What Happens When You Go Viral: On Wanting to Give Up

Steve Vernon:

It’s funny – but I was kicking around this very same thought this morning.

Originally posted on Such Small Hands:

I recently found out that the hit count on my Relevant article back in June was over 1.6 million. The editor told me it was the second-biggest traffic day in the history of their website. That’s mind-boggling to me.

If you had asked me a year ago what I thought it would mean to have a piece get that much exposure, I would have assumed it would be my big break. That it would boost my blog, lead to freelance opportunities, help connect me to the right people. That it would be my open door into the world of professional writing and publishing. That it would bring me validation and satisfaction. It would reassure me that what I’m doing here isn’t pointless and that my story matters.

Do you want to know the truth?

It hasn’t done any of those things. For a few weeks I received a lot of…

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THREE TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR BLOG NOTICED!

All right.

So you’ve sat down and typed up several awesome and truly inspiring blog entries. We are talking about the wisdom of the ages – soul stirring stuff that Plato himself wishes he had thunk up.

By God, you tell yourself – but I am freaking brilliant.

Cue the tumbleweeds.

Harken to them crickets squeaking on their finest fiddling legs?

You dropped a pebble down the well of infinity and it is still falling.

Your brilliance will go unnoticed if no one notices your blog.

Right?

So, let me give you a few hints, pilgrim.

1. Comment on other blogs and TRY to sound as if you actually have something interesting to stay. Do NOT stick your foot in your mouth. Nothing tastes worst than day-old toe jam mingled with your fillings.

2. Make guest blog appearances and reciprocate if possible. Each blog entry is like a stone thrown into a pond. Makes ripples that reach out and touch other folks. You throw a rock in somebody’s blog-pond and then they throw a rock into your blog-pond there is no telling how big those ripples might get. We are talking an entire tsunami of exposure.

Ripples in water

3. WATCH YOUR TITLES! Don’t just title your blog entry something dull and uninspiring like “Blog Entry #21″. If you want to catch those random drive-by blog hits you want a title that is going to catch the attention of somebody doing a blog search. You also want a title that SOUNDS sexy and useful – like TWENTY-FIVE TIPS TO GETTING YOUR BLOG NOTICED!

I guarantee that title would get noticed!

Too bad that I could only think of three tips.

:)

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


If you enjoyed this blog entry why don’t you pick up one of my e-books?

Steve Vernon on Kindle!

Steve Vernon on Kobo!

9 Things You Need To Write A Novel

Steve Vernon:

This guy says it very well – Nine Things You Need To Write A Novel

Originally posted on tobylitt:

The first thing you need to write a novel is… Time.

The second thing you need to write a novel is… More Time.

And the third thing you need to write a novel is… Even More Time.

This perhaps seems a bit obvious. But let me explain.

Time, More Time and Even More Time are all necessary.

I’ve divided Time up into three because you need Time for different things.

The first lot of Time is, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, Time to write. Time to sit at the desk with words coming out of you.

The second lot of time, More Time, is… Time not to write. Time to do stuff which doesn’t seem to be writing but which, in the end, turns out to have been writing all along. To the uninitiated, this may appear to be window shopping or people-watching, taking a nice long…

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!! 200th Review Giveaway !!

Steve Vernon:

I was going to say something nice about that mackerel tabby cat – but my cat has FORBIDDEN me to say ANYTHING about ANY of the other cats on the internet. In fact, she tells me that there are no other cats on the internet. In fact there isn’t even an internet and the only web worth talking about are those cobwebs that she keeps nibbling on in the corners of the under-bed-world.

Here’s a pretty cool giveaway. Check it out and check out this reviewer’s blog! :)

Originally posted on No Pen Intended:

To celebrate 200 reviews’ worth of you all putting up with the haphazardly scheduled posting of my office supply opinions, I’m doing a giveaway! I’ve been amassing this horde for several years, of the choicest goods I’ve ever found on clearance. Mostly from Target, but not all.

That Leuchtturm was an especially good find. Mine has served me well all year.

The goods include:

  • Ruled Leuchtturm 1917 Medium Notebook, Black
  • 2 Moleskine Extra Small Ruled Notebooks, Green and Purple
  • Some Random Turquoise Pocket Notebook from Staples
  • One 0.5mm Uni Kuru Toga with extra lead and extra erasers
  • One 0.7mm Uni Signo 207 Premier Black Gel Pen
  • Pentel Hybrid Technica Set (0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.6mm)
  • One Wonderland Paperchase Cartridge Fountain Pen, with cartridges
  • 4 Sharpie Pens, assorted colors
  • 3-pack of Pentel Hi-Polymer Erasers
  • Set of Assorted Scented Holiday Pencils

And I may throw in some other Pentel pens and/or pencils…

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#NaNoWriMo – Hurry Up and Slow Down

All right – so some of you folks might be wondering just how I am doing on NaNoWriMo this month?

