The Great Writing Business Challenge – Week 06 Results
Getting a grip on building the business of publishing – not just fiction writing. So a new result inspired from last week, brought new impetus to my other books as well.
Overall Total: 4045
Published Words Fiction:
– free – Own Site: 0, Medium: 0, Wattpad: 0
– paid – Book Outlets: 11910, Medium: 0
Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – Own Site: 1917, Else: 811 (Medum)
– paid – Book Outlets: 0, Medium: 0
Books In Progress
- How I Survived My First Year of Fiction Writing
- This Fiction Business – (H. Bedford-Jones re-publish)
Book sales this week:
Draft2Digital – 0, Gumroad – 1, PublishDrive – 3, Amazon – 39, StreetLib –0 = Total Week’s Sales – 43
Lulu sales for December: 106 paperback, 4 ebooks (avg per week – 44.5). New report coming up this week..
Audio minutes published: 0
Audiobooks In Progress: 4 more (audio ready or in serious planning)
- Make Yourself Great Again
- Count to Four
- Becoming A Writer
- Freedom Is
- Get Your Self Scam Free
Published Courses (free – in beta):
New Podcast Episodes:
Shifting gears. Using my fiction chops to write a non-fiction work. Backwards to go forwards – writing and recording and then publishing twice/thrice.
Two non-fiction books were removed. These are taking a different approach now, back burnered and coming through other lines as I digest the basic content more.
A new podcast/book was created (another test) and this will be doing a review of my non-fiction book, chapter by chapter – ultimately becoming a course. A variant of Backwards Book Publishing.
This and Book Universes is getting me more into audio production, and will tend to shove me into getting some backlogged Nightingale audio produced – as well as re-mastering that “Scam Free” course.
Mainly, paying “big bucks” to an email coach is forcing me to review my business model. Drastic.
If this continues along this line (essentially paring back to the core Content Inc. approach) I may drop any attempt to get courses upgraded at this point. This new book below (“Stark Journey”) may actually go up as a free course as I write/record it, just to test that process.
The non-fiction audio should definitely get published as it’s already existing. Because non-fiction does sell other versions than ebooks.
Both of those non-fiction books will publish this coming week. And I may set up some classics as a list of books there. Although I really need to work up all my books with decent reader magnets in them. So when I get to my existing classics, I can start adding new classics then.
Backwards Publishing – Acid Test.
I wrote a book about this around March 2017, laying out how to do this. It works best for non-fiction.
The acid-test part is in using fictional characters to lay out a method for writers that is completely different from the typical (conventional) advice meted out these days. I’m taking two “authors” (one a pen-name, the other a fictional character) and having them in the similar problem of being unable to write, or suffering under flagging sales. Both have to restudy their basics.
This is then how I would coach writers to get started. What I’ve worked out hammer and tongs and resulted in a hundred forty or so books published in a single year. It isn’t about how to make a lot of money. It’s about how to enjoy your own writing and get started with producing more writing on a regular basis that can build a backlist for future sales.
- Create the cover and marketing hook as usual.
- Write it out. Has to only be 2500 words long. (It will grow from there.)
- Record it. Edit that recording into shape, edit the text as you record it.
- Post as a podcast first (free fiction)
- Publish to Medium and Wattpad with link to podcast.
- Publish as a book with link to the podcast.
- Edit the recording so that it can be published as an audiobook – use artwork from podcast. (Probably wait until I have a six-pack or so to publish as an audio book. Mainly as I’m not as versant with this.)
This works best on areas where there are even splits on audio-ebook-paperback-hardback sales. (Like Business & Money genre, per k-lytics.com)
Even with a fiction book, this would be a great boon.
(Of course, a new book got inspired this week, and had to be written – around 6K words as usual. No audio on that, other than the Book Universes scene.)
Catching up with myself – chasing a loose firehose
I saw a couple of weeks ago that I was missing organic subscribers. Inorganic I had in droves, but weren’t particularly buying. Two different problems. The first is getting my offers out there. the second was in talking to them more/better.
Getting the most out of Instafreebie essentially meant working for them. Participating in a lot of giveaways and sending a lot of traffic their way. But they have no guides or advice on how to turn these giveaway seekers into buying fans.
So – go to free giveaway providers who don’t have the restrictions (and meanwhile watch IF turn into PW and distract themselves from becoming he next Book Bub.)
The radical inspiration – put all the books I wrote last year up as free installments on my own site and also Wattpad, Medium. With links to the author page that also has an opt-in.
Otherwise, this am’s inspiration is to have recommended and also-by sections in the backs of my fiction books that link to non-fiction books as well.
And update these books to get them published everywhere possible in all possible formats, as well as continuing on with Book Universes podcast that cross links the books together. Fiction and non-fiction
The underlying reason to experiment with fiction was to lead these into my non-fiction, taking up ideas that people would reject out of hand if I went at it from straight non-fiction approach. So the fiction should be leading back into the non-fiction.
Since I recognized I was actually writing parables (“Pilgrim’s Progress”) that would work.
This put my email coach in a bind, as we’d spent the couple weeks before going along trying to set these books up as just “entertainment” – then I asked for her basic models/approaches. While showing me the basics, this outed. We’re now reworking this scene.
