It’s mostly all NaNoWriMo and farm work . Still prepping before Winter comes in full. And visitors over the holidays require their own preps…
The Great Writing Business Challenge – Week 46 Results
Instafreebie/PW: 55/143 (38%) 2 non-IF, 136 no-openers moved off.
Overall Total: 2852 (Slowly downtrending as depending mostly on IF/PW..)
IF/PW subscribers remaining after a year: 1231/6651 (18.5%) Slightly higher, but same percentage as last week..
Book Sales: See below. Next sales analysis is Dec 15 for November sales.
Books In Progress:
- Time Bent Beau -> Erotika Jones -> Book Four
- Walkaway Diner -> Book Four
- Growing Up Felicity -> What Their Eyes See -> Book Five
- When Death Lives Twice -> Two Ghost’s Salvation Book Two -> Book Three
- Wolfer’s Village -> Wolfer’s Nation -> Book Three
Courses in Progress:
- “Strangest Secret” (now in beta),
- “Get Everything You Want Out of Life”, (now in beta)
- “If You Can Count to Four…” (now in beta),
- “Completely Change Your Life in 30 Seconds” – still in alpha.
Oct Book Sales Analysis
Pretty much settling out to routine. Payment data is iffy – Amazon doesn’t match up USD payments with ebooks. But for the data reported, I can say how much came from where into my bank this month (but am only telling you the percentages.)
|Total Unit Sales||Count||Percent Sales||Percent Income|
|Total Unit Sales||244|
Overall, I had five books that sold more than 10 copies each. These made up 40% of the sales.
Subject areas of sales went into 7 main areas. Fiction was second-lowest. Top four (more than 15 titles – not units – selling) were Copywriting, Self-help, Ag, and Writing. A curious point is that B&N is selling a version of my top-selling copywriting book. (Needless to say, that will become a course very soon.) That title also isn’t on Amazon until it is re-written (due to false DMCA complaint). As their ‘bots compare all their new submissions, that’s just the way it is. This book will be re-written, recorded, and made into a course – then the ebook will be syndicated out of its content.
Note that we are consistently showing KDP to be 25% or lower as a percent of monthly income.
30% of Lulu sales do come through paperback sales on Amazon, so take that into account. It’s probably fair to give Lulu credit for these, as many of those books I would not be able to get onto Amazon through their KDP Print. (Book-reading bots again.) D2D Print is also partially there – but my earlier original non-fiction is through Lulu. D2D doesn’t take Public Domain books.
This holds up the analysis that I need to be leveraging my non-fiction with courses, and of course, promoting my top-selling books with ads (Bookbub -> Kobo).
Next Year’s Challenge – Audience
These challenges have worked for me in the last two years, so there’s no reason not to continue. The accountability/goal setting seems to be the personal reward.
This next year, while I break in to promotion for real (and as often promised to myself) the name for this is audience-building.
Working up a business was overall a success, as I made myself come to grips with my profitable, but unleveraged non-fiction books. That alone (and the great joy I personally receive when I write fiction) made two years and around a couple hundred books possible. That includes anthologies with the over hundred-fifty single stories. And that was the business plan all along.
I’m starting out at the tail end of this year with five-series prequel (some 15 stories) that will tend to get me into shape for a triple-story-arc mega-saga. Itself can be read by each story-arc set or chronologically. And will be at least 150K words as a compiled work.
These also then start to create anthologies by characters, much as I’ve already started with the tragic hero Harpy, and the sentient virus Lazurai. A time-bender Carol has had a trilogy, and she is slated to start a new chapter for this as well. Hermione has had a four-parter serial-series – and I could probably work up others if I wanted. Ghost Hunters is nominally following the writer John Earl Stark, but he’s been mostly unchanged in these, being more the narrator – with some exceptions. Jude probably needs one, as she’s another tragic hero in need of redemption.
Back to our next year’s plan. I’m not quitting fiction, regardless of the missing results in fame and fortune. And I am going to keep going with building courses for all the non-fiction I already have selling well for me.
