Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Opportunity Knocks

I have a friend with a very interesting problem.  She and her husband are entrepreneurs who own several ventures.  For a while now, their business interests have required them to essentially live in different states. However, they're tired of making the airlines rich with constant travel to see each other, and her husband really needs her help with the portion of the business that he's running.

Long story short, my friend has essentially decided to step back from the venture she manages and hand the keys over to someone else.  The job description reads something like this:

Business manager needed. Six-figure salary. Job requirements: high school diploma; honest character, excellent work ethic.

Believe it or not, she's having trouble filling this position.  Ideally, she's hoping to find someone from her family to bring in (although I don't think she'd be adverse to hiring the right person if she came across them randomly).  However, her own kids have their own careers that they are pursuing. Other relatives that are ostensibly suitable either don't have the right work ethic or don't want to move. (None of my friend's relatives live in the state where her business is located.)

Frankly, I'm surprised that everyone isn't fighting tooth and nail for this position.  I mean, the job isn't rocket science at all.  The ability to read and perform some basic math are required, but it's far from complicated. And it's located in a major city, not some remote outpost in the wilderness.  Basically, the job is almost all pros, with very few - if any - cons. Nevertheless, no one that my friend has talked to seems to be excited about it.  In short, it's like opportunity is knocking and no one wants to open the door.

To a certain extent, I understand this: people get in their comfort zone and don't want to make a change.  Maybe they already have a job that they've held for a while and can practically sleepwalk through their daily routine. Thus, they aren't interested in shaking things up - even for considerably higher pay.  Or perhaps they have a significant other and worry about how relocation will affect their relationship. Or maybe they've just never been west of the Mississippi, south of the Mason-Dixon line, or what have you, and are worried about how they'll cope without a familiar support system.  Again, while I can understand these points of view, it just strikes me that they grossly limit one's potential. As the old adage says: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Looking at this from the standpoint of writing, I see indie authors every day who are still failing to take advantage of every opportunity presented to them.  For instance, there are those who only publish ebooks, forgetting almost entirely about the market for print.  Likewise, there are those who ignore the growing market for audiobooks (and I confess that I was one of them, but now find myself a convert).  In essence, if you're an author, you need to be selling on all fronts.

Granted, it's a little more work to put yourself in position to take advantage of many of the opportunities that are out there (and will take you out of your comfort zone in many instances), but the tremendous upside makes it worth it, in my opinion.  Plus, you don't want to look back at some point and realize that you missed a golden opportunity somewhere along the way.  But maybe it's like Thomas Edison said:

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Release: Mouse's Tale (An Alpha League Supers Novel)

At long last, the novel about Mouse - Kid Sensation's mentor - has finally been released. Mouse's Tale (An Alpha League Supers Novel) went live last night (and almost in record time).

Those familiar with my Kid Sensation series will probably notice one thing right away: the subtitle here is a little different than the one I used with Amped, the companion novel to the series that was released last summer (and which was aptly subtitled A Kid Sensation Companion Novel).  

Basically, I had a lot of ideas coming at me when I wrote this one, and some seemed better suited - and could be fleshed out in more detail - in other books.  (Truth be told, I've had numerous concepts popping into my brain about this book ever since the notion of writing it first occurred to me.) In short, this novel may also mark the debut of a new series that focuses more on the adult members of the Alpha League.

As always, however, I had fun writing this one and providing a little more detail about Mouse and his abilities, which is something I'm sure readers have been eager to learn more about, since he appears to lack any discernable super powers.

In other news, the audiobook for Terminus (Fringe Worlds #1) has finally been released. (I'm sure I've mentioned it a couple of times before, but I'm really enjoying the process of releasing audio versions of my work and wish I had done it sooner.)

I'm currently working on the second book in the series and hope to have it completed soon.  In the meantime, I have promo codes that I can use to gift free copies of my audiobooks, so if anyone would like audio versions of Terminus or Infiltration (Kid Sensation #3), please let me know and provide me with your email address.  (As usual, I'll give out the codes on a first come, first served basis.) Also please indicate whether you prefer the US Audible or UK Audible Store.  Thanks again for your support.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Delusional Authors Follow-up

So, a while back I wrote about Delusional Authors and posted about a friend and the book they wanted to release. The book had all sorts of problems (eg, no editing, massive plot holes, etc.), but - despite being a hot mess - did indeed get published.  The results were interesting enough to warrant a follow-up.

First of all, I think I only mentioned it in one of the comments to that prior post, but my friend actually has an excellent storytelling voice.  However, they aren't willing to do all the things necessary to make a book fit for human consumption.  Moreover, many of the same issues (lack of editing, and so on) were present in the second book in the series, which also got published.

Anyway, the books were limping along, getting middling page reads and minimal sales - nothing to write home about, but enough to make the potential evident.  So I came up with a book promotion plan which my friend acquiesced to.  The promotion went moderately well, but afterwards, the book went screaming up the charts.

Over the next month, my friend's publishing income increased exponentially, and they actually broke into the Top 1000 authors on Amazon. Needless to say, there were a couple of absolutely scathing reviews (which was to be expected), but overall readers were very generous and gave the books a big thumbs-up.  The first book now has an average of 4 stars on Amazon, while the second book has 4.6.

I was as shocked as anyone by the results.  I mean, the books seriously needed a lot more work to even meet minimal publishable standards, in my opinion.  However, the results speak for themselves.  I attribute the success to a) the willingness of readers to embrace a good story despite technical flaws in the book, and b) the fact that the story itself was truly engaging.  (Also, the books do appear to have good covers and well-written blurbs.)  However, I wouldn't advise any author worth their salt to publish a book like this.  In my opinion, readers are simply far too demanding of quality, and - although you'll occasionally hear about someone having success with a book like this (and writing that would give an English Lit professor a heart attack) - this type of thing is clearly the exception rather than the rule.

Now, of course my friend is getting ready to wrap up Book 3 in the series and get the audiobook out for Book 1.  Needless, to say, I'm really curious to see what happens.

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