Musings on genre writing, waterfall wandering, and peak bagging in the South’s wilderness areas.
So, one of the first things I did after that was look into the process. Very little effort was involved with it, once the task of conceiving, plotting, writing, and editing the novels (that’s always a lot of effort). I did as she had told me and after figuring out how it works I jumped in, both feet.
I’ve been lucky landing excellent voice talent to read my books. Five have been done, with one having been held up in production for some reason and has yet to be released. Beyond that one glitch, it has been a relatively easy process, and sales have generally been better than I had figured.
Here is a listing of the four books that have so far been completed and released. (Still awaiting the approval of DEADLOCKED).
In no particular order they are:
FOUR FROM MANGROVE, my collection of four short stories of high fantasy, all set within the mythical city-state of Mangrove.
THE COALITION Zombie Trilogy. My three novels of the tales of Ron Cutter surviving in his post-apocalyptic world of zombie pandemic (now under one cover).
THE EMISSARY: A Novel of Fantasy and Horror. Set in Elijah, in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, Martin and Amy Braun find themselves surrounded by hatred manifesting itself as lycanthropy. All while trying to protect a mysterious foster child who may be an herald for that event, or somehow there to save them from it.
WORKING CLASS HERO: The Autobiography of a Superhuman. An affliction has struck a tiny few of humanity, giving them superhuman powers. The government steps in and recruits each of them as protectors of large urban areas around the nation. Once your powers manifest themselves you either work for Uncle Sam, or Uncle Sam puts you away. This is the autobiography of one such hero, Billy B; in his own words.
However, after years of trying out various advertising campaigns at Amazon I have never encountered a situation wherein I profited from putting my money there. That is, no ad campaign returned to me even as much money as I put into it. The opposite was almost always true. If, say, I put $400 into an ad campaign I might get $150 or $200 in cumulative sales over the course of the campaign. Only once did I squeak out a tiny bit of profit from an Amazon ad push, and only by a few dollars.
So, for me, advertising on Amazon is a complete waste of my money, my effort, and my time. My last bit of money spent there advertising my work was, in fact, the last money I will ever spend there for that purpose.
That is all.
|I’m not sure why, but my COALITION: Zombie Trilogy is the best selling of all of my books since I republished a number of my titles after regaining publishing rights from a former imprint. It has done well in ebook format, but dollar-wise is doing even better in audio book sales. WORKING CLASS HERO has the edge in total ebook numbers, but the audio of that book isn’t nearly as high in sales.|
I have been surprised at the sales of the audiobooks. All I have to do is promote my novels as I normally do, and the audiobooks tag along, sometimes outstripping the ebooks in dollar sales, if not actual numbers (since audiobooks are more expensive than ebooks).
It’s part of the massive learning curve of having to promote my fiction rather than leaving it up to a traditional publisher who might be incompetent at the task, or who doesn’t care (sometimes both). I may not be great at promotions at this point, but I’m better than I was at it, I’m still learning, and I definitely do care.
Here’s a question and answer bit I did at a website concerning my superhero novel, WORKING CLASS HERO. I’ll be adding the second book to that series very soon, and have plotted a third book. If sales and/or my desire to continue warrant, I’ll be doing more in that series. I like the characters and I enjoy the act of creating new stories in that world.
So, if you want a way to land a whole lot of excellent reading, plus help out a good cause, all at a super-bargain price, grab one (or all) of these book bundles!
Explanation and link below.
|Thirteen great superhero novels!|
The way I saw it back then (and justifiably so), it was up to the publishers to promote and advertise the stories, scripts, and novels I had spent so much time creating. As I like to paraphrase, “I’m a writer, not a salesman, dammit!”
These days, of course, I have to promote and advertise. All on my own dime. And I have to do a lot of experimentation, because by and large other authors who know how to do this will not share such information in a market that is already packed beyond capacity and highly competitive. (Writers some years back ceased to consider fellow writers as colleagues and see them now as competitors.) So a huge learning curve has ensued.
