Welcome to my first blog post for 2019. How true that headline statement is as everything looks different on every social media site featuring my books.

The old covers for The Phoenix Series have been consigned to history. Just as we have left 2018 behind us hoping for a brighter year ahead, I’ve got a new look with which to enter 2019.

The covers designed by The Cover Collection have met with universal approval. The scale of improvement can be measured by the immediate response from the first site I approached for this week’s promotion on book #1 in the series: – “IMHO this takes your covers from a 3 or 4 to an 8 or 9”

After two and a half years of offering that first book in the series permanently free, I’ve changed tack. All 12 Phoenix books are now priced at $2.99. Book #1 will be free via KDP Select only on individual promotion days (such as today (2nd Jan) or in two weeks’ time (16th Jan).

The Box Set is now priced at $3.99, which offers a 67% saving against the revised list price for the 4 books it contains. I think that’s sufficient to gather interest. However, I still plan to run free promotions via KDP Select for the foreseeable future 

Both the Box Set and Conception (the Birth of The Phoenix) have new covers with Typography/Font matching the new Phoenix collection. Everything has been done to maintain a constant picture across the board.

What else has changed? The blurbs for the books have been refreshed. The revisions are punchier and more relevant than before. The keywords that help the reader find the series in the forest of other thriller writers out there are also significantly improved. I’m in better shape than at any time since I started this journey into fiction back in 2013.

Will there be further books? A new series, perhaps? I don’t believe so, but I am considering writing more short stories, which would include the early lives of Phoenix characters such as Rusty Scott, Annabelle Fox and Henry Case. 

Traction from Instagram (#instatraction) continues to bear fruit. It’s early days, but I’m hoping a new partnership will be formed in the coming weeks which will take my marketing to a new level. Watch this space.

My 2018 goals were: – To complete The Phoenix Series; to promote the box set, #1 in the series, and the complete series whenever possible. The strategy was to maintain the 20000 downloads level, to entice more readers to BUY books 5-12; and to continue to enjoy life.

How did I do? I only achieved 18500 downloads in 2018, but actual sales were 50% UP on 2017. Page Reads also contributed a decent amount to the royalties received. What were the downsides? The lack of downloads was due to the search for new covers, fresh blurbs and a general ‘stock-take’. So, I don’t consider that a failure. While I used November/December to reappraise everything and scrapped any promotion activity I put all of the books (except #1) into Kindle Unlimited.

I had hoped the income from Page Reads would pay for the new covers. The sad fact was very few people grabbed the opportunity to read the books until the new covers arrived in late December. There was a sudden flurry of activity over the festive period which reinforced the urgent need for them. Fingers crossed, that flurry will continue well into 2019.

Do I have specific goals for 2019? I don’t believe they have changed. The writing is all but done. The marketing will concentrate on #1 and the box set. The promotions budget will remain at the same level. As I haven’t got 3 books to complete this year I will focus on what I could do to increase my conversion percentage viz. getting more people reading the whole series after grabbing The Olympus Project or the Books 1-4 Box Set via a free promotion.

 

 

 

I’ll be back in early February with an update – or sooner, if I have exciting news. 

If you want to join my select mailing list, why not join The Phoenix Club? Newsletter (#33) will be circulated very soon.

 

 

 

Categories: The Long Hard Road