not the odd, cheap cappuccino from the fund for August! Neat huh? 😀
Now go see the post and especially the comments, as they’re nearly all from RRBC people. Not only have I shifted 40 copies of Dreamless Roads, I’ll hopefully get some honest reviews off the back of this spurt of interest, which has already given the Amazon ranking (currently at #168,863) a welcome shot in the arm – in comparison, AFFA is 1.278 million and Milele is 1.439 million.
Milele Safari, which has been on the RRBC catalogue for all but the 1st six months of its publication date, is now approaching 30 reviews, most of which are highly positive and also come from RRBC members for the most part. Not bad for a ‘marmite book’ that I haven’t been pushing hard – it’s blog post got 25 sales, which is not to be sneezed at either.
Take what you will from this post, but if you’re active on social media and/or in author/writing communities, please have a good think on how YOU can boost Dreamless Roads in your circles of influence, and, if you do have one, your fanbase! 😉
We only have 4 reviews so far, but they’re all superb, so who knows how many more we’ll get if we all create a small stir for the book wherever we’re able!
Next on the agenda in The Qworks – watch this space as I’ll be posting much more this autumn… 😀
OK – so you might have noticed that Sîan Glírdan’s making more of an appearance these days and that there’s a new book A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac, (AFFA)sloooowly making it’s way out into online publication waters. If you’ve been looking my way in the last couple of weeks on social media, you’ll also have seen that Sîan’s now got her own blog and that there’s also an AFFA book blog as well. So – this next announcement will probably not surprise you at all but…
From now on all my fantasy genre writing is going to be published under my pen name Sîan Glírdan.
Yes, I may still occasionally write something more mainstream and contemporary as Jan Hawke, but for the forseeable future, this Jan Hawke INKorporated blog will be more to do with
Let’s get this going properly – A Freebooter’s Fantasy Almanac is now being proof-read by my long-suffering sister and I’m hoping to have it hitting the cyber shelves by the 1st of June with good luck and a following wind! So high time for me to get started with populating the book blog before launch date and to release those tasty little snippets to tantalise and tease the ‘marketplace’. Nice baby steps for now, but I will be putting up a Jano and Silen gallery on here – now that elleth has been unleashed upon an unsuspecting world there’ll be no stopping her, so this is the place where she can strut her stuff…
As you can see below, Louise is the youngest of our contributing authors to Dreamless Roads: A Fantasy anthology (DreamWorlds Publishing) – the epic poem The Rogue’s Odyssey in fact, but we’re featuring her today to show off her latest work in progress…
Louise Findlay ~ A fantasy writer who creates short tales about many supernatural creatures and the adventures they embark upon…
Louise writes fantasy (generally short stories) and inspirational poetry. She enjoys reading and writing about mythological creatures such as angels and demons but has a soft spot for vampires. Louise is currently in the midst of writing a vampire novella about two vampire clans whose deputy’s clash in a big way, entitled A Spy in the Sagax Vampires.
She generally writes ebooks but she’s a part of a few anthologies which are in print and is working on a special secret project this year.
Imprisoning a Duel Discord Description The world is in musical order. To maintain balance, a team of Government Agents, named Harmony, track down, experiment on and sometimes kill those who express the music of dissonance. Those like Psycha, a duel Discord of Vyla and Sios; a prime lab rat to Harmony. Being able to disrupt harmony by voice and hands alone makes Psycha far more dangerous than the usual Discord. Will she run into trouble trying to protect her boyfriend, Caleb? Will her desire to destroy Harmony prove fatal for her? What will be left of her if she ever gets captured?
Excerpt from Imprisoning a Duel Discord: Psycha
What had Caleb gotten himself into this time? We were discords for music’s sake. We couldn’t strike back against Harmony if we ran, and be damned if he got caught. He was a Tara Discord not a Vyla like me. He was more vulnerable and I knew for a fact he left his Tara back at camp. Careless. That was so unlike him. He was usually methodical and paranoid. He couldn’t afford to throw his life away on a whim. I was the reckless one.
I hummed a tune to try and find his wavelength. Discords stuck out like a sore thumb, and he was a Tara. He was invisible without it, but I knew his musical signature like the back of my hand. I was almost certain I could pick something up, and I did. The three note discordant hum that was uniquely Caleb was faintly ringing in the air. I rushed to try and catch up to him. There was no way he would get captured on my watch. Cinder would kill me.
No. I caught sight of a man with the Harmony symbol on the back of his black suit. The tell-tale sign of a sharp, with two notes at the bottom and a treble clef in the middle, made him the enemy. I’d seen what happened to Discords when Harmony got a hold of them. They were mere husks of their former selves; dead and despondent inside. Their life cruelly ripped away. I would not let that happen to Caleb.
I screamed out notes at the man’s back, notes which clashed horribly. It was music to me, but the assailant recoiled, clutching his head in pain. How dare he try and take away the thing that made Caleb who he was. Being Discords defined us.
My enemy retaliated by taking out his Ko and trying to play me into submission. The harmony was excruciating to me. I was a duel Vyla/Sios Discord. Normal Discords were three parts discord and one-part harmony. I was fully Discord. I could control music with my voice and by touch alone. I hated Harmony for what they did to us, and I knew I’d be their prime lab rat.
“Caleb, run” I shouted.
I was bombarding him with musical assaults, but I had to be careful not to hit Caleb. He was powerless without his Tara. Why did he not bring it with him?
“I’m not leaving you,” he said.
Ah. Blood ran down my cheek when a note hit. Harmony and dissonance were opposites. One could hurt the other. Harmony were the government and Dissonance were the outcasts. I would make them pay for condemning us to a lifetime of running. Harmony agents lived to capture us.
“Go, you idiot. Get back to camp. You’re defenceless,” I ordered.
At last, he managed to see sense and fled. I couldn’t protect him if he was in the way. I waved a shield to protect against the agent’s next attack. Now Caleb was safe I could really let loose without fear of hurting him. I used my voice and hands in tandem to unleash a barrage of musical weapons at him. Streams of note swords and arrows flew at the enemy. He was pretty quick to keep up with me, but he couldn’t deflect everything I threw at him.
I started to hum a dissonant melody designed to sweep into his soul. I would poison his harmony with dissonance. He let out a hiss, which told me I was successful. I screamed as more musical implements of doom attacked me. I used the blood trickling down my arm in a note. Blood notes packed a mean punch. Judging by the look on his face, it did.
“Just die, Harmony bastard,” I said.
“Bring it, Discord cur,” he replied.
I screamed like a banshee. When he was distracted, I flung a spear at him. I turned his cries into a gag with a wave of my hand. His voice was grating to my ears.
Ah. A melody hit me straight in the neck and continued to constrain my throat. I tried to catch my breath, but it was impossible. I flailed around, trying to swipe him off me, but to no avail. I couldn’t let him get me. I couldn’t be captured. I finally managed to get him to relent, but my vision turned hazy as I gasped for breath.