The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 11 Results
Another book written and published. All in one week. Skipped the audio, as I’m taking too long with all this. A great analysis of new tools for you this week and they are quite exciting…
Written and Published –
fiction: 6689 (both free and paid)
Book sales – Amazon -2, PublishDrive – 0, StreetLib – 0, Draft2Digital – 0: Total – 2
Posts this week:
- The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 10 Results – https://livesensical.com/great-fiction-writing-challenge-week-10-results/
- Self-Publishing: The Real Leverage of Book Giveaways – Instafreebie – https://livesensical.com/self-publishing-real-leverage-book-giveaways-instafreebie/
- Fiction Writing: Why Vampires Suck at Haunting – S. H. Marpel – https://livesensical.com/fiction-writing-vampires-suck-haunting-s-h-marpel/
I can’t say enough about how these two can be integrated to make your life easier. Again, Draft2Digital (D2D) now auto-creates author and book pages for all your books you enter on their Books2Read site. And you can take your Instafreebie opt-in page on that booksite, so you can opt-in people directly by giving them a sample of that author’s work. Very, very nice.
See that post above for the details of how those interact, and all the specifics of getting going on Instafreebie.
The main thing is to get onto all the giveaways you can without polluting yourself, and start your own giveaways. Having and joining giveaways is completely irrelevant of whether you have any list at all. Just get started and start pushing your books out.
Because the books you give to Instafreebie also are the current D2D versions, they have all your other books linked in the back of them. So even if they don’t opt-in to your mailing list, you are sending out books that will make the rest of your books discoverable.
And by rest, we mean all your various pen names. Because many of these cross with each other (Fantasy, Contemporary) I’ll be able to put several books into each giveaway. This means they’ll be able to find the other books by that author, in all the various series. I’m thinking of doing a giveaway just for short stories, so that I can put one of each of my pen name’s books in there, and so promote all the other titles by them. Just an idea.
Nicely up and expanding, with not much work from my end. I did make sure that the landing pages all required subscriptions for every time I’ve giving anything away. That probably helps. I saw today that I need to go back and make all my short stories part of a membership, and then add the PDF to those pages as a download. This will then require people to join a list to get these books. They’ll have to buy the epub, but the PDF will be free, in addition to the long text on each page.
People who are getting my emails will then be able to access the members-only area to get the latest fiction stories as they are produced. Very simple and efficient.
This week, I realized that when I excerpt Earl Nightingale or anyone else, I can publish that essay as a post. Following the idea above, I can make all those posts into subscription-only access, again providing the PDF as extra value. So that work will then push more people to my lists.
All of those ideas will give me more work to do, but once I catch up the backlogs, it will be a simple action each week.
One key point to know is that Amazon is the only one who really gets your books up and on sale immediately (well, as much as 72 hours later.) Their sales are reported for that week. The others have lags on reporting and income. And lags on the other outlets picking up your books. I’ve had books sit around for months and not get into distribution for completely unknown reasons. And one came back after being up there a month, saying that the capitalization of the title wasn’t acceptable!?! PublishDrive is the best about scrutinizing your books and giving you any reject in about a week at most. That keeps you from waiting. And Draft2Digital has English-speaking people working there in their offices (like Lulu, and unlike Amazon) so the email is probably pretty good that way.
Itunes, and Nook are just slow to uptake books. Kobo is better. However, the trick is that you can also take a book that isn’t being distributed on D2D and simply have PublishDrive or StreetLib take up the slack for you.
The emphasis is to get at least one story published each week and then work to get two published. I’ll start getting ahead at that point, and can start putting books on pre-release for every pen name I’m using.
I did realize the experience of loving writing just for itself. Just being able to crank out a book and publish it is great stuff. I was able to concentrate on this the last few days just to bring the second part of “Ghost Hunters” out. And may simply crank the third in this series this next week in order to have a nice paperback of them, and a collection for that author. I’m getting past the uncertainties of just writing at all, and getting more into concentrating on the craft of making a great story, each one better than the one before. The key is to simply not look at what you’ve done earlier, but keep looking forward.
I did buy a workshop on Cliffhangers from DW Smith. The only drawback with these is that you have to wait for the assignments. Not all of his workshops have a “classic version” – which is where you can access all 6 weeks (usually) of videos at once. He also has lectures, which are longer videos, but only a single set (around 10 or so) to cover basics. With having to wait, I don’t value the workshop prices as worth it. He’s starting weekend workshops, done over three days. But the other point is to not have to do anything when someone else says to. That’s why I hate webinars unless they are recorded and available later. I’ve more than once spent an afternoon waiting around for a webinar to start, and then be disappointed with their content (and sales pitch.)
In this last story I wrote, I already saw how I’m setting up each chapter to lead into the next with cliffhangers. And sure, I’ll be getting better at this. But it’s nice to see my own improvement as it happens.
That said, I want to finish reviewing a Ben Bova book on writing Science Fiction. Lots of great advice there. And a few other specialist books after that yet to come.
The trick is to finish what you are working on. And write only as long as the story wants. Writing flash fiction is perfectly OK. (I was thinking today to do mash-up parodies of Beatrix Potter’s works, which are all flash fiction. Just fun.)
I’d like to get back to writing a story each day, but a lot of it depends on how much non-fiction I have to write to catch up on things. As my work streamlines, it’s getting simpler. I think by mid-summer I’ll have a good pace with all this and the bulk of the craft studies behind me, while I practice and review things. But you can expect at least one non-fiction post in addition to this report each week. And in addition to the fiction.
This post series will become a podcast on its own. I just don’t know when I’ll start on them. (This week already looks very full, and Spring weather means I can start getting some renovations and repairs done on the house and barn and fences.)
Each of the posts will have to be retitled and recorded, edited, posted. The reason for this is to get a new way for an audience to find me.
More than likely, this will be as part of preps to start appearing on podcasts and radio shows as a guest. And that is coming up.
The above on Instafreebie and Draft2Digital was a good forward step. I have some work to do on these this week, as I review all the book pages I have to update them. (Sometimes the descriptions come through without formatting.) And the author pages were done this last week.
Coming soon is the Four Horsemen of Social Media for Uber-Readers (Goodreads, LibraryThing, Wattpad, and Medium.) After that will come podcast/radio interviews. And we’ll be over the hump of basic book promotion at that point. As I’ve covered, I’m not pushing ads for these books right now. They are all dependent on someone else’s platform and take time away from writing. FB ads, for instance, need you to monitor them daily. And I’ve got too many projects in just working out and writing up all this research and tests.
To Do This Week:
- All possible books into all possible Instafreebie giveaways. Make sure I have the latest from each author.
- Probably write an additional story for this new series and get a paperback published as well as a collection of three short stories. Do this early this week.
- Cross-check authors and books through Books2Read and ensure they are all in good shape.
- Go through the books I’ve published last month and ensure they are actually propagating to the various outlets they should be. (Like that title capitalization problem above.)
- See if I can’t get a second fiction story out this week, if only a collection of flash fiction.
- And check my memberships to set my short stories as subscriber-only.
Until next week…
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Also published on Medium.