An intense week of going backward to move forward – revising an old anthology to start posting it to Wattpad. Outstanding improvement by linking all these books together by content. Proves the short story writing-publishing paradigm.
The Great Writing Business Challenge – Week 19 Results
Instafreebie/PW: 66/199 (Actual vs. Reported: 50%)
Overall Total: 3597 (Yet again came up some…)
Published Words Fiction:
– free – Own Site: 0, Medium: 0, Wattpad: 0
– paid – Book Outlets: 97111, Medium: 0
Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – Own Site: 1374, Else: 0 (Medium)
– paid – Book Outlets: 0, Medium: 0
- Total: 14 more single books, plus 1 anthology (leaving approximately 66 fiction to go and uncounted non-fiction – probably less)
Books In Progress:
- Origin Tales: Mysti
Book sales this week:
Lulu sales for April: 5 PDF ebooks, 157 paper/hardback (avg per week – 50 | avg. royalty – $3.79) only three fiction out of that. Next report (for May) 15 June
Note: Amazon Fiction – 6/38=15% – better, but… I have to keep to my strategy. Organic audience building first. Then ads to spike sales.
New Podcast Episodes:
The great part of the current IF strategy is that the former freebie-seekers and inactives are filtered out. They would probably have to find one of my forms (like the book backad) and resubscribe directly in order to get onto my list again. So my 33% of 30-40% of my claims works out to around 10% of all my claims. So I can then figure that IF has gotten some 330 copies of my books out there for people to read and opt-in – sooner or later.
Meanwhile, the numbers of no-opens and inactives have been dropping considerably. Last week I actually had 0, this week I have 3. Meaning that by simply “wall-flowering” IF, I am still slowly building my list as I continue to filter subscribers out. Of course, I don’t mention my “wall-flowering” as it’s some social faux-pas. IF is build on free giveaways. And I’m paying them to provide my books on their platform. Working for them isn’t part of the bargain. I promote my own books for pay. And will be extending these into both AMS and FB ads later. Since I’m still around 8 cents per subscriber, it’s still a worthwhile investment.
See below where I cover Wattpad being a better investment – with no monthly cost.
The overall scene is that instead of quickly recovering my losses through massive onboarding of un-vetted subscribers, I’m slowly growing my list up again – something that was not at predicted – happily so.
Upgrades and Revisions
This has been a considerable piece of work this week. I’d written, edited, and proofed just the Book Universes Notes section of Hooman Saga: Book One to tie all these together nicely. In doing that, I created a nearly 400-page book where I was able to remove the earlier series stories are weaker. A much better product.
D2D has enabled its beta print capability for me (surprise – I signed up months ago and forgot all about it) and now it’s simpler than ever to publish direct to print every time I have a book that’s long enough. While someone at Lulu has been messing with all my fiction books published in the last year, D2D will now republish all of these in a smaller format with a different ISBN for free. This means Lulu (with it’s poor meta-data, and clunky publishing interface) will be reserved for PD books. Once my author-discount print versions are available, I’ll see if I can’t give out that discount directly to readers. The last use of Lulu for my fiction books. Lulu has been a proven workhorse. For me, it’s time to put it out to pasture and only hitch it up occasionally to pull a load.
By tying this book together with its own Book Universes Notes, I actually wrote the BUN’s for the individual stories. And then yesterday started re-publishing these individual stories quite quiekly. The BUN’s are all linked to the other versions and makes the books cohesive to the anthology and give related books with context. Great for a long-running series – which is what these included books have become – even though they were all stand alone.
This now also tells me what I should do with these books I have. Either compile them into series, write the BUN’s and re-publish – or let them go. Each standalone book should recommend at least one anthology (some appear in several). And the anthologies I’d do BUN’s for are those where they stories tie into create a larger work. Like the Ghost Hunter series of Anthologies, opposed to simple collections of books published by time-span. (New Voices.) And so, a new anthology of “talking animals” books, and one on political satire. Still, the BUN’s in those individual books will be short or non-existent. Because they stand alone and pull no other characters into them. Writing this then gives me more clarification. The test is: does the book borrow from the book universe it’s written in and help build a greater universe? So Time Bent and The Girl Who Built Tomorrow both became their own series, while borrowing from other universes and needing BUN’s in their backmatter.
Also, books that are a simple linear series (as the witch set I did) need no BUN – you just need to read them sequentially.
Ghost Hunters is already set up by date published. These then build on each other as they go. So those BUN’s will become more necessary (and longer) as the series builds. I’m on the seventh now, but will have to go back and start with the first – which will then list the books that come later where the then-current stories were used to create their outcome.
This also means I’ll be able to implement my Wattpad publishing trials. Because I’ll have these books all laid out by sequence, and then be able to link back to other Wattpad stories as a form of BUN in the intro/outro paragraphs for each Wattpad story.
