Posts Tagged ‘audience’

preorder
For all the media coverage, both positive and negative, that Amazon has had over recent weeks, months… years. We indie authors do have a lot to thank them for. We work hard to provide the best product that we can but Amazon allow us to reach an audience far further ranging than we could on our own. And they keep on giving…
The pre-order function was a complete surprise. I know a lot of indies have been clamouring for it and to have our voice recognised is very much appreciated.
We do have to pause, however, at this stage and ask ourselves if this is perhaps Amazon’s way of asserting their dominance in the marketplace. Their dispute with Hachette has seen many well-known authors be denied the pre-order function and authors have been sucked into the middle of the debate with newspaper ads and a letter writing campaign, etc. It is possible this is Amazon’s attempt to curry favour among the self-published.
But we scratch their back so they scratch ours. Indies generate revenue for Amazon and Amazon offer readers. Permitting indies to set up their books on pre-order does allow us to operate more professionally. The hope is that indies will live up to the expectation Amazon have put on us by giving us this option.
So what do we get? On our KDP Bookshelf when we “add new title” we are given a new section to complete in section four:

Section4ab

We can choose a release date within the next ninety days, but have to submit the completed manuscript to Amazon ten days before. Great, right? To proceed you do have to send them your draft manuscript for approval. Once they have seen that there is enough book there to take the risk on, I guess, then your product page is created.
If you don’t get the final manuscript to them by the stated date then you have breached the terms of the agreement and you will be suspended from using the pre-order function for a year, can’t say fairer than that.
I think it’s terrific. I really do. I hope this is the first of many steps on Amazon’s part to provide a more equal platform for all authors. But we cannot waste this opportunity. Using this function because it is a novelty could be dangerous, if many indies don’t fulfill their end of the bargain Amazon may have a re-think. So bear that in mind!
Readers, well, now you can ensure to have all the novels you want from the moment they’re available. The options are out there for you to choose what you want and it will be delivered to your device on release date. Simples.

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

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afox

Yes, you heard me right, I said sex.
I feel a bit like a pinball at the moment, bouncing about all over the place, only to hit one wall and fire off into another. I don’t know what to do. I’m completely torn.
As I’ve told you guys before I’ve had contradicting opinions on the volume of sex had by Rushe and Flick. Now lets leave aside for a second that the word “Explicit” is in the title. Let us also leave aside that fact that just about every review references the fact that there is a copious amount of sex. Oh, and that there’s a warning in the description. Somehow readers are still surprised that there is so much sex in the book.
My frustration comes from the fact that half of readers want implied sex and half want explicit sex. Some want it soft and slow, others want Rushe to take what he wants. Maybe the most confusing part is when people talk about how unbelievable it is that Flick suddenly wants lots of sex. They are in an intense situation and most relationships start out heavy on the sex. Rushe wants it too but no one has mentioned that.
Anyway, it sounds like I’m pouting but I’m not, I’m just frustrated. Having readers connect with my work, and enjoy it, is my highest goal. But somehow I just can’t seem to do it. All I want to do is write interesting characters in interesting situations and entertain the audience, to have you engage with those I create.
When people read sci-fi they expect spaceships and/or unfathomable technology because it’s par for the course. Romance novels have to feature some physical connection, whether it’s a kiss, or an implied sex scene, there has to be something, doesn’t there?
I’m feeling the sting because I’m editing Explicit Detail (the Explicit Instruction sequel) so if the sex has to be cut, now is the time to do it. I’m tempted to get out the red pen. I’ll put in the warning this time that there is no sex whatsoever. Will that warning work? I made a joke once about writing a “clean” version and an “author’s cut”, it would delay publication but I’m increasingly tempted to do just that.
Grr, I’m so indecisive. Does the sex matter? Should it make the final cut, or should readers be relied upon to use their imagination?

