I decided to merge my personal blog with my author blog.
You can now find it here:
Thank you for your support!
A while back - we didn't have kids, so at least 10 years ago - my husband and I went to a comic book convention. It was when comic book conventions weren't as HUGE as they are now here and they were held in a much smaller venue than where it is now. I remember that time we actually got to meet Alan Tudyk (back then an unknown... probably still for some) and he signed our copy of the "Firefly" DVD and the playbill for "Spamalot" that we went to see in NYC in which he was, fortunately, in at the time. I remember he looked at the playbill fondly and we got to have an actual conversation with him. Why I didn't take pictures? I don't know. I'm a fool I guess.
If you've never been to a comic book convention you should know it's all about people selling you stuff (t-shirts, comic books, memorabilia, etc), artists sign their work (the bigger the convention the more important artists attend) and actors who have worked in sci-fi/fantasy movies show up for autographs and pictures.
Well, that time, in that convention, there was this guy with a table in the main hallway with a pretty big poster behind him promoting his self-published book: The Tels.
Now, my husband has always been a promoter of entrepreneurs and watching this author trying to succeed made him start conversation with him and, of course, buy his book.
Now, why is this event important to me?
Well, first of all, this is an author who took a chance, bought several printed copies of his book, paid for a booth at a comic book convention and advertised his book with everything he had. I don't think I have the balls to do this! I admired him then and I admire him more now. I've thought about going to Half Price Books, setting up my booth and spend a couple of hours trying to get people to buy "A Few Drops of Fantasy", but just thinking about it makes me anxious. Why "A Few Drops of Fantasy" and not "The Recruit"? Well, "A Few Drops of Fantasy" is shorter and the printed copies are cheaper. I could probably sell them for $4 at a Half Price Books, while "The Recruit" I could sell at $6, which is expensive for a paperback. It's just the number of pages. Now, would people buy it, I don't know? It would depend a lot on my people skills, which I would need to really work on at this point. I'm usually too busy being anxious around people (wish I wasn't, believe me).
Here's another point, my husband actually read the book. He said what I wrote was better, but at least he was out there. He complimented this author's bravery more than the book's content. Also, this happened over 10 years ago and I just looked at Goodreads and look at the number of reviews:
The book has 17 ratings and 6 reviews. This is a book that has been on the market for 10 years from an author that now has over five titles published. But, he doesn't care. He doesn't give up. He keeps writing because he likes it and I admire that.
I spend so much time worrying that people are not leaving ratings/reviews or worrying that nobody will like my books when I love them so much that I don't stop to realize how brave I am being... think about how brave you're being!
Be like Paul Black! Get out there! Take a chance! Write and put your work out there for the world to find! Sure, odds are you may never reach many, but why should that stop you (er, me)?
Bottom line, writing should be about doing something you love and just be hopeful people will enjoy what comes out of your head.
I spend too much time worrying about numbers, copies downloaded, read, reviews, ratings... seriously, I should only care about writing.
IFTTT is a free platform that lets you use applets created by other users to automize different actions on social media.
When the sales for "The Recruit" started to fall, I could not understand why. Then I realized that I had stopped promoting myself and my books, especially on Twitter. I assumed, erroneously, that just by having published a book for FREE it guaranteed that people would download it - maybe not read it, but at least download it. Boy, was I wrong. It wasn't until I read a Facebook post on one of the indie author groups that I follow that I learned that I needed to keep promoting no matter what.
Now, to keep publishing is the best promotion, but I won't be able to publish until the middle of 2018, so I needed to keep moving now.
That's how I found IFTT. I had made a decision a while back to stop over-using social media. I was in a cycle of writing three to four blog posts a week in my normal life blog, plus one or two a week in my author blog and then also posting on Twitter and Facebook. It was sucking up all of my writing energy and time and I knew it had to stop.
In fact, as soon as I lowered the amount of time I spent on that, my productivity as an author increased and I was ready to publish "A Few Drops of Fantasy" two weeks before I planned, which was why I was able to offer it for pre-order.
Doing research I found that IFTTT has an applet that lets you automatically publish a tweet every day. The same tweet. This was to be one way to keep promoting without taking time away from writing.
I created two applets, one for each of my books. One to publish the tweet in the morning and the other the afternoon.
The applet works at the time of day you tell it and the days of the week you choose - you can choose every day if you wish.
Then it lets you write the tweet that will be recurring and the Image URL it will use. Sounds easy, right?
I confess that at first I thought not to bother my tweeter followers with so many posts about my books, but then I see them doing it, too, and now that I have almost 500 followers I realize that in ten minutes a hundred tweets will go by, which makes it almost impossible for people to see the tweet repeated often unless they don't have a lot of followers.
Just think how often someone who has 10K followers will see the post!
Now, I apologize in advance to my followers who don't have a lot of followers themselves, but book promotion must go on
On November 9th it was announced that Pronoun was going out of business.
My world ended.
I have needed a few weeks to get over the fact that the greatest thing in my life as an independent author was going to go away in a few weeks (I have until January 15th, 2018 to be exact).
Pronoun was literally the best thing ever. There were some things I won't be able to find anywhere else:
1) I could have pre-orders for my Amazon books
2) I could set the price of my Amazon books from $$ to free and free to $$ whenever I wanted
3) I could publish in Google Play
4) I had a wonderful Author Page where all the links to all distributors were listed.
5) Conversion technology was AMAZING and free.
Now, not only will I loose that, but I will also loose the few reviews I had collected in iBooks and Barnes and Noble (both 5 stars, I might add). There's still hope for Amazon reviews, since my ebooks are also connected to the Createspace version of the same title. So I guess the hardcopy will keep the reviews while the ebook changes from one place to the others.
Since the horrible announcement, I have narrowed down my choices to the following 3:
1) Publish using Draft to Digital (D2D)
2) Publish using Publish Drive
3) Publish in each distributor separately
PROS AND CONS
It's a hard choice and as I am trying to make up my mind, I have come up with the following pro's and con's to each of the options above.
1. Draft to Digital (D2D)
- Great Service
- Conversion is free
- Publishes mostly everywhere
- All in one publishing spot
- Doesn't publish in Google Play
- Can't set Amazon price to Free
- No author page
- Publishes everywhere, including Google Play
- All in one publishing spot
- Conversion fee (unless I manage to successfully convert to ePub)
- Can't set Amazon price to Free
- No Author Page
3. Publish on each distributors
- Get all royalties
- Can see all sales directly on each site
- Reviews will never go away
- Can't get into Google Play unless accepted
- No author page
- Every time I make a change I need to do it on all websites
So, there you have it.
Right now, I'm leaning more into D2D with the exception of Google Play, which I have applied for and haven't heard back. Even so, I can still have Google Play exclusively with PublishDrive I guess.
I have also considered D2D except Amazon and do it directly there, although I don't really care much about royalty % and it may be easier to update or whatever I need in D2D. I can't get it Free anyway unless I ask them to compare prices and stuff. I just have one free book! Just let me have that one book, please!
Ok, that's what I have to say.
Note: I found this website extremely helpful in case you want to take a look: