Friday, May 31, 2019

Another Marketing Post

Marketing... For indie authors, it's sort of a throw it at the wall and hope it sticks kind of thing for the most part.  I mean, if we had publishers worth their salt, we'd know what marketing worked and aim at the wall better with stickier stuff.  But we don't.  It's all on us to figure this stuff out.

So, this year, I've been trying some things to see what works for me and what doesn't.  And I'm trying to share that with all of you because we're in the same boat and what the hell, right?

One of the things I've done is tracking.  Everything.  Sales - in quantity and dollars, ROI (Return On Investment), page reads in relation to marketing...  I have spreadsheets and graphs.  It's all very pretty.

We already know one of the things I've discovered and talked about ad nauseum.  Ads increase sales... err, during promos.  (Ads without promotional pricing are pretty much duds.)  I paid for ads in February, April, and May.  No paid ads in January or March.  The graph shows how all that worked out, eh?

Another thing we all pretty much know is promos increase sales quantities.  But we also need to remember that they decrease the dollar per book averages.  I know, it's sort of a 'well, duh' moment.  It's all well and good to move a lot of books at 99c (which during a promo nets an average of 65c per), but if you're not selling books at regular prices, the average tanks.  I'm sitting at an avg of $1.02 per book this year and $1.21 per over the past four+ years.

This year, I've also been tracking my book downloads and purchases.  I was doing this mainly so I'd know what books I have, what I've read, and what I didn't finish.  Also, it helps me keep track of my book buying budget.  $31.83 spent this year so far. 

But yesterday, I thought it might help with something else.

I was thinking about where to market books next month.  Should I go with Robin Reads?  Ereader News Today?  Book Adrenaline?  Where would my money best be placed?

Historical data on ROI points to ENT.  Of course.  But when I checked, I discovered my own reading habits also point to ENT.  Of all the places I've discovered books this year, ENT wins hands down.  Then Freebooksy/Bargainbooksy.  Then Reading Deals.  Book Gorilla and Robin Reads are down near the bottom.

Now, this is just anecdotal evidence.  And you have to remember, I'm downloading mostly free books right now.  And with a lot of marketing venues, ads for free books cost more than ads for 99c books.  I don't know about other authors, but I have a tough time paying for an ad for a book that's not going to make me any money.  So I assume there's fewer people who put free books in places like Book Gorilla and Robin Reads, which would lead to a lower download rate from me.  Still, it's something to think about.

Then there's the fact that some venues are harder to get advertising with that others.  I've been using BargainBooksy a lot lately because they have an easy policy and it's clear what dates are available right when you sign up - and you get to choose your date.  No waiting for someone to get back to me with a date or a rejection.  Bing bang boom.  The problem is I think BargainBooksy is almost tapped out for me this year.  I mean, both ads this year paid for themselves, but this recent one paid a lot less than the last.  Of course, that was for OUAD.  Might still be some readers who haven't seen SCIU yet.

It's all a balancing act.  :cue circus music:

Anyway, I hope some of this helps.  As always, if you have any questions, let me know.  If you have anything to add, feel free.  Good luck in your marketing efforts and I hope you sell tons of books!

Update:  I guess I wasn't the only one thinking about this stuff today.  If you're interested in more info go over to Elizabeth Spann Craig's blog where she talks about Amazon's new KDP Beta reports.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Sale Wrap-up Post

Okay, so there was a sale.  All four of the Once Upon a Djinn books were 99c/99p each for a bit there.  And the sales were fine.  Not OMG! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!, but fine.

As I said before, I managed to glean some sales on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week through simple FB Group posts.  The ad with Bargain Booksy got me a total of 46 sales on Thursday.  Friday saw 6 additional sales.  Saturday, I only sold 2.  Sunday was crickets, but I saw 5 sales first thing Monday morning before the big 'end of sale' FB push.  Unfortunately, my marketing efforts on the final day of the sale didn't sell any other books. 

