Released: The Apocalypse Bug

Posted on December 2, 2019 By

Yo! It’s not exactly a secret, or even The Secret, but I’m trying a non-advertised, non-pushed, timed release of several books over the next few months. First up is the one named in the title, now available on Amazon as of yesterday.

I’m curious to see how it goes. I’m using the name “DH Young” rather than the longer form, and if Amazon permits (current technical difficulties exist) it’ll be an entirely separate thing from my previous name.

I want to find out: if I release regularly, without doing anything else, will readers find the books?

See, if it doesn’t work, or doesn’t work well, I can always just pull them down and try again, only with ads and such. Current indie wisdom is that launching by itself is no longer sufficient. Probably it’s true! But what if it’s not, especially with titles put into Kindle Unlimited & thus free-ish for many?

I’m not against advertising. But I’m also not about to try to focus on that any time soon. So, here’s the entirety of my scheme:

  • Release something or other on or aroud the first of the month, starting yesterday.
  • Check to see if there have been purchases or reviews, but don’t look until 3/15/20. You know, the Ides of March.

This sets me up perfectly, in case absolutely nothing has happened, to pull everything and re-launch it all on April Fool’s Day. No harm, no foul. If people have bought stuff, and left even a few reviews, then I’ll leave the books in place.

Maybe a silly idea, all in all. Maybe not. I’ll let you know how it goes. I want to find out, for sure, what a totally-organic publication-only rapid release strategy will achieve, starting from nothing, with the covers and books as good as I can currently cause them to be.

Meanwhile? Have fun out there!

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David’s Latest Manifesto

Posted on December 1, 2019 By

So, there are some things I should think about:

  • I am a natural-born hacker. It’s completely natural for me to find escape hatches within systems, and exploit them to my advantage.
  • I also design systems. I’m good at this. I can’t stop designing them, here in my head where I live.
  • But I cannot design a system that I cannot hack. It’s not possible.
  • Being a hacker is a major strength for me. Being unwilling/unable to be constrained long-term is a major strength for me.
  • It is therefore illogical for me to be upset that I cannot design a system that will successfully constrain my future self. Of course I can’t. It will never happen. I’ll just do something else. Anything else. I might as well try to be happy about this. It is what it is.
  • I have quite often, and perhaps always, been primarily driven by a sense of responsibility to others. It is highly unlikely that I will ever be able to “tune people out” or become indifferent to their presence. Or their perceived needs, regardless of who’s doing the perceiving.
  • Habits are systems. My only enduring habit, and one of which I should be proud, is that I tend to escape from systems. This is not actually optional for me. So, habits will not save the day. For me.
  • My energy levels are adversely affected by un-discharged responsibility.
  • My energy levels are adversely affected when I judge myself harshly for the “crime” of failing to remain constrained within a system. Or a plan. Note: these are the same thing. Plans suck donkey balls, for me. Most likely they always will, and I need to move past the idea that they might be useful.
  • I cannot shut people out in order to escape from them. Even attempting this sets up massive cognitive dissonance. People must actually be absent, or undemanding, or both–and even then I may not be able to focus on imaginary realms. This will always be true. Doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of it.
  • I cannot force myself to act/write/imagine via the exercise of willpower. Perhaps briefly, sure, but in the absence of a crisis this is essentially pointless. It neither scales nor persists.
  • My creative energy is recharged when I am truly alone, thinking my own thoughts. I know of nothing else that works. I am not strongly motivated (to write fiction) by external pressures or rewards. Instead, pressures and rewards get in the way of the stories.
  • I am INCAPABLE of forming a habit of obedience or compliance. Even to my own desires or goals. I will always seek Exit. Pretending otherwise is unhelpful now, and always will be.

