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I know it’s Wrong, but…

A couple of years ago I supported a campaign called Our Books Are Not Free! Something I truly believed in.

Amazon take such a big chunk of royalty and on average I may earn about £6 a month, and on an extremely good month sell 10 books.

I’ve been publishing since 2014, and in that time have learnt a lot about the craft of writing and marketing of books. However, like most writers I’m just one person. Once the hard work of writing and editing is done, the marketing starts. You have to promote your book regularly and often.

During that time I’ve become involved in other things which also take time to market. Then of course, there is a the little matter of every day life, and it is impossible to do it all and to keep up the momemtum.

In 2019 I sold  eighty eight books, which isn’t a lot and would probably buy me a meal out.

Several times a week I check my sales on Amazon and Draft to Digital, an alternative to seller.  They send books to Apple, Nook, and Kobo, amongst other places.  The reports mostly look like this.

This

 

Screen Shot 2020-02-08 at 10.23.07I was told the more books you have the more you’ll sell. That may have been the case once but not any more, at least not for me.  Readers have the biggest choice of books now and the competition is greater than ever.

When I see reports like the above, I ask myself why I’m writing if very few people read them? Well, the answer is simple; it’s my love of stories. Being able to write is an extension of my imagination. It’s why I started this blog, why I gave it the name and where my passion for stories lie.

Let’s be honest here, I will never be a best selling published author. I’m never going to make millions. Which brings me back to where I started, I know it’s wrong, but…

In total I have fifteen published works. Eight are with a publisher, and seven are self published. I’ve made the big decision to make four of them free to download.

Now my reports look like this. That’s virtually a sale every day and I am reaching more readers than ever before. I can only hope they like my writing style enough to want to buy a book, too.

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In the below chart, Butterfly Bats, May Recitals, and Mothballs, are anthologies by Electric Eclectic Books, of which I have stories in. I uploaded them on behalf of the brand. I get the same feeling seeing them doing well and being downloaded.

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Although part of me feels I’m doing a dis-service to other authors because it was said it devalues their books. In the time since that campaign, I’ve stuck to my guns by not offering any for free and it hasn’t gotten me more sales. So, is it so wrong to want people to read my work?

My free books are:

The Magic of Stories a compilation of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry.
The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold is four short stories
The Power of Love, is a short story.
One Christmas,  a short story novella

If you would like to support me and purchase a paid book too, I would be really pleased.

The following novella’s can be found here.

Distant Time – a science fiction novella
Down by the River, a crime thriller novella
A Cry in the Night, a romance novella
Play the Game, a romance novella
Finding Amanda, a mystery novella.

Or, my self published books

Behind Closed Doors, a romance novel set in the 70s
Joanna’s Journey, a romance novel set in the 80s (Also available on Kindle Unlimited)
Joanna’s Destiny, a romance novel set in the 90s (Also available on Kindle Unlimited
The Ghost on the Stairs, a paranormal adventure featuring Cassidy Newbold.
Toxic, a dystopian, science fiction  novella.

Purple

 

 

Playground Games

Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 10.19.55When I was in primary school, which would have been in the sixties, we used to play proper games in playground. Playtime was in the morning, lunch time, and one in the afternoon.

I still remember many of the games. One of my favouties was called French Skipping, I never knew what was French about it! We’d spend hours threading rubber bands together until is was big enough to have one girl each end, and one to skip. (Occasionally a boy would play but it was mainly us girls.)

Another game was What Time is it Mister Wolf. One person would face the wall and start calling out the time, one o’clock, two o’clock etc., and at any given moment the wolf could spin round to face the advancing children. They would have to creep up towards the wolf while he wasn’t looking. If he turned and saw you moving then you were out. Whoever got to the wolf first without being caught, became the next Mr Wolf.

Everybody skipped, there was nothing more fun than a big long rope and lots of girls, and sometimes boys skipping in the middle, too.

We never seemed to be short of games to play, and they were such great fun. In my new book, The Magic of Stories, I talk about them in detail and the accomping songs.

