BECOME: BROTHERS finally has a cover:
Also, that new scene I was working on has been finished. (I teared up a little when writing it, so at least I think it’s good.) My critique partner was so right about needing that scene.
Now, it’s on to:
- Tthe blurb, which I’ve started.
- Finish the revisions.
- I might need to write one other new scene.
- Polishing edit
- And publish!
Then, I can get back to BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.
Also, I’ve finished going through the spring refresh of my novels and boxed sets. There’s a handful of short stories and one novella still to go, but I can take those at my leisure. Though two of them may need some remedial work on the covers, too.
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Well, I re-enabled page flip on my DUAL MAGICS series.
Page reads are still zero. Wide distribution is starting to look more and more likely for me. Getting everything out of Kindle Select to allow that to happen may be a bit tricky. I need to look at the term end dates and make a schedule.
Meanwhile, in better news, I think I’ve finally got a good demo for the cover of BECOME: BROTHERS. One step closer. Also, I’ve started that scene I decided I needed to show the main character’s vulnerability. By started, I mean I’ve written one sentence, but I do have a pretty clear idea of how the scene needs to go. I’ve just been busy with other things.
And I’m also working on getting the new covers up for the Chimeria series.
That involves changing them for the paperbacks, too.
So, yeah, busy. But mostly in a good way.
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First, results on the project to disable page flip are confusing. It seemed to be helping at first, but lately . . .
I have never had three straight days of zero page reads before. I’ll give it a bit more time, but I may have to rethink some strategies. If the only way I can have my books available through Kindle Unlimited is to let people read them without any reimbursement to me (currently Amazon pays between $0.0045 and $0.005 per “page”) then I may have to opt out and take my books back to wide distribution. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but it may be necessary.
Even if that’s what happens, I won’t count the experiment a failure. Firstly, if that’s the way things are, then I need to know that to make good decisions. Secondly, I think going through all my published books occasionally is a good thing. I may have to do it annually or at least biannually, if only to keep the links to my other books up to date. (I know there are simpler ways to do this that I may have to investigate further, too.)
At any rate, if I hadn’t been doing that, I probably would never have taken a second look at the covers for the Chimeria Series or for some of my shorter works. (“Wyreth’s Flame” is probably due for a new cover, too. And I may try to do a little something more with THE MUSIC BOX, to give it more of a fantasy feel.)
As far as covers go, after some struggles, I think I’ve got the one for BLOOD IS THICKER:
The cover for BLOOD WILL TELL still needs a little work, though.
Looking at the covers in a smaller size (like the thumbnails on Amazon), it’s clear that there are dragons on the new cover for BLOOD IS THICKER. But much less clear on the new cover for BLOOD WILL TELL, because the gold dragon doesn’t show up as well against the moon. I need to work on that.
And, of course, I also need to work on both the revisions and the cover for BECOME:BROTHERS. I’ve stopped temporarily at a place where my critique partner asked me to go deeper into the main character’s feelings about something. She’s right. After all, the character is modeled after Hercules to considerable extent. In order to work, in order for readers to care about him, I need to show his vulnerabilities as well as his strengths. I just need to think a bit on the best way to show that. It’d be easy to just go deeper into his head–and I will do that, too–but I think I also need a scene to actually show it first. And that’s what I have to think about a little bit.
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Wow, I got busy today and almost forgot to blog.
In my defense, I was (mostly) busy. Seems I opened a can of worms when I started updating all of my already-published books. Not that it didn’t need to be done. But, while I’m making the insides prettier and more, well, up-to-date, it seems silly to leave subpar covers on some of the older books and stories.
What happened was that I worked my way down to the Chimeria series. And, yeah, something needs to be done there. Starting with the first book in the series, BLOOD WILL TELL.
Not my worst cover ever. But not exactly stellar, either. In my defense, this was one of my earliest covers.
This is the unfinished version of the new one.
Unfinished because I’m not sure that I’ve got the right font, yet. Also, I may still move the dragon around a little. I like him better against the blue background than against the moon.
Then, I need to move on to the sequel, BLOOD IS THICKER.
I have no defense to offer for that one. I’m amazed anyone ever bought that one.
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So, the last few days have been spent on that formatting issue that’s supposed to help with that page-flip glitch. And not much else. Sometimes, things just work the first time you try. More often, they don’t. Especially when they involve learning a couple a new software applications.
Despite a couple of online sets of instructions, it wasn’t nearly as straightforward as depicted–and it hadn’t looked that simple to start with. But . . . a former boss once observed that, with me, he needed to watch where he aimed. Because once I get my teeth into a task, I will rarely quit until I’ve succeeded. And, finally, last night, I did.
THE SHAMAN’S CURSE has been reformatted, though there’s one (relatively small) thing I may still need to go back and fix.
The upside, aside from hopefully fixing that glitch, is that the formatting of the ebook should actually be improved.
So, one down, sixteen to go (counting boxed sets and short fiction). But, from here, it should be easier. I hope. I just . . . don’t really feel motivated to start on that list again today. Maybe a day of rest from that battle is warranted.
Meanwhile, I’m going to also get back to revisions on BECOME: BROTHERS. As well as working on cover art for it. Oh, and a blurb. (Just like writing queries–not my favorite part of this process, but necessary. Without a good blurb, the whole page-flip battle will be useless.)
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My page reads (on books borrowed through Kindle Unlimited) were definitely down for the month of February. Not just in absolute terms, but also in relation to sales. I can’t tell, at this point, whether that was due to the one-day free promotions that I ran on several of my books. Or to a reported glitch Amazon introduced with its page flip feature. Or both.
Page reads have rebounded somewhat in March, but not to where I think they should be.
- No new promotions for this month, at least.
- And I will be doing revisions on several of my books–some of which I’d intended to do anyway–and attempting one possible fix to the problem. Including figuring out some new software.
Sometimes, being an indie author is all about experimenting to see what works–and, occasionally, what doesn’t.
First up for revisions, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE.
I didn’t have the map done when I published the first book in the series. I’ve been meaning to go back and put it in, anyway.
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So, the critique for “Become:Brothers” has come back already. That’s an advantage of it being a novella–doesn’t take nearly as long to read through and comment on. The verdict is good. It works as a story, though, of course, there are things that need to be changed or added to make it work even better.
I’ll be getting started on that soon.
But now it’s time to start thinking about cover art. I had a demo all worked up, but, the more I think about it, the less I think that the images convey the correct genre. So, I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board on that one. Plus, I need to make the cover as nearly consistent with the cover I’ve already done for BECOME as possible.
But the main thing is that it looks like this will work as a story. I’m always a little nervous about that with anything shorter than a full novel. Perversely, novels seem to be easier for me to pull off than shorter fiction.
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