Last week I spoke about how Amazon informed me that they were stopping my marketing campaign because of my cover.
I updated the cover for the ebook. But something pretty interesting is happening. Before this issue, I would spend $1 a day on Hazel. She made some money, but not a ton. However, over this past week, I’ve spent $4.72, which is less than it was, and I’ve made $11.66 in royalties. I’m not sure how much more that is, or even if it is more, but it feels like things are actually moving in a better direction.
I’ll keep tracking, but this is a surprisingly pleasant situation. My ACOS is up. My cost per day is down, and I think my sales picked up after that first (albeit horrifying) fall.
So it’s currently good news. I though I’d update you on things since I announced what was going on last week.
I got a pretty good gut punch this week. Hazel has been so wonderful since she came out. I don’t know that she ever fell below 300 in her category, and she was usually in the top 100. The marketing was going well. I’d spend about $1 a day and earn just a few buck a month, but she was profiting even if only a little.
Then I got an email.
Apparently, Hazel’s cover is “overly sexualized.” I have to be honest. Given that I removed my name from the original release because of actual sexualized content, this comes as a mind-boggling development, and Hazel has fallen like a rock because of it. It’s still very early in the process. By the time you read this, I will have spoken with Collin about it. We have a backup cover because something similar happened when we were releasing her.
So I’ll probably switch out the cover (depending on what Collin says) and hope that the campaign that was bringing Hazel so much attention gets going again. I activated a few more that are at least garnering attention, but it’s too soon to tell if they’ll be able to make up the gap, and it’s probably only a matter of time before Amazon steps in with those campaigns.
This was a real blow. Caught was my number one selling book before Amazon stepped in, and I wasn’t profiting on anything. Since she came out, I could say, “At least Hazel is profiting.” I took it as progress in the right direction, and now that momentum come to a screeching halt.
I probably took a good day to sit there and mope about it. There really is nothing for it but to try and change the cover and hope it works and then hope things go back to normal.
I’m making slow going on The 1,200. The revisions are necessary and good, but they are time consuming. I will get started on the Alpha Draft of Discovered when I finish this current (First) draft of 1,200. It’s just a labor of love.
In many cases one just has to keep rolling with the punches and move forward, and that’s something I understand, but there are good days and there are days like this. I spoke with some students, who have to interview instructors at certain points in the course I teach, about this today (as I’m typing this). Writing has to be enough.
I’ll never stop writing and publishing. Those are things I love to do. There may come a day when marketing and social media (the efforts to sell the books I write and publish)are things I just don’t have the endurance to continue, but I’m not there yet. I’ll update you on how things progress.
I appreciate those of you who read my blog and send me occasional emails. Those little things mean so much to me, and they help me recover from weeks like this.
Today I get to share this three-star review for Hazel on Amazon. I’m always happy to get reviews. There are some who maybe get super invested in the number of stars, and there is some merit in that for some, but the content of the review (if someone is kind enough to leave one) is where I find the most pleasure.
Ultimately, I want to write stories people enjoy. Don’t get me wrong. I’d love it if one of my stories was one of your favorites. I’d love it if a lot of things happened. However, if people read my book and find it enjoyable, that’s all I could ever hope for and more.
Please consider taking a few moments and leaving a rating and/or review for any of my books that you’ve read. It’s always nice to see, and it really does help.
It’s not that I haven’t been marketing. But sometimes you have to let the stew heat for a little while before you take a taste.
I suppose that’s an awful metaphor. I’ve been monitoring things since Amazon changed it’s policies. My sales (except for that beautiful Hazel) are down. The good news is my cost of marketing is down, but (understandably) so are my sales because my books aren’t getting the visibility they used to.
The knee jerk reaction would be to bump up my bids, but that would be a terrible idea. The simple, boring solution I intend to activate is just keep trusting the system that has seen improvement.
I don’t anticipate doing any work on Caught’s marketing. The content probably won’t allow it. So I’ll keep building on the others, and see if there is progress. I’ve also learned to track individual books. Caught used to be my best seller, and the policy change definitely impacted that. So I have to work more on each book and see if there’s improvement on each book.
So that’s the plan going forward. I won’t start on this until after the May 15, but starting then, I’ll look at the data and work on some more key words. I have at least three months of new data to look at, so that’s at least somewhere to start.
As always, I’ll keep you updated on how things are going.
Just a bit of an update today. When I sent Discovered out for Alpha Readers, I started on revisions to 1,200. The book really seems to be shaping up in a good way, but they are going slowly. There are two reasons for this.
