My Publishing Journey – After The Break

Personal Update

Despite not being in Spain I had a very busy time off with the family, camping, meals out, visiting a theme park and a water adventure park, among a few other things. I also gave the family a walking tour of London and we took our two teenage daughters for their first visit to the mega shopping centre, Westfield. That wasn’t my idea of fun, but they loved it.

At least now we can look forward to planning the trip next year.

Work in Progress

I didn’t get any real break from my author work, but that was always going to be the case if I wasn’t lying around the pool all day! I managed to get the edits completed for AFTER THE END and that’s now with the copy editor with a guaranteed return date of early October. This allows me to confirm the release date but I plan to officially launch the date, the pre-orders and the blurb on the same day. I’ve written the blurb but I’ve submitted it to my editing agency for coaching. It arrived back last night so after publishing this post I’ll be going through it. Then it’s full steam ahead!

I also completed the latest edit for BEGINNING OF THE END, the 20,000 word novella for the series, and that’s now off to Laura for beta reading.

I received the audio for OPERATION DAWN WOLF and this week I’ve been listening to it. I’m very impressed with the quality and only picked up a few minor points of feedback for the narrator. It will be another couple of months before this hits the store if recent experience is anything to go by.

Completing all this work has left me in a very strange place as I now have no real work I can do toward my current deadlines. That is in itself relaxing. Of course I haven’t been idle, instead I’ve been working on the third Carrie Harris novel.

Sales & Marketing

At the beginning of August I increased the budget of my Facebook ads to £30 and once again the increase in budget has no effect on the profitability of the ad, only the turnover. I was on for selling around 1,000 books this month but a few days the ads were losing money so I turned them off. They’re back on now but it means I won’t hit that mark quite yet. I can only conclude that I won’t truly be able to increase the profit until I have three books and a novella in the series to bring home the bacon.

I’ve been doing a lot of work on facebook promotion sites recently and with my ads turned off I directly measured the benefits, and it’s quite surprising. Certainly for OPERATION DAWN WOLF, the free book, I got quite a few downloads. I still have to work on the long term strategy for that book, but that will probably have to wait until I have three books and the novella until I can reliably test the strategies.

New MERCHANT Website

In addition to selling paperback on Amazon, I’d played around with selling signed books on eBay. This was for the occasional person who refused to use the zon. I’ve only sold one copy so far, but on working out the costs, eBay and paypal take a pretty big cut. This led me to look into setting up my own website and I remembered seeing something about a free service provided by the company I use for in-person credit card transactions, Square. Well, within an hour I’d set up a new merchant site selling my books internationally and the only cost is the standard credit card transaction fee!

You can check it out here https://gj-stevens.square.site

Events

I’ve started looking into Christmas market events for later this year and I’ve already booked my first. Assuming it goes ahead with Corona etc, it’s a two day event in an indoor location in Reading. I’ll provide more details later on, it’s way too soon to be talking about Christmas!

I think that just about covers everything. I’m off camping this bank holiday weekend again, hence the post is a day early, but next week I will mostly be concentrating on editing FROM THE DEAD and working out the technical details to changes I’m making to the plot.

Comments and suggestions welcomed as always!

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