In order to get the sequel to Flames Over Frosthelm going in a big way, I’ve been doing the National Novel Writing Month challenge this November. I started the month just under 21,000 words, and now I’m up to about 41,500, so it’s going pretty well. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in a month, and I’m ahead of that pace by a little bit, as the graph below shows.
I’m obviously more concerned that the words be good than that they be plentiful. I’m pretty happy with how it’s going so far – I think the story is fun, and I’m having fun with it. For the sequel, I decided to keep the storytelling in first person but to shift the narrator, so that’s been a bit of a challenge writing with a new voice.
A full novel in fantasy is usually between 80,000 and 120,000 words, and I should be near the lower end of that range by the end of November if all keeps going well. The first book came in at about 122,000, so it was a little long. We’ll see how this one does. I’m not ready to share it with anybody yet, but if you’d like to be a beta reader, let me know! Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m in the middle of a free promotion for Flames Over Frosthelm, running September 5th to 9th. It’s been a success so far, if giving away thousands of copies of your book free is successful. I ran a number of announcements on free book sites on Thursday when it started, and I ran a Freebooksy announcement today. Both of those seemed to produce a bigger response than Friday, when I had no announcements. Here’s how it looked:
That’s a total of 3172 copies downloaded so far. This was enough to get me well up into the rankings on Amazon for free books:
I actually hit #1 in Sword and Sorcery on Thursday. I’m sure this is completely ephemeral, and it will fade as soon as the free promotion ends, so it doesn’t really have any meaning, although it’s fun to ride this roller coaster for a while. What I’ve read is that
this kind of thing doesn’t do much for sales after it’s done
many of the free downloaders never read the book
you don’t see many new reviews after one of these
you do have the potential to see more Kindle Unlimited activity after this kind of promotion
One other immediate effect is that I had 13 people add the book as “reading” or “to read” on Goodreads in the past three days, so there’s a chance that I’ll get some more ratings from people there.
One of my goals since the release has been to increase my exposure and introduce the book to a bunch of new folks, and this seems to be working as a route toward that end. I’ll see if it has any lasting effects after another couple of weeks, but it’s been interesting and fun.
So, I’ve been playing around with advertising on several platforms. I’ve figured I probably need some more reviews and buzz before this will work, but I figured it was fine to experiment. Although I’m reported to be generating clicks on Facebook, Google, and Amazon, I have not yet generated a confirmed sale.
Yes, as of today I have officially paid $25 to Amazon to sell $5 worth of books, for which I’ll receive $3 and they’ll receive $2. Clearly, this business model is not yet working, but this is the first inkling that it might work eventually. Pretty cool.
This showed up on my Kindle Unlimited feed today. The Unlimited version of the book has exactly 587 pages, so it looks like somebody just destroyed the book in one sitting. Even funnier, this showed up a little after noon, so it must have been an all-morning kind of thing.
I’m working on getting my book ready for release on Amazon. Reading up on some technical information and some advice from other authors. I’m also trying to get settled on a cover. I’ve had some trouble settling on a title and a cover image, but hopefully I can get to something I like soon. I’ve got my author account set up on GoodReads, so I hope that will be a place where I can connect with potential readers (and, once the book has been out for a while, talk to readers about the book and other projects). All this is complex, with many moving parts, but it’s exciting, too.