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Writing from the Dark Side

Heh! I started out calling this blog post "Blogging from the Darkside" and then went to "Writing from the Darkside" and then went on to finally arrive at "Pubbing from the Darkside".  This little tidbit of information should be able to give you a little hint over what has been happening at the Oliver Homestead since I last posted.

Big News! I am part of a great collaboration with a collection of Writers who decided that if a romance book should be done, it should be done by us! Hence, the beginning of what is now know as Welcome to Serenity Harbor, Maine.

This is huge! This is ginormous! All of the books are set around the fictional coastal Maine town of Serenity Harbor. We didn't limit genre, only that their characters fall in love in Maine.

For me, this was a return to something that I love... well, yes... it was a return to writing. I've blogged a little bit about some of my struggles with illness that left with being unable to write for a whi…

Amazon ebook Experiment: Full Disclosure

Okay, so THREE TRUTHS has been out for awhile. It's original publishing home had it under a much longer title with a not-so-nice cover that included a three color goat cat and computer generated building that did not belong in Salem. After I got the rights back I decided that since I love this story so much I would put it up on Amazon myself. self ebook pubbing was just starting and I thought... what the heck. I formatted according to the instructions, slapped a cover on it that was compiled using a picture I had taken, uploaded the whole thing and then... I waited. Nothing. One or two sales here and there. Certainly, not the same kind of results that would get me into the same category as   totaltransparencyselfpublishing.wordpress.com but I had hope. Well, hope didn't get me far, and the worst part was that I didn't have a clue what to do about it. I could see others doing well, some even fantastically well. But what about me? Not so much.

It took a dinner date with some of my favorite co-authors in Rhode Island for me to tap into the Zen wisdom of selling that is Nina Pierce. By her own admission she is flabbergasted by some of the sales results she's seeing out there, but I've never met anyone who had the kind analytical ability to break down the ebook market and give it a good run for it's money. She's smart. Very smart. And she knows that this is a business, as well as a work of our heart. She gave me tips (still is... such a wonderful friend) and was patient with my questions. So, before I decided to upload Three Truths to Smashwords, Nook and any other venue I can find I decided to analyze my meager efforts.

1. My cover sucks. It's not professional and it wouldn't catch my eye so why would I expect it to catch someone elses. But a good cover costs money that I don't have. I'm still trying to free the Durango from it's non-registered state. So, I'm saving my pennies and asking for money for Christmas to go into the cover fund.

2. I had no reviews on my Amazon page. None. I know it sold at least some covers and I'd been told by friends that they liked the book, but there was nothing there to draw in anyone else. So, I did something I don't usually do. I asked for help. I asked for reviews from those that had read it. At first, I had one review and my rating in the paying ebooks category went to (11/16) 155,254 Amazon ebook Rating (or close to that) and I was elated. It was better than it had been. Still, no sales. So, while I waited for more reviews I went on to my next endeavor.

3. I redid my blog. I made it simple, eyecatching and easy to find links to follow me and buy the book. I took out the flashy background, but made the colors inviting. I looked at how other authors where successfully pulling people into their blogs and I took notes. I also redid my website to match the format of my blog.

But the next day (11/18), I still had only 1 review and my rating went to 255, ... or something such. (I really am going to start writing these numbers down.) Bummed, I found myself checking my blog constantly. And then, I got another review. Another loyal reader took the time to post and that brought me to today.

Today, my Amazon rating is 79,082 and I've sold three books in three days.

Can I pay for my daughter's education? Nope. I can't even buy a Big Mac with that. But it's still progress and progress is good. I'm hoping for more reviews and more sales and an increase in numbers. I'm rewriting Three Truths to submit to the other epub venues and that should be done soon. I'll keep you all posted. As for paying for daughter's education or getting the Durango out of unregistered prison... that may have to wait awhile. But I'm patient and curious and that should be enough to see this experiment through.

I'll keep you all posted.

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We have the cover and that is a really good thing! Especially, since it's a really great cover!

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