I had a slight burp on Monday when I discovered that Amazon had raised the price of Up Wish Creek a day early.  (Still said the sale was In Progress, but it wasn't.  I think it had to do with its KDP 90 days ending on the 27th, but... meh.)  I had to change my marketing plan, of course.  Can't market the series as being 99c each when the third book is $3.99.  So, I shifted gears and only marketed Wish in One Hand at 99c/99p.  Apparently, that didn't do a darn thing.  :shrug:

Ah, the vagaries of marketing and book selling.

Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.  Sure, I'd like to have seen sales really take off, but that would be like winning the lottery, and we all know how that works.  I'm just glad I covered the cost of the ad and that more people are reading the Once Upon a Djinn books.

During the sale, I sold 75 books.  Now we wait and see if any residual sales or page reads come in.  

As for Rankings, WIOH started out in the US at 797201 and hit 15588 overall and 1077 in urban fantasy at the top.  It ended the sale at 124365 / 5787.  Those aren't numbers that will attract anyone on their own, but maybe someone stopping by will see them and feel a little better about trying the books. 

Next month, time and fundage willing, I will have a sale with advertising for the SCIU series.  I really need to start thinking about this stuff more than a month in advance.  The closer it is, the harder it is to get marketing at a variety of venues. 

Any questions?  Did I forget anything pertinent? 

Monday, May 27, 2019

FB Group Marketing Update

I know all of us are trying our damnedest to find the magic formula that will sell books.  I don't have one.  What I do have is a list of Facebook Groups that I market to**, in the hopes that someone getting the feed from those groups will be interested in the books I'm advertising.  This sale I'm having (today's the last day) has born out the necessity for using this tactic.

The sale started last Tuesday.  The paid ad didn't go live until Thursday, but I wanted to get a jump on knocking those Amazon rankings down to a more acceptable level, so I started first thing Tuesday morning with FB Group posts.  By the time the ad went live, I'd sold 16 books (4 complete sets) using only those posts.  And my rankings for all four books had dropped from the stratosphere down to the 110Ks.

Then the ad went live.  Right now, I don't FB market on the days my ads go live - because I want to see which sales are almost certainly directly relatable to those ads.  But Friday, I started up again with the ads.  I should've hit the ground running and started with the ads first thing, when the rankings were at their lowest point, but I lazed and only ran half the posts at 6:15a.  The other half got posts around 3p.  Got some residual sales then.  I took Saturday off for the most part and only posted to one new group.  Saw a couple sales that day.  Bright and early Sunday morning, I posted to all the groups.  No sales on Sunday, but I woke up to five sales this morning.  By the time you read this today, I will have done a final push.  Fingers crossed it brings in additional sales.

I'll post more about the actual sales numbers on Wednesday.

As for the groups I post to, the list has grown and here it is:

Amazon Kindle Goodreads
Indie Authors International
Self-Published Crime Fiction Writers*
Crime, Thriller, Mystery Readers' Cafe*
Kindle Unlimited
Thriller Mystery and Suspense Book Club*
Thrillers, Killers, & Suspense*
Kindle/Book Club
Mystery and Thriller Publicity Book Club*
Indie Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Promotion
Free Kindle Books*
Kindle Krazy!  Authors Actively Seeking Readers
Ebook, Book Ads and Self Promotion
Book Reviews and Promotion
Shamelessly Promote Your Books
Free Kindle Books UK*
Kindle Readers and Authors (new)
Promote Your Books Here (new)

* Not used during this sale because the genre or the price didn't fit.

If you remember the list from before, there are a few missing.  For one reason or another, I left those groups and made a note to not rejoin them.  Also, I have two groups I've requested membership to but they're still pending.  If they accept me, I'll put them on the next list.

As always, if you use the above groups, please pay attention to their rules.  For instance, the owner of the Indie Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Promotions Group has a strict rule about 'no romance / no sex'.  Not that books can't have those things, but they'd better not be the primary storyline in the books you promote there.  Unfortunately, people keep trying to break his rule and it seems to irritate the crap out of him.  Do not irritate the people you're trying to market through.  Seriously, don't.

And the Free Kindle Books UK isn't a group.  It's a page and if you want to have your books marketed there, you have to send a message to the page's owner.  She's been prompt and pretty cool, but don't push it.

