One book fell into last week. Concentrated on looking up courses and wattpad data. Progress on both. Hands-on farm project ate away Sunday, so schedule is already off. New book came up, so three in progress right now (one without cover.)
The Great Writing Business Challenge – Week 29 Results
Instafreebie/PW: 18/74 (Actual vs. Reported: 24%) 2 non-IF subscribes.
Overall Total: 3226 (maintained, regardless of continued slow on-boarding from IF. Main point slowing is that I’ve quit overboarding the 90 day no-openers.)
Published Words Fiction:
– free – Own Site: 0, Medium: 0, Wattpad: 0
– paid – Book Outlets: 0, Medium: 0
Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – Own Site: this blog, Else: 0 (Medium)
– paid – Book Outlets: 0, Medium: 0
Fiction Books re-published with updates:
- Total: (still) 167 to go.
- Hermione 3: A Case of Lost Time
- Hermione 4: Enemies and Bookends
- Hermione Anthology
- The Tao of Mysti
Books In Progress:
- “Their Eyes”
- “Walkaway Blues” sequel
Courses in Progress:
- “Strangest Secret”
Book sales this week:
Note: Amazon Fiction – 5/19: 25% (You have to wonder what Amazon changed that my sales dropped by half across all my books…)
Lulu sales for June: 4 ebooks, 141 paper/hardback (avg per week – 35 | avg. royalty – $3.40) only one fiction out of that, and only reprints (none mine). Next report (for July) 15 August (See partial analysis below.)
New Podcast Episodes:
Working up a remote office (farm renovations) took a couple of days this week. Also very, very hot this week. Hope August isn’t this bad.
Did work up a cover and marketing blurb for a new book. Too tired to get to it yesterday or today. Other two books are still there.
If I could publish a new course (as a book-container) in the same speed I can create fiction, this might be a good thing. But I still also have to publish fiction to Wattpad, as catch up.
Did review my homework again for Wattpad, and saw that I have the Hooman Saga already started. from 2018.
The key points are just to do those three – fiction, courses, Wattpad. Update the non-fiction book as I create the course(s) for them – and put discount coupons in each.
After a year 1/2 plus, I could say that the Fiction test has only shown that it’s not all that viable. Especially since I routinely sell other book without any advertising or email promotion. 49 books at an average of $2 each royalties, is covering the cost of mailing and Instafreebie – now, at least. But just barely. Not recouping operating costs for 2018 or research investments. The key point is that I really like writing fiction. And I have tied them into my non-fiction books with a reader magnet. So there’s that.
My priority should be on Goals-related titles. This is where I need to build my courses on, and audiobooks for. Narrow my focus to these, and otherwise, spend only my two allotted days on fiction to publish a new book every week on average.
(As a sidebar, I noted that I’ve missed creating an anthology for the second quarter – this goes onto this week’s production. Depending on how much I get nagged by that new book I was inspired by this last week.)
An interesting thing happened when I pulled June for Amazon as well:
|18||5.92%||SELF HELP||9||5.52%||SELF HELP||4||2.84%||Fiction|
|4||1.32%||MISC PD||4||2.45%||MISC PD||6||4.26%||Writing|
Books are broken out by type. Fiction is just itself. (Since I’m putting new books into pre-order every week, this probably won’t really yield analysis until 2 years out, when I can see books that are continuing to sell out of the backlist.)
In non-fiction, books on Goals sell best as ebooks on Amazon, while Agriculture-related books sell best (just above copywriting books) on Lulu. (The few paperbacks on Amazon are lumped in with ebooks there.) Lumping Goals, Huna, and Self-help together (GHS) gives me a slightly different take. Huna at least sells consistently on both ebooks and paperbacks.
My top sellers are goal-achievement related. All without running ads of any type, nor mentioning them in my emails.
In Fiction, I consider that I’m generating the bulk of these sales through my email.
Self-Help/Goals related books do better as ebooks. And Ag books anecdotally sell better in the growing season. Month over month analysis would be much better to see trends though the year. (No way am I set up for this. But I usually pull Amazon’s annual data together (why they can ever only give you 90 days I can only attribute to their selfish short-sightedness.)
This breakdown does tell me which books to concentrate on first for courses.
Progress on courses this week was laying out the beginning parts (that I have audio for) and to research and write the opening video about how Nightingale found and tested what later became his “Strangest Secret.” 7 years of testing. That will then need to be recorded.
Audiobooks are selling routinely, but don’t give me any breakdowns like ebooks. (I have three books up as audio, all non-fiction.)
The model that works is non-fiction, with all possible book-containers produced.
Fiction is so slathered with “instant fame” that it’s well over 99% crud at this point. I went through a whole collection of courses I bought for $47 (and wading through their various emails) only to find nothing I either didn’t already know (rehashed) or had disproved. But it was a nice, cheap test. I tell people to go at it with the idea of devoting decades to getting any good. Most of the long-term successes as writers out there were at it for at least 5 years before getting any breakthrough.
The first step is to get it paying for itself. Then start leveraging that.
Oddly, people like to hear from real authors who live real lives. I did get some initial interest from the various characters “taking over” my emails, but that interested lagged after awhile. But until I tried them, I couldn’t say. I do know that when I recently tried to have a “character” take over my regular emails, the response went down. (My readers like my pictures of cows. As long as they also buy books…)
Meaning that I’ve disproved more data I’ve been told about emails. It’s all in the relationship with your readers. And keeping the emails regular.
I’ve yet to try advertising for subscribers. I prefer to follow Konrath, who says to follow what attracts you. And since I run with adblockers on everything, that says a lot. But ads seem necessary for most. With my schedule, I don’t have time for these, especially since I’m simply playing catch up with necessities such as Wattpad and courses (and reader magnets in all ebooks.)
Instafreebie I’m still testing. I’ve organized three giveaways for September. A couple had some real dorkey covers submitted, as well as matching descriptions. But the bulk are very good. And that’s what sells the “claims” – not whether the content is worth anything.
Last week’s to-do’s:
- Emails out – blitz (Mon) Fiction, ARC, LS Yup
- 2 days publishing next in queue. Nope
- 2 days posting to Wattpad. Kinda
- 2 days courses. (Includes Thurs. auction.) Yup
This week’s to-do’s:
- Emails out – blitz (Mon) Fiction, ARC, LS
- 2 days writing-publishing next in queue. Time left, republish some books.
- 2 days posting to Wattpad.
- 2 days building courses. (Includes Thurs. auction.)
Also published on Medium.