My Publishing journey – ALWAYS LEARnING LESSONS

Personal Update

Last week saw my birthday, the launch of LESSON LEARNED and my twenty year anniversary of being at my day job, so there was a lot going on.

On Friday I had a lovely surprise when I was called on a video conference with all of my colleagues and my Managing Director gave a lovely speech. He’d organised pizza for everyone in their homes as well, mine arriving just as the video call came through. It was very nice to be appreciated and have wonderful things said about me, plus I now have an extra weeks annual leave (I know what I’ll be using that for) plus, amongst other gifts, they gave me a helicopter flying experience / lesson, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long while.

I’ve also had lots happening in the writing world, but I’ll get to that a little down the page.

Things are also looking up in England with regards to the lockdown. With more restrictions released this week we’re hoping it won’t be long before we can form a ‘social bubble’ with our best friends and be able to stay the night at theres. Here’s hoping!

Lesson Learned Launch

Last Friday LESSON LEARNED launched into the wild, triggering my ARC reviewers to post their reviews and a Facebook campaign to promote both books in the series whilst driving subscribers to my mailing list.

I would say the launch went well with good reviews across Amazon and Goodreads and more coming in. Plus the ad campaign has so far produced 115 subscribers. It’s difficult to understand the efficiency of the money spent on the campaign as the first book is free and it’s the second book where I get a return. I’ll be stopping the ad today and measuring the sales in June to evaluate. As part of this I’ll send out an email to all those who signed up in a weeks time.

If the return is nowhere near what I’m achieving for the IN THE END series I may look at taking OPERATION DAWN WOLF off as a mailing list freebie, adding it to Kindle Unlimited and then doing a straight ad campaign for both books.

On a similar note, I have decided to have the Carrie Harris series produced as audiobooks and I’ve put the first in the series out for audition. I’m looking forward to hearing what the producers come up with.

IN THE END Advertising Campaign

I continue to market the IN THE END series via Facebook ads and at the start of June I updated the campaign to double the spend. I’ve always found the ads don’t scale very well, but since this has been my most successful campaign, I thought I would test it out. It didn’t work and a few days ago I put it back to £10 a day.

With the budget at £20 I certainly got more sales at the beginning and I got many more Kindle Unlimited page reads, but the profit just wasn’t there. Doubling the budget does not double the profit. It looks like £10 a day is the sweet spot, for now at least.

My analysis wasn’t helped by a big reporting glitch with Audible, whereby they didn’t report sales for a whole week. This was solved and gave me the figures I needed to make my decision before I lost too much on the more expensive campaign.

Side effects of the advertising campaigns, and therefore the increased sales, have been new reviews. I’ve now passed 100 reviews on Goodreads and it still makes me laugh when you get negative comments about, let’s say character development, then the review just before or after is completely the opposite on the same point. It goes to show how subjective these things are and I try to let the comments wash over me.

Another side effect of the ad campaign is Amazon Bestseller Rank. I think this is my highest position yet!

Work in Progress

Big news here. AFTER THE END is with Laura, my beta reader. Now I’m trying to put it to the back of my mind, not thinking how she’ll be tearing it apart line by line and the dread I feel when I get it back. Of course this is exactly what I want her to do. I want Laura to find all the issues before any readers do!

The only part I can work on is the cover, which I should have initial sketches through next week, oh and the blurb. I’ve decided to write the blurb for this one myself, with a professional critique at the end. Although this blurb will still be important, it needs less hooks than the first two as if you’ve read the first two and enjoyed then, most people probably will buy without even reading the blurb.

An interesting point I found out this week, previously KDP would only allow a pre-order of up to 3 months, but that has now changed to a year in advance. I plan to put the book on pre-order as soon as I have the cover completed. This will hopefully interest those new readers from the on-going marketing and keep them on the hook for ATE. My proposed date for release is the end of November this year but it all depends on how the beta read goes.

So with ATE out of my sight I’m now working on the companion novella. I’ve taken the last two days reading where I got to and now I get to plan and write out the rest of the book. I’m pleased with the 30% of my target being complete, but I need to get it to a stage where by it clicks and I can feel happy that I can mould it into something people might want to read, and more importantly will guide them towards reading the paid series.

I think that might be it for this week. If you want to see the outcome of all my efforts, I’d love you to check out my page all about my books here.

I’ll catch you next week for another update. Comments and suggestions welcomed as always.


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