December 15, 2018, 08:56:11 PM

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Messages - Eli_Freysson

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Oof. I'm going through a "wake up two hours too early" streak, and I have no idea why.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Fantastic lines from books
« on: December 09, 2018, 03:38:28 PM »
"It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy convent Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men."

(I'm googling half-remembered lines to get my quotes, so its not all that remarkable that I've got so many :P)

... does that make sense in context? Like, are nuns in the setting divine warrior badasses?


“It was Sam's first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man's name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would rather have stayed there in peace.”

@Eli_Freysson is this true? someone posted it in the FB group

Bea asked that very question last December.

It's half true. Books are a very popular choice for Christmas present. So much so that the supermarkets and book stores set up special, very long tables for books. It's called jólabókaflóðið, "the Christmas book flood", and it's vital for book sellers. We open our presents after dinner on the 24th, and so after all the excitement is over a lot of people relax with a book. But it's not a specific tradition.

Also, yes, there is a lot of chocolate.

General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: December 08, 2018, 10:27:17 PM »
>He presented a real danger to them

Pretty sure that evangelism is not a legal defense on a murder charge.

Xiagan meant the much-repeated fact that this tribe has no defence against common diseases. Anything that makes it there from outside might wipe them all out.

General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: December 08, 2018, 09:52:34 PM »
The second was very recent. Before my heart surgery, I prayed with a chaplain, who led a visualization based on a scene where the risen Christ appears to his apostles while they’re fishing. He basically runs a quick beachside fish fry, and it’s (to me) an utterly charming story. After my surgery, when I h]was in considerable distress and pain, a nurse told me to essentially go to my “happy place”. I intended in that moment to picture our camp in Maine, but instead found myself on the beach in Galilee at night in front of a small fire encountering a welcoming and powerful figure in the shadows. My distress vanished and I was back in my body in the hospital and through that part of the ordeal.

Of course, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, “animists”, and others will relate their own stories of how they were touched by the eternal otherness, or what have you. My experience is in keeping with theirs and in a Christian context because that’s what I’ve found useful (and frustrating, maddening) in my life. It’s my context, so it’s the frame of these experiences.

That second story is quite charming.

I'm sure there is great relief and comfort in being able to immerse oneself in something like that, or in believing that something is looking out for us. I'm just can't. My mind isn't wired that way.

General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: December 08, 2018, 06:22:20 PM »
Yeah, this guy should have seen it coming, and his faith let him put on blinders and call them eyeglasses. At the same time, I find it curious that no one is condemning his killers. For all the faults of monotheistic religions, I'm very glad we no longer live in a world where it's not merely okay but admirable to kill someone simply because they're a foreigner. It's weird we not only tolerate this, but actively protect it. Humans are a funny species.

I've seen the theory floated that they've retained stories of what happened the last time outsiders messed with them to a significant degree.

As for understanding the devoutly religious mindset... I think I ultimately can't. I'm not only a regular atheist, I happen to have a condition that casts my worldview almost entirely in facts and material good/bad. I roll my eyes at the idea, both current and historical, that anyone and anything not directly off one's own god and worldview is BAD. I can only perceive it as unbelievable arrogance. Not even getting into the whole idea of God creating a bunch of people, then plopping them down in a part of the world where they'll never hear of him, so he can send them to Hell for not worshipping him...

General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: December 08, 2018, 09:51:39 AM »

Writers' Corner / Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« on: December 06, 2018, 10:39:20 PM »
I totally get this, but I wonder if you may be setting unattainable goals for yourself. I'd suggest that rather than setting a goal for SALES, you set a goal to be read and enjoyed. Basically, ask yourself why you want to be an author. Is it for money, or to share the cool ideas in your head?

As much as we'd like it to be different, writing SFF isn't something that'll make us rich. It's something we do because we enjoy it, and because we want to share our stories with others who enjoy them as well.

Judging by those standards, you have already succeeded multiple times.

