Laundry Money

That is my sales goal for now.

To make laundry money every month with my book sales.

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I have meltdowns when thinking about book marketing/advertising and everything else about promotion.  Seriously.  I freak out.  I’ve bought a few books, I’ve taken a few seminars, I’ve discovered I get very angry about then being sold to by email lists I thought were not supposed to treat me like a hick on a used car lot.  It’s really left me flustered.  Flustered?  No… not strong enough.  Discombobulated?  Sure that’s decent.  And angry, because I don’t like being discombobulated nor flummoxed or flustered.

The reason?

I’m not good at it, and if I had enjoyed it, I’d be doing it for a living elsewhere.  I hate sales.  Seriously.  It is anathema to me.  I just want to focus on putting out a good book, and let the chips fall where they may.  I’ll be honest, I have a big ole psychological block about the subject that leaves me contemptuous of the field, and jealous at those who can do it because I wish I could.

I’m a complex little pirate, ain’t I?

Anyway, In my few furative attempts at advertising and promotion, I’ve come to realize that most if not all big hits is completely out of the control of the author or publisher.  That said, I do believe that promotion is in their control, but not something I’m good at either.  The worst part is that it’s a Catch 22 in the end.  You have to promote to earn money, but if you don’t earn money you have to have money first, and if you don’t have that… ummm kinda stuck.  See, I’d rather hire someone to do this for me because of how angry/stressed/discombobulated I get.  But, that costs money on a budget I don’t have because right now… I’m covering laundry money.  That’s it for now.

I do expect in the future this to change though.  When book 2 comes out, I hope to be making GAS money every month from both books.  And then when the 3rd one comes out, I hope it’s going to cover my utilities too.  By the time the 5th book comes out, I better be making rent or I’m going to wonder what the heck is wrong with me.

Ultimately, what I realized is that this all takes time.  The get rich systems/plans is just Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir sold by street-corner mountebanks designed to separate me from my hard earned money, not help me.  I don’t think all books or seminars out there are that way, but ohhhhh 85% possibly are.  Of course, I’m biased and cranky about it, so YMMV.

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But I really would love to hire someone who both loves and is skilled at marketing/promotion.  Farm out what I suck at to someone who’s good at it.  I did it with my cover.  I don’t care what people say about doing it myself.  I cannot do it as good or as fast as a real pro, and I think it shows with my cover.  Why not do the same for marketing/promotion?  Sure, it saves me money, but… is not my time better spent doing the one thing nobody else can do, which is write my books?

Tada!

But… someday… when I make more than just laundry money.

Stupid Catch 22s.

Where Have You Been, Young Man?

So, okay, one year anniversary has come and gone, and my posts have become a little less regular.

 

Okay… a LOT less regular.

 

But that said, I’m still here and still working on stuff.

But it’s been a back breaker lately, I just want you to know.  My job has been cranked up to Nightmare Difficulty.  I’m having some big problems dealing with getting the paperback book published which might descend into a legal fight if I cannot get a resolution this week… I don’t wanna have to get a lawyer to get my intellectual property back!  And the hardcover’s dustjacket problem has been almost fixed… I hope.  I will know this week.

So, know that I’ve been trying to move forward, and it has been happening, slowly.  Much slower than I wanted, and that may be okay.  All the delays thanks to scattered focus, lack of energy, working on health issues, and trying to de-stress from my job have made the second book far harder to push up the hill.

On a positive note, a few “no-dustjacket” hardcovers were sold and made it to customers before it was pulled, so a few people inadvertently got a collector’s item.  LOL  listen to me pretend this is a collectible already.  I’m also learning to not make announcements till it’s already in the bloody online store!  BLARG!

I am also going through a lot of chaotic thoughts about marketing and how to get the word out for my awesome book.  I don’t want to do the things I get pissed at myself.  Spammy mailing list?  ummmm, why do I need one of those?  I barely hack writing out my blog?  Why not just use the blog and worry about the rest later?  I dunno.  It would be nice to know from readers how they like to be marketed to, so if you have an opinion, please share.  How do you want to be told about new books and products without me being spammy and sleezy like too many authors have become lately.

Junkfood for thought.

Gloria in Excelsis

 

SURPRISE BOOK RELEASE!

Yep!  As of this morning, I have a hardcover of my book available to purchase!  Hooray!  Now available on Amazon.  I was under the impression it would be a month.  How little I understood!

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I has a happy place

Get your copy today!  Read it to pieces and leave a review!  Seriously now… I want to know what you think and don’t be shy.  🙂

…And They’re Off!

