Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 25 Results
Halfway through. Probably time to see what our progress has been…
Published Words Fiction:
– free – 5912
– paid – 308829
Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – 7079
– paid – 0
New Total: 2315 (had to jump up to my next range on Mailerlite…)
Book sales this week:
Amazon – 1, Draft2Digital – 1, Gumroad – 0 = Total Week’s sales – 6
Pre-order sales – 1
Books published this week:
- New Voices 003: https://calm.li/NewVoicesVol003
- Hooman Saga Book Two Part One – Complete: https://calm.li/HoomanSagaBk2Pt1Complete
- C. C. Brower Short Story Collection 01: https://calm.li/CCBrowerShStory01
- J. R. Kruze Short Story Collection 01: http://calm.li/JRKruzeShSTory01
- Ghost Hunters Anthology 2: https://calm.li/GhostHuntersAnth02
- R. L. Saunders Satire Collection 01: https://calm.li/RLSaundersSatire01
Analysis & Notes:
Continuing to do well here. Now over 2300 and climbing about 60 daily. But I lose a few every week as well. This has turned out quite different from all the “advice” from “guru’s.” Mainly that it’s not an overnight thing. That building a huge list overnight isn’t really what you want. You have to keep track of the long game, and realize that it costs you less to narrow down to people who actually will open emails and click on links. This is closer to the concept of 1000 true fans. (Rather than having 1% of your 10,000 subscribers and having to pay for those 9,000 extra emails.)
That said, I haven’t gotten Instafreebie to really settle down yet. It’s taking quite a bit more time daily than I want to spend. Because I seem to be either tweaking my IF giveaways or writing. I should be getting to posting on Medium and Wattpad, as well as updating my lists on Goodreads and LibaryThing.
I’m holding off on going for podcast/radio interviews until this settles down, since these can take half a day off a schedule easily.
Priorities continue: Subscribers, Published Books, Promotion. In that order. I’m relying on my passive income from existing books to continue sales while I build up this fiction backlist as a test. Next year will be a different project, but still continuing fiction writing.
Meanwhile, the Instafreebie Pro level didn’t work out financially. So I’m back to Plus for now. There just aren’t enough benefits to it compared to the 2.5x cost. It does seem to be a scene I can work into next year’s project. 6 months from now, I’ll tell you about it…
Still a sore spot. I did get my first pre-order this week. (More below.) And I haven’t gone back into heart-beat mode, but still nowhere near where I want to be. I think the deal is going to be surveys with free and paid offers. That will collect up data I can use.
More review of Copyblogger Content Marketing data is needed, as well as a realistic review of “sales funnels” and landing pages with upsells/downsells, automated email. Working up courses as the core high-ticket item is the logical evolution. But it’s gonig to take some time to work this up – and a lot of tests.
So much crud is out there to wade though…
As I had to collate 6 books together, it seemed like a great time to test pre-orders. And as I said, this instantly (same day as announced to my list) resulted in a sale. These books range from 88 pages up past 260 pages, so are not just the short stories I’ve been cranking out. And that is the point of these. Crank out at least two short stories per week and then collate them into collections. That’s the secret to “Publish 6 books and over 300,000 words in only 5 days!”
This sets me up to always have something new on offer. At this rate, I should probably set up a “pre-order” page and update it every week. Put the book that’s releasing this week as a feature. Then simply stack up the short stories and give them all pre-order status while they are clearing the pubishing rounds. More likely, I’ll just wait to put them up when they have cleared the big 4 book outlets (KDP, ITunes, Nook, Kobo) – that just takes a week and keeps people from emailing me about why they aren’t here or there.
I did complete another book and put that 5K word short read up as an ARC copy. This coming week, I’ll edit that last section in with the earlier ones and put out the book as a completed work – Part 1 of 2.
That action leaves two of my pen-names ready to start on new installments of those sagas. Of course, they can simply write new short stories as well, or team up with the other pen-names to co-author something else, or a new series.
Instafreebie Verified Status
Just got mine this week. Took a while to work up to it. I waited until I had 5 giveaways so I could pick 3 good examples out of them. This gives you a chance to enable people to opt-in to your list as the giveaway organizer. By default, when they activate, all your current giveaways are locked with that option off. Keeps it simpler. Same for turning all mandatory opt-in’s into optional.