Of course, posting to these groups can be a drudge.  Picking the image, creating the verbiage, and then posting posting posting...  Blerg.  But for the time I put in on Tuesday/Wednesday, I made about $10 and that ain't bad.  Plus, it was worth it to help boost ad sales.

I feel like I'm forgetting something, so if you have any questions, ask away.  And whatever your marketing efforts, good luck!

** For free.  Posting to FB Groups doesn't cost a dime.  Shhh, don't tell FB or they'll find a way to charge us for it or something.

Friday, May 24, 2019

People Want a Deal

Okay, I think I figured something out.  People don't want to buy 99c books, but they want to pay 99c for books.

Lemme explain...

I regularly use Kindle Countdown Deals and typically price my books at 99c for the duration of the KCD.  Unless it's a series.  Then I put the first book at 99c and the others at like $1.99.  This time I made all the books in the OUAD series 99c just to see what would happen.  My last KCD for OUAD, I sold a bunch of Wish In One Hand, but not that many of the other books.  This time, people are buying all 4 books.  Oh, they're still buying more copies of WIOH than the others, but WIOH is the one in the ad, so that's expected.

Additionally, a while back I had the bright idea that if people were buying my books when they were 99c for a KCD, then it stood to reason that they wanted 99c books.  Nope.  Wrong.  I think I actually sold fewer books when they were all regularly 99c then when they were at their usual prices (which, at that time, was $2.99 across the board).  And I definitely sold less than when they were 'on sale' for 99c.

Turns out, people want to feel like they're getting a deal.  And regularly priced at 99c is apparently not a deal. 

Also, I know there's a mindset out there that 99c books are low-quality books.  I read a blog post once, by a bestselling author no less, that books priced at $2.99 and under aren't worth reading cuz they obviously all suck or they'd be priced higher.  (No their exact words, but that was the gist.  And thanks for gisting that publicly, asshole.)  But books on sale for 99c don't suffer under the same misconception, I guess.

So, I raised all my prices back to $2.99 and then raised most of them to either $3.99 or $4.99.  (Accidental Death, Natural Causes, and Sleeping Ugly are all at $2.99 for the time being.  May change that soon.)  I still see most of my sales when they're 'on sale', but I think simply having my books priced higher makes those times I discount my books more attractive to buyers.

:shrug:  The psychological aspects of book sales.  Weeee.

Hope that helps.  I'll probably do a numbers post on this sale sometime next week, so y'all can see what's going on.  Meanwhile, I have a round of FB posts to do.  Catch ya later.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Big Djinn Sale

Today's the start of the big sale for the Once Upon a Djinn books.  Buy 'em all, buy any you might've missed, give 'em as gifts, sprinkle that stuff everywhere...  At 99c each, you get hours of fun for under $4.  They're also all in the KU program if that's the way you get your reading material.  Over 1500 pages if you read them all straight through.  Which is the best way to get the whole story.  Jus' sayin'.

You know, I'm really proud of this series.  I had no idea where it was going to go when I started it.  In fact, I wasn't even planning it as a series.  I wrote Wish In One Hand thinking it was going to be a one-shot.  But you guys were clamoring for more when you finished reading it, so I developed it into a series. 

And it took me on a wild ride, lemme tell ya. 

Then I had figured it was going to be a trilogy.  Hah, fooled me.  There was still too much left unanswered by the end of the third book.  Bingo-bango, presto-chango... the fourth and definitely final book.  A quadrilogy, if you will.  Complete story arc from start to finish.

Yeah, I know, some things didn't turn out the way a few of you hoped, but it's a happy ending for Jo, which was the goal.  I mean, each book has a happy-ish ending, but the end of the series as a whole is happy for Jo.  (Can't say 'happily ever after' because that implies a romantic happy ending and I don't do romance.)

Anyway, thanks to all of you who've read and reviewed these books.  You guys rock.  And I hope those of you who haven't read them take this opportunity to give them a whirl.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Sales and Marketing Update Thingie

Time again for another sales/marketing update thingie. 

