Site Changes (Mid-2016)
I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the key parts for anyone working online, be it in serials or e-books, is the ability to change as the market changes. What worked two years ago might not work today, and if you can’t adapt to the shifts in market then you may end up just another Blockbuster Video. So, with that in mind, it’s time to make some changes to the ole website. Some of it will be cosmetic, some of it will involve shifting of features and focus, and one part will be huge, but temporary. Rather than bury the lead or make you skip to the end, let’s dive right into the biggest part of this.
Super Powereds: Year 1 is Going Offline for Three Months
Look, as a rule I always try to shoot straight with you all. You’re my readers, and it’s thanks to you that I’ve managed to make a career out of this. Long-time fans will know I’ve been pretty vocal and stalwart about SP being a web-serial first and a book second, which means I’ve wanted to keep them online for free even after moving into the e-book world. And, despite what some people might expect, it’s been a good arrangement. Having them online doesn’t really hurt sales that much, as least compared to my other books that only exist on Amazon. I like this set-up, and I think you folks do to.
However, every now and then I need to do a marketing push. It’s a necessity from a business point of view. And with SP Year 3’s audiobook marking a full audio release of everything that’s in print, this is a prime time to do just that. The thing is, most of the tools I can use for marketing (Bookbub and the like) require a discount, and I can’t do deals or promotions on Amazon as an indie author without being part of Kindle Unlimited (KU). As you might recall from earlier blogs, KU comes with the stipulation that the books only be available on Amazon, which means to do marketing I have to take SP: Year 1 down.
So, if you own the book already, nothing changes. If you have KU, you can still read it for free anytime you like. The only people who will be adversely affected during the three month run is new readers who don’t have KU. And if any of those happen upon this blog… sorry about the timing. Please swing back by in a few months and it should all be back in place.
Again, before moving on, I want to drive home that this is a temporary measure. Even at that, it’s one I hate to do, but it’s something that needs to be done so I wanted to be as upfront as possible with all of you about it. Sorry for any inconvenience it might cause.
The Forum is Getting Retooled
You’re all nice people, so I know you didn’t want to say this, but I will: The current forum on here kind of sucks. It’s not intuitive, it doesn’t group topics well, it was a temporary measure when I first built the site (Squarespace lacks a native forum) that has clearly overstayed its welcome. The fact that so much of your discussion goes on in the comments is excellent proof of that. This is something I’ve known needed dealing with for a long while, however I’ve lacked the time and technical expertise to find a solution so I put it off until now.
I’m not sure how this is going to shake out; my goal is to find a plug-in that gives the site a forum that’s actually useful to the people who like to talk on them. In the meantime, some of the readers founded a Super Powereds subreddit, so that’s a good place for those who want to have conversations that are easier to continue after a chapter (and therefore it’s comment section) is no longer new. If nothing else, it should be a far more user friendly experience than dealing with my old forum.
I’m Adding an Actual FAQ
Lest you think this whole blog is about things leaving or changing, let me close by letting you all know that I’m adding an addition. Second one this year, actually, since I’ve already created the Upcoming Event page that tells when every book scheduled to release is coming out. But this is something different, as the section title gives away; I’m going to create an actual FAQ page.
I used to do FAQ blogs as jokes, since I didn’t really get that many questions, however over the years I’ve started getting some similar ones, enough that I think I can create an FAQ that will actually be helpful to folks. I plan to have it up by the end of September, and while I’ve got ample questions to start with, feel free to toss some of the frequent ones you see asked in the comments below.
Actually, I’m going to end here by encouraging you to leave feedback on any one of these topics. I know this isn’t necessarily the most fun news to drop, losing a whole book (even temporarily) really sucks, and some of you might have enough expertise with forums to throw out some excellent recommendations. Tell me what you think and feel if you’re so inclined, the whole reason I did this blog and made sure everyone knew what was on the horizon was because I believe in communication whether the news is good or bad.
Thanks for bearing with the site announcements folks; we’ll be back to the fun silly blogs next week.