BTS036, Moving Web Hosts, Getting Book Reviews, and Writing Book Two In a Series | September Author Diary Update

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BTS036, Moving Web Hosts, Getting Book Reviews, and Writing Book Two In a Series | September Author Diary Update

by Amelia D. Hay | The Authorpreneur Podcast - Writing and Self Publishing Advice

Hello, Writers!

 

I hope you are all well and are staying safe.

 

After months of frustration with the slow speed of my website, I took the plunge and moved web hosts. And in this episode, I discuss the dramas with moving from one WebHost to another. Spoiler alert, I’m happy with my move, and I’m wondering why I didn’t do it earlier. But, the move took some time.

 

In September, I found myself lured in by another mystery and thriller free promotion on Kobo. This month I started experimenting with pre-orders, only to discover some terrible news. My efforts to chase reviews are underway, and I share my thoughts on this activity so far. On top of all of this, I discovered a new beta reading programme that I’m excited about.

 

So stay tuned for all of this and much more.

 

About the Episode

Just to let you know, this episode was recorded on Thursday the 28th of January, so this show is primarily me looking back at September. There is a backlog with the show due to the Lockdown that we’re all facing. After a while, I’ve managed to figure out how to work from home with my husband and do most of the things I would typically achieve. If you’re on YouTube, you’ll notice that I’ve gone back to an audio-only version of the podcast. I’ve had to pull the plug on the video podcast episode because I couldn’t do everything and something had to go.

 

My brand new Nintendo Switch in Coral.

My Two Week Break

During this two week break, I got sucked into a few administration tasks which I will get to in a moment. I must confess that I purchased Animal Crossing and a Nintendo Switch Lite in coral during my break, and I’m happy to report that I’m addicted. For me, the game is a form of escapism; it’s a nice break from the chaos of the world. In September, I was still scared to go outside after the pandemic restrictions were lifted in London because I felt people were not taking it seriously enough. The streets were crowded, and people weren’t socially distancing. It was a source of anxiety for me.

 

But back to Animal Crossing.

 

Walking along the beach, socialising with other residents, fishing, and butterfly catching are my favourite activities at the moment. Overall, I found it way too easy to spend several hours of day wandering around my island doing my daily chores and trying to pay off my Animal Crossing mortgage.

 

Moving Web Hosting from Blue Host to Site Ground

At the peak of my frustration, I decided to give up on my website host, Bluehost. Between the slow loading pages and changes to pages not saving correctly and as a result, taking a long time to save, I’ve had enough. Since 2015, I’ve been using the Divi theme * for both of my sites. The theme is image-heavy, and due to my experience, I would not recommend Bluehost as a web host if you’re using this theme. Elegant themes, the creator of the Divi theme recommends using Site Ground.* Site Ground has a special hosting package or users of Divi and WordPress. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the theme, you can only use the Divi Theme with WordPress.

 

The Switch and a Change in URL

I switched from Bluehost to Site Ground with the help of a step by step article created by Start A Mom Blog. Unfortunately, the blog post is no longer available. Yes, it’s sad because it was so good and all the information that I needed was on that post.

 

After I finished migrating my sites, I decided to change my URL from ameliahay.com to authorpreneurpodcast.com using a redirect. A redirect needs to be set up in the DNS records of the domains host. For instance, if you purchase domains from Bluehost and host your website with Site Ground, the redirect needs to be created with Bluehost. That wasn’t possible with Bluehost, according to a help desk operator. And, that’s how helpful the desk was with Bluehost. I’ve wanted to make the change for quite some time, but I knew I would need to change web hosting providers in order to do that.

 

Naturally, I kept putting it off.

 

The Price

At the moment, I’m hosting both websites, authoradhay.com and this website with the same package and it costs less than £300.00. Both websites are now much faster, which is giving me a better website score with Google. And, I’ve also set up a  third website for my cozy mystery author pen name which is ameliadhay.com. As of December, I have three websites all on the same plan.

 

How Long Did it Take?

The entire process took two weeks partly because I did it all on my own. As a part of the process, I needed to change all links to images on my site due to the URL change. On top of this, I need to change all of the links in the show notes for every episode of this podcast in two placed in Blubrry which hosts the audio for the podcast episodes. That’s all sixty episodes with multiple links including podcast artwork URL, blog post URL and too many other links to mention. And, I need to go through and change the text on all of my Pinterest images for the podcast, but I’m doing that slowly over time.

 

Changing My Gmail

Due to my URL change, I set up authorpreneurpodcast.com as a domain alias with Google Workspace, which was Google for Work. A domain alias means I can have multiple email address for one account. For instance, I could have an email like info@authoradhay.com and info@authorpreneurpodcast.com, and technically they are both the same email address. However, I can send and reply to emails from both of those aliases. All I need to do is select the address when I compose an email. But setting this up was a nightmare because of the documentation Google provides isn’t great, but luckily my husband helped me out. If you would like me to do a video tutorial on creating a domain alias and setting it up with Gmail for Work or Google Workspace, let me know by commenting below or in the Facebook Group.