First, I was a much less mature writer when I wrote 1,200 originally. There are things the book needs just to give it the depth it deserves. That means some additional chapters and a bit more development and (a lot more) description.
That leads to the next issue. Back when I wrote this, I hadn’t started generating character sheets like I do now. So what I’m doing is generating a character sheet each time I encounter a character. That’s really what’s taking so much time. I keep having to stop. But this is worth it. Back in those days, I really leaned into my discovery writing tendencies, which made it easy to type, but don’t help very much when I’m trying to be consistent with (or have any) description. Once I get the bulk of these character sheets generated, the revisions will go by much more quickly.
I’m still a little more than a week out from when I asked Alphas to get Discovered back to me, but I’m nowhere near done with 1,200 yet. I do plan to finish this set of revisions before doing the Alpha Draft of Discovered.
I haven’t heard any good or bad news about Discovered, and that’s fine. I only mention it because I would give you updates if I had any. I tend to leave my Alphas and Betas alone. They don’t get paid or anything, so the least I can do is leave them be. I don’t know that I’ve ever had any be late, so it’s worked.
Once I get through revisions on 1,200, I’ll get back at Discovered, and get that over to my editor for a developmental edit.
I just wanted to give you all an update. I’m working as hard as I can given circumstances, and I will keep you up to date on my progress.
As always, I thank you for your support. It means a lot to me.
You have to celebrate the victories, and this is a big one. Ratings and reviews are a large influence on how readers decide to choose a book. Earlier in the week, I saw my 100th rating come up on Goodreads. I have a ways to go for reviews (49 at the moment), but that’s still nothing to laugh at from an independent author.
With 100 ratings in there, I’m sitting at an average rating of 4.07, which (to me) means most the peopl who read my books like my books.
I’m very appreciative of every one of those reviews. I’m very humbled and honored that people not only put in the time to read my books, but even took a moment to throw a rating at it.
I just wanted to announce real quick that if you’re an NFL fan who loves the draft, I’d love to talk to you during the draft on my YouTube channel. I’ll have a friend on with me. We’ll mostly be talking about the first round, but I’d be happy to talk about my books or writing as well.
Please stop by and say hello.
In anticipation of tonight’s festivities, we made two mock drafts each. One is what we think the teams will do. The other is what we think those teams should do.
I’m fighting a chest cold just now. I haven’t been tested, but I’m confident it isn’t COVID. It is however kicking my tail. So no post today other than to tell you there won’t be a post. I have honest intentions to try and live like a normal human as you read this, but we’ll see how it goes.
Hazel has still been plugging along in her life. She’s not doing as much as she was in the beginning, but she’s easily the best-selling title I have, and she’s selling pretty regularly, which makes me happy. What also makes me happy is that she’s been getting ratings and reviews.
That means I can share this three-star review with you. The reviewer was kind enough to post this on both Goodreads and Amazon, which is twice as nice!
As always, I hope you’ll consider leaving a rating and review. Even if you didn’t like it, there is no such thing as a bad review.
Boy do I love these sorts of posts! I am indeed happy to announce that the First Draft of Discovered is ready for any willing Alpha Readers.
Discovered is the conclusion of the Oneiros Log. I’m incredibly proud of this book and how it ends the series. My hope is Alpha Readers will help make sure that it’s every bit as special to readers as it is to me. There are several new characters to meet, all of whom are quite endearing in their own ways.
If you’re interested in being an Alpha Reader, please email me. Please understand my expectations. First, I would like to have any feedback sent to me by May 15. That gives me time to work on other things (more below) and then get right on the Editorial Draft of Discovered. Second, I’m most concerned with timeline and consistency issues. I’m also particularly concerned with how satisfying the ending is and the arc of the characters. We’re looking for things that don’t add up or don’t feel right.
If that’s you, click that link above.
While I wait, I’ll be working on the First Draft (REDO) of 1,200. I’m more ashamed it’s not already out in the world as I work on it. Yes, it needs work, but this book should have been out years ago. Honestly, I got carried away on Caught an other projects. But it’s time for that book to take center stage, and I’ll be ready for Alpha Readers somewhere around that May 15 date.
I’ll be swapping back and forth between those projects until we get Discovered out the door, and then I finally earn the right to get back to Images of Truth and finish that mammoth project. My hope is to make some headway on a lot of older projects once Oneiros Log is where it needs to be. I’ll also be starting Mercer.
As always, I thank you all for the tremendous support. I truly hope Alpha Readers are pleased with the conclusion to the Oneiros Log.