Monday, May 15, 2017

News from Editor's Desk

I've published a new I. C. Talbot short story: Bozo's Catch.

It's another post-apocalyptic tale, this one about an old woman and her dog. Belle and Bozo are traveling the countryside, hoping to find other people. At first this doesn't work out very well. Then they find a high-tech rest area and Bozo makes a great catch. This might not make life easier for Belle, but it makes it a whole lot more interesting.

I'm very pleased with this one, it didn't require much editing, just a little smoothing over and some added details.

Bozo's Catch -- Amazon US

Bozo's Catch -- Amazon UK

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Works of I. C. Talbot Exclusive on Amazon

There are hundreds of short stories by I. C. Talbot in my files. So getting them published has been a large project. Including the fact that I needed to take care of my parent's estate, The Hoard that occupied their property, my farm, my animals and my family, I didn't get very far. In addition, there weren't any sales on any of our  published e-books, even though I had them distributed as widely as possible.

So last year I started moving the stories out of different vendor sites and I enrolled them a few at at time into Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program. I did some free days here and there, but never got any pages read, which is where the money currently is - each page read is worth about 1/2 of 1 cent.

That's how 2016 proceeded - a handful of freebies, no read pages until December when Digging Out got some attention as a free e-book and we got a pulse on pages read to the tune of 293 pages or $1.46.

January we got 542 pages read, for $2.71 and a couple of sales. But most of all, the short stories started climbing the charts and we got halo reads as people discovered the other stories. February was a disappointment, dropping down to fewer than 300 pages read and a couple of sales.

But this month we are already more than 1k pages read and there are quite a few sales of the newest short story "The Hide Out" which is enjoying a bump in ranking: 

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,503 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#57 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > 45 minutes (22-32 pages) > Literature & Fiction
#161 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > Short Stories
#230 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > Women's Fiction

    So I've started publishing more short stories. I think I can get two or more new ones out a month, and if Kindle Unlimited continues to be successful, I'm going to leave them in Unlimited and publish paperbacks with the earnings.

    This isn't the first time I've tried this, but this is the first time it's worked this well. I do have to keep in mind that this is reading season, and sales will fall as the weather gets better. But if I can continue to provide fresh stories, I think I can keep the collection visible.

    Sunday, January 22, 2017

    The New Year - 2017

    I. C. Talbot - Author

    Several years ago, this was my mother's blog. She posted a few things and gathered a few readers. It was kinda cute.

    Then she passed and I created a publishing company from her blog "Icy Road Publishing" and polished up a few more of her short stories and published them.

    A couple years later, I changed e-book vendors from Smashwords to Draft2Digital and started a newsletter "Bookstop Central" which I hoped to use to market her work and mine. When that didn't work out, I moved her stuff over to Kindle Unlimited and deleted all of it from other markets.

    Success was limited, because I was busy taking care of my stepfather, my husband, her estate, Dad's property and my farm. It was a grueling run of four years that left me completely wrung out.

    So it's 2017 and I'm finding that I can breath again.

    I have to say this - Smashwords was a pioneer e-book vendor, they opened doors for a whole lot of authors. Unfortunately, some of those doors have closed, or have gatekeepers who frown upon certain types of e-books.

    Not for me to judge how others choose to make a living. But 'Plain Vanilla' authors like myself and my mother can't compete in a market of red hot e-books. So we had to go elsewhere.

    Draft2Digital has proven to be a better vendor for little-old-us because e-books coming from them aren't automatically slapped with ratings restrictions. My e-book Impressive Bravado has risen on the iTunes site as a free e-book until it gets more than a download a day and more than 500 copies went out last year. that's pretty impressive for a small publisher.

    Also found out that the Chinese have taken over the URL for this page, K. A. Jordan and a couple variations. Phooey. It would cost several grand to rebuild what we had back in 2012 when I started focusing on the publishing company.

    So we'll start over with this blog and let them keep what they've taken. We need to update every single e-book to drop the old ULR, but more people hit those pages on Facebook than have ever looked at the URLs.

