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The curse of impatience

So, today I am going to talk to you about a curse that affects self-published writers to a great degree. Our profession is by nature very lonely. Unlike actors, dancers, musicians and other art professionals, the writer gets feedback only after the book is out there for all and sundry to see. It should come as no surprise, then, that when we finish something, be it a short story or a novel or anything in the in between, we want to show it to people. That might be an understatement, actually. We want to shout it from the rooftops, not just show it. For weeks, months, in some cases years, we worked hard on that piece. Now it’s time for it to be released out there, no?

Um, no. Now it’s time for professional editing.

Self-published writer: What? You mean I have to wait even more? You can’t be serious.

I’m as serious as a constipated CEO who’s just discovered that you embezzle money from his company. As serious as a wife who got home early and caught her husband with her best friend playing the eight-legged beast on her new sofa. I really can’t get any more serious. You need to have it edited. Professionally.

Self-published writer: Now listen here, I read it like two thousand times and my best friend also read it and—

I don’t care if your entire family, including distant relatives in Alaska and Timbuktu, took turns reading it to the moon while ceremoniously slitting their wrists and chanting. You need an editor.

Self-published writer: But the money they ask for is ridiculous! Have you seen—

Of course I have seen! Shut up and let me show you something.

That, my friend, is the result I got when I took a brief look into Amazon’s releases on SF and Fantasy in the last 90 days. 50.000 books. Your book is probably in there, too. Yes, you read that right. 50.000 books in 90 days.

To make things simple, there are a lot of books out there. There are probably more books out now than at any other time in history, because Amazon got in the publishing business  and they will publish ANYTHING. Even if someone read one book per day (!) for the rest of their lives, and they started at 20 years of age, up until the age of 80 they wouldn’t have read half of those. Which in turn means what?

It means we’re drowning in trashy books. The market is buried under a deluge of amateur, badly written, cheap novels, with atrocious covers and even more atrocious content. It means that people will think twice and thrice before giving their hard-earned money to anyone except safe choices, i.e. writers they already know and trust. In a nutshell, it means you’re f*cked.

Self-published writer: But, but, is there something I can do?

Of course. You can make sure your work is in top-notch condition when you get it out there. You can make sure it is written to the best of your ability and edited and proofread. Oh, and also the art on the book cover is not something you made in like, ten minutes, using a photo from your holidays and a font only you and black metal fans can read.

Self-published writer: But that takes ages! And it costs a lot of money, money I don’t have right now. I’d rather publish it quickly and let people know I exist instead of spending so much money with no guarantee I’ll have sales.

Okay, let me ask you a question. You see a girl or a guy and they are to die for, they are your dream come true. And you get a date with them. On your first date, would you wear your dirty underwear inside out and go there with a weeks’ sweat production wafting off your armpits? Or let’s say you get a job interview you want more than anything. Would you try to nail that job by going there in your pyjamas with your breath stinking of booze?

Self-published writer: Of course not! I wouldn’t stand a chance if I went there in such a state. That first date or interview would be also my last.

Well, it’s the same with your book, or short story, or whatever. There are so many books and writers out there that the chance of someone coming across your work is very, very slim. You need to make sure that if they do come across it, it will be something they remember for the right reasons. Not because it made them cringe. This might be the only chance you’ll get, EVER. Don’t waste it. That same person who came across a bad book or story by you, will never pay money to buy your work. In their minds, you’ll always be that mediocre, or worse, lame writer. There is simply no time for second chances when the next writer is just a click away, and there are 1.859.650 something books available in the Kindle store.

Self-published writer: I think you are exaggerating.

No, I am not. It’s a matter of being serious about your writing career, or not. I recently came across the trilogy of someone who gave $100.000 in advertising to promote her three novels. The idea behind the first was interesting, so I read the Amazon book description.  Her heroine found herself in the royal court, “woefully under prepared”. I mean Jesus wore spandex and watered his plants, “underprepared” is one word. Not two. Google it if you are not sure, it’s not a rare or obscure word. She obviously gave her $100.000 to the wrong company, if someone couldn’t be bothered to read the bloody Amazon book description and fix that mistake! And no, I won’t be buying her books. A writer who can’t spot such an obvious mistake in the description of her own book, has either published a book riddled with mistakes, or has paid someone to ghost-write for her. And I, too, can’t be bothered buying it in either case.

Please don’t be the writer that even the book description of their book has mistakes. I mean, if you are serious about it, pretty please don’t be that writer.

Here is some valuable advice on editing:

https://kjcharleswriter.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/self-editing-tips-development-edits/

https://kjcharleswriter.com/2014/12/12/self-editing-tips-line-edits/

More writing tips by the same author and editor.

Self-editing as well as lots of other information on how to avoid pitfalls.

There is also this software, and it is incredible. Use it. It will really help you.

