Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Selling Books

Not sure why, but this month is shaping up as my best ever sales month. KDP pages are up by nearly four times the norm, and my e-Book sales have been brisk. I have also sold some soft cover books online and wholesaled another 15 of my CCC book to a local museum. Wish every month would be like this.

Here is the Amazon link to all of my books - thanks for looking.

Meanwhile, I am back to work on another collection of short stories and am well into my fourth children's chapter book, about 1/3 finished and have finished the introductory material and first chapter of the third in the series of Blade Holmes novels.

Still taking quite a few summer day trips and enjoying it!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Editors and Selling Books

Editor Advertising
Be careful what you pay for. Recently I have been seeing more and more ads for editing services on Twitter, Facebook and in eMails sent my way. I have no problem with those who solicit work but would like to mention that if trying to find customers for an editing service,  it would be best to have a clean copy for potential customers to read. Last night I read through an ad on Google + with two errors in the first sentence. Another had so many errors I was not sure if the potential editor was trying humor, in showing things he would correct, or that far from being able to write clean copy. Don’t take this post in a negative way, good editors can be a great help to writers, but a bad editor helps no one, and hurt the entire image of the Indy author-industry. Much like paying for book covers, before you pay up, make sure you are getting what you want.
Great time of the year for hiking - we are enjoying the great wildflowers 

Selling Books
I am still experimenting with different ways of advertising my books and looking at how each influences sales. So far, I have found some eye-openers. First I have noticed that advertising has boosted my KDP pages read. Second I have found that sometimes the cost of advertising can be as much as the revenue added through additional sales. I will stay the course for another two months and then decide to continue or try something else.  
Click here to see my Amazon Author Page – did you know that Amazon keeps authors books in order by how they are selling at the present time?

Big Weekend Coming
Looking forward to a big weekend, Saturday, Fur Trade Days, at Fort Laramie and Sunday in Denver for Rockies vs. Giants.
2016 Fur Trade Days

Keep on reading and keep on writing.
Osprey sitting on a fence post

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Books and Kindle Unlimited

Things are looking up. Sales I mean, and my KDP pages read is now looking better than ever at nearly a thousand pages each day.

Whether or not to put books in the Kindle Select or in the Unlimited program is a decision many self-publishers are having to make. Basically, self–pub authors have two choices, go with the Select or Unlimited program on Amazon, or go wide and publish on many platforms. There are certainly good points and bad to each, so why did I choose to go with the Amazon only, Select program? Easy, I’m pretty lazy, much-preferring writing, taking photos, working in the garden, traveling and playing golf to trying to sell books. 

All this and a great short - free on Kindle Unlimited

Don’t get me wrong, I love selling books, just not crazy about all the time it takes to do promotions. I still do some and will continue but only on Amazon. Over the past two years, my sales have been mostly through Amazon or with the soft cover books I sell myself or that are sold in bookstores. I don’t believe it will harm my sales to be exclusively on Amazon, so far it is helping.

Relaxing at the Guernsey Dam Spillway with a nice rainbow

I am researching, time-lining, and rough outlining the third in the series of my Marshall Blade Holmes western mysteries. Still early, but I like the way the story is shaping up. Also, I am still working on my nonfiction Fort Laramie book.

Fort Laramie

What am I reading?
Fort Laramie by Donald Clayton Porter

I am nearly finished with both and will write a full review. I have read much of Donald Clayton Porter’s work and always like it, but at the moment I am really enjoying Mr. Case’s book. My Kindle says I am at 71% of the read (I do miss page numbers when I read on my Kindle) and am sure I will wish for more when it is finished. I started the Hanksville book a few weeks ago but put in on the backburner as I was off on some speaking engagements and heavy into the research part of my Fort Laramie book, now it is my go to each day. Click the link above and take a look at Oscar Case’s Man From Hanksville.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Summer Writing

At last, it looks as if summer is here.

My writing normally slows down a bit when warm weather arrives. For me, summer means lots of vacation days, short trips, golf, long walks, and hikes, gardening, a little fishing, and more time with my cameras taking wildlife and landscape photos. I also spend time watching Little League baseball and my favorite big league team the Rockies who are off to a great start.

One of our favorite places to relax and only a few minutes away

I will continue working on my new nonfiction book and hope to finish the 4th  kid's chapter book from my Mike and Moose & Me series. Here is the link to the first of the series.

I am doing a few small promotions for my newest book – here is my latest post on it.

Just in time for summer. Beginning Gardening and Other Entertaining Lies. Everything from how to read labels on a bag of fertilizer to building backyard raised beds. Great for beginners along with terrific reminders and how to’s, for long time gardeners also.  Complete with humor and four short stories, each starting with a body in the garden.

