New Release – Short Story

Hey, everyone!

My wife has worked to put together one of my short stories. It’s now on pre-order status up on Amazon! The artwork for it is super nice. Like most of my works, it’s something new, third person, space, and a bit gritty. I had a lot of fun writing it.

New Release & Audio Book Projects

Hi everyone!

We’re excited to announce (for anyone who hasn’t seen the giveaways) that The Fiasco In News has released. Super powers, sarcasm, and the worlds leading kidnap victim, Adam Millard. It’s a really fun story. I’ll be updating the website pages to link to Amazon’s look inside sometime this weekend.

Here’s the Amazon link!

Now for the bad news, the audio book narrator we wanted to work with is swamped with other projects, so we’re still searching for the right voice. The Fiasco’s release won’t be on audio for at least another two months.

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And to follow up that bad with good news, we’ve decided to take our unexpected funding and put it towards the audio book for Continue Online 2! I can’t find a happy panda. I tried.

 

While we’re in this territory. It’s super important to note that all future projects follow my own creative whims but are heavily influenced by reader and listener responses. If you check out any of my books, please consider leaving a review through any channel you prefer. Share it with a friend, post about it on Facebook, leave a review on Amazon (I read them all!) or even Goodreads. Your ratings are my encouragement.

I should also note that we’re working on a monthly newsletter, which will have early access to giveaways, draft chapters, share other authors upcoming releases, and so on. This is still being put together, but we want to reward long time followers with extras.

Still slaving away (somewhere),

Stephan Morse

My ‘failed’ wide experiment: update on Royal Scales series

Hey all! So it’s a bummer–it is what it is–and I’m ultimately happy with having tried the ‘wide experiment.’ Why? Because if nothing else, we garnered a couple new reviews (favorable which is nice, but we like getting any and all reviews even if they might hurt) my favorite one coming from a lovely blogger, Greta Cribbs, who featured Once Lost Lords Royal Scales Book 1 as her Indie Book of the Month for June! How awesome is that? Here’s a little snippet from her post:

This time it was an urban fantasy with…gulp…vampires and werewolves. I almost rejected it outright just from reading the blurb, but my submission policy clearly states that I will at least read the sample chapters before making a decision. I wasn’t expecting much. So many people have come along, in the aftermath of Twilight, trying to write the vampire/werewolf story, that I was sure nothing original could come out of the genre, but I was wrong. This month’s book proved me wrong.

I submitted the book on her blog and there were quite a few others who submitted their books in the comments, so to have been selected and then to have surprised her with how much she enjoyed it, well… it makes me even more proud of Stephan.

That aside, as far as the ‘fail’ part of my wide experiment, this is for those of you who like numbers:

Permafree since Feb. 2017

  • Amazon total free books:  5,643
  • Kobo total free books: To be fair, we went direct with them as of March. Their free book counter never worked while with them the only number I have from them is 95, I’m sure it’s more but we’ll never know the true total.
  • Pronoun (GooglePlay) total free books: 65
  • D2D (Draft2Digital vendors Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc…) total free books: 687
  • Smashwords total free books: 32

So a little over 6,000 free books, which yay?! I’m going to attribute all reviews from Feb. 2017 to the permafree experiment – we started with 5 reviews on Amazon and it went up 7 reviews! While that doesn’t seem so great, consider the last review before this all started was Nov 2016 *gasp*. We got our first new review in March and 6 more trickled in, it was nice!

Okay great, so what does this mean? I’m not sure, but here’s more numbers:

  • Amazon: Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) Feb-May = 109 sales
  • Amazon: Trials of the Chief (Book 3) Released end of April-May = 95 sales (a good portion of the total was from the $0.99 preorder price THANK YOU all you awesome people who preordered!)
  • Kobo: Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) Feb-May = 19 sales
  • Kobo: Trials of the Chief (Book 3) Released end of April-May = 5 sales
  • Pronoun (GooglePlay) Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) = 1 sale
  • Pronoun (GooglePlay) Trials of the Chief (Book 3) = 1 sale
  • D2D: Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) Feb-May = 9 sales
  • D2D: Trials of the Chief (Book 3) April-May = 9 sales
  • Smashwords: 0 for both since I did not list book 2 or 3 there… honestly I’d pretty much forgotten about them >.>

Total of 248 sales… hmmm compared to 6,000 free books that seems underwhelming, doesn’t it? Maybe I’m wrong, but Stephan basically said if it’s not making traction wide then it needs to return to KDP Select. And that’s what I did, so –shameless plug here– the entire Royal Scales series is now free to read with Kindle Unlimited. I do wish I hadn’t pulled them from wide so quick, as some of you may have noticed the books got brand-spankin’ new covers that better depict the genre (Urban Fantasy) and I noticed with each passing month as wide–even though it was only 1 or 2 sales–there were more copies being sold with each month. Oh well… maybe I’ll get to try again with another series.

