Behind the scenes – January 2022
Last year I discovered that I love to snoop around and see what other authors are doing – I read their blogs, Medium or social media avidly. especially to see how they upskill. So I thought I should do my own ones as well! if you are like that too check out the past post here
These Behind-The-Scenes blog posts, are meant to summarise the month, and also keep you updated with all the random and not so random thoughts and journeys I have about writing, teaching, publishing and snippets of my personal life, like my current cooking obsession, my #ninjafoodi airfryer.
The Business of being an Author
Writing a book is the quickest way to launch a business, and ignoring your book after that is the quickest way of killing your business and your assets. So in the very first week of January, I spent a few hours researching and studying the sales patterns of my books, and then tweaking the sales pages, categories and keywords. I could do a lot more, so this year is going to be more time for business and craft.
I also did some tweaks on my website, removing the festive front page, back to the author page, and checking some pages. My author website does need a lot of work, I need the time or the virtual assistance for that. While I am sufficiently tech to do it, it does take up time.
Amazon doesn’t give away much information, but it did announce a 19% increased in royalty payments to Kindle Select authors – going up to, hold your breath, $450 million USD. That’s a huge amount, and I get a teensy fraction of that but it speaks to the health of the market. It also means I should write more books – so feel free to nag me about it.
January means the beach
In Australia, January tends to be a lazy month, everyone is on holiday, and in a food and festive aftermath from Christmas and the New Year and to tell the truth, after the frenetic push for events like Black Friday and Boxing Day, it is good to kick back a little. And even if I wanted to work, its school holidays, so I have kids and grandkids, and with the lifting of travel restrictions in Australia, visits from relatives who love the beach at Queensland. After the long 2 year hiatus of not seeing any interstate family, it was good to see them. As you can see from the beachy snapshots in the collage. Which leads me on the the next topic..but first let me subject you to family photos
Artificial Intelligence for Authors
It is the best of times, and the worst of times – for authors.
On one hand, we can totally reject the rejection slips and self publish, but on the other hand, you need to do all the promotion and marketing of your books, that is of you want to sell your books. And that means nice graphics and good looking videos, or even just videos with a difference. Take a look at these pictures. and spot the differences. The pictures, were created anyway with an app called Visionist, I downloaded them, and then used cleanup.pictures to tweak them a little. See if you can see how I cleaned them up.
And before I forget, I processed the photos to look like sketches with Visionist, an app on my iPhone.
Both the apps have a free tier that I have used here. There are a lot of apps for graphics and video that are available, some free, some not.
Having fun with some writing apps
Yes, AI will impact all kinds of writing, and is already doing a lot of the non fiction writing. Have you noticed the slew of writing apps that are powered by the open source GPT-3 resource? No, it will never replace a human written, but it’s time for authors to start using AI as an assistant or helper. You can train one to write like you, or indeed not think like you, to get a boost of creativity – whatever it is, this poetry generator from Google, uses a single word from you, a library of 19th century poetry, and your image to create a couplet, that could be nonsensical, or amusing, or a trigger for your own writing. Here are a few generated from Googles AI powered Poetry generator https://artsexperiments.withgoogle.com/poemportraits
What I read and watched in January
The first book of the year was Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary. This was a standout read, and a joyful return to sci-fi for me, after a steady binge of historical fiction and thrillers last year. Oh I still love that and I still haven’t caught up with the Outlander series on TV, despite finishing the entire series by Diana Gabaldon.
What did you read? Talking about reading, do you know that there was a 25% increase in the time that adults spent reading books in 2021? Some other stats – Millenials read more books than any other generation, and print books still outsell ebooks.
What I watched was The Golden Girls – partly because of the sad news of the death of the iconic “Rose”, Betty White.
I’ve retired again from a “job” this week.
I took a “6-week” job in September, that has literally just finished up. So from 6 weeks to nearly 5 months I was “employed” again, and it impacted my writing.
While I still worked with my coaching clients, I found it really hard to get back to my own books and writings, there is only that much energy in me! So, stand by, more books and more content will be coming from me as I get my writing mojo back. A writer never retires! Or I hope so.
Creative Work in January
I know all that sounds like fun, but I did do what counts as work – one of my author clients, Adam, is in the final stages of launching his first book to bestseller. It’s a cracking good adventure story or a drive he took across India in a three wheeled contraption that was never meant to do it. I am so excited that the first month of 2022 has another author publishing his first book, the first of his series. It’s coming soon, so I can’t post the link yet – but the books is Cows, Curries and Chaos by Adam Branford.
Remember that if you want to publish your book or find out why your book is not selling, I am just an email, a social media message or a call away!
We also had our first Write your Business Bestseller Now meetup for 2022, online, where we shared the 100 days 100 pages Bestseller workshop. This is the workshop/coaching that launched 5 bestsellers last year, for authors who had never had a bestseller before.
We had a good turnout for meetup, with enthusiastic aspiring authors. You can join the meetup too here.
Or sign up to be notified of the next workshop – sometime in February. There are still places for the Create your Book Vision workshop in February, click the button below.