It's been about two weeks since I terminated my KDP Select contract so I could upload the ebook to Smashwords for broader distribution. Amazon has now flat-lined. As I can no longer to ad campaigns and no one can check my book in the Kindle Select library, sales and use have dropped to zero. Sadly it has not yet gone up in any of the other venues. I will give it a couple more weeks, but if nothing happens by then I may pull it from Kobo and Smashwords and re-enlist in KDP.
Despite all the positive things that seem to be happening, I must admit feeling pretty discouraged. On the plus side I am seeing more exposure via Smashwords, Publisher's Weekly, and my Goodreads campaign (I decided to invest in ad ad), but so nothing has increased sales. Without my KENP from Amazon's Kindle Select library I don't even have a Pages Read feed to keep me going. In addition, while I have received very positive feedback on the book, I did get another negative review on Kyla's behavior at the beginning of the book. I expected that sort of thing, as I knew she would be a divisive character at the beginning of the book, I spent so much time on her character development that it kind of feels like my kid. I'm sure many parents have kids that they love to death, that are great kids with great potential, and can't help feel a bit let down when someone else can't see it. Of course, your kid may also be a dud. That said, Kyla's perception has been more positive than negative, but those who don't like her in the beginning of the book seem to REALLY hate her. My mom, of course, was one of these. Yet it perplexes me, as her only real flaw is her sheltered upbringing and lack of inexperience with the world, which she quickly works to overcome. She isn't selfish; has no malice; strives to help others, etc, yet it feels like some people are more bothered by her ignorance and naivete than they would be by actual evil traits. In a way this is curious to me, and particularly that everyone who has noted frustration with her are women over 30. I'm sure there is some sociological explanation for this. I had a discussion with a friend of mine (girl in her early 20s, a demographic which so far likes Kyla as is in the beginning) and wondered if this frustration of women at Kyla is related to the notoriously high tension between mothers and their teenage daughters.
Anyway, as I've mentioned before, I anticipated this, and stand by Kyla as a character. So far everyone likes her by the end, which is fantastic, but I know I lose some readers on the way as they have a hard time with Kyla's relative immaturity at the beginning of the book.
I got a slip from the Post Office yesterday that I had a package waiting for me. I had no idea what it might be. I am waiting for a shipment of books, but it's coming via courier. So I didn't know what to expect. Much to my interest, it was a pack of about twenty copies of the June 27, 2016 issue of 'Publisher's Weekly'! I was a bit confused, as I didn't know why I would get so many copies, and then I wondered, what of they posted a blurb on my book? I had applied to be listed a few months ago but wasn't aware I had been selected. Sure enough, I found it on page 51. Here is a scan for your enjoyment.
In addition to this bit of news, I gave five copies of my book to a local bookstore called Mosaic for consignment sales. The lady in charge of sales suggested I put a quote from the Piers Anthony review on the book cover. It was too late for that, I told her, but I did make some bookmarks to help me advertise. I used my media banner and added some purchase/contact info. I need to brighten the text a bit but had some made up to serve until I could get a cleaner job done. So here's a picture of my bookmark that I made:
I just completed my exclusivity contract with Kindle Select and already I miss checking up daily on my KENP (pages read through the Kindle library). It was a satisfying experience to be able to watch as pages of my book were read. (Some days were harrowing, rather than satisfying.)
It turns out formatting for Smashwords is different than Kindle. Basically, I have to reformat the whole ebook. This involves going 'nuclear' on my file: removing all formatting. It was daunting at first but using the Smashwords' style guide has proven educational. Learning a lot about how to work in Microsoft Word more cleanly. A pain in the butt but I can see how it will pay off in the long term. Hopefully Smashwords' broad distribution will compensate for the loss of KENP on Kindle Select.
Got my first set of paperbacks on a store bookshelf today! I am selling some books on consignment at Mosaic here in Kelowna, BC. I am thinking of checking with Chapters to see if I can do the same thing. The lady at Mosaic said I should advertise better that Piers Anthony reviewed the book, so I am looking at having some bookmarks made.
Side note: I am starting to get lazier. It's becoming more difficult to focus on working. I think it's because, between online school and writing, I spend too much time alone. Socially that's fine, as I am an introvert, but I might be going crazy. This could either help or hinder the book I am currently working on.
As my Kindle Select contract expired with Amazon, I decided rather than renew it I would use the opportunity to post the ebook on other vending sites. While the book is still for sale on Amazon, this means I will no longer benefit from readers using the Kindle Library. Hopefully it will increase my book's availability on other platforms. Not sure how this will play out, so will keep you posted! In the meantime, here is the link to Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/648586
Bryant Reil currently resides in Kelowna, BC. Recent accomplishments include completing a Master's degree, and having finished two books, Elf Mastery and Elf Doubt. The third book, Elf Righteous, is underway.