Other than that I will do lots of soaking in the sun and relaxing in the warmth of summer. How about You?
Last evening - sunset over Guernsey State Park 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Using Kindle Unlimited and New Book Covers

Thursday at our house - Today, Saturday, I worked in short sleeves in the garden

Now You Can download all of my Books for Free with Kindle Unlimited - Like many writers that self-publish I am constantly looking for more revenue. With that in mind, I decided to move all of my books to Kindle Unlimited. I have always had a few there, but decided I would give it a try with all nine of my books and my one published short story. Not sure what will happen but if nothing else, it will give me something to check every day.

So what is Kindle Unlimited? - For those of you not familiar with Kindle Unlimited, it is a subscription with Amazon that allows members who pay $9.99 a month to download an unlimited number of books each month. Readers can have up to ten books at any one time but must return books to go past ten in a month. Not a bad deal, some readers return books as soon as they finish or if they decide it is not what they want and order another. Some readers report downloading dozens each month. It also looks like a good place to sell old-fashioned genres such as Westerns and Historical Fiction.
Take a look and read the free sample.
Take a look at The Ghost Dance Here

Author Pay – Authors are paid by how many pages are read from each downloaded book, works out to a bit over a half cent per page, which for a 300-page book would work out to $1.50, or a little more depending on the month as the payment does vary. Considering that the same book, sold as an eBook for $2.99 would pay the author about $2.00 it is not much different.
   I have not tried it yet myself but believe when late fall comes around again I will give it a try. My old bones do not like the cold weather of winter, and a good book is always a nice companion.

My Garden Book is now .99 cents as an eBook – I also reduced the price of my latest book, Beginning Gardening & Other Entertaining Lies to under a buck. (As I write this late Saturday afternoon the price change has not appeared yet but should change soon)
   This one is a bit shorter, 130 pages in soft cover and 80+ as an eBook, not sure why the big difference, as it takes a pretty small font to knock off 50 pages. This one also contains four short stories that all start with a dead body in the garden. Fun stuff. The actual gardening advice is solid and time tested, a terrific way for gardeners to get going. Take a look at the sample here.

New Covers - My kid's book series – I am starting to put new, and better, covers on my three book, so far, kid’s series. Here is the new cover and the link to the first.

Monday, May 15, 2017

My New Book is Out

My new book is out and much different than all of my others. 

This one tackles my love of gardening along with short murder mysteries.

Here is the book blurb 

A book for everyone who gardens or wants to garden. Gardening tips from a Master Gardener who has tried it all, over more than half a century of digging in the soil. With, just for fun, four Garden Murder Mysteries from a Master Story Teller.

All the information needed to start your own gardens, flower beds to do a complete landscape makeover. Tips on everything from fertilizer and seeds to bushes and trees. Raised beds, locating your garden and more. Want to start a garden and not sure what to do? Read it here. Check to see if you are doing it right, it’s all in the book. Tired from all that hard work in the garden?

Relax with four cozy, murder in the garden tales


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Oh - What a Couple of Weeks

To say the last two weeks have been a bummer would be the ultimate understatement. 
  1. Tooth Extraction
  2. Root Canal
  3. Flu
  4. Arthritis Flair up
There you have it, and a fun ride it has not been - but, the good news is I am on the mend. Seems as I get older bad things seems to come in groups, I only hope this group of ailments has ended for a few years - not fun. Finally up and around - some - the past few days, even managed a half hour speaking engagement yesterday. 
A few weeks ago standing behind the - one of a kind - CCC Cap House in
Guernsey State Park

All of the above means that I have not got around to much writing or editing. I did get a second proof copy for my newest book. I wasn't happy with some of my headings and spacing in the first. After a bit, okay quite a bit, of editing,  Happy Days, at first look, this one seems to be fine and should be available soon, but I will need to take a more careful look first - Just to be sure.
My light-hearted look at gardening - available in a few days.

The first Iris are starting to open - always look great

On the good news side, my yard and garden look quite nice for this time of year, and with no frost, in the two-week forecast, it looks like I will be able to continue planting in our gardens the next few days.

I am continuing the research and rough draft, on what I have found to be both a challenging and energizing new nonfiction book. This one I cannot wait to publish but it will be winter at best before it is ready for the big edit. 
On the grounds of Fort Laramie
 Setting for the new nonfiction book I am working on

Meanwhile, keep on writing and keep on reading.

The famous Iron Bridge at Fort Laramie - What stories it could tell