February already?

I never plan these posts out because I like to blog when the feeling hits me. Of course, being preoccupied with Parallax: Genesis tends to keep me away from here and although I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, here we are.

Yes, P: G is moving forward even though I’m not trumpeting it from the rooftops. Let’s face it, tooting my own horn isn’t really my thing and I’d rather announce a finished work than prattle on and on over something that is a work in progress even though poking my head up from the rabbit hole isn’t a bad thing.

I’ve been a little distracted of late due to my day job but that’s no excuse to make progress and in general, all of the world building and other behind the scenes stuff is finished so all I need to do is roll up my sleeves and get to writing. I’ve put all my other projects on hold to make P: G my priority for 2017 and I plan to get it out by September at the latest which, incidentally, was when I released Parallax back in 2015. Lights and Shadows took up the majority of 2016, which I think cost me some time but in the grand scheme of things, it was my time to consume.

Hopefully, I won’t take another two months or so to bring you all up to date.

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Stop and Go: That Marketing Thing

Yep, it’s going to be one of THOSE conversations…

As many of you know, I have been experimenting with Amazon Marketing Services to get some sort of marketing thing going with my books. Unfortunately, I tend to have a leap before I look approach at times which while making for great anecdotes, leads to me slamming on the brakes when Reality sets in.

Me: Hot Damn, I want to do this.

Reality: You need to save up the funds to do this and develop a better plan of attack. You’re not quite the bestselling author yet, you know.

Me: But…but…

Reality: Patience, Wallace. You can only do so much. You’re a writer, not a salesman.

Me: But…but…

Okay, that’s generally what goes on in my head and while my head and my gut don’t often work in tandem (except for that one party a number of years ago that involved copious amounts of alcohol but that’s a story for another day) but when they do, it’s a rather jarring experience that leaves me at a brief standstill while I figure out what the heck happened.

I suppose the message here is to fight those impulses and move slowly unless you are fully confident that you are moving in the appropriate direction. Trust your first instincts.

Kindle Scout

I’ve been exploring my options lately and realized that I’ve overlooked Amazon’s Kindle Scout. I’m considering submitting Lights and Shadows for nominations when I get it finished in the near future. I can’t use my other books since they’re published through Createspace and KDP but that’s okay.

The more I dig, the more potential options I find. Got to love that Trial and Error process, eh?

Anyway, more to come as I work out the particulars.

Going All In

I’ve never been one to shy away from a calculated risk. Granted, some of those calculated risks have blown up in my face in the past (not seriously) but that’s the price we pay for playing the games of Life.

What I am talking about is the new advertising campaigns that I created on Amazon for my books. I wanted to start out slow but in true “me” fashion, once I started the first one I just HAD to shoot the works and set them up for everything I had out there. After all, the point is to get the word out, right?

Will they work? Well, anything is an improvement over doing nothing and I abhor doing nothing.

Will it cost me? Of course. Everything has some cost attached to it, either in money or time. The trick is to minimize as much of each as you can.

Will Mary Jane come out of the coma and stop her evil twin from marrying Brad? You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out on the next episode of As The Stomach Turns…

Considering Amazon Marketing Services

Note: Remember that you read it here first…hehe.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that while I consider myself a good writer and storyteller, I don’t have a lot of enthusiasm for promoting my books. I suppose it’s the last of my naivety to think that merely putting out a story with a snazzy cover would be enough.

Apparently, I’ve learned that the reality of putting out my stuff with little to no support isn’t a good idea. We live and learn by doing.

I publish through Amazon and Createspace and lately Amazon Marketing Services has been sending me advertisement emails talking up their ad campaign opportunities. I’ve known about then for a while but have been resistant to invest the necessary funds for fairly obvious reasons. However, I’ve been reconsidering that option because even as stubborn as I am known to be, I can’t deny the logic that even though I personally don’t like to promote my stuff, paying someone else to do it for me isn’t a bad way to go.

Amazon Marketing Services generally charges around $100 for a 30-day ad cycle, which wouldn’t break my finances, but as I consider this option as a test case, I’m stymied by one simple yet thorny question:

WHICH BOOK DO I USE?

Currently, I have three novelettes and one full-length novel out there. Each would be well served to be the first but I’m having trouble deciding which to choose for my experiment. I won’t say that I have much to lose here (maybe $100) but the potential for growth makes any risk acceptable.

Pro-Conning this is becoming a pain in the backside but I want to choose my next steps very carefully. Once committed, there’s not much point in turning back.

Thoughts?

Nuts and Bolts

It costs little to nothing to write a good story.  That’s a fact.  We think it, we write it…bang zoom…it’s out there.  We do it out of a love of storytelling and the satisfaction of taking a vague idea and giving it life.  That’s the point of it all.

However, when we take those finished stories and shop them around, money enters the scene.  We pay for office supplies (we do anyway but still), postage, mailing materials, etc, to put our babies in the hands of literary agents and prospective publishers.  It’s how the Traditional Publishing Game is played and there’s no way around it that I have found and I’ve been taking bites out of this particular elephant for a long time.

Self-Publishing incurs many of the same costs with the added joy of having to shop around for a good cover designer, editor, and if you are so inclined someone to assist in promoting your work to the masses. This particular batch of trail mix has an exceeding amount of nuts in it and though you can keep the costs down by doing them yourself, eventually a realization sets in after that first great cover reveal that going back to using the “free” services isn’t an attractive option.

I’ll admit here that I’ve had some Writer’s Anxiety of late concerning Lights and Shadows.  I sit down, stare at the manuscript in Scrivener for several minutes, and then practically dive out of my desk chair.  There’s nothing wrong with the story itself.  It’s as solid as the day I first did the outline. So then why?  I’ve pinpointed my particular dose of anxiety with the cost of a new book cover and a dearth of funds available to purchase said cover.  I’ve since solved that particular issue due to revising my writing budget, but I find it interesting that I would be delayed by something that most wouldn’t consider part of the creative process.  Sadly, when we move our pastime into the realm of income producer, new considerations come into play.

Personally, I’d rather have Writer’s Block…