Therefore there is no writing system or writing schedule that will always work for me. Screw ’em all. In an ideal situation, in which I might actually write a story…

  • I will feel free to do as I choose, in the moment, as moments occur.
  • I will not feel constrained to do as others wish, or react to their existence.
  • I will not feel constrained to remain within the same location, however that is defined.
  • I will not attempt to reach any sort of scalable/measurable goal. Thus, word counts, hours spent writing, novels published, and all other metrics must be eschewed.
  • If I am writing, it must be because–in that moment–it is what I want to do, for its own sake.

Sounds…idealist. Obviously. But that’s the thing: I need to respect my own boundaries. I need to understand that I can never set up a system for myself that will continue to work over time. Nor can I successfully tolerate any sort of accountability based on obligations to other people–not as motivation for writing fiction, anyway. The obligation weighs too heavily, making “escape” into fictional realms very close to impossible for me. Other people are far more important to me than fiction. Fiction can only happen in the absence of their needs. If I were the sort of writer who could write to a plan, and only needed to put in the hours, it would be different. But I’m not. I feel my way, as I go. It’s only optional in the sense that I can either do it my way or fail to write at all. Writing to a plan sounds great in theory. In practice, my brain utterly stalls.

Given all the above? I need time for myself. I need to be able to shut myself away from others, with full understanding by all parties that this time is to be inviolate.

That time is not necessarily “for writing”: that time is for me. Chances are good that I will use some of it for writing. But if I want to think instead, or play solitaire, that’s fine. Writing also happens in the back of the mind. It requires downtime, as well as effort. General happiness also requires both energy and downtime.

If I want to sit or pace in the office, that’s okay. Back yard? Fine. Go somewhere in the car? Sounds good.

Naturally, all this will work better the more I can keep others from interrupting me. Thus: no phone calls, few texts, probably shouldn’t check email, and so on. I will, however, flagrantly stomp all over those rules from time to time. I will not even attempt to do any of the above every day. There is no opportunity to form a habit anyway. Time is just time. It comes, goes, and flows as it will. I can be receptive, to myself, or not.

There is a difference between (a) attempting to maximize my productivity and (b) attempting to appear busy. I would choose to maximize productivity. But I can’t coerce it from myself via butt-in-chair death marches, or regular scheduled writing, timed “sprints,” or any other method of which I’m aware. Not for long enough to matter. I have to be me. Whenever possible. If I cannot get this time alone, the time I need, it is natural that I will also not write stories. I owe significant stretches of time to myself. I will either honor that, or not, and the consequences will fall out as they should.

To anyone but me, this probably sounds self-indulgent as all fucking hell. Maybe to me too. But that can’t be allowed to matter. It’s still what I need. As far as “results” go…well, to a large extent results are irrelevant. I truly believe this is the best approach I can come up with. There may well be results, which may be good. But I cannot focus on that end of things. Not during me-time, at least. Maybe not ever. If this is the best I can do, it’s what I need to do.

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How to Save $200/Year As a Dictator

Posted on October 17, 2019 By

This is just a PSA for those of you who–for whatever reason–may prefer dictation to typing, but have run into technical/workflow issues. Perhaps you’d like to dictate anywhere, on the go? And yet have access to all the features of your desktop computer? It’s quite possible. At any rate the following setup works for me.

Everybody’s setup is likely to be different to some degree, which makes a “how to” post a bit challenging. But OTOH there are some basic ideas that I suspect will turn out to be useful.

First off, though I strongly dislike the company, I’m going to say this: Nuance’s Dragon 15 software is the only choice I would even consider for transcription. And I mean the desktop version here–not the Dragon Anywhere app for your phone. Even more specifically, to my mind the “Professional” version is strongly preferred, as it allows for transcription of recordings. (Though of course it is possible to record text using whatever device you like, then play it using an aux cable, ideally plugged into a USB soundcard, thus achieving a very slow but workable form of delayed transcription. And saving maybe $150, too.)

You know…this could very quickly become a book. I don’t want to write that book. So if you’d like a solid introduction to Dragon in general, I recommend Scott Baker’s website, videos, and books.