*Edited to add – I just re-read my prior post about going wide and permafree with book 1 in the series and wanted to mention we still never got the elusive Bookbub even with the new covers and being widely available!

What do you awesome readers think? Was it a ‘fail’? Do you love/like/hate the new covers? Feel free to comment below!

Still Alive… Updates & A Ramble

This year has been a tough one. Without going into long winded details – since the controlled fall in Feb, I’ve been essentially subjecting myself to mental stress and an endless circle of back problems (Most, presumably stress related, I guess…knowing it and solving it are two different things.)

As such, a lot of issues I wanted to get out, weren’t. A lot of chapters I wanted to finish, weren’t. I have done the following; finished an 86k novel in a “Fantasy Apocolpsype” genre that is in need of editing. I wrote out a few rambles, one of which I’ll be linking to today (And this is the link). I’ve tried hard to at least be around and respond to people during the brief spurts of focus.

And again, I don’t want to whine (but oh god how I do) – but this year is balls.

The Fiasco’s Pre-order is out. My wife may have posted it. This means the free draft version on this website WILL BE REMOVED ON OR BEFORE AUG 1st. This is your warning.

There’s going to be an audiobook version. I think, if we find the right voice, that it’ll be hilariously funny. I was reading the proof and laughing at my own book – pretty sure some other guy wrote these funnier bits. Maybe one of the editors stuck in some standup comedy gold.

Anyway, I plan on offering up free copies of the audiobook at review milestones. I can do the same for Continue online if people are interested. I’d need some feedback from the audience… (so post below)

Thanks, those of you out there who take the time to read these posts, and continue to stick with me for more content. It means a lot.

Continue Online Part 1… an audiobook is complete! Do you want to listen?

Hi all, hope you’re having a great weekend so far, I know we are because April has been a wonderful month for us and 2 awesome things happened just yesterday.

First: I mentioned a while back we had plans to pursue an audiobook for the Continue Online series… perhaps Stephan will write a ramble about the process, but it was a long one, much longer than we had anticipated, but we took away a lot of lessons and next time should be smoother! But it’s here, Continue Online Part 1, Memories officially has an audiobook, you can click the picture or caption to take you to Audible. OR if you are one of the first 5 people to email frustratedwriting AT gmail DOT com you will receive a FREE code for a credit to download Continue Online!*ETA these are US Audible codes* This is a thank you to those who still follow Stephan’s blog, have supported us by commenting here on his drafts/rambles/etc… buying his books and just being an awesome audience. Thank you!!!

Second: We received the first round of edits back for The Fiasco In News from our amazing editor – she cleaned house for sure, and there’s a bunch of feedback/comments for Stephan to fix now (yes, he just groaned lol). 100% worth it to produce the best possible book for all you superhero novel fans!!! Once he’s done with his side of the edits, we’ll send it back for a final round of proofreading and then if there’s interest, we will be offering up ARC copies of a fully polished/edited book! I’ll announce that sometime closer to release (we’re thinking late July). Oh and the cover…. oh yes, our FIRST(won’t be our last) illustrated cover, it’s fan-frickin’-tastic… just wait 😉

As always, feel free to leave comments/questions/concerns below!

 

Going “wide”, permafree experiment, and ARC reader request (again)

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Hi all, Samantha here!

As you may (or may not) have noticed, the Royal Scales series went “wide” a few months back, what does “wide” mean? Well, it means the series is no longer available through the Kindle Unlimited program where it is required to be exclusively offered through Amazon. It is available at almost every book retailer except Google Play.

Why did we go wide? Because the series didn’t gain the same traction as Continue and I wanted to experiment with being more widely available plus having the option to make book 1 ‘permafree’ as a lead in to the other books in the series. While there are currently only two books out as of this posting, with book 3 releasing in April, I thought it would be a good time to go forward with the permafree book 1 and as such it is now available free! The link can be found here on the blog, or on the sidebar by clicking the cover for Once Lost Lords.