Who remembers I had a little bubble car number ninety eight? Or A sailor went to sea, sea, sea, to see what he could see, see see, and even the clapping song – Under the bambush, under the tree, whoah, whoah, whoah? What is a bambush? I never thought about that before, they were all just words that we knew off by heart.

What games did you play and what was your favourite, see if you can answer using a gif.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

 

 

Knitted Hats

I’m not very good at knitting, well, I can knit, and do enjoy it. What I’m not good at is understanding patterns. When others says ‘this one is easy,‘ it normally isn’t for me! I’ve had some great disasters in the past and still have half a baby’s cardigan in my drawer from an ‘easy’ pattern, that has gone wrong!

I was shown this pattern and took a picture of it. Since then I’ve knitted four hats! It really is easy to follow.

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It can be knitted up in an evening and I find it really satisfying. I’m also told the bootees are easy once you have read the pattern a few times.

So for my craft stall rather than just selling a hat, I’ve created a new baby card and a gift tag just to be a little different. What do you think?

 

Gwenfro Gifts on Facebook

Storage Tins

Gwenfro Gifts

I thought I would share this simple idea with you. I went to a craft fair and the stall next to me was all about recyling. They had some lovely containers which I didn’t automatically recognise as tins, but there were.

So I went home and made my own version and thought I would share them with you crafters out there.

Screen Shot 2019-06-29 at 19.05.38Take a tin, any tin, and take the label off it. You may have to scrub the bit where the glue has been. I would also put it in the dish washer to sterilise it.

Next step is to paint your tin and line it. I use lining paper for decorating. It’s thick and curls the right way. It will stick snugly under the lip of the tin. Be careful there is no sharp edges. I tend to find those that can be opened with a tab rather than the tin opener are not sharp.

I use a cross stitch a picture of what it will contain, simpluy because I love cross stitching. You need to stitch something that is quick and easy, or perhaps add a photo or something you have downloaded to show what it could contain. Make sure the photo is free to use. I use Pixabay for photos.

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I’ve just made this to hold knitting needles in. There are lots of things you can put in the tins, like crayons, pencils, etc. So  adapt the picture to show whatever you like.

I also used string to go at the top and bottom, secured with a Prit stick. Then just put embellishment in the centre, or decorate it as you will.

 

Gwenfro Gifts – Introduction

by Karen J Mossman

I’m retired, although I didn’t intend to 2013. I was made redundant from my job at the RAC. Hubby and I jiggled money around and I didn’t have to go our find work. Initially I thought I could start writing books and earn a little cash. How wrong could I be!

Yes, I wrote, and to date have fourteen books. I’ve always loved writing and what better idea than to do something you love?

What I didn’t foresee if the Indie market flooding. Everybody wants to write a book. Readers have so much choice and just like everything else want bargains and free books. Distributors, like Amazon offer a platform to sell, but take three quarters of any profit made. Now I write because I love it, if someone buys a book, then I’m thrilled but don’t expect it any more.

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When my husband retired and we lived off one pension. The government in their wisdom moved the goal posts and instead of receiving my state pension at sixty like I’d always been been led to believe, they moved it to sixty-six. Same for him, so we have a few years to wait for that. I still needed a small income and as I couldn’t do it with books, I turned to my other passion, crafting.

It is so much nicer to give and receive a personal gift, isn’t it?  Initially, I discovered I could make cards, and as nice they were, people didn’t want greeting cards any more, and although I sold a few, they much preferred putting a notice on Facebook instead. That’s such a shame. I love to receive a beautiful card, it makes me feel cared for know they have have taken the time to select it for me.

I then began making things and its been a real learning curve. YouTube has been my best friend. It’s amazing what you can learn from there. My imagination went into over drive. It takes time to build up a stock and I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different things.

I got this idea from a craft fair I did. The stall next to be did recycled tins, I went one step further and adding these pictures to to them.

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I’ve got two more craft fairs coming up, so am busy making new things..
Having said all that, I haven’t introduced this to the Magic of Stories just to sell, although it would be nice to do so. I want to share crafting stories, share my discovers, and write about what I’ve made, the difficulties and fun bits, and where the inspirations came from.