 

Tools

 

Free Promotion on Kobo

For the second time this year, I got sucked into doing another, Free Mysteries and Thrillers list promotion on Kobo. What can I say, I couldn’t resist. It still costs £3.00. The free promotion ran from the 8th of September to the 13th of September. My goal was to build a readership on Kobo and get more book reviews, hopefully, the positive variety. To participate in the promotions on Kobo, all you need to do is email Kobo, and they will give you access to the promotions tab.

 

During this period, I received an extra two ratings on Kobo, which brings my book’s rating to 3.6 stars. So far, Missing has one five-star, seven four-star, one three-star, and two two-star ratings. It appears that readers either love or hate the ending of my book. Some of the ratings are from the first edition, which had a few loose ends that I overlooked during the editing process.

 

At the end of the promotion, my book sat at the number 215 spot in Mystery & Suspense, International in the UK. And, the total downloads was 311. I also set Missing’s price to free on Apple, Google Play, and Barnes and Noble. No other advertising was lined up during this promotion.

 

The book reviews on Kobo for Missing as of 15 September 2020.

To Pre-Order or Not to Pre-Order

For quite a while now, I’ve been considering making Duplicity available as a pre-order on all stores, to see if that would encourage readers to take a chance on Missing. In the end, I decided to not launch my book until after the US elections because readers will be too distracted by the outcome. But, I’m a little unsure whether it’s the right thing for me to do. If I do pre-order, I will make it available on all platforms. At the time, I was thinking of releasing the book in the first week of December.

 

After listening to a couple of episodes on the Six Figure Author Podcast devoted to pre-orders, I decided to set up a pre-order on Apple, Kobo, Google Play, and Barnes and Noble. I’m going to see how it goes and report back. To be honest, I’m hoping the book two pre-order will encourage people to buy book one because I’ve advertised it as a part of a series. Hopefully, the pre-order should show that I’m serious about writing the series.

 

Recommended Tools and Resources

 

Chasing reviews for Missing

I’m sad to report that I’m not happy with the service I purchased from Authorsxp.com. There appears to be a lot of freebie seekers on the list. So far, I’ve received no reviews from the Elite Reviewer programme between signing up in August and the 19th of September. And, I’ve received no downloads in BookFunnel, so people are requesting the book but not downloading; a little strange. I feel like I just gave authorsxp.com another $50 USD for no reason, just like with the Beta Rendering Service that I purchased earlier in the year.

 

On the 19th of September, I emailed Amy pointing out the issue about sending readers a personalised email and the lack of downloads. In response, I think she might have sent out another email to readers because I had significantly more readers express interest towards the end of the month. Towards the end of September, I received two positive reviews and one one-star rating on Amazon, out of twenty-four readers.

 

To be honest, BookSprout was a better option, I  only got one arc reviewer, but the review was amazing, and it was a detailed review. As of the end of September, I’ve received no reviews from Lola’s Blog Tours, review opportunities. During September, I received one download according to my book stats on BookFunnel but no reviews, at the moment.

 

Recommended Tools and Resources

 

Duplicity Revision Updates

Starting from Friday the 18th of September, I did twenty-eight and a half hours of writing across eight days. As a result, I contributed an extra 2,446 words to my current draft of Duplicity. Within that word count is a mixture of new scenes and rewrites to existing scenes, as well as self line-edit. During the last half of the month, I wrote a new scene written from the point of view of the villain in the first person. It’s a short scene but I realised that it’s necessary for the story. And, I felt the reader needed to see another scene from the point of view of the villain. After that, I added two new scenes to the second half of act two to tie up a couple of loose threads because I didn’t want to leave all the loose threads until the end of the novel.

 

My writing progress for September.

I Found a New Programme

This month, I found a new programme that allows you to manage manuscripts’ distribution to beta readers and track and manage feedback. It’s called HeyBeta. The programme costs $70 USD per year, which gives you two pen names, twenty-five readers, and unlimited books. So, far I love the programme, but I’m only using it with one beta reader. I can see how it could be useful with a team of beta readers. Once, I have more experience with the programme; I’ll give you a rundown of what I like and dislike about the service.

 

Concluding Thoughts

So, that’s all of the tasks I completed in terms of writing, book marketing, and email marketing. During the next month, I want to continue to make progress on revising Duplicity which is book two in the James Lalonde series and continue working on my author mindset. The next episode will be another diary episode, where I will continue to discuss my writing and book marketing endeavours.

 

If you have any questions or have tips on book marketing that you would love to share with me, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

Thank you for listening, and happy reading and writing, everybody.

 

With love,

 

Amelia xx

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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Amelia Hay
Amelia Hay

I’m Amelia. I write Mystery Novels under the pen name A. D. Hay. And, I’m the author of Missing, the first book in the James Lalonde series. 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, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity for publication.

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