So February has rolled around, and it’s as good as time as any to see where I am for this years goals so far, and what has been getting in the way of making more progress, if anything.
- Blood of a Fallen God – This is moving forward, though not quite as fast as I’ve hoped. The main issue though is just day to day life has been a bit busier than I thought it would be. But I AM making progress on the first draft.
- Bridgemaker – The third book in the Echo Worlds series. I’ve really fallen behind on this one. I’m not good at working on more than one book at a time I’ve discovered, so I think I’ll pause on this one until I get the first draft of BOAFG done.
- Outline for other book. – I’ve worked out a short outline for a story called ‘Timetable 93’ I’m really not sure if this will be a short story, or something longer, but we will see.
On top of working on the first draft of BOAFG, I’ve been brainstorming cover ideas. I THINK I’ll need to work with an artist to get what I want for the actual art though, so looking into that. If anyone reading this has any suggestions please (like really, please!) reach out to me.
- The scammers I mentioned so many times before had another run in with a different person, and lo and behold I got mentioned and had a huge spike in blog attendance, though it was short lived.
- Unsure if what happened after was related, but I found it amusing. I got a message via email, through the blog from someone claiming to be another author. This person said they had read some of what I’ve done and had a suggestion. The suggestion was to give up. Stop writing, pull what I had written off Amazon, and stop pushing ‘total crap’ so ‘better authors than you can get attention.’ They also proceeded to say that people like me were what was causing them to sell less by flooding the market with junk, and it was making it harder for ‘True talent’ like theirs to get noticed.
I have no idea if I’m talented as a writer. I don’t think in those terms, and never have. I write for me. I write because I enjoy the act of it. I write because I like sharing the stories. Sure, I’d love it if they sold better, who wouldn’t want another income stream? But that’s not WHY I write. So no, I won’t give up and go away.
That’s all for now, and I need to go work on BOAFG, I’m behind for the word count for the week. 😉
So as promised, here’s the results from the ‘Free Book Experiment.” I posted about last week. As I said I had kept reading about how you should do a free book promo to get traffic, reviews, and ultimately, drive some sales. I used one of my older books, Project:Perception and using the Amazon author portal, made it free for 4 days. The results were in fact a bit better than expected, but not any sort of major breakthrough.
- The first day I had a major spike in downloads of the book. This is pretty normal for the first day on any free promotion. I’m not clear on how Amazon markets this, but I hit 600 downloads, 634 to be exact on the first day. But then as normal, the second, third, and fourth day dropped a lot. 211, 63, and 51 respectively. This is also pretty normal, the spike and tapering off of downloads. The nice thing is that your book gets a lot more visible, but only while the free promo is going on. Once the promo is over, your book vanishes from the free list and back to whatever it was ranked before.
- One unexpected thing was a download or two via Kindle Unlimited. This is still free, but I get paid based on the number of pages read. Tiny money, but still, money. I say unexpected because I hadn’t had that happen before.
- I got one review, but a 3 star out of 5. So it was so-so to them. But still, nice to have. (I’ve mentioned before, reviews are gold.)
- I got one actual sale of the book after the promo ended. One.
So was it worth it?
Not sure. Now I didn’t do this “Free Book Experiment” the way most do. Usually this is planned out more, you submit your free promo to mailing lists, promote it on social media, and flog the hell out of it. I didn’t do any of that. I simply made it free, posted it once or twice on twitter, and mentioned it on my blog (which auto-posts on twitter, and I made a Facebook post for it.) So I really didn’t market it at all. Would the results have been better? Quite possibly. If you can get it mentioned on some of the larger eBook mailing lists I’ve seen reliable accounts of getting 20-30K downloads in a single day.
So all in all I’d say this has been a mostly useful exercise. I got a review, made a tiny amount of cash, and really didn’t do any work for it. (Well outside of writing the book in the first place.)
Upcoming: *finishing that keyboard review*, Cover reveal for Bridgefinders (much rejoicing.) and the release of Bridgefinders, currently looking like the first week in April.
To my past self:
So you want to start being a part time to full time writer eh?
Ok..so here’s what you gotta do.
1) Write the damn book. Far easier said than done.. but you can do it.
2) Get it published. Ok, we can do this.. Fiverr is your friend. Covers, kindle formatting, etc. Fiverr if your on a shoestring budget is your go to place.
What’s that? You think you don’t need to do number 3? Ah.. foolish foolish boy.
You will have to market the hell out of both yourself and the book. No one knows you, no one knows the story, and no one even will pay it any attention in the 80 thousand other books out there. You will have to submit the ebook to everywhere you can find, post every and anywhere you can proclaiming the book, and beg for real honest reviews. Now don’t be a dishonest guy, and pay for reviews, but submitting the eBook to websites that put the book and it’s cover out there? Yes please. Yes, I’m aware we don’t like promoting ourselves, but you want this? You gotta work for it man. Put it out there, be larger than life as the saying goes.
The only person keeping it from you.. is you.
So, I’ve fixed the eBook on Amazon. All is working and good to go. Finally have the correct version up, with the right edits. Still kicking myself for that one. Also, I’ve “announced” via my personal facebook page and my ye old twitter account (that I have barely ever used) that I’ve done this and taken this step.
So, I’ve heard of, but not seen, sites out there that you can submit a story to for review? For free, honest upfront reviews.. Can anyone point me in that direction? It’s a short story, a pretty easy read over all. But all feedback is good feedback, (and least I hope so.) I’d really like to get eyes on.
I’ve had some family and friends either get the book, or say they will be “soon” but I’d love other feedback, as much as possible. So if anyone has a site to share for review services (not pay for review, I don’t play that game.) Let me know.
So today I will be publishing my first eBook on Amazon. I was going to do it last night, but thanks to some serious annoyances with Go Daddy’s WordPress implementation, Had some real issues getting this site up. (Media uploads weren’t working at all.)
But I got that fixed (Not that tech support was all that helpful) and wanted to get this site at least up before I published.
This story is the first in a series of three “short” stories that make up one story arc. Big thanks to:
1) My wife, for being her awesome self.
2) My kids, for also being their awesome selves.
3) My Mom (retried English Professor) for doing some editing and story feedback for me.
I plan on doing a lot more with the space here. Podcasts, newsletters, etc. But everything starts with a step, and this is my step.