2016 in review is a work related round-up, because it’s been an absolutely awful year personally. The other day somebody sent around a “some good things must have happened at least on a personal level in 2016, please post them!” and I honestly couldn’t think of anything actively good enough to stand out.
So, this year in publication review: startingly good, actually. I had 5 books come out, including the graphic novel of TAKE A CHANCE, which we’ve all been waiting for forever. :)
MAGIC & MANNERS
An Austen Chronicle
A retelling of Pride & Prejudice, where the sisters have too much magic instead of too little money!
Kobo || Kindle || Nook || Amazon (print) || Audible & at bookstores near you! (ask them to order you a copy!)
The Heartstrike Chronicles: Book One
Immortality, ancient grudges, powers beyond the ordinary…familiar grounds, but I hope you’ll like what I’ve done with them. :)
iBooks || Kindle || Kobo || Nook || Audible
TAKE A CHANCE
A vigilante without superpowers in a world that now has supers! My 2009 comic book in long-awaited graphic novel form!
Amazon || Nook || Comixology
(& at nearly any comic shop or bookstore, just ask them to order it in! ISBN 978-1909276628!)
To my intense dismay, due to year-end postal slowness, neither YEAR OF MIRACLES nor ATLANTIS FALLEN has a print edition yet, but they should both be available early next year.
I have two books lined up for next year: the 1945 urban fantasy REDEEMER, and a Regency romance called BEWITCHING BENEDICT, which, despite the title, has no magic in it. :) It’s charming, though, and I’m looking forward to finally getting it out to readers.
Tentative plans for other books include PROMETHEUS BOUND (the next Heartstrike Chronicle), at least one Murphy Lawless novella, and, with any luck, a second Regency to follow BENEDICT. The second Austen Chronicle, SORCERY & SOCIETY, is slated for 2018, and we’ll see what else I manage over the next year. ♥
I’ve released two books back to back so far this year, MAGIC & MANNERS in March, followed by ATLANTIS FALLEN in April.
As an experiment, I priced ATLANTIS FALLEN $2 cheaper than M&M, to see if the number of sales at the lower price point made up for or (hopefully) outstripped the profit I make off the higher purchase price of MAGIC & MANNERS.
It did. Just barely. It took about 28 of its first 30 days to catch up to MAGIC & MANNERS’ first month, and in the last couple days it inched into making slightly more money than M&M had, but we’re talking about…$110 more. Which is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s also not a great argument for quantity over…er. Higher price point. Whatever single word we would use to mean that. :)
There are an overwhelming number of unknowns in this variable, making it pretty well impossible to say whether ATLANTIS FALLEN would have done (financially, for me) just as well at $9.99 as it did at $7.99. Just a few of those variables are:
– it was the second book I released in a row; perhaps at $9.99 it would’ve sold fewer copies because of that
– it’s urban fantasy vs historical fantasy, and urban fantasy is kind of what CE Murphy is Known For, so perhaps the price point didn’t matter at all because of Preferred Genre status
– I promoted MAGIC & MANNERS pretty damn relentlessly its first month but was much more lacksadaisical about ATLANTIS FALLEN
All of those and other things could be factors. Absolutely no way of telling.
A thing I’m finding really interesting, though, is that throughout April, and so far in May, MAGIC & MANNERS is only slightly behind ATLANTIS FALLEN in absolute number of sales (and consequently slightly head in actual profit, because of the price point difference).
The wonderful thing about that, from my perspective, is that although I have a perception that readers feel Urban Fantasy is My Thing, it may be really that CE Murphy is My Brand and that’s what people are buying, more than a specific genre. Which is what a writer hopes for, of course, so yay! (Especially yay because whoo boy do I have a wide variety of stuff coming out over the next several months! :))
At any rate, I think I’m going to leave ATLANTIS FALLEN at $7.99 and see how the two books play out over the course of several months or even a year, just out of curiosity. All of this is a long-term game
Oh, and for those who are curious: NO DOMINION, which was released, er, several years ago now, doesn’t seem to be getting any kind of boost from the new books. It’s still selling about what it has been the past couple-three years, which is both interesting and totally fine. If its sales represent the long-term income/sales numbers for any given book then someday that’ll be a modestly decent income to rely on. So that’s cool.
Part two of my series on all-out self publishing, a project I’ve taken on with MAGIC & MANNERS, a Jane Austen pastiche in which I wondered what would happen if the Bennet sisters had too much magic rather than too little cash. Part One, which focuses on finding and working with a production team as well as developing a work flow (including a Helpful Check List) is here.
