The Notebook

Alpha Wolf is mere moments away from release.  Sort of.  A couple days, anyway, but still an exciting time.


It's also May, which may rain, it may snow, it may be sunny, it may be 70 degrees, it may be 20 degrees.  Michigan life, I tell ya.  It also means gardening and horseback riding, more gardening, a few more miles on horseback, construction and restoration projects, a few more miles on horseback, going to auctions, some more gardening, and other odds and ends of warm-ish weather.  And at some point in there, I work a little bit.

And I continue writing, don't worry.


Normally the start of the month sees the Monthly Goodies.  Usually this is some kind of informative blog post from a current scholarly-sounding series that I'm working on, some updates from other side projects I have going, and other bits and pieces as I deem them noteworthy.


In case you didn't notice, the old website is gone. Not just facelifted, but completely annihilated as I switched hosts.  This includes all the years of blog posts and series that I had done (because I was too dumb to think to back it up before leaving).  Now, some of them are saved, in one form or another.  Some series I kept the Office document, and others I still have the videos on my BitChute channel (and by that token, I really do owe you guys another Character Development video).


But with the destruction of the old website, as well as more computer issues on my part, not the least of which is a lack of audio recording capability, I feel like my mojo got a bit janked.  I kind of fell off on the "10 Fun Facts" about my books, as well as a few other things, but considering the release of Alpha Wolf, I kind of wanted to do something.  Now it just feels weird.  And that's not even considering the impact of social media, the short and sweet, compared to blog posts, the long and thoughtful.  On the one hand, I can either feel guilty for not having something big and exciting ready for May Monthly Goodies and get back into that rhythm. On the other hand, I can feel sorry for myself that no one seems to care whether I do one or not.  This is the conundrum of an oversaturated audience.


When considering engagement, numbers are a terrible thing.  On Gab, the CEO decided to repost something of mine.  Where one of my posts might get 3 or 4 likes, suddenly I got over 600, with plenty more comments, many of them rather unsavory.


Statistically speaking, one might expect that, of those 600, maybe half of them would check out my profile.  Half of those might check out my website.  Half of those might find me interesting enough to keep an eye on, even if they don't explicitly "follow" me (and, what do you know, I gained about 75 new followers).  And of the 600 people who saw my name perhaps for the first time, one might expect that I would sell a dozen books.  I have plenty of books and several series of varied primary genres, something must appeal to someone, right?




Now then, I have reason to suspect that Amazon is ripping me off by leaps and bounds and I am not getting what they owe me, which means I could have sold many more books and I will never know it.


Not impossible.


No one gets into serious writing with the idea that they're going to become millionaires (unless it's a cover for money laundering, but we're not going to get into that).  I get it.  And this isn't exactly an economy that encourages "extra" spending.  I get that, too.


Where am I going with this?


I am still working on the Shop that will (hopefully) be going live on May 5.  If you're curious, if there is a link in the main bar that says "Shop" then it's live.  If there's no link, there's no store.  Right now there are some issues with the payment processing, but otherwise it's all ready to go.


I am giving serious consideration to the idea of completely withdrawing all distribution and making my books available solely through the website.  In addition to cutting out Big Market vendors like Amazon, it would give me a more accurate accounting of my sales.

Somewhere I remember reading that, as a vendor, you shouldn't discuss money or sales with your customers because it makes you look greedy.  If by "greedy," you mean, "Amazon needs to stop ripping off its vendors and actually pay them for their work," then, by all means, yes, I'm greedy.  It's not about the end customer in that regard, it's about me getting paid.


Where the end customer comes in is on the marketing level, the engagement level, and now we come back to things like the Monthly Goodies and other such endeavors.  On the one hand, I don't want to sound desperate, clinging to the virtual feet of everyone who merely glances at my internet profiles and screaming, "BUY MY BOOKS!!!"  On the other hand, I need to do something to actually show that I have books to sell and the books are interesting enough to buy.


I don't know quite what that is yet.  I might still try to finish out the Character Development, at least the videos, but it might be the end of the Monthly Goodies as they have been.


We'll see.


Now if you'll excuse me, it's five more miles to my garden.