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

Explicit Mistake1

Series’ are all the rage.
When I first published I had an idea of what I would publish and when. I had several books completed and so envisaged preparing and releasing each of them as I went along. What I hadn’t factored in was that readers would care about my work.
I don’t sell very many books, I know that the world of indie publishing often leaves many authors languishing in obscurity because of the sheer volume of available books if nothing else. I always wrote the kind of books that I would want to read, I write as a reader.
Mistake Me Not drew varying feedback but there was always going to be a book two. I’d written it before I published the first. Explicit Instruction, I have to be honest, is my favourite. I relished writing every single word, and though my confidence in how it would be received flagged, I toned it down in the editing process and I’m proud of the end result – even if there are those out there who are not.
But I hadn’t thought anyone would want another Explicit novel. I’d written an outline for a second novel but that’s not unusual for me. Sometimes I write chapters and chapters after I’ve completed a novel because I’m not yet ready to give up the characters, and I’m interested in how they develop, in where they go. I hadn’t thought anyone else would care!
So how to decide? I have to admit that since I realised people were interested in further Rushe and Flick novels my mind has been jumping with ideas. I couldn’t sleep last night because of them. I actually got up in the middle of the night and started making notes.
So what’s the problem? Well the problem is that I promised this MMN sequel and I am doing it, I will get it out this year, but I don’t imagine there are many people anticipating it.
Both novels have been enjoyed by people who have read them, not by everyone who read them, but you’ll never please everyone. I suppose my dilemma comes from the fact that there isn’t a huge audience. I would be happy to write for the dozen or so folks who have expressed interest in a sequel but chances are they’ll have forgotten about it by the time I get it out.
The only thing to do is to keep writing. I’ll get the MMN sequel out, then see if the audience for more Explicit novels has grown. The nature of the characters mean that more Explicit novels would continue to be graphic. Rushe isn’t going to suddenly become a flurry bunny, and Flick’s confidence would skyrocket knowing she had Rushe at her back. The language and imagery will continue to offend some people, but I would have to stay true to the style of work that the original Explicit book follows.
I’d like to write more but it’s a big decision to make. My other novels are softer, safer, and if my readers expect that then I’ll have to deliver. But – and this is a big but – if it turns out that my readers actually prefer my raunchier work then way-hey! Let’s get to it!
I can’t put Explicit Instruction in front of too many people because it’s just not suitable for all. But without readers there is no point in a sequel.
Grr! See how frustrating it is to be in my head! Anyway, I’m procrastiwriting, I should be writing, and I’m not. My head is bouncing. It’s at times like these I wish I had an editor to help direct my creativity. I’ll write what people want, for the largest audience. But how do I know what that is?

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

Marmite_500g_450_tcm28-293449

 

Controversy, it’s part of our lives. You can’t turn around in this day and age without hearing about someone who has offended someone else. We all have to learn to be more tolerant, and to move with the times. The world is changing, and have to accept that yes, we really are all equal. On the flip side of that everyone is entitled to their opinion. As I’m writing this I suddenly find myself aware that I’ve probably offended a stack of people already.
So you’re wondering what I’ve been smoking this morning? Don’t worry, I’m perfectly healthy – at least that’s what the voices in my head tell me 😛
I’ve been mulling over Explicit Instruction. I’ve been doing it for weeks, and got some reassurance from a GoodReads discussion. The issue is that it’s explicit. I’ve mentioned before that it’s got a lot of sex and violence.
I’m new to the publishing thing so I’m concerned that those who have read Mistake Me Not might read it and be offended because there is strong language in it. On the other hand I don’t want new readers to experience Explicit Instruction and then download my other titles and be disappointed.
I’ve gone back and forth and had kind of convinced myself just to own it, you know, it’s there. It is what it is, and folks can take from it what they want. It’s Marmite. I’m link happy today :p
So Explicit Instruction is what it is and I’ve already realised that there’s no rush to get it out, because of that I’ve gone back to my mulling.
I’m working on a new RS title. I know. I know. I bounce from one project and straight onto the next. I love writing. I do it everywhere 😉 I sit in front of the TV with my Pukka pad. I write in my car (not while driving. I did that once and kept pressing the horn. Not really something you want to do when you’re actually acting illegally – “look at me”. Needless to say I’ve never done that again). I wake up in the middle of the night and write down a line of dialogue that just popped into my head. If an idea comes into my head while I’m in the shower I get out immediately – who needs to shave their legs ;). I tried writing on the tile but I type faster; won’t they hurry up and make the shower proof laptop :p Emoticon happy too it seems.
Where was I, oh yeah, new RS. I’ve got the first chapter all but done; approximately three thousand words so just shy. But it’s longhand on paper so I can’t give you an exact figure.
Writers have to handle rejection well and criticism too. Why did I bounce to this idea? I get excited about new projects like super excited. So because I’ve had a couple of reviews that made me stop and think, and bring Explicit Instruction into doubt again, the easiest thing? Start all over again.
Ideas aren’t a problem. Writing is hard work but I’m committed, sometimes (like all writers) too committed. It’s impossible to please everyone as I’ve discovered in my life so I’ll do what I always do and follow my instinct. I’ll let Explicit Instruction percolate for a while, and see if demand increases for my next work. In the mean time I’ll continue with my new project.
That being said, you all know that Explicit Instruction is finished. Did you notice I added an excerpt on my ‘Coming soon…’ section of the blog (also accessible at the top of this page). It’s not the whole excerpt available at the back of Mistake Me Not but it’s the first part. Have a read and if you like it go to the bottom of the page and “Like” Facebook (in the footer of all of my pages). If you want more I’ll post the rest on here. Then when I have enough newsletter subscribers I’ll send out the next part of Explicit Instruction in my newsletter.
I think it’s important to get you guys involved in the process as well as the outcome. So excerpts will certainly feature regularly in my newsletter. As always if you guys have any ideas, comments, or questions get in touch. Details are on the website and you can also sign up to the newsletter there. Scroll to the bottom of the webpage and enter your email address, that’s it. Don’t forget to “like” Facebook below if you want more of the Explicit Instruction excerpt posted on here. One more for the road 😉

