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Behemoth Progress Report

Behemoth LogoThe crew of interstellar colonisation vessel Arcadian awake from hibernation to discover that they are lost, the drive system has shut down and they have no idea what has gone wrong. A mysterious adventure in an alien environment ensues as the colonists explore and attempt to escape alive.

Well, it’s been a very slow start and there’s still a long way to go, but there is some momentum building at last. I have to admit that about a month ago I considered dropping the entire Behemoth project as there seemed to be very little interest in it from my readers. It’s so hard to write when you think no-one wants to read it.

However, this month has seen a definite upwards jump in the number of readers and my subscriber count on RadishFiction has more than doubled! Better still, there is now a growing core of enthusiastic supporter who download and read every chapter as soon as they are posted on the app. That is great for me and really encourages me to keep going.

So with renewed enthusiasm, I’m going to keep writing Behemoth and posting weekly exciting chapters on RadishFiction. If you don’t already have the app, it’s free on both Android and Apple devices. Just search for my name or Behemoth in the app and you can begin reading right away.

Also, if like me, you’re one of the growing number of people who don’t have either of those, you can read it on Wattpad too. I have to warn you that Wattpad is currently running 5 chapters behind Radish.

 

Get Radish Fiction App on Android Download for Apple Devices


Top 6 social media platforms for #writers

Having spent a few years trying out a whole range of writing communities and general social media and networking platforms, I believe I’ve isolated those that are worthwhile and dropped a huge number that are a waste of time. I realise that we’re never going to all agree on these and that some people are better suited for some than others, but here are my results in reverse order:

 

#6 GoodReads

Still struggling with this one but it is the second biggest author community out there. I find the reviews can be a little unhelpful – it’s one of only two places where I’ve received any negative reviews with no attempt at being constructive, but still mostly friendly and helpful. I don’t like the forums here and have never felt like part of the community. Worth adding all your books here. If you make any decent headway, please let me know how you did it! Visit GoodReads.

 

#5 Facebook

This one is only on the list because everyone would think I was crazy if I didn’t. I have to admit I just don’t get on with Facebook. The interface is confusing, cluttered and unintuitive. In all the years I’ve been there, I’ve gathered just 9 followers. That’s about 3000 times less than Wattpad and not much more than a third of my Minds following (and I’ve only been there a few weeks).  I keep persevering with Facebook but it’s not been of any benefit for me. Visit Facebook.

 

 #4 Google+

I know many people would rate this one higher but it’s been problematic for me. For the first few months, it worked and I got on with it very well. I gathered lots of followers and seemed to be doing well then it all died. I’ve only gained about 20 followers (yes I know the jargon is “20 people added me to their circles”) in the last 6 months, but I’m still trying to make headway there. Visit Google+.

 

#3 Minds

This one is very much the new kid on the estate and it’s probably too early to say if this one is going to be a hit, but their interface is great and the social aspect of the community works very well. The writing community is only a small subsection but it is only just starting out and growing fast every day. Activities in the community such as posting or voting gain you boost points, you even get 50 points per hour just for visiting. These points can then be used to boost your points – great for your next big book launch or competition! Visit Minds.

 

#2 Twitter

Twitter is simply massive. Everyone’s heard of it and (almost) everyone is on it. Better still, unlike some more restrictive social networks, it’s easy (and totally permitted) to have more than one profile there. You can have a personal account, an author account and some authors even have accounts for their main characters too! The main drawback with Twitter is that there’s too much activity and once you’re properly engaged in the community you’ll receive far more tweets than you can read. However, follow the right people and it’s a great way to find out about publishing opportunities, writing competitions and lots more, all while connecting with a few readers along the way. Visit Twitter.

 

#1 Wattpad

I really wish I’d discovered this year years earlier. Excellent site for connecting with a simply colossal number of readers as well as other authors. Highly active and friendly community with forums, competitions, rankings and a comprehensive comments systems. I’ve made more contacts here than anywhere else and it’s a great place to get feedback on your writing. Visit Wattpad.

