Storymart: 5 Pros and Cons for Writers

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Lately I’ve been pursuing publication for some of my short stories, and I feel I’m settling into a good rhythm of submissions and rejections. My current goal, at its barest bones, is to be paid professionally for a piece of my work. A lofty one, I know. Anyone familiar with writing submissions knows just how low the acceptance rate is (I rather like this author’s breakdown of their submission stats, for context) and I know I’ll be waiting a long time for that elusive payout.

However, I came across an intriguing opportunity for short story writers recently. It’s called Storymart.

Storymart is a reader subscription service aimed at lovers of short stories. The creators envision a Netflix-like model, where the reader’s monthly subscription gives them unlimited access to the site’s story content which is provided by writers all over the world. And the writers, rather importantly, get paid.

However, the platform is very new. In fact, it’s not yet open to reader subscriptions as they are still in the process of gathering content from writers. This makes sense – why ask readers to pay for content that doesn’t exist yet?

I’ve been mulling over the concept for a while now, and to help me figure out whether I want to jump onto this infant bandwagon I decided to lay out my thoughts in a simple Pros and Cons list…

 


 

Pro 1: Storymart offers curated content to readers.

The platform practices a submissions process which promises to narrow stories down to those which are of a high enough quality – I’ll give you their own definition of what that means:

“We won’t ask readers to pay for work that’s slapdash, less than committed, or riddled with typos. We don’t publish teen romance, schlock romance, fan fiction, or stories for children.”

Welcome words for writers tired of the bellowing halls of Wattpad-esque establishments, where readers and writers alike are drowning in angsty vampire/werewolf/shapeshifter romances, invariably set in a highschool and demonstrating varying grasps of the english language.

The website seems to promise short stories worthy of appearing in established literary publications like The New Yorker, and so they are actively encouraging writers to only send their best.

 

Con 1: Storymart does not edit any of the content.

This might be a Pro if you hate other people fiddling with your words. In any case, it’s worth noting that submissions are expected to be polished upon entry, and you shouldn’t expect any hand-holding from Storymart in that respect.

How harsh their submissions standards really are is something that remains to be seen – we probably won’t truly know until the site launches for readers. Obviously there’s also chance those submission standards might lower over time. Will they stick to their principles further down the line?

If you’re a writer who has submitted to Storymart, what’s your view on this? Did they accept everything you sent them; did they give feedback on rejections?

 


 

Pro 2: They accept previously published stories.

If you’re in the business of trying to submit to professional markets, then hopefully you understand why this excites me. The majority of submissions guidelines invariably prohibit writers from submitting previously published work, whether it was in print, online, another magazine, a competition, or on a personal blog. This is a barrier I find intensely frustrating: it seems as though once I put a story out there, anywhere, then that’s kind of it for the life of that work. This is what’s putting me off submitting to the huge number of magazines which offer no payment to authors – I’d love the chance to be seen by your readership, but if I do then I effectively give up the prospect of being paid professionally for that story.

(Side-note: I know ‘re-prints’ of published work are sometimes presented as a submission option at a vastly reduced pay rate – and I’d be interested to know how many writers have any success submitting under this category.)

Storymart offers a chance to put some of those one-offs back in front of paying readers. Say you have a competition entry that didn’t win, but was good enough to place on the shortlist and got published online. This might be a way to give new life to an already-proven story.

Similarly, once you’ve placed a story on Storymart, there are no restrictions on where/when you can publish again. A lot of publications will, for example, require that you don’t re-publish your story for a specific period (typically 3-6 months) after it has appeared on their own platform. This means you can publish a story on Storymart and then continue to submit it anywhere else you choose. Of course, this does immediately throw up the very obvious…

 

Con 2: Publishing on Storymart counts as publishing.

If you put a story on Storymart, it’ll run into the exact barrier I was bemoaning above. Other publications may reject it out of hand for already being published.

