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Stone and Silt
by Harvey Chute

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Kindle Edition published 2013-08-14
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Big Al's Books & Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards: Young Adult Nominee

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

Author Topic: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017  (Read 3237 times)  

Offline Abalone

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The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« on: July 24, 2017, 09:05:46 AM »
I know. I know. I shouldn't ever say those words, because it hasn't been true for the last few years. I can't say the same now. Without pointing fingers, other than saying viewer and reader attention is being diverted to troubles in the vast lands of the US, I feel like we writers are going to suffer until the fanfare dies off. I've watched my daily earnings from from $100-400 to under $50 most days over the last 30 days, after some MAJOR news hit the airwaves and the net. At this point I'm thinking of packing up my promo and social media and work on a bunch of books to release in quick succession once the kiddos are back to school and when people will pay more attention to Emeril Lagassi or whomever on Food Network rather than the news.


Sorry for the long runons. I'm going nuts here. Coat me in honey and roast me. I'm done with this stupid summer.

Offline Mare

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 09:42:02 AM »
Summer has been dead for me, but I figured it was because I haven't done one single thing to promote. I've been busy with other 'stuff'. I enjoy writing, and I guess I'll continue no matter what sales do. It's the first time n my life that I've had time for myself . . . I don't necessarily like it, but since that's the way it is, I plan to enjoy . . . :)

Maybe things will pick back up once school starts. Stop watching the news.  :D








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Offline Arches

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 09:58:28 AM »
If by MAJOR NEWS you mean the US political fighting over health care and tax cuts and reauthorizing the debt ceiling and Russia and the FBI, etc., that will be going on full-tilt at least until the next elections in 11/18. So unless you want to wait out the next 18 months, keep writing.

Offline Douglas Milewski

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2017, 10:06:04 AM »
That's why I'm going all-in with an optimistic, feel good adventure with my new series. That, and it's amazing fun writing an optimistic feel-good adventure.

Disclaimer: I sell horribly. Set your filters accordingly.

Online Jessie G. Talbot

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2017, 11:13:01 AM »
That's why I'm going all-in with an optimistic, feel good adventure with my new series. That, and it's amazing fun writing an optimistic feel-good adventure.

Hear hear. And with all the negativity swirling around I'm sure people will like to escape into reading a feel-good adventure.
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Online GeneDoucette

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2017, 11:20:29 AM »
I had a BB promo last month that had almost no tail to it, which may be a product of summer, and may just be that the book can't maintain the same tail any longer after its third Bookbub. It's been a harsher sales summer than I was expecting, let's say.

Offline cadle-sparks

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2017, 12:07:55 PM »
My June was almost as bad as last October which, which...ack, that election! I think writers still get hives thinking about what it did to most of us. (and to movie theaters, and game companies.) But a new release this month, plus an omnibus release of a same-genre old series, plus my first audio book up for preorder has things moving again. Phew! I release when books are done, never holding them for a better time. Because anything could happen at that "better" time to make it an awful time.

Online Jim Johnson

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 12:25:02 PM »
I had a new release on July 1 so have had a better summer than last year. I expect it to tail off until I get the next release out.

Offline Gabriella West

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2017, 12:32:04 PM »
My July's been truly abysmal. And I thought June was bad!

But I do have a book to put on preorder soon.

My sales at the other platforms hold steady in the summer, I note...

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Online C. Gockel

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2017, 12:32:10 PM »
I was feeling bad about summer ... and then realized that my "bad" summer is better than a "good" month two years ago. I think the best advice is to just keep writing. If things are bad in October, then worry.

I am writing a feel good romance trilogy now; I do think people need that.


I write books about Change, Chaos, and Loki
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Offline CandyCromwell

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2017, 12:38:25 PM »
I'll be honest, I can't bear to read the news at this point. But I do like to travel, and I've noticed that some travel costs that are usually volatile (such as cruise prices, which go up and down a lot) are not dropping, even for the upcoming post-school-vacation season. Unscientific, I know, but I've assumed from this that people are still spending money on leisure stuff.

I think I also read a headline recently that Game of Thrones broke its last season premiere viewing record with this new season, so people are still consuming 'media' entertainment.

(I could be way off base. I'm definitely in ostrich mode at the moment. I also don't have enough active content to feel a difference, although I did stop seeing KU page reads a while back)

Offline LadyDD

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2017, 12:44:03 PM »
I've been wondering how vacation spots have been doing in the US coincidentally. I know it doesn't seem relavent, but let me explain...my theory is there are two types of pain reactions...seeking out that which causes the pain/anxiety/etc. and responding with worried conservation OR/AND responding with decreased consumerism and increased consuming of experiences. As authors we do sell experiences, but in times of trouble I think people sometimes flock to beaches, amusement parks, etc. to get away from that turmoil. They'd rather say money on things and create memories or distractions. I think we'll see this change soon as school kicks back in and November rolls around UNLESS things get worse in the lives of every day people. At that point our sales may be the least of our concerns.
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Online KhaosFoxe

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2017, 12:46:43 PM »
July was abysmal for me until I told my NL subscribers that my first series is coming out of KU soon, that little nudge to grab those books while they can has helped a lot. I have a release coming out in a couple of weeks so hopefully things will tick along at a better level from there.  :) 


Everyone said summer sees a dramatic drop in sales, so I'm writing as quickly as I can and will keep releasing new books when the books are ready. My mantra for the past couple of years has been 'I will not stress over that which I cannot change'. I can't change the news, but I can change the amount of writing I'm doing.  :D

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Online Anarchist

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2017, 01:02:47 PM »
Stop watching the news.  :D

Indeed. It has been years since I've watched, read, or listened to the news.

