Git 'Er Done, Girl...
Bringing it Wide
I'm working on getting a few "to do's" done and man, are they a time suck!
IngramSpark for Hardcovers
IngramSpark, from which I can upload my books to and get hardcovers done of all of my books might seem like a waste of time, but I'm hoping it isn't. Sure, I plan on getting a copy each, in hardcover, of my books, but I won't be doing much more on my end with it. My hope is that IngramSpark, with its ability to get inside of bookstores and libraries easily (especially if you agree to a 55% discount with the bookstores) means that if my name ever does become more widespread, bookstores can easily purchase a copy (or 20) of my books to stock on their shelves. Having the libraries able to access a hardcover is essential as well.
Payhip enables me to sell my ebooks directly on my website. Which is fantastic, let me tell you, considering I can get up to 90% of the sale instead of a mere 40-70% of it through Amazon.
Findaway Voices and Awesound for Audio - I was quickly dismayed to learn that Audible through Amazon would keep 75% of the sale of any of my audiobooks if I didn't agree to be exclusive with them, and still only pay 40% of a sale if I was exclusive. Highway robbery! So now that I'm not exclusive with Audible (I was for one year due to me not knowing what I was doing), I have everything I've put into audiobook form on Findaway and now Awesound as well.
It is all taking far too long, and seems full of bumps and delays, but I'm hopeful it will be done soon. Check out the first audiobook I've added on Awesound - War's End: The Storm for just $5.99 for over ten hours of audio listening!
Audio...All the Way
I am planning on recording all of my fiction books onto audiobook using my voice instead of hiring it out. My reasons for this are simple: 1) Audio is growing in popularity every day, 2) Audiobook narration is EXPENSIVE and after one year I've made only 28% back on my initial investment (ouch!), and 3) I have been told many times that I have a great voice and I'm confident it will translate well to narration.
I'm hoping to narrate Tales of the Collapse as soon as it is finished. That's Book 3 of the War's End series and is a collection of short stories centered around the smaller characters mentioned in the first two War's End books. After that, if things go well, I plan on recording Fate's Highway, the only other fiction book I currently have written that isn't in audiobook format. After that, I'll record my books as I complete them.
I've done my best, really I have, but between GoDaddy really screwing me (I ended up losing nearly ten years of blog posts from The Deadly Nightshade, Homeschool Advocate, and my author website), starting again with Wix and not knowing what I was doing, it's been a difficult process. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however. A wonderful friend has agreed to help me spruce this website up. I hope to have a lovely carousel that showcases all of my books and also the opportunity for folks to buy as many formats as possible directly from the website.
Self-Promotion is Not Bad
This lesson was brought home to me a few weeks ago when a guest staying at our short-term rental, Cottage West, realized I was an author, but had no way of looking up my books or purchasing them from my website.
I had copies of my books scattered through Cottage West, but that simply wasn't enough. My last name was missing from all communiques through Airbnb, and even the guest handbook! It took a bit of detective work for her to find my website, and with that, my last name, only to discover the books weren't available for purchase on the site.
I mean, seriously, that was taking a laidback non-pushy sales tactic a little too far, don't you think?
In any case, I've added a couple of shelves, along with signed copies of my books and also QR codes for folks who would prefer ebook versions. I think it still manages to convey "books for sale from local author" without pimping them too hard. What do you think?
And just to make sure I've covered all bases, I've also added this photo to my property listings on all of the short-term rental platforms. Now I just need to take the plunge and promote Cottage West as a writer's (and/or reader's) retreat.
Sales, even in service to my own products, has never come easy.
The Artist's Way
I've been working away on The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and I'm seeing progress. I type the morning pages instead of handwrite them and I am working through what free flow thought first thing in the morning brings to light. It's an interesting process. I've just begun Week 3. I'm desperately hoping it shakes loose my creativity and gets it far more productive than it currently is as I'm STILL trying to finish "Take the Shot" and move into the editing process for War's End: Tales of the Collapse.
I'm desperate enough to have bought the next two books in series, Walking in This World, and Finding Water, both of which are also twelve week series in their own right. I also bought Vein of Gold, as well and pre-ordered her newest book The Listening Path. So I guess I'll have most of 2021 spoken for.
Note: I really like Amazon. Dually, I really should stop shopping on it. Man oh man, but can I manage to spend money there!
The End is in Sight
This year has been a tough one, folks. But hey, we survived the election! I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to hearing a lot less about politics in the months to come. I'm also looking forward to 2021 being loads better. I feel like that is a real possibility. I started off this year running a cleaning biz and being a mom to two young daughters.
I'll be ending 2020 without the cleaning biz (and after 15 years, I was ready for a change, believe me), a new focus on my writing goals, and a darling baby boy to fill my days. I'm looking forward to a lot of things for 2021, more on that at a later date, but more than anything, I feel like 2021 will bring great things...just wait and see!