However, the site is still in Beta stage for the moment. So I suppose during this window where it isn’t open to readers, you still have the option of removing your work from Storymart if it does find a home elsewhere.

Another counter-argument for this is…

 


Pro 3: Storymart is a paying market.

It runs (or will run) on a pay-per-read model.

Readers will pay a monthly subscription of $4.99 to have unlimited access to as many short stories as they want to read. Every time a story is read, the author is paid $0.10 USD. Payments will apparently be made monthly, via Paypal.

 

Con 3: The author is only paid $0.10 per read.

That means a hundred people could read your story over a period of months… and you’d only earn $10 for it.

But wait, let’s compare this to other industry prices…

Based on various bits of advice and my current experience hunting suitable markets, my perception of a ‘professional’ short story rate is around $0.06 per word. However, realistically there are also a very large number of publications offering much less (eg. some that offer around $0.02 per word; some that only offer a flat fee in the $20-50 range per story) and of course an abundance of completely unpaid opportunities that nevertheless offer exposure to their already-established audience.

Let’s go on the lower end and consider a 5000 word story which is paid $0.02 per word = a flat fee of $100 for that story. With Storymart’s model, you would need 1000 people to read your story to earn $100 from it.

I suppose the question is… are you confident your story will get at least 1000 reads?

This is where it gets interesting. Instead of receiving a one-off payment, there’s the potential to accumulate money over time… a very LONG time. Remember, if you only get ten reads a month, you’d need to wait 8-9 years to earn that $100.

At the moment we have pretty much no data to look at to determine what a realistic number of reads per month could be at Storymart. Could be in the hundreds – a hundred reads per month would take less than a year to earn the $100. Or it could be in the tens, and the payoff becomes minimal.

At least the principle is simple: the more readers you have, the more you earn. This will then probably be down to the individual author to market the shit out of their work to gain those consistent reads. And in order to get those reads you need…

 


 

Pro 4: A captive audience.

This, theoretically, is the big draw for writers at Storymart. Readers subscribe because they want to read short stories. They are, in theory, readers as opposed to other writers – which is a flaw I think is endemic of many fiction platforms (Wattpad, I’m looking at you).

I hold the apparently unpopular belief in wider publishing that short stories are an extremely under-rated and oft-forgotten (despite being popular) genre of fiction. I can’t fault the idea of pushing new ways to make short stories more accessible, and a platform dedicated to them sounds somewhat ideal.

 

Con 4: Currently, a small audience.

Here’s something that only time will illuminate further. At present, Storymart is still in Beta stage. That means it is actively seeking story submissions from writers, but is not yet taking subscriptions from readers. As I said, I’m a big believer that short stories are a vastly underestimated market, and there definitely is a passionate audience out there for them. But, will that audience choose to pay a monthly subscription, when there’s so much short fiction available for free elsewhere?

One response, I suppose, is that readers do already pay for subscriptions – to all those short story magazines I’ve been submitting to. That’s what the professional paying market for short story writers is.

 


 

Pro 5: The chance to grow alongside a growing platform.

Wouldn’t it be great to discover the next big thing while it’s still shiny and new and has opportunities ripe for the taking? Before the big boys muscle in and the playground gets swamped by thousands of other voices all peddling their own fantastical narratives?

At this early stage, while the audience might be small, the pool of writers is as well. Would that, potentially, make it easier to be discovered? To snap up the interest of new readers as the platform grows? Getting in early could make all the difference to growing a presence and a following, and if Storymart grows and grows and grows… well, it’s an exciting thought. But, therein lies the risk.

 

Con 5: The whole thing could flop.

Storymart isn’t quite on its feet just yet. Readers could flock to it in their thousands… or they could give it a passing glance and shrug, and go back to their tried-and-tested tenders of online fiction instead. There’s no data to look into yet, so your guess is as good as mine as to whether or not Storymart will still be here in a couple of years’ time.

 


 

But, even if it isn’t… what have I got to lose?

This is the thought I keep coming back to.

