As I’m getting ready for the Eat Local, Read Local event, I’m also finishing off the third Law of Swords book, In Division Imperiled (as I mentioned in the epilog of my last post). (Oh, and my birthday is this Thursday, but that’s unrelated to this post). Trying to make everything happen at once hasn’t given me all that much time to think about my business plans beyond those few things, but in search of a topic for this week’s blog I spent some time thinking about it, anyway, and made a few decisions. I know this looks like another of my boring old status reports, but you will probably want to pay attention to this blog — I’ve made some important decisions,
To begin with, recapping what I mentioned last week, I’m going to need to find another cover artist soon as the cover for In Division Imperiled flunked with my test audience. I haven’t sent out any queries to any artists, yet, but I have identified a short list of people from varying levels of professional experience to try. Hopefully at least one of them will respond to my query and be willing to work within my budget (which, uh, I need to decide on, as I’ve already used my book cover budget on the flunked-out cover). Will this delay In Division Imperiled’s release? Probably not (though it depends how the cover art search goes). But it may delay my marketing plan. And to think — for once, I thought I was getting ahead of things by arranging for the cover art even before the book was over, and would be able to do a lot more pre-release marketing than I have in the past. It’s a shame, but an unsatisfactory cover is… well, unsatisfactory.
Second, once the Eat Local, Read Local event is taken care of, I intend to see if I can’t get an actual store going on the Fennec Fox Press website to sell signed copies of my print editions. Given past print sales, I’m not expecting to do much business through said store, but since I’ve had the website for a while, I’ve got enough books to justify it, and now I’ve got the Square account to take credit cards, and soon (if I can just get the paperwork completed!) I’ll be able to take sales tax, there’s no reason NOT to open such a store.
I’m not sure whether I’ll have anything to offer other than my few books (and possibly some of the little plushie Fennec Fox keychains I was giving away at Ravencon, but I’m still undecided on that), but I might decide to do things like sell some used books, or help my mother sell some of her quilts (haven’t yet discussed this with her; I know she tries to sell some of her quilts off her own page, and I’m not sure how it would work), or maybe I would look into a deal with some of my author-friends to sell their books through my store (the big problem with trying to sell someone else’s work is the legal liabilities; I’d have to turn my little sole proprietorship into an LLC first, so I probably won’t be doing this to start with). I’ll still have to work out the technical details, but I’m fairly certain I can manage a small web-based storefront, and at the very least all of my signed books will be made available on it.
Third, once BOTH the Eat Local, Read Local event AND the In Division Imperiled manuscripts are completed, I’ll use the library’s new sound recording studio that I surveyed a few weeks ago to begin turning A Gun For Shalla, my story in the Worlds Enough: Fantastic Defenders anthology, into an audiobook with myself as the narrator. I don’t want this to prevent me from starting work on the next Shieldclads book, however, so I’ll be restricting myself to trying this experimental project just one day a week.
If it works out, then maybe I’ll also try the same thing with The Kitsune Stratagem (the book that I think Tantor, who produced the Merrimack Event audiobook, is the least likely to buy the rights to). If THAT works out, and I can’t convince Tantor to do the audiobook for the Law of Swords books, maybe I’ll do those, too. But, at one day a week (at most), that would put those books pretty far in the future, and this post is more for my immediate plans.
Finally… most of the previous things you might have caught in my previous blog posts, but this one I decided just as I was working on this blog: If you are interesting in buying either of the Law of Swords books in ebook form somewhere OTHER than Amazon (such as through Kobo, Smashwords, or the Nook), you might want to buy them now. When the rest of In Division Imperiled is off to the editor and I’m ready to start really marketing it, I am going to (experimentally) withdraw my previous books in the series from wide distribution, and see if I can’t put the whole series into the KDP select program for at least one enrollment period (90 days).
I’ve not done this in the past because I’ve found most of the technical issues reported with KDP Select (at least, most of the ones that don’t ultimately turn out to be the result of bad practices on the author’s part, or an author’s advertiser’s part) happen because the author took a book that is already in wide distribution out of wide distribution in order to meet the exclusivity requirement of KDP Select. I haven’t heard about one of those particular issues in a while, though, so maybe they’ve been fixed? And, in conjunction with the release of the third book, I think it might make a huge difference sales-wise.
I plan to return to wide distribution before too long, but I thought the same about The Merrimack Event, and the number of page reads I get in a month is STILL too high for me to pull it out of the program and try wider distribution. Crossing my fingers that nothing goes wrong when I do it, though.
Well, I’m still going to push for the Starflight 3 crowdfunding campaign. It’s falling behind the pace it needs to set, but I’m hopeful some investors will come in at the end to save the campaign (which has been hinted, if they can get close), and in the meantime it could use your support.
But I do have actual books, this week. First there is Billy the Kid, by Link Share regular Cyn Bagley, and is related to some of the EJ Hunter werewolf stories I’ve shared links to in earlier link-share entries.
Second, there is Fire and Forge by Holly Chism, another link-share regular; the third book in her Modern Gods series.
That’s all for now! I may or may not be taking off next week (depending on how my birthday celebration plays out), but I’ll see you all soon!