Just popping in to share the great news!
1. I am not dead. After a failed Kickstarter campaign, I decided to wait on releasing TLOK 3 by spreading my costs out over several months. That, and the new job has been super busy, but in a good way.
2. TLOK 3 is at the formatters. Once that job is done, I will literally push a few buttons on the internet, and it will be uploaded to Amazon first, then Smashwords, and everywhere else in a couple of weeks.
That being said, prepare to return to Auviarra.
Due to the job (and the writing), I have been extremely busy. I am trying to make a crucial plot decision with TLOK 3, so have slowed down to make certain I make certain that the choice I make is the right one for the series. Until then, I thought I would share a video with you. I really appreciate artists who do things like this; I find this particular rendition of Misty Mountains absolutely haunting. Give it a few minutes of your time, you will not be disappointed.
Legend of Kimberly sitting pretty in the top ten teen fantasy section.
So, a couple of weeks back, I began trickling out free copies of Inheritance through the ebook market. Eventually, Amazon caught wind, and price matched it. As of sometime on Friday, The Legend of Kimberly was price matched "Free" at Amazon. Shortly after, the website http://onehundredfreebooks.com/ was digging through the mucky muck and hand picked TLOK as one of their books of the day. Please view the attached photo to the left for a visual aid that explains what happened to my sales rank as a result.
Now, I was unaware of what was going on. To be honest, I was carpet cleaning cat pee (my cat had a UTI, which has been bad news for my carpet) and only knew when the author coordinator of the site dropped me a line to inform me. I didn't think anything of it until I checked my sales. In the last 24 hours, I have seen over a thousand downloads.
The reason this is so important to me is I will finally get to see my book stand on its most important quality: its story. Supposedly one thousand people will read this tale, and if ten percent of that thousand really like it, I will see the sequel become moderately successful as well. If that is the case, I am one step closer to living out my big dream of writing full time (and maybe a movie series and a toy line by Todd McFarlane).
So, how does one get their book picked by a website like http://onehundredfreebooks.com/? Well, according to the owner, that's a secret. Suffice to say, when it came time to choose which books were featured, having a professional looking product mattered a lot. Even though the website is devoted to free ebooks, they still need to make sure they are putting a quality product into their viewers hands. As I have said, time and again, have your story edited, proof-read, and have a cover that attracts attention (in a good way). It may cost money, so start saving up your holiday scratch now. A big thanks goes out to the nice people at Onehundredfreebooks.com for helping to introduce so many new readers to Auviarra and the stories of Kimberly. Check them out for free reads on your Kindle, they won't let you down!
The nice people at the Indie List interviewed me for the sheer fun of things. Check it out here.
I always try to do interviews when I can. It not only gives me exposure, but I love answering questions that are a little, well, out there. If you have a website that you would like to interview me for, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have, on occasion, had people ask me why my blog doesn't get updated very often. I have also been told that if I ever want to "make it," I need to spend more time making myself available, doing guest blogs, interviews, etc.
Well, I've got a little problem. I chose to graduate from college and get a job as a teacher.
What this means for me (and you) is that I have a priority to someone else right now (about 120 someones, actually), and telling me I can't "make it" because I am doing something else that I find important doesn't do me a lick of good. Sure, I could try stay up late, rush through school, and ignore parent phone calls. The truth of the matter is that I write, try and do it well, and hope my work speaks for itself. Sure, if I was making a living off of my books, I may reconsider careers, and devote my whole life to sitting in my office and hammering out tales of horror and adventure. Until that time, I have to rely on my readers. I host giveaways, hoping to draw people in, I have done interviews. Frankly, until summer comes, I don't have time to write, really, so patting myself on the back for the internet is really far down my list of priorities.
Allow me to make my point in a nutshell. If you, a reader, find yourself really enjoying an author's work, you have to tell people. Review it on Amazon, talk about it on Goodreads, or just go to work/school and talk about it with friends. That is the true support an author needs, particularly us Indies who do not have the cash flow to afford any true advertising.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have papers to grade.
By the time you read this, The Legend of Kimberly should be live on amazon and is definitely live on Smashwords. In the next few weeks, it should trickle out through other eRetailers, so keep your eyes out. With any luck, the paperback will be available on Amazon by the end of the month, so keep your eyes peeled.
This second novel is particularly exciting for me for a number of reasons. First off, I only have to write one more to make it a trilogy, and that is SO Hollywood these days. I can start wearing sunglasses inside and everything. Of course, none of it matters without YOU the reader, so please tell all your friends.
Oh, and what is it about? Well, in this book, Kimberly has to save her friend from a group of religious zealots bent on purifying Serra, a half-demon. Unfortunately, the fastest way to save her involves airship, magic, and a few bad twists of fate. Oh, and is that a dragon on the cover? Yes. Yes it is.
So, for the foreseeable future, my paperbacks will only be available on Amazon. While it wasn't an easy choice, it became necessary.
I distribute through Createspace, an affiliate of Amazon. Opting for expanded distribution, I had to raise the price just to make certain that I could actually distribute. After createspace took their cut, and the affiliate (like Barnes and Noble) took their piece, I was making 10 cents a book. Because of the higher price, I made much more if I sold on Amazon. To put things in perspective, I would have to sell 10,000 books on B&N compared to 500 on Amazon to break even on production costs. Yeah, that's pretty huge.
Now, maybe some people think that such a decision would make me greedy. Keep in mind, though, that I had to raise the overall price a whole dollar just to ensure that I could actually distribute. I was pricing my paperback at 7.99, which was higher than I wanted. However, by dropping expanded distribution, I was able to drop the cost of the book a dollar.
Now, a dollar doesn't sound like much to most people, but I really want to make sure that I provide a great product at a great price. 6.99 isn't that price, but it is the lowest I could go if I ever want to see a return on my investments. Yes, I do make more on the eBook version of Inheritance, and that is priced at 2.99, the lowest I can go and still make back my returns.
Now, you keep hearing me say returns, and let me tell you why they are so important. Right now, I am in the middle of writing my third novel. I am far from popular, and my sales have, so far, been just enough to afford a nice dinner. Since I pay for editing, cover art, and everything else associated with a book, it comes out of my pocket to write my books. One of these days, I hope to start making enough on my current books to continue producing new work without dipping into my own pockets. Once this happens, I hope to find a better means to distribute, hopefully at a better price to the consumer.
For anybody coming here who wonders why my book is no longer available in paperback everywhere, that is the reason. I will, however, ensure that the eBook versions of my work will be available for the eReader of your choice for as long as the market will allow it.
As a last aside, for those of you seeking bargains and kind enough to read all the way through, my books are all part of the Summer sale at Smashwords, so get them while they are free! (Sale ends July 31st, 2012)
Short version of the tale: the current artist had to back out.
Seeing as how I wanted to release next week, I am now in full out battle stations mode. I've already found a replacement, am working on some formatting concerns before I start, and am still trying to keep up with my non-writer workload.
And people wonder why I've started biting my nails again...
The Legend of Kimberly: Inheritance ships off to the editor soon. Hoping to see a fast turn around, because I'm ready to put this book out.
In other news, just started work on my next horror anthology, Threads of Darkness 2. Hoping to have at least two stories done by weeks end. Sales on the first are (very) lackluster, but I'm hoping to see an increase by October when Halloween rolls around.
The latest news and my opinions.