    As things develop, we will update this blog and also the Facebook page. So please like Icy Road Publishing on Facebook.

    And welcome to the New Year.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2016

    Struggling To Find A Market

    It is never easy to decide upon a marketing strategy. 

    A year ago I discovered that all e-books published via Smashwords were being treated differently by e-book vendors. 

    An identical short story would have higher ratings if it came out from Draft 2 Digital. The difference would be between 10k and 20k points, depending on the e-book vendor. 

    I attributed it to the fact that most of Smashwords content was x-rated 'romance' and most vendors didn't want those stories to be all a person could see when they browsed for other content. (Yes, they tend to dominate the lists like a skinny b!tch in a leather cat-suit.)

    So I published my mother's short stories on Draft 2 Digital and removed them from any cross-over sites.  

    At this time, Kindle Direct made some steep changes in their payment policy and I removed any short stories that remained in Kindle Unlimited. 

    Today, a year later, after Smashwords added some sites and a few sites either closed to changed their allowed content I found that there were only 6 'sales' across all of Smashwords vendor sites. 

    The thing is that there were only about 6 'sales' of I. C. Talbot short stories anywhere, and two of those were sales of the collection, for full price. The year before, while they were in Kindle Unlimited there were more sales. 

    I'm not doing a 'leap before you look' move. I'm going to pull all of the I. C. Talbot short stories from Draft 2 Digital and move them back to Kindle Unlimited. 

    So this month will be the 'take down' month. During this time I will update the backmatter and covers. Then each book will go to it's new home. Even at the paltry .001 per page, the odds of finding these books in Kindle Shorts is much better than scattered over a dozen vendors. 

    Saturday, February 27, 2016

    Touching Base

    It's been months since I was last able to write something for this blog.

    The sad fact is that I've been so entangled in Irene's Estate that I haven't been able to do anything with the publishing company. Family comes before business.

    Roy (Irene's husband) passed away in December. He passed away in New Mexico with his children and grandchildren at his side and was in a safe and caring nursing home.

    It may be several weeks before I can get back to publishing Irene's short stories. However, when I get back to it, I'll announce it here on the Icy Road blog.

    See you then.

    Sunday, August 16, 2015

    Newsletter Update - Good News!

    I thought I should share this - my sales have picked up since Book Stop Central went out.

    July I sold 59 e-books and this month, already 79 e-books. Most of them on Barnes & Noble, which tripled sales from last month.


    Saturday, July 11, 2015

    Book Stop Central

    Book Stop Central is newsletter for Self-Published or Small Press Authors. 
    View this email in your browser

    Got A Newsletter?

    No? Join Our Newsletter Co-op

    As writers, we're told that we need a mailing list with at least 1000 fans in order to be successful. Then we're told we need to send that newsletter out monthly or even (gasp!) weekly.

    But most of us are woefully short of time and short of the magic number of fans for our list.

    HOWEVER -- if enough authors band together and pool our precious mailing lists, we
    CAN produce a monthly newsletter than can be sent to enough people to make a difference for all of us.

    THEREFORE - We at Icy Road Publishing are inviting you to join our co-op list. 
    Your book(s) will be added to our newsletter "Book Stop Central' for 3 months.

    Each ad will require
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    The $10 will cover the creation of the ad, adding the cover, text and links you send us. If your book is available as a paperback, provide us with that link, or the website of the books store where the book is available.

    At the end of 3 months, you have the option of leaving our list, or you can sign up for 3 more months.

    It is essential for you to add 10 emails to our list each quarter. You're welcome to keep copies of the addresses you collect. The success of this venture will depend on the number of email addresses we get. We need the addresses of readers, people who will want to buy our books. Random addresses are not going to give us the same results.

    For 2015 we are limiting our author list to 25 authors and 50 books. We are asking that each author contribute a minimum 10 VALID email addresses. By valid, we mean people who have agreed to be on your author mailing list.

    Feel free to forward this message to anyone who would be interested in joining us.

    If you would like us to send out a special Newsletter, we can do that if you send us the information, cover art and links. The price will reflect the time required to produce your press release.

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