No, it's not about the money. I'm lucky enough that there is very little I want that can be bought with money. Within those boundaries I have pretty good financial security. It IS about the joy of writing. I love to write, and by this point I NEED to write to get the ideas out of my head. But any creative type wants their work appreciated and appraised. Writing is my main source of pride. It's just that reviews drastically taper off with each book I release.

For my part, Eli, I've really enjoyed your work, and judging from your number of Amazon reviews, publication deals, and other accomplishments, many others have too. I (and they) have enjoyed the stories you've written. So, if you're feeling down, I'd suggest you judge your career based on if it fulfills you (you're writing, and being read!) rather than if you're making lots of sales.

That's very kind of you

I found some good holiday advice for you parents out there.  :)

Writers' Corner / Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« on: December 05, 2018, 06:49:09 PM »
Basically, run a small budget ad over an extended period of time to see if it's working for you. Patience is the key because you have to see how many people are going on to buy the subsequent books in the series.

This is a good write-up. Thanks.

Do you think thirty dollars might get me somewhere? What counts as a small budget with these things?

Writers' Corner / Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« on: December 05, 2018, 12:43:06 PM »
Elí, that's exactly the reason why I stopped. It took too much out of me.
I'm just not the type to self-advertise and keep social media accounts up to date.

High five!

... sort of.

Writers' Corner / Re: Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« on: December 04, 2018, 08:13:37 PM »
I don't have answers, but I'm writing more content for my website and doing occasional promotions. I had quite a few downloads of my free novelette during a recent Kobo promotion. When my second novel comes out in February, I plan to do Book Bub ads, another Kobo promotion, and perhaps some Amazon/FB ads, too.

I tried Book Bub. I'm afraid it had no effect whatsoever.

For exposure for your books I think you need to take some time and build a marketing strategy. I say this in all the kindness I'm capable of (which isn't much), but it looks to me like you've tried a bunch of tactics without any underlying strategy. Kinda like an army shooting some arrows, sending out the cavalry, and forming up the infantry without an objective.

Yeah, I just tried one thing after the other.

Then build a plan (strategy) to reach that objective. If it's just selling books you don't have to do much more than write a decent series and use Amazon advertising to sell the first in series. You'll lose money on the first book, but make money on the people who buy book 2, 3, 4, etc. (assuming the books are decent). If you put your books in Kindle Unlimited you'll get an added benefit of more exposure and page read payouts. If you're making a little money use it to ad FB and other advertising. Then write the next series, rinse and repeat.

If you're building a niche audience or a wide brand, your strategy will have to start with a lot of research about your intended audience. Then writing a series specifically designed for them. Then using advertising tactics that find that specific audience. Then building an ecosystem (website, social media, forums, newsletter, etc.) that keeps your audience aware of you and your new works. Each time you release a new book you'll get a boost of exposure because your audience will be talking about the new release on social media.

Hmm. As I said, Amazon ads were among the things I tied money to before throwing it out the window. Maybe I wasn't spending enough, it's been long enough that I can't remember how much it was. But do these kinds of ads even work? I never click on ads myself, and I've become pretty jaded to the idea of other people doing so in the ocean of ads we all get exposed to.

There are many, many places where you can talk with folks--far more than in RL. I would add just *one* place. I wouldn't make that Twitter because that's essentially one huge stadium full of people all talking at once. Facebook is a possibility, though much depends on your attitude about that company. I shrug it off, but it bothers some folks and I wouldn't start at a place if I already had negative vibes about it. If you do go with FB, look for groups. That's how I found one specifically for historical fantasy.

I already have a basic Facebook page, which I use to keep in touch with family and real-life people in a convenient fashion.

Anyway, I think that, yes, selecting one or two SFF groups might be the way for me.

In the longer run, your aim would be to be able to post a comment, a thought, a picture, a question, and have that appear in multiple places without your having to log in and re-type each time. There are tools that facilitate this.

