So, we are into the penultimate month of the year, and I am in need of some assistance to achieve an end of year target. Calling all book bloggers and booktubers: Do you like reading fantasy? Do you appreciate a character driven narrative? If the answer to both questions is yes, you might be able to help me break the 100 ratings and 50 reviews barrier for my book, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, on Goodreads.
As you may have noticed, it’s been a while since my last blog post. There are reasons for this, the principal one being that I’ve been focussed on my fiction writing for the past several weeks. After being sidetracked by a couple of novellas (that I’m still not sure I’m actually going to publish), I finally resumed work on the second draft of the sequel to The Exercise Of Vital Powers, that some of you are eagerly awaiting. With any luck you’ll get your hands on it no later than summer 2019; I’ve been making good progress on it over the last couple of weeks.
Please check out this new review for The Exercise Of Vital Powers, posted on Nana’s Fantastical Reads.
~Werbung / ad – Thank you to Ian Gregoire for providing me with a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.~
Ever since The Exercise of Vital Powers was reviewed and praised by Booktuber Kitty G as part of SPFBO 2017, a contest for indie authors hosted by author Mark Lawrence, I was very intrigued by the premise. However, the cover didn’t really appeal to me and might have been the reason why I didn’t pick it up immediately. The next time I checked, the book was no longer available on Amazon since the author wanted to revise the book and publish a second edition with a brand new cover. I was lucky enough to participate in the cover reveal in May. Since the new edition is available now since the beginning of July, I was finally able to read the book and share my thoughs on it…
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It’s exactly a month since the re-release of The Exercise Of Vital Powers, and it’s time for a look back at what the book has accomplished in those four weeks. To start with, I probably don’t need to state that sales, so far, are nothing to write home about. But as mentioned in a previous post, I’m not particularly interested in sales figures this time around. My primary goal in publishing a revised second edition of my debut novel is to ensure there is a large enough potential audience for the upcoming sequel. With that in mind I set three (non-sales related) end of year targets to determine whether the publication of a sequel next year is worthwhile. Now, one month later, let’s see how much closer I am to achieving these targets.
At the turn of the year I was fully committed to a revised second edition of my first novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, but it wasn’t until the middle of April that I finally decided to move forward with the project. From the get-go, I knew I would actually have to spend money on my book second time around if it was to have any chance of attracting readers in a way the first edition failed to do. That being the case, I earmarked £2500 as my budget for getting the book published to a sufficiently high standard. This post will let you know where the money went, and if it was well spent. I hope it will be helpful to other authors thinking about going the self-published route.
Today marks the commencement of a free book giveaway hosted by Instafreebie that I am not only participating in, but actually organised. The “Heroine Chic” fantasy giveaway is a one week only giveaway offering readers the opportunity to claim a free copy of one (or all) of twelve books featuring a memorable female protagonist. Obviously, my own novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, is one of the twelve books available, alongside eleven other titles by authors including Krista D. Ball and Donna Maree Hanson.
Reader reaction to the protagonist of a story will not only influence whether they like a book or not, it can also make or break the fortunes of that book; maybe not in terms of the critical response, but certainly in the commercial sense. This is an observation I was very conscious of while writing my first novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers. I realised early on that my protagonist, Kayden Jayta, was a character who many readers would struggle to get behind. In fact, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to me if most of the people who end up disliking the book do so primarily on the basis of their dislike for Kayden.
I like to think that most books have a natural audience: specific readers whose preferences all but guarantee they will enjoy those books. With that being the case it obviously makes sense for authors and publishers to identify the type of reader who constitutes the natural audience for the books they want to sell. By specifically targetting the appropriate audience no time and money is wasted marketing books to the wrong readers. It obviously wouldn’t make sense to market a book like Altered Carbon to readers who favour Regency romance novels, for example.
By now you should all be aware that the re-release of my debut novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, was last week, Monday. You should also have noted the most readily apparent difference between the first and second editions of the book: the cover artwork. Once I had decided to move ahead with a revised second edition, I knew that the book’s outer appearance would be the most crucial factor in improving its fortunes over its predecessor―even more so than the editing. This post will give you a little insight into my thought processes when it came to the design of the new cover.
As you know, the second edition of The Exercise Of Vital Powers was released a week ago today. But how has it been faring in that short time? Do I have a bestseller on my hands? Am I giving J.K. Rowling a run for her money? The answer, of course, is no. Consequently, I won’t be relinquishing the “Worst Selling Author” moniker any time soon, although it is worth mentioning that the new edition has already sold more copies in a week than the first edition did during its eight months on sale. Admittedly, that’s not saying much, but I consider it a good sign that things are moving in the right direction.