Gayla Drummond

My Book Progress

Of Gods & Tigers (Discord Jones #8)
Phase:Writing
Due:2 weeks
7.7%

Bye, 2016. Hello, 2017!

It’s time for an end of year post, and as usual, I’m running late. Hah!

Aside from word count and new releases, I don’t even remember what my goals were for 2016 and I’m too lazy to look to remind myself.

2016 Verdict: Ugh.

The good: The shelter adoption program I’ve been volunteering for saved 232 animals! I did release 4 titles, 3 brand new and 1 a revised older work that I’d retired about 4 years ago. I started The Fiction Tavern, my subscription-only website that I’m posting some WIPs to, and that’s actually going pretty well too.

The bad: I missed my adjusted word count goal of 150,000 words by 21,010 (but I’m okay with that).

In short, it was not my year on the writing front. There was the annual Sick Out (which lasted two months thanks to both the flu laying all 3 of us down and a bout of severe allergies), and things just went downhill from there as far as being able to muster any creative energy and keep it going steadily.  Which means I’m surprised I hit my goal of releasing 4 titles.

It didn’t help that from July on, things seemed to go a bit wonky in Amazon land, and my rapidly falling sales were helped only a bit by the release of Just Like Magic (Discord Jones 7) in July, and practically not at all by the releases of Immortalis (Terran Exodus: Eden V #1) in October, or Code Walker in December.

No sense in boring everyone with the details, but I wasn’t the only author who noticed something seemed to be going on or who saw their sales/page reads drop (not that I have titles in Kindle Select). However, I would like to say “Thank you!” to everyone who did give my new releases a chance this year. I’m sorry I didn’t get a 2nd Discord out for y’all. 🙁

I’ve been assured by several readers, some via email, others via Facebook, that they aren’t tired of Discord’s adventures quite yet. On the other hand, I’ve been kind of burned out when it comes to that series, so failed miserably to finish Of Gods & Tigers and still have a lot of writing to do before finishing it happens.

Then again, I was kind of burned out all year long. You wouldn’t think sitting on your butt and pulling words out of your brain year after year would be exhausting. Surprisingly, it is.

Here’s hoping 2017 is my Year of All the Creative Energy.

2017 Goals

Word count: I have a minimum word count goal of 150,000, and a secondary challenge to hit 520,000 words total. I will be happy to make the first goal, and everything after those first 150k words will be gravy.

Writing Days: To write 2,000 words daily 260 days out of 365. That would mean reaching my secondary challenge goal of 520k words. I will be quite happy to write on more than 95 days, which was my horrible 2016 result.

New Releases Goal: Since I managed 4 new releases in 2016, I’m gonna go for 6 in 2017, with 10 releases as my bonus goal. Discord #8 and #9 are two of those releases.

The Fiction Tavern Goals: I hope to finish 4 of my older works in progress and 1 Build-a-Story. Those works may be the bonus releases that make that 10 new releases goal happen. And they would be a great first full year result for the Tavern.

Volunteering Goals: I can’t really set a goal for this, but let’s hope one of two things happen. 1) That we don’t get so many dogs and cats in the shelter this year. 2) That we’re able to save more if we do see an increase, or almost all of them if we don’t.

And with that, I’m gonna hit the hay for the night. Happy New Year to all!

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Something New

One of the things I’ve grown to dislike over the years is the lack of interaction with readers during the writing process. Once upon a time, I posted my stories in progress on a creative website, and thanks to people reading and commenting, I was a lot faster and more motivated to write and finish those stories.

Sure, I post excerpts on Facebook, but it’s just not quite the same, so… I’m starting a new site, The Fiction Tavern, and want to share what I’m doing with it now that I’ve tested a few things to make certain everything’s working properly.

Writing is currently (and crazily!) my full-time job and I’m a rather prolific writer with a LOT of fiction projects in the works. The Fiction Tavern is where I’ll be posting my works in progress, but I’m also hoping the site will become a community of sorts for us.

With that in mind, I asked the readers who’ve friended me on Facebook for ideas to add to those I’ve already had for the new site. Some of the ideas are:

  • Monthly giveaways. This will take a bit of time to get going, for two reasons. 1) I want to collect ideas for what people would most like to receive as prizes, and 2) I’ll have to create designs to use.
  • Taking requests to write/rewrite certain scenes from other characters’ points of view, as well as post deleted scenes.
  • Monthly Q & As or interviews with characters (or me).
  • Writing a “choose your own adventure” sort of story (meaning, I’ll write a chapter, and ask 1-3 questions at the end of readers to determine what happens in the next chapter).
  • Implement other ideas as they come along.

For now, The Fiction Tavern has 12 chapters of 6 different stories already available, with more coming along over the next 2 weeks. I’ve committed to posting a minimum of 2 new chapters per week, though I’m game to post more than that as often as possible, and will be for certain the first 2-3 months the site’s live.

One of the biggest perks is that all members will receive ebook copies of each story posted when those stories are completed, prior to them being published (different ebook formats will be available). Another perk is being able to read along as they’re written, if you don’t like waiting for new stories from me. Some of the stories and extras that will posted may be end up being exclusive to the site.

The Fiction Tavern is a paid subscription site, which I realize may not be to everyone’s taste. I’ve set different subscription rates for different time periods, as follows:

  • $1.99 per month
  • $4.99 for 3 months
  • $19.99 for a year

Note: You can cancel your subscription at any time. The subscription fees will fund those monthly giveaways I mentioned, and are the reason members will receive free ebook copies of each completed story. You must be currently subscribed to be eligible for the free copies and the giveaways. I plan on sending physical giveaway prizes internationally, so that no one’s left out.

If The Fiction Tavern sounds like something you’re interested in, you can have a look here. Please note that the Home, News, Rules of Engagement, and Works in Progress List pages are the only public pages. Clicking on The Latest or any of the links on the left sidebar will result in the subscription popup appearing. You’ll have to use your brower’s back button to return to the public pages if you’re not ready to subscribe.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope to see you at the Tavern!

Gayla

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