BTS024, Getting Ready to Self-Publish a Thriller Novella, Translating a Novel in French, and Changes to the Podcast
Before we dive into my exciting publishing news, I want to first talk about a slight change to my podcast and why I struggled with consistently publishing episodes. And what I plan to do to overcome these issues in the future.
Struggles with My Mental Health
Last year, I struggled with my mental health due to a few different issues. This struggle led me to fall behind in my content creation schedule and my production schedule. I won’t bore you with the details here, but it had a lot to do with the loss of my aunt, feeling isolated, and other life issues. Over on my YouTube Channel, I have a behind the scenes vlog where I discuss some of those issues. For those of you who are curious, click here to be taken to that blog post and video.
Changes to the Podcast
With my mental health in mind, I’ve decided to make a few changes to the podcast to give myself regular breaks. This means the official start date for the show will be on Thursday, 6 February and that episode will be on genre expectations. Obviously, there will be no episodes in January. Going forward, there will be no episodes published in January or December of every year. And, I will be taking regularly scheduled breaks. So, this means a week off in April and August. On top of this, there will be a short break between seasons two and three. All of these breaks are scheduled into my content calendar, so I will let you know about these in advance so they won’t catch you by surprise.
I feel that by having these regular breaks that I will get some time off and have an opportunity to be a few episodes ahead of schedule, which has been something I’ve not been able to master. Now, that I’ve said all of that, I will drop bonus episodes throughout the year on a Thursday or Saturday. But those episodes will be sporadic.
What You Can Expect from this Behind the Scenes Author Diary
Coming up in this behind the scenes author diary update, I’m going to discuss where I’m at in the publishing process for Missing, my thoughts and plans on how I’ll self-publish my crime thriller novella, and a few more marketing ideas.
First let’s talk about editing.
A Title Change, Or Not!
In the previous episode, I mentioned that I had doubts about the book title for Missing. As you can probably tell I’m sticking with that title, thanks to an episode of the Career Author Podcast, I listened to during December. To be honest, I feel that I over thought whole book title dilemma. I found another book within the same sub-genre on Amazon, and I panicked. And, I was “OMG, I found another book with the same title.” It’s the same title, but it’s a very different story.
But, anyway, back to the Career Author Podcast.
Just in case you’re curious, that episode was “How to Choose a Title for Your Novel.” If you’re interested in listening to that episode of the Career Author Podcast, click here to watch it on YouTube.
Since the last episode, I’ve finished the rounds of line-edits, and I’ve submitted the book to my proofreader, and I’ve got the book back, and it’s starting to look professional. When I look back at the first early fast draft of Missing back when it was called “No Loose Ends,” It’s still the same story. The overall global story is hasn’t changed, but I’ve added things to it, and I’ve taken stuff away that I felt wasn’t necessary. And, I feel that it’s a stronger story because of these changes. I’ve learned and grown a lot during the editing process. Looking back, I wished I created the back mater for Missing before I submitted it to my line-editor and proofreader. But they don’t.
So, naughty Millie.
However, I did put the back matter through Grammarly, ProWritingAid, I’ve read it out loud, and I’m considering putting it through AutoCrit.* Maybe, that’s a bit too extreme. You get it. The text has been checked several times and by different people. So hopefully, there’s nothing too disastrous in my back-matter.
Now that I created a list of tasks that I’ve done for this podcast, I’ve realised that I’ve achieved a lot. So, in this next section, I’m quite literally going to share what I’ve done and why I’ve chosen to do these things.
So far, I’ve formatted the ebook and paperbacks in Vellum. And I’ve decided to publish in these formats: ebook, paperback, and large print paperback. The eBook cover, paperback, and large print paperback covers are ready and uploaded to KDP. The sizes I chose are 5 inches by 8 inches for paperback and 6 inches by 9 inches for the large print edition, both with cream paper and a matte cover.
My Cover Printing Choices
I’ve realised, depending upon who you talk to, most designers do prefer a matte cover over gloss because they feel that a glossy cover looks cheap. And generally, with traditional paperback, the cover is matte unless there is some embossing on the title. As a result, I stuck with the matte cover. Matte does mute the colours, while gloss does make the colours look rich in tone, but the cream paper and the matte will make the book seem a little more professional.
Let’s hope; fingers crossed.
A Large Print Edition
While searching on Amazon, I noticed there was a market for large print thriller books based on the search autofill and the lack of books available, so I thought I would serve the market and see what happens.
