The Week Before Memory Blood

I’m finally just recovering from having been sick this past week so I wasn’t able to make as much progress in getting the final version finished as I had wanted to. That being said, there are less than 4 hours of work to be done which leaves me plenty of time before Wednesday when I’ll upload the book to KDP. Then when it’s uploaded I’ll set up the free promotion and begin alerting everyone to the Memory Blood promotional giveaway.

While the full details will be posted next week, here’s how the event will go. Get the book for free next Friday or purchase it any time after to enter the giveaway. Entries will be accepted for a period of 2 weeks and you can also refer friends for bonus entries. You’ll send a screenshot of proof of purchase to my e-mail and then I’ll draw a winner soon after the giveaway ends to receive an Amazon gift card. There will be one winner and the prize will be an Amazon gift card delivered electronically worth at least $25.

I’m very excited for the launch and the corresponding giveaway and I think things are going to go very well! I’d love to hear everyone’s opinions on Memory Blood too so feel free to leave a review, comment here, or send me an e-mail at the address listed on the “New? Start Here” page.

Writing Update: 21 Days Until Memory Blood Edition

Yesterday I put all of the formatting for the book in place and now it looks like a proper novel. In the process of editing, the word count now sits slightly lower than it was before at 36,000 words. I think the total word count will likely end up closer to 40,000 by the time of release but this still falls short of my original goal of writing something longer than a Library Series book.

Arbitrarily extending the word count isn’t something that I’m interested in though. The announced price matches the book’s size, the story I wanted to tell has been told, and I’m very happy with what Memory Blood has become so and everything remains on schedule for release as it always has. Honesty is something that I value so I’m happy to be able to announce these things rather than disappointed that I fells short of one of my goals. The integrity of the work and the value I place upon it is high and so I’m greatly looking forward to release day.

Also, please remember, that the book will be available for free on Kindle on release day (August 15th)! Even getting a free copy will be a great display of support so I encourage everyone who is interested in doing so to do so.

Writing Update: June W1 Edition

This time it’s another Q&A format!

Q: How has Memory Blood progressed in the past week?

For this month, the book is in the QA phase so I’m not looking at it actively. Instead I’m doing things like creating the cover, writing the release information, and deciding what will happen in Memory Blood 2. I’ll return to actively working on Memory Blood in July as I adjust it according to feedback and prepare it for release.

Q: When will the release date and other information be published?

This information will be available during the first week of July. At that time you’ll know the release date, price, cover, and summary.

Q: Any progress on The Orin Chronicles or The Academy Series?

Not just yet. Some new content might still appear at the end of the year, but I wouldn’t expect any of these two series to end before 2015.

Q: Will Memory Blood be exclusive to Kindle?

A: Yes. The current plan is for Memory Blood to be enrolled in KDP Select and made exclusive for 3 months. As a result of this, there will be a free promotion to celebrate the launch of the book. More details will be announced at a later date.

Q: When will all of your books become available on Nook and Kobo?

A: Right now there isn’t much interest in these platforms, but the first books in The Orin Chronicles and The Library Series are available. If interest in these books, and any others currently available, increases then I’ll upload the remaining books. Or, if anyone specifically requests a book to become available by contacting me, I’ll be happy to oblige.

Q: Any secret projects being developed?

Not right now. I’d like to do something extra for Winter in addition to releasing Memory Blood 2, but nothing is in development currently.

My Kindle Countdown Experience

Recently, I used KDP Select’s new Kindle Countdown Deal for one of my books: The Orin Chronicles Volume 7. While I was optimistic about the program, I found the results to be less than satisfactory. Previously I have used KDP Select’s free promotions and those would always elicit some type of a response. Even with no outside promotion, your first free promo deal is sure to bring in ~100 new downloads of your book at a minimum. That minimum is something I find to be important because, as someone with a rather small platform and ability to spread the word about my books, it matters very much knowing I can get at least this much out of the program.

Now, for Kindle Countdown deals, there is no minimum response. I found 0 people purchased my book as it moved from 99 cents back to its original price. What this makes clear is that a lot more effort needs to be invested in a Kindle Countdown deal than a free promotion, likely because sale prices aren’t as attractive as getting something for free. So, if you aren’t prepared to support your Kindle Countdown deal, I highly recommend against using the program. I think it’s likely I’ll use this program in the future, but not until I’ve reached a wider audience and have a greater ability to self-promote my own books.

Marketing Action Plan

Marketing my books has never been a strength of mine, but the great thing about e-books is that it’s never too late to improve. Today I’ve decided to take some tips I’ve found across the Internet and combine them with some advice of my own to create an action plan to get my books in the hands of more than a dozen people. So, in no particular order, here they are.

Review Keywords – It’s definitely worth the effort to go back and look at the keywords you’ve chosen for your books every now and again. When I published my first book I thought I had chosen a few good keywords. When I went back half a year later, I discovered they were beyond awful. What I had done was just broken up the title of the book and the names of characters and used them as my keywords. Now I have keywords that actually describe key parts of my book. Examples include: fantasy, magic, survival, adventure, knights. While I’m sure I’ll continue to optimize these keywords in the future, at least now I actually have them in place which means more people are likely to stumble upon my books.