The main ‘Con’ which seems to bother me is that publishing a story with Storymart might restrict any future opportunities for that piece of work. But if that story isn’t being accepted anywhere else anyway… and let’s face it, the odds are massively stacked against us in submissions, simply due to the sheer mumber of other stories we’re competing with… well then, what’s holding me back but myself?

I’m not convinced that Storymart won’t have the same problem as other publication routes further down the line. If they do grow successful they’ll probably find their own inboxes at breaking point eventually, despite their best intentions to give submissions the quickest turnaround possible. More reason to jump in early, perhaps?

I suspect I’m overly cautious when it comes to making these kinds of decisions. I’ve doubtless missed opportunities just for fear that it might not be The Right One.

Wouldn’t it be better to earn a few dollars from a story – and to know that it’s actually being read and enjoyed by people – than just letting it languish in the ‘Submissions’ folder on my laptop?

I think what I’m saying is that I’m going to jump in. Because, really, what have I got to lose?

 


 

What are your thoughts on the Storymart concept? Just another online magazine subscription, or the Netflix-inspired service they aspire to? Are there better alternatives already out there?

If you’ve submitted stories to Storymart, I’d love to hear from you! Why did you choose them? What’s your experience been like so far?

If you want to read more about Storymart, their FAQ section for writers is here.

 

 

Meet the Artist!

Dominique Lane has been the An Inspired Mess artist since the website’s creation – and she’s behind every piece of Jack Hansard artwork you’ve come across. If you follow my Facebook or Twitter channels then you’ll have seen all the previews, behind-the-scenes, and extra illustrations that she’s created. Right now, Dom is working on the book cover design for Season 1 of The Jack Hansard Series. (Yup, we’re publishing.)

So it’s about time that she had a proper introduction, don’t you think?

Dom profile

Dom and I go waaaay back. We met in high school and were both the right kind of weird. We split to different ends of the country for university, but our weird followed us around and made sure we were never too far from each other in spirit. She studied Computer Animation and Special Effects to get a formal qualification to tell the world that she was able to do the thing she has always been able to do: make art like a badass. She now lives the happy (but poor) life of a freelance artist. Let’s ask her what that’s like…

 

1. Hey Dom, what’s it like being a poor freelance artist?
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“Honestly? It can sometimes suck! It takes a lot of hard work and the ability to meet tight deadlines. But if you’re very organised and confident, I think you might be able to turn it into a steady job. My first freelance work came to me out of pure luck, but those opening jobs turned into repeat customers. Getting that initial experience can be the hardest – but most important – part.

Not that there’s a long line of people knocking on my door with projects, by the way. I enjoy having a lot of free time, but that isn’t very ‘adult’. And I don’t have quite the same freedom I wish I could have with a big bank account…”

 

2. What’s your favourite project been so far?

The Jack Hansard Series of course ;D

 

3. All right, suck up. Favourite paid project?

It’s difficult to say what my favourite job has been. I’ve done quite a lot of storyboard projects that illustrate how a concept would work in practice – and there have been a couple I was quite excited to work on because I’m a big fan of the franchise. I was super excited to storyboard a project that was related to Halo 5 early on in my career.

One of the most enjoyable was a project that asked me to design two playable characters for a phone app – which is now live in Dubai. I’m particularly proud of that one!


Dom's Witch4. What’s your biggest artistic influence?

Ha, that’s a bit of a difficult question. I don’t think there’s a single name that I’d pick out above others.

Back in school I was really into anime (you’ll know this, Georgina) so that was one major influence on my art while growing up. I started by mimicking Sailor Moon to – well, every other anime out there? By college I’d developed different cartoony art styles which continued into university. It wasn’t until I started to really push myself out of my own comfort zone that I began to improve.

Since then I’ve drawn inspiration from countless artists and works – if I encounter a new, even completely unknown artist that inspires me, I try to learn from their style. It’s not about copying, as I used to at school. It’s about understanding how they draw and learning to evolve my style to match.