I have had to learn where to advertise and how to do it. I won’t belabor the finer points but even when you find a good spot to advertise you have to tweak the parameters of what is advertised and how to utilize various codes to ensure maximized results. It’s not easy and even though I’ve figured out how to get positive results, I’m still not skilled at it. But what I have learned over the past few months is where to put my ad dollars and how to pull an ad when it’s not generating more income than the cost of the ad campaigns. Fortunately, the two methods I now use most often do give me that option. I can edit, or pause, or completely halt an ad campaign if I’m not making more than it’s worth.
Disappointingly to me, most of my sales–in fact about 90%–come in the form of ebooks. I never have become accustomed to reading ebooks, but I reckon it’s because I’m too conservative to have ever given my reading habits over to that format. I do read more ebooks than I once did, but I prefer to buy print books. I will be purchasing more of my books in print format to sell at convention and library appearances in future and hope to see those gain a larger portion of my overall sales.
At any rate, the books I’ve been pushing most of late are titles that I’ve gotten back into print since retrieving the rights from a former publisher. All three have been rewritten, re-edited, and graced with new cover art and contain my preferred texts. So grab one or all of them if you want to spend some quality time living in another world for a few hours. All books are now also available in audio book versions.
|WORKING CLASS HERO: The Autobiography of a Superhuman.|
|THE COALITION Zombie Trilogy. The three original titles all contained under one cover as a single volume. In audio book, ebook, and paperback!|
|DEADLOCKED. My first zombie novel back in print in my preferred text with many added and restored sequences. Three formats: audio, ebook, paperback.|
When the publishing rights were returned to me I assembled all of the books to be published under a single cover. I rewrote some sections, re-edited the entire manuscript, and restored plot developments and passages that had been excised by the former publisher. So, for the first time we have the author’s preferred text of the entire Coalition Zombie Trilogy present as a single book (at one low price!).
|THE COALITION Zombie Trilogy by James Robert Smith.|
Andy wanted to go to the Smokies to try to see some elk. Our original intention was to stay at a hotel in Maggie Valley which would give us easy access to Cataloochee which provides the surest opportunity to spot lots of elk. However, after I’d made the hotel reservations I discovered that Cataloochee is still closed off due to various factors which include road construction just outside the Park. There’s another route in to Cataloochee, but for their own reasons the Park Service has also blocked off that route. I can’t imagine why, unless they just enjoy not having pesky tourists around.
So, we altered our plans. Instead of a hike to see old growth trees in Cataloochee, we opted for the hike to the Bunion, and a stop at Oconaluftee to try to spot some elk since it’s supposed to also be a reliable place to see them.
As things turned out, we had great weather for the hike, and we managed to spot elk at Oconaluftee. We had a final tally of five elk, but the opportunity for good photos were not as good as I’d hoped. Still, since I grew up in a South where there were no elk remaining at all, seeing even one is a treat.
|Mount Kephart, which must be climbed to reach Charlie’s Bunion from Newfound Gap.|
|The trail that goes around the Bunion is not for those who are afraid of heights.|
|The aptly named Sawteeth. If the Bunion is too crowded (as it was this day) you can head over to the Sawteeth which are just as spectacular, and usually without any people.|
|I took this from the top of the main summit of Charlie’s Bunion. You can see people down below on the sub-peak.|
|They’re not kidding.|
|The first elk we saw on Monday.|
|The last elk (a doe) that we saw as we were heading out of the Park.|
|This doe was pretty big. In the early days of the reintroduction they all had radio collars. Now I see more elk with no collars. I’ve been told the herd is now in excess of 200 animals.|
Here are a couple of bits of promotional material coming up for a multi-author campaign that will begin on June 15 and run for a few weeks.
Recently I got the chance to work with a promotions cooperative with other writers and decided to take advantage of that opportunity to get WORKING CLASS HERO back into print. So about June 15th the book should be a part of the promotions bundle and, later, available in the three big formats: ebook, paperback, and audiobook.
What happens when you wake up one day to discover that you are now endowed with superhuman abilities, giving you power far beyond that of mortal men?
I’ll tell you what happens.
Uncle Sam happens. Super folk work for the Feds. Or else.
Join the baddest of of badasses, Billy B, as he and the other superheroes of Charlotte, North Carolina join together to do good deeds and protect one and all from the depredations of villains both human and superhuman.
Book 2, BILLY B VERSUS THE TROUBLE BOYS should follow no later than mid-August 2020. Look for it online, or wherever fine books are sold.