Sparks' Notes: Weekly Writing Reflections by Author Lindsey Sparks

Episode 45: Bonus Stories, Cover Design, and New Websites

June 20, 2022 Lindsey Sparks, Lindsey Fairleigh Season 1 Episode 45
Sparks' Notes: Weekly Writing Reflections by Author Lindsey Sparks
Episode 45: Bonus Stories, Cover Design, and New Websites
Show Notes Transcript

Hi there! I'm Lindsey Sparks, author of books featuring hidden worlds and twisted myths. Welcome to my weekly author's notes podcast! This episode was recorded on Monday, June 20, 2022, and I would love to share some of my reflections from this past week with you.

CURRENT FREEBIES:
Starter Library for newsletter subscribers (FREE ebooks and audiobooks of my series starters, and more!)
https://www.authorlindseysparks.com/join-newsletter

CURRENT WIP:
With my editor: Blood of the Broken (Atlantis Legacy, book 5)
Writing: BotB bonus content and Patreon stories (spicy, spicy!)
https://www.patreon.com/lindseysparks

READING:
A Kingdom of Ruin by K.F. Breene
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (for the No Shelf Control Podcast)
https://noshelfcontrol.buzzsprout.com/

WATCHING:
The Boys (season 3)
Stranger Things (season 4)
The Tourist

PLAYING:
Elder Scrolls Online

HIGH:
Handed Blood of the Broken off to my editor two weeks early, which feels amazing!

LOW:
(kind of) I think I've decided to switch my website from Wix to Shopify, which means I'll need to build a new website.

LAST WEEK'S OBSESSION:
Book covers!

GOOGLE SEARCH HISTORY:
- downton abbey kitchen
- what did the ancient Greeks call quartz
- elements not found on earth
- ancient Greek girl names
- split infinitive, it's past time, chomping or champing at the bit, all the or all of the, elven or elfen, cpu, bulkhead, telemetry or radar, story or storey, neuropathways,

BIG GOAL(s):
Finish all the Blood of the Broken bonus content and Patreon stories.

LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Writing fun stuff this week!
-
JOIN MY READER GROUP: Lindsey's Lovely Readers
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lovelyreaders

SUPPORT ME ON PATREON:
https://www.patreon.com/lindseysparks

SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER:
https://www.authorlindseysparks.com/join-newsletter

JOIN MY DISCORD SERVER:
https://discord.gg/EH4XPY6djP

WEBSITE: https://www.authorlindseysparks.com/
TIKTOK: @authorlindseysparks
INSTAGRAM: @authorlindseysparks
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/authorlindseysparks

