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Status Update - May, 2024

Not a bad month but not a great one either. It was, however, busy. Busy, busy, busy.


THE REVENANT AND THE CULT, BOOK ONE

Well, the book has been released and there's good news and bad news. The bad news is, as far as I can tell, the release was not as good as my release of THE WIZARD'S STONE. I haven't sold as many books, thus far, as I did with my previous book the first two weeks of release. There are a combination of factors at play here. I didn't advertise as heavily before the release, and I'm not advertising heavily after. I tried a different type of ad on one site, and I'm not 100% sure that I got the results I was hoping for. To add to my frustrations, Amazon was shipping my books in the slowest manner possible. I had people who pre-ordered the book the moment it was available, waiting until the end of May for their book to finally show up. I could have sent the frickin' book in the mail using USPS, and it would have gotten to my readers earlier. It wasn't because Ingram Spark wasn't shipping the books. I saw the sales on my author dashboard on Ingram WELL before the release. The whole experience has got me hopping mad at Amazon.


Now, for the good news. Because Amazon changed the genre for my audiobook, THE REVENANT AND THE CULT, BOOK ONE was the top new release in Christian Fantasy for two days in a row. So that was a feather in my cap. And, while I haven't sold as many books as I did last year, I am generating more revenue per sale. This is due to my attending live events and selling books directly. Also, the few responses I have gotten from readers of the book have been very positive.


And, then there are other outlets where the book is available whose sales numbers I won't know for a couple of months. I did, however, sell more paperbacks this time around. My eBook sales? They were almost non-existent.


I'm continuing to run ads (I have one running now) and probably will do so for most of June. Sales continue to trickle in. I'm not going to speculate as to why the release wasn't strong, but there are a variety of factors that contribute to sales. One is the time of year. The other is the amount of ads I pump out. I also can't ignore the faltering economy either. However, despite a weak release, sales overall for the month of May weren't bad. They'd probably be better if Amazon didn't hamstring me.



THE REVENANT AND THE CULT, BOOK 2

Because May was so hectic, I didn't get much time to write new material or revise the second book in the REVENANT AND THE CULT duology. Near the end of the month, I started going over book 2, and will also get a couple of chapters in tonight (as I write this). I'm not going to offer a proposed release date as of yet. I've done that in the past and it always came back to bite me. I will say, however, that I may change things up a bit with this book. I'm seriously, seriously considering crowdfunding production of the book on Kickstarter. This means, if you participate in the crowdfund, you'll get the book at least a month before release. Furthermore, I'm seriously considering opening up an online store and offering an early release through there as well. You'll be paying a little more for the book in both of these scenarios, however, at least you'll get your book in a timely fashion. Not to mention the books will be signed and with goodies as well.


I'm going to post a video on my YouTube channel discussing the whole Amazon / Kickstarter thing, so I'll reserve the details for that video.



Book 5

Unfortunately, I haven't written a word all this month. Doctor visits, personal stuff, the release, and the craziness of getting a business up and running were all to blame. At present, I'm sitting on Chapter 8, and I suspect that the story will be as long as THE WIZARD'S STONE, if not longer. I'm also considering pulling out one of the stories I have sitting in cold storage and revising that in the interim.



HPH Lore Forge LLC

Yes, that is the name of my business. As of now, just about everything to make it official has been completed (with one exception). And now I know how much it sucks to set up a business.


Now that I am a business, it opens up some new avenues for me to explore. I'm able to attend more than two live events a year. I'll be able to attend events in different states (meaning: selling my books direct). And, I can set up my online store as well as crowdfund my books.


The thing is, selling paperbacks through outlets like Barnes & Noble and Amazon doesn't net me much in the way of revenue. I actually make more per copy selling directly to the customer - significantly more. The only hitch is shipping, as now I'm on the hook for that cost. The upside is that I can provide more for your money than places like Amazon. You can get a signed book, a bookmark that I made for that story, and whatever I decide to throw in the box. You won't get that from Amazon. Plus now a store allows me to sell merch which is an additional revenue stream. Moreover, I have control of shipping. So, there are some serious bonuses for both you and I.


Going the crowdfunding route solves a couple of problems I've faced. First, it allows me to raise money to help fund the production of my books. Secondly, it opens up a whole new segment of potential readers that didn't know about my books previously. Plus, I've always toyed with the idea of special hardcover releases of my existing books, which is a perfect crowdfunding item.


I'm pretty serious in my intent to pursue a Kickstarter campaign, especially when I can do that and simultaneously finish THE REVENANT AND THE CULT, BOOK TWO at the same time.

With both the store and the crowdfunding campaign, I intend to start small at first. I'll keep you updated on what happens.



Other Things Going On

I don't foresee much going on in June save for writing the ever-mercurial book 5 and revising the second book in the REVENANT AND THE CULT duology. Early in July - July 6th and 7th to be exact - I will be attending Thunder-Con in Alpena, Michigan. If you live in the area and haven't picked up my latest book, please stop by and pick it up. There'll be pens, and bookmarks, and signatures...oh my!


That's all for now.

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