So we’ll assume basic familiarity. We’ll also assume a willingness to experiment, and either a lack of fear or a strong interest in fiddling with technical details. This won’t be for the faint-hearted, but there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow–probably.

Let’s consider three scenarios:

  1. You’re sitting at your desktop (or laptop) computer and dictating into a microphone.
  2. You’re walking around, dictating into a recording device, planning to have software transcribe the recording later.
  3. You’re walking around with your phone, and you think you might like to dictate some text–but you’re not quite sure of where you were in a document, or you don’t have a lot of time and simply making a recording–which you later have to transcribe/correct–seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

This post is mostly about #3. Nuance has their Dragon Anywhere software available for both Android and iOS, which currently costs $15/month. Plus tax, and whatever. So, like, just about $200/year? You could use that. For quick notes, assuming you don’t mind the–admittedly not huge–expense, it’s pretty good.

But there are issues with DA:

  • Do you pause while you record? After a non-configurable 20 seconds, DA stops listening. You can either watch the screen for that, or set the app to beep when it happens, but either way I find that extremely distracting.
  • Although DA will synchronize vocabulary with your desktop version of Dragon (assuming you have that too), it does not synchronize other things–such as rules for punctuation and capitalization. For me at least, this turns into an editing hassle I’d rather do without. Who the hell decided, for instance, that an ellipsis ends a sentence? That it should be followed, always, by a space and a capital letter? Also, the vocabulary synchronization is imperfect–it includes the text form of your vocabulary, but not the actual voice training you may have performed. In other words, you end up having to redo all of that training. So what’s the synchronization for?
  • Editing files in place doesn’t really work–in other words, if I have a file in Dropbox and I’d like to work with it, the best approach I’ve found is to copy/paste the contents of that file into DA, dictate there, and then copy/paste back into whatever app (I like JotterPad, because I use “markdown” to preserve things like italicization and headers in plain-text files) I use to work directly with the file in Dropbox.
  • A lot of the desktop version’s editing/correction functionality is simply missing. You can do a bit of it with DA, but I find it slows me down drastically to work within the app.

So what do I do instead? I use my phone–usually with a headset plugged in–and work directly with the desktop version. Here’s how:

  1. I set up a VPN that allows me to connect to my home network from elsewhere on the internet.
  2. I have an RDP server set up that allows me to interact with Windows from a remote location–it mirrors the screen to my phone, at the proper resolution.
  3. I use an app (WO Mic) to send my voice from my local microphone, over the network, to my home computer.

This stuff only works if you get all three of the above steps right. And there are plenty of things that could go wrong.

For instance:

  1. With that VPN, aside from security concerns, you may need to either install new software on your router, buy a pre-configured router, or set up port forwarding on that router and then set up a separate VPN server in your home network. For the record, I use free open-source software called dd-wrt on my router, but set up a separate VPN server on a computer at home. I use OpenVPN, and I actually push (only!) a route to my local network’s range of IP addresses out to the VPN, which means my phone here–thus allowing all other traffic from my phone to go out over the internet normally. I could route everything to my home network, then back out, and in some scenarios I might want to do that, but most of the time I’d rather not. Also, to connect to that VPN, you’ll probably want to use something called “Dynamic DNS” or ddns so you can easily find and connect to your home network. Look around a bit, if you’re doing this–there are services for this that are actually free. Why pay if you don’t have to, right? And I do have dd-wrt handling the ddns bit.
  2. With that RDP server…yes, this functionality is built into Windows. However, Dragon acts badly with the Windows RDP server. You could try it if you like, but I don’t recommend doing it at all. I get around this–and many other related issues–by running Windows in a virtual machine using software called VirtualBox. VirtualBox has the capability to run an RDP server that Dragon doesn’t detect. Thus, Dragon acts normally, damnit. Note: VirtualBox 6 currently has a weird bug that may keep you from using a microphone plugged into your host computer while the RDP server is enabled. Solution: turn the RDP server off when you’re sitting at your desktop. And, a minor note for Android users: I like aRDP Pro as an RDP client. Among other nice features, it echoes sound from my computer to my phone. Handy for listening to playback of my speech and correcting Dragon’s transcription errors. (If the error was mine or because of a network connectivity issue, I’d rather not “train” the software via correction–again, Scott Baker’s website and books are a great intro to Dragon!)
  3. So, why the WO Mic Android app? Because VirtualBox’s RDP server does not allow for forwarding sound from your remote microphone. Which is a good thing anyway–Dragon is particular about which sound card (aka “Dictation Source” in the Dragon software) it’s using. WO Mic has to be installed under Windows too, and sets up a virtual sound card for you. Unfortunately, this app is really only designed to work semi-locally, over Bluetooth, USB, or Wi-Fi. So the workaround is to select its “Wi-Fi Direct” option, which is the app’s term–why do people make up terms for software users to figure out and translate?–for a phone-generated Wi-Fi hotspot. But connect to the VPN rather than activate an actual hotspot. A further note: Windows did not behave well when I attempted to push a route to it from dd-wrt…in other words, it could not “find” anything connected to the VPN. I had to use a “route add” command within Windows to make that work. Now…is there an equivalent app for iOS? Maybe. Couldn’t tell you. Probably? I’d like to think so, anyway.

You know, looking at this post…I could include a ton of links. But, frankly? If you need those, this post likely won’t help you anyway. There ought to be enough here to help you Google (though I prefer StartPage) your way to solutions for your particular computing environment.

It might actually be fun to write a book about using Dragon, if I ever run out of other projects. I have plenty to say about both transcription and actual-desktop use of the software. But I do have other projects, so screw it.

Incidentally? I dictated this entire post with my phone via a VPN and RDP, while pacing at my daughter’s soccer practice. And looking like a weirdo, I’m sure.

Oh yeah, one more thing. When I’m at home, but wandering around the back yard? Or pacing around the house because nobody else is home? I can use the same setup as above, but over Wi-Fi. I get better performance than over the internet–makes sense, right? The only change I make is that I don’t connect to the VPN.

Er…I can also do the same thing in my car, using a hotspot from the phone, if I take my laptop along with me–yeah, same Dragon profile I use on the desktop, stored in Dropbox to synchronize it–if I’m not sure I’ll have decent internet connectivity from my phone. Like on a road trip. Um, should I really be dictating text, which I need to stare at to edit, while driving? Maybe not. But, you know, it’s an option. Especially if you don’t mind wrecking your car or killing dogs/deer/whatever.

I hope this helps at least a few of you. And: have fun out there!

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New blog, new tricks. And: a genre!

Posted on June 28, 2019 By

Yo!

So, the thing is, I’ve been handling this whole “author web presence” thing horribly. No surprise there, I know. I started blogging in 2009, and those old posts are still around, but for the first few years they focused on my software company.

Then I blogged about random things that amused me…then I focused (ish) on writing. So I published some posts for people who read my fiction, and others for other newbie writers who might be going through a similar learning process to mine. And a bunch of other random crap. But lately, most of the things that take over my brain involve kids/family and don’t really need to be aired publicly–thus, my near-silence.

I almost don’t want to post anything at all, because doing so even once sort of implies that I’ll keep doing it. So I end up writing blog posts that nobody but me can see, just to get the thoughts out of my head. Weird place to “journal” (it bugs me to see that used as a verb), but what the heck.

Then there’s the “New Release Club” thing. I’m about due to post something there…my target is once/month. But…

Enough whining!

Oh! Yeah. Probably. Though it’s cool how you guys interjected yourselves there. I mean, I’m sorry I provoked you and all, but the tech bits must have been fascinating.

Anyway.

