From Start to Finish: 2018 — Derek Barton

NYE

As everyone who happens to read these blogs know, I have been using Bi-Monthly goals to keep me focused, motivated and productive.  Now since November, I have been a little non-plussed, to be honest with you. With very little book sales and only a few friends coming to book shows, it has made me question what to do next or what changes I can make to reach a bigger audience.  I am not planning on giving up, just looking for new steps to take.

While I am still researching the internet and watching YouTube videos on marketing, I don’t have any new answers…yet, but in the meantime, I thought I would look back and see just what I have done this year and if I am happy or not with 2018.

Complete Works

Works In Progress — Status as of January 2017

CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS AUDIOBOOK – This was still in the works, finalizing edits and mastering the audio quality.  The final version was released and published on Audible.com on June 25.  This was a fantastic first experience with audiobook production and I couldn’t be happier with the talent and skill my voice actress, Laura Richcreek-Morrison.  She has been currently working on The Bleeding Crown!  Voice actors like Laura and Charles Pendleton for my horror stories have taken my work to a whole new level!

THE BLEEDING CROWN – Four of my bi-monthly goals for January & February were to complete the 2nd waves of edit for the main body of work, complete the subplots for the manuscript (about 25,000 words), set up a marketing campaign (ads, etc) and start working on the book cover.  All was finalized and the completed book was published on June 26th.  (Side note:  I didn’t realize June had been so full this year! ha).  While sales have not been as plentiful, it has gotten a decent amount of 5 Star Reviews on Amazon.  I personally cherish the book as my favorite child so far (Elude is close second though!).  I have written almost 30,000 so far on the follow-up, Swimming In The Ashes (working title).  That might be out by the end of 2019, but no guarantees.

IN FOUR DAYS AUDIOBOOK – In April, I connected with Charles Pendleton and we agreed to work together on my modern paranormal/horror story.  He did a great job on it and we have seen some success with the sales on Audible.  It was released in August. Charles is also already working with me on the Elude series so stay tuned for that!

ELUDE PT #1 & PT #2 – In January I was still working on the first wave of edits for Part One!  As of August 31, it has been completed and published on Amazon and Kindle.  Part Two was published on October 19th.  I am working through the final Part Three and hope to have it published by February 2019.

THE HIDDEN – Released Chapter 7 on January 2nd.  Just this month released Chapter 23. This series looks to be wrapping up in a couple months as a complete web saga.  We, my father and I, will be working to get this put together and finalized for print within the upcoming year.  I have been developing several book cover ideas to start with.

Now to see some stats on the site’s growth:

BLOG COUNTS:

  • 2016 — 14 Monthly blogs completed
  • 2017 — 37 Monthly blogs completed
  • 2018 — 43 Monthly blogs completed (including this one)

NEW WEB SUBSCRIBERS:

  • 2016 — 7
  • 2017 — 17
  • 2018 — 24

VISITORS & COUNTRIES VIEWED IN:

  • 2016 — 204  & Countries — 8
  • 2017 — 809  & Countries — 31
  • 2018 — 895  & Countries — 39

4,239 Views in the three years!

TOP FIVE MOST VIEWED POSTS:

  1. Elude #1 with 72 views
  2. Steps on a New Path (Chapter One Blog for The Hidden) with 67 views
  3. Elude #2 with 47 views
  4. Audiobook Review of Stephen King’s “The Outsider” with 45 views
  5. Elude #3 with 43 views

New Additions to the Site were my Audible book reviews posts and my book giveaways which has been very successful.

So, overall a lot of work still hadn’t been published until the fall of this year — three books and two audiobook versions.  I hope to have two more audiobook versions out and possibly two more novels.  I have also had ideas percolating in the back of my mind for a new horror web saga for this site and a whole new trio of novels starting in Aberissc this time!  What I am saying is that there is a lot more work to be done and coming. 🙂

I also had a chance to get out and meet a few of you that were local at the book-signings in October, November and December.  That was a lot of fun and I do hope to continue this in the coming year.  On January 19th, come see me at:

1-19-19 SS

While I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to and I am still trying to find the right balance to get writing, work and fitness goals accomplished, I do see that the platform is actually growing.  Also, I should be fully recovered from my back injuries from the accident in August by mid-2019, so that should also help with my fitness.

Thanks especially to all that do support me and have taken an interest in my work.  I hope to keep bringing a smile to your face as you do mine!

Audible Book Review of Stephen King’s “The Eyes of the Dragon” — Derek Barton

Eyes of the Dragon 2018

The Eyes of the Dragon

by Stephen King — a Fantasy Novel

Released on December 8, 1987 — 384 pages

Narrated by Bronson Pinchot

 

I have been for over a year now getting Audible books so I decided I would review and share my opinion on some of them with you. Enjoy!

 

As I have stated in the past, Stephen King was and still is a big influence on my writing.  When he published a fantasy novel in the 80s, I had to read it as fantasy was also one of my favorite genres. I liked it, of course, back then, but I was only 17 at the time.  So, when I ran across the title a couple weeks ago, I found surprising that I could not remember anything about it.  I anxiously bought the audiobook as I had to see if the story still had the “same ol’ magic”.  Yeah, I know, pun and bad joke intended!

 

The Synopsis:

“Once, in a kingdom called Delain, there was a king with two sons….”

Thus begins one of the most unique tales that master storyteller Stephen King has ever written—a sprawling fantasy of dark magic and the struggle for absolute power that utterly transforms the destinies of two brothers born into royalty. Through this enthralling masterpiece of mythical adventure, intrigue, and terror, you will thrill to this unforgettable narrative filled with relentless, wicked enchantment, and the most terrible of secrets….

