Post-Realm-Makers Wrap-Up and Announcements

Beware–I’m about to get real with you.

Wait! Come back! Do not fear the realness! And if you’re an introvert, don’t worry, I won’t hug you.

*virtual hug* Oops. I lied. That was just to thank you for following my work online, despite the fact that I don’t always respond to your kind words all that quickly. This post will, in part, address that issue.

So I’m back from the Realm Makers conference in St. Louis. It was incredible. I had an amazing time, I got to meet a bunch of people I had only interacted with online previously, and I learned a lot of useful stuff. If you’re a Christian writing speculative fiction of any kind, you should definitely sign up for the next one (which will be held in St. Louis again). All things being equal, I plan to be there.

I learned some things at Realm Makers that have led me to decide on some changes to my author platform. That’s not the only reason for these changes, however. As some of you may already know, I have personal concerns regarding the health of a family member that sometimes prevent me from being as available online as other indie authors. With that in mind, I’ve been trying to streamline things this month so I can make the best use of my limited time. Putting the Fearless Fiction podcast on indefinite hiatus was part of that. But there are some other tweaks I need to make to my internet presence. I’ve also adopted a new approach to my book marketing, which will go into effect fully this autumn.

The Afterverse Soft Relaunch

What is a “soft relaunch”, you ask? So far as I know, it is not currently A Thing™, so I made it up.

Normally, in the world of indie publishing, a relaunch means that you take all your books off sale, then re-upload them with new covers and marketing. I’m not going to do that with my books, because I don’t want to lose all your lovely reviews. Instead, here’s what I’m going to do:

Tweak the covers. Just slightly with some of them, more so with others. I want to retain the basics of the original designs for all of them. Mostly, I’ll just be tweaking fonts and colors.

Spruce up the paperback interiors. With Vellum, probably, if I can get that to work on my PC via Mac-in-Cloud. (Advice on this method from people who have used it would be greatly appreciated.)

Put the first three Beaumont and Beasley books through an additional round of edits. I wrote these before I hired a professional editor, and I just want to fix a few, very minor things in the text. However, the changes will have minimal effect on the plot, if any, so I doubt long-time readers will even notice the edits.

Put all my books in the Kindle Unlimited program. This is contrary to my previous strategy of publishing “wide” instead of making my books exclusive to Amazon, but based on advice from several knowledgeable people at Realm Makers, I’ve decided this isn’t the best policy. Also, my sales on other platforms are negligible at best.

The Afterverse Relaunch will begin in October. I’ll announce an official date a little closer to then.

Wattpad

I love Wattpad. It’s an awesome place to connect with readers, and I’d still like to include it in my author platform in the future. However, I can’t have the Crockett and Crane books available on Wattpad and put them in Kindle Unlimited without getting into trouble with Amazon.

So about a week after the final chapter of Deadwood (Crockett and Crane Book 2) is posted on Wattpad, I will be removing both currently-available C&C books from the site. I’m not eager to do this, but I think it’s a necessary step in making my author platform more manageable and profitable for the time being.

I don’t intend to stay away from Wattpad forever, though–I will publish there again in some way, though perhaps with shorter, stand-alone works instead of full-length serials.

Newsletter Freebies

All my newsletter freebies will remain available to subscribers until the Afterverse Relaunch. Like the rest of my works, they’ll have to be exclusive to Amazon in order for me to be in Kindle Unlimited.

My intention is to replace these subscriber rewards with something else, probably a short story or two. Hopefully, I’ll have those ready by the time the relaunch rolls around.

 

 

Social Media

It’s a lot of fun to interact with both readers and fellow authors on social media. But I’ve come to realize lately that I’ve spread myself a little too thin in this aspect of my online platform. I end up posting things, getting replies, and not replying to the replies for at least a week at a time. Nobody’s complained about this so far, which is very kind, but the fact remains that it’s not a considerate way to treat my followers. I think the best solution to the issue is to scale down my social media presence to some degree and focus more heavily on specific sites that increase my branding and sales.

From here on out, the sites I’ll be spending most of my reader-interaction time on will be Facebook and Goodreads. I will still maintain a presence on Twitter and Instagram, sharing links to my blog posts and new book releases on those sites, but I won’t be quite as active there as I was before. That doesn’t mean I won’t pop in every so often, but please don’t be offended or concerned if I fail to respond to a tag or a reply immediately. If you need to get in touch with me or ask a question, Facebook will be your best bet. I’ll be setting aside some time every week (on Wednesdays) to catch up on Twitter and Instagram notifications.

Also, I’ve just started a Facebook reader discussion group! This will be a great way for me to connect with fans of the Afterverse, so be sure to join if you’re interested in my books.

Blogging

I’ve been all over the place with both the scheduling and the content of my blog posts this year. I’m now whittling it all down to something more manageable. From now on, my posts will focus mainly on news regarding my own writing, reviews of other books, and promotional posts (interviews, cover reveals, etc.) for other authors. My goal is to post at least one thing every week, probably two at the most.

