Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mutation Progress

Here's one you don't see every day (at least mooks like me don't) - the two books in my Kid Sensation series are ranked #1 and #2 in one of their categories:

Best Sellers in Superhero Fantasy eBooks

Mutation: A Kid Sensation Novel (Kid...
Kindle Edition
Sensation: A Superhero Novel
Kindle Edition
To a certain extent, it feels like Thunderdome: Two books enter; one book leaves...  Seriously though, all I can say is that I feel blessed that the books seem to be finding an audience, and I'm continually floored by the level of support my writing has received.  Over the past week Mutation broke into the Top 1000 in the paid Kindle Store (the highest rank I saw it get to was #691), and I even find myself with an Amazon Author Rank that's in the Top 100 for Fantasy and Science Fiction. It really does feel like I'm on some wild ride, but at the moment I'm really loving it!

Needless to say, Amazon has been - and continues to be - a big part of my success. At the same time, however, I'm attempting to establish a foothold on other platforms: Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc. (Trying to avoid putting all my eggs in one basket, so to speak.) Truth be told, though, I'm struggling to find ways to market to those with Nook and Kobo e-readers. Most of the powerful promotional tools seem geared towards the Kindle (and you can't blame them for that), but I'm still so new to all this stuff that I'm probably overlooking something.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Praying that Lightning Strikes Twice (and Then Some)

I mention all the time about how limited my knowledge of self-publishing is, so I'm still prone to making rookie mistakes.  One of the things I've neglected to do until fairly recently was work more on selling print copies of my books.

I know that there are many who eschew print altogether (and make a very good living focusing only on ebooks), but for me it's another market to sell to. Public libraries, brick-and-mortar bookstores, etc.  They're all out there - numbering in the hundreds of thousands - and since it costs practically nothing to do print versions, why not?

That said, getting into physical libraries and bookstores can sometimes require a little more legwork. Independent bookstores may only work with you on a consignment basis, and - other than those located near you - the large chains may only be interested if they can get your book through one of their distributors/wholesalers such as Ingram.  (For libraries, this would primarily be Baker & Taylor.)  Moreover, outside of something like Creatspace's Expanded Distribution, you really need your own ISBN number.

Bearing all that in mind (and the fact that I was getting double-digit sales of print copies on Createspace), I decided a few weeks back to sign up with Lightning Source, which is a division of Ingram. Lightning Source offers print-on-demand services, and through them my books are available via Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and others. Granted they are more expensive than CS's Expanded Distribution (and the set-up is more complicated), but I have more control in terms of setting the discount for wholesalers (20%-55%), as opposed to the automatic 60% at CS. (Not to mention the fact that CS won't make your book available to libraries/universities if you use your own ISBN.)

Thankfully, things appear to be working out in that I recently checked my Lightning Source account and saw that I had my first order. With any luck, it will be the first of many.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Book Release - Mutation (Kid Sensation #2)

I am proud to say that Mutation: A Kid Sensation Novel (the sequel to Sensation) has finally been released!

The cover art was again done by Isikol, whose work on the first novel in the series was simply spectacular. 

Needless to say, I'm happy to finally have the book out there.  Fans of Sensation have been very vocal in their request for a sequel, so hopefully they will enjoy this next adventure of Kid Sensation.

Of course, I probably should have done a better job of getting the word out about the sequel: done a cover release, announced a release date well in advance, etc. In all honesty, though, I'm just so new to all this (self-publishing, that is) that it well probably be a while before I get my sea legs under me and figure out enough of the ins and outs that I don't look like a total idiot every time I do something.

To be frank, though, I'm really a simple-minded fella, so I'm nervous about having lot of a pomp and circumstance surrounding a book release, and then having readers consider it to be the literary equivalent of the Johnny Depp Lone Ranger movie.  Thus, I've kept the fanfare to a minimum.

In other news, Sensation and Warden are finally out of KDP Select.  I think Select was great at one point and a powerful tool in an indie publisher's arsenal, but it seems to have lost a lot of its pop. Maybe Amazon will tweak it in some way to bring back it's sex appeal, but it feels like the train has left the station for good.  That being the case, I have loaded my work up to numerous sites - B&N, Smashwords, etc. - and am already starting to get sales (which I pray will steadily increase).

Finally, I'm still trying to wrap up the Warden sequel and get it to my editor, but have found my efforts derailed of late because of numerous factors.  But, as with Mutation, I'm leery of announcing a release date at this juncture (especially since I haven't even put it in my editor's hands yet).  All I can say is "soon."

Mutation is available at Amazon.comBarnes&NobleKoboSmashwords (for Sony, Apple and more), DriveThruFiction, and XinXii

*And on a side note, a lot of authors have stated the need for a mail list to announce book releases to readers, so if you are interested in being informed of such (and that is all I plan to use it for) please click on the link in the upper right corner of my blog.  Thanks!

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