My Publishing Journey: Much Work in Progress

This week it’s back to business, not that I ever slowed down over Christmas. Today I catch up with news of preparation for signing events, anxiety over work in progress and not all things going write! (Yes that was a pun!)

Signing Events Season is Coming

I’ve begun to make arrangements for new market stall locations (currently securing Basingstoke and investigating Guildford) and appearances at WHSmiths. I’ve arranged for Bracknell WHSmith, one of the successes of last year, for the day after FATE’S AMBITION’s official release (8th Feb). I’ll be setting up one or two appearances a month, swapping between the two formats.

I’ll have four books on offer and so I’ve been working on producing an author brand. All of my previous marketing has been on the books or the zombie genre, but now I am describing myself as an Action & Adventure Thriller Author and I’ve updated the branding accordingly. Take a look at the basic theme below (these are my new leaflets). You can check out my social media tonight if you want to see the banner on show (as long as it arrives on time)!

Work In Progress

Over the Christmas period I made a decision to write two new book funnel novellas to drive people to my mailing list. These will each be around 30,000 words, be available for free on the ebook stores (low cost in print) and be designed to introduce the two main series by packing them with balanced hooks to the mailing list and more free stuff.

There will be one for IN THE END and one for the Carrie Harris / James Fisher series. I have ideas for a plot for the zompoc one, but the plot for the second is already well-formed. I even have a cover mock-up. It’s going to be set in the timeline of the Carrie Harris, a little while after book 3 (FROM THE DEAD). Take a look below.

However with all this going on I found myself getting anxious about making sure I’m working on the right thing at the right time and making enough progress towards my various targets. Here’s the various main writing projects I’m actively working on.

IN THE END BOOK 3 – AFTER THE END – Currently second drafting acts one to three and then I’ll move on the dirty drafting act four.

CARRIE HARRIS BOOK 2 – LESSON LEARNED – Currently editing the MS. It probably only needs two more passes before it will be ready. These last few days I’ve been softening the two sex scenes as they were a bit too much like erotica for a mainstream audience. I haven’t destroyed the copy so maybe one day I’ll do blog post, with warnings!

CARRIE HARRIS NOVELLA – CAPITAL ACTION (Working Title) – The plot is pretty well formed so I’m writing the dirty draft.

In order to hold back my anxiety and regain control, whilst still working on so many projects, I took an hour out and put together a spreadsheet which automatically shows which work I should be focusing on at any one time in order to get my desired delivery date. So far it has been working well to keep me sane and focused. I’ve added a screenshot below for all you spreadsheet geeks.

If you take a look and think the numbers don’t add up for AFTER THE END, that’s because number of days is working days only for that project.

Fate’s Ambition Release

My next release is set for just over a month (7th Feb 2020). The ARCs have gone out to around six people, each of which have read my other work and put good reviews up so they are a reliable bunch. As time goes on I hope to add more to the list. If you fancy getting a free copy in return for an honest review then get in contact!

The paperback is actually available Amazon already because I’ve learnt from previous releases to order the paperbacks at least three weeks in advance if I want to have them in time for the big day. This time I had to have them because I’m doing an event the next day. You can grab your copy here!

I ordered a total of 110 books for stock, spread across my four main titles. They arrive next week and I really have no idea where I’m going to keep them in the house, especially as I have around 40 books already. I better get organising those events. What will it be like when I have 9 books out?

Facebook advertising

I’ll be doing a more detailed post on this when I have more results and finally find the magic formula which pulls in the readers to my work, but for now I just wanted to let you know my test goes on with some interesting results.

I’ve figured out I need 5 signups per day (boosting my mailing list is my objective) (there’s a spreadsheet for progress to that target too!) and currently I’m working on a rate of 2 per day. I’ve recently added a new advert so I’m waiting for the result to show themselves. One of the biggest things I’ve seen so far is that ads seem to do really well for a short time then their effectiveness dies off really quickly. Not sure what that’s all about.

For now I’ll leave you with some of the ad images I’m trialing, the the last two being my latest!

Fun and Games

I may have mentioned in the past, but I’ve been having issues with the formatting of the .mobi file format for OPERATION DAWN WOLF. Some readers of the free book from my mailing list are reporting formating issues on older Kindles. I’ve withdrawn the .mobi version from my site until I have fixed the issue.

I sent the book off to a professional formatter and even they couldn’t fix it. I’ve had to come to the conclusion that I will have to change the layout fundamentally so I can get it to work. It’s a shame but I have to offer a .mobi file for the readers, even if it is free.

WRITTEN UNDEAD

I’ll leave you with one last piece good news, just before Christmas, out of the blue I was approached by a member of one of the Facebook zombie groups to join the crew. I have grasped this opportunity with both hands and I’m taking an active part. I don’t get to post my book links but there is a great opportunity for passive marketing, plus I will be interviewing all of the author members of the crew for my blog. If you want to check it out you can find the group here.

That’s more than enough for this week. I’m off to take a break and crack on with something else! Comments welcomed as always.

GJ Stevens

I am a Writer. I am many other things too, but I love to write. On 8th November 2019 I released my second novel, Before The End, a compelling apocalyptic thriller that will leave you breathless, immersing you in a fight for survival. Available to pre-order now from Amazon!

2 comments

  • How do you get the time Gareth? You put me to shame, especially as I’m now retired. Have my Kindle back and will download your latest books soon. I love the way you communicate with your readers and followers…Keep up the brilliant work and maybe buy a bigger house to store your books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Stephan! I have no idea where I find the time only that I’m working on it 95% of the time when I’m not sleeping or doing the day job!

      Like

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