Thursday, June 9, 2016

What Have I Been Doing??

Holy moley, it's been a year since I posted anything here.  What have I been doing, you ask?  Well, in the spring of this year I finished corrections and published the French translation of my WWI novella, For Two Cents, I'll Go With You.  I decided to "go wide", meaning that it would be available on as many outlets as I could find.  Direct2Digital is great for this, offering seven different e-publishers, including Kobo, iTunes, and B&N.  I did this because they also publish for the European firm Tolino.  Since the book is in French and Tolino is a strong competitor for Kindle in Europe, I thought it would be a good idea to try and tap into that market.  Unfortunately, the book has not gotten much traction anywhere, in English or in French.  I believe this is because war stories are just not very popular.  Top-selling genres are as follows (from strongest to weakest): suspense/thrillers, general fiction, classics, mystery, action/adventure, sci fi, romance, fantasy, religion, horror, graphic novels, and Westerns.  I did class it under action/adventure in choosing my key words, but since women are far and away the largest book-buying audience, it's been a hard sell.

I had already started working on a third novel on an early aviation pioneer, but having learned my lesson with Two Cents I changed direction and am currently reading and researching for a novel with a strong female lead set in the late medieval period.  It's been fun, digging into my grad school notes and texts and refreshing my knowledge of Old French.  As Stephen King advised in his memoir On Writing, write what you know.

I've also delved into audiobook production this spring, offering The Rogue Queen on ACX.  The book is currently being produced, and will hopefully be offered for sale within a month or six weeks.  I made the decision to try the audiobook market because, frankly, I ended up giving a lot of my e-book royalties from last year to the IRS.  I did plan appropriately for taxes on my royalties; I did not know I would have to shell out several grand to cover interest on savings bonds used to pay for our daughter's college tuition.  Once upon a time said interest was deductible if used for education, but no more.  We should have cashed in a few each year instead of waiting until her senior year, but live and learn.  Luckily I had the money available.  Hoping to tap into another revenue stream, I headed over to ACX (another Amazon company), where they make it easy to find producers willing to narrate in a clear step-by-step process.  As soon as school is out I'll be reviewing the recording as well as working on research, so it looks to be a busy summer.  I'll let y'all know how it goes.