BTS051, Writing a Locked Room Mystery, Author Book Readings, and Tech Issues Galore
In this episode, discuss what I’ve been doing in February. I also share my frustrations about a tech fail and newfound thoughts on this product and delve into why I’ve changed my mind.
It’s important to discuss the positives and negatives of products I use and recommend because I’ve discovered something that needs to be addressed or I feel like I need to talk about it. So, perhaps this is, in part, a bit of therapy for me. And I’m coming off a rather super frustrated week where I feel like I’ve wasted my time. But, in the spirit of fairness, I’m all up for wasting my money on experimenting and trying things rather than letting you know about it because that’s the point of me doing this. I waste my money trying stuff, so you don’t have to, but I digress.
Also, I discuss a few things I did for the podcast, writing-related tasks, plus a marketing experiment I did this month.
So without further ado, let’s get into the episode.
About the Episode
Just to let you know, this episode was recorded on Sunday, the 5th of March, so this show is primarily me looking back at February 2023. 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.
Thank You to the Podcast Supporters
One last thing, I’d like to thank Rita for taking the time to buy me a few coffees and leaving a nice message. Your support and kind words mean a lot to me, so thank you.
Writing a Locked Room Mystery into the Dark
At the end of the third week in February, I finished writing a locked room mystery into the dark. As a result of that achievement, I wrote for forty-five hours and forty-two minutes—an extra eight hours more than last year. Or 9,940 words written during February. It doesn’t sound like a lot of words considering the hours, but I’m also revising as I write. But don’t worry, I’ll go into more depth about how I write into the dark in the next episode of the authorpreneur podcast.
My Daily Word Count Spreadsheet
I know what you’re thinking; these numbers are quite specific; how do you keep track of this? Over in Excel, I created a daily word count spreadsheet listing my writing tasks and how long it took me to complete them. Yes, it’s a bit neurotic, but I like to know what makes up four hours of writing.
Click to watch the breakdown of the spreadsheet on YouTube.
Alpha, Beta, and Editors
Next, I prepared the manuscript and sent it to my alpha reader and my favourite beta reader. Upon receiving feedback from my beta reader, I made a few minor changes, adding an extra 431 words to my manuscript. Then, I sent The Locked Room off to an editor. But I need to wait because my manuscript is in a queue to be edited.
Now that I’ve finished writing The Locked Room into the dark, I’m in a weird place where I don’t know what to write next. I have a few choices—perhaps this is why I’m struggling. My choices are either to write the second book in the Rookie Reporter series or the third book in the James Lalonde series. In saying that, I did start writing the opening scenes of the third book in the James Lalonde series, but I started to struggle and thought the book was going in a different direction than intended. So, I stopped writing after a few hundred words.
Writing Cozy Mysteries
And on top of that, I’m wondering whether I should try writing a cozy mystery and finish writing Entitled to Murder. I think now might be a good time to try that because I don’t have a huge fan base for my amateur sleuth mysteries, and cozy is a genre I love to read and don’t mind writing. It’s not all about chasing a hot genre for me.
Amazon Followers on Book Edge
The other day after listening to the Self Publishing Journey’s Podcast hosted by Paul Teague, I decided to try out Book Edge because he shared his amazon follower count on the show. Colour me intrigued; I signed up for a free trial of Book Edge to discover that I had eighty-four followers. In all honesty, I thought I would only have four (mum, her friend, and two of my aunts). So, That turned out better than expected.
Author Book Readings
Towards the end of February, I devoted a writing-free week to an author book reading of The Candidate. Instead of doing a live reading at a bookstore, I did a reading on Youtube. A massive part of me knows better than to do this, but I pressed record and filmed myself reading the prologue and chapters one and two. This led me to have a few realisations.
First, I needed to write a script, which I did not do. And the second was I discovered that I wanted to change a few of the words in the novella because of how the narrative sounded when being read aloud. So, essentially, I edited my novella for audio, which took four hours and forty-five minutes. This editing time is included in the monthly stats that I shared earlier.
The Filming Process
In order to achieve the final product, a twenty-plus minute Youtube video where I shared a publishing update, the book description, and information about the series, plus the reading, I rehearsed the reading four times. And I record every one of those rehearsals. Let’s address the elephant in the room. I’m a perfectionist, which is why I filmed so many versions. And let me be the first to say the final product is imperfect.
