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: 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 my listeners to have them. I’d like to find a way to do that while subsidizing my career instead of Amazon’s business model, though.
Stay safe, and happy Thanksgiving!
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.
The Art of Scrying has been through editing and formatting. It’s going through one last proofreading check it, and it will be ready for July’s release! Progress is continuing on the first three audiobooks.
Just a reminder—every release, we do an early giveaway of 25 e-books. This takes place a full two weeks before the formal release date—and its only for folks subscribed to the newsletter. If you’re not on it, definitely get on that!
(Yes, once the audiobooks are ready, we’ll also be running giveaways for free audiobooks.)
I’d also like to announce that 20% of the preorder proceeds for The Art of Scrying 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.
You all have left me gobsmacked with the release of Sketchy Charms! Each release in the new Mystic’s End series seems to be just a little more popular than the one before, and that’s really super awesome. Thanks so much for your raves, feedback, and your continued reading of the series! I’m working on the final few chapters of The Art of Scrying now, and then it will be off to the editor sometime next week.
The series has been so successful that Tantor Media reached out to inquire about audiobook rights, and I have to admit, it left me pretty gobsmacked. (Yes, I like the word gobsmacked.) If you’re on the mailing list, I’ll be doing a deep dive in next week’s email regarding my thought process, but to make a long story short? I decided to pass and stay fully indie.
I also decided to get my rear in gear and start getting audiobooks out for Mystic’s End before we get too far behind. An audition by Kae Marie Denino blew me away, and I know you’ll love her interpretation of the book and Fortuna’s adventures in Mystic’s End.
Mystic Guests is in production now, and I hope it’ll be out towards the end of the summer/early fall.
And I thought the Ides of March were nuts. Sheesh.
Sketchy Charms is getting it’s final polish and will be available on time. I’d hoped to be able to get it out a week or so ahead of time, and I still might be able to, but we’re dealing with some formatting errors in the manuscript that are adding some extra days to the process. I’m about five chapters into The Art of Scrying—with all the shelter-in-place time we’re getting, I suspect that one will be out a bit early. You can pre-order both now.
I want to give a shoutout and a symbolic hug to all my readers holding the frontline right now—I get quite a few letters from you, and I know many of you are teachers, nurses, doctors, delivery folk, grocery workers (and just locked in your house social distancing). It’s tough to feel good about what’s going on in the world, but when I’m starting to feel down, I listen to this re-done song by Chris Mann and remember how incredibly strong, resilient, and dedicated we humans are.
Thank you for doing your part during this global moment in time—and stay safe!
Beware the Ides of March, huh? Lordy.
First, I hope that you and your family are safe, well, and socially distant.
Last week, Angel in Demise was released, and it seems like folks enjoyed it despite the craziness going on at the moment. I want to thank everyone that picked up a copy, and I hope the craziness in Mystic’s End gave you a bit of the break from the possible craziness in your town.
Despite all the uncertainty, as of right now, Sketchy Charms is on track to be released on time, and we’ve posted The Greyt Escape (Book 5) for pre-order. If you don’t do that pre-order thang and you’re ever curious when the next book is coming out, you can always visit the website and check out the countdown in the corner.
I hope that books give you some distraction from the worries of the day, and again, prayers from my family to yours that everyone stays safe and healthy.
If you’re on the mailing list, you’ll have a chance to get these 2 weeks before at a 75% discount, so if you haven’t signed up, now would be a great time!
Happy New Year!
After a lot of trial and error, we seem to have hit on a way to get everyone what they want (including me)! All new releases will follow the same timing unless some unforeseen (late rewrite) thing happens. That schedule is:
- Two weeks before a formal release date,
I’ll email out to the newsletter with a link to get a new e-book release for just 99¢—yes, we’re going back to 99¢ discounted releases. There will be a very, very limited number of these available, and it’s first come-first served. Once the number of copies allotted for early discounted release are done, they’re done. Sold out, finito, no more. (Typically, those discount copies sell out in 4-6 hours.) If the release is normally priced at 99¢, the discounted release price will be just 1¢.I’ll open up a sweepstakes for a certain number of books to give away – early and free!
- One week before the formal release, I’ll email with a link to the paperback release.
- On release day, I’ll send out an email reminding the KU folks that it’s their turn to go borrow the book.
Early releases freebies are delivered at the end of the giveaway through Bookfunnel, so folks grabbing e-books that way will get the books early.
In the first quarter of 2020 there’s a book coming out every month! If you’re not on my mailing list, now would be a great time to join.
Happy holidays to everyone! December’s been a busy month here at the Leeds’ household. When Curse Comes to Love is finished, edited, and getting ready to be formatted. It will make its January release with no delays, thank goodness. (ARC members should be on the lookout for the book around New Year’s Day.) This will be the final book in the 8-book Magical Midway series.
This series was a lot of fun to write, but it was my first paranormal cozy series, and as I look back? I definitely see some things I would have done differently. I went very heavy on the fantasy, and lighter on the mysteries than I think I should have looking back. All in all, it’s a series I’m proud of but the next series will see some of those issues I think the series had addressed.
The next series, Mystic’s End Mysteries, will focus much more on the mysteries and, since it takes place in the real world, and not be as heavy on the fantasy. There will still be witches, of course, and strange paranormal happenings, but the overarching paranormal plot will be a bit easier to follow even if you jump in and out of the series at different points.
Mystic Guests is currently locked, loaded, and done—but it contains some spoilers referencing events that happen in When Curse Comes to Love, so I won’t be releasing it until after Book 8 has a bit of time to get out there. This week, I’ll be starting on Book 2, Angel in Demise, and the first three books in the Mystic’s End Mysteries are available for pre-order on Amazon.
Hope you all have wonderful holidays, and I’ll see you again in 2020!