One Week Left to Earn a Free Review Copy of My Short Story Book! + Guest Posts Still Wanted!

Hello, dear readers! I’m back with another weekly notice for you all! Seems even after two weeks since announcing my upcoming blog relaunch, I still can’t go a week without blogging! Don’t worry, though, I promise this will be brief! So on to the announcements!

One Week Left to Send Beta Reader Feedback for a Free Review Copy of My Book!

First, this is a friendly reminder about my notice from last week regarding my final call for beta reader feedback. There’s still time to earn a free review copy of my upcoming book featuring short stories about dragons!

Continue reading below for a brief refresher, or go ahead and sign up for my beta readers’ list now!

To earn your free review copy of my book:

  1. Sign up for my beta reader list here or through the form above. Remember to confirm your email!
  2. Read the short stories you’ll receive in the welcome email. A brief synopsis of each story can be found here.
  3. Send your feedback on at least one story by following the instructions in the email. Feedback on all three stories would be great, but if you don’t have the time, just one or two is enough. 😉

After I receive your feedback, I will add you to my pre-launch list—regardless of whether your feedback is positive or negative, promise! When my book is ready to be launched on Kindle, you will receive a free copy in your email!

If you’ve already sent me feedback on at least one of my stories, don’t worry about having to send it again. You’re already on my pre-launch list! Thank you! 🙂

If you haven’t sent me your notes yet, the deadline to submit your feedback and earn your free book is Wednesday, April 25, 11:59 pm PDT. Sign up today and earn yours!

Guest Posts Still Wanted!

In case you missed it, my call for guest posts to promote my blog relaunch is still open!

If you’re interested in submitting a guest post, read the guidelines first, then sign up for my list below!

Join My Blog Relaunch Street Team!

You should receive a welcome email plus another email in a few days with instructions on how to pitch me your guest post.

Thank you to everyone who’s signed up to help me make my book launch and blog relaunch a success! You’re all awesome!

Talk to you again soon! Until then, happy reading/writing!

Earn a Free Review Copy of My Short Story Ebook! + Blog Relaunch Guest Posts Still Wanted!

Hello, dear readers! How have you been? It’s been one week since I announced my upcoming blog relaunch, and I admit it already feels strange to not be blogging three times a week anymore. Still, I will have the occasional weekly notice until my new blog is up and running, and that includes today!

So without further ado, here are a couple of announcements for this week!

Submit Feedback on My Short Stories for a Free Review Copy of My Book!

First, while I’m already editing my dragon short stories for the final draft of my book, I’m still welcoming comments from beta readers to help me make them better. However, I can’t stay in the editing phase forever, which is why I’m now sending out a last call for feedback.

Send me your notes on my stories within the next two weeks and I’ll send you a free review copy of my book before I launch it on Kindle!

To earn your free review copy of my book:

  1. Sign up for my beta reader list here or through the form below. Remember to confirm your email!
  2. Read the short stories you’ll receive in the welcome email. A brief synopsis of each story can be found here.
  3. Send your feedback on at least one story by following the instructions in the email. Feedback on all three stories would be ideal, but if you don’t have the time, just one or two is enough. 😉

After I receive your feedback, I will add you to my pre-launch list—regardless of whether your feedback is positive or negative, promise! When my book is ready to be launched on Kindle, you will receive a free copy in your email!

If you’ve already sent me feedback on at least one of my stories, don’t worry about having to send it again. You’re already on the pre-launch list! Thank you! 🙂

If you haven’t sent me your notes yet, the deadline to submit your feedback and earn your free book is Wednesday, April 25, 11:59 pm PDT. Sign up today and earn yours!

Guest Posts Still Wanted!

Second, this is a brief reminder that my call for guest posts to promote my blog relaunch is still open!

For more information on the update, be sure to check out the original post here.

If you’re interested in submitting a guest post, read the guidelines first, then sign up for my list below!

Join My Blog Relaunch Street Team!

You should receive a welcome email plus another email in a few days with instructions on how to pitch me your guest post.

Thank you to everyone who’s signed up to help me make my book launch and blog relaunch a success! You’re all awesome!

Talk to you again soon! Until then, happy reading/writing!

Update on the Dragon Story Experiment: More Beta Reader Feedback + Final Draft in Progress

It’s been another month since my last update on my dragon stories! Last time, I shared some of the feedback I’d received from beta readers on my first two stories while the last one had yet to be edited and sent out. After sending out all three stories and receiving more feedback from readers, here’s another quick update on my project and where I plan to go from here!

Beta Reader Feedback

So far, all three of my stories have been very well received! Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re perfect, and my beta readers certainly had some great notes to share over the past several weeks!

Based on their feedback, it seems a couple of my biggest weaknesses in writing are passive voice and awkward sentences. This isn’t really a surprise; I’ve caught myself favoring passive voice over active voice more times than I’d care to admit, and even I find some of my own sentences awkward after a few rounds of editing. Despite everything I’ve learned about writing, I still have a handful of bad habits to break!

One thing that did surprise me was someone’s comment that the action in “Defender” was written very well. Action scenes have long been one of the areas I’ve felt least confident in, so hearing that my extra effort paid off definitely put a spring in my step that day! I was also surprised to hear that “Beastly Pains” is very reminiscent of the fable of “The Lion and the Mouse” (not that this is a bad thing, I just hadn’t realized it), and that “The Silver Queen” made one of my readers cry!

Overall, although there have been a couple of comments here and there that were hard to hear, I’m extremely grateful to the readers who have taken the time to read my stories and give feedback. Every comment, both positive and negative, helps me become a better writer!

