MY PUBLISHING JOURNEY – THE DAY AFTER

PERSONAL UPDATE

After coming out of lockdown into a local situation that is pretty much the same thing, I’m pleased to report that myself and the family are still holding up well. We’re very much looking forward to Christmas time when we can see our best friends for the first time in six months. With the great news of the vaccines landing in the UK really soon, it’s heartening to know that by late spring we might actually be back to some semblance of normality!

That’s enough about me, there’s so much more to talk about.

AFTER THE END RELEASE

For those of you who regularly follow my blog, you’ll know I released the final planned full-length novel in my zombie apocalypse series last week. I scheduled lots of marketing and promotions around the event with the aim of getting as many copies of IN THE END, the first in the series, out to reader’s Kindles.

I’m pleased to confirm the week was a success. Along with 99 copies of AFTER THE END sold, I gave away 4,000 copies of IN THE END, with my target being 3,000. Reviews from my ARC readers have also been coming in, five stars all around (we won’t talk about the 1 star I received in the US from someone who thought it was downright boring).

Despite the large advertising cost in November, I still managed to make a small profit! Now with the trilogy complete I can play around with new marketing campaigns until the novella is ready to add to the mix.

LESSON LEARNED AUDIO PRODUCTION

Production has begun on the second book in the Carrie Harris spy-thriller series, with chapters 1 to 5 already approved. I’m really enjoying listening to this one back. It seems like forever since I last worked on this book. I think at this pace I’ll be on for a February release date.

ACX Returns Policy Change

Still on the subject of audiobooks. ACX (the production arm for indies using Audible), confirmed a change to their returns policy in response to an overwhelming concern from the content creators. As of January, if an audiobook is returned after 7 days the author / content owner will still get paid their royalty.

It is difficult to know how many returns I get as ACX don’t publish this to authors, but I hope it will put pay to anyone gaming the system and costing us money!

In addition, in December they will be paying an additional 5% royalty in December. Every little helps!

SALES AND MARKETING

With the three book series now complete, I’m dipping my toe into Amazon ads through KDP. I set up the first ad yesterday in the UK and we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out. I’ve held off on the facebook ads in order to test this new campaign on its own. More space watching, I’m afraid.

WORK IN PROGRESS

Whilst all this has been going on I’ve made great progress on completing the latest draft of FROM THE DEAD. I believe this draft ties all the loose ends of the changed plot together and after a run through with ProWritingAid for grammar checking etc, there will be a couple more light edits to tidy everything up before it’s off to the edit.

To take a break from that novel I’m now working on the novella in the same series. I’d previous drafted about fifty percent of CAPITAL ACTION and briefly laid out the rest. I’ve now read the work I’d completed and plan to finish the first draft before I switch back to FROM THE DEAD.

No progress on the new series, but it’s in the back of my mind and I’ll looking forward to getting going on it when I next get a chance.

I’ve also had another idea for the cover for FROM THE DEAD. After trying a few ideas, this is the one I’m likely to go with.

CHRISTMAS MARKET

Along with all of the other madness I’ve been preparing for the Christmas Market next weekend. I’ve been checking all my stock, preparing my point of sale and gathering loads of other author’s books to add to the stall with the theory that the more books I have to sell the more people will look at the stall and cover the cost of the stall. Plus most of my sales happen after I talk to the people and the more enticing the stall looks, the more likely they will be to come and say hello.

If you’re around Wokingham on 12th or 13th December, why not pop by and have a chat through a facemask!

I think that’s more than enough from me this week, another busy one ahead. Stay safe everyone and comments and questions are welcomed as always.

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