Wednesday, October 19, 2011

State of the Croft

I've got a bunch of projects that I'm working on - I thought I'd do an update.

'Let's Do Lunch' - 
I have sent in the corrections to the first proof. A second proof should be on it's way. I don't think I'll find any more typos in it. So may as well say the First Run of 20 copies should be in hand by Halloween.

As soon as I have copies in hand, I'm going to look into ways to promote the book locally. There may be a book signing or two in my future. Or I might take it to a craft fair - having cards with Smashwords Coupons to either give away or sell at a discount.

Sales are stalled - which is disappointing. I thought after the spectacular July we had things would start chugging along. Not a chance. There have been 6 sales at full price. Which is better than a dozen sales at Dollar Dreadful prices.

'Swallow the Moon' - now a Dollar Dreadful 
The interior is 50% finished for the paperback. The cover is ready. As soon as I get the interior finished it can go to Create Space to be printed.

This book is going to be promoted on the Ashtabula websites as well as locally. I'm looking to have it finished by the first of the year.

Meanwhile, sales of 'Swallow the Moon' have doubled. (snicker) Last month I sold 2 copies, this month I've sold 4 (with 1 return). The price is currently $.99 - until the end of October, unless there is a sudden surge in sales.

I've heard from one reviewer who has the book in que to read and review. However, though I've sent out 33 free copies, 9 to reviewers, some way back before the book was first published in July - there have been only a couple reviews.

'Doyle Road Bridge' - I. C. Talbot collection
I've got 30% of this finished. There are about 10 more stories to go in it.

Impressive Bravado -
I really got bit in the tush by the old formatting of this story. It took 3 'nukes' to get all the formatting errors out. Then I uploaded the Amazon Master to Smashwords which gummed up the distribution channel. The story is going out as a freebie with an ISBN because it 'sold' 82 copies on Barnes and Nobel which might have fueled the rash of sales I enjoyed this summer.

It is worth trying this again - this time knowing it will take 6 months to get any feedback. Having a freebie is a 'tried and true' sales technique that doesn't stick in my craw.

The Chicken Project - 
While the girls are still producing eggs on a regular basis - I have no time to take the eggs to market. There are about 6 dozen in the fridge. I need to start giving them away.

I've still got at least a dozen roosters running all over the place. I need to sell them, or something. I'd like to eat the dratted birds, but Hubby won't eat a fresh bird. I can't bring myself to kill them. It's a problem.

The laying flock also needs to go. I've just got too many chickens. They are great looking birds in great shape. But they are eating me out of house and home.

The New Website - 
This project is dead in the water. When I read the contract, there was no mention of the services promised beyond the splash page. There was a page of disclaimers that made this a major concern.

I've got a real problem with a company that has a full page of 'fine print' and one line of 'services' on the previous page. It looks suspicious. At best it is careless, the company is more interested in protecting themselves from client than in providing services.

Besides the fact I'm 'over-the-hill' - 
I'm desperately trying to get organized. I've joined something called "Flylady" to help coach (or coax) me into getting my sh!t together. After years of family health problems - Hubby is still in and out of the hospital - I'm chronically disorganized and nearly stressed to death.

I may write a full blog post on this in the near future. I now have an office - outside the home - in an effort to get my writing projects finished. It has been priceless to get a few hours of focused time for my writing. I would still be struggling to get 'Let's Do Lunch' into print if I hadn't taken this space.

So that's what's happening in my little section of the world.

How is your fall going?

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