Final Edits + Publication

Although my stories are technically still open for feedback from beta readers, I’m already getting started on the final drafts. Once those are done, I plan to assemble them into a single ebook and publish it on Kindle!

Now before you say anything, I know this sounds a little crazy. What am I thinking publishing these stories without giving them to an editor first?

Well, as I’ve hinted at before, this isn’t so much a true self-publishing venture as it is an experiment. I’m planning to use these stories to test certain aspects of self-publishing and see how readers respond to my writing so I can learn from the experience. I promise I have no intention of publishing my future “real” books without handing them over to a professional editor first! That would be insane!

The main reason I’m okay with putting this book out there in such a raw state is that I’m going to be rebranding myself as an author soon. This will be the only book I publish under my current name; after my upcoming blog relaunch, I’ll be focusing on a fresh series of stories to properly self-publish under my new author name, hopefully with a little more wisdom about the process!

What blog relaunch and new author name, you ask? You’ll have to wait until next week to learn more. 😉

Thanks again to all my beta readers for your feedback! If you’re not one of my beta readers yet but would like to be, you still have time to sign up for my mailing list! Once my final drafts are nearly ready, I’ll be closing my list, so be sure to sign up soon!

Beta Reader Feedback: Update on the Dragon Story Experiment

It’s been a month since I called for beta readers for my short stories about dragons. (Calls are still open, by the way! If you’re interested, check out my original post here.)

After sharing what my self-publishing experiment is all about, now is a good time for an update on my stories and the feedback I’ve received from beta readers so far! So how have my stories been faring?

Short Story #1: “Defender”

The first story I lined up for my beta readers is “Defender”, a story about a battle between a dragon and a knight as told from the dragon’s point of view. This one is the most recent of the three; I first published this story on my blog in January 2017. It started as a simple 1000-word story, but after expanding on the action during editing, it doubled in length to 2000 words!

Of my three dragon stories, this one may be my favorite. The feedback on this story has been overwhelmingly positive so far! Obviously, the exclusively positive comments have come from family and friends, but I did receive some constructive feedback from a couple of readers, which was great! I’ll definitely be sure to consider their notes for the final edit!

Short Story #2: “Beastly Pains”

My second story is “Beastly Pains”, a story about a boy who is cornered by a dragon and has to negotiate his way out of being eaten. This one is the oldest of my three stories; I first shared it in a writing community in early 2014. It started at about 2000 words long, but after editing, it grew to around 2200 words.

This one took me over a week longer than I expected to edit, mostly because my writing has greatly improved over the last few years, so there was a lot to delete and change! I sent it out to my beta readers at the end of last week, so I’ve only received constructive feedback from one reader so far (again, family and friends don’t count). Her notes were very helpful and I look forward to using them to improve the final draft of the story!

Short Story #3: “The Silver Queen”

My third story is “The Silver Queen”, a story about an outcast dragon looking for a way to fit in. I’m particularly proud of this story because it won an honorable mention in a short story contest back in 2014. It’s currently sitting at about 2000 words but may end up slightly longer in the final beta draft.

I’m still editing this one (thanks to the delay with “Beastly Pains”), so I haven’t yet sent it out to my beta readers. Though I have no feedback to report right now, I am confident it will be well received, if for no other reason than I was definitely inspired when I wrote it! I plan to send it out within the next week. Hopefully my beta readers will like it!

To those of you who have been beta reading my stories this month, thank you so much for your time and feedback! You’re awesome!

Not my beta reader yet but interested in being one? Sign up for my beta readers’ list!

Here There Be Dragons: About My Self-Publishing Experiment

Last week, I sent out a call for beta readers for three of my short stories about dragons. If you haven’t seen it yet, find out more here!

I mentioned that the stories I’m editing are going to be compiled into an ebook as part of a self-publishing venture. So today, I want to talk about what this little experiment is all about.

The Dragon Story Experiment

After five years of blogging, I realized it’s high time for an upgrade in my status as a writer. Obviously this includes actually publishing a book already, but there’s more to it than that.

After a month of reflection, I’ve been getting myself excited about changing… well, pretty much everything about my online presence.

But before I do, I want to “test the waters” of the Kindle market. And I felt there were no better stories to start with than a handful that I’ve already shared online and found moderate success with.

Why these stories?

I chose three stories with a common theme that have already been well received, which gives me a major confidence boost going in.

Here’s the catch, though: all the feedback I’ve gotten on these stories so far has come from writers, fellow artists who are already familiar with the craft and the work that goes into every story.

On the one hand, this is good because experienced writers can identify mistakes that go unnoticed by the untrained eyes of average readers. On the other, writers may be more inclined to be positive and encouraging than brutally honest to fellow artists out of empathy. We all want to be supportive, right?

So my experiment is to try to expand the reach of my writing and see if it still holds up with average readers who are just looking for a good story.

The first step is to show my stories to beta readers who have volunteered to point out the strengths and weaknesses in my writing and help me make it better. The next is to put the final drafts of those stories in front of paying readers and see how they fare. Whatever happens, I’ll take what I learn and apply that knowledge to my future self-published books.

Why now?

Now is probably a good time to mention that my “author persona upgrade” will almost definitely come with a name change! Wait, what? Again, more on this later.

This test run is therefore a way get my work out there without the fear of failure. Nobody likes it? No problem; it’s not really me! Everyone likes it? Great, now I know for sure that I can write stories readers enjoy!

So what does this all mean? Well, nothing yet. For now, I’ll continue writing and blogging as usual. But I am planning to change that in a couple of months when my blog turns five years old!

Until then, I’ll be focusing on my mini short story anthology. Here’s hoping my experiment is a success!

Are you interested in being a beta reader for my short stories? Sign up for my beta readers’ list!

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