Well I made one more step. Book 3, Twisted Path, is now available on amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Path-Blue-Fire-ebook/dp/B009Z2MT1M/. Based on initial feedback, I’m thrilled to learn that those that joined my series’ Facebook page have opted to continue reading the series. Their thoughts mean more to me than any numbers in a sales column. But then again, if sales were my goal, I would have given up this crazy bucket list project a long time ago.
I learned a great deal from writing my latest book. Here are a few things that went right…
- I stopped worrying about what others think. Write what’s in your heart and let the story flow naturally. I do have to admit that now that I have a few people following my series, I’m nervous when I publish and worry that I’ll disappoint them. It was much easier to push the publish button when you don’t really expect anyone to be waiting on the other end.
- I put my trust in my editor. When you find the perfect editor that believes in your work, trust their feedback. It’s a partnership and they can see things that you, as the writer, are blind to. My story is so much better with her guidance and I won’t publish a book in this series without her writing wisdom. Thanks Courtney!
- I utilized a few more beta readers before I published. I tried to find ones that would look at the book from different angles. In previous books I had a very limited number of people I let read the story before it went out. I was too afraid to hear what they thought. I changed my tune with Book 3. This time I asked a group of around 8 readers and, in my 340 page book, only a small number of markups actually overlapped across readers. It was a fascinating process and I welcomed each and every comment!
- I let my husband watch the sales numbers. One minute up, next minute down…it makes you dizzy. On down days it made finding the motivation to continue the series difficult. So I’m going to just do what I love – - write – - and whatever is going to happen will happen. I’ll let my Math PhD hubby crunch numbers.
- I utilized KDP Select program on Amazon for the first 3 months. Unlike other retailers, my books are holding their own on Amazon and I know that has to do with the boost I get on Amazon free days. For people to actually read my story, they have to find it first. I’m finding that anyone will download something for free, and maybe a few of them will like it and tell their friends. In one free day, I get more downloads than all of my other sites combined – - by a long shot. I think Amazon does it right.
Things that I’m going to do differently in the future…
- I’m going to find even more beta readers. The more the better, in my opinion.
- I’m going to stop looking at the books that fly by me in popularity. Obviously explicit erotica and violence seems to be in. First off, these types of books are NOT romances and shouldn’t even be listed in a romance category. I don’t know why eBook retailers don’t enforce their own categorizations. I want to read books that build real relationships based on love, not degrade women and assume we all long to be abused. “sigh*
- I’m not going to utilize Smashwords for publishing to Barnes & Noble. Although they do a great job publishing my book to many retailers, such as Apple’s iBooks, I’ve had trouble getting the books on B&N. When they do show up, I have to fight with some formatting issues. I want more control so I’m planning to manually publish book 3 directly to B&N through their PubIt site. I’m also going to go backwards and do the same for books 1 & 2.
I’m now busy writing book 4, Night Embraced, which I hope to have published in the Spring. It’s truly amazing to me just how much time it takes to go from idea, to words on a page, to publishing…but it’s a daily labor of love. I’m 105,000 words in and have a way to go. Wish me luck.