The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 41 Results
Bridged over to a novella – by writing a three-parter with massive cliff-hangers in between…
Published Words Fiction:
– free – 0 (Own Site)
– paid – 31716 (D2D, Amazon), 13833 (Medium)
Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – 1452
– paid – 0 (Medium)
(As a side note: Mailchimp is still very hard to decipher their metrics. When I did push down to find out where those three came from, two were actually last month’s and only reported this week. Mailerlite gives you this data right on top. I only use Mailchimp as they go more places with their API.)
Book sales this week:
Amazon – 4, Draft2Digital – 3, Gumroad – 0 = Total Week’s sales – 7
Books (pre-)published this week:
- The Alepha Solution
- The Harpy Saga: Sister Mine
- Harpy Redux
- The Case of the Sunken Spirit
All caught up! Now working on those covers…
- Total fiction books published: 101
- Total short stories published as individual ebooks: 83
- Total anthologies published: 19 (+ 2 full books)
- Countdown to 100: 17 in 11 weeks
Concentrated on simply publishing and writing as priority this week. (Leaving a lot of the promotion/conversion work until tail end of this year and all next.)
The result was a novella that started because I didn’t like the ending of the first story – it was too pat. So a new “what if” came out – what if the spirit they rescued disappeared? That then led me to a new super-villain that the whole team had to help eliminate. Now, I had these covers here, so the interesting switch was that this ghost then beat-up one of their team and left her partially paralyzed on one side. Our hero found her, somehow, and now has to get her help – from a different space-time scene (this is all fantasy with some science fiction thrown in – a sub-genre) and on top of all that, a new character shows up at the end of the second book, who was the long-estranged sister of that afflicted team member. (Spoiler: they end up capturing and immobilizing the villain.)
The great part was all those twists that I didn’t even see coming when I started first book. All I knew is that the original ending sucked.
Each of the three books were published individually, and then a short anthology (long enough to have a paperback) was created to put them into one set. However, I had to set them up as parts, and warn (well, at least in the first one’s promo) about the cliffhanger endings. They will be better in the anthology I’ll be creating at the end of this month.
Note: All of these four books are S. H. Marpel, and were all the sales this week.
The Medium stories took some time, even though they were already exported. Didn’t even get to the Wattpad stories. This free-publishing approach is what I should have been doing from the beginning. Better late than never… (2nd best time to start is now.)
During this year, Amazon has been investing in selling more ads on their site and have pretty much made it impossible to find books unless you are directly looking for a specific author/title. Instead of some 10 books on that first page, it’s down to six. The rest are all sponsored ads.
Basically, Amazon has trashed their site and it takes money to get anywhere with them.
Both they and Facebook have positively the worst customer experience, and are the least trusted overall. Funny coincidence. Google is coming up third, passing Microsoft. (The Four Horsemen of Internet User Abuse.)
That in turn says that the “Monetization” part of the Content Inc. model correctly is at the end of that cycle.
Audience-building is first. Publish everything to Amazon as pre-orders, sure, but also port them to Medium and Wattpad to help your audience find you. When they do, you’ll have your backlist ready. The sales meanwhile will help you work out the best books to write. And all that practice will sharpen your skills.
This next year shows that I’ll have the anthologies (or can create them) that can be specifically tailored and crafted to be “advertisable” – meaning: will return positive ROI to afford expanding ad-spend.
I have several non-fiction courses to create as alpha-versions, and also upgrade those alpha’s to beta.
That Brings up Podcasts/Radio Interviews
Finally getting around to these. I’ve got one scheduled for this week. And the stock questions I’ve been asked, I’ll post on this site when I can. (Another story is nagging me to come to life…)
This brings up a point of doing a “debrief” on each book after I finish it, part of the promotion for it – and something to add as a link to it’s back-end (and maybe a preview ad to it’s front for the Amazon preview.) These will be free-wheeling, not scripted – other than reading off the marketing hook and excerpt. You’d see these on the “Special Features” for a DVD movie. Cutting room floor excerpts, commentary, etc. Because the ideas that started the book (preliminary cover versions, notes, research) aren’t seen. And would help the pre-order promotion. I have quite a backlog (one a week would take two years to get through, so maybe something like Mondays and Fridays?)
This also allows me to collect them all up for porting to BitTorrent Now. If I recorded as video – but that is too labor intensive. Reverse would be true, of setting a slideshow – but again, takes a lot of time, and would be better invested in non-fiction books.
Update: Next year’s Challenge will be a weekly podcast – that will then get me an additional audience prospects.
See, I’m working out this conversion program…
I saw this week that I was continuing to spend money for IF/PW, but had dropped my subscribers to hardly any daily. So I got back into the circuit and applied to any giveaways that would have me.
This will keep me going until my next giveaways hit after the New Year. These are months out to attract a large number of authors, so take awhile to move through. Three more months of belonging to any and all giveaways I can should help.
Thinning them out and building my conversion route (sales funnel) will happen meanwhile.
One interesting point is that there was only a single non-opener this week…
Getting Things Done, Goals Met
My main point is to get these 100 short stories written and out. Then just single short story every week and start ramping up the next challenge. So I’ve got three books as a quota weekly until they are all wrapped. This means pushing other items away until later.
I’ve paused PublishDrive and StreetLib for now, and will catch these up as a project next year. Another project would be to get ISBN’s on all my epubs so that they will go through SL to a couple of wholesalers there (one in Britain, one in Hong Kong)
This will be dedicated to the next C. C. Brower book, an anthology of short stories. I’m doing some 16K words per week right now, so that will give me around 50K in three weeks. (20K every week would give me a million words per year, same as the top pulp fiction writers.)
What was interesting with this week’s writing is that it sets the stage for writing serials – something I’ll probably need to get the Hooman Saga finished. (There could be a Book Three – but that is either following the Four Horsemen Cities off to a Jupiter moon, or having the new adventures where humans stop their decline as a species and start getting over their arrogance enough to co-exist with other sentients on Earth. Both right now are just existential, not a big story arc – and I don’t really like procedurals as they are too non-exciting.)
Note: Next year’s idea of getting “only” one book a week done – if those books average about 8K words (enough to make a thin paperback) will give me fifty 32-page books, or about 1500 pages, meaning five 300-page or seven 200-page anthologies.
Note2: I see that Wikipedia’s list of prolific authors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prolific_writers) says that “Authors with more than 100 books are considered for inclusion.” – and by writing and publishing my 100 ebooks, plus the numerous anthologies, this will put me quite over the top in a single year. Two short stories per week on average. Simple. (I’m at 102 fiction books alone. Haven’t counted my non-fiction, let alone book-length essays…)
To Do Last Week
- 3-4 short stories published. Yup
- Catch up Medium, Wattpad with both the Hooman Saga and the shorts I just posted. Yup
- Emails out. Yup
- ARC page updated as part of this. Yup
- Boil down Content Inc to action steps. Nope
- Get some more IF/PW giveaways to keep the motor running until my own organized giveaways kick in. Yup
- New anthology on pulp writing published (after everything else.) Nope
To Do This Week:
- At least three new short stories written published.
- Fiction published to Medium and Wattpad.
- ARC page updated.
- Emails out.
- Keep up with IF/PW giveaways incoming.
- Invest any extra time in writing more.
Also published on Medium.