What both these need is to attract, consolidate, and leverage their existing audiences.
In fiction, this is getting material out through Wattpad. In non-fiction, this is using Medium.
Merchandising and Promotion
This last year (already looking back) shows that there is essentially no realistic “organic discovery” possible – and it’s only getting worse with ebooks and POD. Particularly on the “sell-everything-else-as-well” Amazon. (Some 200+ links on every book page, by some reports.)
Again, you want to use other’s online audience-pool to go fishing in – and bait them to your own list and site where you can concentrate on just your own great works – in all possible idea-containers.
I haven’t implemented any promotion this year (again). And that predicts I probably won’t invest my time in NaNoWriMo again (after this season) as it’s right when you should be sending out your Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas promotions. But you’re too busy writing… (Nice excuse, that. But let’s face it, writing is more fun that almost anything else – well, sex.)
So I’ll be working on promotion to get more audience this next year.
With a Rainmaker upgrade, I got a WooCommerce plug-in happening. Meaning I can now start running a real on-site eCommerce platform to offer my books and even courses. That just brings up merchandising as a subject. Referring people to other books on your own site during checkout and so on.
Which is another learning curve. This raises my “royalty” to something like 97%, though. It just means building my own audience. As well, this also provides a service to my readers so that they don’t have to leave my site to get the materials they want.
Gumroad has been very good to me, but has always been a stop-gap solution.
Moving all my hundreds of books over to WooCommerce, and updating their sales pages will be a journey on its own.
That’s another reason why these Challenges last a whole year.
More services coming up
I keep getting reminded of my Nightingale audio’s. Setting up to have a 50-week, 5 days a week short audio from the master himself, which goes out as a podcast. And promotes my books and courses based on his material. As well as Nightingale-Conant.
The overall approach is to simply do one from each column, scheduled during the week. Saturdays should be for Wattpad, Medium, and add in the Nightingale audio’s converted to podcasts.
The first of this year will be in rescheduling all podcasts and upgrading them as possible. It’s interesting to see that after several years, they are increasing their listenership across the boards. That’s also where all these “requests for interviews” are coming from – even though they are replays of audiobooks.
And I have an upgrade to “Magic of Believing” podcast that will take it back to an earlier edition, which was more powerful.
As I can, each of these podcasts will get courses, and those courses promoted in the books and podcasts.
Classics You Should Know
Quietly, I’ve been finding there is a demand for people getting mailings about classic books. And there is a away to start working these over so that they can be promoted by podcast, leveraging Librivox recordings. Most orphan audiobooks can’t be used, since each state has different copyright laws, and there is no embracive Federal system as their is for print. Librivox puts their audiobooks into the public domain by default. Classic books with readings from Librivox volunteers would make a great podcast. One per week, and 99-cent downloads of ebooks (where I get more than the 35% Amazon rip.) Because I’m already paying for my bandwidth – and WooCommerce costs are simply the overhead of the temple money-lenders.
50 weeks of audiobooks you can listen to on your commute – then buy the ebook with free audiobook as a bundle (with discounts on the Lulu paperback versions) – all this would make a nice offer and service.
Another grand project, each book repeated every year – or every two years (with a hundred classic fiction books on offer). Meanwhile, you create bundles of various genres such as romances, mystery, action-adventure, fantasy/SF – and don’t forget short stories…
(A short check shows that these genres are already in collections there…)
Last week’s to-do’s:
- This analysis & emails – Yup
- NaNoWriMo – “When Death Lives Twice” (12.5K words) – Nope (“NaN” instead)
- Courses copied to Teachable and made live – Nope
- Syndicated to Medium, Wattpad – Nope
- New book laid out as a course (alpha) – Nope=
This week’s to-do’s:
- 12.5 K (or more) for NaNoWriMo –
- Syndicate to Medium/Wattpad as possible –
- Continue setting up next year’s challenge –