 

5. Do you have a favourite style or medium to work in?

I’m not sure about a favourite style: I certainly have one I’m comfortable in that I tend to drift back into when I’m doing super rough sketches. These days I try to push myself towards a more realistic art style. All about pushing out of that comfort zone, y’know?

I usually work with Photoshop, mainly because it’s quicker. I’d like to spend a lot more time doing watercolours though. I find even if a watercolour is done terribly, it still somehow looks lovely!

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6. What advice would you give to other aspiring artists?

The same advice that I ignored for ages! Suck at cars? Draw some cars. Suck at faces? Draw the hell out of dem profiles and 3/4 views!

Seriously, push yourself out of your comfort zone. When I finally made the effort, I improved leaps and bounds in skill. It also improved my confidence – which is the main thing that often holds me back.

I’m still far from perfect; I still have a lot to improve on. It SUCKS that it’s a slow process, but it’s worth it to build yourself up to a level you can be proud of.
Also, be kind to yourself. If you want to get yourself out there, join some online communities for support. And don’t get discouraged if you’re not becoming famous in a few months, it takes a bit longer than that ;D

 

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All images in this post belong to Dominique Lane. If you want to see more of Dom’s work, check out her portfolio and her recently opened shop!

 

Cover Art: Ask the Audience

This is an update for all you fantastic people following the progress of The Jack Hansard Series.

Firstly: thank you for your amazing support! It means a lot that you’ve stuck with me (and Jack) throughout this weird journey. I’ve just recently finished editing Season 1, and so have turned my sights to self-publishing.

Joining me on this venture is artist Dominique Lane. She’s well overdue for a formal introduction (I’ve her to thank for the kick-ass landing page of this website) so I’ll be sure to set up a little ‘Meet the Artist’ feature next.

The focus of today’s post is a little more practical, and involves audience participation!

Dom’s been working hard on book cover concepts, and we’ve narrowed it down to three which I’d like to show you today. The following images are all drafts – we can expect the final product to look somewhat different with more colour and cleaner lines – but they represent the designs we are considering. And we’d love to know what YOU think of them! Take a look:

Draft 1

Cover 1 Final Draft

 

Draft 2

Cover 2 Final Draft A

 

Draft 3

Cover 2 Final Draft B

 

Which one do you prefer? Can you tell us why?

This is your chance to affect the final product. I’m not just asking because I can’t decide (although honestly, I really can’t; they’re all way better than I even hoped for!)

We really do value your input – because after all, this cover is for you. So it ought to be something that you like 😉

Don’t be shy: have your say in the comments!

 

 

Let’s Connect! But how?

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Dydh ha, my lovelies! Just popping my head above the surface to let you all know that I’m still here, and that An Inspired Mess is far from sitting quiet. I’m now halfway through editing The Jack Hansard Series: just ten more episodes to go! Every week I upload the polished edit of another episode that you can read for free – keep an eye on the Home Page to see which one has been most recently updated.

I’m currently collating my editing experience (read: mistakes) into Editing Tips Part 3: The Hard Cut. This article will cover the heart-wrenching aspects of editing, the changes we can’t always bring ourselves to make. Stay tuned, I’ll have it ready soon.

As you may have guessed from my infrequent blog updates, I am far from an avid blogger – I do enjoy reading and writing articles, but my heart definitely lies with fiction. The downside is that by not blogging as often, I’m making it harder for myself to reach out to y’all!

I’d like to find more ways to connect with like-minded readers and writers both in and outside of the blogging sphere . . . so here’s a question for you: If you’re a reader, where do you prefer to connect with authors? How do you like to be kept updated about their work?

And if you’re a writer, what platforms do you use to reach out to your readers? For my tuppence: I’ve recently joined Wattpad, and I’m finding it fantastic for making friends and joining engaging conversations. Conversation, I think, is the key. There’s no point in reaching out to your audience if you’re not willing to invest some time in getting to know them.