Good luck! Oh, and by the way, you can get my book of short stories (that had been professionally edited) for next to nothing here and here. 😉

For those who love the naughty bits

The title is self-explanatory. I decided to showcase the different aspects of my writing. This entry features stories with a strong erotic element. They are a small taste of the juicy bits you can nibble on if you buy my book for just 1.99$, you lucky thing! So, without further ado… enjoy. 🙂

From Romance:

“…You took your time, pleasing both of us immensely, treating every bit of flesh with endless respect and attention. There was nothing else for you in those moments, no other woman save for me. It took you ages to remove my stockings but by the time you did, I couldn’t be more relaxed or willing. And then your silent mouth would begin its journey to my feet, your tongue snaking between clean toes with pretty, dark red toenails. I drowned in ecstasy when you did this; your hands supporting my foot and you gently sucking my toes one after the other, kissing my tattooed ankles, working upwards with a slowness that sent electric jolts up my spine and made me insane. By the time your mouth was on my sex, I was pulling and tearing handfuls of your hair without registering it, trembling and moaning with an imminent orgasm.”

From A Man of Good Fortune:

“…He put his face on my breasts and inhaled deeply. He seemed to like my scent, because he took another deep breath. His hands slipped through my hair, pulling out the pins and sticks and letting it loose on my shoulders and back, covering me all the way down to my hips. I had had a bath an hour ago and my hair was still fresh, scented with oils and midnight black. I saw the corners of that rich mouth curve slightly in a sadistic leer, and it was the last thing I saw before he pushed me down on the heap of my own clothes, planning to take me right there and then, to add to my disgrace.”

From Endymion:

“…He tore her orange dress with the same celestial smile, leaving smudges of blood and dirt on her shoulders and breasts. She was so scared of his crazed stare she could not utter a single word, but struggled with all her strength against his attack, her eyes huge with fear. He took hold of both her arms with one of his, locking them behind her back, and continued kissing her and baring her, leaving bloody marks everywhere he touched. She thought she’d go insane. Each touch was defiling her, each touch was making her his twin, and he continued, smiling that heartless, lazy beam of his.”

All excerpts are taken from The Theater of Dusk.

For physical copies of my book please refer here.

Thanks for looking!

(Image taken from here.)

Uriel Serafini

New ebook giveaway!

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/Uriel.Serafini/ (Image used under permission)

Sorry I have been awol. But as I said in a previous post, unless I have something to say, I’d rather spend more time writing than waste my diminishing brain cells on social media. I am prone to it anyway, in fact too much so. 😉 So here goes. 

So, lo and behold, I have organised a new ebook giveaway. Two winners get free copies of my ebook the Theater of Dusk! To participate, please go to my Facebook page here. The rules are simple, and you get a free copy of my book if you are the winner (plus one more for your tagged friend). Giveaway runs from the 18th of May until 1st of June, 2018. 

Please be aware that the book contains material some readers may find shocking or offensive. Also, there are strong emotional triggers. Themes include BDSM, suicide, murder, violence, blood, scarification, non-consensual sex, M/M sex. If any of these offend you or could act as triggers, please refrain from participating. Also, please be aware that some stories contain material suitable only for adults. (+18)  

Thank you, please share this post, and good luck!

Ebook Giveaway

 

I am running a giveaway on my Facebok page. Winner gets a free copy of my ebook the Theater of Dusk! To participate, please go to my Facebook page here. The rules are simple, and you get a free copy of my book if you are the winner. Giveaway runs until the 31st of January.

Please be aware that the book contains material some readers may find shocking or offensive. Also, there are strong emotional triggers. Themes include BDSM, suicide, murder, violence, blood, scarification, non-consensual sex, M/M sex. If any of these offend you or could act as triggers, please refrain from participating. Also, please be aware that some stories contain material suitable only for adults. (+18)  

Thank you, please share this post, and good luck!

Reviewers needed for my wee monster!

I am desperately looking for reviewers. I am particularly interested in reviewers who can publish on both Goodreads and Amazon. PLEASE be warned, my book contains strong triggers: BDSM, suicide, murder, violence, blood, non-con sex etc. If you have 10+ reviews on Goodreads and you’re interested, please message me for an ebook. In order to confirm your Goodreads account, you will need to message me from Goodreads. If you want a physical book, due to my very tight budget (unemployed at the moment) I can send out one book per month. PLEASE share!

My Goodreads profile:

 

All reviews of my work, positive, neutral or negative, are welcome. Reading a book is a completely personal experience, so an honest review is a blessing. Even a negative review is better than no review. It shows that people read my work and validates the positive reviews. So please contact me if you are interested. Thank you!

Giveaway happening now!