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It’s official… “A Light Rises in a Dark World: Book One of the Akiniwazi Saga” is now in paperback on Amazon.

The book should be available for purchase in the next 12 hours, but I was so excited (see attached pick for how I feel) I couldn’t help but let you all know right away.

The goal is still to release the hardcover on Kobo (and possibly Smashwords, and by extension Barnes & Noble among many other places) by the end of the week.  I hope it won’t be quite as hard to set up THAT final formatting too.

Oh!  And as a final bonus, you are getting an extra map of the land in the Paperback.

Just a little sumpthin’ sumpthin’ for all those that buy the physical copy.  😉

Thank you all for your support!

The Gold Rush Has Ended.

pexels-photo-67009I know that several people have been wondering why I have not been blogging as much as I had been in the past. This is due to some recent events in how things have been going with my writing, and a failure on my focus to keep writing and moving forward first and foremost in my goals. I became infatuated on focusing on marketing and advertising to drive Book Sales. This is been a big mistake in many ways.

What I have come to discover, is that marketing is an attractive danger. What I mean by that, is that it has a tendency to seduce you, as a writer, to focus on things other then doing the one essential item all writers need to be doing, write the next book.

I got sucked up into the whirlwind of marketing. And I have realized that it is like a Boom Town in a collapsing Gold Rush. Right now online and independent publishing is saturated in many ways. Too many people believe that it is a get-rich-quick paradise.  They think that writing a book is simple. Something they can do in a few days, and come up with a world-class best seller. This is far from truth.

the easy profits have gone, competition is fierce, and only the established authors, like mercantile owners with radically inflated prices who sell junk easily had for free are profiting the most. Those who got in early, are cannibalizing what remains by marketing to all the greenhorns who showed up late to the boom.

I have watched several free seminars and marketing classes comma and discovered very quickly that they are the exact same thing that I experienced when people tried to sell me other network marketing systems. Although they are not having to go out and make a network per se, they are teaching you how to act like a common telemarketer or email marketer rather than a writer.

I just want to learn how to be a better writer. The area that I need assistance with comma is promoting my work so it can get in front of eyes and they know it exists. I know in many respects this is nothing more than the basics of marketing comma it differs significantly from what I keep seeing as ways these classes teach to Market your book.

In many regards this has offended me to the quick. Why would I want to use practices that I myself are offended by? What is worse, is learning that although a single author may use their email list as a great way to keep in contact with their fans, when you have several authors that you follow, that one person is now lumped in with what is now a shapeless blob of mass marketing that overwhelms your emails inbox. In my case, this has caused me to become quickly offended with all the authors that I have pitching me products to separate me from my money, that have no value to me. It’s the equivalent of getting aluminum siding or Lawn Service telemarketers when you live in an apartment. I have discovered I do not want to do this to anyone who reads my work or is interested in what I have to say.

Therefore, I am rethinking what it will take to promote my work. I am seriously reconsidering whether to even start an email list, a Facebook group, or any of the advertising efforts that I actually have tried so far. It is a lot of times or a lot of  effort stolen from that which is best spent  on completing the next story everyone wants to read.

I realized I had to make a decision. Whether to become a marketer, a job I find loathsome at the most kind or to become a writer. I know there are people out there who find the activity of marketing exciting wonderful and a benefit to mankind. I am their antithesis. If I wanted to do that kind of work, I could have easily become a telemarketer in any one of several businesses in my local area. What I do love, is telling you good stories. That is my drive and my passion. I love talking to you either through voice when I am gaming on Guild Wars 2 or through any other methods and which that I have had great conversations about my first novel. I might have to share some of the insights that I have received so far from some of these conversations. It is humbling and gratifying to talk with people around the world about my work and what they have learned or what they can teach me through the conversation. That is the real gold rush. It is personal and it feels my spirit, and hopefully the spirit of those who wish to talk with me on it.

One announcement I do want to make is that I might be getting involved in another social media project that isn’t designed to Market like these programs i juat commented on, and other services are. I am entertaining an idea out there that hopefully in the near future will come to light. We shall see but watch this space. All is not dark period all is not bad. And there is hope of a brighter future to come for me and hopefully for the future of my writing. Don’t worry, I’m not stopping anytime soon.

Surprise Sale!

A Light Rises in a Dark World is now on sale!

Yep, for the next few days, you can purchase the book for $0.99 on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and more.

Get it while it’s hot!

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Buster Sez: Wat ar yu waitings foar?

The Smoldering Crater Set Before You

Oh what a rough week or two.

