• M. York

Lawyers, Reviews, Interviews, and Medical Appointments

Hello! I'm writing this the day after the last blog post you saw, but have scheduled it for Wednesday as I'll be away, having my first ever dentist appointment since 20...14? I think I saw a dentist that year... Anyway, there's a chance (however small) that this will do at least a little bit for my fear of dentists.

Now to a small life update before I get into writing talk.

I think I've mentioned before that we're building a house. We could technically start any time, but it's better if we can get the title in our name before ground breaks (I don't fully understand it). Lawyers, however, have drug their feet for two weeks. Lawyers! Not going, "Yes money now!" What the heck is this place?! "No, we need to go slowly and make sure everything is in place. No, no, no, don't pay me for this part of it." What!

Actually, I just now got word from the construction company that they'll probably start this week. By the way, did I tell y'all how different the build is going to be? Okay, house talk before writing talk.

All of you have driven by construction sites at least once in your lives, I'm sure. Maybe you've worked on them. Usually it's foundation (usually pier-and-beam or concrete poured), then the wood framing, then adding more and more until there's a house instead of a construction site. Well, in the covid times, there is a massive material shortage. So our house won't have lots of wood inside. It's gonna be concrete and metal. Our roof won't even be shingled because shingles are so expensive now! It's going to be metal! (shocking) Anyway, it's going to be fire resistant, so it's much less likely to burn down in the case of a wildfire.

But, yeah! Instead of wood, we'll have metal and concrete which will be much more sturdy, we'll have sound proofing by default, it won't interfere with our heating, and it'll be totally wheelchair friendly! I'm so excited for the friendliness of it, honestly. I want to be able to take a shower without being terrified I'm going to fall getting out of the tub. (Really, right now it's a weird set up and I just wanna be able to take an easy shower every day.)

This all reminds me of lyrics from Run The Jewels' song Don't Get Caught: Get a job, get a house, get a coffin

Don't stray from the path, remain where you at

That maximizes our profit

Yeah, my husband and I feel awkward about building because it is very... final. Even the mortgage broker kept telling us this was going to be our 'forever home.' That's not our intention and I should be very clear of that. If we are able to increase our income we'll likely end up moving again. Maybe to that fabled land of B.C. Bring Cash. Who knows.

And, yes, I listen to Run The Jewels. My current music tastes are Run The Jewels and Poets of the Fall. I doubt many of you will like either.

Now to writing. Well, the business of it, anyway.

See, I've learned a bit more about the beast that is the Amazon algorithm. Unless or until my books get 10 reviews (not ratings, reviews), the algorithm will leave it by the wayside. Half the time, my books don't come up when you search their titles and you rarely get me popping up if you search "M. York" on the platform. This is a very frustrating barrier to many independent authors. It's easy to get friends and family to spend 10 bucks on a book, it's hard to convince them to write a few sentences to go along with their however many star rating.

Now, that's nothing against friends or family. I'm guilty of that myself. I buy a friend's book, and then I rarely even rate them. I am, in fact, part of my own problem. It's a big ask. Even ten minutes extra of a day is difficult. Reviews are almost more important than actual sales, though, and it's hard to understand that.

For instance, when I put out a book, I consistently sell about 18, including both print and ebook. That gives me a little under $100. It's actually pretty nice and it does make me want to write faster. 18 copies? Even if that's not 18 individuals (I know you typically buy 3 print copies, Mom, thank you very much), that's still over 10 (as Mom is the only one I know who buys over 1 copy and I buy my copies at a discount and they don't count in my numbers). I don't think I know 10 of my family and friends who buy my stuff. Not that I don't have that many, more just because I hate pushing my stuff on other people. There are 6 friends/family members I know who for sure purchase at least one copy. One of those is my mom. That means there are AT LEAST 10 people I don't know who buy my books consistently. All of you, thanks, familial connection or no.

I was actually thinking about giving up on this whole self publishing thing recently. I was sad about my numbers, I wanted something more, and I did think about trying to get some sort of work from home call center job. I floated this idea to my husband and he told me I shouldn't give up. I talked about how we'd be doing better if we had two incomes and he told me he didn't care about that. He said I should keep writing because it makes me happy, he told me I'm good at it (he hasn't read any of my stuff since Factions, so I take that with a grain of salt), and he's proud of the work I've done.

We sat down and looked at my numbers and we talked about new strategies I could use. I'm always glad I chose a wonderful partner. Really, if any of y'all are single, choose a partner who supports you through thick and thin.

Anyway, we came up with a new strategy and I saw how many individuals bought my books previously, how many repeat buyers I had. I realized that, however small, I do have a reader base. Though I recognize that I am writing more for me than anyone else, I want to make my products better for my readers. My books may take longer between release going forward, as they have been this year. I'm hoping this will only make everything better.

All that said, I really can't wait to finish Derelict Paradise and share it with y'all! Please, if you are able, drop a review on any of my books you've read. It doesn't matter if you give it one star or five, it will help.

And the last part! The part I'm literally editing this post the night before to talk about! I got interviewed! Now, I had to seek it out (I'm not popular enough for media requests), but I did do an author interview about my upcoming book and I'll be doing another one on June 8th!

Now, with the interview on June 8th it will be a live video stream. I'll be sharing links on Facebook and Twitter as we get closer with clear times and such, but it will be a livestream where all of you will be able to talk in chat (as long as you have a YouTube account) and possibly pose questions that way! I'm excited to do it as it will be my first ever recorded video interview, but I'll do what I can to make it enjoyable.

I've also been thinking about bringing back my YouTube channel, but I'm never sure what y'all would be interested in seeing. Let me know on Facebook or Twitter (or even send me an email on my contact) what you'd be most interested in! If you don't, I'm liable to do long plays of Alan Wake while talking about strange things.

Thank you so much for your support and I hope you all have a great week and weekend.

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