Won NaNoWriMo – farm work was in getting ready for visitors, visiting, winter preps. Letting guests help where they can. Appreciating them for their own core values…
The Great Writing Business Challenge – Week 47 Results
Instafreebie/PW: 41/120 (34%) 2 non-IF, 66 no-openers moved off.
Overall Total: 2915 (Some increase with more holiday giveaways on IF/PW..)
IF/PW subscribers remaining after a year: 1211/6923 (17.4%) Percentage dropped again.
Book Sales: See below. Next sales analysis is Dec 15 for November sales.
Books In Progress:
- Time Bent Beau (in proofing) -> Erotika Jones -> Book Four
- Walkaway Diner -> Book Four
- Growing Up Felicity -> What Their Eyes See -> Book Five
- When Death Lives Twice (in proofing) -> Two Ghost’s Salvation Book Two -> Book Three
- Wolfer’s Village (in proofing) -> 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.
NaNoWriMo – Finals
Wrapped this up, just a day under the deadline.
And already swore I wouldn’t do this again. Figure with a full-time job, you are going to be sparing every moment you can in order to make your quota. If writing and publishing is your business, then it’s taking away from anything else you probably should be doing to earn income. Simply nothing to prove anymore. 4 out of 5 years winning at this.
So let’s face it – NaNoWriMo is arguably all about developing the volume writing habit.
Last year, I produced that amount several months in a row (just quit keeping count.) My average per month was well over that as well for last year. So far this year, I’ve “only” published 43 books, counting those in proofing right now. A hundred less than last year. Like that’s going to make me cry all the way to the bank – not hardly.
Do I need to hone this habit any more – no. Do I need to promote more and build more audience? Yes, for sure. But that’s next year’s challenge (see below.)
While I wrote 3 books this week, they are hung in proofing and publishing. Not a big surprise. The main reason to not hang on arbitrary word counts at the expense of usable products. With the amount of pre-published books I still have, this won’t show up in releases, but the point is to be more efficient and not leave stuff hanging around.
(There’s that self-promotion out of the way…)
Watching movies nightly (or having them run and listen to their dialog) actually works to help keep stories running in my mind consistently. What I’ve found with my DVD.Netflix.com subscription is that I get recommended some three and four-star movies that just miss the boat somehow. So I’ve now weeded out nearly all of them in order to get only 4+ star movies and TV shows coming my way.
Amazing how many 6 and 8-year TV series there are that are rated nearly five stars. Meaning: binge-watching. (Not really, since you only get 3 DVD’s at a time, max. And that is maybe 5 or 6 44-minute shows on each. Still, that’s more viewing time than the typical one and one-half or two hour movie per DVD. And the greater point is that you see the longer story arcs (unless you get into pure procedural’s like “Murder She Wrote” which is essentially the same plot format every single week.)
I’ve recommended over and over that you write to achieve the perennial favorite level of quality.
The trick in this is to only read and watch the perennial favorites – regardless of the genre you write in. You want to see how the characters deal with their problems in the setting given. The greater variety of situations and backgrounds, the better. All grist for the mill. And you’ll find yourself using these elements in your writing. The characters will start acting more and more life-like in your own mind, and in your own writing.
Of course, that’s the point.
Preliminary overviews show that these do come closer to that “blockbuster” or “breakaway” novel format we’ve covered here. Mainly, the main characters are all very appealing. They have faults (very human). And then they go and exceed their internally-set limits to go and do something remarkable. In some exotic setting (which may just be the 50’s or 80’s).
But you won’t find your interest lagging in these books – and you’ll be surprised when they are over.
Long-running TV series are like someone writing a whole series of books about a set of characters. Too many movies are one-off’s and there is a whole series of books on them.
Again, reviews aren’t perfect. (Ask Amazon about theirs.) But they will separate a lot of wheat from the chaff. And instead of settling for a lot of good movies/books, you can be reading a lot of great movies/books.
A warning: ignore prize-winning books/movies. Because awards all have their slants and agendas. I picked up a set of award-winning short stories and was disappointed. They were literary successes, but story failures. Emmy’s and Academy Awards are especially like this now, as most of the movie makers are way outside their audience mainstream preferences.
Take the hubbub over Scorsese and Cuppola over the Marvel franchise movies. The Marvel movies are routinely rated 4-plus stars (with some exceptions), while none (NONE) of either of those two directors have a single movie in that realm. They are concentrating on “art” instead of popular appeal. And popular appeal is what makes your book/movie into a perennial favorite. And gets perennial sales. (Like the “Literary” genre. Lots of awards. Almost impossible to read without a dictionary or some external analysis crib sheet.)
So? Ignore the artsy directors and their attitude. Write what appeals to the widest possible crossover audience. Study, analyze, and interiorize the best models. Only what you really like to read/watch. Only what you really love to write.
Then you’re on your road.
The Next Challenge: Audience Building
Started in on editing one of my copywriting books last night. The digital version of someone’s book what was supposed to be a collection of his mistakes. He says a lot of the same points I’ve found elsewhere, and neglects to point out some other author’s points he’s studied.
All that means is that this is a set of study courses, one for each author, after I’ve built a single reference book that pulls from these.
Since what sells books nowadays is cover, title, blurb (and maybe preview), while the recurring sales all come from well-written books, this is an obvious next study to improve both fiction and non-fiction writing, as well as sales of both.
This next year will work to be the schedule I was developing in the fall (before NaNoWriMo work pushed all of that out of the way.) I don’t know all of it, but the three big points will be doing Wattpad and Medium postings weekly. Plus building the rest of the Completely Change Your Life podcast out with original Nightingale recordings – so that people can discover or re-acquaint themselves with “Our Changing World” and other audios he’s provided over the years.
There will be regular promotions, and once this copywriting scene is developed, that may expand beyond the initial tests on Bookbub.
I’ve already gotten the basic layout of a year’s worth of books to produce. Meanwhile, there are another line of courses to simply produce on a regular basis, perhaps a new mini-course or new course module every other week. Meaning, another 50 books, another 25 courses/modules produced and pushed into beta.
Basically, regular work and telling the world about these. Lots more research to do on course promotion, for sure.
At the beginning of the year, my evergreen podcasts will be re-scheduled as usual. “Think and Grow Rich” continues to be the most popular, with over 6500 regular subscribers. While the other podcasts have grown to over a million downloads this last year alone.
Out of that shows TGR podcast needs to be built out with more services to help people study and internalize this book.
There is also reason to build an on-board ecommerce site to improve access to all our books and materials. One-stop-shopping, anyone?
Fiction writing itself will continue to build the fan base and evolve new story lines with existing characters. Studies into the highest-rated movies will push the quality even higher, as well as these studies into copywriting will improve crafting these stories to deliver higher emotional impact. (That’s a surprise benefit most people don’t associate…)
All that, and more.
Last week’s to-do’s:
- 12.5 K (or more) for NaNoWriMo – Yup
- Syndicate to Medium/Wattpad as possible – Nope
- Continue setting up next year’s challenge – Yup
- This analysis & emails – Yup
This week’s to-do’s:
- This analysis & emails –
- New fiction book written and published. –
- Copywriting research the rest of the week. –
- In the squeaks of time, continue notes for next year’s challenge. –