I've been doing even more to keep track of things this year, so it's easier to see what I did and what worked.  As always, advertising is what works.  For the most part anyway.

In January, I held a sale for Sleeping Ugly and placed an ad*.  2 sales.  But I had residual sales from ads placed for the SCIU series in December, so another 16 books there.

In February, I held a sale for the OUAD books with an ad.  52 sales.  I also had one freebie day for Unequal and gave away 22 copies, but I got one person to read the whole book in KU, so 1 sale.

In March, I held sales for Natural Causes and Project Hermes with no ads.  3 sales and 1 sale respectively.

In April, I held a sale for the SCIU books with no ad.  5 sales.  I also held a sale on Accidental Death with an ad.  27 sales.

So far this month, I held a sale for Blink with no ad.  0 sales.  I have another sale for the OUAD books starting Tuesday with an ad going out on Thursday.  We'll see what happens when I have a sale twice in the first half of the year and advertise at the same place.  The venue keeps sending me emails that the majority of their advertisers place ads every 90 days for optimum success.  We'll see if they're right or blowing smoke up my skirt.

Next month, I'll be having more sales with, hopefully, more advertising.  We'll see what the budget allows. 

To date, I've spent $71 on ads and made $96 I can directly relate to those ads, so I'm ahead of the game there.  Not by much, but I'm calling it a win.  Here's hoping the $40 I spent on advertising WIOH this week will net me a bigger return. 

Nevertheless, I've said it before and I'll say it again, ads work.  Maybe not as well as I would like, but they usually pay for themselves and get my books in front of people.  They'd probably work better if I had something new to put out there, but I haven't worked that out yet this year.  They'd also work better if I had more reviews, but there's little I can do about that. 

Any questions?

* Ad or no ad, I'm always posting to various FB groups throughout these sales.  Some more than others.  I lost my will to post during the Blink sale and you can see what that netted me.  Zilch.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Why Am I Still Doing This?

There comes a point in every writer's journey where they have to ask themselves the question 'Why am I still doing this?'

It may simply be a lull in their writing gumption.  If it's early enough in their career, it could be because they've been ground up and spit out by the query machine.  Later, it may be due to a lack of sales.  Or anywhere along the journey, it could be caused by life harshing all over the place. 

Usually, it's a fleeting feeling and soon passes.  They ask themselves the question and, whatever the answer, they get over it and move on.  Sometimes it takes months to get over.  Occasionally, the feeling sticks and the answer is that the writer stops writing altogether.

I've seen it happen.  I've seen perfectly good writers get chewed up so bad they quit and their awesome words never grace a page again.  =o(

Over the past 15 years, I've asked myself the question on numerous occasions.  (Okay, maybe I wasn't asking the question too much there during the writing of my first book, but definitely by fall of 2004 when the rejections started rolling in, I was asking myself the question on a regular basis.)   And while I'm still not quite sure of the answer of why I'm still doing this, I get over it and move on.  Time and time again.

Which leads me to ask the question 'Why am I still doing this?' where 'this' refers not to writing but to continuing to ask myself the damn question.  And brings up the big question in the back of my mind 'why haven't I quit yet?'

I mean, how long can one shoot oneself in the forehead with a BB gun?  I guess if you do it long enough, the pain stops registering.  Because after 15 years, I'm still writing.  And after 4 years and 13 books worth of self-publishing with nothing much to show for it, I haven't given up on it. 

I think the actual answer to all such questions is that I'm stubborn*. 

It would be so much easier to lay down my pen and say I've had enough.  And maybe that's what this drought has been all about.  Taking a break and trying to rejuvenate so I don't get to the point where I lay it all down for good and get a job selling feed to the local ranchers.

But if that's what this is, then I should probably, at some point in the near future, get off my dead ass and write.  And if not, then maybe I should have that conversation with myself and decide once and for all if this is going to continue. 

Or if I'm going to have to get used to saying 'You want whole corn or corn chops?'

*Which brings to mind a quite from the animated movie The Thief and the Cobbler** - "Never say die, but very frequently say 'ouch'."
** If you haven't seen this, it's a hoot.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

I Also Write Books

Monday I was checking out at the Wallyworld and chatting with the cashier as I often do, when she says something to the effect of 'that's exactly how I dress on my day off'. 

