Everything remains much the same. The family are keeping each other going. The children are all back to school and so normality is slowly creeping back in.
WHAT’S IN A SONG?
Last week I had what I’m going to call a leaning experience. After sending over the manuscript for CAPITAL ACTION to my narrator I received an email back with a few questions. All were run of the mill apart from one. Had I cleared the lyrics with the owner?
In the second chapter I have one of the characters sing along to lyrics from Without Me by Eminem. It all worked really well to set the scene and bring out the nature of several characters.
As soon as I read Deborah’s question my heart sank. She went on to explain that if I didn’t want to infringe copyright law I need to get the lyrics cleared and that would either be expensive and take a long time or I just wouldn’t get permission. She also provided this following very useful link.
Although changing the chapter would be quite easy, which was fine for all distributions of the book apart from the 250 booklet copies of the novella I’d only just taken delivery of! I went through the following options in my head.
a) Leave it as it is and hope no one found out, whilst knowing the risk I was taking.
b) Update the affected pages and somehow replace the page in the booklet with a new one, 250 times.
c) Get the books reprinted and swallow the bumblebee whole.
I chose option C. Updating the scene was very straight forward and I don’t think it lost anything by the changes I made. The new printed booklets arrived yesterday. It’s been an expensive lesson but at least I’m not putting my house at risk. I won’t be using lyrics in my books again!
This weekend I have the fun task of recycling the old ones. Hopefully it won’t be too painful!
WORK IN PROGRESS
Beginning of the End – With ordering a handful of author copies of this paperback, it brings the production of this project to a close. No progress on starting the audiobook yet.
After The End Audiobook – I’ve now approved the completed audio and it’s been submitted to audible for them to do their bit. It should now be 4-6 weeks before it is available to purchase.
Capital Action Audiobook – I’ve approved the initial chapters ready for Deborah to get the full production underway.
New PA Series – The first book is progressing well and I’m working through from the start to flesh out the chapters and dump more ideas onto the page. This process is always slower than the initial writing, especially as the first third of the book is already well formed. Things will speed up and the word count should dramatically grow as I get to the point where I only outlined.
From The Dead – I have now completed the detailed read-through of the novel and I’ll be letting it rest for a couple of weeks before printing it off again for another read-through. This will hopefully be the last until it goes for MS evaluation with my editing agency.
CANVA FOR AUTHORS
This week I’ve been thinking about next steps on producing a box set kindle offering for IN THE END. The box set would include the full length novels and would be priced to be cheaper than buying all three individually but the way it would work out I should make the similar amount of profit. I’d always planned to do this a few months after the series completed.
The only production work to do would be to produce the MS file, which is pretty straight forward, and to produce a box set image showing a 3D representation of the three books much like you would see on a bookshelf. I can’t decide if showing the book one cover is the best front to use or a combination of the three. I’m going to have a play around with some ideas over the weekend
Whilst researching how to create the file I looked at hiring a creative using Fiverr and it would cost in the region of £20. I was also recommended BookBrush.com which is described as a Canva-like service but for authors. With many pre-formatted templates it allows users to create book covers, book marketing and things like 3D Box Set images. I’ve signed up for the service and I’ll give it a whirl at the weekend. If it’s any good I’ll let you all know.
SALES & MARKETING
IN THE END SERIES – Running a FB campaign for £20 a day is yielding very good results. The BOTE novella is selling consistently, over a hundred copies in March as of this morning, and even at this early stage I’m getting a 21% read-through, including audiobooks. Some of that will be with my other background marketing but it’s a great measure nonetheless. Plus pages reads remain strong as well. I’m very pleased with how this is going and I’m not planning to review this until the end of the month. Based on these figures so far I’m just over breaking even, which is a fantastic result so early on.
If I determine this to be a successful campaign I then have the fun and hopefully not the frustration of trying to scale the ads up.
AGENT CARRIE HARRIS SERIES – The AMS ad campaign wasn’t yielding results so I decided to bite the bullet and start a new campaign on FB. I spent a bit of time with the Facebook audience tool and defined a new target audience for the campaign, mainly looking at famous authors of the same genre. I’m running the ad at £5 a day during the test and hope to run it until the end of next week so I can properly assess it. Using the IN THE END campaign as a benchmark, I would be happy with 2-3 sales a day to confirm the campaign has potential with the audience. So far out of four days I’ve sold four books. That’s not an outright result either way but it is showing potential at this early stage.
There’s been a bit of movement on the planned events for the year. I’m expecting the March and April events to be cancelled shortly, due to the current restrictions, but this will be confirmed ten day before each event. I’ve also had the Wokingham weekend event move for the second time. Instead of being on the first weekend in May it has moved to the end of June as the venue is being used as a COVID testing centre, with all the other bookings having been cancelled. I have however booked a new spot at a craft fair in Marlborough on 17th April 2021. It’s about an hour away from me but I’m very keen to get out there again.
As we get nearer the time I’ll confirm the schedule.
That’s about it from me this week. Your comments and questions are welcomed as always.