 

The Review:

One of the best things that King does in any of his novels is to draw you in by creating fascinating and yet relatable characters.  All of the story’s characters are very well developed and dynamic.  Many in the plot have their own agendas as well as their own drives.  The way he weaves the arch of the story at the same time illuminating the lives of the two princes keeps you glued to the intrigue that they find themselves caught up within.

There is a theory that all of Stephen King’s novels are connected in some fashion.  One of the more notable lynchpins is his infamous villain, Flagg.  Here he appears as the Court Wizard and King Roland’s closest counsel.  In the novel, The Stand, readers should recall in the post-apocalypse world, the evil entity known as Randall Flagg.  There is even a popular theory that the malicious, shape-changing clown in IT is really Flagg.  Just as Flagg did in these other stories, he creates blood-filled chaos and death wherever he treads.

The “hero’s journey” and the road to vindication that Prince Peter has to take is a great read and thrilling adventure.  And yes, there are horror elements in the tale and some dark parts that are classic Stephen King, but I did very much enjoy this fantasy tale once again and would highly recommend it.

 

The Narration:

Eyes of the Dragon Blog

Bronson Pinchot, a seasoned television and movie actor gives a fantastic rendition and his range of voices is very impressive.  The whispery voice of Flagg that he uses actually made goosebumps on my skin the first time I heard it, capturing the “seething evil under the surface” aspect of Flagg perfectly.

While widely known as the quirky actor from 80’s sitcom, Perfect Strangers, he has also gone on to do films (including a breakout performance as the psychotic Craig Toomy in the Stephen King film, The Langoliers) and several Broadway plays in New York City.

Other narrated books to his Pinchot’s credit are One Year After: A John Matherson Novel and The Extinction Cycle.

 

The Rating:

Five Stars as this story has intricate plotting, detailed characters, and exciting scenes (one of the best scenes especially is when Prince Thomas spies on his father when he is drunk and very enraged.  King Roland screams at the mounted trophy heads on his wall, screaming “WHY DO YOU STARE AT ME SO? WHY? I HAVE DONE THE BEST I CAN.”)  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

 

By Derek Barton — Author of Dark Fantasy novels: Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown.  Also the author or In Four Days: a Horror-Suspense Novella and the series Elude: Part One & Part Two (horror/crime thrillers)!!

 

 

 

December & January 2018 Bi-monthly Goals — Derek Barton

Goal #1 2018

 

Here are my production goals for December & January and my writing production for September & October.  I know what you are saying, “What happened to November?” Sighhhh.  Yeah, well, I had hoped to “Win” at the National Novel Writing Month Challenge (NaNoWriMo) which was my only big goal, but my health derailed me for over a week.  I am doing better with a chiropractor and physical therapy for my back and knee. However, I did get 26,000+ words written on my new fantasy novel for the Wyvernshield Series.

The bi-monthly goals for September & October:

  • Complete the editing of Elude #2. — Finished
  • Publish Elude #2 by the end of October.  — Published on October 19th, 2018!!
  • Complete the writing for Elude #3 (about 30,000 to 40,000 words). — postponed this goal.
  • Start my outline for Book #3 for the Wyvernshield Fantasy series. — Accomplished but as I found out during NaNoWriMo, it is far too skimpy in details and needs fleshing out for me to get through. As I have said before, I am not a “pantser” or a writer who writes by the seat of his pants.  I need a clear picture of where I am heading and this outline had too many holes that I need to plug!
  • Write up and prepare for writing in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge in November — Book #3 will be my focus for NaNoWriMo! (50,000-word count goal!) –Partially successful.  26,000 words written…
  • Do a book-signing event in Arizona — Did 2 so far and prepping for my 3rd on December 8th @ the Half-Priced Bookstore in Paradise Valley.  COME SEE ME IF YOU ARE LOCAL!!
  • Craft a video book trailer for Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown — Yeah… this may not happen for quite some time.
  • Work up my booth design for comic-cons and book festivals. — Used my old setup for the book-signings which looks pretty amateurish. I definitely will have to invest to improve this if I am going to get back to the comic-cons/festivals.
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month. — Done
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks. — Done (roughly every two weeks! 🙂 )

Score = 6.5 out of 10  Hmmmm that’s pretty ugly.  Hopefully, the end of this year and the start of next year will be more successful.

 

Goal #2 2018

 

December & January Goals:

  • Complete Elude #3 book (30,000 to 40,000 words)
  • Have Elude #3 self-edited by the end of January 2019.
  • Professionally edited and published by the end of February 2019.
  • Set up another couple book-signing events for 2019.
  • Sign up for at least two comic-con/book festivals for 2019.
  • Complete the last chapters for The Hidden web saga — we have started on Chapter 23, but then by mid-February we are scheduled to have our last Chapter 27 – The Path Again published on the website!  That’s right! The entire novel is out on the site…but not forever!
  • Start another web saga?  May have to have a survey for which genre to pursue — fantasy or horror.
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.
  • Look into the options for booth setups for my book showings.
  • Thinking about setting up a service to other authors for possible book cover design.  Maybe…

And while I have decided to keep my personal goals of weight loss and such out of this, I do hope that I make some headway there.  I am sure some of the issues with my back and knee is from the weight and not necessarily all due to the car accident from August.

One last thing — If any of you have had the chance to read any of my works, but have not had the opportunity to write a review, it would mean a great deal to me if you could.  Reviews really are critical to getting people’s notice online, especially on Amazon.  Thank you in advance if you already have!

Thank you all for your support and keeping my spirits up! Everyone have a safe and wondrous holiday season!