The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 51 Results
One new short story this week – and it took me over four days to get through it. Dispersed with other activities (next year’s challenge preps).
Published Words Fiction:
– free – 0 (Own Site)
– paid – 5867 (D2D, Amazon), 0 (Medium)
Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – 4381
– paid – 0 (Medium)
New Instafreebie/PW: 451
Overall Total: 3593
Book sales this week:
Amazon – 9, Draft2Digital – 4, Gumroad – 3 = Total Week’s Fiction Sales – 16
- Faery Blood
- 7 more anthologies in queue
Total fiction books published this year: 130 (Calibre doesn’t agree again.)
Total short stories published as individual ebooks: 101
Total anthologies published: 29 (plus two 200+ page books)
Countdown to 100 published short stories: 0 in 1 weeks (Yay!)
(100 total short stories, plus around 7+/- more anthologies for 34 total – 138+/- original books published in a single year.)
Worked on sleuthing out my own sales data for the business this week. And then also compiled 9 anthologies, which worked down to needing only 7.
That was one reason for not really concentrating on that single fiction work this week (keeping my fiction writing habit in is harder than I thought.) I still have stories crying at my door to be written and published to life. But getting fascinated with setting up next year’s challenge is also attention-sucking.
And then there is the distractions of visiting relatives over Christmas.
Which is why I’m rushing through this report to get it out – we had some early arrivals yesterday, which haven’t made their presence here, yet. (And will be here for a solid week. Yay.)
I’ll save the work on next year’s challenge for those posts. I can as easily do those analyses at that point – I just got curious, and then started going through spreadsheets to see where my content-business income is actually coming from (mostly non-fiction, but in three main categories – details to follow in two weeks…)
Talking to Your Readers
I’ve concluded that my own best social media is my email.
I asked my clicking readers what they wanted me to write for them. And got over 20 replies, some were good, a few very good, and all of them got my inspiration going to see how I could give them all what they wanted.
The idea is that they gave me an idea/theme/concept and then I’d write a story and give them a chance to read it before I published – if they liked it, I’d put a dedication page in the front of it with their name.
After I collated those responses into a spreadsheet yesterday, so I could see if any were able to be consolidated into single stories (as opposed to writing 21 stories) I found that my email provider had come out with a survey function so I can survey directly from my email and see tabulated responses as well as individual answers. Very nice. Beats having to go to a standalone survey site.
So this is in progress right now (going through a learning curve). Still, the responses I got showed that this was very welcome. And I got some personal responses that were very rewarding. The main lesson is that you have to put your self out there and ask for response in order to get any.
But different than social media, these emails have a better response rate, and I know more of who I’m dealing with.
Next additions will be an early-reader team and a street team – both of which change my publishing patterns.
Other Changes In Publishing Patterns Coming
Here’s what I’m looking at improving:
- A promotional podcast about the books I produce, as I write them. Every book gets about 5 minutes where I can tell their story and the tidbits that people would find interesting.
- Each book is recorded for publishing as an audiobook.
- Anthologies get binders of audiobooks as well. This is simple under Gumroad, but doable under Findaway.com as well.
- Dedicatedly publishing to Medium and Wattpad. (Even this last week was tough – schedule this for Tues.)
Those each add time to the publishing cycle (which is why I didn’t do audiobooks myself during this last year.)
Add a “first readers group” (beta readers) to get some feedback on how these stories work for them, and any major errors in them. This sets the book back a week for publishing, unless I can stick to the Monday-and-Done practice I have. The book would go out to them on Tuesday and then I’d publish Saturday. This might raise logistics problems with audio recording and publishing, since right now I record as part of proofing.
Add a “street team” who get early copies of everything so they can pitch the book during it’s 90-day pre-release and the week it actually arrives. Tricky, as I have new releases coming out each week.
The non-fiction will have to have its own sort-out done. Like the books I have on writing. The students I have who are interested in business are also in this area. The main scene here is to build a set of courses which address the problems writers have in getting their books written and marketed. Not too surprising, these are also the books that sell well for me (other than my specialized Ag books – which are probably another year off, as that’s a content business that supplements a physical business.)
Last Week’s To-Do’s:
- Emails out on schedule. DONE
- Post setting up next year’s Challenge DONE
- Mon-Tues: New fiction work written and published. DONE
- Wed-Thurs: publishing articles on own site, Medium, Wattpad NOPE
- Fri-Sat: Build anthologies and publish as possible. PARTLY
- Sun: This analysis DONE
This Week’s To-Do’s:
- Emails out on schedule. (Today.)
- One fiction book written and published. (Mon.)
- Publish fiction to own site, Wattpad, and Medium. (Mon wold be best, otherwise Wed/Thurs.)
- 7 Anthologies published. (Fri/Sat – after Christmas interruptions…)
- Survive the holiday visitations.
- Possible compilation of this year’s fiction-writing posts. (?)
- Final Analysis (Sun)