So, I was quiet this week on the blog because I’ve been busting my ass in spite of Mother Nature’s dedicated efforts to kill me, my garden, and my print book with Belfire Press. No shit, I’m not joking on any count. The weather shifted rapidly from HOT to COLD very rapidly during three days of this week. The effect on my body was devastating, and I had to up my painkillers and other drug intake. So I was a leeeetle spacy.
I got an email from my kind and benevolent publisher that The Life & Death of a Sex Doll would have to be delayed until mind-June. The problem is, there was a lot of flooding, and the Belfire home offices lost their Internet connection due to the poor weather. So there were delay on all sorts of things, again because of the weather.
And then on Friday, Mother Nature dropped a freak hail storm with torrential and violent raindrops, killing 8 of my strawberry seedlings in seconds, as well as several other smaller herb seedlings that had just started to pop out of the ground. I ran out in a parka, making this hugely dramatic rescue of all my baby plants, and the weather shifted from hot to COLD while I was working. Well, my spine found that really funny. No, I mean it was just shaking with spasms of laughter. But, while my spine was amused, I was decidedly less enthusiastic about the pain. Me and Mr. Rum got together for a conference call with Mr. Bong, and then we all paid a visit to Mrs. Painkiller, and FINALLY, my back relaxed and made it possible to sit straight without huddling my shoulders.
Before we get into an episode of “Aaaaw Zoe,” I’m not looking to host a pity party, really. In fact, allow me to tell you what I still did in spite of my pain. For starters, I busted out the news every day this week, and then I did my guitar practice. Then I sat down to do book layouts and proofing for some new Lulu titles. This week alone, I’ve released three print books, and I’ve updated two Smashwords ebooks with improved editions now that I’ve stripped yet more typos from the print proofs.
If you go to my Lulu storefront, you will now find Blood Relations, A Collection of Vampire Shorts, and Dead End: Omnibus. Blood Relations is of course the sequel to Touched and Redemption Lost, following Vicky and Amber during the start of Amber’s eighteen month pregnancy carrying a vampire/halfling hybrid. A Collection of Vampire Shorts can be considered the sequels to Blood Relations, and each of the three stories offers vastly different takes on life in the vampire coven. Finally, Dead End: Omnibus is a collection of the Dead End trilogy: Dead End, Dead End II: Cults Rising, and Dead End III: Mutation. I released an ebook version of Dead End: Omnibus for $4.99, which may seem high. But if I released the three ebooks separately, I would charge $1.99 each. So it’s actually a little cheaper for this edition than for three units.
I didn’t bother doing an ebook version of A Collection of Vampire Shorts for now because the ebook version of Stark Raving Bonkers is still free until August. So paying even $3.99 for it right now wouldn’t make sense when it’s cheaper to buy the separate ebooks. And if you haven’t read A Phone Man Visits the Vampires or Job Interview With a Vampire as ebooks, you can either buy them separately at Smashwords or go with a lovely new print option for only $7.95. Once Stark Raving Bonkers gets raised from free to a regular price, I will put out the trio in a combined volume for $3.99, again to offer folks a slight discount for buying all three titles at the same time.
Despite all my progress in other areas, I did absolutely no language lessons and feel shitty about this. But frankly, I have hit my limits, and something had to give. So something gave. I still did a LOT of work this week, and now I’m tuckered out. I still need to get on the blog and update you about the new stuff.
And, just to maintain consistency, I have a lot of new books out. I need reviews, and I could use some sales. If you can’t buy copies right now, please consider promoting one or two of my releases, or this link: http://stores.lulu.com/zoe_w
Add links to your MySpace bulletins, or post an update on Facebook or on Twitter. Maybe Digg or Stumble my stores. Or add my storefronts to your blogroll. I’m open for email interviews if anyone with a blog wants to send me some questions. Or if an interview is too much work, how about a short review?
I hate to go on and on like this, but this month sales have been very low. While there were at least a few purchases of the new releases on Smashwords, I’ve only had one print volume sell on Lulu so far. And that print volume went to Becka, who is like my one long term resident Superfan, the kind who will try to buy just about everything I write. Other folks have made similar fan-like efforts, but nobody else fits the definition of superfan the way she does.
But, she’s a writer too, and no one believes her when she gives me a good review. So yeah, I need more help, and I need it to come from people who aren’t writers. I need my readers to get the word out that I have a Lulu store, and that new print releases are going up all the time. I can try to tell people that myself, but I’m just a lousy self-published so-and-so, and besides that, I’m bitter. No one believes me if I say my books are good. (And note how I never say great, only good.)
I’m not the only writer out there literally begging for help, but I HAVE already slipped through the cracks of the online writing world, dropping so far into obscurity that no new release can make it past 12 sales in the first month. (The level I got with my first print book on Lulu.) Or even 10 for that matter. Recently, I even had to give up hope of even making ONE sale on opening days. And yes, that was BEFORE the explosion.
I dropped to amateur status, so I don’t have to think about marketing as often, nor do I need to think of it as a life or death situation. But I do still have to think about it, and I still can’t escape the conclusion that without “buzz” from actual readers, I might as well take my dad’s suggestion for a new slogan: I write the books that nobody reads.
I’ve proven time and again that I will bust my ass for y’all. So please, I’m just asking for you to do a little bit of work to help me out. Who knows? Maybe one day with your help, I might even release a new book and sell 10 copies in the first month.