The Sequel is Out There!

At long last, The Rogue of Sevado is finally done and published on Amazon! This one took me a lot longer than I thought (it was originally planned to be out this past summer – boy, I sure missed that deadline!).

You can buy The Rogue of Sevado now in e-book (paperback coming soon, just waiting on the cover from my graphic artist).

I’m not sure I can say exactly WHY it took so long, but I know I can’t blame anyone but me. I wrote about half of it during NaNoWriMo in November 2019(!), so it really should have been done a long time ago. I could blame the Covid shutdown, but other than any psychological depression that may have caused, it shouldn’t have held me up at all.

I went back and looked at the timeline:

9/26/19Started first draft
2/17/20Completed first draft
4/15/20Completed revision
7/10/20Received revision back from Developmental Editor
12/23/20Completed final revision
1/2/21Received final revision back from Proofreader
1/19/21Received cover and completed e-book formatting
1/20/21Submitted to Amazon KDP

I think the longest time period was that 5 months spent doing the final revision. I procrastinated a lot during that time, and could have done it much quicker.

Next time? I sure hope I can do the next one faster. I have a rough outline of what the next one is going to be, and I need to fill it in a lot more before I can start writing, and I’m anxious to get back to that.

Lessons learned: keep a daily schedule and do something every day, but plan on days off, too.

The main thing that could get in the way of a faster book this time will be the fact that we’re building a house this year. I’ll try not to let that become an excuse.

I’ll also try to write posts more frequently, too. I’ve been prioritizing my email list over this blog, so if you want to hear from me more often, just sign up for the list (see link at the top of the page, on the right, or click here).

I also just refreshed this website, with a new main page showcasing my three books. Check it out!

Does Advertising Make Sense for One Book?

As I near completion of the first draft of my new book, a sequel to Star Riders, I am starting to think about promoting it.  I had been planning to start up Amazon ads again, but I participated in a recent webinar for authors that convinced me maybe that wasn’t the best thing to do.  Read on if you’re interested. Continue reading “Does Advertising Make Sense for One Book?”

The Novella is Done!

It took way longer than I had planned, but the prequel novella, The Worth of a World, is finally done!

I sent out emails to my subscribers today, letting them know how they can download a free e-copy.  It’s not yet available on Amazon, as we’re still working on the cover (it’s just a simple temporary cover for now), but it’s free as an incentive for people to sign up for my email list (note: that is separate from blog followers).

For this blog post, I’m going to describe the various tools I’ve used to get here, for those of you interested in the mechanics behind self-publishing.  First, I used Scapple Screen Shot 2019-08-30 at 3.05.11 PMto map out  the plot before I started writing anything.  Scapple is a mind-mapping tool that’s great for “doodling” up anything, including the progression of a story.

Scapple is made by Literature and Latte, who also make the amazing Scrivener, the most incredible writing tool ever.  Someday I’ll do a whole blog post on how helpful this tool is to writing.  I would never be able to write a novel just using Word.

Once the book is all written in Scrivener, that tool also has a compile function to generate an e-book format as well as PDF for the print-on-demand paperback version.  Once it generated the e-book file (.mobi), I used Amazon’s Kindle Previewer to see how it will look in an e-book reader.

Next step: uploading the book to a site where my subscribers can get it.  BookFunnel is the choice of most independent authors.  It’s cheap ($20/year for beginning authors) and helps. the end users get the file installed on their various e-readers.  I don’t want to think about how many people would be asking me to help them figure this out. Eventually, I can use BookFunnel to promote the book and gain email subscribers, but for now I’m just using it to deliver the book to subscribers I gain through this website or the Call-to-Action at the end of Star Riders.

Screen Shot 2019-08-30 at 3.06.22 PM

Finally, I need to let the subscribers know where to get it.  I use MailChimp for my email list.  It’s free for lists of less than 1,000 (I currently have 53, two of which are me).  They changed up their pricing methods lately, and a lot of people left them for MailerLite, but for now, I’ll stick with them.  I may change it up once I go big 😉

Screen Shot 2019-08-30 at 3.08.21 PMIn MailChimp, I set up a “campaign” to send to all the email subscribers telling them about the book and giving them the link to BookFunnel.  Then I updated the signup form so that new subscribers will also get the link.  Then I can sit back and watch MailChimp’s report showing how many people have opened the email, and how many clicked on the link.

What’s next?  I plan to:

  1. Publish on Amazon, both e-book and paperback
  2. Run a sale on Amazon of Star Riders (probably $1.99) to gain some readers and hope that they are enticed to join the email list in order to get the prequel.
  3. Run other promotions of The Worth of a World to get people to consider buying Star Riders.
  4. Go back to working on the sequel.

So what do you think?  Any thoughts or questions?  Leave a comment!