I’m going to focus my main site (this one, here, at dhyoung.net) on things readers might be interested in. I’m going to blog about topics more of interest to writers/publishers at cabinfeverpress.com, a site I’ve been meaning to put together for quite a while.

Also? There’s no way I’m going to be able to blog for readers here, and also separately for folks interested solely in new releases (about which I do actually have news–but that’s for my next post). So, instead, I’m just doing this blog.

Also? I mean, again, another also? Most of you guys get this blog via RSS instead of email. I do things that way too. So why would I do a separate mailing list dingus just for new releases, that’s unavailable for people who prefer to use RSS? I’m not sure that makes a lot of sense.

What’s that mean for me?

Hey! You did it again! Cool.

I guess it means that you have choices:

  • Want stuff for readers? Do nothing, and you’ll keep getting these. With a free story every month. (Next one coming up in a few days.)
  • Want stuff for writers/publishers? Head over to Cabin Fever Press and subscribe to that blog.
  • Unsubscribe from this one, if you’re not interested in the fiction. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended!
  • Want neither? I’m pretty sure you can figure that one out.

And have fun out there!

Wait. What was that about a genre? In the title?

Oh yeah! Guess I forgot that part. It’s been ridiculously hard for me to figure out what the hell it is that I write. I mean, even leaving the short stories out of the question. Urban fantasy, supernatural detective, supernatural thriller, romantic suspense…I mean, what is it anyway?

Dark fantasy. That’s what it is.

Well, not everything qualifies, I guess. The book previously known as “Pagan Sex” has slightly paranormal Gypsy ghost story bits, but there’s a fair amount of plausible deniability going on under the hood, so…yeah, it not only has a goofy title but doesn’t fit any sort of genre classification at all. But guess what? I had a lot of ideas when I wrote it, and I’m revising it now to include some of those. And some new ones while I’m at it. It’ll fit under the “dark fantasy” umbrella just fine when I’m done.

So, the next post will be about a pre-order, a re-release, an audiobook, and stuff like that. This one, though, is just sort of a heads-up.

Have fun out there! Again!

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Pen Names and Reader Targeting

Posted on June 4, 2019 By

So here’s where I’m at: I have some new stuff coming out soon, only I’m not sure where to put it. Or why. Or even how. Strangely, it’s not because I don’t know how to click “Publish” or the equivalent.

I mean, that’s probably not it. Right? Thing is, there are trade-offs involved every step of the way. Decisions to make. Some of them might even matter.

It’s funny how many different topics seem to come together, though each clamors for its own variety of attention. For instance, let’s start with…

Kindle Unlimited (a.k.a. KDP Select) versus “going wide.”

One issue, typically described as the primary issue, is exclusivity. I have what I suspect might actually be a larger issue to discuss, but let’s deal with the elephant in the room first. Putting an ebook in KU means it’s not supposed be available elsewhere. On its face, that’s a bad thing.

A common argument against KU is that it will piss off readers. If they prefer to buy their ebooks from Barnes & Noble, and the ebooks are not available, they may be unhappy. There are at least two problems with this argument.

  • If readers haven’t heard of the author in the first place, it seems unlikely that they will become angry.
  • Amazon has the largest online bookstore in the world. The second biggest? Kindle Unlimited. My current understanding is that KU is effectively larger than all of the non-Amazon retailers combined.

So…KU readers seem more likely to find books at Amazon that are not in KU than Google Play readers seem likely to become upset by books they’ve never heard of from authors whose names they don’t know.

More than that? KU “borrows” improve the sales ranking of books, thus leading to increased sales at Amazon. You know, the largest bookstore in the world? So there’s that.

KU borrows also increase the effectiveness of paid advertising. Which gives an advantage to authors who use it. So if we’re doing math, KU seems to be a better choice.

I actually think there’s an entirely different, often overlooked, downside to consider, though.