I also want to host other crafters as it’s great sharing stories or just seeing photographs of beautiful handcrafted goods.
All links to the blog posts will appear on the Gwenfro Gifts page, and if you subscribe to Magic of Stories, posts will land in your email box if that’s what you’ve selected, or just in the WordPress reader. So please reblog, share, and let’s bring crafters together!

Gwenfro Gifts

 

 

What to do next in Self Publishing – Part 2

On the back of my article on what to do next, another interesting comment came out of it.

The days of writing a novel selling it and make money is gone. The self promotion and chasing the next sale as well as everything that goes into making it publishable is very stressful and a number of authors just want to give up.

I was talking to writer, Josesph Lemon, he said, ‘I pulled my works off the shelves and went to Wattpad. I have a job that pays my bills. I write to share stories.’

Write to share stories, isn’t that where we all started? It was our love of writing that spurred us on and we want other people to read our work, don’t we?

Wattpad is certainly a consideration. It’s tag line is – Where Stories Live. I’ve been on there in the past and there are some really great stories and books to read. Some of them have thousands of views and some writers have many followers. That’s because they interact with their readers on there, and there is something to be said about that.

Listening to what Joseph Lemon says, it makes sense as an alternative. He went on to say:

‘I knew it was exactly what I was looking for personally. I also get to see the next generation of writers in development and help out some along the way. I’ve done ghostwriting. I’ve published. But this is what currently fits me.’

If you would like to follow him on Wattpad, click here.

I noticed, since I went back on there that was an option for paid stories and wondered how that worked. So I googled it and came up with something different.

Through the Wattpad Futures program, interested writers can supplement their income with little effort. The program helps writers earn money by inserting ads between chapters of their Wattpad story. … Now, they can support Wattpad writers in a way that increases the writer’s income, without having to pay out of pocket.”

 

If you have 1000s followers, I would imagine that would work well for you. I then looked up paid stories and came up with this information. Further information is here and what this tells you is you can’t just go on and put up a load of stories. Authors are invited and have to be skilfull at their craft. They look for story-telling – quality – originality – personality – marketplace (limited places) and community (how you conduct yourself on Wattpad

Hone your craft

‘It’s important to our team to support Wattpad writers any way we can. That’s why we’ve added the Paid Stories program to the number of programs already available for writers. Whether you love writing as a way to explore your creativity or as an exciting career opportunity, Wattpad is the place to share your stories with a global community of story lovers.’

My first thought is that Amazon could learn a lot from this. On their platform literally anyone can publish a book. I’ve seen some really badly edited and written books that really have no right to be up there asking for people to pay good money for tripe.

Do you have a Watpad account? If you would like to add it in the comments, I will follow you. This is my link.

 

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The Changing World of Books

I’ve been thinking for a long time how times have been changing and this post via ‘Ramblings from a Writer’s Mind‘ came up today. It says a lot about what I’ve been thinking about.

Drastic action by writer’s to giveaway their books in the hope that readers will want to read another from them doesn’t work. I’ve tried it and it always grieved me. All that work, years in some cases, to be given away for nothing, No other trade would dream of doing this, would they?

Authors are stuck in their ways, just as this article suggests, and too many drop and go links land in various Facebook groups, so much so that it has almost become spam. Who reads them anyway?

What people do want, and enjoy is proper content. Something interesting they can read and be entertained by, not hard sell right in their faces.

This is what I’m trying to do now with any posts I make, yes it is taking a lot more time  but I am a writer afterall, as they say, Rome was not built in a day. We have to build up again from scratch and find new ways to do things. Make books valuable again.

Founder Author

One of the ways I am also doing it, is exactly what is mentioned in this article. A new an innovative marketing brand that is aimed at helping authors and providing readers with something special

It is called Electric Eclectic Books, and I’m proud to have belonged to this since the beginning. It is also good to see how it is changing with the market and always taking on new opportunies.

Writing is a lonely job and hard work on your own. That is changing because being part of a team, part of something global is the best thing that ever happened to me. Read this article and give it careful consideration – but don’t take too long to think about it!

via Good news, for (a few) authors.

EE Moon 10.03.20