Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Back & Plunging Forward

We learn to take the good with the bad and 2016 featured plenty of both. Both my parents passed away during the year and finding the motivation to write was a real struggle. Getting Jill finally published in December was a big step for me and I hope to get more writing done in the coming year.

Early in 2016 I got the publishing rights back for my first two books, Jade & Jane. New edits, new covers, the addition of chapter titles, helped make Jade & Jane: Re-Vamped a huge success. Over the summer I sold roughly 1,300 eBooks and made over 3,000 in royalties.

If I could get these kind of results all the time, I could afford to leave my regular job and write full time. Overall sales doubled from last year with roughly 2,500 eBooks, 100 print copies and about 6,000 in royalties. If I can double that in 2017, I might just be able to write full time. Getting sales on a regular basis is not easy. Not only are you fighting the pirate sites that give your book away illegally, you are competing against the plethora of freebies the Indie Author Community insists on throwing out there, making it harder for people like me to sell a few books.  I wrote about that in this post:  Peer Pressure & Reader Expectations.  Fortunately, I am seeing more and more Indie authors come to the conclusion that the whole free books thing is hurting us in the long run.

2016 gave me more reviews, both good and bad. My best review ever as well as a few that were not so nice. Again, you have to learn to cherish the good and deal with the bad.

I also had a couple of reviews that touched on the Mary Sue issue, which I decided to embrace in this post: Embracing My Mary Sue.

Writing Jill, I inserted a bit of a Science Fiction element to go along with the Urban Fantasy.  I decided I like that combination and you can look forward to seeing more of that in 2017.  Just last week, I plotted out my next project and I will be writing the first chapter in the next few days.  Because I find that having a cover done helps motivate me to get the book written, look for a cover reveal in the first month or so of 2017.

I had a good many health issues in 2016 and I am taking steps to get better in 2017. I hope that the year ahead is filled with less pain than this one.

I was able to host many outstanding authors on my blog in 2016. I will continue to do that on occasion in 2017 but I will focus more on the writing business and will feature some guest posts on writing from some really great authors.

Thank you to my readers ♥ May you be blessed in 2017!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Devil In the Details

A few things about self-publishing on KDP & Createspace that I have learned after my sixth title is that getting the details right require patience, persistence, and follow up.

1. If you write books in a series like I do, getting the above to show up on your book's page at Amazon usually takes about ten days and at least one call or message. If you call too soon, they will tell you to wait. I just published Book 3 in my Three J'amigos series a few days ago. This hasn't shown up yet but I have it on my calendar to follow up and make sure it does.

2. If you publish both an eBook and a paperback, it's going to take about a week before they both show up on the same page where a potential reader can choose which version to buy from one place. Until then, two separate links (one for the eBook & one for the paperback) are required.  This is also true on your Amazon author page, it will be a week or so before these show up together. I usually message or call on this at that time. Once both show up on the same page, reviews on your eBooks will also show up on your print edition and vice versa.

3. Amazon rankings. first you have to sell a few books, then give it 24 hours. No follow up required.

4. Customers who bought this also bought takes a little longer. First you have to sell more that a handful of books, then it will show up. Jill showed up on the 3rd day. No follow up required.

5. Author Central & your Amazon author page.  As soon as your book goes live, go to author central and under the books tab, search for your new book and mark it as "this is my book". That gets it here as well as your author page usually the next day.

6. Goodreads. Now that Amazon & Goodreads are connected, I have not had to add my books on Goodreads the last few releases but if yours does not show up in a few days you can add it in a similar manner.

Once it all comes together, it makes it easier for readers and will help you on sales.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Jill: New release ♥

Author's Note (From Jill)
I wanted to thank all my fans for their patience with me in getting the final book in the Three J'amigos series completed. When I finished Jane, I was inspired to skip ahead and start my spin-off series, Norma Jean's School of Witchery, featuring Jewel, the newly adopted daughter of Jade and Jane. If you remember from Jane, Jewel was the teen witch that helped Jade, Jane, and Jill out of a tight spot.
My beta reader, Hans Markus, asked during the writing of Jane that I feature more on Jewel. We both liked Jewel so much that Norma Jean's School of Witchery was born and I actually wrote two books in that series before returning to the last book in this series.

Both my parents passed away during the writing of Jill, delaying it further. I am so happy I was able to finish it, and on a positive, humorous note. They would be so proud of me to see this book completed.
Jill bridges the gap between the Three J'amigos and Norma Jean's School of Witchery and Jade, Jane, and Jill make occasional and important appearances. I hope you will read on for Chapter One of Norma Jean's School of Witchery, Book One: Jewel. More magic, mayhem, and murder, with a light touch of romance......