So if you want to chat, hit me up! You can reach me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkylinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aninspiredmess/

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/AnInspiredMess

And of course you can always hit that big ol’ WordPress Follow button on the side there 😉

Whether you leave a comment, drop me a message, or send a carrier pigeon – I look forward to hearing from you!

Save

Season Finale: What happens now?

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Holy crap. We made it guys. We made it to Episode freakin’ 20.

Now what?

I suppose we should have a quick retrospective. An Inspired Mess and the Jack Hansard Series launched way back in January 2015. I published one episode roughly every two weeks – sure, I took a short holiday in the middle, and the beginning of this year suffered a blip as I got engaged and started a new job – but broadly speaking I’ve accomplished what I set out to do: finish what I started. I said I’d get to 20 Episodes, and I have. Suck it, stage fright.

Through Jack’s ridiculous misadventures we’ve encountered monsters in abundance, magic aplenty, mayhem galore . . . and we’ve topped it off with an epic showdown between gods, humans, and one quiet-eyed femme fatale. And, of course, the little Welsh coblyn.

What the future holds, I’m not quite sure yet. Do I continue on into Season 2? Do I adapt the existing stories into a different format? Do I continue staring at my laptop saying ‘What do I do?’

Whatever the case, Hansard is too big in my head to just go back to sleep. There’s a definite future out there, and I’m looking forward to exploring it.

As for you guys . . .  the main thing I want to say is thanks. Thanks for sticking with me, and making this a worthwhile endeavour. I hope Hansard has been as entertaining for you as he has for me. If you like what you’ve read of the series, or have some thoughts on what I should do next, leave me a comment – you’ll undoubtedly influence my decision in some way or other. And I’d be just utterly chuffed to hear from you.

If you want to keep updated on what happens next, give that big old ‘Follow’ button a click. Or if you prefer, hit me up on Facebook. I hope we see each other again. Take care!

~Georgina~

 

 

 

 

Lego Card 2

Merry Holiday-Of-Your-Choice from me and all the gang! Just about managed to Lego-ify them accurately – there was a distinct lack of blue hair for Peggy and Coblyn-like clothing for Goron and Ang. Let’s say they were bribed with pies to dress as elves.

If you want to have some fun Lego-ifying yourself or your own characters, you can do so here.

Merry Christmas, and see you in the new year!

Otherwise Engaged

This evening I was supposed to finish editing and upload Episode 19 of the Jack Hansard Series . . . but I haven’t, because a LIFE EVENT has happened to me.

My partner, Jake, against his better judgement and general common sense, decided to propose to me today. And I, against my better judgement and general common sense, accepted.

An evening of rollicking debauchery followed (we had a bottle of port and rang round our relatives, exciting stuff). Unfortunately this means I’m postponing Episode 19 until, I don’t know when – maybe tomorrow, maybe this weekend. It won’t be long, anyhow.

If you’re the type of person who like these things, here’s the ring – as unconventional as we are.

It’s a medieval ring of the ‘clasped hands’ type, otherwise known as a fede ring. (So it’s not even new! He bought me a second-hand ring! But just try telling me it isn’t cool to be presented with a ring that was probably used in a betrothal some 600 years ago.)

Ring

So there we are, achievement unlocked, onto the next level of the game. Hope I’ve unlocked some cool new superpowers to go with it. (Just call me huldra.)

Take care all, you’ll hear from me again soon~

P.S. The two catch-phrases of the evening: “When’s the wedding?” and “How’re the chickens?” . . . People are weird xD

Bursts of Colour

The Jack Hansard Series is now up to Episode 18, and I’m feeling like a proud mother in the weeks leading up to graduation. Better yet, I feel like the student who knows their long slog of essays and deadlines is finally drawing to an end. Bit of relief, bit of pride, a bit of last minute nerves and anticipation.

There are just two more installments to go this year: Episode 20 in December will bring to a close what I’ve affectionately come to call Season 1. When I started writing in January, I didn’t know if I’d get this far. I’ve been testing myself the whole way, daring myself to fail and let not just myself down, but all those who’ve helped to push me, encourage me along.

