Wednesday, September 11, 2019

New covers, website, and lessons learned #writerslife

First new cover!


Fearless finally has a cover it deserves! Though I'm already itching to make another. I'm telling myself to wait until next year. I need to get some writing done!

The book got a little boost in downloads when I changed the cover on Amazon, but it has settled back into its normal rank. It does all right. It always has downloads every month, but does it convince readers to buy my other books? I don't think so.

Writer Lesson #1: Times have changed. Free books do not lead to sales of your other books.

The TOTEM series!


I LOVE these new covers for the TOTEM series. I spent much more time on them than I anticipated, but it was worth it. The covers are much more urban fantasy than the previous ones.

There have been no bumps up in sales when I changed the covers and the keywords on Amazon. Yet I haven't done any promoting either.

Writer Lesson #2: A great cover and a fantastic story aren't going to sell books. Promotion is key. If you have the means, buy ads.

Feeling quirky!


For the Sasquatch Susies trilogy, I was inspired by my cozy mystery friends. I love their simple and fun covers. These were easy to make and I really love them. I'm going to do up new covers in this style for my other erotica titles. But next year. Need to write.

Writer Lesson #3: Write first. All the other author business can come later.

I've also been fussing around with my website. I left the hosting company and that was a mess. They'd been perfectly fine until I expressed my desire to leave and take my domain name with me. I finally managed to get my domain name from them and registered it with another host. It was half as cheap, and I was feeling good. Then I discovered that if I want to actually use my domain name with my new host, I'm going to have pay more for it. They didn't say this upfront. I had to go digging for it. And the price to use my domain name with them was much more than my former host.

I'm not paying that much money just to attach my domain name to a site. BUT my domain is registered with them, and I can't change that fact for 60 days. I can't even get a refund.

So I've currently moved to a free site on Wix. It will likely be my permanent site from here on out. I like the way it's designed, and it's easy to use. I'm also going to stay here on Blogger for a while. I need to get around to catching up with everyone!

Two lessons learned here.

Writer Lesson #4: Always read the fine print, even when you have to dig for it or ask. Ask for the details even if you don't think there is anything else to know.

Writer Lesson #5: I surveyed several author friends, and many feel that readers don't go to author websites anymore. It isn't essential to have your own site these days. (Don't waste money on your own domain name!) Usually only writers check out other writers' websites. Being present on social media is important, but an Amazon page or a Facebook page is enough as a home base.

It's been a while, but I'm writing again. It's a short Samhain story for my pen name, but at least it's something!

What lessons have you learned lately that you would like to share?

29 comments:

  1. Love the new covers, especially the one for Fearless!

    And your new website looks awesome! So sorry you had so much hassle with your domain name, though. That's rough. :(

    Also...hooray for writing again! A short Samhain story sounds fun. ^_^

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    1. Thank you! :) It was frustrating at the time, but I'm considering it a lesson learned.

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  2. The totem covers look great and glad you brought back the stuffed hippo for Fearless.
    I have a domain name but it's attached to my blog. So all I pay is fifteen dollars a year. I can live with that.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. Of course I had to bring back Tawa! :D $15 is really reasonable. Thank you for letting me know.

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  3. You've been busy! :)

    A lesson I learned recently, or I guess I should say I was reminded of AGAIN, is it's about the craft, the story, the writing. I'm digging back in and loving it! :)

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  4. Great covers and great author lessons! If you figure out how to run ads and make a profit let me know :)

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    1. Thank you! One day I'll have some spare coin to dabble in the ads. I know there's a learning curve to that, but once people finally get it, it really works for them.

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  5. Love the website and the new covers! <3

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    1. Thank you! I still have to work on the website and get all my info up, but I spent too long on the background. Hehehe.

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  6. I look forward to the day the FREE culture dies ... but the market is already saturated ... sigh

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  7. Hi Christine - things I don't fully understand ... but am glad you're not giving books away for free - I'm sure things will improve - good luck ... cheers Hilary

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  8. The new Fearless cover is much better. The other looked more like a romance.

    Free books do still work. We have a short story listed as free and it spurs sales of the trilogy that follow it, making it our best seller to this day.

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  9. The new covers are so vibrant!

    I'm so tired of marketing people saying that free still works, but there's no evidence that it does, and even they have to admit it doesn't do anything on Amazon anymore.

    I have to admit, I only check out an author's site to see what it looks like. If I want to know if they have a book out, I go look it up or I see it on Instagram or something. That's why I have my author domain routing to my blog. I am changing the layout of that soon because I want to, but it'll also make it easier to navigate for the two people who like to visit author sites for fun.

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    1. Thanks, Krystal! I do that too. Amazon tells me if a new book is out from an author I'm following.

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  10. I love the new covers! The are eye-catching. Sorry, you;ve had a tough time with the website stuff.

    I disagree with the home base stuff--not that you have to have a domain name, but setting up a website (on blogger, WP, WIX) is a good idea. When I visit my favorite author's website, it gives me a lot more information about their books, upcoming releases, and "deleted scenes." --And Facebook should never be a home base because not everyone has or wants an account with them.

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    1. Thank you, Holly. And more so for your input. There are a few readers out there who still go to sites.

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  11. I'm finishing up the story I plan to launch at the free price, so I groaned when I read that. I keep hoping for a magic bullet, but I don't think there is one. I read the other day it's all about velocity (which I always called momentum) but keeping a steady pace with all the writing and marketing. I fail at the steady pace. I always burn out and take a hiatus.
    I have a website on weebly and it requires very little work and all it costs is my domain name. Not sure it's worth it, but I'm always willing to try anything.

    I just read book 3 in the Totem series. They're excellent stories. Glad to hear you're back to writing.

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    1. I fail at a steady pace too. Trying to remedy that. Thanks so much, Elizabeth!

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  12. Yeah, I don't think my site gets that much traffic outside of other authors reading some of my posts. Actually, my most popular posts are my astrology ones, so... Still, those people aren't buying my books. So I can't say my site does much for me.

    Nice new covers! And I also agree that freebies don't lure readers in anymore. There's so much free stuff out there, and cheap stuff, that they'll load up on that and so long and thanks for all the fish. My problem with buying ads is that you often spend more than you make in returns. Or maybe I'm doing it wrong!

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    1. Thanks, M! Yeah, ads are like that. Yet those who figure them out, work them really well.

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  14. The new covers look amazing!

    I have to agree with lesson 1. I have found that promoting my freebie leads to sales of the others a lot easier than promoting a paid book.

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  15. I like the change in book covers now and then. Lessons learned can be both good and hard. I've tried the free book promo a few times. If it's in a series, it usually does help sell a book or two, but with the monies paid out for the ad, its not worth it in the end. Writer's put so much time, effort, and hard work into stories, and its a shame after all of that, we can't sell a book that's cheaper than a cup of coffee and gives much more pleasure.

    I'm in a terrible blight with my writing. My muse is on an extended vacation. I'm so glad you're back to writing!! Keep it up!

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