Release Week! and a couple of updates

This coming week marks the release of Take Some Tahini (Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat 6), the first never-before-published Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat novel since 2014!

I’m both nervous and excited to see what readers think of the book. I first wrote it back in fall 2022, then in 2023 almost completely rewrote it because it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I’m quite happy with the finished product, but how *I* feel about it doesn’t matter as much as what *readers* think.

The book has been up for Kindle preorder for a little over a week now, and will be released on July 11 in Kindle, including Kindle Unlimited, and paperback. This is the longest Real Werewolves book by far, clocking in at well over 300 pages not counting the sample chapter of Ebb and Flow that’s included at the end (because Ebb will be released in October). You can preorder, and purchase the Kindle edition once it’s released, on Amazon.

 

As for the updates:

First, I have finally finished the first draft of Bring On the Broccoli (Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat 7)… but, like Take Some Tahini, it isn’t quite what I want it to be. I’m hoping I’ll be able to fix it on edits, but if not, I’ll end up doing a complete rewrite, as I did with Take Some Tahini. That would result in this book’s release being pushed back to July 2025, instead of January 2025 as currently planned. Stay tuned for further updates.

Second, I’ve heard from a couple of readers asking when/if I’ll be releasing my books through retailers in addition to Amazon. My original plan was to have all books available through multiple retailers by… well, before now. I ran into a couple of snags with that, one due to content in most books that I hadn’t been able to remove due to the formatting, and one due to my accidental deletion of my Amazon books. Fortunately(?), the second snag gave me a solution to the first one; I have now been able to remove the problematic content and so have versions of the books that other retailers will be willing to carry.

However, I am still debating and crunching numbers. Authors like me, who release exclusively through Amazon, do so for multiple reasons. In my case, it’s partly because of the Kindle Unlimited program, which allows readers to subscribe for a small amount per month and read as many books as they like. Authors who enroll their books in the program are required to have their books available *only* on Amazon, and are paid by number of pages read of their books. This is somewhat problematic, because Amazon keeps changing the per-page amount, which means some months authors earn far less than they would like, and also because Amazon doesn’t consider that sometimes an author hasn’t *chosen* not to be exclusive, such as when books are pirated, and just goes and kills the accounts of any author whose books are found anywhere else, even on known pirate sites that the author clearly didn’t put their own books on. A number of authors I know have chosen to pull out of the Kindle Unlimited program because of these issues. The retailer Kobo has introduced a program called Kobo Plus, which is a subscription service similar to Kindle Unlimited but without the exclusivity requirement, and I’m keeping an eye on how other authors are doing in that program, but for the moment most readers who sign up for a subscription-based service still seem to be going for Kindle Unlimited. (Understandable, since Amazon is probably¬† the best-known book retail site.)

Currently, despite the issues with per-page payment, over half of my writing income comes from Kindle Unlimited. All of my full-length novels are enrolled in KU. By comparison, my novella Hooch and Howls is *not* in KU and is available for sale through multiple retailers. In March, the month I released Hooch, I earned less than a quarter of what I earned in January, the month I released Tempeh for Two, which *is* in KU.¬† (For transparency, in January I earned $175; in March, I earned $25.) While I obviously want readers to be able to read and enjoy my books, to some extent I do have to make decisions about my writing and publishing from a business standpoint. I’m not doing this only for the love of writing, though that is my primary reason; I also have bills I need to pay. On the flip side, when I accidentally deleted my Amazon account in May, the only books I had available were Hooch and Howls and my Christmas short story Snow on Christmas Eve, since both of those were available through other retailers.

I have not made a definite decision yet, and I continue looking at the numbers and considering what is best for me and my books. For the moment, all of my novels are in Kindle Unlimited, which has a 90-day term that auto-renews unless the renewal is manually canceled. When I republished after the Great Deletion of May 2024, I chose to put all books back into KU for the first 90 days and then reassess and decide whether I’m ready and able to release them through other retailers (in which case I would cancel the KU renewal), or want to continue with Kindle Unlimited for another 90 days. Likewise, Take Some Tahini will be an Amazon exclusive for the first 90 days, at which time I will reassess. While I have heard from a couple of readers who prefer not buying from Amazon, I have also heard from several who can only afford books because of Kindle Unlimited, and therefore won’t read books that aren’t available through that service, so there are factors to consider in addition to whether it makes financial sense *for me* to remove the books from KU. I will keep my readers informed.

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