Let’s Talk Projects: January 2020

Greetings, fellow productivity nerds. it’s time for another monthly project update. Wanna peek behind my work-curtain? Here we go!

Short Stories

Nothing new to report.

Novels

Last month, Patrick and I published my first cruise ship cozy, The Case of the Missing Finger. This week, I’m wrapping up the proofreading and cover art for the next book in the series: The Case of the Karaoke Killer. Barring any major hiccups we’ll release the new ebook on January 23rd.

I’m also outlining book three, The Case of the Floating Funeral. I’ve always wanted to write a mystery with eccentric rich people, a big inheritance up for grabs, and lots of dysfunctional family drama. (I’ll pause here and blow a kiss to Agatha Christie.) So that book is up next.

Business Projects

Trying out Kindle Unlimited: My cruise ship mysteries are in KU, and it’s my first time trying out the program. The upside is that readers with a KU subscription (available in the US and a few other countries) can read the book for free with their membership. Thus I get paid for both sales and subscriber borrows. But the big downside is that KU ebooks must be exclusive to Amazon.

It’s too early to say how well this experiment is working, but I’m watching the numbers closely. Also, I’ve subscribed to KU as a reader to see what the experience is like from the other side.

Making Paperbacks: Patrick is designing paperback editions for the cruise ship mysteries, and we’ll have them available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. I’ll let you know when they go up; it takes time to proof the interior files, order sample copies, and run quality checks, so paperback editions will lag the ebooks by a month or two. This is our first time distributing print novels to the BN catalog, so we’re learning as we go.

Blogging: I’m interviewing another cozy mystery author for my blog! That post will be out on Monday.

Business DeCluttering:  I said goodbye to Pinterest (it’s great – just not my jam), and we’re simplifying the back-matter in our books to minimize the need for multiple rounds of updating as my catalog grows. I also bowed out of a few writing-related groups that I no longer have time for.

Newsletter Segmentation: At the end of my novels there’s a link to sign up for my mailing list. Those links are now segmented by series, so I can tell which series brought a reader to my mailing list. I don’t plan on doing anything with this data right now, but it gives me the option of letting readers customize their updates. “Just send me cozy mysteries” for example.

Personal Projects

More Books and Music, Less TV: We let ourselves get extra Netflix-bingey during the holidays, and it was fun, but we’re pulling back on screen time to make more space for reading and thinking.

Drinking Delicious Coffee in Coffee Shops while Looking Wistfully at the Pounding Rain Outside: Because… Shut up. THIS IS MY PROCESS.

Socializing: Between the holidays, my recent work crunch, and being sick last month, I haven’t been having enough movie nights, coffee chats, and outings. So I’m remedying that now.

Exploring Volunteer Work: I’ve been wanting to do some local volunteer work and I found a nonprofit that might be a fit. So I’m checking them out next week.

I’m always a bit surprised at how much stuff fits into these little updates. No wonder life feels busy! Anyway, that’s what I’m up to. Are you working on something cool? Tell us about it. 😁