Coincidentally, when you do search for large print and then genre, I’ve noticed there are a lot of authors using this keyword phrase in AMS Ads for books that aren’t large print. It’s an under-served market. The fact that the phrase is auto-filled tells me that there is a demand, and they don’t have a lot of options. I’m just going to see if I can get readers who are looking for large print paperbacks. People who are my grandparent’s age might want a large print book. Through the KDP dashboard, I’ve ordered proof copies, and I’m waiting for them to be dispatched by Amazon.
ISBN’s and Ingram Spark
During the last few days, I purchased ten ISBN’s from Nielsen UK for £164.00, and I’ve created a spreadsheet to track their usage. By the way, I used Nielsen because I live in London. So, if you live in America or somewhere else you may need to purchase your ISBN’s from another place. I’m using these ISBN’s for the KDP paperbacks and paperbacks on Ingram Spark; Which leads me to mention that I’ve also decided to use Ingram Spark for expanded distribution. Just so that people can order the book from their local store. I want to make it easy for people to buy books in the way they want to. And, I’m aware that in order for someone to order my novella in a bookstore, they first need to know it exists.
Ingram Spark Fees
In light of the fees charged for changes to the book, I’m doing the proof checks with KDP Print first before uploading the books to Ingram Spark. The reason behind this decision is I’ve wanted to self publish since 2013. And throughout that time, I’ve consumed a lot of content about self-publishing. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the fees Ingram charges to make changes to the book after it’s been submitted. So, I want to avoid that scenario. I’m going to make changes based on the KDP proof then submitted an Ingram spark friendly version and hope for the best.
There’s a nice discount available for Ingram Spark if you’re a member of The Alliance of Independent Authors or ALLi for short. Currently, I’m in my second year as an associate member, and I highly recommend signing up for a membership, because it’s a great organisation. If you’re interested in joining or want to learn more than click this link.*
Translating a Novel in French
Over Christmas, I decided to work on a French translation with the help of my Husband. And, what I mean by decided is I thought “I have a French family, and I’m familiar with how french people buy books, I should do a French translation.” My Husband speaks french as his first language, and he has a PhD which means he’s written something of novel-length and knows it takes time. And, I mentioned to him that I wanted to do a french translation and he offered to do the translation. I’m not 100% sure how to manage the translation rights, so I’ll have to research this and get back to him. Maybe, I’ll add him as an author and share royalties with him instead.
Clearly, I don’t quite know.
Managing the Translation
In that original discussion with my husband, we decided not to use AI for the first draft because he wants to do a bespoke translation, instead of editing the AI translation. Roland said that he would rather make the translation choices as he reads. I guess if I didn’t have a French husband, I would go down the AI route, use beta readers, followed by professional editing.
Because French is Roland’s first language, he can help translate the marketing materials (ad copy, etc.). So, I can market this translation to its intended audience. A lot of people who do go into foreign translation don’t speak the language and struggle to market as a result. But, since I have extended family members who are french, I can ask them to help translate the marketing materials, so it makes sense.
Publishing the Translations Wide
While I’m talking about marketing a foreign translation, I’m considering creating an email list for french readers and publishing wide because French readers buy ebooks from FNAC and this store sells Kobo e-readers. FNAC does have a few English translations in paperback form, but the books are mostly french. The french paperback looks quite different from the English market paperbacks. It’s almost shocking because the covers are predominantly white and bare. People in France do like to buy books from their local book store.
More Book Marketing Ideas
At the beginning of January, I created a BookBub account, in preparation to claim my book when it’s available and it was surprisingly fun. I’m a bit too excited about the fact that I have a BookBub author account, even though it’s bare.
But, yes, I’m super excited.
Since December, I’ve been considering planning a blog tour partially because I want to receive a bit of feedback and have a few reviews on Amazon after I publish. But, I suspect that it’s too late to hire this service, since my book is due to be released on Thursday, 30th January. I’ve also started to create a marketing plan. Let me know if you’re interested in hearing me share what I plan to do to market my book once it’s released, and my thought process behind the decisions I made. And, I’ll obviously do a follow up on that where I talk about the results and what will I do next time.
Things I Need To Do
Even though I’ve completed a lot of tasks, there are still things that I need to do.
Task #1 – Write My Author Notes
The first thing on that list is, write my author notes for Missing. I’ve done this between the time I wrote the notes for this show and recording the episode.
Task #2 – Write the Final Scenes for My Crime Thriller Short Story, The Lawn
The second thing is to write the final scenes for my crime thriller short story, The Lawn. You can sign up to my mailing list and read the crime thriller short story by clicking this link. And, I’ve actually finished writing revising and editing these scenes at around 9:00 p.m. last night. Since then, I’ve uploaded the Lawn into Vellum, exported it and uploaded it to BookFunnel.
