Author report July 2017


This has been one of those good news – bad news kinds of months. The good news is that I have all three of my first e-books up and published, including having put new covers, and descriptions into the e-retailers. The second part is that I have started Amazon ads for all four of the existing e-books.

Downloads

The downloads of the free e-book 2047 have not been outstanding but have been consistent. There were approximately 63 downloads of 2047 last month.

Out Of My System

All three of these e-books can be classified as dystopian fiction, and having written all three of them I seem to have gotten that out of my system. While I am no more optimistic about the environmental future of this world than I was when I started writing the e-books, I have a sense that I’ve said my piece and I have no more drive or interest in writing about the fall of humanity.
Or, to be more precise I have no interest in writing about the fall of our current culture due to environmental problems.
I’ve chosen the next few topics and in doing so I’m returning to the roots of my personal interests in the world around me. Without being specific about the nature of the stories, or the stories themselves, let me just say that I have a half bookcase full of Celtic related mythology, archaeology, and stories.

Newsletter readers

We’re holding at 57. I had a few subscribe this month and a few unsubscribe, and that balanced at all out.
While I’d like to have been able to say I had huge increases in subscribers, I’m delighted that the majority of existing readers stayed.
While it’s not of concern to subscribers, those of you with mailing lists might be interested in the email provider Mailerlite. I moved this list to that email provider and I’m delighted with how easy it is to use, and how helpful and fast the support system is.

Podcast Updates

I have actually returned to making podcasts, uploading several stories to the distribution system on iTunes.
I eliminated several steps in the production. This means there is no more introductory music or fancy fadeout notes, or anything else other than me speaking. I still run it through Auphonic to even out the sound but no other systems are used to make it “prettier”.
At some point, I may return to the music but for the moment the incredible amount of time that I’ve saved doing it is worth more to me than having something that’s a lot smoother and prettier.
The downloads, or those listening, are still small with between 1 to 5 downloads of each podcast every week. Some might ask whether this is worth the work, but for me it’s an enjoyable part of my production. I’ll get back to you if I change my mind on this.

Learning To Dictate

I am slowly but surely learning how to use a dictation system to produce my writing. This is significantly faster than typing although there is a learning curve with using the software.
I wasn’t aware that there are two schools of thought when it comes to using dictation software.

  • The first school, says that you want to create content and train the dictation software as you go. So another words once you finish dictating, you then use the software to go back and correct the work.
  • The second school says that you simply dictate. You do not insert punctuation, corrections, or anything else. You then copy the dictation to your word processor, start weeding, editing, and making it all work properly as you go through the rough words. At the end of the dictated work, you have finished the story and you publish it.

The second school mostly uses an outside recorder such as an iPhone, to record the original dictation. This is then transcribed using the software and then the editing process begins.
I am mostly using the first system as I composed this in my head for publishing on the blog. But I confess I’m incredibly intrigued with the second system for when it comes to telling stories. I’m going to have to get back to you on which system works best for me.

Interesting Month

It’s been an interesting month in my publishing world. Most of the interest has been garnered on the gardening side of things, but I confess the fiction side as occupied its own time as I worked out some of the smaller nitpicking details of fiction publishing.

Self publishing is very much like a swimming duck. You know there’s a lot going on underwater and that critter is paddling like hell, but from the top it simply looks like they’re gliding along.

What can you expect going forward

I think you’ll start to see some of the Celtic stories begin to appear on the website and on the podcast. I’m going to explore the entire genre to see where I best fit.

Summary

It’s been a great month of learning, of dealing with all the myriad components of self-publishing, and quite frankly, of taking some time off to enjoy both the gardens and the waterfront of our home.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back to you quite soon with some new stories.

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