What do you mean?

There’s a fantasy faction Facebook group , ask the same writer’s question as you do here . You will get answers from fellow authors and readers.

I know of it but have never really gotten involved with it. Just what is it used for? I don't want to burst in shouting "Buy my book!"

Writers' Corner / Social media - I would really appreciate some advice
« on: December 04, 2018, 08:13:13 AM »
I'm... frustrated. I suppose that's just a part of being an indie author, but it's a specific issue this time.

I've come to believe that getting noticed as an indie is largely a matter of blind luck. I've tried basically everything an indie is suppose to do: Goodreads ads, Goodreads Giveaway, Facebook ads, Amazon ads, various forms of paid mass-mails, a paid-for book blog tour, interviews on various blogs, I kept an English-language Facebook page going for a while... NONE of this EVER coincided with a blip on my sales chart. Ever. The only thing that's ever worked a little bit is to an Amazon Kindle Countdown, and mentioning that fact on the r/fantasy page.

I got tired of throwing money out the window, and have long since given up on anything other than the Reddit thing. No one pays attention to "Notice me!" in a field absolutely jam-packed with desperate indies. I do keep an author webpage up; I was for a while not going to renew the fee, except that Romanian guy noticed me through it... due to blind luck.

I'm writing this because I just got yet another rejection from a publisher. There was no mention of the actual quality of the manuscript. They're only complaint was that they require "an established web presence such as a website, social media along with noticeable effort to engage potential readers prior to publication".

Social media. Goddamn social media. I have never gotten into it, as I think it is a weird, depressing activity, I've never really understood how it works and I refuse to get a smartphone. I tried keeping a blog going for a while, but weeks went by without me thinking of anything to say to the faceless hordes of the internet. Apparently a big following is what an indie needs... and now a lack of it is stopping me from becoming a trad as well!

I'm writing these next words with a sense of dread and hopelessness, but maybe I need to at least look into getting involved on social media. I don't have any hope for it. The problem is that I don't care. I don't have the slightest interest in spending hours each day approaching strangers about this and that, and I'm too isolated and weird to have much to say.

But it often seems that I HAVE to, so now I'm asking if anyone here with a better grasp of this awful, proven-to-induce-anxiety activity is willing to advise me.

(Sorry about the negative tone. I just despair at times.)




And I mean pouring down.

I just got home after crossing a mountain pass that is a notorious nightmare in winter. There was a nice, long stretch where I could barely see anything.

On the bright side I was coming back from a day with my family. They have standing permission from a farmer to cut down a pine tree or two on her property, and make a bit of a ritual out of going there together. This was only the second time I took part. We were wading snow up to our waists, but they found themselves a nice tree, and cut some branches to hang about the house for aroma. I also did something I've never done since moving away from home and got an organic tree of my own. It's a small one, but then so is my apartment. I expect to feel quite nostalgic just to have the smell around.


This morning I put on my snowsuit and went to get my car loose, and found it more thoroughly snowed in than ever in my life. And you want to hear the funny part? I keep my snow shovel in the trunk.

I got another one from a neighbour and dug and dug around and beneath the car, and then dug away the snowdrift directly behind the car. The one that was at least as big as the car itself. I then finally managed to back out of the lot and into the driveway, where I got completely and utterly stuck. I dug and dug, and got some help from another neighbour, and finally a third one called someone with a car powerful enough to drag me loose.

That was three and a half hours after I started digging.

I then drove to the nearby supermarket to park in the lot there, my go-to place under these circumstances as the snowplowers sometimes take days to get to my area. Except they hadn't gotten to the supermarket yet, and so I drove to the next market over. There I bought a candy bar just so I would have the energy to walk home, as well as a cheap pair of gloves, since mine were soaked through.

I'm now home. I was going to go to the gym today, but fuck that. I've had my workout.

It's still snowing hard, and last I heard the town entry/exit roads are closed.

At least it looks festive...

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