Price experiment

Well, today’s promo didn’t get me any sales. A pity, but it was only $5 and that’s alright. I think I got some views at least and maybe it’ll interest someone later on.

In other news, I’m trying the ‘bump my price’ thing again. I attempted it a few weeks ago but it didn’t go through and I just kept Larkspur at .99cents. Now I’m moving the Draft2Digital price up first, and then I’ll change Amazon so that they don’t have a problem with competing lower prices.

I’m doing this for two reasons: 1) interest. I just sort of want to know if I’d still get sales the same way, or more or less, for 2 bucks more. Yes, Larkspur is short. But 99cents looks cheap.. and anyways (this is 2) I’ve also seen books that are far shorter than Larkspur and they do sell at 2.99.

I’m in my last week of summer courses, so writing essays and taking exams still, should be free by next week.

No self-esteem

I hate not having any self-esteem. I should have released the second book by now, but I’m still… working on it. And by that I mean I’m worried what I do have is shit, and thinking anything I add or change would just make it worse. It’s the reason it took me 2 years to write Larkspur. I just.. can’t. I thought the positive response would help and I could do that “write a book a month” thing and I..

I can type fast. I spend every night thinking about Noctuina and varying characters. I just can’t relax enough to let everything else go and type. I’m too busy thinking about what it means to be a writer, if people will even like anything I do, and am I sure those people who liked it weren’t messing with me? I’m procrastinating about doing the thing I keep saying I love to do!

It’s stupid. I’m shooting myself in the foot, and every day I wait and put it off is another day the wound could start to fester. I’m a nobody. The Internet won’t give a shit about my work if I don’t do something more and give them a reason to notice.

On ratings in general

How do you rate a book? Is 5stars ‘perfect’ or just ‘I loved it’? Should most books be an average 3, with 4 and 5 the exception and not the rule?

How we review and rate books, especially across different sites, is interesting and odd. 3 should be average. I suppose that’s true the way a C is supposed to be an average too, but most people strive for A’s (and some get in trouble for even B’s). Does 5 stars mean perfect, or does it mean A level– 93% and above?

3 stars should be average. Didn’t wow you, but didn’t disappoint. But three stars on a book still make me a little wary. Hell, an average of 4stars makes me wary. I just think ‘why didn’t this get more 5s, what’s wrong with it’ as opposed to ‘this is a pretty good book, but maybe not everyone’s favourite.’

Then there are discrepancies. On Goodreads a 1star means ‘I didn’t like it.’ That’s all. Not ‘this book is the worst pile of shit I’ve seen in my life.’ The worst thing you can possibly say about a book is ‘naw, didn’t like it. (2 stars even means ‘it was ok.’ 2 out of 5 is ok?)

Amazon? Different story. A whole star of difference. ‘I don’t like it’ is 2stars. 1star? I hate it. Literally that’s what it says when you rate something and hover over the one star—I hate it.

Of course neither of these ranks mean much outside of personal preference. I hate it can mean it’s the worst grammatically-error-filled ‘did a cat walk over a typewriter’ pile of paper and ink. Or it can mean the two characters you wanted to get together haven’t done so. Or nothing to do with the book at all and the file was odd on your kindle.

Amazon’s makes more sense I think. As much as I like that you can’t hate a book on Goodreads, you are going to occasionally hate a book. Given that Amazon now own Goodreads you’d think they’d make the systems consistent, but that’s another story.

All that said, I don’t really pay much attention to reviews (or rather, don’t as a reader, but it worries me as an author). I read a book and I decide whether I like it based on that. If I’m getting online I may read the sample, but usually the summary is enough to know whether it’s my thing. Plus all my favourite books have 1star ratings, and many books I find bad have 5stars too.

Goodreads self-review

So, it seems you can review your own work on goodreads. I did that :)

Larkspur: A Necromancer's Romance (Larkspur, #1)Larkspur: A Necromancer’s Romance by V.M. Jaskiernia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, Goodreads lets authors review their own work. I thought I’d give it a go.

Now this review is obvious bias in many ways. You can decide for yourself whether it was ‘amazing’ as I have claimed with my 5stars. But I do want to tell you why I think it’s amazing.

Larkspur took me two years to write on-and-off. Mostly off. I wrote a bit, decided it was junk, and stopped for a few weeks. I thought about writing, about the story, but putting words to computer screen was difficult.

It isn’t a perfect book. That isn’t what I mean by 5stars at all. Every time I look through it I see things I want to change. For the first month I did rearrange sentences, change small details. I even added a short half-page scene explaining something that wasn’t as well detailed the first time around.

I feel like I rushed the ending too. That’s bothered me a lot all this time Larkspur has been out, and I’ve thought about whether to go back and add more several times. In the end I decided not to. This is the first section, the prologue, for the series. And this series first and foremost is about Pierre and Lizzy. So while I could have expanded on the magic, the other characters, the world– I feel it’s ok that I didn’t. All of that will get discovered and discussed in future, longer, books. But this was for Pierre and Lizzy (ok, and the necrocræft. There was a reason I balanced each romance scene with a bloody one.).

So if you want to know how the books rates from ‘this is shit’ to ‘I would cut off my arm to be able to create this’ I’d give it a 4. It could be better. I think I can do better (and so far Delphinium [book 2] is looking to hit that level as I’m writing it).

But there are parts that amaze me. I forget how I phrased something and reading it again weeks later, I think ‘huh, that’s pretty good.’ My characters surprised me, the world opened up far more than what I had in my head, even after all these years. Parts made me tear up. Parts I love reciting to myself just because I think I managed the perfect rhythm if only for a sentence or two.

Larkspur is two years of work, and many more previous years of planning, thought, and dedication… I suppose in that way all books are amazing.

I really truly hope you like Larkspur, and that even a little bit of it amazes you like it did me.

View all my reviews

245 copies sold

Holy shit. With the huge bump from r/fantasy a few days ago I just tallied up my sales across all platforms. I’ve sold 245 copies of Larkspur since its publication. The vast majority from Amazon, but 9 from draft2digital (kobo, nook, etc). I’ve made over $100 on my book!

24 reviews at Amazon.com by the way, 50/50 with 5star and 4star. Goodreads is harsher, with some 3stars, a 2, and those two 1s.. but even so, I had to expect that eventually.

It’s Wednesday, my r/fantasy Writer of the Day is scheduled for the 23rd, next Wednesday. Really want Delphinium done by then. I know I keep saying that, and seemingly not finishing. Had a meh few days again. Not bad, nothing’s wrong, I just can’t seem to focus and get myself all together. Attempting to work on that. I’m going to go get some tea.

No promises, but I will attempt to finish the first section completely by the time I go to bed and have it up here for preview purposes :)

EDIT: The Writer of the Day is the 23rd. My cakeday is the 27th.