Dax Murray

Queer Fantasy Author Writing About Lady Knights and Magical Rites

Great news! All of my books are now available on Google Play! Prior to 2020, it was a little bit of a pain to have books listed on Google Play; they would randomly put people's books on sale without telling them, which would cause every other retailer with your book to also lower your book's price for price-matching. This was especially bad as lowering the price on Amazon would drastically decrease your royalties. So it was more of a risk than a reward. But no more!

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Today I learned by complete accident that STARS AND SOIL was nominated in four categories for the QUEER INDIE AWARDS!

  • Best Overall Fantasy
  • Best Overall Epic Fantasy
  • Best Overall Dark Fantasy
  • Best Supporting Character (Kegan Moore)

You can vote for STARS AND SOIL here.

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I got the most amazing email the other day! Indie Ink Award staff messaged me the following:

Hello! We’re delighted to tell you that your book A Lake of Feathers and Moonbeams has made it to the finals for Writing the Future We Need: Trans or Nonbinary Representation. Also, Shades and Silver qualifies as a finalist for Writing the Future We Need: Disability Representation by a disabled author.

I am so honored that so many of you took the time to vote for my books! I can never thank you enough! Please use the code INKFINALIST on my shop for 75% off of Shades and Silver and A Lake of Feathers and Moonbeams now through the end of the month!

Buy Shades and Silver

Buy A Lake of Feathers and Moonbeams

If you have these books already, purchase them for a friend and spread the word! Thank you so SO much for all of your support for me and my writings. I am nothing without my readers!💜💜💜

If you want updates about things like this before anyone else gets them, make sure you sign up for my newsletter!

This is the first post in a blog series I am calling “Things I Didn't Know I Needed to Know!” In this series, I will speak to several authors about their research process for their novels and the strange things they found themselves searching the internet for at 5am!

Today, I am hosting Liz Sauco, author of Lost Blades and talking about the many, many rabbit holes she jumped into.

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If 2023 was me dipping my toes into the lake of “trying new publishing things,” then 2024 is me diving into the deep end.

I chose indie publishing for freedom, and yet I’ve found that I have unnecessarily shackled myself to an ideology. I kept my books in Kindle Unlimited/KDP Select because that was “where the readers are” and what was supposed to make the “most sense” from a money point of view, too. But Amazon slashed KU payouts and there is just a constant low rumbling threat that they will do so again. IngramSpark decided to force upon authors a larger wholesaler discount and their shenanigans with returns have made it a risk for authors to accept returns, which in turn leads to indie bookstores not wanting to carry our books.

I threw off the shackles of traditional publishing, thinking I was embracing creative control. And yet I then locked myself down in a cell with Amazon and IngramSpark and believed that this was “the only way.”

But then Campfire added monetized stories and I also found Ream Stories. Some part of me was still determined to define “success” as an indie publisher as Amazon Rankings or Bestseller List. But isn’t that the kind of ideology that I wanted to escape when I decided against traditional publishing?

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Exciting news! Several of my books have been nominated for the Indie Ink Awards! Voting opened yesterday and runs until December 31st!

In celebration of this, you can purchase A LAKE OF FEATHERS AND MOONBEAMS directly on my webpage and using the discount code INKAWARDS when you hit the “Buy Now” button! This discount is ONLY available on my website!

As a bonus, you can use the code INKAWARDS2 for Shades and Silver, Birthing Orion, and The Magic Surrendered. This sale is ONLY available on my webpage!

Here are the categories in which my books are nominated; please take the time to vote!

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I've found a cool way to set up direct sales on your own website with minimal effort and basically no coding. But my personal website is all hand-coded by me, and so I decided to take it one step further and integrate it with Middleman and how I use the yaml files to keep my website organized as my catalog grows. Read on to learn more about my setup combining Lemon Squeezy's Checkout Overlays with yaml and ERB in my favorite static site generator, Middleman.

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Now that NaNoWriMo is behind us, and I'm in the home stretch of finishing SMOKE AND STEEL (just completed chapter 23 out of 25!), I've found the time to work more on the Campfire project of STARS AND SOIL, as I mentioned in my last update.

Well, between yesterday and today, I've added four more character profiles to the project!

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NaNoWriMo is over! How did I do? I would say I did “alright.” Did I hit 50k? Yes. Did I hit my goal? Not so much. But I am trying to have compassion and kindness for myself.

[note: the last section of this post deals with triggering topics, it is marked. as such.]

Personal recap

This year I participated in a group challenge with the people at the Campfire Discord. We were assigned teams, we had weekly “stumped” chats where we could talk through some of the story issues we were encountering, weekly check ins, regular writing sprints and rallies, and it was amazing. I don't think I would have gotten as much done without it.

Honestly, I probably would have skipped NaNo this year if it weren't for the people of the Campfire discord. I had just finished a massive revision/edit on a tight deadline and was feeling creatively drained after releasing Stars and Soil. But the Campfire discord was hosting a bunch of “Preptober” events, and I decided that even if I wasn't going to do NaNo, why not at least use that to get a head start on Smoke and Steel? And then I started to have so much fun that I said “Yes, NaNoWriMo is happening.”

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I enjoy making tools for other people who like to organize and keep track of their progress on projects. I previously shared my spreadsheet progress tracker for revisions. Now I have a pdf file full of planner templates that you can use to track the finer details of novel revision. These are meant to be printed out and inserted into a 3-ring binder, a disc-bound planner, or even stapled together if that's what you like. But there is nothing stopping you from using it in a digital notebook on a tablet!

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