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A very old WIP I did in Bryce and Poser.  Not a selfie, but it’s how I feel right now.

Special torture followed up by a work week from hell… (84 hours in 7 days) has left me a mess.  No writing done in that time, but a lot of anxiety over book sales and everything I should not be concerned with.  But… it has been illuminating to struggle through this.  I’ve learned how easily a single sale pops up your ranking, if only for a day or even a few hours, not to mention how important listing your book in the right list will help in exposure.

It is also surprising to see how Amazon ads work.  Not what I thought, and certainly not as effective as I thought, but then again, that could be also because of my pricing.  $3.99 seems to be daunting for many people, so I have an idea and if you are out there listening, I’d sure like to hear opinions. 🙂

I’m thinking of splitting the book up into 3 volumes.  Price the first one as free and the second two at $0.99.  It will not have the same cover, just something simple, tasteful and elegant using the seal.  Nor will it have the map.  Those are the benefits of buying the whole book in one piece, but perfect for those not sure if they want to invest in the first book of the series.  Opinions now accepted. 😉

I’m also a little concerned with who to use as my POD supplier for my hardcover and paperback.  I’m not thrilled with Createspace (because your royalties for their Expanded Distribution are beyond laughable.), nor Ingram Spark (For reasons not worth going into).  Direct2Digital looks the best, but they can’t sell on Amazon, so that’s a big concern but it could sell on Kobo and Smashwords among others.  So… it’ll still be on Barnes & Noble too.  Sigh.  Plus the cost is looking as high as $15.00 for trade paperbacks!  Yipes!  (Most not for me)

Anyway, that’s why the silence for a long period.  I could not get around so many things.

BTW Reviewers!  I haven’t seen too many around save for a few of y’all who have been fantastic!  They really do matter a lot for sales and rankings and promotions, so if you haven’t done one yet on Amazon, Smashwords or Kobo, (or Goodreads if you use it)  please do!  😀    BTW, if anyone has had any problems purchasing on Amazon, let me know!  Please!  One person tipped me off that Kindle’s and the iPad ap may not be accepting purchases for my book.  That’s just dirty pool if it’s happening to others.  Otherwise you can still get it from the other two main vendors.

Okay, now… the plan as it sits right now.  Stop focusing so hard on book 1.  Work a new cover image, and see about splitting the book into 3 parts for sale, cheap.  And of course, I will be ecstatic if I can get 10 chapters done by this time next week, 5 by Monday.  So that’s the hope and the goal.  I am going to be pushing hard to finish book 2’s first draft by Easter again.  So that’s the big goal.

On Sale Now!

Yes Sir!

That day has finally arrived.  “A Light Rises in a Dark World” is now available for immediate purchase and download on Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords, so pick your poison and get your copy today!

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Now, I know that it’s just been released, and nobody’s pounding down the door yet,  but I want to thank my friend David Lawrence for reminding me that I shouldn’t be to anxious in one of the best lines I heard in a while. Thank you for that line my friend:

“Hang in their Michael. Just because people haven’t seen your baby yet, it doesn’t mean they are calling her ugly.
To which I about fell over laughing and remembered an old Flip Wilson joke that seems oddly appropriate for the situation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_6vhgSAhuI

Leave it to ol’ Flip and Johnny Carson to lighten the mood.
So the next 24 hours are important.  If you have a review, now’s the time to leave it.  If you have a rating to give, same deal holds true, and thank you all so much for your support through this adventure.
Book 2 BTW, has reached 9 chapters and 17,191 words with more to come tonight.

Begin the Squee!

So, yeah… looking at your amazon rankings is obsessively dangerous and awesome when things are going the positive direction.  So let me share with you what I saw going to bed as of this morning.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,913 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#124 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Myths & Legends > Norse & Viking
#125 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Religious & Inspirational Fiction > Christian > Fantasy
#130 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Myths & Legends > Norse & Viking
 

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I know it’s not much, but still, first book freakout going on here. 🙂

One More Chapter to Go!

Chapter 9 is now available in the free sample of “A Light Rises in a Dark World“.

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What some of you might not have realized is that this is technically the first novella for free.  Yep.  The first book is technically three novellas packed together.  So why not treat yourself with a freebie and see if the rest is worth it. 🙂

Also, The book is now available for pre-order on Kobo.com.

Lastly, for some reason, ratings and reviews have not been made available yet for the book for some reason, so I don’t know quite what the block is there.  But I suspect it’s because it’s a pre-order.  So if you have your review ready, just hang on and wait for the 17th.  You can probably put it up there then.

As always, thanks for helping out and your enthusiastic support!