News, newsletters, updates and episodes

Writing Progress

Another really busy month resulting in no monthly episode of Stand Up. My apologies. It’s been so busy, I’ve made no real progress on writing the book I’m supposed to be writing – Bian’s Tale 2. Even episode 8 for The Long Way Home was finished so late in the month it hasn’t been pass the editor. The Long Way Home is now up to 100,000 words by the way, which is around ‘novel length’ for SciFi.

What have I been doing?

A lot of it seems to be admin and advertising.

I’ve passed the first draft of the audio version of Queen of Diamonds. Just listening to the files took over 16 hours. Feedback, preparation and pronunciation probably took another 4 hours. Now I wait for the edits and final pass, and then in a couple of months time, Emily goes back into the studio to re-record Sleight of Hand, which isn’t up to the level of quality of the others.

I’ve spent literally days formatting books. I use Word for all writing and it’s fine for that. It’s familiar and reasonably intuitive. Formatting… not so much. I remain convinced there are bugs in Word’s formatting options. Either that, or someone has put a curse on me. The main project has been formatting print books for Germany, but it’s surprising how much work I needed to do for compiling box sets (also for Germany). I’m still not happy with the front and back sections of the books (in both languages).

I finalised book 7 of the Bite Back series in German – Karodame – and launched it.

Part of the rush on compiling German box sets was a need to use them as a platform for the release of Karodame. Bite Back sales and page reads in Germany were going very well in the middle of last year, but they’ve died down. To create some market noise, I released box set 1 at 0.99, followed a week later by box set 2 at 2.99 and then a week later Karodame at the normal price.

I also ran some promotions in the US and UK, box sets, The Harvest of Lies, A Name Among the Stars etc.

Why am I doing all the advertising?

Because even though my fans are good fans, they are literally swamped with books on Amazon. I’ve had feedback last year on the lines of “I didn’t realize Angel Stakes had been published”. It’s irritating. Amazon used to promote sequels to readers of a series. This was a good system, because it got them a lot of sales, and it got authors a lot of sales with only the effort to keep writing. That’s not what happens now. Amazon gets such a return from advertising books that it now requires authors to pay for a place in their advertising. I literally have to pay if I want my books to turn up in response to an Amazon search from a reader typing in ‘Bite Back Amber Farrell’. The indie market wouldn’t exist in the form it does if Amazon hadn’t encouraged it, but what used to be a good deal (70% royalties) looks a lot less good if you need to re-invest half of that back into telling existing readers that there’s another book available, and can only ever get through to about half of them anyway.

I’m still rated as a successful author, and it’s still a better deal than traditional publishing, but unless I get to a magical stage where the books become self-sustaining, I need to dedicate a disproportionate amount of non-writing time. And Amazon have it in their power to change the rules.

All of which is why I really want my readers’ email addresses, folks. Expect to see me put more effort into harvesting addresses in future.

FEEDBACK

What I’m really missing on the episode books is feedback. A couple of readers went so far as to put up Goodreads ‘books’ for epsiodes and comment on them. (Thank you!) Unfortunately, Goodreads decided in retrospect the book had to be for sale as a finished product before an entry could be made, so those were erased.

Please tell me what you like or don’t like about the episode novels. I’ll put this article up as a post on Facebook too. I would appreciate a comment, however brief, negative or positive, either as comments on the posts, or an email to mark@athanate.com – TIA.

And if you are reading this and aren’t on the monthly newsletter, why not join? You get free novels in episode form…

(I will also sell the novels at some point, if you’re allergic to newsletters).

Or alternatively, get on my book alert list, which is a different mailing list and only ever used when I publish a book.

If you want in on either, send me an email to mark@athanate.com

EPISODES 1-8 of THE LONG WAY HOME (you need to be subscribed to the monthly newsletter):

Link to book on BookFunnel

About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first books are available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/

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