So I think I know my problem with my novel not really selling (besides poor marketing efforts on my part)…I’ve had it listed in the wrong genre.
Urban fantasy still fits, but I listed the second category as occult/supernatural because I was afraid of being pigeonholed as an author of what it really is: erotica. Why, do you ask? Well, I guess it’s the whole notion that erotica is “dirty” or something. But let’s face it; I wasn’t exactly stingy with details. So erotica it is.
What brought about this revelation? Well, it seems in the first two attempts at writing a new novel since publishing my first one, both times the writing has leaned back towards, you guessed it, sex. I can’t for the life of me get away from it, even when I’m trying to write in another genre.
So I might as well embrace it. Let myself become an erotica author. Screw the fear of being typecast, so to speak. For some reason, this is where my muse is taking me, so I’m just going to go along for the ride. Er, pun not intended.
He sat in silence, tail twitching, ears turned towards his target.
Pulling my legs up onto the couch (theoretically a place safe from whatever it was that he was hunting), I peeked over the edge, trying to spy what he stalked. I saw nothing, and for some reason an icy chill crawled up my spine. Was it a harmless bug? Was it–*gasp*–a spider? I didn’t know if I could handle a spider on my own. Eight-legged demons, they are.
Without warning he pounced, and I felt myself jump despite my determination to remain calm. Did he get it?
No, it seemed he didn’t. When he stood back to observe his handiwork, there was nothing on the floor. I relaxed for a moment until his body went rigid again…save for that twitching tail.
Dare I get off the couch to see what it was? If I put my feet down, would The Thing Beneath bite me? I swallowed back a lump of fear and ever-so-slowly began to get up, keeping the cat between me and whatever it was he was determined to murder. Inch by inch, I got down on my knees and bent over, looking under the couch, praying it was a ball of lint or long-lost cat toy.
Nothing. There was nothing.
The cat still stalked this nothing for several minutes before following me into the other room, the nothing-that-he-thought-was-something apparently forgotten.
Shaking my head, I chuckled to myself as I turned out the lights and snuggled next to my sleeping husband. It was just my imagination, I thought, or perhaps the cat’s. Nothing more.
Then I heard a door open and close.
We have no roommates.
Remember the post oh, almost two weeks ago, where I said I was going to start on the coat for the Shatterstar cosplay within the next two days? Yeah, so I just started the first mockup “blueprint” today.
It’s not an exact science because the pattern we have is slightly different than the coat shown on the right, but I have the color blocking figured out now for the front and the Xs on the sleeves shouldn’t be too hard once I get to that point.
The pants turned out looking great (I don’t have a good picture of them right now) so I’m feeling pretty confident. Granted, I made the pants pattern once before–just without the color blocking–so I knew how to go about it better this time, and I’m doing some pretty heavy modifications to the coat…okay, maybe not 100% confident. Like 75%. Maybe.
I’ve got to step up my timetable if I’m going to finish both cosplays by the time we leave for Dragon Con. No more slacking off in the mornings. Gotta push-push-push. Gogogo. Muy rápido. Etc, etc.
With this three-day weekend I might be able to step it up a notch and at least one weekday off before we leave, I might not be as strapped as I think I am. Also, I need to start utilizing my time after work for cosplay instead of messing around on the computer or watching TV. Thankfully it’s the summer viewing season & there’s less to watch. Lol
Today will largely be spent in Tucson going shopping for–you guessed it–more cosplay stuff and tomorrow will largely be spent at my parents’ house doing laundry and hanging out with the family, but I think I’ll have enough time to get cracking and hopefully get at least a few seams taken care of. I know I won’t get the whole coat done this weekend, but I should be able to cut and pin most of the outer pieces (probably not the lining) and get started on the sewing. I may even try using my serger for the seams. It’s such a nifty thing…just need to get the right thread on it & not frustrate the hell outta myself in the process of threading.
I’m such a ditz. I’ve been thinking all this time that it’s my day job OT that has me worn out, but I forgot that I’ve also still been taking on work with Talk Nerdy With Us and extra responsibilities with the charity anthology project. No wonder I’m feeling the burnout!
I don’t mind the Talk Nerdy With Us work–it’s a fun job to have–and even though the anthology will be a lot of work as co-admin, I kind of enjoy the challenge. It’s frustrating when the head admin is unable to work on the project as often as I am (and he’s got a bit of an attention span problem–not to mention he’s been sick lately), but it gives me a chance to take charge and get the project moving the way I’d like it to, rather than have it sit stagnant as it has been. As our writers also have day jobs/other things going on with their lives, it’s hard to coordinate and get momentum.
Oh yeah, and there are also the cosplays I have to finish in the next couple of months. Two months. Two short, short months. I’ve got to get those finished.
So that’s my life in a nutshell right now. Work. More work. Charity work. And cosplay work.
Thanks to my awesome mom and wonderful husband, I have an early birthday present–a serger to sew with!
Less than a year after I got my first sewing machine, I’ve become somewhat of a sewing addict, especially when it comes to cosplay. That’s not all I use my sewing machine for, though; I also plan on altering my scrubs that don’t fit quite right so I have more options to wear to work, and I want to make new scrubs as well.