This week I’m going to look at the actual publication process. I’ve been working through Amazon and Ingram, who are both doing what’s called Print On Demand (POD), which means the book is printed when you order a copy, rather than having copies sitting around a warehouse waiting for someone to order them.
I assume you know about Amazon. :) They have a couple of self-publishing arms, one for print books (CreateSpace) and one for ebooks (KDP). Bookstores, very reasonably, don’t want to buy print books from Amazon, and Amazon has a captive audience for its ebooks, as they’re the largest distributor of them and have the lion’s share of the market with their Kindle e-readers. I am, largely, not going to talk about Amazon, because it’s such a closed ecosystem the whole process is somewhat different.
Ingram is one of the two largest book distributors in the world; they are, in other words, the people from whom the bookstores buy their books. They have a self-publishing arm, IngramSpark, and it used to be that in their listings (where bookstores order from) they listed the self-published books separately, in an area where they wouldn’t come up for a bookstore unless the store went in there specifically looking for it…which bookstores had no reason to do. A while ago, though, I read that Ingram had changed that policy and that Spark books were now available broadly throughout their system, and I’ve been very interested in pursuing a self-published book with them since, because the theory here was that a self-published CE Murphy book could now turn up in (say, the Barnes & Noble) system and cause them to say “oh sure we’ll order that.”
It’s not actually that easy, because without a reason to look for a new CE Murphy book there’s no reason they would, but in theory, it *allows* them to, at least. I’ll get to promotion in a later post, because it’s going to be too big to bite off here, but in short, right now that’s why it’s really fantastic for readers to go into their local bookstores and ask if they can have a copy ordered in, and suggest short-ordering (which means just ordering a couple of them) some for the shelves.
About four years ago I got it into my head to wonder what PRIDE & PREJUDICE would be like if the Bennet sisters were plagued by an excess of magic rather than a dearth of cash. In a fit of inspiration, I wrote a first chapter, and then over the next year, a second and a third. By then, Patreon was a thing, and I decided to write MAGIC & MANNERS as a serialized crowdfunding project.
It took longer than I expected and brought me to the conclusion that serializing a novel wasn’t a good fit for Patreon, or at least, not the way I did it (but you can read about that here), but I got the book done and had great visions of turning it around swiftly and getting it out into the public realm.
That was ten months ago, and MAGIC & MANNERS launched last week. @.@
I now pause to drop in links, before getting to the bulk of the post. :)
MAGIC AND MANNERS is the first project I’ve really gone full-out self-publisher on, with the full production team in place to do everything right. It’s been fascinating, frustrating, and fun, not just for the alliteration, but in actual fact. I’m planning to do a number of posts, probably over several months as I collect more data, about the whole process, and I hope they’ll be of use and interest to people going forward.
MAGIC & MANNERS is FINALLY! OFFICIALLY! LAUNCHING! TODAY!
Besides the above links, you should also be able to go into almost any bookstore and order a print edition in. It may be helpful to have the ISBN (9781613171059), and possibly the information that it’s available through Ingram (which is a book distributor and basically one of two companies that bookstores get the actual books from), but I know for sure bookstores in Canada and Ireland have been able to order copies in, and that it’s available if you go in to Waterstones in the UK/Ireland.
People often ask if it’s better for me if they go into a bookstore and order a book or buy it from Amazon or what. Most of the time it really doesn’t matter, but in this case, it does!
If you’re a person who buys print editions and have the ability/opportunity to go in to a bookstore and order MAGIC & MANNERS, it will notify the bookstores that I have a book out. Because this isn’t traditionally published, word of mouth is essentially my only publicity. My sales are pretty good in a lot of stores, and it’s possible that if people go in and say “CE Murphy has a new book out, can you order me a copy and consider short-ordering a few for the shelves,” that it could do a *lot* of good for this book.
This is the first book I’ve published in almost two years, and I’m really trying to get my feet back under me to re-ignite writing as a viable career. My readers–you–have kept me going, and this is a wonderful amazing step toward that.
(that sounded really professional and cool and stuff and totally fails to convey my OH MY GOD BOOK NEW BOOK SHINY PRETTY BOOK I WANT EVERYBODY TO READ IT OMG OMG AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH YOU GUYS KEEP HELPING ME MAKE THE MOST AMAZING STUFF HAPPEN OMG OMG OMG THANK YOU I WOULDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITHOUT YOU aspect of all of this. because holy carp, people, you make this happen!)