But I did do something right. Each section of the video was filmed individually. Then at a later date, I edited the section together. If you do this, you must consider continuity and pay attention to the camera angle, where you sit and how. Ultimately, I filmed the introduction, publishing update, book description, series information, prologue, chapter one, and chapter two, all separately. And one last tip: if you do an author book reading, I recommend you write a script, insert pauses and breaths, etc., and then film it in chunks.
Sharing My Reading in Mailer Lite
Next, I included the book reading as a gift to my email subscribers using MailerLite*. There is a feature in MailerLite where you can add a video, but it’s just a link with an image embedded and a play button icon over the top.
A New Logo
As you probably tell, I designed a new logo and favicon for the Authorpreneur Podcast. For quite some time now, I’ve had this idea for a new logo. I wanted to create a logo that was a podcast microphone either made up of books or with books in the middle. Because I’m over-ambitious, I thought this would only take two hours. And I was partly right; the logo design took a couple of hours because I experimented with sizing, images, and colour variations. Then I spent another two hours creating the logo with text then uploading it to all the various sources. The final design consists of six different elements, and I’m delighted with it.
Now for the tech issues that resulted from this new logo. After I added the logo to Ecamm Live, I realised that I needed to edit the intro and conclusion for the video podcast. So, I opened Final Cut Pro and discovered, to my horror, that I had deleted the intro video. This meant I had to create the video from scratch, so I spent another four hours finding clips for the thirty-second intro from my previously filmed videos. Why did I delete the old intro video in Final Cut, you ask? Well, my final cut library was getting too big, and I wanted to save space, so being the genius that I am, I deleted it thinking I wouldn’t use it again.
Click the video above to watch my Final Cut Pro X set up.
Tech Issues with Repurpose.io
In past episodes of the podcast, I have said that I use and recommend Repurpose.io as a product to help you repurpose your podcast content and promote it. This week I spent more time than I care to admit talking to their support staff. Basically, Repurpose helps you to create a video from an audio file. All you have to do is link up your podcast’s RSS feed with a destination of your choosing; for me, it’s my RSS feed and Google Drive. After you set up a workflow, you press the repurpose button, and the audio sits in a queue waiting to be made into a video consisting of an image, a moving wave graphic, your podcast artwork and your audio file.
Click the video above to see the Repurpose template in photoshop.
Favouring New Content Over old
The queue system for generating videos is a nightmare. Look, I’m half-British, so I love the concept of a queue. Usually, the first person in the queue gets served first, but not with repurpose.io. Their queue is ordered by the age of the audio file, not the moment you request the video to be created. So, if you’re asking for a video to be made from an audio file from 2021, you will be shoved down the bottom of the queue in favour of newer content that is requested after your request was made. To me, this is illogical and entirely unexpected because computer science and engineering are logic and math based.
In the end, I waited for a little under twenty-four hours and still didn’t have my eight-minute video. During this time, I contacted support, and they told me to wait. I attempted to get help in the Facebook group, but as of today, my post still has not been approved by the group moderators, who are company employees, which is another red flag. You see, they don’t want users discussing tech issues because that makes them look bad. Ultimately, I cancelled my subscription after using the product since 2019 and asked for a refund.
Since I complained, the company has put out a message saying they have improved the wait times, but I’m not sure if I believe them unless they changed the queuing system to first in, first served. After I saw this message, I opened my email and noticed that I had received an email directly from the CEO of repurpose letting me know that my complaint was the catalyst for making these changes, and I’m welcome to come back to repurpose.io. In the spirit of fairness, I now have my eight-minute video, but it took them over seventy-two hours to produce it—I could’ve done this in under four hours with Final Cut Pro. This product is supposed to be a time saver, not a “we can do it longer scenario.” But hopefully, the experience is better now that the company have made changes. If you do try out this product, I highly recommend you test it with older content and not just your latest episode. I’m yet to try out these new changes, so this is not me endorsing the product—I’m just trying to paint a complete picture.
So, that’s all of the things that I can discuss in terms of what I achieved last month in February. If you have any questions or tips on book marketing that you would love to share with me, please come over to the blog post and share your thoughts in the comments section. And if you have done an author book reading either in person or via video, then share your experience and tips with me below.
Thank you for listening, and happy reading and writing, everybody.
* 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.