BTS048, Trademarking My Podcast Name, Publishing Books, Mixed Feelings About ARC services, and Designing Covers
BTS048, Trademarking My Podcast Name, Publishing Books, Mixed Feelings About ARC services, and Designing Covers
It’s been a while since I filmed or recorded a Behind the Scenes Author Diary Update—so that’s what I’m going to do. In this episode, I will discuss what I’ve been doing since January 2022. And this episode isn’t going to be scripted, mainly because if I start scripting these episodes, it will take a long time to produce them. Let’s face it, I know what I’ve done this year, so I shouldn’t have to rely on a script to discuss that. It’s not like I want to say something in a certain way because it’s super important for me to communicate it. I’m just simply talking about my year.
So in this show, I’m going to come clean about why I’ve trademarked my podcast’s name. Honestly, this isn’t the first time I considered discussing it. The last time I chickened out. Also, I will discuss the books I published this year and my mixed feelings about using Advanced Reader Services. And I’m going to come out of the closet as a book cover designer.
With out further ado, let’s get into the episode.
About the Episode
Just to let you know, this episode was recorded on Tuesday the 1st of November, so this show is primarily me looking back at 2022. And, if you’re new to this podcast, I want to say a huge thank you for stopping by and trying out my show. To those of you who have been faithfully listening, thank you for regularly listening in and supporting me; your support means more to me than you know.
A Life Update
From August to October, I had to pause the podcast because renovations were occurring on the facade of the building next to mine. One sunny day, scaffolding went up between the ultra-narrow gap between our buildings. I live in a victorian-period style housing where the houses are together in one block with multiple entrances. But there’s a narrow gap between my building and the next maisonette—it’s the width of a person.
My days were spent listening to builders’ chatter and the noise that comes with a building site. Then, there was another renovation in the hallways inside my building on my level and the ground level. So, that was fun. Because I’m not a morning person, I can’t record before the builders arrive, and the evening isn’t an option because that’s when I do my best writing. I decided to wait until the renovations were finished because recording was a nightmare.
A Tale of Two Podcasts
At the beginning of the year, I trademarked my podcast’s name because another individual created a podcast with the same name as mine. I reached out to them and let them know that I’ve been using the “authorpreneur podcast” for years, since 2017. And how did they respond? My message was met with a blocking on Instagram as a reply. By the way, Instagram is the only way I can reach out to them. So maybe they already knew about my podcast and didn’t care.
When I reached out to them, they had 16 episodes released with no introduction or call-to-action at the end, compared to my 80 episodes. I’m not going to lie; this has sucked the joy out of podcasting for me. To be honest, I feel like I’ve invested a tonne of time into this podcast, and someone has come along., hijacked my brand, and no one else cares but me. This led me to trademark the name “Authorpreneur Podcast.” I didn’t trademark the word “Authorpreneur” because that’s obnoxious.
My Mistake with the Book Nerd Podcast
While I’m being brutally honest. In the same vein, I realised that my other podcast, “the book nerd,” has the same name as another podcast with the same name. And I’m embarrassed, so I’m rebranding that one, and I didn’t find it when I searched for “the book nerd” on google. This other podcast has been going on for years, so I need to respect them as a content creator. They may have improved their SEO since my original search.
Because it’s easier for me to change the name of the book nerd podcast because there are so few episodes available. So, I’ve changed the artwork, introduction, call-to-action, and podcast name. The new name is the “Mystery Novel Nerd Podcast.”
Third Edition of Missing
You’re not going to believe this, but I’ve created a third edition of Missing and given it a new name and cover. The reason behind this change is I made changes to the plot. While writing the epilogue for Duplicity and setting up the next book, I realised that I had written myself into a corner for book three. And I didn’t like that my book wasn’t as twisty as I’d hoped it would be; basically, the readers said they figured out the whodunnit by the midpoint. Also, I was terrified that readers wouldn’t read the first book because of its 3.65 average star rating and consequently not read the rest of the series. So, I did a minor plot rewrite and added an extra seven thousand words to the story.
Next, I submitted the long novella to a copy editor and then a proofread, which I now know was a mistake. After this, I shared the story with advanced readers on BookSirens and BookSprout. One of the advanced readers on BookSirens mentioned that the last third of the book wasn’t as well written as the first two-thirds. That’s when I realised that was because I chose a copy edit and not a line edit.
So, I immediately hired a line editor on Fiverr because I didn’t want to use my regular editor—I wanted a fresh pair of eyes on my work. It turned out to be a great experience because he gave me a style sheet and told me that the story was indeed a mystery.
