Monday, July 31, 2023

Retired? Me? Nah...

Wow. Has it really been three months since I last saw your shining faces? I've been up to big things since then. 

For one, I pulled my ebooks out of Kindle Unlimited at the end of May. Why? Because I kept seeing posts on Instagram about pirated books and author accounts being closed by Amazon with no warning. Etcetera. Enough to make me goosey.

Then, I kept putting off "going wide", which is a fancy phrase that means selling my books through many distributors rather than exclusively through one. In my case, Amazon. So this week, I finally got the cyber presses rolling.

The little icons below the titles are my new ebook distributors

I uploaded Awen Rising and Awen Storm to the book aggregator, Draft2Digital (D2D). They are now in the process of distributing them to the major online booksellers (for a %). Now my ebooks will be available at Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, Scribd, Baker & Taylor, several overseas and other miscellaneous sites, and OverDrive. (See above pic.)

A few of the sites are for libraries, so you'll soon be able to read my ebooks through your local library account. To be honest, I don't really know how that works. You may need to request the library to get it for you, the same as you do for my paperbacks. (And add this to the list of stuff I need to find out.) Then, once the two ebooks have gone live and the kinks are worked out, I'll upload the prequels.

Am I excited? You betcha. Will my sales take off? One can hope.

The other major thing I'm doing—besides writing Awen Tide, of course—is selling and signing my paperbacks face to face. This means that on top of writing, marketing, accounting, etc, I now have a new hat to wear. Salesperson. Oh, glory. Does anyone love selling?

OJ at King Soopers in Cheyenne, WY, June 2023
But I'm showing up AND having fun meeting new readers and writers, plus discussing my books with returning fans. I've had moderate success at the local craft fairs, and now I am an official vendor.

This meant I had to apply for a Wyoming sales tax license and start collecting and paying sales tax. I filed my first quarterly return on July 14th, remitting a whopping $23, woohoo!

On April 21st, I also began setting up a table and banner in the lobby of nearby King Soopers. Through Kroger's National Authors in Grocery Stores program, I get to meet readers and sell books to their grocery shoppers. There was a fee to join and another to have my books added to their system, but it was reasonable. So far, my best sales weekend was here in Cheyenne, when 37 books found new homes in 2 days over Father's Day weekend.

Bottom line? Since April 1st, I've sold 112 paperback books face-to-face—80 copies of Awen Rising and 32 of Awen Storm. Of those, 71 were sold at King Soopers.

Another benefit is getting to meet my readers and fans in person. What a blast! As Calvin used to say, it beats a poke in the eye. Any day.

You'll be happy to hear that the nasty brain fog that was keeping me from writing (or doing much of anything) is mostly gone. What'd I tell you? That failed crown with titanium posts was the culprit. Since getting it extracted on June 2nd, Awen Tide is finally approaching THE END.

I am determined and committed to completing this trilogy and having it in your hands by Thanksgiving. This year!

I'm going to whisper this last little tidbit 'cause I don't want you to be alarmed. I'm moving again. This time into my own place. It'll be happening fairly soon, and though I'm not sure when I am excited about this new chapter in my life.

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O. J. Barré.

O. J. Barré is the author of the Awen Trilogy, a fun, fast, and epic urban fantasy set in 2042 Atlanta. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, debuted July 2019. Book Two, Awen Storm, released May 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, will release in 2023. All are (or will be) available in both paperback and ebook, and the hardback versions will be available soon.

Free For Subscribers

O. J.'s Awen Prequel novelette, The Druids of Marduk, Part I, is also available as an ebook - for purchase on Amazon (or free by signing up for her newsletter). The second installment, The Druids of Marduk, Part II: UnderEarth, is an ebook novella on Amazon. Part III: AboveEarth, is scheduled for a 2024 release.

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