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Back; Not Necessarily…

… in the land of the living.

Yes: I’m back from my holidays.  For the record, I only had a couple of cheap weeks on the beach and returned a while ago to the usual chaotic crash-dive of return-to-work-related issues.  To be honest, I feel like I need another break already!

But enough of that.  My holiday did exactly what I needed it to.  It cleared my head and, sitting on the beach, a little bit every day, I’ve somehow, amazingly, drafted over 25,000 words of my next story.

Being straight with you, I’m under no illusions that many of these draftings will end up in the recycle bin.  Equally, many sections will require considerable, relatively easy, expansions when I start pulling it all together into a comprehensive whole.

When I get some time, I’ll pull together a graphic like I did for Thunder, to illustrate progress. I have no idea whether any of my visitors find this useful but, hey ho, it does serve as a bit of self-stimulus to make sure I keep putting in the writing hours!

Anyway, I suppose I ought to get back to the somewhat abstract title of this post: it’s a veiled reference to the subject matter of the new novel.  I’m not going to reveal too much yet, but I can say that I’ve settled on the title…

The next book will be called G’host.

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The Eternal eBook Pricing Conundrum…

There’s not much writing going on at the moment: partly because the routine distractions of life are preventing me from having much mental bandwidth and partly because I’m simply not in the mood.  Given that my writing is a hobby, I’m not going to try to force myself…

Instead, I’m trying a bit of an experiment.  Having two books in circulation gives me the opportunity to try out different pricing regimes.

I’ve always kept my pricing as low as possible within the constraints of Amazon’s royalty-based rules.  I’ve also learned, from promotions, the risks of ascribing zero value to a book. One thing I’ve not done so far is try out the lowest royalty band and, as the levels of royalty I receive are pretty much nil, now seems a good time to play with a few changes!

Personally, I think Thunder is a big step forwards from Firebird; so I’ve been considering for a long time adjusting my pricing to reflect this.  Although, as an aside, the first US review for Thunder claims that Firebird is better… hey ho… each to their own…!

Anyway, for a few weeks I’m going to trial having Firebird at the lowest price point available to me: 0.99 cents.  Let’s see how it goes and I’ll let you know if I see any results…

Going Flat Out, Just To Stand Still…

I’m having a manic time at the moment.  All good, I hasten to add!  But unfortunately, my being busy is not conducive to producing frequent blog posts…

Like so many writers, I don’t really earn very much from my books and, if I’m honest, earning money is not the primary motivation for what literary work I do.  This is a good job, because the financial return per hour of effort is, let’s just say, very small.

The upshot of all of this is that I have to do other things to keep ‘bread on the table’ and that’s what’s been consuming so much of my time over the last couple of weeks…  You know how it is.  Priorities have to be set.  Hobbies and pastimes sometime have to go on the back-burner…

Hmmm… Writing this has made me think about a conundrum about book pricing that I’ve been meaning to raise on here for a little while.

The conundrum is: if I’m not financially motivated, why do I put a price on my books?  Well, I admit, I’ve wrestled with this choice on a regular basis.  However, one strange thing I noticed when making Firebird available for free, as part of some short Amazon promotions, was that it drew an audience which included some readers who then seemed to treat the work as being of less value than if it had carried an, albeit small, price tag.  Worse: readers were picking up the book because it was free, and not because they were attracted to the premise.  Strange but true…, and with some disappointingly narrow-minded consequences.

So, whilst Firebird’s free promo’s have attracted a raft of new readers, many of whom have enjoyed the story, this activity did come at a cost.  Not least, that writing must remain, at least for the time being, firmly prioritised behind my other forms of income.

Value… what a strange, amorphous, and ultimately abstract concept…!

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