She Has Arisen

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My book sale for the month is about to fall off my Kindle Reports page. Yes, that’s right, sale, not sales. I’m surprised I sold one this month. I’ve done absolutely nothing in the way of promotions for several months now.

One reason is that I have taken on a number of family related responsibilities in the past several months. There’s a common misconception that retired people have nothing to do with their time, and need other people to give them things to do in order to make them feel useful. Another reason is that I’m a pushover for needy people.

And then, in a successful effort at healthier living, I’m making the time to walk three to five miles a day and I’ve been driving around four counties sourcing farm grown/raised foods and trying to stay out of the middle aisles at the supermarket. Now that I’m signed on with a collective, that should get easier.

Other excuses aside, I’ve also been writing and editing. I’m not the multi-tasker I was back in my nursing days. But I’ve made lots of progress. I’m going over the final, fully edited draft of “Naked Alliances”. It’s down to choosing a cover and getting the book formatted. I’m leaning toward Kindle Select with this one. I only sold hundreds of copies of my Red Clay and Roses on Amazon, usually during ninety-nine cent promos. Sales on other retail platforms really haven’t worked out for me, but that could be due to the genre/nature of the book. I used Facebook and FB through ENT for most of those sales. It’s no wonder that my audience is 35+ year old women and that’s also the majority of people who use FB. I’ve also had some success with blog interviews.

Which brings me to my next point: I had planned to have at least three books in this series set to go before publishing the first but, since it has taken nearly two years to get this one as polished as I wanted it to be, I’m concerned that four, or more, years just might be too long to wait. I’ve already lost a lot of momentum on Naked Alliances. I feel it. That’s not good.

I have the second book in the series roughed out and the third outlined. (sort of) So I am expecting them to be a bit less complicated to execute. But even a few years will crush any momentum I have left. I’m thinking book one’s reception might have a great influence on the production of my works-in-progress.

And then, there’s “The Conduit”, a totally unrelated paranormal crime novel. It won’t have the comedic undertones that “The Naked Eye Series” does. I’m still tossing around the idea of pen names, but I’m hearing that all books should remain on one Author Central page. Elmore Leonard’s great westerns are alongside his unforgettable crime novels, and the covers don’t always indicate the genre. However, many authors do have all their books: romance, paranormal, fantasy under one author name and do quite well, differentiating covers for separate genre. And, surely people will read the blurb before buying the book. And then, there’s another historical novel that’s been shelved for a bit while I get my head together on that one.

Back to “Naked Alliances”, I was hoping to have it published before Christmas, but it’s not looking like that’s going to happen. I’ll be looking for a cover artist soon. I’m open to doing interviews to get if off the ground. I have a list of bloggers who do interviews, but please let me know if you do interviews and would like to know more about me or the book/series.

I’ve fallen in love with Brandi. She’s developed into my muse, encouraging me to move along with her brassy cynicism. The chemistry between Richard Noggin, P.I. and Brandi is fun to write and fun to read.

BTW, I pulled back from doing book reviews on my blog until Amazon settles down a bit. It bothers me that they would pull reviews from authors who know other authors. I hardly think that’s fair, given that all authors are readers, and thus, customers. You may have noticed that I changed my review name on Amazon to a more anonymous name. I had several reasons for doing that. I may change it back, but remain undecided. I’ve always purchased the books I read, mainly as a way of offering additional support to the author. It’s funny to me, considering the scope of Facebook, that they might possibly be using FB as a way to see who “knows” who. There’s not a book that I have read in the past five years that I didn’t “like” the author’s FB page, or at least check them out. I’m “friends” with many indie authors, but also some well renowned traditional authors, as well, and have exchanged comments and emails with many of them, establishing a more personal relationship over time.

If you’ve stayed with me through this lengthy post, I’d love to hear from you. Though I find time to read some blogs and comment when possible. I’ve deeply missed the interactions on this blog. I’ve been isolated. I’m feeling as if I have been on a long journey from home and just returned.