More Mistakes Made by Me
So, I made a mistake. There was a duplicate chapter and a missing chapter which only one reader pointed out on BookSprout, both in a review and through a private message. At the end of Jul, I published Suspicion. In August, I sent the book to advanced readers on BookSirens and BookSprout. During the line editing of Suspicion, I updated the book in Vellum, where I noticed the mistake and fixed it immediately. So, between now and September, eight readers, six of which were found on BookSirens, read the novella, and only one noticed the duplicate chapter.
After experimenting with BookSirens and BookSprout for a second time, I have mixed feelings about using these services. But I’m wondering about the repercussions of being honest about my experiences with these services. Sure, I’ve made mistakes, but the reviews have been harsh compared to how regular readers have enjoyed the book, and that’s what makes me wonder. At the same time, I want to share my experiences, but I’m worried about companies answering back or offending readers. So, I need to think about it.
So I finally finished the rewrite-draft, then started revisions, and finished at the end of July. Honestly, I didn’t think that day would come. After months of being terrified, I decided to move forward with editing. But before that, I used a few paid beta readers from Fiverr. Once I received feedback from the beta readers, I hired my usual editor for three rounds of line edits followed by a proofread.
When I submitted Duplicity for proofreading, I received an email letting me know how long the wait was before my novel reached the proofread and the length of time it would take for the edit. At that moment, I decided to put my book up on all ebook retailers for preorder. Upon deciding on the preorder date, I added a month’s buffer after the expected time for proofreading, just in case something went wrong.
Building an Advanced Reader Team
After that, I decided to build my own advanced reader list, but I’m still using BookSprout because I have a reader who leaves good reviews signed up for my team. Before I sent out my novel to my email list, I registered my book’s copyright with The UK Copyright Service. The day after I made my book available to BookSprout, I received my first five-star review for Duplicity. I must admit I was shocked because I was expecting a harsh review or a low-rated positive review.
Next, I scheduled promotional emails with my list for the book launch, which is something I don’t usually do. Over on MailerLite, I’ve chosen to send out book launch emails to everyone on my fiction list, except for the advanced readers who will receive a reminder to leave a review. The following day after the book’s launch, I will send an email with the prologue, and a read more button with a link to find the book on their favourite ebook retailer.
Promoting a First Book in a Series
After receiving my first positive review on Duplicity, I started lining up free promotions for Suspicion to encourage readers to preorder the second book. So, I set Suspicion for free on all the stores, then sent Amazon an email asking for a price match with links to the book on other sites. As of yesterday, I scheduled a book promotion with Free Booksy, Fussy Librarian, and a host of other small free book promotion sites. So fingers crossed, people will be curious enough to buy Duplicity after reading Suspicion.
Experimenting with Writing into the Dark
During the rewriting and revision stage of Duplicity, I had a lightbulb moment. I finally admitted that I hate revisions and was ready to try writing into the dark. So, I purchased a Writing into the Dark course and another on Writing Locked Room Mysteries, both by Dean Wesley Smith.
This prompted me to start writing a short story into the dark, which will now be a novella. I know this story is a novella because the story needs a lot of setting up before the body is discovered. As of a couple of days ago, I’ve reached 8,037 words, and I’ve just pointed out that the person who was missing at dinner is most likely dead. Because I’ve introduced all the characters and drama, I believe this is the story’s midpoint. But I could be wrong about that—it might be a novel; I just don’t know. Once I’ve finished writing and publishing this story, I will discuss my experience with writing into the dark at length.
Book Cover Design
So, I’ve started designing premade book covers in the cozy mystery, romantic comedy, and psychological thriller genres. And I’ve branched out into custom cover design after a customer on Etsy asked for a custom design quote. This month I’m due to batch design a load of premade covers for my store, but I don’t know what these covers will be yet. On top of this, I’ve started selling on my website without any paid advertising. Customers have found me through search engines, so my business is discoverable, and I’m making a profit. It’s not huge, but a nice side income.
And I experimented with Etsy ads to create revenue for my store—surprisingly, this has helped my business grow, and it’s fairly cheap. I’m only spending US$1.00 to US$2.00 a day on advertising. Because my products are priced higher, I can still earn a nice profit. But it’s still not enough to support my author business every month.
So, that’s all of the tasks I completed in terms of writing, book marketing, and email marketing, this year. I must admit, I miss these author diary episodes, and might return to them in the future. Also, I’m thinking of setting up a Discord chat for listeners of my podcast, so let me know in the comments section below if that’s something you’re interested in.
If you have any questions or have tips on book marketing that you would love to share with me, please come on over to the blog post share your thoughts in the comments section.
Thank you for listening, and happy reading and writing, everybody.
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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.