Have a wonderful weekend.
Have just posted the latest #weekend #chillout #playlist on Soundcloud
Have a wonderful weekend.
My midweek wake-up call playlist is now available on Soundcloud - I hope you enjoy the selection this week. Someone asked me how the whole Soundcloud thing came about. I had previously joined Soundcloud to follow some artists who I like very much [Millie Manders, Hans, Roses Are Blue] and I noticed one day that someone had posted a radio show - I didn't even know that you could do that; and then found all kinds of stuff on the system ... but no book trailers or audiobook excerpts - and then it just made sense to add our audiobook excerpts and book trailer sound tracks to the system as a way of sharing them.
In so doing, I learned how to create a playlist [yes; I know, if only I was 30 years younger these things probably wouldn't take half the time] and as soon as I had created it, I realized that I could easily share the music that I liked/discovered. I really appreciate a chillout session at the weekend - so it made sense to create a #chillout playlist, but I also very much enjoy finding and discovering new music, in all genres, so the #Wednesday #Wakeup playlist came along.
They seem to be becoming more and more popular - and more people are listening to the audiobook samples [the original point of the exercise] - and I really enjoy putting the lists together and publishing them twice a week.
Wednesday Wake Up Call - 22nd June 2016 - Playlist
Now for something completely different ...
I am a vegan, and use Youtube all the time to find recipes - it's an amazing resource. I have habitually shared those videos via Twitter through the Carter Seagrove Project timeline - but I felt it was becoming clogged with recipes, and there are related things [like animal welfare, nutrition, and fair-trading] that I wanted to share that really have nothing to do with The Carter Seagrove Project [90% of our tweets have nothing to do with our own books!] So I decided to open a new Twitter account devoted to vegan recipes, and other related subjects, like nutrition. The new account is called @Vegetalienne. I would be thrilled if you popped over to have a look at the new timeline.
The #wakeupwednesday playlist has been posted to Soundcloud - click krazy kat to get your dose.
I was recently introduced by a friend of mine to an artist from Madagascar - Faly Gasy - a young man with an awesome talent.
Cutting a long story short - I have some of Faly's artwork here in France to sell on his behalf, so that he can continue to make art [and buy some good quality materials, which are next to impossible to find in Madagascar].
I have put together a gallery of the pieces that I have - take a look here CLICK
His style is, I would say, pretty true to the naïf ideal - and I adore the fact that the frames are handmade from recycled materials [cardboard and rice sack cloth]. His subjects are typically Madagascan.
If you like any of the pictures then email me in the first instance - the price of 20 euros does not cover shipping. My email address is -:
Please help me to support a true #indie artist.
My weekend chillout playlist for 3rd thru 5th June is now out on Soundcloud
Enjoy the music and enjoy the weekend.
If you are anything like me then you need music in your life - to help, I have started to compile a twice weekly playlist on Soundcloud - a Wednesday playlist, which is a real mishmash, and a weekend playlist that is mostly chill-out stuff.
Being Wednesday, here is the latest midweek playlist - enjoy!
I'm often asked what it is really like to be an indie author. This blog post tries to explain some of the advantages and disadvantages of being independent - that said, I am part of an indie publishing co-op, which means that my experience is a little different. However, I did start out as an indie self-publishing author [in 2012]; the co-op formed in February 2015.
I have written and/or co-written and/or translated and/or edited, and published 100 titles. My experience is not limited to Amazon; the co-op publishes on all major ebook platforms. And there is a conflict in my mind between saying that I am indie and being exclusive to one retail platform - for that reason, my work is available from all major on-line retails outlets, and that will always be the case.
Everything I do up to the point of pushing the 'publish' button is directly under my control - and I would not want it any other way. My stories span romance, crime, thriller, mystery, paranormal and sci-fi - all are LGBT themed - these tend not to be of interest to traditional publishing houses, which is the first advantage of being indie - I can write and publish exactly what I want without restrictions, prompts, or deadlines. That is just about as free as it gets, I would say. I have control over my cover, my pricing [within certain parameters], where my book is published, and if and when it is offered for free. I can take it off the shelf/shelves, re-edit it, re-cover it, re-price it and basically please myself = INDIE!