I have been doing all right – but I had to do something incredibly risky right off from the start.

As some of you may remember I set off to complete my novel LADY MACBETH, THE MERMAID AND THE KELPIE this November.

Well, that is still doable.

I had also intended to have the book set-up as a pre-order and to release it for Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.

Which might not be doable.

You see, I hit a speedbump right in the first week of NaNoWriMo.

I was so stressed out about trying to make the end of November deadline for NaNoWriMo, as well as trying to make the November 13th deadline for submitting the completed manuscript for my preorder as well as having it ready for Black Friday that I completely blew a creative gasket.

Note my Movember mustache? More about that later in this blog.

So I took a page from the Good Lord’s notebook and on the seventh day I rested.

Let me show you what I mean.

Here’s my NaNoWriMo progress sheet.

Day 1 – 1666 words

Day 2 – 3333 words

Day 3 – 5950 words

Day 4 – 7300 words

Day 5 – 8100 words

Day 6 – 8300 words

Day 7 – zero words.

That’s right. On the seventh day I pulled that book right over to the curb and I started completely from a blank page. That is a risky, risky thing to do in NaNoWriMo – but the truth was I had run off in the wrong direction and I badly needed to start over.

That is not how you are S’PPOSED to do it.

The way that you are S’PPOSED to do it is to just leave a space at the end of those 8300 words and start over, counting those 8300 words as words written.

Only problem is I am not very good at doing what I am S’PPOSED to do.

Matter of fact, I can’t even SPELL the word supposed.

:)

Day 8 I hit 4600, Day 9 I hit 14,100 words.

Right now I am sitting at 44,950 words. That’s an average of 2800 words a day and I am pretty happy with that. I expect my novel to be close to the 60,000 word mark and I hope to finish it by the end of next week.

Or - if you live in the UK - click this cover if you want to take advantage of the special time-limited price on Amazon.co.uk

You see – once I have an idea just exactly where I am going I can go like go has never gone before.

:)

Yes, maybe I need more coffee.

Anyways – LADY MACBETH will be out by the beginning of September but I am not, will not, cannot set a deadline right now because I do not want to futz up my whole creative process.

Sometimes you have to slow down to hurry up.


Let me just add a little Kobo note here.

If any of you folks are interested in picking yourself up a new story to read on your Kobo check out their big 35% off sale these next couple of days.

Just check out this page!

Take a look at the selection of books. When you decide on one to order use the GET35 promo code to get 35% off of the price of your choice.

Remember, this isn’t 35% off of ANY Kobo e-book – it is just 35% off of the books that are listed for this promotion.

STILL – if you were hankering for some spooky ghost stories for your Kobo you might check out my e-book ROADSIDE GHOSTS which DOES qualify for the 35% discount.



Lastly, here is a look at my Movember mustache.

Listen - just click this picture to take you to my Movember page. Any sort of donation will go to help fight prostate cancer. Let's slap cancer right in the face!

Listen – just click this picture to take you to my Movember page. Any sort of donation will go to help fight prostate cancer. Let’s slap cancer right in the face!

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


Now – I usually end these blogs by placing a couple of links to my Kindle and Kobo listings and asking politely if you enjoyed and were entertained and possibly even educated by this blog entry that might kindly consider buying one of my e-books…

BUT…

Today I would like to ask you to hit that photograph and donate even five bucks to the Movember fund. I’ve got several members of my family who are battling cancer in the worst kind of way there is and I really would like to do my bit to help out. They take PayPal. They take other exchange means as well.

Like I say, I don’t have a bucket of money and I don’t expect that you do either – but if everybody gives a little we’ll fill that bucket and then some.

Dress warm folks – it’s cold out there.

Kindle Unlimited – Is it worth it?

Is it really worth it?

Right from the get-go let me warn you that this is only ONE author’s opinion.

I’m not a marketing genius.

I am not a business analyst.

But let me tell you how it has worked out for me.

First month I was in it – September – the KU paid out $1.52 per borrow; which means that for every e-book of mine that somebody grabbed through Kindle Unlimited and READ MORE THAN 10% of the book – I earned $1.52.

Back then it was easy money.

In October the KU payout has dropped down to $1.33.

Now, I have had MORE borrows in October than I had in September – so it is still a good thing for me – but that trend is definitely worrisome.

Now – if I somehow manage to get a lot more people worked up and excited about borrowing my books through KU – then even if it drops further I will still do all right.

The big trick is getting folks to borrow me through KU.