To recap: I’m looking for a cover artist, someone to help with formatting, and opportunities for interviews. I won’t be joining any reciprocal book review clubs due to Amazon’s current policies. I may start posting book reviews along with some interviews that I’ll be doing later this year or next year.

Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions?

43 thoughts on “She Has Arisen

  1. I think these are things we all struggle with. My summer was virtually a flatline for sales. I hit it hard this fall and that changed. It’s tapered off now, but I still see sales. I’m getting more Kindle select action currently. I can produce about three books in two years. I have a hard time taking on sequels, because of that pace. If book one isn’t profitable, I can lose a year putting out a sequel that won’t gather any more attention. You are always welcome at my place, but I’ve never really done interviews before. I’ll give it a shot if you like. I’ve posted 3 reviews this week. All of them went up immediately on Goodreads, none of them showed up on Amazon. Maybe I’m on a watchlist???

    • Weird. I wonder if people in RRBC got put on a watch list. On Anne R. Allen’s blog she indicated that they were finding ways to target review clubs…but, so far, only a few review bloggers who participate in paid tours. Even though the bloggers don’t get individually paid for the reviews except by receiving a copy of the book, Amazon counts them as paid because the Tour company gets paid. I sure hope you’re not a watchlist, if such a thing exists.

      The Naked Eye Series is not a true series in the sense that it’s a continuing story. It’s closed-eneded as stand alones, but with the same characters, as are many detective and private investigator runs. I don’t like to read or write series, but it will have common characters and a few common threads.

  2. The Amazon review thing is perplexing. Authors are encouraged–strongly encouraged–to have a social media platform to get the word out about their books. Naturally their followers will be the first ones getting word of the book. It seems bizarre this could lead to a gray zone in reviews. Also, what if I like John Grisham’s author page on FB? I don’t ‘know’ him, and I highly doubt Amazon would delete my review. But if I like your page, am I hearing that’s now a risk of getting my review of your book deleted? Hmm, it seems the odds to succeed are increasingly stacked against the indie authors and indie publishers.

    Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, Susan. You’ve got some interesting projects in the works!

    • Had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Even had some down time to play on the computer, but nobody was around. Ha!

      My thoughts exactly on the book reviews. It seems it would be self-defeating for Amazon to participate in any conspiracy to take down indies. We’re a huge revenue source for them. I’m guessing the vigilantes are making waves and things will settle soon enough.

      I’m between a rock and a hard place on moving ahead with this novel. It’s so vastly different from RC&R that I have to make 100% certain there is no confusion on the type of book it is. It’s not historical. It has curse words and while there are only a couple of sex scenes, they are not your everyday, boy meets girl, type of sex scenes. The sex trafficking is certainly a mature theme. I was thinking of having a mildly comedic cover, something a bit animated, but Greg’s not fond of that idea. I may throw it out to 99Designs and see what they come up with.

    • Thank you, Sue. You are always welcome here, also. I’ve been such a blog slacker, I haven’t been able to keep up the posts on this blog. I’ll be putting a promotional posts together soon and keep you in mind.

  3. Somebody in Japan bought a copy of ‘Silver Lightning’ a couple of months ago, That was random! I think 60 cents got paid into my bank. 😀

    I did a review for a friend who I’d designed a cover for a couple of months back, too, and it got struck off. Yes… very unwise of me! Now I’m afraid to review anything in case I’m on a list as well.

    • That’s just bonkers. There shouldn’t be any “watch” lists. Authors are book customers, too. If Anne Rice read one of my books and posted a review and it got struck off, I’d be furious. Heck, I’d be furious if any of my reviews got struck off, so far, to my knowledge, that hasn’t happened. I review lots of books and products on Amazon. I should have earned their respect as a reviewer by now.

  4. I have had not one sale in November. Not a one.

    That is because my memoir has not been published yet.
    But it will be. One day.

    Meanwhile I keep my writing share warm hours on end. (I love your title.)

  5. I found my cover designer on 99Designs. Had over 30 proposals, many of them outstanding. It was well worth the money, and then I knew where I wanted to go with the next two at substantially less cost because I was working directly with the designer. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for Naked Alliances!

