WORK IN PROGRESS
The Purple Rain Series – Book 1 – I’ve just hit the 100,000 words mark on this revision and there’s about 10,000 to go. On the next revision I want to look at culling around 10,000 to 20,000 words as it’s a bit bigger than I wanted. However it’s not the end of the world if I think everything needs to stay. With only two weeks to go, I’m still aiming to complete the revision by the end of the year.
The Gemini Assignment Audiobook – My audiobook narrator is over her illness but she emailed me last week to say it’s still effecting her voice. I’m hoping to hear soon that she’s back up and running again.
MAILING LIST REVOLUTION
The transfer from MailChimp ($55 per month at 3,000 subscribers) to the much cheaper MailerLite ($25 per month) is now well underway and the main learning I have from this is that if you’re starting out now, go for MailerLite first as it will save you the hassle later on.
I’ve to make two compromises in the move. The first is that their script for subscription pop-ups for your website is not compatible with WordPress. They do however have a plug-in which automatically achieves the same result, but it would mean paying for the business WordPress package at around an extra £150 per year and it’s not worth that much to me.
You also cannot deliver files via the email campaigns, which is something MailChimp added in during my time there. To get around this you can instead share a dropbox (or other cloud service) link and manage it that way, however I don’t like the way that works. Instead I have signed up to Bookfunnel. If you’re not familiar with this, for around $10 per month you can use their service to deliver ebooks to your users / new subscribers. You can set it up that they have to sign up to your mailing list first, or you can just use it to deliver the books for free. I have set it up for both services. You can check out my the landing page which you can get copies of both of my novellas. I think you’ll agree it’s a much more elegant solution.
You can also use it to deliver ARCs securely as well.
The main benefit of the service is that you don’t have to worry so much about your welcome email getting trapped in junk. The only down side is that although the service can link to your mailing service, like MailerLite, there is an additional $50 per year fee. I will do it via the download and import manual method for now.
They also have a new service where authors can connect to do mailing list reciprocal links, or swaps, to help widen your audience. I have posted two opportunities on their system to see if I can get others in my genre to swap with.
Back to MailerLite. Last night I had a go at importing the list from MailChimp and everything went pretty smoothly apart from I didn’t export all the information, but that’s okay as I just had to export again and merge the missing data in, all with just a few clicks. Of course, all this said, the real test will be when I send out my first campaign next week.
If you want to sign up to MailerLite for free (for up to 1,000 subscribers), then click here.
MARKETING AND PROMOTION
Sales are still pretty dire at the moment, and I’m just about hovering above break even, but I’m still holding my nerve on the ads in hope!
The launch of The Gemini Assignment went well, at least if you consider the reviews and the hype. I now have 10 mostly 5 star reviews on Amazon / Goodreads and that’s always the hard bit. Around two thirds of the ARC Angels read and reviewed the book on time.
There are lots of my fans who plan to read it, and the others in the series, but generally the sales on and since release day have been pretty poor. But I always tell myself, this is a marathon and not a sprint.
I’m running a giveaway in my fan club of two signed copies of the book in order to keep it in people’s minds.
In an effort to improve my targeting to find an audience for the Agent Carrie Harris Series, I’ve been hunting out books that are like mine and giving them a listen. The first book I found was Maestra by L. S. Hilton. It tells of a seemingly unassuming young woman in the art world who, through twists in circumstance, cuts her ties to the life she’d known before, sending her spiralling into a world of art theft and murder.
I very much enjoyed the book, listening to it in less than a week, which is unheard of for me. It’s highly descriptive of fashion and the beautiful surroundings throughout but it worded well in setting the tone. There are plenty of moments of action and a lot of sex, and an abundant use of the C word. I think this would sit well alongside Carrie’s books. If you’re interested, then below are the links where you can check it out for yourself.
I also tried a book from one of the zombie authors who also writes military action adventure, but I could only stomach half an hour listening before returning it. The writing was okay but the narrator was terrible, the main problem was that he didn’t even bother to differentiate the characters.
I’ve started the first in the Codename Villenelle series, which was the basis of the Killing Eve tv series. So far so good!
I have lots of new cool marketing collateral on the way. When it’s all together, and the deliveries are coming in, I’ll share it with you. I may have been a little eager as it’s three months until my next event and now I have to find somewhere to store it, along with the hundred or so books that have arrived as next year’s stock!
Last week I mentioned that I’d applied for the affiliate programme with Amazon. Well, I got an email shortly after I posted on Friday confirming they had rejected my .com application. The reason being that I had shared screenshots of my KDP sales and other dashboards and this was forbidden. The good news was that I could resolve this and reapply. So that’s what I’ve done. I went through all of the media on my blog and deleted all the offending images. Hopefully I got them all as I have re-applied and I’m just waiting for another three sales through the service and they will check me out again. If you’re reading this Amazon person, hi from me!
Since the last post I’ve also become an affiliate for MailerLite as I’m definitely going to promote it going forward to anyone who’s interested in my advice.
That’s about it for this week. Comments and suggestions are welcomed as always.
I enjoyed the “Killing Eve” series with Jodie comer as the pyscho Villanelle.
Another book, Red Sparrow by Jason Mathews (US/Russian spy story), is about a strong woman being manipulated but manages to turn the tables. Dominika Egorova (played by Jennifer Lawrence in the film) is the main character you may want to compare her to your agent Carrie to develop new ideas.
As I have said before, I admire your consistent drive in getting your work polished and sold.