Hi there! I'm Lindsey sparks, author of books that include hidden worlds and twisted myths. Welcome to my weekly authors notes podcast. Today is Monday, June 20th, and I would love to share some of my reflections from this past week with you. First off, the current freebies are only available through my subscriber library, which you can get to using the link in the show notes. And that includes the eBooks of Echo in Time, Ink Witch, Legacy of the Lost, and After The Ending, and also the audio books of Echo in Time, Ink Witch, and Legacy of the Lost. Wha what am I working on right now? My current works in progress are like two-ish or one plus many, maybe. I have officially handed off Blood of the Broken, which I'm counting as one of my works in progress, because it's not yet published. It is currently- I just handed it on Friday off to my editor. This is my copy editor- copy edits, plus. Um, she does a little bit more than just a straight up copy edit. She's amazing. Her name is Holly. She has Blood of the Broken right now, and, um, I am not due to have it back from her for like another month. So, um, if I get it back from her early, that would be cool that I can pass it to my proofreader , and if not, that's cool too, because I have that built into the- the original schedule. I just got it to her like two weeks early. I am now, with my extra two weeks, because LP and I are not starting our big brainstorming session for the ending legacy until July 1st, which is not this Friday, but next Friday- I hope I got those dates right. I have basically two weeks of writing the bonus content from Blood of the Broken, which is good, because there's actually a lot of bonus content for this one. And I think that, going forward, there's probably going to be a lot of bonus content for my books, because now that I'm thinking about writing bonus content, it like opens up all these doors for scenes that I wouldn't be writing, because they don't fit into the story proper. The whole- what I talked about before of either forwarding character development or moving the plot forward. Those are the, kind of two essential things that a scene that is included- an element that is included in the book need to do. Sorry. Both my three-year-old and my dog are in here. So you may hear some extra noises from them. I have four extended- oh, no three extended scenes that I'm planning on writing for Blood of the Broken. One of those is an alternative point of view scene from Hades' point of view. And then one bonus epilogue, which I was really on the fence about what to call that, but I'm calling it a bonus epilogue because it is an epilogue and it is a bonus. However, there is not already an epilogue in the book. The book does not have an epilogue, so that's just what it's been called. And then the last one is a bonus scene that is just referenced in the book. There's also a short story that I want to write that is referenced in the book, but that's a longer project and will probably be a short story that I write for Pateron, at some point. So there is a story based on a series of events, or an event that is referenced, that is probably going to become a short story at some point, but it's big enough that it could be like a short story. Story to a novella length. I'll probably hang on to that idea for sometime this fall, uh, I'm thinking for Patreon. Or, I guess, I mean, I can probably also release it elsewhere as if it is novella length. I'll probably release it elsewhere, um, that people can buy, but it would still get included into Patreon. And then I'll, then I'm also going to be writing the, uh, next episode- episode three, I want to say episode three, of The Last Vampire Queen for Patreon, my spicy spicy paranormal romance harem serial. So, I'm really excited to continue that one, too. Um, right now I am reading, well, I'm kind of reading both of these things, but really I have paused A Kingdom of Ruin by K.F. Breene, not because I don't love it- I do love it, but I needed read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid for the No Shelf Control Podcast, which we are recording this Wednesday- so in two days from now, so I needed to finish that. I just have a little bit left in that one and I- it's a really good. Not my usual thing at all, but super good. Really interesting and really well told story, and I did not expect to enjoy it this much. I could probably say what it's about. It's about an aged Hollywood starlet who is telling her life story, and it is not what the journalist she chose expected to hear. So it's really great. I am watching a season three of the boys as the episodes are releasing. I'm still loving it. Still living. Jensen Ackles as this insane- everything about that show is insane. And also, I'm still waiting for Stranger Things, season four, volume two. No changes there. And then, my husband and I are watching The Tourist with- I wanna say it's the guy from 50 Shades of Gray. But it's it's in Australia, and it's like this strange kind of like mystery, he has amnesia, um, and we're- we just have one episode left, so I feel like we're about to have like tons of big reveals. I am also still playing Elder Scrolls Online and loving it. My high this week was handing blood of the broken over to my editor two weeks early, which seems insane- very, highly unusual for me. But it feels amazing. I think it's a really strong book. It's a very exciting book. A lot happens. Um, it was amazing and super fun to do the out loud read through in Discord, and the people who, the for most of it, were just so enthusiastic about the story, and I am really excited to share this one with the world- Atlantis Legacy fans. Definitely, this is not a book to read if you have not read the first four books, so... My low- and this is like barely a low, but it was all I could come up with for last week- was just I think I've decided to switch my website, um, host- I don't know if that's the right word- but I use Wix, and this is going to sound really weird, I know that, but I think I'm going to switch it to Shopify, and I fully understand how that sounds. I still think it's weird in my head. However, I have I have a plan. So my plan is, I really want to be focusing more on selling directly from my website. I really want to be focusing on treating my website like a store, treating myself like a brand, and I want to be encouraging people to be buying directly from me, because if people buy from me, then I make like 98% of the royalties, versus giving 70 to 30% away to somebody. So, it just makes sense with the way that technology is right now to do that. So, that being said, I have decided to switch all of my online storefront-ing, and all of my products are going to be on a Shopify storefront. And originally I was just going to have that be linked to from my current website, but then as I was setting up my Shopify storefront, I realized that Shopify had, all of these extra things. And I kept deleting these extra things and these extra pages that Shopify was like offering to let me put into the Shopify site. And I was like, I don't need a second website, why would I need these- all of these extra pages and stuff. And then, slowly in the back of my head, my brain was like: Or, what if this was your website and you didn't have to send people to a whole different place? Because while I like Wix, it doesn't d o everything that I need it to do, and one of those things that I need my website to do is be my online storefront that can sell both my physical products, products like paperback books, and also that can sell digital products and integrate with a distribution option, I guess that would be, like BookFunnel, which is the service that I used to deliver my eBooks and my audiobooks to people when they get free ones for me. But they also have the ability to link up with Shopify, and send people books when they buy them from me. So, this way I can have my storefront be all in one place. And it can still offer me a blog option, which is great because I have started transcribing my show notes from this podcast and putting them up each week as blog. That's all I'm putting on there. And then the rest of what's on my website is just like an about me page and a page for each of my series, and one page that talks about all of my books. It's just like pictures and links. I can easily do that anywhere. It doesn't need to be exclusive to Wix. It just makes sense, because one site can do everything I need, so Shopify- which still seems so weird that is the service that can give me a site that does everything I need it to do. So anyway, if Shopify can do everything I need it to do, and Wix can do a bunch of extra stuff that I don't need, but can't do one of the very basic things that I needed to do, which is integrate with BookFunnel Easily- it can, but in a very complicated way, and I don't have the technical expertise or time to do that, like to the degree that it's so complicated that switching my website to an entirely different platform is so much easier. So anyway, it looks like Shopify is the winner, so I will be working on that probably inside my house when I'm not in my office, when I'm with both of my children. So when So last week's obsession was book covers. LP and I are preparing for a whole big cover extravaganza. So, we're doing two things since we're launching the official launch of The Ending Legacy. We're starting that on July 1st, writing that. We are also redoing the cover for World After, which is the prequel for that series. And we are getting the cover design ideas ready for the first book in this series, which is coming out in January. So we need to have that idea for World After ready by Friday for our cover designer. So, we're having a big chat about that on Wednesday, in two days, and we've been just doing a lot of prep of basically, flinging a gazillion different epic fantasy, historical fantasy, fantasy romance covers onto a Pinterest board so that we can shuffle through them together and figure out exactly what we want. Because that series is, even though it's an offshoot or a spinoff from a post-apocalyptic series, The Ending Series, The Ending Legacy is a very much a fantasy. It is very much kind of an epic fantasy, historical epic fantasy, romantic epic fantasy. Very much all of t hose things, um, much more so than it is even remotely post-apocalyptic. I guess you could say it's dystopian, maybe. Dystopian fantasy. I don't know. Definitely more fantasy than anything else. So, now it comes the complicated part, which is, we need to tie that into the redesign, and the cover designs for the 10th anniversary covers for The Ending Series, which we're going to be working on with the same cover designers. We want the series to look related, but different, obviously, especially considering the fact that they are entirely different genres. Like So, this be a big task, and we have a lot to talk about with this cover design. Um, but I'm really excited because I am a total cover design junkie, and I cannot get enough of having people design covers and artwork for books that I've written. So I'm really excited about that. I'm also excited about the idea of having the, well I guess it won't be done before, but having the design, or the cover for the ending legacy book one, done early-ish, um, while we're still writing the book so we can make any changes if we want to add any elements from the design into the story. I love being able to do stuff like that. Uh, yeah. My Google search history was crazy. This list- and this is not everything, I just picked out some fun stuff, because this is three weeks worth of Google search history. So, one was from this morning, and that is Downton Abbey kitchen, and that relates to the bonus epilogue that I'm writing for Blood of the Broken, and I don't really want to say too much about that without actually giving away what happens in the book. Another is, w hat did the ancient Greeks call quartz, and this relates to, um, the short story/novella that is briefly mentioned- the events are briefly mentioned in Blood of the Broken. I was trying to name a planet. I asked for help from my facebook reader group, and somebody came up with this great idea. I can't remember what the word was, but it led me down a rabbit hole that led me to this, typing in this question, which was, what did the Greeks call quartz? Because wouldn't it be the coolest setting to have it just be a crystal planet. So cool. So, that's probably where this short story/novella that features Peri and Hades- I'm talking about Peri from back in the day and Hades and when they go on this mission on a crystal planet. I think it'd be so neat. Um, okay, another- these next, the next two relate to when I was filling in a lot of the blanks that I left for myself when I was going through Blood of the Broken.

