Category Archives: Esposito County Shifters
Looking Disconsolately at TikTok
I really shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve posted videos about ECS:OE and Shifter Woods: Claw, and they’ve gotten a handful of views. I posted a video of me reacting to the Gen X Flute Call (aka the opening to Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”) and I’m over a hundred views so far.
This is not unusual, nor is it isolated to me. A lot of romance writers I know have been complaining about how hard it is to get their book posts seen because—ta-da—the TikTok algorithm gives them a low weight. I understand that the clock app is heavily slanted towards content creators who post daily skits or duet with cooking/renovation/building videos, but writers used to get a fairly good slice of the pie. Not any more.
And now we have next week’s testimony of TikTok’s CEO to look forward to, then we find out whether or not TikTok will be banned in the US. That does have a lot of romance writers up in arms because low views or not they do make sales thanks to being on TT and this is going to hurt their bottom line. I know about the security threats associated with the app, but the fact that it allows writers to advertise to a wide audience of younger readers is incredibly valuable. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
I’ve been under the gun all week what with getting Shifter Woods: Claw and the omnibus out (the cover at right, BTW, is the omnibus cover for Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, Scribd, et al since Smashwords won’t accept a 3D cover), and now that the pressure is off (well, the publishing pressure is off, but now I have to start the marketing push) I kinda want to curl up in a fetal ball and sleep for a couple of days.
Not that I can do that, of course, because Crystal Blade still needs to be finished, not to mention all of the house/bill/cats tasks still ahead of me. I swear to God, I would give my back teeth for a three day cruise. Just sit on a veranda, look at the water, and have someone bring me drinks. That would be heavenly.
But as that won’t be happening any time soon, I’ll accept a nap. Assuming that I can boot the J Crew out of the bedroom, of course.
In related publishing news all of the Shifter Woods titles except for Roar and the omnibus are now wide. I slipped up and used Nicola M. Cameron in Roar so that had to be removed, and as I already said Smashwords wanted a 2D cover for the omnibus. Luckily I already had the print cover ready to go so those titles should be wide soon.
Esposito County Shifters: Omnibus Edition is Live!
Phoo. After a lot of work last night, a lot of uploading today, and a buttload of updating on this here website, I can now announce that Esposito County Shifters: Omnibus Edition is available for sale at Amazon, Google Play, and Smashwords, and once SW gives approval it’ll be sent on to B&N, Apple, Kobo, et al. I’m setting the price for now at $9.99 due to Amazon’s insistence on paying a 35% royalty rate on anything over $9.99, and frankly I’m too damn tired to split it into two for Amazon so that I can price it at $14.99 elsewhere. Never mind—consider it my gift to you.
Of course I still need to make the cover for the print version—the image at right is the ebook mockup, not what it’s going to look like in print—but I think I can knock that out tonight. The print length will be around 564 pages so that’s a nice, hefty book that I feel justified at pricing at $21.99 (possibly more—I need to see what Amazon thinks about that price).
In the meantime, however, I have writing to do this afternoon so I’m going to focus on Crystal Blade and see about getting 3K knocked out on that. Assuming I don’t take a nap over my keyboard—it’s very wet here in the clavicle of Texas at the moment and we’re under a tornado watch with threat of thunderstorms and hail later this evening, and I kinda want to take a lot of painkillers and go back to bed for a couple of hours.
But I have a small business to run, so I shall simply take the painkillers and work on Crystal Blade, tra la.
I Made a Pretty
Mind you, I was appalled to find out that CoverVault had closed before I was able to purchase their multi-book box set mockup kit (damn my cheap ways), but after hunting around I found another source of decent book box set mockup templates and spent the afternoon putting this together. As soon as I can get the ebook omnibus formatted and uploaded I’ll post buy links in all the usual places.
An amusing note about this graphic; I posted it on my FB page mainly to get some egoboo and my BFF asked me if the actual print books were going to come out like this. I explained that while I could put together a physical box set, it would cost at least four figures and I would need to wait until 1) I had that kind of money, and 2) it would be for a series where I could expect to recoup the initial costs. Frex, I could turn Paladins of Crystal into a physical box set because Why Choose romance readers love print books and would be willing to buy the box set so there’s a good chance I’d make back my money. But that sort of outlay for a novella series like ECS doesn’t make financial sense.
The print version of the omnibus, however, will be out soon and is going to look amazing.
Writing? What Means This Word, Writing?
Welp, we got through the storm pretty much unscathed except for our welcome mat going sailing into the bushes. Considering that I saw a house in our neighborhood with a tree that came down on its roof, I can live with a displaced mat.
As for writing, not so much today because I need to get Shifter Woods: Claw polished, formatted, and ready for release on Tuesday along with the ECS omnibus. Unfortunately I also have an extremely elderly and infirm cat who needs to be bathed, hydrated (I literally stood hunched over the futon for more than five minutes holding his water bowl so that he could lick at it), supplied with clean bedding and head scritches, and generally monitored.
Which means that my day is spent split between my office and coming down here multiple times to check on J.J. and get him whatever he needs at that moment. On the plus side, I’m getting my steps in so that’s good. On the minus side my legs are aching like hell, and the wild weather we’ve been getting isn’t helping. I’ve resorted to some CBD oil in the hopes that it will resolve the issue and I’ll actually be able to get some sleep tonight, which would be nice.
You know how y’all keep telling me I do so much and you don’t know how I manage it? I do this on sleep that is broken every two hours or so by something on my body yelling at me. If I could regularly get a full night’s sleep, I’d be able to take over the world.
Welp, I didn’t make quite what I’d hoped to from Amazon this month but I did make three figures so that’s something. As I release the ECS omnibus wide and promote that and To My Muse on FB (althought I intend to take the course I bought on FB ads first—no point in throwing good money away on badly formatted ads) it’ll be interesting to see if sales pick up.
And of course once the ECS omnibus is out that should start making money from the readers who refuse to start a series until it’s completed. This doesn’t make sense to me considering how many series get abandoned because they don’t make enough money, but it’s their money and their choice.
And I’m sure there are some people who are looking at my income and thinking, “But romance is supposed to be a gold mine—why aren’t you raking it in?” Because the romance market is hypersaturated, to be honest, and people who are raking it in either are a name, have a rabid fan base, or have so many books out that they can make decent money from just a few KU pages reads on each title. I’m working on creating the rabid fan base and having a buttload of books available, myself, but that takes time.
Then again, I already have sixteen full-length titles out there and will be released at least another four this year, so I’ve got momentum on my side.