That isn’t exactly easy.

AND, I am pretty sure that the KU payout is going to continue to trend downwards.

Why?

Well, for starters that has DEFINITELY been the trend.

  • $2.00 per borrow or thereabouts prior to July, 2014
  • $1.81 per borrow for July, 2014
  • $1.54 per borrow for August, 2014
  • $1.52 per borrow for September, 2014
  • $1.33 per borrow for October, 2014

If you want to read those figures in MORE detail, you ought to definitely check out Chris McMullen’s blog.

Bear in mind that this downward trend has continued relentlessly – IN SPITE of Amazon’s regular cash injections into the KU pay-out fund.

Why?

Well – just take a look at how many indie authors out there have climbed on board of the KU program. Especially those folks who specialize in 99 cent releases.

That is a lot more soup spoons scooping out of the same old pot.

AND furthermore, I am beginning to wonder just how many readers are getting all excited about the KU program.

When KU first came out it was billed as NETFLIX for readers.

Now that, in itself, is a pretty cool concept. Even I was excited at first glance. “Cool,” I thought. “I pay a monthly fee and I get to read all the books that I want to.”

BUT how many books can one fellow read in a month?

I mean I can watch an awful lot of movies and television programs in a single month – but I am apt to read maybe one or two books in that same month.

I’m not dumb. I’m not lazy. I am just a slow reader – and I generally only read before bedtime and on my way to or from work on the bus. And that bus reading can get interrupted if I happen to be on the bus with someone I want to talk to – or if I am sitting in front of someone who wants to tell their neighbour about the uber-cool mac-and-cheese they had for dinner thirteen times.

The more that I think about it the more I have to wonder just how big of a market is there for a Netflix for books?

So – as I mentioned in a previous blog – I am going to be pulling some – if not all of my KU releases as their enrollment period winds down.

TROLLING LURES and HAMMURABI ROAD are both ending their KU membership as of December 4, 2014 – so, if you have been thinking about borrowing them through KU don’t wait for too much longer.

BIGFOOT TRACKS , my collection of Bigfoot short stories, is going to stay in to the KU program until December 9, 2014.

BIG HAIRY DEAL, my full-length Bigfoot novel, is going to stay in the KU program until December 29.

I am going to be rolling each of these e-books into the Kobo system throughout December.

Kindle Unlimited does NOT seem to be working for me.

Now – in all fairness – two months isn’t a lot of time to make this sort of a judgement call – but that is exactly what I am doing. I am the captain of my own ship – not your ship.

:)

Some folks are still making out with KU like crazy love-starved baboons.

You have to remember that. In indie-publishing what works for one writer might NOT work for another – or vice-versa.

So, is KU going to crash and burn?

How the heck should I know?

Is KU the right answer for your e-publishing needs?

How the heck should I know?

William Goldman said it best.

“Nobody knows nothing!”

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


If you enjoyed this blog entry why don’t you pick up one of my e-books?

Steve Vernon on Kindle!

Steve Vernon on Kobo!

Kindle Unlimited Trends

Steve Vernon:

Eight of my e-books are available for FREE through Kindle Unlimited.
Which means that I have voluntarily placed them in KDP Select – …AND NOWHERE ELSE!
I am beginning to wonder if this is working for me. Judging from the trend of the payout that is offered it is becoming less profitable for me.
The jury is still out.
For now, I ought to tell you that there is only a short time left to pick up TROLLING LURES and HAMMURABI ROAD and BIGFOOT TRACKS for FREE on through Kindle Unlimited. The same thing goes for my Bigfoot novel, BIG HAIRY DEAL.
SO – if you have the chance to borrow and read these through the Kindle Unlimited program I would recommend you borrowing and reading them SOON!

Originally posted on chrismcmullen:

KU Trends

KINDLE UNLIMITED

Historically, Amazon Prime borrows paid around $2 per borrow through KDP Select until the introduction of Kindle Unlimited.

The KOLL global fund has paid less for Amazon Prime borrows and Kindle Unlimited downloads read to 10% since the debut of Kindle Unlimited in July, 2014.

The most recent KOLL payout of $1.33 for October, 2014 shows a significant downward trend:

  • $2.00 or thereabouts prior to July, 2014
  • $1.81 for July, 2014
  • $1.54 for August, 2014
  • $1.52 for September, 2014
  • $1.33 for October, 2014

$1.33 is a significant drop for KOLL payments.

Books with a list price of $2.99 or higher earn royalties of $2 and up for sales (using the 70% royalty option, assuming a negligible delivery cost).

In the past, KOLL borrows have paid close to the royalty for the purchase of a $2.99 book.

But $1.33 is 33% less than the 70% royalty on a $2.99…

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