Site Updates – Now that I have several series available it’s important that information about them is easily accessible. I’ve always had a page for each of my series, but as more books have been released the amount of clutter on those pages has increased. What I’ve done recently is drastically reduce the amount of text on each page and simplified everything. Having a series description is a great idea, but having paragraphs of description for each book is unnecessary when you’re linking to a place where someone can read the description on their own. Keeping the first book’s link at the top of the page is also important. Now if someone visits one of my series pages they will see the logo, a description, and then have a convenient link to one of the platforms it is available on where they can find out even more.

Non-Exclusivity – For a long time my books were only available on Amazon in exchange for free promotions. I assumed this would help me increase sales, but I simply didn’t have a platform big enough where it would provide a meaningful increase in sales. Going from 0 to 10 meant a lot to me when I first started out, but now I don’t find that to be as exciting as I once did. It’s better to have my books available on Nook and Kobo as well so readers have more of a choice.

Community – Twitter and Facebook accounts are personal, just like a blog, but I treated those platforms too much like a blog. Instead of interacting with other authors and building connections I posted things relevant to myself and did nothing else. These days I follow others on Twitter who follow me and actively seek out people to follow in order to increase my networking potential. As I increase my presence on social networking sites, more potential readers will take notice of me.

If you have any thoughts on these ideas feel free to let me know in the comments!

Writing Update: Approaching the End Edition

The Library Series, on May 31st, will end. Today I announced the title, description, pricing, availability, details, etc. on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. The book has started to go into QA (quality assurance) and I’ll be in the process of finishing it this month as well as releasing the delayed Volume 6 of The Orin Chronicles. I announced the delay on Twitter, but I apologize for not announcing it here as well. Due to injury, I was not able to complete Volume 6 in time for an April 15th release, so all of The Orin Chronicles has been shifted back by one month and it will resume being a monthly series on May 15th.

The Library Series, however, is properly ending. Once this book is released, there will be no more proper books in the series. Perhaps there will be more Library Series material, but not books. The adventures throughout Books 1-4 will all come to a close and the plot will be concluded. As with all previous books, Book 4 tells its own story. It has to. You can have a series where each book is the same, but that’s not the type of series I wanted to write and so I didn’t. Book 4 will be a new adventure, but it will also be the final adventure. In my mind, Book 3 concluded most of the plot in its story so Book 4 will be focusing on what remains. The characters whose stories haven’t ended, the final unfinished battles, and because of that it has a unique tone and pacing that I find to be beautiful.

I’m working very hard to make sure the beauty I see is represented in the final product. Because it is the end. I want you to see the ending as I do, because if you do then you won’t be disappointed. There will surely be people who are unsatisfied, but those who truly enjoy the Library Series should find something special in this book and that’s what I’m excited about presenting.

Writing Update: Balance Edition

There are now 19 days until the release of The Weapon of The Kara (Library Series: Book Two). Editing is progressing at a nice pace and I should have a good 10 days for the Final Check phase where I look for grammar and spelling mistakes without altering story content. And then on October 5th, the book will be released and available for FREE for 24 hours thanks to KDP Select.

Now, I’d like to talk a bit about scheduling. As a student studying at a University as well as an author, finding time to do everything has become a bit of a concern to me. The amount of work for my studies is something very manageable but it does take up a lot of time and energy. I have enough time to work on my books as well, but that leaves me with not much time to do anything else. In fact, right now my only social interactions are with the people that I am studying with ^_^

Over this week I’m going to try to optimize my schedule for both studying, writing, and free time. While this means that I won’t be able to reach level 85 before Mists of Pandaria launches, I will be able to achieve my goals as both an academic and an author which is very exciting. Please wish me luck and I look forward to sharing The Weapon of The Kara with everyone on October 5th!

The Library Complex Has Been Released!

Visit the Library Series page for the links to the Kindle and NOOK editions as well as a preview of the book’s first section

It is now complete! I can finally say that now concerning the first book, but now all my efforts must go to Book Two. I should probably celebrate or something, but what better way is there to celebrate than to work on the future of the series? The process from conception to release is fun at all stages, so I’d like to describe those stages now as they apply to The Library Complex.

Conception: Anything can happen in this stage. After all, you haven’t written anything yet. There’s just an idea and that idea leads to many more and there’s a lot of planning and excitement, but most of those plans go nowhere. I have at least three different concepts for the Library Complex (the building within the story, not the first book) that have been completely discarded. They were fun at the time, but they would have led to completely different series or perhaps standalone books.

Initial Writing: The fun concepts and idea begin to take shape as the book is written. For The Library Complex, you might be able to say that the creation of the First Section decided almost everything. Everything else in the book became inevitable after I wrote this section. While the very last part was added a few days later, that was the final piece that launched the book’s writing forward.

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