julySo, July has been very hectic, a righteous start to the third and fourth creative quarters of the year. I’m excited about this post, because much of July was about finishing projects and polishing off my preparation for the rest of the year!

I have to say too that writing these monthly overviews is so helpful! I highly recommend it to all creators who are trying to make it to their goals. Looking at each monthly post, I can really evaluate what I’ve done, where I need improvement, and when I’m just being WAY too hard on myself (as I was yesterday). So let’s get it!

July 2014

fantasyportal3Dfinalcover1. We FINISHED the top secret author promotion, and it’ll be released TOMORROW, AUGUST 1st! We had some serious setbacks during this process, which included an author unfortunately having to leave the promotion. We also had some “first-timer” road bumps, but eventually, we conquered and now we get to release and blast the promotion from here to kingdom come! Here’s a picture of what you can expect from us (and you can guess what the promotion is now), with much more information coming tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂

2. I FINISHED my online store! YES, ya’ll! It took a few weeks to get final_3bannerfamiliar with my WooCommerce software and to define a look for the store, but I finally found one! Of course there are some things I’d love to improve on in the future, but for now, Colby’s Bookstore is definitely slated for its grand opening on August 2nd. (Had to push it back because I have a MAJOR announcement coming up for August 1st!) So stick around for the store opening!

GhostsofKoaAUDIOCOVERFINAL3. I RELEASED the Ghosts of Koa Audiobook! So it’s no longer just “done”… it is now OUT! I have to say, this is super exciting for me because it means that six months of hard work from my actor (with guidance from me) has finally come to fruition!

The audiobook includes both volumes, and it’s phenomenal. Check it out at Colby’s BookstoreAmazon, Audible, and iTunes!

rafflecopter4. I launched my first giveaway! (With many more to come in the future!) Let me say this: I. LOVE. GIVEAWAYS. For a little over a week, the full Ghosts of Koa Audiobook was being offered totally free to anyone who wanted a copy, and it was also linked into the Digital Book Day Promotion (which I’ll get into in a second). Both promotions were a smash success, and doing the giveaway was so much fun that I decided to do one at least every other month if not every month!

DBDsquare5. I participated in Digital Book Day! This brilliant promotion, conjured by the savvy mind of CJ Lyons herself, was probably one of the best author collaborations I have ever participated in.

Basically over 400 indie authors got together on one webpage, and for one day, we all offered free books in all different genres! And as a result…

Ghosts of Koa: The First Book of Ezekiel Omnibus (ALL VOLUMES)

6. Ghosts of Koa got over a hundred free downloads and my subscriber list jumped up by about 700%! Digital Book Day demonstrated in real time how author collaboration is a beautiful, beautiful thing. The response was overwhelming. I was successful individually, but together we gave away over 80,000 books to people all over the planet!

This is definitely something I’ll be participating in again, and I hear rumors that the next giveaway will be around the holidays. So stay tuned!

I_LOVE_FREE_STUFF7. I created a “Free Books n’ Swag” page for all you sci-fi & fantasy enthusiasts! To help folks take a risk free dive into my work and worlds, I’m offering free books where and when I can! This is also the page where I’ll be posting an evergreen “giveaways” section, where you can win free stuff, no strings attached!

The free stuff will include audiobooks, posters, merchandise, gift cards, cash, tickets (of all kinds), and even some fashion gear from time to time. So don’t forget to check out the page once in a while, get a free book, and enter to win cool prizes!

8. I expanded the global digital distribution of Ghosts of Koa and have seen some great results! In addition to being available on my own website, Amazon KDP, B&N Nook, and Kobo, Ghosts of Koa is now available at tons of other outlets, including:

  • iBookstore / iTunes
  • Audible
  • eSentral
  • Flipkart
  • Oyster
  • Scribd
  • BookBaby
  • Inkbok
  • PageFoundry / Inktera
  • Baker & Taylor
  • Copia, and,
  • Noisetrade

For next month, I’m hoping to expand even further and try to get my books into GardnersCiando, GooglePlay, Overdrive, Ingram, ARe and Omnilit, and Tolino, but that all depends on how quickly Draft2Digital can strike distributor agreements with these markets. I’m also strongly considering kindling my relationship with Smashwords so that I can get into all of these outlets and more and just use ONE distributor. Decisions!

Either way, as of September 1st, Ghosts of Koa will be available via at least 24 different GLOBAL outlets! Now that’s access! And by the way, Ghosts of Koa is already in the hands of readers in Poland, Germany, Canada, South Africa, the UK, and Italy!

colbyrriceAVATARbanner9. I began rebranding my site (a bit)… and my books are next! I’m always looking for ways to hone my brand as an author, and so, I started by getting a logo created, a cute little avatar, and a banner for my bookstore. These things may evolve with time, of course, but for now, I’m very happy with how my artists on Fiverr have been doing with my new branding materials!

Also, soon, I’ll also be doing a book cover revamp for my Books of Ezekiel series. As many of you know, each book of the series is divided into smaller volumes. Because each volume is the length of a fully fledged novel or novella, I felt that (even though they are a part of the same book), each volume should have its own cover. So that re-brand is currently in process.

Each volume cover will be more atmospheric & live action, while the cover for the full-volume collection will be illustrated and presented as the front cover to the 3D box set graphic. From there, it’ll be easy to tell which of my works is a stand-alone vs the full omnibus.

And you? How’d your July go? Get any major creative accomplishments out of the way? Leave your comments below! I’ve got tons of plans as to how I want my August to go, but we’ll have to wait until it happens so that I can post about it! In any case…

Keep it indie!
<3 Colby