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

Writing has been my salvation throughout my life. During times of highs and lows I’ve always been able to turn to my work and express what I thought and what I felt through my characters.
When I decided to publish I knew I was never going to be famous or make money from it, all I wanted to know was that people out there had experienced the little corner of illusion I’d created. Seeing your words on screen, for sale, and seeing them downloaded gives a thrill. You get swept into the world of promotion and seek out places that can increase your audience. You do everything you’re supposed to, create Facebook pages, and Twitter, create a website, and get yourself involved with any other social media platform that you can think of.
No one has ever understood why I write, let alone why I would do it and not share it with anyone – like I did for two thirds of my life. I can’t explain my passion for it, there’s no comparison in life. If you have a passion for something (not just writing, any passion at all) it comes from inside you. A burning notion to just do it. It’s almost an addiction. It can completely take over until you can’t not do it.
I’ve been editing for the last couple of days. I’m second guessing myself, worrying about my audience, or rather lack of one, and how my current work will affect any audience I have for my other novels.
Tonight I’m tired. I’m disheartened. I never wanted to be famous. I just wanted to share. Finding out that sharing isn’t as easy as I thought it would be is tough. Most of my daily work has increased because at the same time I should be actually working (with my business) I stop and start messing around with the website, or the social media, or whatever. I’ve actually found that I quite enjoy it, which is all good. So why is tonight different? Maybe it’s just that us creative types have a flair for the dramatic but I’ve been working so hard. I’ve completed Explicit Instruction. I have my next couple of projects lined up. I’ve been keeping the pressure up on myself, which is great.
Except tonight I realised something. I might be excited about my new project but no one else is. I’m worrying about hitting a writing deadline that I have set for myself. In amongst that I have to run a business and a home, and we have summer holidays coming up when I know I’ll get less done.
Feeling the pressure wasn’t what stopped me in my tracks, it was the sudden clarity that my mental hype about sharing my work with people was just that: mental. It’s all in me.
On the positive side it means that I can let up on myself. I don’t have to rush out Explicit Instruction. I don’t have to worry about completing the Mistake Me Not sequel, or about ‘Love and Madness’ my next chicklit title. I can slow down. In fact I can stop.
Tonight I suppose I’m feeling blue. It’s a bit like realising that magic isn’t real, there’s no Santa Claus, no tooth fairy, and no one who would notice if I never wrote another word.
Man, that sounds dramatic and I hear you all groaning and wondering why I’m bothering to blog and it’s a fair point. My only answer is that I need to write. I need to do it. When I have something to process, a situation, or an emotion, I do it through writing.
So sitting here, falling asleep at the screen, trying desperately to concentrate on my work it hit me and I had to write. I write because I have to. I write because I don’t know how not to. I write because setting out thoughts in black and white is the only way I know. Without it… I don’t know who I am.

xSx