And those are:

elements not found on earth. I had several elements that I needed to name, like elements, like oxygen, nitrogen, elements from the periodic table of elements. And I can't remember all of them, but I know the big one that gets mentioned a bunch is called Technetium, I believe is what it's called.

And then, t he other thing was:

ancient Greek girl names, because the Olympian culture and civilization is, in the world of the Atlantis legacy, is very much what inspired the ancient Greek civilization. So, uh, I pretty much always pull names from ancient Greece for, uh, Olympians, and also for the Zari, so Meg and Caly's people, and Ilyana. Um, I. I usually pull- so Meg is Megyra, Caly is Calysto, and in case you didn't know, I don't know if I've actually mentioned it in the books. And then, uh, I. I needed to name a bunch of otherZari women. So, I had to get names because the Zari people's culture was also inspired by Hades and the Olympians, and all of the interference that he had with them. Uh, way back when. I also searched f or a bunch of stuff- this, I just thought this would be fun to share, or maybe informative to share. I have well over 20 books published out in the world, but I still have to look

up stuff like this:

split infinitive, it's past time, chomping or champing at the bit, all the or all of the, elven or elfen, CPU, bulkhead, telemetry or radar, story or storey with an E or not an E. With an E is British, apparently. Like for floors of a building. Neuropathways, which is not a word, I learned. Uh, it should be neural pathways. My big goals this coming week are to finish all of the Blood of the Broken bonus content, and I also want to finish the two Patreon stories. That would give me a ll of next week to write episode three of The Last Vampire Queen. And if I don't get everything done this week, I don't need all of next week to write The Last Vampire Queen, so I'm just trying to keep my getting stuff done early streak. We'll see. Um, yeah, so this week I'm really looking forward to writing all of this fun stuff. I think it's going to be really exciting. And I guess if I do finish everything early next week I can work on the whole Shopify switch over. That can happen. That is it for me this week. Um, thank you so much. For listening. I will be back next week to ramble some more. Oh wait, before I go, let me just say that this Wednesday, so in two days, is the final part of Tarah's novella, Blood Ties, on the Read By The Author show. So then this Sunday, I am reading the first part of Resonance. So, you guys can join me live in Discord to listen and join in the chat. Or you can catch it when I put the first episode up on the podcast and on YouTube. So that's it for me. Until next week, happy reading.