The complete short story is now available to read.
This morning before I recorded this, I went through the scenes and made a few last-minute edits based on a few things I learned during the editing process for Missing. I then went through the formatting and uploaded the new version. If you like crime thrillers, then you’re more than welcome to sign up to my email list on my author website to get a free copy.
Task #3 – Finish Writing the Third Draft of the Book Blurb
The last thing I need to do is finish writing the third draft of the book blurb. I’ve been putting this task off quite a bit recently, but I’ve read a few different books on writing blurbs to help me get this right. At the moment, I’m temporarily using the second draft on my website, on the paperbacks and in my KDP dashboard. But, I need to get the sales-copy right.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve read:
- Writing Killer Blurbs and Hooks by Adam Croft *
- Mastering Amazon Descriptions by Brian D. Meeks *
- How to write a sizzling synopsis by Bryan Cohen *
The links on the blog are affiliate links. And, I can only list these on my site because a certain podcast provider (it’s not a banana but a…), yes that one, doesn’t like me adding affiliate links to other book stores. When I use affiliate links on my blog, I have a grey box down the bottom that says this blog post has affiliate links. Just so that you’re aware that I might be making one cent or something like that, but it’s good to be transparent about it. So, it’s nothing to write home about.
During November and December, I launched a podcast for lovers of crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense novels called Mystery Novel Nerd. Originally, Mystery Novel Nerd was a series of book reviews on my website. Eventually, it grew into other types of thriller novel-related content. But I grew tired of doing that and decided to turn it into a podcast. Even though I’m sporadic about creating content, I love podcasting.
Essentially, the podcast is s a virtual book club for lovers of these genres. So far, I’ve published an Inaugural episode (What to Expect) plus three shows. The next episode will be released on Sunday, 19th of January. And, more importantly, it’s a bi-monthly podcast, so that’s one episode every second Sunday. I feel this is manageable because the podcast is unscripted. It’s me talking about books within those genres. There is some structure to the episodes. I have notes to keep me on track, but there is room to rant if that’s appropriate.
But I’ll be respectful.
It’s relaxed, and it’s easy for me to create. After this, I need to record that episode, so that’ll be fun.
Interviews With other Crime, Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense Authors
Eventually, I do plan on interviewing authors in the crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense genres as well once I figure out the tech logistics. But the interviews will be from a reader’s perspective, where I’ll ask the questions a fan would ask their favourite author. The podcast is a book club for readers; even though writers are readers, it’s for writers in the sense of how to write thrillers.
Once I figure out how to record both video and audio, I’ll open the podcast up for interviews. There are a few authors who are self-published that I want to interview, so I’ll start with the people I know first. However, I don’t want this podcast to be all about interviewing authors because that can get boring quickly. I want to deliver on what I promised to the listeners.
That’s what I’ve been up to since the last episode of the Authorpreneur Podcast. I have to admit this week I had a weird moment while I was looking at the physical book file in the KDP paperback previewer. And, it dawned on me that I had written a book. It’s a weird realisation to make two years after you started writing a book because I’ve seen the book so many times on my iPad, Kindle, and on my Phone. Because, it’s a virtual file, I don’t think it had sunk in. The reality of what I had done, really hit home this week. I almost started to panic at the prospect of publishing my novella.
The next time I talk to you will be on the other side of hitting the publish button on Amazon. So, this podcast will change as I grow and evolve. I’m also thinking about sharing my book sales over on Patreon page. But I want to do it in a controlled environment with people who want to know this, instead of with every person and their dog. And, when I say sales, I mean money in my account not just sales figures, including publishing costs, and how close I am to breaking even and making a profit. Because I have spent 11 years in finance, I’m comfortable talking about finances. I want to paint an accurate picture of what happens after you hit publish.
I hope this helps you understand what’s been going on with me and explains the sporadic nature of this podcast. Naturally, I plan on learning from my mistakes, creating content regularly, and announcing breaks as they come up.
So, thank you for listening, happy reading and writing, and I’ll chat with you next time.
* DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains affiliate links (marked with an *), which means if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. The commission helps support the blog and allows us to continue to make content like this. Thank you for your support. 🙂
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I’m Amelia. When I’m not hosting the Authorpreneur Podcast™️ and the Book Nerd Podcasts, I write Mystery Novels under the pen name A. D. Hay. And, I’m the author of Suspicion, the Lawn, and the Candidate.
On this blog, I help new writers to finish their first draft, prepare their manuscripts for professional editing, and when they get stuck in the first draft phase or are confused about the revision process.
Right now, I’m editing and preparing my soon to be published mystery novels, Suspicion, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity for publication.