Also, a quick word to my blogging friends. I want you to know that I love your blogs, and I do read all your posts. I just don’t always get a chance to read them right away, and by the time I do get to them, it’s very late to be commenting on them. So just because I didn’t comment on a post you’ve written doesn’t mean that I haven’t read it. Many of you take the time to comment on all my posts, and I really appreciate it, so I don’t want you to think that i’m ignoring your own amazing work.

I think that wraps up all the news for now. Thanks for patiently bearing with me. Unless you are currently yelling at me from the other side of the screen, in which case, chill. Let me know your thoughts, positive or negative, on these changes to my platform in the comments. I promise I won’t be offended.

Though Malcolm might be.

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Comments (16)

It’s okay to fine-tune your social media presence! I have to downsize my own socializing whenever I have a new baby, so yeah. Good luck with your relaunch! KU can be more forgiving, but definitely test the waters. Some audiences exist pretty much only on the Amazon ecosystem, like the urban fantasy readers.

Thanks! And yeah, that’s the impression I’m getting. I feel like I’m doing constant battle to compensate for the fact that books in the fairy tale subgenre get more promotion on Amazon when they’re in KU. Plus, I got a lot of great pointers at RM on how to use the system properly, so I think I’m on the right track.

I’m beginning to get that trying to reach alllll the platforms means you are going to spread yourself too thin. It’s why I changed my mind on Wattpad, and got off Pinterest several months ago, and never started a Bookstagram.

When you’re new to the self-publishing front, it feels intimidating, and exhilrating all at once, and you really want to do everything, and not get beat by anything. This doesn’t really work out. We’re only human, there’s only so much we can do. Choosing what works best for us as individuals isn’t a crime.

I hope your family situation hangs in there all right. Remember I am available if you need to talk.

Thanks so much! I appreciate it. And yeah, I feel like I’m learning for the first time that it’s better not to do ALL the things. Dividing our attention too much only hurts us in the long run.

This is all COMPLETELY understandable. I’ve been trying to fine-tune my online presence as well. I’m so inconsistent on everywhere but my blog. I need to start being more organized and focus on one or two things and not ALL the things. So yes! I totally get ya, and I think your plans look great. I know we feel the need to cater to our followers as much as possible, but it’s also super important to remember to take care of ourselves too.

One of the points Mary Weber made in her closing note that really struck me was: “Remember to live YOUR life. Your writing is not your life, it’s you’re work.” Because I too often treat my writing as my only life and ignore everything else. And I know it’s good to be passionate and focused, but not at the expense of forgetting to live. <—Preaching to myself. Eheh.

So all that to say, I think your plans are great and I hope you find that perfect balance.

It was SO awesome meeting you at RM! I wish we had had more of a chance to chat. There was so much always going on, I didn't get to just hang out with everyone I wanted to. But I do hope we'll both end up there again next year! 😀

I love that quote so much. Definitely words to live by. It’s all too easy for me to overcommit and do all the things, so I have to remind myself to hold back and keep things simple so I can consistently produce content of higher quality.

Yes, we definitely need to set aside more time to talk at the next one! It’s hard; RM is always so busy. I really enjoyed meeting you and your dad, though.

Enjoyed your post here. Good info. Doing some reorganization too…. Sometimes it’s a much needed thing.

Thanks! I appreciate it!

Streamlining is a good thing! (One of the ways I streamline is that I have my blog/facebook/twitter linked, so anything I post on my blog also automagically posts to fb and twitter, and anything I post on fb also gets posted on twitter…. you’re probably already doing that, but if you’re not, it’s a thing you can do that saves time!)

It was awesome getting to meet you at RM!!!

It was so great to meet you as well!! I do have my blog posts linked to social media, but I actually have not connected FB and Twitter yet–I should definitely do that.

Hi Kyle,

I guess it’s a good thing to streamline your social media! I know your choices are going help me be more active on FB which I guess I should be anyways, lol.
I was wondering how your family member was doing, so this post is a good reminder for me to keep praying for them. I hope the situation improves soon!
I’m excited to see what you do with that reading group on FB and with your Afterverse stuff. I love all the covers you’ve created so far, so I know that the new ones will be beautiful as well. Any chance of making posters of them, by the way?

Thanks! There’s not quite enough demand for posters at the moment, but I wouldn’t rule it out for sometime in the future.

These sound like great ways to streamline your content and time! Glad you had a fun time at Realm Makers 🙂

Thanks!! Yeah, it was amazing. 😀

Sounds like some great plans! I had a mentor appointment at Realm Makers that have some ideas for narrowing my blog’s focus too… Now to think it over and implement these ideas. 😉 I commend you for streamlining your platform so quickly!

It was great to meet you again, and now I’ve FINALLY followed your blog. I can’t for the life of me figure out why it took me this long. XD

LOL, no problem! I just realized I’m not following yours either, LOL. Could have sworn that I was. And it was lovely to get the chance to talk to you more; I know we met briefly at the previous RM but I don’t think we really got the opportunity to have a conversation.

Yeah, I’m all about streamlining this days. And business, and productivity, and getting stuff done…my family and pets are frightened of me. I’ve been reading a book called “The One Thing” by Gary Keller which has been super-helpful in that regard so far.

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