Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Book Bub & Other Writing Updates

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Chasing Echoes was featured on Book Bub yesterday, and I never imagined what a crazy-fun process it would be! I knew Book Bub had a pretty far reach, but I was expecting maybe a thousand downloads. As of today the book is at 15,000+ downloads. To be clear, this doesn't mean 15K people are now reading my book. I'm a Book Bub subscriber myself and I tend to hoard freebies; the majority of them lie dormant on my Kindle, never read. I'll be lucky if 10% of the people who downloaded my book yesterday actually read it. I mean, really lucky, because 10% would be 1,500 new readers! That would be amazing. But I'm pretty convinced that the real numbers will be nowhere close to that percent. So what is a reasonable expectation for me to have? Book Bub has articles about this, but naturally their articles are slanted to getting authors to use their service, so they tend to put out the more optimistic stats. I like to take a pragmatic approach to things, so I've decided 1% is probably a reasonable expectation. I think it's safe to assume that 1 out of every 100 people who downloaded my book will probably read it. If this is the case, my campaign has given me 150 + new readers. I'm hoping of these, about half of them will reach the end of the novel and purchase the sequel, but I have no research or stats to support this, as it depends on the level of enjoyment each reader gleaned from the book.

Either way, I'm so happy I did this. It was exhilarating to see that many downloads, even if the book ultimately ends up lying dormant on Kindles. All of those downloads bumped my book up on Amazon's algorithms...even leading to THIS:

Currently Chasing Echoes is the #1 bestseller in Paranormal/Urban Fantasy and Time Travel Romance! It started yesterday and is still continuing today. Obviously my bestseller status will disappear once my campaign is over and new campaigns take its place, but I feel like my little obscure book is finally on the map, and it feels amazing.

In other news, Spring of Crows is at 48% completion, but I am really struggling with Phee's character. The problem is the book starts off right away with some intense action (since it continues where Black Lilies leaves off), requiring Phee to immediately rise to the occasion and be a bad ass. I know this all sounds good, but it's just falling flat, because we never get to see Phee's baseline character. We never get to see the shallow person she is under normal circumstances--when she's not dealing with a serial killer and an ice age--making it harder to 'root' for her and applaud her character growth. Also, Phee's little sister Krystal really wants to take over the story. It's technically Phee's book (told in first-person narration), with chapters here and there from Krystal's point of view (in third-person), but Krystal wants it to be her book. I'm really struggling with this. I feel like I'm forcing Phee's chapters when Krystal wants to narrate the events. But if I decide to give in and let Krystal take over, it would require mass rewriting of several chapters--not to mention Krystal is too young to narrate a young-adult book. So I need to figure out a way to get into Phee's head and let Phee take over this story. I have a feeling it's going to require me drinking a lot.

Another challenge: Owen, the love interest. I can't nail down his personality. I feel like I already burned through my desirable male personalities with Stryder and Kade, and I don't know how to give Owen a unique voice. I gave stoicism, broodiness and a dash of alpha male to Stryder, and I gave chivalry, gentleness, and confidence (with an air of arrogance) to Kade. So what's left for Owen? I don't want him to come across as some cookie cutter, 'insert love interest here' character, and I definitely don't want another Stryder or another Kade. But what does that leave me?

These challenges are far less than I experienced with Chasing Echoes and Black Lilies, so I'm not panicking over them. I just need to get this sorted out soon, because I can only hang in there for one more chapter tops before I've hit a wall with writing.