The trick with Wattpad is that they have 3.5 million users. Compared to IF’s mailing list of 350K or so. I pay for IF, and not for WP. Wattpad subscribers are entirely organic. Obviously a better investment of time – particularly now that I’ve mastered the process of series. (Book One is the most disjointed – the rest actually flow in a series on their own, other than simple collections.)
My Own Orphans
Essentially, those short stand-alone works will be left alone. Unless they are important enough (like the mysteries) to show up in a collection, then they need no further work. About half to a quarter of the books I published last year. I’ve already collected my anthologies (talking pets, political satire, Harpy Saga) and that selected which stand-alone books need updating. Earlier, I made Readers out of six books each from several genres, and these need updating (especially as I’m currently giving them away on IF).
These updates (figure two weeks or so of work – Book One was immense) will then bring a huge chapter of reader magnet updates to a close. Light at tunnel’s end sort of thing – instead of working over all hundred original books. (New books are obviously updated.) These new anthologies will go into the holes of the pre-release areas, so that I have something to come out and talk about to my email subscribers
The Importance of Being Persistent
This has been a long slog. And for the amount of dough I shelled out for email coaching, I don’t have the result I want yet. I do have a tiny few who are buying my books when I send out emails. (3500 subscribers and 5 bought a book that I recommended last week.) The bottom line is no audience. And so – the point is to get the Wattpad strategie and build my audience bigger.
It’s not that I don’t have a responsive list. I haven’t gotten them converted to regular buyers yet. Of higher ticket items.
The other persistence is sticking to the strategy. Get all the key fiction books with effective reader magnets. Get those fiction readers to opt-in for non-fiction materials. Get all the selling non-fiction books with effective reader magnets. Of course, those readers will also be able to buy fiction through my site, which opts them into the fiction subscriber channel as well.
The other major organic reach is through Wattpad, which should start this week.
Series Collections and Anthologies
Technically, all my combinations of books are collections. As I use pen-names, they are technically anthologies.
I have now about six that have to be finished up and published. This week was spent on just the biggest one, but it enabled me to then re-publish/update 14 other books that composed it.
Many of these waiting anthologies do not need Book Universes Notes, so can be published rather quickly. And those would be the first to work on, as they essentially only need minor editing/proofing, cover, and blurb. Then take the two non-Ghost-Hunters anthologies, getting them all noted and published.
I’ll then start backwards on the Ghost Hunters’ anthologies, as this will be the simpler way to build the Book Universes Notes in them. Earliest books recommend later ones as well.
Target these six to get finished this week, as well as updating all the books they are containing.
Narrowing My Focus
While I have a lot of irons in the fire, I’ll only work on the anthologies this week to catch them all up. Of course, getting my emails out first. Once these are published, I’ll have all the raw material to do Wattpad publishing for the bulk of the week on a regular basis. That means I’ll probably suspend more new Nightingale podcasts for now.
Next after the anthologies will be getting all the SSL non-fiction (all self-help books, essentially) upgraded with reader magnets. Just to get these out of the way. There’s a lot to do with each of them in terms of courses and content upgrades, etc.
And the existing podcasts I’ve just published give me material for publishing a new non-fiction book on Goal Achievement. That will need to be written (and recorded) from the course backwards…
The priorities have to be figuring out how I can spend the greatest time publishing to Wattpad and building audience.
Such a week, in batches, will be: email, new fiction, wattpad. The point is always have something new to promote to my list.
Once the pending anthologies are published, then I’ll need to go back through the existing anthologies and update them. This also means re-publishing the paperbacks with D2D as many have been suspended by Lulu. But this is a faster route now. One interface, and it’s build in. (Lulu has gotten long in the tooth, a shame.)
So the general priorities will be: 1) All possible fiction books updated/republished. 2) Non-fiction books updated/republished. 3) Into publishing one new fiction per week and the rest on Wattpad.
BTW, as I publish to Wattpad, I’ll also revive publishing to this site, which revives the weekly short story auto-emails.
Down the line, when I finish catching up Wattpad, then I go into courses for all the top-selling courses, as well as AMS and FB ads. The priorities for any week like that will be writing and publishing a new book on the weekend, then emails, then ads the rest of the time. More courses for non-fiction books (and republishing any ebooks that used to sell before the Lulu purge) in any time left over.
All meanwhile keeping the farm and its repairs going.
Should keep me busy.
Last Week’s To-Do’s:
- MON – Emails out YUP
- TUES, WED – blitz fiction reader magnets YUP
- THU – (Auction) Non-fiction revisions – by sales NOPE
- FRI – Anthologies published – two at least, stage these preorders (within Amazon’s 90-day limits – fill holes in pre-orders so at least one per week.) NOPE
- SAT/SUN – New fiction or new anthologies published, this report – KINDA
This Week’s To-Do’s:
- Emails out (Mon)
- Volunteer actions (one day) (Tues)
- Auction (Thurs)
- Rest of week, and in between – update and publish all waiting anthologies
Also published on Medium.