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween! I’ll keep this short and sweet. The giveaway has started and the book is available to all countries. Enter now for a chance to win. All you have to do is be a member of Goodreads. If you have written reviews, your chances of winning improve a lot. Don’t hesitate, you may be one of the two winners!

You can enter the giveaway here:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/261536 

If you like dark fantasy and twisted tales that don’t always have a good or moral ending, then you’ll probably love my little monster. Good luck!

It’s time for darkness!

Summer is here. For goths, misanthropes and dark souls, this is the worst time of the year. Sun, sweat, people. So many people. Yikes! So I decided to help you. I’ll run a promotion for the Theater of Dusk. Just 99c for the ebook and $4.99 for the physical book. Wowsers! Promotion will run from the 18st of June till the 30th. If you’ve always wondered what my writing is like, this is the perfect chance to discover it! And hey, visiting the darkest corners of my mind for just 99c… that’s a bargain, isn’t it? So grab your copy now!

You can find the book here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HV4584Q 

I’ll be more than grateful if you could share this information for any dark fantasy fans out there; forums, Facebook groups, anything. Sharing is caring and it costs nothing, but makes a world of difference to a self-published writer.

I hope you’ll enjoy the darkness (and the shade). All reviews, positive, neutral or negative, are very welcome. Thank you!

Uriel Serafini

Perfect Halloween companion

Picture source: https://www.facebook.com/Uriel.Serafini/

Darkness. The smell of blood in the chill wind. Footsteps behind you. A sharp breath that never becomes a scream.

Thirteen dark stories that will haunt you this Halloween…

Giveaway for The Theater of Dusk

New giveaway running from the 27th of April till the 4th of May for one signed copy of my book! If you are a member of Goodreads, this is your chance!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/183897-the-theater-of-dusk 

Good luck!

Here is the latest review for the book by someone who knows and understands. Thank you so much.

“Let me begin by saying The Theater of Dusk is not easy or light reading. Though humour isn’t completely absent, the writer deals with subjects which make most people uncomfortable. Pain, blood, suicide, abusive relationships, rape, deceit, greed, BDSM, power games, betrayal and death are dishes on the menu. Killers, vampires, demons and humans paint a fragmented canvas of red, black and grey. Obsession walks hand in hand with self-destruction; there are no easy answers and often no way out. But should you make it to the final curtain, Love will appear to guide you into the light.

Is this book for you? I guess the real question is, can you embrace the dark and still find your way back home? If you want to kill a few hours, this isn’t what you’re looking for. If, on the other hand, darkness is a friend, then this little book will be a safe place. For those rare and genuinely dark souls out there, for the empaths, the open-minded and the eccentric, for all those who have fire-walked in their personal hells, The Theater of Dusk will be a rewarding experience.

Please note that due to its subject matter, this collection is recommended for mature readers.”

Review link:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1143705803?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 

Gimme five!

This photo depicts my mood. I recently got two reviews for my short story collection. They made me smile, because both readers seem to understand what the stories are talking about. Here is the first:

The Theater of Dusk (Paperback)

“In its entirety this book is a book filled with darkness. Each individual story contributes a little more to the depth created within the darkness and each story brings the reader further from the light and deeper into the whole that the book becomes. We become each character, however horrific that thought is, and we remain there throughout the book only to realise through each tale that the element of love does not exist. We reach the final curtain of the book to be shown that darkness doesn’t have to be all there is.

This little read takes the reader by surprise. Each short story takes you along a road of self-discovery in some ways and the reader can almost recognise some elements of the darkness within the self. At the end of the last story we are shown that not all is as it seems – light and darkness co-exist but each individual has to open up and allow the other in.

These stories certainly can make a person think deep thoughts. If you aren’t a lover of depth and darkness then this probably isn’t the read for you but I would recommend it to anyone prepared to brave the deep.”

Amazon review link:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R1O7BT233OT85V?ref_=glimp_1rv_cl

And here is the second review, translated from French. If there are mistakes in the translation please blame my very basic French aided by Google Translate.

“An author to discover!

In these 13 short stories Lizbeth Gabriel depicts with skill and talent human beings in all their complexity and plurality. These stories are often imbued with a dark and strange ambience. Sometimes on the border between reality and dreams, they will certainly not leave you indifferent and open your minds like doors to worlds, feelings, new desires. Thank you to the author for this book and for sharing her imagination.”

Amazon review link: 

https://www.amazon.fr/review/R3BBKBH52NPOZL/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1505867517&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=52042011&store=english-books 

Thank you both so much for your kind words on my work, and for taking the time and trouble to write reviews. I appreciate it more than I can express.

If you too would like to see for yourself what the fuss is about, you can find my work here: 

Both ebook and paperback are very reasonably priced, and every book you buy means I can keep on writing. Every review I receive is that extra push that keeps me going. Thank you in advance.

(Photo source: 

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