I was getting sluggish on my cosplay work, but now that I have the serger I’m excited to get some thread for it and get to playing around with it. I’ll definitely have to practice first, because we’ve spent too much on fabric for cosplay for me to just dive right in without learning how the thing works. From what I understand (after asking in a Facebook group or two), once you learn the threading it’s not so bad, and as long as you don’t forget to take out your pins–which I take out anyway–you’re golden. I hope it’s true advice.
So once I get the thread and start practicing, I’m sure my drive for cosplay design and sewing will pick back up. Now if only I could stay awake in the mornings to do all this….
Next up on the cosplay list: the coat for Shatterstar.
More color blocking to work out. I’m going to start either tomorrow or the next day on the mockups for that part. The pattern I have is kind of complex, with lots of pieces, so it should be interesting to see how the color blocking will work into that. I may have to do some big modifications to the pattern. I’m feeling more confident about that sort of thing with each new thing I sew.
Very excited to get my serger later this week. I’ve heard that it makes things much easier (once I get the hang of it). It should prove interesting to say the least.
All of this cosplay is putting my work in progress on hold, but it’s given me time to reflect and realize that I really wasn’t ready to start it yet. Some of what I’ve written is good material, but it doesn’t have a solid foundation at this point. I need to reflect more on it and build up more of the world before I try to lay down a story in there.
Tomorrow I start again.
No, that’s not what I’m talking about! Geez, get your minds outta the gutter. I’m talking about getting into sewing my husband’s cosplay pants for his Shatterstar costume.
I was afraid that the color blocking would be difficult to figure out, but it actually was surprisingly easy. Just had to use some spare fabric to sketch out the color blocking and make a rough pattern to cut it out. It’s not going to be exact, but it’s pretty close. I’m kind of proud of it.
The actual sewing and putting together of the pants was easy as well, because I’m using the same pattern that I used for his Gaara pants. So I’ve made the pants before, and while they gave me a hard time the first time I now better understand the hows of putting it all together. I’m almost done with them–just taking a lunch break right now–then it’s on to the next part.
The coat will be next, and that will be more of a challenge. Once again I’ll have to alter a pattern, and also do color blocking, but I think now that I have a handle on that part I’ll be okay. It’s the pattern itself that might give me issues, because I’m using a new pattern that I’ve never used before. I was apprehensive about the Gaara coat, though, and that turned out all right, so I think this will as well. I just need to follow the directions and go at my own pace. I have 2 1/2 months to put these costumes together and it took me 1 month for Temari and Gaara combined.
I can do this. Here we come, Dragon Con!
Well, this is somewhat interesting. My day 4 numbers as far as free book downloads were more than double the day 3 numbers. Could it be that people are trying to get the book while it’s still free?
Today will be the final day of the free book promo for my novel and my two anthologies (my poetry anthology and my short story/flash fiction anthology). The horror short anthology has been doing relatively well, considering I haven’t really advertised it specifically on social media. Not nearly as well as the novel, but decent numbers for not having been talked about.
This experiment has been interesting, given that I haven’t done anything different besides putting my novel on a temporary free promotion. Does this mean that people aren’t willing to pay the price I’ve set for my novel? If so, does it mean that the price is too high, that the blurb isn’t catchy enough for them to want to pay for it, or does it just mean that people like free stuff?
Since I’m not a scientific person by nature, I’ll probably never know the answer. Still, this has been a new experience that I will probably experiment with more later on.
The second day of my free promotional period on Whispers of Death is over, and the numbers are about 100 less than they were on Day 1. I ended the day with almost 400 total with the two days combined, and so far today only 9 units have “sold.”
I’m debating on tweeting about it again, but I feel that’s part of my problem when it comes to marketing: I don’t know how much is too much. I feel like I’m annoying and/or bothering people with the tweets and Instagram photos and the like. Buuuuuut…I still want to get my book’s name out there. If people download it and read it and tell their friends how much they like it (hopefully they like it), then maybe after the promotion is over people will be more inclined to buy it.
Also, I’m hoping reviews start to come in. I’m sure having only four reviews so far isn’t helping me any. Well, I guess it’s helping a little. Even with the “decline” in units sold between Day 1 and Day 2, I’m still in the top 10 in the Occult genre on Kindle and hovering around 20 in the Paranormal & Urban Fantasy genre. Not too bad for someone who is almost a complete unknown.
So, as I’ve established before (or at least I think I’ve established it here before), I suck at marketing for my book. I’m trying something a little different now, though.
I’ve actually set up a temporary free promotion through Amazon KDP for a few days, starting tomorrow. I’m trying to see if this generates any “sales” (yeah, they’ll be unpaid sales, but sales nonetheless) and if it gets the word out more about the book.
I don’t know how well this will work. I don’t know if there will be ANY sales during my promotion, but I figure since it’s not selling now, what am I really missing? At least this has the potential to get more reads, reviews, etc. Maybe some of my friends & coworkers who have said they’ll read the book will actually “buy” it? 😉
But what’s this? I’ve also put my poetry anthology & collection of horror flash fiction/short stories on a free promotional period as well? I must be crazy!!!
Or….I’m just lost.
We’ll see what the next 5 days brings.
By the way, here’s a link for my Amazon author page (where you can find all three books):
It’s already showing Whispers of Death as available free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers…I don’t know if I did something wrong (the promotion is supposed to start tomorrow), but what the heck. Here I go!