The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 30 Results
Continuing to streamline, facing list exhaustion, finding limits to IF and missing conversions…
Published Words Fiction:
– free –0
– paid – 10865
Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – 1496
– paid – 0
Book sales this week:
Amazon – 0, Draft2Digital – 2, Gumroad – 0 = Total Week’s sales – 2
Books (pre-)published this week:
The Lori Saga: Escape
Total fiction books published:
57 (corrected from last week, plus 1)
Spent time away from writing in working out solution to conversion problems and list exhaustion. Also lost a day at the livestock auction, taking my non-producing cows/heifers/bull there, and bringing back two newly-weaned bull calves for future work.
Three days to write one book – a bit more complex, and a different paranormal sub-genre. Still, it came off well.
You train the list you get. That’s the bottom line. And I faced list exhaustion this week, after months of sending them emails every single week.
Somehow, I had massive unsubscribes two weeks ago, which seem to have settled down. (Also I didn’t do any list hygiene this week – moving off the non-openers – as I wanted to give them a chance with this new idea.)
That new idea is to split the list by genres and only send what they want. I also won’t be promoting erotica where it’s in with romance. I don’t write or read this material, and it’s just polluting my list to get people from those type of giveaways.
I worked out how to set up ARC/Street teams for each of these areas, using memberships. Have to implement these this week. Then start emailing the clickers to get them to cross-subscribe to those memberships. This will then again have only two emails per week, one to the general, and one to the ARC.
I’m kinda disappointed with IF on this point. Freebie seekers don’t necessarily turn into fans. The first step in working these into such will be through this division. And keep weeding out the ones who just don’t care.
Overall, I’ll be streamlining the IF stuff to join fewer giveaways, only the ones that perform the best for me, and those I can promote to once per month. I need to review the data on reader magnets to build lists. And then work up some 250-page collections of short stories that can afford to be promoted.
There is also another tactic of using IF to test my book covers and descriptions. That includes dumping many books into the giveaway after it starts. Weird, but I’ve had tons in these before with no complaints. My giveaway, my rules.
I should organize an annual workup, using this next year as a test. Don’t know what my metrics need to be, or how to set these up, particularly. I want to do new releases and short stories, plus pull the other best-producing giveaways out of my dataset.
Mainly, to further streamline IF to just what I need.
Generally, publish to all possible outlets each time. This means sorting out Medium and Wattpad (which is problematic due to no pre-scheduling.) And I need to bring back PublishDrive and StreetLib to get these moving. PubD had some comment this week about cracking down on public domain, so I’ll publish my PLR and PD through SL first, and then filter them for PubD after. (Again, the poison of Amazon is spreading.)
A friend pointed out that print is still safe, particularly when you go through Lulu instead of KDP Print/CreateSpace. Those will be the various non-fiction outlets as I’ve gotten from K-Lytics before. I’ll still publish in paperback for all my short stories that qualify, mostly as a way to show the ebooks are greater value.
It turns out that Cozy Mysteries are also selling best a .99 – which makes them lousy to promote – and are expected to have about 250 pages. I’m also going to check into Clean Romance and see if they have been infected this way as well.
So it is really going back to k-lytics to find where the more profitable genres are. Amazon’s race-to-the-bottom helps no one.
My approach is to continue to write and publish 2-3 short stories each week, to all outlets possible. Pricing these at 2.99 other than Amazon, which is .99 – and then collect up sets which are compiled for market.
I have to get these basics out of my way in order to invest time in restudying the data I have on making books sell on Amazon.
An Update to Workflow
My new approach would be to write fiction from day one and publish it everywhere possible, every time. You’ll saturate Medium pretty quickly, as I’m going to start doing, ending my publishing there when I pre-schedule right into January 2019. With that in mind, build headers that enable readers to find the other books – via Draft2Digital, I imagine.
Then publishing one excerpt per week for three pen names on Wattpad would then bring these right along with little overhead.
Then using IF on a free basis to get the real readers who have to raise their hands even higher to subscribe. IF is still a strange bird. But its mostly back to the books to figure out what the 3% workable conventional wisdom actually is. And that is the reason for this challenge, anyway. Acid test.
Mainly, I’ve verified that writing short stories is the best way to go as a beginner. Watching TV series is turning out to be a very good way to master the short story approach, since their “hour” program with obvious breaks for commercials sets you up to have your various plot model structures all laid out with examples for you. I’m going through Murder, She Wrote right now, and have several series to get through after that. (Including a Bob Hope collection of movies.) There is also a study I want to do of how the Iron Man character evolves through the Avenger series of movies – some day.
But starting out is that same point – build audience by publishing to all free and paid sites you can – building using other people’s land.
K-lytics Research Revived
I got the Cozy Mystery seminar downloaded, as well as digging up my earlier Clean Romance seminar. Lots of marketing information on these. Particularly that Clean Romance is running under 200 pages and around $2.99 for sales. Cozy runs closer to $.99 with 250 pages as most popular. A mixed bag. And again, better to work up some of these niches to find where it’s still profitable to “write to market.”
I’m into my homework on what cozy mysteries are now. Unfortunately, I don’t really seem to have a good “clean romance” TV series to study. (Certainly not “Buffy” but “90210” might be.
ToDo This Week:
- 2 or 3 short stories written and published.
- See if I can’t catch up PubD and SL on my original fiction.
- Memberships for the three fiction genres – street team. Opt-in forms, landing pages.
- Publish last four fiction books to Medium by pre-scheduling.
- Start publishing three long books to Wattpad – Tues.
- Review my existing memberships and see how they are set up – consider one for content-business (book publishing).
Also published on Medium.