MY PUBLISHING JOURNEY – RECOVERING

WORK IN PROGRESS

The Gemini Assignment – An Agent Carrie Harris Action Thriller – I’m working with a new proof reader and she’s very quick! As this is our first time working together she’s sent me back a first draft of the amendments and questions on the work. I turned it around within a day and she now has it back to do a final read-through. I’m expecting to have the completed read back today then I’ll start formatting for production on Monday.

Purple Rain Series – Book 1 – With a week off my day job I’ve revised a couple of chapters, plus I’d set aside yesterday for writing. I aimed at editing 7,500 words, but completed 5,300. They were tricky chapters to deal with though as I’d made changes to the plot which needed to be thought about and carried forward, so overall I’m pretty happy.

There’s 30% of the current word count still to revise until I start at the beginning again to do more refining. At 1,000 words an hour it will be January until this is completed.

I did however also come up with a new highly visual concept for the book as I was writing and I had to draw it in Canva. I can’t really explain without giving much away but I think it will work really well on the covers of the books.

I’ve heard people say this before, but when you have no time constraints my productivity is so much lower than when I only have hour-long chunks of time during my normal working day. Next time I get a day to write I plan to be more disciplined by setting aside a particular hour for writing, then if I reach my target having a reward, like surfing the web, or doing some marketing, before doing another hour again.

RE-COVERING OF CARRIE HARRIS

All four cover designs are now complete and Jessica has delivered the final ebook covers for all four and she’s working on the paperbacks as we speak. This means…

THE GEMINI ASSIGNMENT RELEASE PLAN

I’ve set a date for releasing THE GEMINI ASSIGNMENT (TGA). Rather than blurt it out here I’ve produced a plan. On Monday I will release the new covers for the three books already out and then announce the release date and the date pre-orders will open.

The day before pre-orders open I’ll then release the cover of TGA out into the wild with competitions and as much fanfare as possible. Very exciting.

This means I’ll shortly be able to update the covers on Amazon, ideally when the paperback versions are ready.

Here’s a tease for the new cover for OPERATION DAWN WOLF.

EVENTS

Last Saturday I had a stall at Staines market where I met a couple of people who’d already read one of my books and bought more, and one who really enjoyed a free novella I gave her and she congratulated me on my writing, but she wasn’t interested in buying any of the full novels. Go figure. At least I know some people read them when I give them away. Another lady thought that because I was an author I must be famous. She bought a copy of LESSON LEARNED, as it was the most ‘normal’, and took a picture of me. It was quite sweet as she said she’ll show it to her friends to see if they recognise me.

Ultimately I lost a bit of money on that event, but not too much.

This weekend it’s my favourite event. I’m at a Christmas craft fair in Sindlesham, Wokingham for both days. Historically it has been one of my best events but with sales the way they are, I’m deliberately not being too optimistic.

MARKETING AND PROMOTION

Sales are right down. Kindle / Paperbacks / Audiobooks, all down. It’s like a switch has been flicked. The only thing that is up still is KU and that is showing wild swings. Earlier this week I had what was one of my best ever days at 4,600 pages reads, then three days later it went to probably my worst ever day since starting back in KU. I don’t even pretend to understand what is going on.

I’m still advertising on the UK AMS but with only two direct sales, the performance is no where near what it was last month.

This all makes me wonder whether I should turn the US ads back on and leave them on for their performance to grow, or is this a natural dip in the run up to Christmas, or perhaps still a hangover from the sale at Halloween. For the past three years I’ve had a zombie related release in November so that would inflate all of my sales. Perhaps this is normal for the time of year.

I ran a competition on my mailing list for people to win one of my t-shirts and I had an amazing 50 entries which will do a world of good for the engagement ratings of my list. I drew the winner yesterday and followed up with the remaining 49 with a special offer code for 20% off. I got one follow on sale. If you look at this in the cold light of day it doesn’t make commercial sense, however it has the benefit of keeping the mailing list engaged rather than it all being about my books, plus people may still buy the t-shirts in the future. I’ve won half the battle at least because I know at least 50 people really like the designs.

That’s about it for this week. You’ll be hearing a lot from me in the coming weeks as I release THE GEMINI ASSIGNMENT. Questions and comments always welcomed.

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