The past month was all over the place for me, as far as writing is concerned anyway. So let’s take these subjects one at a time and make our way through them in an orderly fashion. 🙂
First off, while commiserating to a fellow writer that sales of “Nowhere to Hide” are abysmal (and that’s an understatement), she suggested that I rewrite the book’s summary (which is pretty boring) and change the cover (which was created by me and is thus significantly less than professional). I’ve known that I should consider these changes for a while, but I’ve continuously put it off because this book was my baby, designed 100% by me from cover to cover, and so I was loathe to change anything about it. In mid-July, however, I changed my mind. Myself and my closest friends and family all have copies of the original version of the book, so why not now do what I can to present a better face to the average paying customer? With that in mind I recently rewrote the back-cover blurb, while a talented cover artist has been working on the new imagery for me. When I get home from work this time around my father is going to take a professional photo of me for the back cover, and then we’ll be off to the races. There’s no guarantee that this will help sales, of course, but I figure it’s worth a try.
Secondly, and speaking of zombies, I had a really shift of work at the beginning of July. Why is that important? Well, it inspired me to start something that I’ve been getting questions about since the first few people read “Nowhere to Hide“: a sequel. Okay, technically it’s not a sequel, exactly – it’s more of a companion story that takes place at the same time as the first one, but in a different part of the country with different characters. While the first book started out in suburbia and moved mostly through residential areas, this new one takes place mainly in an oil sands facility. Do you see where this is going? I’ll give you a hint: I work at an oil sands facility.
So, long story short: I don’t know how this new story – which I’ve tentatively named “Nowhere to Run” – will end up going anywhere, but for now it’s an extremely cathartic exercise. I plan to do a great deal of damage to my “fictional” site and work camp, and while several of my coworkers are bound to be heroes in one way or another, there are also a few people who are slated to meet an extremely messy end. Does that make me sound like a ghoul? Perhaps. But I justify it in saying, screw it! I’m writing, and that’s a good thing…right? Right.
Finally, if you read my previous IWSG post, you might be wondering about the release of the erotic fairy tale. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been writing a series of short erotic fairy tales, partly just for the fun of trying something new and (extremely) different, but also partly for the curiosity of how such stories would sell as compared to the (again, abysmal) sales of my zombie novel. Last month I mentioned that I had officially self-published the first story in this erotic series under a psudonym, so the experiment was on.
Well I won’t say that the first month was a failure, but it definitely wasn’t a success either, due to some unforeseen road blocks in the promotional department. The main problem is that the story is obviously public domain, being based on a well-known fairy tale, and what I didn’t know was that this means it is not eligible for any of the Kindle/Amazon marketing and promotion options. I can’t do a free book promo, a Kindle Countdown Deal, or even purchase an ad package to promote the book in its category. So that right there pretty much destroyed my ability to get the story out there.
So now it had become a game of “how the hell do I let people know that this thing exists?” I started the only way I could think to: by setting up a Facebook and Twitter account for my pseudonym, and joining a bunch of groups and lists that allow self-advertising. While doing this I found two Facebook groups who specialize in sharing erotic and romance novels. I got each of those pages to share mine, and as a result I saw a whopping four sales over eight days…and that’s all there’s been so far.
Now, granted I haven’t spent much time marketing the story since then – I’ve kinda got a lot on my plate to be spending too much time on the internet pretending to be my pseudonym – but it is a little frustrating that the first release didn’t go as planned. My original intention had been to have a free book promo to get those download numbers going, and then release the second story to spark more interest, but now I feel that releasing the second one would be a bit pointless because no one even knows there’s a first one yet. I need a strategy that doesn’t rely on the usual methods of promotion, and I just don’t know exactly how I’m going to go about that yet…
***EDIT: Turns out I was wrong about this; see the comments if you’re interested in the details. 🙂
So that was my month for writing. A little bit of fun, a little bit of work, and a little bit of disappointment. I’m all over the place in a sea of emotions, and “insecure” is definitely one of them!