When it comes to current events, I delight in my ignorance. :)
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Offline HSh

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2017, 01:16:38 PM »
I'm doing OK. 

I have a couple of really scarily low months earlier and still feeling some of those effects (one last year, one early on this year). 

But overall, I'm adjusting to being out of KU and keeping up with my one release a month schedule.  I've never been as big of a seller as some of you guys, but I'm doing OK by my standards. 

However, I'm also writing a lot more in my most popular series and doing a LOT less experimenting.  (There was a time when I could write something really experimental, mostly for myself, and still do OK with it.  That was in KUv1, though, and when my genre wasn't saturated with KU books.)

I recently had a pretty darn good promo opportunity and that helped a lot. 

Honestly I don't know how anyone maintains traction without a book a month, but some of y'all do...

I definitely think the news has an effect on all of our sales, but at the same time, people will always want an escape from Real World Events.  I'm back up to reading just about as much as ever, personally.  (But I've also been limiting news and internet time.)

If anybody wants my advice, not that I suspect you do, it's to focus on your most popular sort of story.  Is there something your readers always love?  Write more of that...

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Offline Lorri Moulton

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2017, 01:38:46 PM »
I'm still a prawn, so I don't  know what's typical for summer.  That being said, I've been fortunate to be involved with some great promos this month and the release of Dunkirk has really given my WWII books a nice bump.  The trailers have been amazing, so I'm hoping the movie is as good.  Lots of great reviews so far!

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Offline Rick Partlow

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2017, 03:23:05 PM »
Haven't really noticed a huge difference.  I doubt the news has anything to do with it at all.

Offline Michael Eli Vineberg

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2017, 04:11:17 PM »
I don't really have anything to gauge against. My first release was at the end of September 2016, so this is my very first July, and next month will be my first August. That being said, my best months so far were May and June coming into this July. So I came into this month with some momentum. But July has been terrible. It won't be my worst month, but it will be among the bottom three of my short career by the looks of it.
Is August worse than July typically?

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Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2017, 04:12:29 PM »
This summer has been amazing for me.

Had a great bookbub run

Lots of tail. Higher sales. Higher reads.

Offline Desmond X. Torres

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2017, 04:24:40 PM »
Yeah, it's comforting to know that last year's election cycle didn't crunch just me.
Now my wife and I are news junkies who have gone in the last year from subscribing to the Wash Post and NY Times to getting most of our news from RT and Google News. And Jimmy Dore on Youtube

Here's the thing- in the last six weeks or so, we've even backed off that. We both feel a sense of exhaustion. We've found that we've been Netflixing a lot and watching DVDs. Instead of 90-120 mins a day reading the news, we scan headlines and are done w/ all that in about 20, 30 mins tops.

We've pubb'ed and promo'd since late May and it's paid off insofar as this July's the best we've ever had. Not Amanda Lee $, but good for us and our needs. I've been averaging 2K words a day all month when I have a WIP going, and here's hoping that whatever fixes Amazon does about scammers etc will put some more Kwan in my pocket.

Keep on keepin on...
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Offline Alvina

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2017, 09:12:50 PM »
I don't really have anything to gauge against. My first release was at the end of September 2016, so this is my very first July, and next month will be my first August. That being said, my best months so far were May and June coming into this July. So I came into this month with some momentum. But July has been terrible. It won't be my worst month, but it will be among the bottom three of my short career by the looks of it.
Is August worse than July typically?

August is worse than July!   :(



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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2017, 07:32:02 AM »
Google was bleak in July and it continued through August. August has been a drought when it comes to Amazon--my worse month ever. Thank God, B&N readers are still buying. I'm concentrating on getting my second series done.

Offline RedFoxUF

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2017, 12:23:49 PM »
Summer has been tough for me. It's always been that way for me.

I had a BB that did well in June and had a good tail but it's all dying in August.  Back-to-school + hurricane + constant breaking news from Washington...no one's reading.

Last year, I had a modest hit that made the summer a five figure earner.  This year I had unforeseen stuff that made writing and publishing difficult. TBH I shouldn't be making any money. I've only released one book all year, but at least the Reader Gods have kept me in a decent pittance.

I hustled hard this month and pulled off a few miracles so while my royalties are for poo I found other ways to leverage my books for income.

Offline Evenstar

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2017, 01:52:00 PM »
I'm stacking up books for release after Labor Day. Probably one each in September, October, and November.

I'm in this camp too. I'm writing and stock-piling.

My experience is that summer is seriously merde for my genre. I've given up even bothering to release in July and August this year. So I hope that I'll have a kick-arse September to make up for it.

Offline Michael Eli Vineberg

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Re: The Long Winded Summer Slump of 2017
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017, 08:13:39 AM »
August is worse than July!   :(

Actually, my August was substantially better than the July, and thus far September is on track to be my best month to date (it's early though, so I'll have to wait and see).

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