First off, let's be clear.  I wear sweatpants to the Wallyworld.  I wear sweatpants everywhere for the most part.  Unless it's summer, then I'm wearing shorts.  It's this writer's standard uniform.  I'm all about comfort, baby. 

But this isn't a post about the uniform...

I told the woman it wasn't my day off and that I work from home.  And that, in fact, I had work to do as soon as I got home.  When she asked what I did, I told her...


And then as an afterthought, I told her I also write books.

She got a little excited then, so I rummaged in my purse for a bookmark to hand her.  Did the softshoe over the genres I write and encouraged her to check out my work.  On the drive home, I thought about all the things I could've told her about my books and my writing.  Sure, I didn't have much time because by then she was done ringing up my stuff and someone was behind me in line.  But I could've done more.

And then my brain went to the fact that when asked what I do for a living, my first answer was spreadsheets.  Yeah, well, spreadsheets does pay better.  And right now, I'm devoting more time to working spreadsheets than I am to working on anything even remotely writerly.

In fact, I spend more time whining about not writing than anything remotely writerly.  Gotta be loads of fun for my readers.  Sorry about that, folks.  But it is what it is.  Right now, I do spreadsheets.  And I also write books. 

Or I wrote books.  And I will again, if I ever manage to pull my head out of my as... armpit.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Choosing the Right Genres (or Not Cheesing Off Your Readers)

If you read my Reading Wrap-up this past Saturday, you'll see I DNF'd (did not finish) a book because it wasn't what it promised to be.  It was hyped as a historical suspense/thriller, and while there was some jumping back and forth between now and the mid-nineteenth century, neither aspect of the book was especially suspenseful or thrilling.

Oh, sure, the author dropped a body at the beginning.  I think the body drop was in the past part, but it wasn't clear.  Anyway, a body drop is a good way to start out a suspense or a thriller.  But they didn't follow that with anything to tie the body into the story.  Not for the reader anyway.  Maybe to the author - who knows what lies ahead - the ties were perfectly clear.  To this reader, though, it was all muddied up.

Like I said, a body is discovered almost immediately, then I read further waiting for some sort of tie-in.  I figured it was this one gal who is mentioned in both the past scenes and the present scenes.  Then I read far enough to a present scene were they introduce the woman's granddaughter, so it couldn't be her...

Unless, and this seriously just occurred to me, the opening scene was in the present and NOT in the past as I had assumed.

And see, this is what I'm talking about...  As a writer, you cannot leave those things unclear to your readers.  Because once they get confused about stuff like that, they will shut your book and never open it again.  (Or do what I did and scroll to the end so my Kindle sees it as 'read' and filters it out.)

But that's not the only thing that made me put the book away.  If you're going to market a book as a certain genre, it has to meet the main characteristics of that genre.  In the case of a suspense, it has to be suspenseful.  And if you call it a thriller, it has to be thrilling.  I know, duh, right?   If you call it both, you better knock my freakin' socks off.  And if you call it historical, it better be set in the past in its entirety.  But maybe that last part is just me. 

Anyway, it'd be like my calling any of my books romances.  And if I did that, my readers would be seriously disappointed.  There is very little romance, if any, in my books.  I do not want to cheese readers off that way.

That ought to be the first rule of publishing - do not cheese readers off.  Not if you can help it, anyway.  I mean, you're going to cheese some people off no matter what you do, but that's a topic for another day.

So, yeah, pay attention to how you market your books.  Get the genre right.  If you're on the fence about whether your book is this genre or that, pick the strongest one and run with it.  That's why I try to market Project Hermes as a political suspense.  Okay, sometimes I say political thriller, but calling it a thriller makes my uncomfortable because while it's suspenseful, I don't think it's especially thrilling.  Either way, I haven't marketed it as a medical thriller or a technothriller or what have you.  It has elements of those, too, but they're less prominent.  It's the political aspect that shines the brightest, I think. 

