Working on a science fiction collection, and an experiment

In my continuing attempt to make my previously published fiction available in ebook form, I am now working on a collection of some of my near future science fiction stories. My daughter once again helped me out with a cover, and I would love some feedback if you have the time!

Future Imperfect

This one has taken me a bit longer, since I want to get enough stories into the collection that I will feel justified in charging 2.99 (and getting 70% royalties rather than only 35%). For the first time, I will also be including a previously unpublished story. The novelette is set in the same world as the other stories, so I’m pulling it from the submission circus and adding it to the collection. Might not pay off, but thematically it belongs with the others, and I have plenty more to submit, after all — especially if I spend some time polishing half-a-dozen pieces of fiction that have yet to make their way out into the market.

That, of course, is one of my on-going goals, which I keep shoving to the back burner while I play epublisher. Another thing I really need to do is update the publications on this blog and on my web page. I just joined Amazon Associates, and that could give me a few more pennies here or there if I make sales directly from my links. But the first thing on my list is still to get the new collection finished and up.

I did a little experiment with KDP Select this week: I didn’t a 24-hour unannounced freebie of Dragon Time, no promotion, nothing. I got a total of 37 downloads — compared to 2000 the first day the first time it went free. Of course, I don’t have any exact comparison, since so many other factors play a role, but that seems pretty indicative to me that promoting helps.

Yseult continues to sell steadily, a couple of copies a day. Nothing earth-shattering, but I’m still pretty pleased, since I’m only a newbie to this epub venture. I also managed to have Amazon change the epic fantasy category to Arthurian fantasy, which means it’s back in a top 100 list (not much competition there *g*). I’m hoping the change will help in the long run, having Yseult listed in a category where people who are actually looking for Arthurian fiction might even find it!

Luck and skill to all. 🙂

12 thoughts on “Working on a science fiction collection, and an experiment”

  1. Okay – the face looking in from the broken out wall section is just plain creepy. Which means: Love it! Kudos to your daughter, she did a great job.

    Interesting experiment. I’ve read both sides of this, some say promotion is the best way to go (which your experiment proves) and others that it is better to have depth and not waste time on promotion. In this case, Amazon promoting it would seem to be the key, as opposed to a personal promotional exercise. Have to have the breadth of audience for the promo to be effective and they have the platform most of us don’t. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    Have a great week, Ruth and all the best for your continuing endeavors 🙂

    1. Yeah, that’s the trade-off, Gene. But I figure at this point in my career, I really need to create an audience. I’m still hoping that eventually my books will sell themselves without any work on my part! *g*

  2. The cover, and title, are both great. It’s simple but gives a slightly dark and mysterious aura with the color, and especially the face! Best of luck with this new endeavor, I can’t wait to read it!

    1. Glad you like the cover, Nicole! Since these are slightly dystopian stories, sounds like we hit it just right. 🙂

  3. Its all looking great. You keep coming up with all this promo and yet still do all the writing – amazing and it can only bring forth better things for you efforts. Best of luck 🙂

    1. Thanks, Shah! Actually, the writing is suffering a bit at the moment — but by doing more editing, I’m getting more stuff out! 🙂

  4. It’s a gorgeous cover, but the font weight makes the title nearly disappear when you take it down to thumbnail size (especially the title). I’m not sure it would have to be legible at that size, since you almost always see a thumbnail with text beside it. However, you should be looking at what the cover looks like at 145 or 150 pixels high, on a white background — which is how most customers will see the book first.

    1. Great points, Camille, thanks! I tried to do some adjusting myself, but my daughter saved the psd in such a way that I can’t. :/

      Thanks for your feedback and for stopping by!

  5. The cover art is very impressive. Kudos to your daughter. My immediate thought was that this collection better be of a dystopian sort, and then I read down through the comments … and viola! It was so!
    Love the font and author name at the top.
    The solid black background to the title jarred though. It took me a while to figure out why. It looks out of place, too ‘perfect’ perhaps for an ‘imperfect future’, particularly if it’s a tad dystopian.
    That being said, it still works well, get’s the message across, which, really, is what cover art’s supposed to do.

    1. Thanks, Widdershins! Seems to at least get the message across, even if we still have some tweaking to do. 🙂

  6. My eyes are older–meaning contrast is always an issue–the cover works very well for me, and I usually have difficulty with white on black nor do I think the title is anyway diminished but probably is a good idea to look at different pixels and sizes. You do seem to accomplish a great deal and your experience with Amazon and e-publishing is fascinating. Again, thanks for keeping your fans in the loop.

    1. Thanks, Karen! Glad to hear the cover works for you and you’re getting something out of my posts about my epub experiences! When my daughter has time again, we’ll do some tweaking of the cover, but mostly it’s gotten pretty positive feedback.

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