The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 29 Results
Shifting gears with email oopsies, a rise in unsubscribes with the IF change, while finding and handling the hidden IF freeloaders…
Published Words Fiction:
– free –0
– paid – 23362 (note: this means I’m producing nearly a half-NaNoWriMo novel in a week.)
Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – 2508
– paid – 0
Book sales this week:
Amazon – 4, Draft2Digital – 1, Gumroad – 0 = Total Week’s sales – 4
Books (pre-)published this week:
- 95% Solution
- Harpy’s Desires
- To Laugh At Death
Total books published:
A week of simply carrying on. Email was fouled up until Wednesday, so my regular email went out late. And didn’t have the result I’d gotten before. (We’ll get into results later.) But I spent my time writing a new book during that, 8K words. Had it published by the time email was working again (Wed am.)
Less sales total than last week, but they came from Amazon and were all the next level up in sales. ($2.99 instead of .99) But a lot of my new books are on pre-order now, which has a lot of strategic value. (See below.)
I don’t like that my unsubscribes are starting to be much higher. I consider that this might be due to the point of getting more people in with IF’s new opt-in (which runs about 40% as opposed to earlier) but my total opt-ins are down.
With the slow conversion, this seems to point to not really having an audience who just like my own books – and so I’m pushing free giveaways instead. This goes into working out how to build audience, which is actually working up Medium and Wattpad to get real reader-fans. The courses I’ve taken in this area are about getting readers via Amazon book opt-in’s and FB ads to certain kinds of readers and getting them to opt-in.
Instafreebie has taken a few months to master, but the results are underwhelming in terms of sales conversions. My strategy is still the same – that it’s going to be better to have a thousand true fans, than a typical rate of 3% out of 30,000. So I’ll continue to weed out the no-openers and encourage people to unsubscribe if they aren’t interested.
Writing three books this week, which averaged close to 8K each, is where my writing production needs to be. All of these books are not going onto preorder, and I’m quickly running out of dates on Amazon’s calendar. (D2D doesn’t seem to have that problem.) That will be a bridge to cross. It will mean publishing to KDP on my own schedule instead of there’s, or starting to publish by author instead of by output. Mainly, I’m outstripping their capacity. Hyper-creative that I am.
Production is fine, subscribers are OK, conversion is still the emphasis.
Building a Reader Audience
This brings up Medium and Wattpad. I have stats there, and have worked out the tags to get people’s attention. Wattpad I didn’t get into beyond working up that I needed to post weekly.
You publish a lot and people will find what they want. That’s the general theory. So I can actually start publishing my broad back trail and feed people via D2D to my books to buy them. 3 of the 4 pen names have long works that can be serialized just as they are. Marpel has two sets.
I can start serializing my earlier works without getting into the pre-ordered ones. And put up three sets at once. Prescheduled on Medium, but posting excerpts weekly on Wattpad. Prescheduling makes putting a series of prescheduled stories on Medium possible, since the book would go live partway through.
The essential point is to build audience by posting to Wattpad and Medium. Getting them to visit my site for more information – or buy the book now. Build avid readers and then convert those to subscribers.
Instafreebie list isn’t clicking to open the freebie offers for the last two weeks. This needs more investigation, or cleaning up the list to get rid of the ones who are so exhausted and freebie-saturated.
And it simply may be a summer slump where people go on vacation. I haven’t much changed what I am doing, so it’s one or the other.
IF is now into a maintain-mode, so I’ll just keep running that strategy. If anything, add in surveys to find out more of what they want. Not this week, though. I need to select three books and start serializing them.
Also, updating my books lists on Goodreads and LibraryThing.
Once these are in maintain, then I’ll probably be well enough along on my books to simply start FB and AMS ads.
There is anothet point I can add to conversion, which is running the four authors through one-a-week with emails that lay out what is happening now, what is on pre-order, and how they can get copies now without waiting if they want. Or this might be better done by genre and sending these only to clickers. That’s the probable next emphasis.
Don’t worry about having a huge list, focus on building an active list that buys.
Having to do over, I’d have started on Medium and Wattpad before getting into Instafreebie – but I can say that now that I have mastered that source.
IF Freeloaders – discovery and termination
I got another half-decent giveaway to finish this last week. (I extended it in order to keep promoting and so elevate my position on that leaderboard.)
I found several authors who had more than one book and didn’t promote. When I deleted a few of these books from other giveaways, one of these sent me several emails. I made the bad choice of reading these just before bed. And then woke up to solve it at 1:30 am and it took a couple of hours.
This reminds me of the last two before this, who were both freeloaders in their own right. Over-vocal and inconsistent in what they do. (Also including non-cosy material in their books, but objecting to having these inspected.) Looking up their back-trails showed them to be freeloaders, as I said.
Main point is to live and let live. This particular person had two books in the giveaway and took the #3 and #4 spots in overall claims. Most of the freeloaders are in the lower half of the claims, and leaving out their books would streamline things immensely. (This turned out to be her complete naivety of sending them to the wrong link.)
As I complete more giveaways, the main list of freeloaders will solve itself. I have those who I are the worst, and others who have only a single book and simply won’t promote others.
There is also the idea that you simply use the free IF account and use this to test your covers and descriptions, leaving your books to be the reader magnets. That might be a better way in general to proceed. You’re then spending no money and getting readers actually interested in that author.
Currently, the working plan is to join all possible giveaways, and promote them on a single page, putting the new ones on top, just below my new releases. I always have my own giveaway running at the very top of those others. Right now, they are running three weeks long. In August, I have one for the whole month, and two that run three weeks each. So, two at a time during that month. Just another test.
I did get all my non-fiction giveaways sorted out and they are pretty much worthless. Freeloaders are as high at 80%.
Most authors only join a few giveaways and promote once per month. So this probably works out to having giveaways three weeks long and then extending it by a week, so 12 per year. I should survey my IF Reader’s list and see what they are doing. I can also work against what others are planning, although most don’t plan their giveaways more than a couple of months ahead, at best. It’s still a Wild West scene there. Probably will be to simply lay out a logical scene and then repeat it all year. Take the best performing genres and stagger these through the year. Jan and August should be wide open for broad Sci-Fi/Fantasy books, and then broad mystery-crime, with narrow clean fiction and cozy mysteries shifted in there. Two others are short reads and Women Heroes. Maybe even repeat their banners…
To Do this week:
- 3 new books
- Email maintenance as usual.
- Select and post stories to both Medium and Wattpad from three authors (Kruze, Brower, Marpel)
- Continue getting through TV series videos, but add in actual reading of best classic detective short stories.
- Plug a schedule hole with a new giveaway. Review what has worked before that you haven’t tried.
- Probably time to scrape the more recent completed giveaways and work these up one night (tonight, I imagine, while watching some TV series and burning some others.)
Also published on Medium.