The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 44 Results
NaNoWriMo started. Into sheer writing mode. Kickstarter training starts this week…
Published Words Fiction:
– written – 16244
– free – 5115 (Own Site)
– paid – 0 (D2D, Amazon), 0 (Medium)
Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – 3896
– paid – 0 (Medium)
Mailerlite: 68 (non-IF/ProlificWorks),
New Total: 3569
Book sales this week:
Amazon – 8, Draft2Digital – 3, Gumroad – 2 = Total Week’s Fiction Sales – 13
Books (pre-)published this week:
Books Ready to Publish
- Moon Bride
Total fiction books published this year: 110
Total short stories published as individual ebooks: 88 (+2)
Total anthologies published: 21 (plus two 200+ page books)
Countdown to 100 published short stories: 12 in 9 weeks (10)
Planned new short stories: 12 (10 more) through end of Nov (NaNoWriMo), 4 in Dec. (104 total short stories, around 7 more anthologies for 30 total – 134+ original books published in a single year.)
Subscribers starting to run up with new IF giveaways running. I expect that efficiency to drop as these aren’t just from my own books. Already running some 55% loss over 5 months. We’ll see during the next four months, where I’ll have a year’s worth of data.
Meanwhile, New Voices 5 showed that I’ve been producing at 50K per month for the last two months. My actual NaNoWriMo target is 72K. 12 books, 6K+ each. (Totem ended up at 7363, Moon Bride at 8881)
Maybe Not on the Kickstarter
Kickstarter – may not decide to do this. I’ve been doing a Reedsy mini-course on this. Some facts:
- 70% don’t make their goal
- You need to start promoting this three months before – to an established list, and make the 40% mark early on.
- IF/PW will then hold my books for three months to do their fulfillment.
- Then you “run” the advertising intensively for a month.
- I’ll have 13 books that I can’t publish for 7 months just to do some test of a system that isn’t success-prone, and having to invest in intensive promotion to this list I barely have responsive at all.
If I can get through the Kickstarter data over the next month, I’ll be able to evaluate this scene better.
Right now, the sequence looks like this – take a month to write a 50K novel. Already have a responsive list. Take 7 months to promote and deliver it.
Meanwhile, I can write eight 50K novels and publish them all – for nothing. My original thought was that kickstarters built audience. Nope. They harvest audience and convert them into greater fans. It’s a paid conversion tactic.
The price of their the PW Kickstarter system is $500 plus 5%. If you’re not successful, all you may have is a bunch of new subscribers and no income to show for all that marketing work/angst.
I could do better by simply promoting my own Gumroad subscriber system, and even do a roll-my-own kickstarter and keep all funds collected. Run this twice a year, like promoting a limited access course (re)opening. (This does point up a system – and writing a book on this – of how to do this on your own with nothing but sweat equity.)
The greater cost is sequing into that heavy amount of marketing. Might be needed, but I don’t see it offsetting having the potential of 96 short stories plus 7 anthologies selling (somewhat) meanwhile. A huge time drain. might be worth a conversion process – but why pay for the experience?
When you routinely publish (as I do) then a subscription plan like Patreon might be simpler. Or how about a calendar where you simply ship your product by calendar to a specific subset of your list? Once a month, you order hardcopies from Lulu, autograph them, and ship them back out. Simple. A bit of work – maybe. When it gets up to a thousand true fans who are sending you$500 a year, then you’ll probably be able to afford a service provider to do that for you.
Instead of kickstarting – simply run your own regular mention of subscriptions. Meaning I already have everything I need with mailerlite + gumroad. (Patreon? They take 5%. Currently, gumroad is costing me 10% of sales, and I can upgrade to a paid $10 monthly service to drop that down to 5% – see this article from a Patreon user: http://neil-clarke.com/patreon-pros-and-cons-one-year/
If you have a backend that will support a wordpress installation try: “12 Best Crowdfunding Options for Your WordPress Website” https://kinsta.com/blog/crowdfunding-options-wordpress/
Once I get an answer to this, and if it’s negative (meaning I have other, more assured options) then I’ll go ahead and publish these 13 books and skip the kickstarter scene.
