Hello, and welcome to 2023!
Yes… I will freely admit that I’m a few days behind on that, but these things happen from time to time. They especially happen when you have the first week of a new year like mine, but that’s a story I shall not revisit here.
Suffice it to say that my commitment to being a long-term professional fiction writer was re-affirmed.
So! Let’s do a quick update on projects.
I am about five days of writing away from completing The Fall of Skullkeep. Once that’s finished and I’ve made my “final” read-through for low-hanging fruit, I’ll hand it off to my amazing editor who will work her magic and point out all the places my mind outraced my fingers and created plot holes the size of Saskatchewan.
It would not be the first time that’s happened…
That’s really the value of having a trusted reader, though. Yes, both she and I refer to what she does as editing, but the simple fact is that she enjoys reading the kind fo stuff I like to write, so she’s well-suited to point out places where I skip over details in my excitement to write the scene in my mind. Some days, I do a very good job of translating what I see in my mind to words on the screen/page, but other days? Not so much…
Once I hand off Skullkeep to my editor, I’ll turn my attention to Tempus, which will be Book 4 of the Primogenitor Saga. I wrote several chapters as part of 2022’s Q4 Writing Challenge as well as prior to that, but in looking back over them, those chapters don’t really feel like the story I want to tell.
So… I’m going to throw them out and start over.
I don’t normally do that, and I probably could finish the story I started without anyone realizing it wasn’t the story I wanted to tell. But I would know. I would know that it wasn’t the best story I could write, even if it was an otherwise good story. After Fires (that is, The Fires of Aurelius), I promised myself that I will never again publish a story I am not wholly proud of.
That’s where I am, project-wise.
Business-wise, I have decided to make more of a push toward direct sales through Knightsfall Press. To do that, I’m going to migrate the online store at Knightsfall Press over to Shopify, which allows for a much better experience. It will be a lot of work to set up, but once it’s ready, the overall maintenance will be very low. I’ll just need to run ads, which I was working my way up to doing anyway.
I’ll make an announcement here and on the Knightsfall Press site when it goes live. I’ll also start including a discount code in my newsletters for each month, which will help me do a better job of writing at least one newsletter each month in addition to rewarding them for ponying up their email address so I can contact them directly.
As part of my push toward direct sales… once the Shopify store is live, I’ll be changing my publishing paradigm. Everything I write will go live on the Knightsfall Press store as soon as it’s ready. But it will be anywhere from one to six months before it shows up on the “major” retailers. Right now, I’m thinking I’ll do “publishing days,” where all I do is sit at my computer and upload the titles to Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, and all the rest that are already available on the Knightsfall Press store. Some series or stories may even be KFP exclusives.
Why am I going to work on increasing my direct sales? I’m glad you asked!
On Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo, I get 70% of the purchase price. So, a $4.99 ebook purchase provides me with approximately $3.49. On Amazon (because they tack on a delivery fee based on the size of the ebook file), the percentage is anywhere from 60% to 70%.
When someone buys one of my ebooks direct from Knightsfall Press? I get 90%+ of the purchase price. The only fee that’s withheld is card (or PayPal) processing fees. Going back to the $4.99 ebook price, that means I’d receive at least $4.49.
This means it wouldn’t take nearly as many sales to meet my revenue goals as it would from the major retailers. Plus… if I run ads pointing to a book page on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Google Play or wherever, I’m building those businesses without any guarantee of building my own. After all, just because someone visits my book page on Amazon or wherever, doesn’t mean they’ll actually buy the book. So, why not run ads pointing to Knightsfall Press? Not only do I convert some visits to sales, but I also increase traffic to my business’s online storefront. That seems like a much better proposition to me, all the way around.
That’s where I am at the moment.
I hope the days have treated you and yours well, and I offer my best wishes for the future.
Be safe out there!