What was most interesting is that they gave me a link to ask Instafreebie to promote my giveaways. Meaning, all I have to have is 10 authors on board (and if they have room) to promote what I am running. The other requirement is that I can’t slack off. I still have to be in the top 10% of the promoters. That hasn’t particularly been a problem so far. Some of these authors can give me a real run for the money as their lists are far bigger than mine. A giveaway of mine that just opened put me way down on the list – so far. But I might also extend the time on it if I can. Just another something to figure out.
With this status, and being able to get an Instafreebie promotion regularly, that really sets up this system to succeed.
Next analysis down this line will be to continue seeing which authors are promoting highly and not at all. Also to see which books and genres are performing best for me. Continuing to cross-check what I’ve run into so far will be valuable.
The emphasis is get this into a regular pattern. And cut down the amount of time I’m having to spend on this daily.
The further ahead you organize, the more authors you can attract. And getting your 10 authors on board right away then allows you to promote that you will be featured by Instafreebie on a certain date. And attract even more authors and books.
Eventually, I should have something like 16 giveaways running through the year, on a three-week schedule, with probably 40-100 books on it, all featured by Instafreebie. Basically one giveaway at a time, doing the analysis immediately after that giveaway is over and adding this to my existing spread sheets.
Breakthrough on Sweet/Clean/Cozy
It turns out that none of my authors have much agreed on what is a clean romance or a cosy mystery, or what is actually sweet. This was the subject of all the non-fiction I had to write this week. And it also took another turn (controversy landmine ahead) when I suggested that LGBT was explicit. All I learned was to not use that term. (See the article on this.)
Putting up an article on what is sweet/clean/cozy by searching on the Internet gave myself and a few authors quite a lurch. One of my giveaways was just starting up, so I left whatever was there already. But started delisting other books. Mostly, I got no complaints. Those that I did I referred to this article so they had a definite and set standard. One author (who writes well otherwise) I worked with as she had already been promoting those giveaways. I went the extra route of going through all of her Instafreebie giveaways and discovering which were acceptable. Only one out of eight were. So I took that one book and put it into almost all of my giveaways. Meanwhile, she’s wrestling with editing her other books so that they are actually YA-ready. I suggested she simply write some more if editing was going to be too much of a hassle.
There are many Medium articles up there already, all in draft. So these will just need to be properly tagged, slightly edited, and posted.
Wattpad needs research to set this up.
I think Wednesdays will be the best days for this, leaving me Thurs – Sun to write.
Mondays are usually for this analysis and getting my free-books page updated, and that email sent out.
Tuesdays are usually for the other emails to Business, Self Improvement, and Writing-Publishing email groups.
Set Wednesdays for the Four Avid Reader Horsemen network, and that will organise it well.
Several people said to post to Wattpad on Friday, but my writing is better done flat out, uninterrupted.
Got not quite half of my hay in for this year. Now my supplier has to cut, rake, bale, and haul the rest to me. Not a great year for hay. But this took a chunk of time out.
Also had a cow hurt her tail, so a vet visit took more time, as well as having to get the herd up to sort that one cow and her calf out. Another sorting this week as I get some more of these gals sorted as part of the annual chess match of putting cows where they need to go.
Of course the farm covers my rent, food, and utilities, so it’s a priority along with writing and publishing.
Half Year Review
Well, I got what I got. Tested Instafreebie and learned a lot of things.
Built just over 2K list, which averages something like a 40% open and 30% click rate (some are close to 90% open and 60% click rate.)
And now I’m able to write whenever I want and crank out three new stories every week. I’ve confirmed that a hundred ebooks in a year (two a week on average) is possible and doable.
Conversion to sales is a priority area to solve. But this comes after promotion is cracked. The Avid Reader Horsemen is a key part, and then podcast/radio interviews.
Non-fiction courses as a sales funnel will be after I work up the sales funnel for fiction writers.
And you’ll see it here first…
To Do This Week:
1. All emails out on schedule.
2. Edit and publish (on pre-schedule) that book.
3. Write and publish (pre-schedule) two more short stories.
4. Edit and schedule paid and free Medium posts (as they are existing.)
5. Visit Wattpad to see what is needed to publish there (do they have a way to pre-schedule posts?)
6. Pick up my new “tiny home” office (necessary distraction for a future upgrade.)
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Also published on Medium.