I know I’ve not got much of an audience – I’m not kidding myself with illusions of grandeur here – but I hope that what audience I do have is enjoying what I have to offer. Ultimately, that’s what really concerns me: not how wide my readership is, but whether I can entertain and amuse you in the same tradition of countless authors who have brought bursts of colour to my life. I want to pass the parcel on; the best thing is seeing the smile on the person who gets to unwrap the next layer. The worst thing is seeing them disappointed by the shitty plastic whistle inside.

So, small and silent as you are, I don’t want to disappoint you with some shitty ending (I can at least promise it won’t be a plastic whistle). I hope you’ve been enjoying the ride as much as me, and I’ll try and make our shared finale as explosively colourful as possible.

See you on the other side.

Georgina~

Birmingham Comic Con! (Lessons in fear and perseverance)

Yesterday was nothing short of an ordeal. Yesterday was the fruition of a challenge I privately set my self a month ago:

Go to Comic Con. Hand out some Jack Hansard reading material.

That’s it. No physical trials, no emotional trauma involved. I’d got my zines ready – a basic little publication with Episode 1 of the series tucked inside – and all I’d have to do is hand them out over the course of a day, while taking in the awesome sights of the con at the same time. Easy-peasy, right?

That’s what I thought.

It seemed like a sensible plan. From the very beginning, An Inspired Mess has been a project in self-confidence, in learning how to say ‘Look at me’ without shrinking away from the limelight. It’s an attempt to learn how to accept the idea of being read, and judged, and criticised, and not running away from the prospect of failure.

Step 1: write something and put it somewhere public. You can put a big ol’ tick next to that one. The Jack Hansard Series is now 17 episodes and counting, all free to read for anyone who wants to.

Trouble is, it’s easy to throw your work out into the vast ocean that is the world-wide web. You’ll be swallowed by the currents – torrents – of other content, and you can sit back and relax, knowing that you’re drowning in safe anonymity and insignificance.

When I realised Comic Con was going to be within travelling distance in November, a nugget of rebellion formed in my mind. Stop playing it safe, it said. Are you really content with staying here in your sheltered hidey-hole, all comfy knowing you’re not attracting any real attention? Are you happy being a coward?

If you ever want to push my buttons, just call me afraid. I’ve climbed mountains just to give vertigo a good old punch to the face. I’ve done stunt-falls from high castle walls just to prove I was better than the knots in my stomach. And yesterday, I went to Comic Con to prove that I’m not afraid of being read.

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

I arrived about 12:30, happily admitted with no queues, and was first hit by the size of the hall. I’ve never been to a con as big as this. I’m used to conventions that take up, say, a hotel, where the atmosphere feels more intimate; friendlier, perhaps. I knew right away that this wasn’t going to go down the way it had in my head. I thought I was going to pick a spot, hand out a hundred zines in an hour, and then go enjoy myself.

Episode 1 Booklets!

I did the opposite. I spent the first hour browsing the colourful stalls and admiring the awesome costumes . . . all the while my stomach was steadily twisting and tightening with sickly fear. It was horrible, psyching myself up to start handing out the first few copies. I’ll hand them out as I’m walking, I thought. It’ll be easier to keep moving.

Wrong. I began to offer some out, and before I’d got rid of even ten I felt the desperate urge to run and hide in the toilets for the rest of the day. I’ve now got some serious respect for those people who hand out literature for  a living. We’ve become so conditioned to expecting spam that our gut-reaction is to be intensely wary of anyone handing out anything.

“Hi there, would you like a free story?” I’d ask.

Some people took it with a look of deep suspicion, like they were expecting it to explode. The most demotivating reactions were those who just . . . ignored me. I wondered, as I kept on smiling, when did people suddenly stop wanting free stuff? Worse than that were the reactions my imagination was conjuring for me. Images of these poor people reading my little crapfest of a short story and sneering in disgust, throwing it away, calling it a piece of junk. Suddenly I didn’t want anybody to read it at all.