 

No doubt I will be adding more to this list in future and, of course, I will rename the post accordingly. If you have any suggestions for writing communities or similar that I might not have tried yet, please add them to the comments below. In the meantime, I hope this list is useful to you.


Chasing the Horizon

SunsetMeasuring your progress in life is important. With the right mindset, it can provide the impetus to drive you forward to achieve your dreams and aims. Lots of people will tell you that having targets is key to the success of any project, any person. The problem with targets is they can, and do, complete distort your perception of where you are.

As an author, my original first target was to write a book, actually complete the whole thing. Like many wannabe authors, I’d started a few, but actually finishing a book is a big step and an important target. Achieving that was a world-changing moment for me. Suddenly, I could tell people I had written a book and was now working on another one.

After finishing one book, my target became finishing the next. However this time, with the confidence of knowing for sure that I was able to finish a book, it took me about one-tenth of the time. About this time, I published my first novel on Amazon and this, in turn, led to my first sales. Book sales put a whole different spin on my targets.

This was about the time that I got into Twitter and Google+ and then, much later, Wattpad and a few other sites. My first target on Wattpad was 1000 followers. It only took a couple of weeks for me to scale that back to 100 instead. Months went by and I struggled to hit double figures. Determined to make a go of it – it is after all the biggest fiction community on the web – I kept posting my chapters and short stories. Eventually, my follower count began to climb and I hit my 1000 target. That made me up my target to 2000.

That all seems logical and sensible, but there’s a problem. After enjoying my 1000 followers achievement for about a day, I now faced the mountainous task of doubling that. In time I achieved that and felt good about it, but that enjoyment was soon replaced by the daunting task of achieving 5000 followers. I recently passed 10,000 followers. That was great, BUT, now it’s just become another thing I’ve done and I’m looking at 20,000 as my next aim.

3 Astronomicon NovelsBack when I began this journey, I truly believed that 10,000 followers on any system would have proved that I was a successful author, that I mattered in the online fiction community and that readers would be buying my books by the hundred. But here I am with six novels completed (five of which are on Amazon), 10,800 Wattpad followers, 10,500 Twitter followers, 2100 Google+ followers, 6 Facebook followers (Never cracked FB!) and I’m still not remotely successful, know lots of people who are doing MUCH better than me and I’m probably still years away from my book sales covering my mortgage repayments.

So after all this work, all this progress and meeting so many targets, I’m still not where I thought I would be and that’s a little depressing. Sometimes it feels like no matter how much I progress and how many targets I hit, I’m still not getting anywhere. Like the horizon, no matter how far you travel, it’s still far ahead of you.

Anyway, you don’t get anywhere without determination, so I will press on, somehow get to my next targets and keep chasing that horizon.


Milestone Reached: 10,000 #Wattpad Followers

Astronomicon on WattpadWattpad is simply the biggest, and I would say the best, fiction sharing site on the Internet. Over 45 million active users and tens of thousands of authors writing and sharing their works to a simply colossal audience, make this THE site to be if you write fiction.

I’ve been active there for a couple of years and it was very slow going when I first joined. It took a few months for me to find my way around the clubs, forums and systems there but, once I got the hang of it, I began to get a LOT of positive feedback for my books and now receive daily requests for me to hurry up and finish the next book and get that posted there too. Now I’m celebrating reaching the milestone of 10,000 followers. When I joined, I never expected to get more than a fraction of that total.

It’s a wonderfully friendly and helpful community, but don’t worry, if you make a mistake someone is sure to point it out to you. Over the last couple of years, I’ve received some of the most detailed and constructive critiques I’ve ever received online.

I’ve tried out more writing community sites over the years that I can remember, and most of them have been a waste of time but Wattpad is a keeper! As an author, it’s well worth spending some time there every day. Just stay patient and don’t expect instant results.