Thanks for asking! Alas, I've got nothing terribly interesting to report except that I'm soooooo burned out on writing romance, and it's starting to show word-count wise.
If I didn't have a backlist of like 20 romance novels, I'd almost certainly switch genres to something totally different, like zombie apocalypse books. I might be kidding, but I'm not even sure.
A big challenge (other than being burned out) continues to be that advertising has gotten so darn expensive, and Amazon is almost all pay-to-play these days. Even as a reader, I find it incredibly frustrating that their recommendation system is all based on sponsored ads rather than organic "also boughts."
As far as advertising is concerned, I've offset some of the costs by going to a rapid release production schedule, where I write books and bank them to be released in quickish succession, but with my word count bordering on the pathetic, this might be an even bigger challenge if I don't find a way to get my writing mojo back.
In a way, I'm feeling a little trapped. If I had no backlist, I'd almost certainly switch to a less crowded genre. But if I did, sales of my previously published romance titles would drop to nearly nothing. And, in a new genre, I'd have no backlist to boost my earnings. All this to say, I'd have to take a few steps backward in hopes of moving forward in a different genre. I'm not sure it would be worth it, so it's a real catch-22.
You have to be very careful concerning that burn out. Amazons system is urging you to an awful release schedule to stay visible or to give them a lot of money to stay in the game. It won't get better as there are still new authors coming to that overcrowded market, eager to spend advertizing buck$ to push their careers. And I'm sure amazon is looking for new ways to milk our purses.
What once was a promising opportunity for a new business has been changed by that company and the huge amount of competition to a new form of slavery. Better start thinking about some kind of exit strategy as it really will not get better. As scaling has it's limits (you can't raise the max numbers of books you are writing) and the entry barriers are low, this amazon-only novel writing business is no fastlane anymore but just self employment with dwindling salary.
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