S3, E74: Seasons Change…


In this week’s hodge-podge of an episode, I share some info on the weight loss program I’m on, give updates on Aisuru and Deviations, and talk about the changes I’ve made to the show and my newsletter. I round out the episode with my September plans.

Main Topic:

This week’s episode is kind of all news and notes, so…we’ll call it a hodge-podge and just jump right in! First, the app I’ve worked on all these long months finally launched this week, so yay! No more overtime! It almost feels weird leaving work on time 😀

Aisuru

Last episode I talked about going “unwide” with Aisuru and what all that meant. For an update on that:

  • Aisuru was successfully pulled from wide distribution and is now in the KDP select program. I’ve since learned that borrows count against sales rank, so I had a nice boost in sales rank when 1 person borrowed the book. Alas, only read 6 pages, but that’s still more activity than Aisuru has had in a while.
  • I also did give the eBook a completely new cover – I looked through a crap ton of premades, but unfortunately they are hideously lacking in diversity (like 95-98% of models are Caucasian, and among the rest, very few Asians, much less Japanese). So I made my own again, using some a stock photo and with help from my sweetie.
  • I did consider the subtitle but I decided against it – as someone pointed out in the comments, adding something just to add it would take away from the title. I also read up on other people’s views of non-plain word titles and really it didn’t seem to be something that hindered readers at all
  • Bryan Cohen at Best Page Forward did a limited time offer to help people redo their blurbs for free in exchange for subscribing to his newsletter, so I took him up on his offer and implemented his suggestions
  • In the process of planning a big promotion probably at 99 cents, running for a 5-7 days with a Kindle Countdown deal, and trying to get it on as many promotion sites as I can; still debating if I want to aim for September or stick to November or December like I said in my original plans (if I run it in September, I won’t be able to run again until January because of the only once per 90 day rule)

Changes to the Show and Newsletter

With everything going on, I realized I just have too much on my plate, I’m trying to do way too much, so I decided to cut back on things that are less writing related and that, at least now, do not “pay out” in terms of effort/stress to return ratio.

  • The September issue of the newsletter will be the last of the planned monthly newsletters. My newsletter has only 15 actual subscribers, and while I appreciate them all, of those 15 only 8 or 9 even open the newsletters. So I spend several hours of time and creative energy for almost no return, when I could be focusing that time elsewhere. The newsletter itself won’t be going away, it will just switch to being more sporadic announcements about upcoming releases and promotions. I’ll also leave on the option to get the weekly blog post/podcast summaries.
  • I’m changing the format of this show, yet again. This time though, the change is primarily to the schedule. I will no longer be aiming to do weekly episodes, instead I’ll pretty much do an episode when I have something to actually talk about (kind of like Mur Lafferty’s more sporadic schedule for the I Should Be Writing podcast). I decided on this change in part because I’ve struggled to come up with topics of late and finding time to record, hence so many skipped episodes. Listenership is also down and those who do listen pretty much never give any feedback, have questions, etc. So it’s a lot of stress for again, little return.

    I suspect freeing myself from the weekly schedule will result in once a month or so episodes that are a bit longer and covering multiple topics at times, but hopefully actually are me talking about something versus just struggling to come up with something to say besides just newsy stuff. Some of the sorts of things that I’ve been talking about in the newsletter will probably make their way there too…

    Conversely, I may end up doing spurts of shorter episodes – for example a series of episodes discussing that promo for Aisuru, like selection and what not (or that may be a blog post, I haven’t decided). So yeah, basically restoring my freedom to myself 🙂

Deviations

Sat unloved for way too long, but finally, at long last getting back to the revision. It’s slow because my brain is fully in the “eh, later” mode after all the overtime, so having to push myself to really get back to it.

On Tap for September

  • Really getting going on Deviations revision again – I want to have it done before NaNo season gears up so I can then focus purely on Girl in the Forest in November; ideally, I’ll be able to get Deviations into some beta reader hands before the end of the year, though it may be tricky as I actually have a very small pool of potential betas, a smaller pool of interested betas, and my best ones are off beta for a while because they are busy with some super awesome things right now 😀
  • Continue trying to find something for Deviations cover and/or start planning to hire out because it is a tricky one
  • Continuing to plan Aisuru’s promotion and trying to tweak keywords and what not
  • Continuing to tweak the site, as always
  • Work on generating more newsletter subscribers, so there is a ready pool of folks waiting for word on Deviations release
  • Update social media stuff for Aisuru’s redesign so the branding is consistent
  • Rewrite my bio and update across all sites