|My daughter and her friends at BU graduation|
I've been away for a while. Last week and weekend were really busy as my husband and I traveled to Boston to witness my daughter's graduation. A little motherly bragging here. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with two degrees and received a special honors award. It was a terrific weekend right up until the moment I stepped in a hole in the sidewalk. I ended up in the emergency room with a serious ankle sprain and a few fractured ribs. Fun times but worth it to share my daughter's success. And lucky for me, I have a guest to take care of the work here today while I ice and try to take a deep, painful breath.
I'm always happy to have Michelle Howard guest on my blog. Michelle is a very accomplished and successful indie-author. She's daring and energetic in pursuing every possible avenue to success.
I want to start with a huge thank you to Susan, who is always gracious enough to invite me to share. Writing guest posts is as nerve wrecking as the blurb process for me. I’m never sure which words will catch someone’s interest using such a short format. Then it hit me. So much has changed in the publishing landscape since I ventured into self-publishing two years ago. The changes have had an impact on small press, the Big 5 and indie authors for sure. Sometimes the changes occur at a rate that’s hard to keep track of, let alone adjust to the swing. Because of that, I thought it would be nice to briefly touch on a little bit of the things I’ve tried or done along the way during my very newbie status to increase visibility.
I’m always eager to try something new or to stick a toe in the water of a trend to see if it’s a good fit for me. I’ve been surprised at the results and a few times not so much. I went full in on making all of my ebooks available in print and last year I started on audiobooks. I even experimented with KU (Kindle Unlimited). Print and audio have been surprisingly fun and readers have expressed their pleasure at having the other formats. In terms of ROI, I think that’s genre and author dependant. I’m also sure there are long-term effects that I’ve yet to see but I don’t regret trying these two. KU was not successful for me, though I know many authors who love it and it certainly feeds the demands of voracious readers while saving them from an out of control book budget. I’m not sure I’ll do it again unless I come up with a means of making it more beneficial.
My latest try as an author is Kindle Worlds. For those who’ve never heard the term, the easiest way to explain KW is fanfiction. Simple. LOL. Authors of series have made their universes available for other writers to dabble in. Of course, there are rules and guidelines to follow but for the most part it’s pretty easy. The books are exclusive to Amazon and the prices are tier based on the length of the book you submit. SE Smith invited me a few months ago to participate in the new launch of her Magic, New Mexico-KW, which is based off of her Magic, New Mexico series that involves paranormal and sci-fi romance. Along with 8 other authors I jumped at the chance to play in the sandbox with others in my genre. We were given a due date and a series bible with details of SE Smith’s series, character sheets, background and everything we needed to know to set our stories in her world. I’m not sure if everyone does it the same but it was a pretty smooth process. The books went live last week, scheduled on the same day and at the same price.
I’m not sure what the results of this will be but I’m glad I tried it. I discovered authors I’ve never interacted with and renewed social connections with authors I’ve only met once. The ladies were amazing and none more so than SE Smith. Readers’ feedback has been positive for the most part and if this introduces my books to new eyes, I’ll count it a win.
If given the chance, I highly recommend the experience. You don’t have to wait to be invited as Amazon has a KW page with a list of participating series listed by author names. There’s a vetting and approval process but it certainly doesn’t hurt to take a peek. Below is my Kindle World paranormal romance release, Taste of Magic, which features my warlock hero and his ordinary human heroine.
Thanks again to Susan for having me back and thanks for letting me share a little.
Michelle's latest is getting excellent reviews. Check out the reasons for her success! She writes a great story!
Next weekend, I'll be attending the annual Pennwriters Conference. I'll be back on Monday with a lot of great information I gather up and hopefully rope in some guests.
Did Michelle's wisdom clear up any of the confusion of any of the Kindle programs? Have you tried KU or Kindle Worlds? What was your experience?