Targeting Readers

If selling on Amazon, it’s important to realize that algorithms drive everything. If you folks are interested in the specifics, I’ll refer you to David Gaughran’s website and books. Also his email list! Which is often informative and always entertaining. I’d read his email even if I didn’t care about the topics. ‘Course, I’m a fanboy.

Ahem.

In order for algorithms at Amazon to “recommend” books to the right subset of potential readers, it’s important that Amazon learns who those people are. In other words, if a well-loved author of Historical Romance suddenly writes an Urban Fantasy and her readers follow her? Amazon may well start recommending the new book to entirely the wrong audience.

Since algorithms are in charge at Amazon, this may tank sales of that new Urban Fantasy. Sure, that reader carryover does matter, so at first the book might seem to do well. But none of us, other than perhaps the likes of Stephen King, are likely to have anywhere near as many already-loyal readers of our books as Amazon may find in its customer base.

Pen Names

So, this is an obvious solution. The above-mentioned author of Historical Romance can become a new person. Unfortunately…this may not help much, if her readers know about the new persona. If they follow her, with the best of intentions all around, they may effectively bury the new pen name.

Potentially this might even happen if an author writes in closely related genres. Say, Dark Fantasy and Urban Fantasy. Many readers of one genre simply won’t be interested in the other. If Amazon shows a new book to a slightly-wrong crowd, well, oops.

(Even if the wrong crowd buys the book, that’s not necessarily a good thing–if it’s not what they were expecting, well, that’s where bad reviews come from.)

Tight Targeting

So what’s the solution? Stick to a single genre, perhaps. Use secret pen names for others, possibly. (Remembering, of course, to create and maintain separate websites, mailing lists, advertising campaigns, social media profiles, etc.)

Or, maybe, launch a book suffering from a degree of genre dysphoria as quietly as possible, using paid advertising to try to focus on attracting only that particular book’s ideal readers to it. But then…loyal readers of other work may not be happy that they weren’t told of the new release. Hmm. Offer them a freebie, maybe. I don’t know. It’s something to think about.

And what about that book that doesn’t really fit anywhere? Use a separate pen name for it, maybe. Store it in the cloud and forget about it. I mean, crap, it’s probably not even a good idea to give it out as a freebie.

Actually, though, maybe the best approach would be to wait until you’re selling lots of copies of something else. Then it can’t do you any real harm to publish an occasional weirdo. This year. I think.

Back to KU Versus Wide

In the non-KU world, if an author is concerned about the downsides of exclusivity and dependence upon a single retailer, one often-recommended move is to create a “New Releases” mailing list. Great, as far as it goes. (Though see the issues above.)

Ideally that author will provide value to folks who sign up for the list. Possibly even earn a degree of loyalty. Or, you know, at least keep offering things that people want to read. That might be kind of important.

Even KU authors see value in mailing lists. I’m not sure that value applies to their KU readers, but books in KU are also available to regular customers at Amazon. Who will sometimes buy things like preorders…one of the many quirks of KU is that its subscribers have no way to take advantage of preorders.

But again…it’s not necessarily great to have fans crossing genre boundaries. Outside of Amazon, this probably doesn’t matter much. It’s very difficult (at least in my experience) to get many sales at all on those sites–although, once upon a time, Google Play was by far my most profitable non-Amazon retailer–but those sales that do happen don’t seem to be so relentlessly algorithm-driven.

That’s not necessarily a good thing.

Why I Love Algorithms

Because what else is there? People? You can’t attract readers to your books (AT ALL) if they never see them and don’t know who you are. You can advertise, but it’s very difficult to turn a profit that way. If you’re selling well somewhere else, perhaps you can contact a human at a given retailer and work something out for yourself.

But how to bootstrap? It’s not clear. And, at the largest bookstore in the world, those who use the algorithms and KU will always have an advantage. Until things change, of course. (And, yes, Amazon will fall at some point–now in my 50s, I’ve seen not only companies but governments and belief systems collapse, over and over and…but knowing that doesn’t mean I know the best way to prepare for it. If you do, please tell me.)