What their (PW+Reedsy+Kickstarter) program is then for is the one or two book per year author who needs a lot of external inputs to get their book to market, and they have an established list they can convert to support them better.
Where this could work – if I can take an existing anthology and re-publish it (or create a new anthology just on marketing data) with a new cover and everything else. In those cases, I’m “hotting up” my own list.
One write-up says that the three months in advance is to build a list so you can then deliver the goods in that fourth month. A better model would be the product launch of four months of marketing, one month of launch, and one month of analysis. Their launches only really last a week or so, meaning a kickstarter is a long, drawn out product launch.
NaNoWriMo Angst and Audiobook Relief
Not much angst, really. Last week I saw that I needed to simply stick to writing individual short stories. And these preferably needed to top out at about 6K. This week, I just bit that bullet and wrote two of them out in two+ days. Proofed them both on the third day, and all-but published them as part of that proofing. Staring as late as Thurs to write is a bit of pressure (especially since some Thursdays end up with no writing, particularly if I find a good investment at the auction.)
Meaning that I now can write at least 3 fiction short stories each week comfortably within my current writing habits.
Preview: This next year, I’m getting back into my non-fiction as well, and adding in podcasting to the mix. (Ending up with a published course based on each non-fiction book, as well as the audiobook – per that model.) If I can also add recording my own fiction into that mix, then I can start getting my hundreds of short stories published through Findaway.com also for free. 6K at 100 wpm (I read at 200wpm and take as much time to edit as I do in recording) then that is 60 minutes – an hour, more or less. Worth looking into.
Prolific is as prolific does. “Want something done? Give it to a busy person (who publishes weekly, not weakly.)
Coming Up – Everything Roses
This next year, I plan to write one short story each week, two non-fiction articles and record them. (And work in probably recording my own short stories to that production line.) Then also in that week, update one of my existing courses. Every 12 weeks, I can then generate a new course, so: four new courses/book/audiobook each year.
I’ll also be cranking back into my public domain books as supplements to these courses. The Lulu fiasco in April last year just set me up to re-publish that catalog through Streetlib – but will take some time to update all those books. Probably do them in batches that are themselves sensible and also refer to each other in the “also wrote” lists in the back of each one. Tying them into courses then completes the scene. Porting mini-courses out to Udemy and Skillshare that have landing pages for these books and the full course is the next logical move for these.
So I’ll have each week:
- 1 fiction book
- 2 non-fiction book (1 chapter each, podcast)
- Course update – 1 or 2 days invested in polishing.
- A repeating podcast of author-talks on the short stories I’ve written.
- Some time invested (and some income) in advertising the anthologies I have or can create.
That’s the plan as I see it currently for next year. I’ll know more by the end of December.
That really points to simply using December for prep work. But I’d be better off to simply write, proof, and publish a fiction book in a single day (plus 1/2, maybe) each week. Now that I know it can be done.
December Has a How-To Book on Being Prolific by Habit
Once NaNoWriMo is completed, I’ll have a decent test run of the model for creating content. I figure to write this up into 12 chapters (with a 13th as bonus) and also republish the related series of books I have on this. Meaning I’ll be creating a course start to finish in a month, on top of writing a short story each week. Figure – twelve 2K chapters is only 6K. Recording that is about an hour to a finished product, and then generating the videos for those will be a bit more, but not much more.
That then says I can crank out a book-cast series and a course in less than a week – so have 50 new income-potential courses at the end of a year. Interesting model.
I’ll test this in the coming year with one PD book that has 52 short chapters in it – these all need updating and then that update produced as a new book, audiobook, book/course-cast, and course. Looks quite exciting.
Last Week’s To-Do’s:
- Emails out. DONE
- New Voices Anthology 5 published. DONE
- Analysis of IF/PW giveaways and subscriber drop-off/cost HOLD
- 12.5K NaNoWriMo words in completed stories – 2 6K stories this week, starting Nov 1. DONE
- (Probably not time for much else.) TRUE – did get a sampler created for New Voices 5, which is up on IF/PW now – and will be included in all my upcoming self-organized giveaways (as it has alll genres represented.)
This Week’s To-Do’s:
- Emails out.
- 3 short stories written, proofed, and readied for publishing.
- Kickstarter model evaluated and decision made.
Also published on Medium.