    • Wow! Thanks for sharing. I’ve always thought a lot of your covers. They’re perfect. I wondered if you could maintain your relationship with the designer after the cover was bought and paid for. I know I would also want images for cards, my FB author page, and maybe some artwork for my blog.

      • I’m glad you like them, Susan. I thought they evoked the spirit of the old noir spy movies of the thirties and forties. Now I just go to her directly, in most cases providing my own photographs, although she came up with a number of alternatives. Flat hourly rate and changes until I’m truly satisfied.

  6. Wow, Susan – you have a LOT going on! I can’t help with the requested suggestions, but I CAN tell you I’m impressed with the commitment to take care of yourself. 3-5 walking miles a day? Yay, you!! That is the direction I want to head in!

    • I went to a nutritionist that was willing to do some tests that my doctor wasn’t willing to do. Found deficiencies and dietary factors contributing to inflammation and corrected them. Lost 40 pounds in five months, Hgb A1C went from 7.5 to now 5.8, and fasting and bedtime blood sugars now under 100 when they were once 130s-150s. My lipid panel is now ideal. There is so very much that can be done for people that the medical community and insurance companies won’t do. My physician’s initial reaction to my success was positive UNTIL she learned I did it without taking her drugs. Then she went ballistic and made me sign a paper that I was going against medical advice and reported to my insurance company that I was non-compliant. I have a new physician now, who is willing to work with me in conjunction with my nutritionist.

  7. I can sure relate on the sales flat-line! It just emphasizes that the way the business works right now is that promotions are the only way to move copies. Even then, you have to list with ENT or something like it to get noticed.

    The review stuff is very troubling too. Like you, I’ve hesitated to do a lot of Amazon reviews lately, thinking a reciprocal relationship might be picked up by the dreaded algorithm. My books only garner 20 – 30 reviews tops. It’d be a drag to lose a third of those! As Carrie says, though, who else can you count on but your authors-in-crime, who really appreciate what you’re doing?

    No one ever said this would be easy, I guess, but we do what we have to do.

    Good luck getting “Naked Alliances” ready to rock!

  8. I’d be delighted to host you on my blog, Susan. A guest post is welcome, or I have a list of interview questions I can send you. Let me know when you’re ready and if you’re interested. You can email me at maeclair (at) maeclair (dot) com.

    I’m completely flummoxed by the Amazon thing, but I keep reading and posting reviews, So far they’ve all shown up, although many of them take a good week to appear. I’m not very active on Facebook, and I sometimes wonder if that’s my saving grace.

    • I’m gearing up. I’ve got your email on my list now 🙂 Thanks so much 🙂 I’m spending less and less time on FB…and as you can see, my blog. My writing and edits are keeping me too busy for much in the way of marketing and promotions. I need a personal assistant.

  9. You wear me out just reading this post, Susan. Your plans for your many books are so much more than I can imagine for myself. But you’re also an inspiration with regard to both the writing and the nutrition and exercise.

    My book sales are nothing to write home about, but Tiger Tail Soup is currently being translated into Chinese, and I’m excited about that.

    • That is so cool. Writing mostly regional fiction, at least so far, I can’t imagine how those would translate. I’m a bit discouraged about my blood sugar readings the past few days at bedtime. They’re under 120, but not under 110. I had a piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but other than that, diet hasn’t changed. Knee is giving me trouble, so I haven’t been walking as much. maybe that’s it. Thanks for coming by. I’ve got your book on my TBR list. I hope to have some time this next month to get some reading done.

  10. Hi Sue. I don’t do author interviews but the Friday Fiction is a series aimed at supporting authors by previewing an excerpt from a WIP or new book with short bio and cover art and author pic, if you’re interested. I would be happy to feature you on my blog.

    My big regret is that I published books 1 and 2 before the final book was ready. It takes me years to write a book too, due to research and family commitments. I wish I had waited and written them all first, then staggered their release. That is what I would advise anyone to do, but it’s hard to wait that long, I know. I decided that I would hold off promoting them until the final one is published, which I’m hoping will be next year. Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

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