Recent IOD slowdown

Many of you may have noticed that the stream of IOD reports has fallen to a trickle over the last couple of months, so I thought I should post a quick note to let you know why. There are four interconnected reasons.

1: An offline distraction

A change in my offline life has necessitated that I focus more of my time on bringing in revenue. For years I’ve focused on building up my catalog rather than doubling down on the sales efforts, but it looks like that tunnel vision is going to need to broaden a bit sooner than expected. As a result, I’ve had to put most of my energy into paying gigs lately. And that means less time to do the treadmill reads, write the reports, or even supervise/edit the reports done by the other guys.

2: A book launch

The revenue issue above prompted me to put more time and energy into my recent book release. I actually have to start taking revenue a bit more seriously than I’ve been doing in the past. So instead of just making a quick announcement and letting the chips fall where they may, (my traditional approach) this time I’ve actually put some energy into planning the launch, preparing marketing materials, etc. Stuff like this shameless plug you see here.Book launch info card

The good news is that the effort is paying off. It doesn’t completely solve the problem or anything quite so dramatic as that, but early reviews for this book are outstanding and sales are more vigorous than I expected. It’s all enough to make me think that maybe there’s something to this silly idea of “book promotion” I keep hearing about. :-)

(And while I’m on the ferris wheel of shameless plugs, if that book doesn’t look like your thing, here’s a link to everything I currently have on Kindle.)

3: A quality problem

Over the last year or so, Dave, Bryce and I have been noticing a steady decline in our ability to keep saying new and helpful things about the same steady diet of echoing headwords, galloping I diseases, POV violations, and the other usual splinters that bedevil indie writing. We need a way to kick some energy back into the process.

For now, we’re experimenting with only posting reports that have some new WTF type to talk about, or for which we find we have something new to say about an old one. That’s been helping, but we haven’t found our legs yet under this new policy, and the result is far fewer treadmill reads making it all the way through to become an actual post.

Part of me wants to shift the IOD focus toward celebrating the really great stuff that we do find, but I don’t want to lose the value of providing helpful critiques to authors who are having trouble finding it elsewhere. It’s an interesting problem, and one I’m open to hearing input about. So if you have any thoughts, feel free to comment on this post (or hit reply if this post reached you by email alert) and maybe we can start a dialogue about how to address the problems without sacrificing the value.

4: The revenue problem, again

The earlier-cited revenue problem is also forcing me to rethink ImmerseOrDie as a whole, to see if there are ways that I can generate revenue without compromising either the quality or the accessibility of what we’ve been doing to date. I fully intend to keep offering IOD reports for free (free to both IOD followers and submitting indie authors), but I’m exploring some other ideas to potentially help support that effort with revenue from other places and activities.

What other ideas? If you’d like to see what I’m thinking, and maybe offer some constructive input to my deliberations, I’ve put together a quick survey over here. I’d really like to hear from you. Whether you’re a casual visitor to IOD, a frequent follower, a hopeful submitter, or even if today is your first visit. Please take 5 minutes to answer 5 questions about the various ideas I’m kicking around, and help me shape the next phase of ImmerseOrDIe.

Anyway, that’s it for the update. Thanks for sticking through to the end. I expect the slow trickle of reports to pick up at least a little, once this book launch is over and done with. And hopefully, with feedback from you guys, we’ll be able to kick it back into high gear in the fall.

Stay tuned to this station,

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The Fire Eye Refugee, by Samuel Gately (34:11)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.