The following stats are from 2/20/2017-Today:

980 free books  – Amazon ~~ 12 free books – Smashwords ~~ 31 free books – Draft2Digital

So 3 weeks and 1,000+ books with minimal advertising/free advertising avenues.

New reviews? 0

I was hoping, more than anything, reviews would come from the free copies – maybe that’s naive or now an outdated strategy, perhaps it needs more time, but I promised Stephan if nothing came from being “wide” and permafree I would end the experiment. I’ll likely give it another month, maybe two… anyway, I thought sharing the current stats would be an interesting read.

We are still looking for some ARC readers for Trials of the Chief Royal Scales Book 3 with the intent of leaving an honest review, if you’re interested please email frustratedwriting AT gmail DOT com and I will happily provide an ePub or Mobi version. Also due to my mess up, Trials of the Chief is available in paperback format on Amazon, ARC readers can either wait until the eBook releases on April 25th or feel free to leave the review on the paperback version since they will eventually link.

PB

I also wanted to update about The Fiasco – I completed the ‘edits’ of book 1 (there’s 4 more chapters I think he’ll be posting to his WordPress soon?) the next step is for him to review/make changes to the comments I’ve left and then it’ll be shipped over to our editor in early April. We’re on track for a July release at this point, and if you missed it, Jeff Hays of Soundbooth Theater Live on Twitch.com read part of the first chapter of The Fiasco on 3/5/17 starts around 22:00 – Jeff then finishes the chapter on 3/12/17 – it reads very well and we are seriously considering getting the audio book done to release with the eBook/Print versions.

Oh, one last request, I promise! I need to know how readers feel about pre-ordering books, do you feel as though a discount is required if you’re pre-ordering in advance? A lot of books I see available for a special $0.99 pre-order and then they increase the price of the book to it’s normal price a few days after release. Does this work for you? Are you more likely to pre-order for  $.99 vs. $3.99?

As always, thank you for reading this far if you did! I hope to hear from you, please feel free to leave comments below 🙂

 

 

Gifts from Authors – Happy Friday!

Hi, Samantha here! Stephan returned to work today after another few weeks off (see previous post about 4 herniated discs!) His current plans involve posting the last few chapters of The Fiasco – In News to close out the book, I’ve reached chapter Part XX – Does This Shit Ever Make Sense? in my ‘editing’ pass, and I have to say this has definitely been a crazy ride compared to Continue Online and Royal Scales.

Anywho, in the meantime I wanted to share two gifts from two authors we’ve had the pleasure of meeting and talking to through the process of him writing and then doing reviews.

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The above pictures are of the Christmas gift we received from E.H. Nolan(I know, we’re so late in sharing this!), a signed copy of her book Like a Closed Fist. You remember Stephan reviewed this book back in December, and it was also the FIRST book outside of the Fantasy genre to receive a score of 5/5! This is huge to me because Stephan typically prefers the Fantasy/Science Fiction genre, that he could enjoy a smart, well-written book outside his comfort zone was a happy surprise. The second happy surprise? (while we knew she wanted to use a blurb of his review for her webpage, we didn’t expect it to be in the paperback book!) His review is featured inside and outside the book. When I realized this, I immediately got the warm fuzzies, what a humbling experience to be featured in another author’s book. I know Stephan feels the same. Thank you, Edie! Please check out her book on Amazon and learn more about this amazing author on her website.

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The next set of pictures is a thoughtful and completely unexpected gift basket from author of LitRPG novel – Ascend Online – Luke Chmilenko. As mentioned earlier, Stephan shared his back trouble woes and a little over two weeks ago this arrived from Canada! (we are in Washington State). This assortment was so amazing, I’ve never tried anything from Canada, that I’m aware of, and I have to say the ‘Dorians’ cutes / crackers were surprisingly tasty! It also included maple syrup, maple tree filtered water(o_O), and my personal favorite COFFEE! lol Thank you, Luke, for being a good friend to Stephan!

~And if you haven’t checked it out already, his LitRPG novel has over 200 reviews and a rating of 4.8 on Amazon!

Well, that’s all for now! I hope to have a recommendation/review post on my newest video game I’ve been playing – Story of Seasons Trio of Towns – spoiler: it’s super fun!

Until next time.

D.E. Chapman

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