Thanks to those of you that picked up Boozehounds and Ball Drops! I’m hard at work on Scry Harder, and that will be the second to last Book in the Mystic’s End series. I’ve already mapped out and put the next one up for you, and I think you’ll like the Owl Star Witch! I do need to take a moment to talk about some not so great news. This year I started a foray into audiobooks, and I have to admit it’s been less than fun. I chose to produce them through Amazon’s ACX, and while I thought I’d be getting one out once a month and catch up easily? Due to massive delays at ACX, that hasn’t been the case. For example, Sketchy Charms was submitted to ACX on October 25th as complete and ready to go. On November 19th, the quality control process was finally completed—though I still have no idea when it will be actually in the store. Production took about half the time. That alone would be frustrating enough. However, it’s come to light within the past month that Audible is promoting exchanges and returns as a feature of membership. You can read in-depth information about this in these locations: Audiblegate! The incredible true story of missing sales Audiblegate? Audiblegate: HOW AUDIBLE-ACX RETURNS POLICY PENALIZES AUTHORS To make a long story short, it appears that the returns of audiobooks are extremely high (which stands to reason as this is encouraged by Audible) and that folks openly discuss using the returns as a way to get more out of their credits—kind of like a makeshift subscription service/KU for audiobooks. My own sales math does seem a bit wonky – the first month, 75% of my audiobook sales were through member credit. Second month? That dropped to 50%. The third month it dropped all the way down to 20% – and yet sales made via purchases both by members and non-members remained relatively stable. It was only the membership sales that had wild fluctuations and steep drops. The problem is when books are returned or exchanged to get the next one in the series, no royalties are paid to rightsholders for that listen. This means that audiobooks—which already pay fewer royalties than books and are far more expensive to produce—are not just unprofitable but can become financial liabilities. If you’d like to join us in an attempt to discourage Amazon from (1) hiding our returns from us and (2) encouraging those exchanges and returns as a feature of membership, please think about signing the Author’s Guild Petition. For now, I’ve put the production of the rest of the audiobooks in the Mystic’s End series on hold. I’ve requested my returns data from Audible so I can confirm precisely how much of a problem this is, and once I get that data I’ll make a decision as to whether it’s financially feasible to continue. I hope I’ll be able to—I really do like the audiobooks, and I want …
It’s less than two weeks to Boozehounds and Ball Drops! Coming up even sooner than that is Hexes and Holly, a holiday anthology from me and thirteen of your favorite paranormal cozy authors. Hexes and Holly is dropping November 1st with Boozehounds and Ball Drops to follow on November 5th. Hexes and Holly contains a prequel short story for Mystic’s End starring Fortuna Delphi from the Mystic’s End series and Gunther Makepeace from the Magical Midway series. For those of you that have read Mystic’s End but not Magical Midway, it fills in some information about the first series as well as introduces the town and some characters from the new series. Sketchy Charms audiobook is wrapped up and is being submitted for publication this week. Unfortunately, that could mean it will be on sale next Monday or a month from now. No way to know. If you’re waiting for it, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, subscribe to the mailing list, or join the text community by sending me a text message to 1 (512) 359-3123 and I’ll let you know when it’s up. Stay safe, and remember to vote!
Since it’s almost the end of the month, I suppose I should get September’s update done! This month, I got the first Boxed Set for Mystic’s End Mysteries up and out. Book 6—Boozehounds and Ball Drops—has been sent off to the editor and will be out on time. You can preorder it on Amazon now! Book 2—Angel in Demise—was released on audiobook this month, and Sketchy Charms is in production now. You can also now check out the cover and blurb for Book 8: Captive Magic. That’s also available for preorder. For those of you that are a bit anti-mailing list (hey, I get it), I’ve now got a phone number where you can text me, and I can text you. Seriously. I’m not kidding. Just send a text to 512-359-3123 and you’ll get set up to be able to chat with me via text whenever you want, get notifications when a new book is out, and participate in text-only giveaways! In October, I’ll be working on a short story about the Mystic’s End gang that will appear in a Christmas anthology with other fantastic cozy authors—more details when I have them—and after that I’ll be working on Scry Harder, Book 7 in the Mystic’s End series (due in January 2021.) Hope everyone’s hanging in there!
Well, it’s been a locked down summer here at the Leeds casa. Mystic Guests audiobook is finally out, and I’m learning lots more about producing audiobooks. The first thing to learn? Everything happens very s-l-o-w-l-y. Though it’s been “out” since August 11th, we’re still waiting on Amazon to join it with the Kindle book, and still waiting on the audiobook to be processed for whispersync. Kae and I worked hard to make sure the audiobook and Kindle book matched precisely, so we’re hoping it gets it’s sync-magic any day now. The Angel in Demise audiobook has been submitted to ACX and will hopefully move on through the release process. Unfortunately, this one seems to be going a bit slower. Book 1 took only three days to get through Audio Review, but this one’s on Day 11 as I write this. Sketchy Charms is being produced as you read this. The Greyt Escape is locked and loaded. It will be out in less than 30 days, and I’m 57% of the way through writing November’s Boozehounds and Ball Drops—which is turning out to be a real hoot to write. I hope you’re all staying safe and socially distant!
The Art of Scrying (4) has just been released, and I hope you’re enjoying it! The Greyt Escape (5) was sent off to the editor’s this past week and will be out on time in September. I’m getting all my ducks (or greyhounds) in a row to start on Boozehounds and Ball Drops (6), and just posted Scry Harder (7) for pre-order! Is that the mysterious, magical hole in the ground from The Art of Scrying on the cover? Why yes, it is the mysterious, magical hole in the ground! You can read more about it when Scry Harder (7) drops on January 7, 2021. The final tally of the 20% preorder proceeds for The Art of Scrying is finalized-ish, and should come in at around $420-ish (depending on what the final KU page-per-read amount is for July when it’s announced in August. Hence the -ish.) The donation will be made at the beginning of October 2020 when the royalties hit the bank and will be donated to the Black Writers Collective. The Black Writers Collective provides programs and resources for creative and freelance writers of color of all ages. #blacklivesmatter