Late due to a week’s holiday in Italy followed by a week of frantically catching up and then suffering from a bad cold.
Okay, the hard bit first. Wild Card is running late.
Wild Card has a lot of threads to tie up or progress and it’s longer than either of the other two main books.
I don’t really know the average Urban Fantasy book length – somewhere between 90k and 100k words, I think. Sleight of Hand is 120k. Hidden Trump is 135k. Even Raw Deal is 40k. Wild Card looks as if it will be 160k.
In terms of the threads, I had a discussion early on with Lauren Sweet, my editor, about the threads and series arcs. We started jotting them down. When Lauren finally wrote up the list with her comments, she preceded the 5 page document with this observation :
“Okay, when I started this, I thought it would be a simple one-page list—combining the lists I did in my outline comments and maybe adding a couple of items. Hah! (I laugh at myself.) Not so simple—no wonder you’ve been struggling with keeping the arcs and threads straight.”
Wild Card was intended to be out in the summer, then I moved that back to October. That was mainly due to getting Raw Deal out. I now know I can’t make October. November or December? My confidence in my estimating ability has been damaged!
All I can say is that I’m working on it every day and I want it completed as soon as possible.
The next two books in the pipeline are Bian’s Tale 1 and Bite Back 4. Bian’s Tale books will be simpler and shorter than the Bite Back books. Bite Back 4 has a much more focused goal, so neither of them should experience the delays that Wild Card has.
My apologies and I’ll update progress around the end of the month as always.
As I said, the usual end of month roundup was delayed because I was in Italy for a week’s holiday with the kids.
On the basis of what happened with the downloads of Raw Deal, maybe I should go away on holiday more often!
Sleight of Hand reached 17,400 sales at the end of August, and was averaging about 14 sales a day. In the US, it was ranked about 15,000 in all Amazon ebooks.
Hidden Trump reached 12,000 sales and was averaging about 12 sales a day. The rank was averaging close to SoH.
Raw Deal had 7,000 sales/downloads in June, 2,400 in July and 1,600 in August, totaling 11,000 by the end of August and was clearly peaking – I expected about 800 in September.
Then I went away. In the week I was away, Raw Deal had 5,000 downloads. All the Amazon sites were now offering it for free, so these weren’t sales, but still! What on earth had happened? Amazon hadn’t promoted it (I know because they send the emails to me as well – very amusing having my own books recommended to me).
What appears to have happened is that bookgorilla.com decided to add it to their list of suggestions which they email to subscribers. They provide an active link to the book on Amazon, and I’m guessing they are an Amazon affiliate who make money when someone purchases a book in the same online session which started with them clicking on a bookgorilla recommendation link. I didn’t approach them to do this. I have emailed them asking if they have any figures for the number of people who clicked on the link, but I’ve had no response as yet.
The whole idea of offering Raw Deal for free was to get people to buy SoH and HT. So did this happen? Not yet. I understand readers tend to download free books and keep them for some time before reading, so I’m hoping that many of the 5,000 who downloaded in the first week of September will trickle through as buyers when they read the book.
The effect so far has been small but good. SoH’s daily average has gone up to 20, HT’s is now at 16.
After that week, Raw Deal has fallen back. There were 80 downloads yesterday, and the peak rankings of 130 in all free ebooks and 6 in Paranormal and Urban Fantasy yesterday went back to 1,000 and 40 respectively.
With the slow progress on Wild Card, I’ve postponed my visit to Colorado and New Mexico. I still need to go out to research Bite Back 4 (and meet readers). I’ll keep you posted.
Next roundup and update at the end of the September. I may post some pictures of me experiencing near death situations on holiday in the hope of being able to write more convincingly about them