Updates on Publishing

Another chilly Sunday in the Kawarthas and it’s April. At least the ground here is bare of snow for now.

I’ve been working for the last few weeks on re-editing The Facepainter Murders and I’m happy to say that the new, better version is up on Amazon and Create Space.

I’ve also explored some further advertising opportunities.

Bublish

I’m in the midst of a 2 week free trial with this company, in which a membership costs 99$ US a year. A lot, but that lets me upload all my books and get them before the thousands of people who follow the site. Every weekend, Bublish hosts a twitter campaign that ends with a virtual bookstore on Monday. Whichever bubbles(see below) are new the week before are featured.

The bubble includes an author biography, an extract from one of the books and an insight section. The latter is a short paragraph about what ever the author might think would interest a reader, such as an introduction to why the book was written or how the writer coped with a particular scene. I started with book 1 of my Dangerous Journeys series last week, wrote two bubbles and have had 187 views so far and 2 clicks thru to Amazon. I’ll see how it goes by Thursday.

Amazon Ads.

You know the books that appear below the one you have searched for on Amazon? Those lists result from Amazon Ads that are written by the author or publisher. Amazon runs a bidding programme so that each ad, once clicked upon, costs the author what she bid for placement of that particular ad. It’s not a great system. The results are delayed, sometimes by as much as six weeks and the sales are not in real time. However, the clicks data and the information about sales form Kindle Direct can help determine whether or not an ad is working.

Brian Meeks wrote a book on the subject called Mastering Amazon Ads, which is helpful although a bit confusing for a non-analyst(Brian is one). There is also a oa free course in the subject. You can find it here. I’m in the midst of both the book and the course and setting up ads. I think it’s useful to do all three in conjunction. Brian runs a Facebook group about the ads as well.

 

Launch in 2 days

A Superior Crime and other stories, a collection of five Anne McPhail Dangerous Journeys shorts plus seventeen others, launches on Feb. 13, 2018. This is the sixth publication of my company, From The River Publishing. For new readers, the others are:

Murderous Roots

The Facepainter Murders

No Motive for Murder

The Child on the Terrace

The Jewelled Egg Murders

See all of them at Amazon world-wide.

I’m re-editing all but The Jewelled Egg Murders. Murderous Roots is done, reissued and available on Amazon. It is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited as are all the others except The Jewelled Egg Murders. I’ll enroll it when a NetGalley subscription runs out in March.

In the early summer, From the River Publishing will bring out Painting of Sorrow, the story of a young woman hiding a brutal past who discovers a Caravaggio painting, long thought destroyed in the bombing of World War II Berlin. That discovery resurrects her past and brings both danger and love into her life.

This autumn, if all goes well, Stolen Children, the story of a young woman who exposes a criminal enterprise that kidnaps children and feeds them into the illegal adoption trade.

We’re expecting freezing rain today so indoors it is. That’s about all for a snowy Sunday in the Kawarthas.

Five Writing Plans, 2018

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I outline my upcoming projects. So far:

    1. Reedit the first 4 in the Dangerous Journeys series. I’ve completed No Motive for Murder and have 5 chapters to go in Murderous Roots. I hope to finish by the end of January and republish February 1.
    2. I’m working on a short-story collection that will be titled Dangerous Journeys: A Superior Crime and other stories. Some of the stories have been published, some not. Five of them are Anne McPhail adventures. I’m editing at the moment and plan to publish in mid-February although I’m behind in ordering a cover.
    3. The next in line is a novel called Painting of Sorrow. It is ready to go, but for the cover. Out March 1, I hope.
    4. I’ve been working off and on for several years on a book called Stolen Children. Major reedits needed on this one, so I doubt it will be ready until June 1.
    5. After that, I have 2 novels in very brief outline and I hope to plan a 6th in the Dangerous Journeys series. Perhaps a trip to France for Anne and Thomas. These three will take me well into 2019 or 2020

 

So that’s it for the next 6 months, If I get to #5 on target, I’ll start work on Finding Caelon (tentative title) a novel about a water war in a drought-ridden rural county.

That’s it for a grey morning in the Kawarthas. -28C with the wind chill.

 

2 more publishing lessons

In my last post, I detailed some of the lessons I learned about publishing while I prepared my 4 manuscripts for my new company From The River Publishing. Since then, I discovered, thanks to Joanna Penn, a terrific new tool, Vellum. By the way, if you are a writer and haven’t discovered Joanna’s website, have a look here. Lots of great information.

Vellum is a somewhat expensive, but outstanding program that takes all the worry trouble and hard work out of the final stages. It would have saved me 3 months had I read about it long ago.

Rather than struggle to format a manuscript correctly for uploading to different platforms, such as Kindle and Create Space, or to aggregators like Smashwords, I used Vellum.

The program requires a Mac and a Word document in .docx format. Input the file and the metadata, and Vellum shows you the file converted to e-pub, mobi and pdf. Proof as much as you need, input other books if you want, and, when you are ready, push the buy button, purchase the program and generate the books you need in the required formats.

If you review and want to proof further, go through the process again until the manuscript is polished and upload to your chosen publishers. Nothing more to pay, no annual fee, no rejections, no trying to analyze the mysterious messages about pagination from Create Space, just a seamless process that results in books that are ready for the buyer.

I’m working through my list again, and have finished Murderous Roots and The Facepainter Murders. Both will soon be live, as revised, on all the platforms mentioned above.

Lesson # 2? Read The Creative Penn often.

Book Sale

Smashwords. com, the company that distributes my ebooks has a promotion coming on March 5 through March 11. I have enrolled all my books. Murderous Roots will be, as always, free, and the others 50% off. Coupon code, active only at Smashwords on those dates is RAE50.

As many of you know, my publisher, Arline Chase, of Write Words Inc., has retired from the business and I am in the process of revising and republishing under my new imprint From The River Publishing. The books will continue to be available at Smashwords in the meantime, but not at Amazon until the process is complete.

I’m excited to be working with gifted designer Karen Phillips on new covers for Murderous Roots and The Facepainter Murders. She designed the covers for No Motive for Murder and The Child on the Terrace.