And that's my two cents on that.  What say you?

Friday, May 10, 2019

Work Ethic and Attitude

Peter Grant has an interesting post over at The Mad Genius Club this morning - Is talent useless in isolation?  - wherein he talks about talent and work ethic and posts a list of ten things that require no talent at all.  (Since I have no rights to the graphic, you'll have to go there to see it.)

Personally, I think the list can probably be shortened to two things - work ethic and attitude.  Those pretty much covers all the other things.

Being on Time?  Work Ethic.  Effort?  Work Ethic.  Doing Extra?  Work Ethic.

Energy?  Attitude.  Passion?  Attitude.

I think Being Prepared is both Work Ethic and Attitude.  


One needs Work Ethic and Attitude (a positive one... not just an attitude, which too many people have these days), to succeed at anything.  Want to write a book?  Set your ass down and write it without getting distracted or taking for freakin' ever and that's WE.  And if you're positive about the process, you'll get it done.

This year, I'm failing on pretty much all counts.  My Work Ethic and my Attitude are both tanking.  Not sure how to get past that.  I could probably ramp up the WE if the A wasn't so bad.  And I'd probably have a better A if the WE was chugging along.  Vicious circle.

How does one get both?  Well, if you don't already have them, you might be in trouble.  If the building blocks weren't already there, it's a long row to hoe.  If you had them and then lost them?  I suspect, in my case, it's going to be a 'fake it 'til you make it' thing.  I need to fake the attitude, so I can get the work ethic on track, and then maybe the attitude will fall in line.

And I have to fake it, because as long as the sales stink, so does the attitude.  Woohoo, I'm working on another book that won't sell!  Umm, yah.  So, I need to be like Woohoo!  I'm working on a book!  Lucky number 14!  You go, girl!  :waves pompoms: and that sort of thing, even when I'm totally not feeling it.

And once the attitude is in line, maybe the passion will come back.  And the energy.  And then I can put forth the effort and be prepared and all the other things needed to be successful.

Let's see if we can't put that plan in place this weekend and get some editing done again.  I still don't have the funds to begin the publishing process with this puppy, but I can have it ready for when things fall into place financially.  (As long as my editor hasn't completely washed her hands of my lazy ass by then.) 

Here's hoping I have better things to tell you on Monday. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Writing Speculative Fiction

I started out this morning doing a post about what originally drew me to write speculative fiction - specifically about a dystopian future where something somewhere along the way has gone horribly wrong and the characters have to surmount those obstacles to thrive and survive on their way to possibly correcting whatever went wrong. 

But I'm really not sure why. 

I know I've read a boatload of the genre.  When I was way younger, I read Anthem, Farhenheit 451, Brave New World, 1984... The big ones, of course.  (Some people would think of them as 'the old ones'.)  And a bunch of others I can't remember the titles to.  I've read some of the newer ones, too - The Hunger Games Trilogy, Divergent... along with a few others I also can't remember the names of. 

I've written three in the genre.  Blink of an I was the first.  Unequal was the third.  The second may never see the light of day.  I love it, but the thought of it being out in the world scares me.  :shrug:

They're meaty books, but I like to think they're quick reads.  I know when when someone picks one up in the Kindle Unlimited program, they're usually through the book in 24-48 hours.  A reader started Blink on Sunday and finished in the wee hours of Monday morning.  Always nice to see that kind of turnaround. 

I hope they make people think.  If not, I hope readers are entertained.  I mean, the books have message in them, but the primary goal of this writer is to entertain.  If you think about something along the way, awesome.  If not, that's okay, too.

Anyway, Blink of an I is on sale this week in the US and the UK.  I'd really appreciate it if you pick up a copy, leave a review, tell your friends, etc. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

You Got Message in My Fiction

Sort of like the old Reese's Peanut Butter Cup commercials where the characters proclaimed 'You got chocolate in my peanut butter!" and "You got peanut butter in my chocolate!", I was reading along in a pretty good book recently and found message in my fiction.