That freedom comes at a price, but I don't think, in the main, that the price is necessarily a very high one compared to the rewards [which are all mine at the end of the day].
I am in control but I have all the risk and all the work - no one else is paying for my adverts, tweeting for me, doing my admin or maintaining my website/blog [or numerous other social media channels]. I do find it hard to divide my time between writing and the rest - I am an author, first and foremost, and that is what I love to do - I have grown to like [and in the case of Twitter, love] the rest. Notwithstanding the fact that the rest is a choice - I could write and publish and forget the title while I pen the next [much like I did when I started out].
Writing makes me exceedingly happy; marketing will hopefully [but clearly without any guarantee] increase the chances of success - by which, I mean monetary success. However, when I push that 'publish' button, I have already succeeded - sales and royalties are, to one degree, just vanity. But in having a company, even a co-op like the one I am part of, has expenses which have to be met, so I cannot ignore the reality of having to make some money - but I never want the need to make enough money to have any detrimental effect on my craft - perhaps I am being too idealistic because a boy has to eat, buy his cigarettes and fund his addiction to buying books - which is why I work part time in a spiritual retreat, taking care of the housekeeping.
Indie is all about choice and energy. How successful I am - by any measure - is more closely aligned with how I work and how hard I work than was ever true before.
Being indie gives me lots of freedom but it also means that I have to do everything - but I can do it my way. When I feel that I am going against the [popular] grain, I am probably being truer to my indie roots than at any other time.
Being an indie author [in fact, any indie artist] can feel incredibly lonely at times - that's where social media plays a big part in helping to forge connections that fill that void. I met many of my colleagues throughout the writing and publishing world through social media.
Indie means independent but it doesn't have to mean insulated or isolated.
I do not make a living from writing - that's a statement of fact [and I work 12+ hours a day doing it]. That could all change one day if a title breaks through - or I could still be plodding along in the same way when I'm 90, still wondering if the next title will provide that break through. I write with no expectations of any reward other than my own satisfaction that the book is finished and in a fit state to be published - I say to my colleagues that I would be just as happy if no one ever downloaded even one of my free books - which sounds weird - maybe even crass - but it's true. I'm lucky enough that people do download my free books and they do buy my other titles, but being indie is all about creativity and choice rather than commercialism. I correspond - mainly through Twitter - with a lot of indie artists, and they all say the same - I want control over what I do, and how I do it and I am prepared to sacrifice some of my potential rewards to keep it that way.
It also has distinct advantages when it comes to how I promote myself and my work, and the types of projects I become involved in. The co-op has invested in and collaborated on three indie short films; we are also working on another project to combine some of my poetry with some music and a montage of abstract images - would I be doing those things if I was not an indie artist?
Maybe I would, but it feels like to be indie brings you into contact with a whole creative world that doesn't feel as accessible in other way or with any other mindset. It also makes you more aware of things like crowdfunding [which I may use myself to get illustrations/animations done] and the indie support networks like supportindieauthors.com.
Use the resources available - join networks and engage. I am totally amazed at how much support people are willing to give for free. A lot of what makes an artist an indie artist is collaboration and reciprocation - I do both and get so much out of the joint projects, and so much energy is created through sharing.
I gain the advantages of control and flexibility. I can get involved in projects and activities that have very little to do with writing but everything to do with the indie mindset - and I love the fact that I never really know where any of those things are going to take me [and every situation, every person I meet, and every outcome is perfect fodder for another story!]
I could write more mainstream fiction in the hopes that I sold more and made a decent living - just can't write those types of stories; in that respect, I am a slave to the muse [a very pretty and sometimes vicious cat-like creature who drives me relentlessly to produce the best work I am capable of ... and then ignores me when I do or says 'what? I'm meant to be impressed? Try again - try harder!]
Indie means independent. I quite like this definition which comes from
the Urban Dictionary
Its not about how you look; its about how you think
its not about what you listen to or what you wear
its about why you do [what you do]
I walk my own path and I don't ever see it changing.