Hello everyone! I posted this on my Instagram page and I thought I’d post it here as well. I thought I’d give an update about what I’ve been doing recently in the literary realm.
Writing has not been top of my list of things to do recently, unfortunately. On the rare moment I do sit down to type, I’ve been working on a lot of different ideas, not anything I’m ready to share yet, though. Honestly, I keep jumping from one WIP to the other so I’m really not getting a lot of anything done, haha.
Recently I made these cute bookmarks and ordered some of them from VistaPrint. I’m excited to see how they turn out. I figured if the writing isn’t coming to me, I could at least do a touch of marketing stuff. I’ll pop these in some of the local shops and see if anything comes of it.😆
Regarding the Trilogy, Danethrall is up to a whopping 29 ratings! It’s sitting quite nicely at 4.5 stars out of 5.😍 Rise To Fall has 3 ratings at 4.6 stars out of 5, and Ashes Remain also has 3 ratings at flipping 5 stars out of 5!!🤩
If you haven’t already posted a review or rating, I kindly ask you to.❤️ Each review/rating helps so much to get the books out there. When each book hits 50 ratings/reviews, Amazon’s algorithm starts promoting and advertising the books, so every rating/review counts.
Anyway, that’s it for now. I’ll post some pictures of the bookmarks when they arrive. Fingers crossed they turn out alright!
Today is release day! Both the Ashes Remain paperback AND eBook are officially out! Feel free to rush off to Amazon and get your copy. 😉 Of course, if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read the entire trilogy for free.
PS – My apologies for not making the announcement sooner – today was a bit more chaotic than usual. -.-
Only four days until the release of Ashes Remain! Everything is set up for the eBook to be released on the 28th, so get your pre-orders in now if you want to make sure the book will be ready-steady and in your eBook on the day. 🙂 I’m itching to press the ‘publish’ button for the paperback, but I’ve got to wait until tomorrow for that. (Within 72 hours after hitting ‘publish’, the book will be available. I don’t want to be too eager and have the book out earlier than planned.)
Since I finished Ashes Remain, I’ve been going back-and-forth over what I want to write next. I have a rough plan for another Viking/Norse historical fiction trilogy, a fantasy-historical fiction standalone, a couple of fantasy-romance standalones, and a plan for a six-book fantasy series. At this point, rather than focussing on just one, I’ve been writing a little here and there on each, but I need to calm myself and figure out which one to concentrate on.
Realistically, I think I want to write a couple of standalones. I think having a few 200-page novels a reader can pick up, read, then be done with would be good, rather than making them wait twelve months or more for the next novel in the series. Not to mention, it would be a quicker way to boost my catalogue of work.
Of course, because my brain wants to write a standalone or two, my heart is screaming at me to write another series – I’m particularly leaning towards the six-book fantasy series.
Ashes Remain was supposed to be published in early 2020. I had most of the book written in 2019, but, after a few read throughs, I wasn’t happy with where the book was going and threw out almost everything I had written, beginning again from scratch.
Unfortunately, after making that decision, there were a lot of setbacks and losses in my personal life that affected me mentally and emotionally and I wasn’t in the right headspace to write. Then the pandemic began. Between that chaos, learning to homeschool my kids (who handled the craziness of the pandemic like champions), and trying to navigate the new way of life, there wasn’t a moment I could spare to write.
Even though the book is being released two years later than originally planned, it’s finally finished, the Danethrall Trilogy is complete, and I’m content with where it’s ending. I look over the trilogy and I’m surprised to see where it all begin and how it’s ending – in a good way, of course. Even though Aveline was a character of my imagination, I feel like I watched her grow from a child to an incredible woman and mother, and I’m proud of her. She was dealt a rough hand, life wasn’t fair nor was it easy, but she struggled through adversity and overcame every obstacle she faced. It’s sad to say goodbye to her, but I’m happy her arc is complete.
Aveline might just be an imaginary person I conjured up at my desktop, but I was attached to her – as crazy as that might make me sound. It’s strange to try to move on to a new person, a new world, a new story, but I’m excited to see what the future holds.
If you’ve already pre-ordered Ashes Remain, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. To everyone waiting for the paperback to be out, I appreciate you, too. When you’ve finished the book, please let me know what you thought, either by posting a review on Amazon or Goodreads, or sending me a comment/message here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
2021 has been a bad year for business – and I mean bad. I’ve sold four books since 1st January 2021 to now (1st October 2021). Four. In the same time frame, only 3717 KENP pages have been read – that’s roughly a quarter of the usual pages since 2018.
(For those who don’t know, KENP stands for Kindle Edition Normalised Pages where some of my earnings are determined by how many of my books’ pages are read.)
Have some pretty charts to see why I’m a sad panda.
Pretty abysmal, amiright?
After having a whine on Twitter and feeling rather sorry for myself, I realised that for the entirety of 2020 and 2021, I’ve written possibly two chapters on the still-as-yet-unnamed final novel in the Danethrall Trilogy. Other than sharing a few posts on Twitter and uploading a picture or two on Instagram, I’ve literally done nothing to promote/improve/market my novels, so the fact I’ve made sales (even minimal sales) and had any type of KENP read at all are things I should be grateful for, not whine about.
To try and rectify my situation (not to mention, be proactive) I decided to create my first campaign on Amazon Advertising.
I’ve always been quite afraid of ad campaigns – I could end up spending a bunch of money and get zero results in return. But realistically, if I’m grazing the bottom of the barrel anyway, what harm will it do to sink some money into my books and hopefully bring about better results? I like my books – I like writing! – so why not invest in my novels?
I set a budget of just over $16 USD for a week long campaign. Not a lot, but, as I pointed out before, I’m a chicken when it comes to spending money. If I see positive results from this campaign, I intend to run another with a larger budget, but until then I only want to dip my toes in. Chances are I’d get better results with a larger budget, but I’m doing only what I feel comfortable with, first.
Anyway. I watched a lot of YouTube videos and read a lot of tutorials and this is what I decided to do:
Market: Amazon.com (US) Dates: 10th October – 16th October 2021 Daily Budget: $2.34 USD Default Bid: $0.35 USD Targeting: Manual targeting Campaign Bidding Strategy: Dynamic bids – down only Adjust Bids By Placement: Top of search (first page) +10%. Product pages +0%
If this campaign is successful, I’m going to play around with increasing the ‘top of search (first page)’ bid up to +50%, possibly immediately, possibly over the course of a few campaigns. First page top of search is the golden position, it’s where I’ll get the biggest audience, so upping my budget, default bid and adjustment percentage will help me get to that spot, and hopefully increase my reader audience.
My budget is low, so the money I want to spend on keyword clicks is low too.
I used two prices for the exact matches – $0.28 USD for exact matches WITHOUT a suggested bid, and $0.35 USD for matches WITH a suggested bid. The reason why I did this was because the exact words/phrases with a suggested bid were a lot more popular with much higher suggested price ranges than the ones without a suggested bid. It made sense in my head, so that’s what I went with.
For a list of the keywords, please visit my Keywords page (titled Historical Fiction Keywords under the Extras category in the menu). I did NOT use all of the ones listed, but I did use a lot of them.
I only had two broad terms – Danethrall and Rise To Fall. I had 144 different keywords/phrases that I used for both the phrases and exact categories, which brought my total to 290 keywords.
Please cross your fingers for me and wish me luck! Hopefully I’ll be back with good news at the end of the campaign.