Personally? I don’t mind the “one reader at a time, and build your audience” idea in principle. But I’ve seen virtually no sales outside Amazon, while selling thousands of books within Amazon’s ecosystem. And I wasn’t even handling my books all that well at Amazon at the time. So. Hmm.

Putting It All Together

I’m not sure what this is going to mean to any of you guys who read this post. I know most of you seem to be writers yourselves, at least based on my email inbox.

For me, all of the above means that I’ve pulled down all my books. I’m starting fresh in Urban Fantasy. I really do want to re-publish my other novels…someday. I mean, I like them.

I may well publish the Urban Fantasy stuff under a different name. Luckily, for some values of “luckily,” I don’t expect a lot of readers of my previous novels to even find the new ones–hell, my own “New Releases” email list just dropped almost 600 subscribers anyway (long story, discussed elsewhere, but I think it was a good thing–though, if you thought you were on the list and don’t know what I’m talking about, I apologize; you were accidentally culled…but could sign up again…it’s just that my email wasn’t getting through to you in the first place).

But then what? Do I tell new readers about my “real” name, assuming I do re-publish my earlier stuff? I’m not really worried about their screwing up sales under the DH Young name, because that stuff is already cross-genre and extremely difficult to sell via the management of algorithms. But what about going in reverse? If I tell you guys about the “Urban Fantasy” stuff, what will that do?

For those of you who read Urban Fantasy already, it can’t do any harm. If many of you who don’t typically read that genre were to follow me, though, it might.

(Side note about that real-name thing: I’ve switched to DH Young instead of David Haywood Young. I think it’s easier to spell, easier to remember, and not so gender-specific. For a lot of reasons, I think all of those are good things.)

Again, I don’t think this is really an issue for me right now. I think I could go ahead and publish under a pen name, and be open about it. Alternatively, I could publish the more-likely-to-be-popular stuff first, as DH Young, give it some time to establish itself, and then sneak my older stuff back in to the ouvre.

If I were publishing my books “wide,” I’d worry a lot less about genre boundaries. But I wouldn’t expect many readers to find me–and I have trouble buying the “a trickle now means more later” argument, when the alternative is “more now and quite possibly more later too.” Plus, books can be pulled out of KU. There’s only a 90-day commitment.

So, I think pen names & tight focusing on ideal readers are topics that matter more within KU than elsewhere. Not that they aren’t important to some degree at all times…but there’s so much to consider that I sometimes find myself stalling, waiting for Amazon to fold or some other cataclysm to simplify my choices.

Still. I don’t really have bad options right now. Er, other than stalling, I mean.

But some of you guys may be in a very different situation. Do you know what you’re going to do about it? I’d love to find out.

Regardless? Have fun out there!

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I know nothing about email!

Posted on May 30, 2019 By

Hi!

So, here’s the thing. People subscribe to this blog, and I’ve just moved the list away from MailChimp. You guys may or may not receive the emails going forward…I hope you do, of course, as long as you want to. If not, there’s an “unsubscribe” link in every email.

But, well, sheesh. I’ve been doing everything wrong, for quite a while. I credit David Gaughran with giving examples from his own variety of (mal?)practice, and I agree with him that Tammi LeBrecque’s book is pretty wonderful.

Beyond all that, I mean: I’m going to try to do better. Really.

The worse problems are with the “New Releases” list. It seems to be so polluted with fake signups that, as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been feeling a bit paralyzed. I’ll try a post to it soon, with some info, and we’ll see how it goes.

I don’t mean the current New Release Club list. That’s all moved over to what ought to be a better place. Though I need to do more work there, too. I mean the people who signed up before yesterday. I hate to just drop them all, but if I can’t filter successfully…well, we’ll see.

So, apologies for my nonsense, and if this first email actually gets through as planned we’ll get things ironed out going forward.

Thanks. And have fun out there!

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