I felt pretty worthless. I’d misjudged what people wanted, and I’d misjudged what I was capable of. I spent five minutes gearing up to every person I approached. Each encounter felt draining, whether they took the free zine or not. Thirty minutes in, I felt like the biggest idiot at the whole event. There should’ve been an arrow over my head; people could’ve paid to take a picture with me.

In the end, it was my partner who made me keep going.

“You haven’t handed one out in the last ten minutes,” he said. “Give one to that guy there. You can do this.”

“You’d tell me if I was being an idiot, right?”

Yes.

Whatever doubts I have about myself, I trust his judgement. I kept going. And after a little while . . . it got easier.

“Would you like a free story?”

“Always!”

It always startled me, but  the occasional positive response really lifted my mood, and they became a bit more frequent as I stuck it out. One person even tapped me on the shoulder and asked for a copy. Just at a moment when I was flagging, too. Weird how such a small thing can give you a new lease of life.

My favourite encounter was with a sixteen-year old Harley Quinn with a ‘Free Hugs’ sign.

“Trade you a free story for a free hug?” I asked cheerfully. I felt I’d gotten the hang of it by this point.

As we got talking, I learned that Miss Quinn was fighting her own battle: she was teaching herself to get used to physical contact.

“I’m not good with being touched by people,” she explained. “My uncle’s only had about four hugs from me in my entire life. I decided this morning that I’d try to help myself get over it at the con.”

How cool is that? Here we were, two people giving away a free thing, both for similar reasons, facing fears and fighting our own personal battles. She told me she’d gotten a lot better in the few hours she’d been at it. While talking to her, I realised I had, too.

I don’t expect a sudden upsurge in readership due to my endeavours, but I don’t feel that I’ve failed, either. Because ultimately, the ordeal had turned into a lesson. My aim of the day was to drum up some interest, to actively seek out an audience. Instead, I came away with a better appreciation for what the job requires, and an idea of how I could improve it. The most valuable lessons: 1) Handing out literature is tough. 2) Relax. Who cares if one stranger doesn’t like your material? You won’t see them ever again. 3) Have some faith in yourself. You can do it.

So if you’re someone like me, another insignificant writer trying to drum up an audience, I hope this has been a useful account to you. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there. Persevere, and it’ll get easier. The worst that can happen? You learn how to do better next time.

And if you’re one of those people who kindly accepted a Jack Hansard episode from me, I’d firstly like to apologise, just in case I seemed at all rude – I was a bit scared, and just trying to get it over with. And secondly I’d like to thank you, for allowing me to intrude on your life for just a moment to ask you to read me. Most of all, I hope that I don’t disappoint. Because that’s one fear I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to beat.

comic con
Is that a pod racer behind me? Why yes, yes it is.

 

 

 

Back In Business!

Moved into new house: Check.
Switched utility suppliers: Check.
Found new internet provider: Check.
Castrated unhelpful TalkTalk employees: Check.

Finally uploaded Episode 13 of the Hansard Series: Freakin’ CHECK!

I know it’s taken a long time, but it’s finally here. That was a ridiculous cliffhanger to be left on, wasn’t it? Everyone’s stranded in the Nether, Ang’s dying, Hansard and Jo are in mortal peril, something BIG is about to happen . . . sorry for the wait. The upside is that because Episode 13 was sitting on my laptop for so long, I’ve been tinkering with it for ages and it just kept growing – so it’s a good 2000 words longer than a normal episode. And it’s a fairly tasty installment: we get the first real insight to part of Hansard’s past; we finally find out what happened to Ang; and could it be that Baines and Grayle are involved somehow?

Furthermore, to help make up for the month-long silence, I’ve got some extra doo-dads to show you on the blog, including some bonus short stories and an interview with an author-friend of mine.

It’s good to be back >=D