Author Update – August 2018

Not so busy this month…

So I pretty much took August off from all book related tasks as I’ve been on holiday over the summer and I used the break to have some quality time with my family. (Hence the lack of posts on this blog!) That being said, there’s still a fair bit to catch up on, so lets recap back to the end of July when I did my first proper book promotion using Amazon’s KDP Free Book Promotion tool.

 

Promotion

I chose to run my promotion over a weekend during which time My Nan is a Ninja was available to download for free. Leading up to the event I researched and compiled a list of over 50 promotional websites that advertise your book for free. I went through the list signing up to as many as possible and removing entries that turned out to be duds. In the end I submitted my book to 29 websites including a paid promotion with Awesome Gang which cost me about £7.

So how did it go? I’d say it went okay – not great, but not terrible. Although to be honest I’ve got nothing to compare it to so my opinion could be completely off.
I sold 30 free copies and was promoted on 11 of the sites I applied for, so overall I’m quite happy with this as I didn’t expect miracles on my first time. I also managed to get a couple of reviews from America on Amazon.com which is great, as a book with no reviews looks a bit sad!
I was also pleased with my paid promotion from Awesome Gang, as like I mentioned last month I managed get to the top of the front page. This didn’t last long though unfortunately, as I was soon pushed down the list by all the other books released that day. For seven quid though I guess I can’t really grumble too much!

 

Book Development

Although all development has been on pretty much standstill this month, I did begin altering My Nan is a Ninja ready for paperback. I could print the book using the version I have created for Kindle, but I feel that the narrow aspect ratio (to fit Kindle screens) wouldn’t work well in paperback format. I’ve looked at the options available and have chosen 8.5 x 11 inches. This will require some page tweaking and I will need to draw in some extra background content to fill the increased width, but I think it will be worth the effort in the end.
I had planned to alter the page images in Photoshop and then use Kindle Kids Book Creator to add text and export to the relevant file type. Turns out you can’t do this in KKBC, so I’ve had to rethink my method!
I’ve already altered the page dimensions and begun editing the images in Photoshop, but this time – due to the aforementioned limitations, I’ve added the text using Photoshop too. And this turned out to be a really good thing! Let me explain –

I chose KKBC to add the text when creating My Nan is a Ninja as I guess I felt it was the ‘right’ way to do it. I found however that in hindsight this was a bad decision.
Granted the text is much sharper when you add it via KKBC rather than embedded within an image, but this is the only real advantage I’ve found. The format and placement of the text is severely limited in KKBC, and if you go over a certain font size the words end up partially cropped.
I worked around this initially, but since adding text using Photoshop ready for the print version I realised the error of my ways. I decided to scrap my current Kindle version and instead use the Photoshop embedded text as it has has superior composition and works much better with the images.
I haven’t bothered creating pop-up text this time round, as I feel the text is big enough to not really require magnification. I’d be interested in hearing if people actually use pop-up text, as I found personally it spoilt the reading experience rather than enhanced it. Just my personal preference though!

 

Website & Social Media

To be honest, other than posting info about the July promotion, I haven’t used or developed anything in terms of website or social media this month. Next month I’ll make a conscious effort to use all the various platforms more consistently and come up with more of a plan for their use.

 

Author Progression

Although not much has taken place in terms of personal progression, I have made headway in a couple of areas.
While updating my book ready for paperback, I discovered a fairly simple way of adding a thicker stroke (outline) to the main elements of the image. This helps the characters stand out more and gives my illustration style an overall bolder feel. I wish I would have discovered this earlier as I would have incorporated it into My Nan is a Ninja. I will however be using it in my next book so hopefully this will give it a more slick finish!

Speaking of which, I have began sketching out ideas for my next book which is untitled at present, but will feature a boy and his robot. The story is already written so I now need to design the characters and begin the illustrations.

I have also began my first couple of freebies which will be a My Nan is a Ninja colouring book and a My Nan is a Ninja ‘ninja skills book’. As soon they’re finished I will send them out to all my current mailing list subscribers, and add them as a sign-up bonus for new subscribers. If you haven’t already, then CLICK HERE to sign up today and get all my future freebies and updates!

 

Sales

When writing my sales section last month I had no idea what to expect from my KENP royalties (they aren’t updated at the end of the month). After researching some formulas for working out how much I might be earning I was pretty optimistic about my 700+ pages as that equated to 27 book downloads. Using the formula I worked out I should earn about £50. Turns out that was a gross miscalculation – I in fact only earned just over £2. As you can imagine I was somewhat disappointed! Still I know now, so I won’t be expecting much earnings from KU/KOLL in the future!

August RoyaltiesThis month I have sold 1 paid units, 30 free units and 39 KENP pages.

 

Final Thoughts

Although this was an even worse run than last month, to be honest I’m not really worried as I’m not doing this to make big bucks, I’m doing it for the satisfaction of doing it. If it does one day become a source of income then that’s great, but if not that’s fine as I’m just proud of what I’ve achieved!

I haven’t run any adverts this month liked I’d planned either, as I decided I wanted to wait until the paperback is complete. Once this is done, I will begin using AMS ads and maybe then we might see an increase in sales!

See you in September!

 

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