My use of courses is non-conventional, as I would rather sell them like books (or give them away as add-on’s). Not big launches and so forth. Packages of data, like “idea containers”. More like Udemy and Skillshare.)
Taking the top-selling books and seeing if they could use amplification or simplification/translation through a course.
Now, with that type of scene, I can rework the reader magnet and get on with setting up my two lines for subscriber growth.
In the Content Inc. model, we’re actually mastering the ebook content channel before differentiating. Next point is to get a decent, stably expanding subscriber base that is onboarded to buying my books and moving through my materials. Basic model is a small press with a stable of authors.
My work on writing my non-fiction about how to write is a sidebar action – one per week.
And that menu bar is going to need some revision again, to smooth out the conversion process.
The Secret to Success – Hidden in Plain Sight.
There are two models I’m following this year, that seem to make the transition.
- Content Inc.
- Nightingale’s Strangest Secret – and the references he listed there.
Of interest, Napoleon Hill gave Nightingale his clue about “We Become What We Think About.” Of course, Earl was already on that path of research – since he was a little kid in Depression-era Long Beach.
But it’s all a circular travelogue. Because Hill studied over 500 successful people to distill his success philosophy. Nightingale simply modernized it. As did J. B. Jones with his “If You Can Count To Four” and Wallace D Wattles tried to do in the 20’s, preceding them all – but still incorporating the same points – which go all the way back to our earliest philosophies, whose legacies date back before written languages.
These principles never change, they are apparently eternal.
The trick is to simply immerse yourself, by repetition, in the simpler versions of that ideal that Nightingale laid out as a single phrase. In his original recording, you can highlight the key points. Then see that all these books he mentioned – and the books they mention – and find out they are all talking the same language.
That’s the first part of Content Inc. The seventh point. Faith in yourself as a goal achiever – becoming what you think about. Keeping your own “Burning Desire” as your single focus. And then everything falls into place, you get the inspiration and resources you need to make them happen.
All very old ideas. Pulizzi is just a recent example of someone putting these to work and seeing the results. [content inc. podcast on hill’s points]
What I’ve done is to set up my podcatcher to simply mirror my own site, where I have all the key books referenced in Strangest Secret recording as podcasts. I’ve added “If You Can Count to Four” and am planning to add “Science of Getting Rich”. That should give you 6 or 7 days a week of motivational education, all on a repeating basis so you can internalize them. Meanwhile, I also have the first 50 or so episodes of the Content Inc podcast, to re-listen to absorb.
Oh – and here’s a kicker: Hill talked about “auto-suggestion”, which is lost today. That is simply repetition + feeling. You feel like you do when you have something completed and present.
Another kicker: “Persistence is just another word for faith.” Per Nightingale. Simple, easy.
Persist in repeating your goals twice (or more) daily, with the positive feeling of that achievement – all there is to both of their major works. Because we do become what we think about and the world is how we think it.
It starts by listening to these basic books continually, over and over.
Publishing and Editing my Fiction Writing Book
This new approach is working. Fiction writing fiction, via podcast. And the content calendar is simply taking that book as I’ve compiled it and then having these two characters discuss it – more or less as devil’s advocate.
So I’ll be able to then review the material myself. And it’s a needful book to get out there. No one else writes this way that I know, but the old-timers used to do something like this.
An alternate way to figure what your sweet spot/content tilt is
“Throw enough against the fan and see what sticks on the wall behind it.”
That was one realization. Because that’s how I started out – gathering up a bunch of material and publishing everything I could. Of all that, 50% sold at all, 20% of that sold well. Now I can sort through a years-worth of sales to see what is selling on its own without any promotion. Then organize bodies of data behind the flagship book in that area. Those are my “related’s” and “also-bought’s.”
Now I can be confident in running ads and selecting my own goals to “auto-suggest” into reality.
The new Writing Journey of John Earl Stark will be the narrator-voice for this book – a new experience and approach. Marrying my parables with non-fiction.
“Plot” as more fiction
Spent some time chasing down this academia-based “plot” scene. The word originally meant how the land is laid out.
The high-volume pulp method authors didn’t. That clue from H. Bedford-Jones in that non-fiction book above – although I’d already run across this otherwise. Turns out that “plot” is another term that had to be brought out by people who study stories, not those who simply write them. With Academia and the rise of traditional publishers as corporations, things got very complex for authors.
And so my own studies this last year are needed out there.
To-Do Last Week
- Emails out. YUP
- New Saunders podcast setup. 1st episode posted. YUP
- That “letter” published as ebook to all outlets. NOPE
- Content calendar set up for the next few months. YUP (doing my book above)
- Book Universes produced for another fiction work. NOPE
- Call with Email Coach – do her homework. YUP – new one for next week
- Take recent book and publish as free on own site, Medium, Wattpad. NOPE
- Time permitting, finish up non-fiction books above and syndicate-publish NOPE
To-Do This Week
- Emails out.
- Last week’s books syndicated everywhere – along with Book Universes podcast posted.
- New Saunders episode and ebook
- Email coach call (Tues) and her homework.
- Publish recent books to own site, Medium, Wattpad – free.
- Syndicate-publish my two non-fiction books
Also published on Medium.