Oh, in this case, it was a message I appreciated, but I think it was laid on a little thick.  And in some places, laid on thick enough that the message overwhelmed the fiction.  (Which is why Reese's has worked very hard to achieve just the right balance in their PB cups.  Not too much PB and not too much chocolate.  Yum.) 

Which got me to wondering if perhaps I might have done the same thing to my readers on occasion.  I mean, I try not to be heavy handed with the message, but in books like Blink of an I and Unequal, there are places where I laid it on thicker than I would've with, say, Sleeping Ugly.

At one point in Unequal, my editor noted that a passage sounded very similar to a passage in Blink.  And after some mental debate, I left it as it was.   The stories are different, but the general message is the same - freedom, individualism, with a 'lemme explain something crucial here'... as in 'this is what will happen later if we follow a certain course today'.

Anyway, I think message in the fiction is okay if the reader is open to the message and you're not beating them over the head with it constantly.  If they're not open or you've overdone it, they'll stop reading the book when it pushes their notions.  And even if they are open, if it's something they already agree with and understand, they'll flip past to get back to the story - which is what I ended up doing in the recent read.

But there has to be a story to get back to.  If it's all message and no story, it all falls apart.  Which is where, I think, some books end up and why I flinch away from most 'critically acclaimed' books.  Those seem to be more about the message than the fiction.  Too much PB and not enough chocolate, or vice versa.

Jus' sayin'.

Oh, and just a quick heads-up - Blink of an I will be on sale starting tomorrow.  99c/99p for a week.  If you haven't snagged a copy, this might be the time to do so.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Cover Change... Again.

In an effort to try and boost sales for Blink of an I, I've changed the cover.  Again.  As you may have guessed, I have no clue when it comes to covers (or anything else marketing related) for dystopian... err, futuristic suspense... err, speculative fiction... err, whatever.

Anyway, here's the latest...
Let's see how that grabs people, eh? Of course, I thought the first few covers would grab people, so what do I know?

I'm hoping to set up either a sale or a freebie for next week (because my KDP thingie renews on the 15th and it's use it or lose it).  I'll let ya know.  A lot will depend on how fast Amazon gets this cover out there to people.  They say 72 hours.  We'll see.

All a gal can do is try, right?

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Burning Drive to Write

I'm thinking about writing again.  Both in the 'once more I am thinking about creating a story' and the 'I will set my ass down and write once more' ways.

The old urge to write is peeking its head above the surface of my general malaise.  I find myself thinking about stories again.  How to proceed with Cinder Ugly mostly.  I think I need to rewrite the end of Ugly and the Beast before I can really get rolling on CU, but the thoughts are there.  (The way UstB is now, I could easily end the series there, so I need to come up with something that lends itself to a third book.)

I don't think I have the urge to write some of you have, though.  It's not a burning need where if I stopped writing entirely I'd wither up and die or anything.  I wrote stuff when I was young and then I stopped because life was in the way.  I wrote some stuff when I was in my twenties.  Then I stopped because reasons and once those reasons went away, life intruded again.  I didn't write again until I was 33, when Fear Itself leapt into my head and refused to leave.  Still, if I hadn't had the encouragement of Hubs, I probably would've let life intrude again and FI would've become yet another partially finished novel gathering e-dust on my harddrive.

Nowadays, it's less an urge to write than a business thing.  I have readers waiting for more books.  Book sales increase with the release of another book - especially if they're in a series.  If I want to please readers and sell books, I have to put additional books out there.  Which means I have to write. 

I'd like to have the urge some of you have.  The Burning Drive to Write.  To wake up in the morning thinking about writing and be unable to move forward without putting new words on the page.  Oh, I'm not saying I never have those days, but I suspect they're fewer and farther between than a lot of other writers.  Which sometimes gives me a sad. 

It'd be nice to have The Burning Drive to Write.  Hell, it would be nice to have a burning drive to do anything.  But I guess I'm not a burning drive kind of gal.  I'm a simmer kind of gal, I guess.  :shrug:  I get an urge, but it's more a 'it'll get done when it gets done' than 'I have to do this NOW' kind of thing.

What about you?  Do you have The Burning Drive to Write?  A burning drive for anything?  Talk to me about it.