Two years ago I published my first eBook, a very short collection of holiday stories, “As Grandma Lay Dying Under The Hooves Of Trampling Reindeer”. Today I officially updated it to a new version, “Chthonic Creches & Trampled Grandmas”, with several significant changes. (It happened late last night but today is when I’m making a big deal of it.) Those changes are worth going over, to explain where my head is at.
First off, I added three more stories and in doing so tripled the length of the book. This was very important to me, because as satisfying as it was to have an eBook out there, it felt too short and too pressed for time. One of the new additions is actually a story I had to cut from the book the first time around because it wasn’t working for me at the time. I actually completed writing it last year around Christmas, but decided against updating the collection then. The other two additions are new ideas that amused me enough that I knew I could do something with them and in doing so make an expanded version of the book doable.
I still have three unfinished holiday story ideas that I want to get to eventually, so maybe another expanded version will be rolling out in a year or two. It could become a tradition!
The second big change is the title, of course. I originally went with the title of my favorite story from the five presented, I like how it gave a grandiose Faulkner vibe to a rather silly but morbid Christmas song. That said, I now have another story that’s also my favorite and I wanted to go with a shorter title anyway. This new edition doesn’t use the exact title of any of the stories inside, but is a better indicator of what you can expect.
The third big change is the release date. The first time around, I got the book out on December 23. This new edition is coming out a week before Christmas. Next time I may even make it to Thanksgiving! Or at least two weeks before Christmas. Though once again, the delay came from working to get a particular story just right, then finally deciding enough is enough and you just have to let it go.
That’s actually been one of the benefits of doing a holiday story collection: making sure you want to make a relevant production forces you to pull the trigger or just give up till next time. I gave up last year, I pulled the trigger this year.
The last thing that makes this time different from the first time is my social media campaign – I actually have one. For the past year I’ve been active on Instagram and creating geeky content that makes me happy as well as building up my content-making skills, and hopefully this will help. I’ve created a set of GIFs/videos that will be on Instagram, Twitter, this blog, and the new cover of the book. I also have several hundred followers on Instagram and a much better idea of how it works. Already the book is being exposed to more people than the first edition ever had in its two years of existence.
As for whether or not this will convert to actual book sales…? I’m optimistic. And hopeful. But I know how tough this can be, so I’m also being realistic about it as well, which is not optimistic or hopeful but still holding out for possibilities. As it is, I love the content I’ve created, so that’s a win in itself.
When I wrote about “AGLDUTHOTR” – love that acronym! – two years ago, I said that more eBooks would soon follow. None has. I’m optimistic and hopeful – those two words again! – about actually doing more in the coming year. I like to think my developing social-media-fu and changes in my writing habits will help me along. As always, the proof is in the pudding and the only time you should believe is when it’s actually right in front of you. In the meanwhile, “Chthonic Creches & Trampled Grandmas” is available, 99 cents as a Kindle eBook or free on Kindle Unlimited, and I hope if you’re reading this you’re willing to give it a try!