Monday, August 6, 2018

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 31 Results

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 31 Results

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 31 Results

Finding the lag in publishing gives me new hope for progress. And the limits of IF have finally appeared…

Metrics

Published Words Fiction:
– free –0
– paid – 16283

Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – 3873
– paid – 2692 (Medium)

Subscribers:
Mailerlite: 2 (non-IF), MailChimp: 3, Instafreebie – 384
New Total: 3027 (net decrease of 69.)

Book sales this week:
Amazon – 3, Draft2Digital – 0, Gumroad – 1 = Total Week’s sales – 4

Books (pre-)published this week:

The Training: Beth
https://calm.li/TrainingBeth

One Thought, Then Gone
https://calm.li/OneThoughtGone

Total fiction books published:
58 (Should be at 62 by now to make 100 by year end.)

Analysis

Changes in Instafreebie opt-ins have increased unsubscribe rates, and also inactives. (All in addition to sending too much stuff out.) I’m just treading water at just above 3K subscribers.

And they aren’t particularly resulting in sales. The road to conversion leads through an Advanced Reader Corps/Coalition/Committee (whatever.) Build a single coalition and enable these books for them. Any that are currently on pre-order. Simple. Read, comment as needed, review as possible. Start targeting clickers, and update the giveaways maybe twice a month, keeping individual pages for each genre.

As a result of list exhaustion, I’ve cut down on my emails. Completely counter-intuitive, but still the point. And I now only delete the people who are no-openers. (67 this week.) The comments from others say they like my stuff but are way behind on their emails.

Best Writing/Publishing/Marketing Schedule

Writing every morning, Publishing/Marketing in the afternoon, Reading/absorbing in the evenings. Start out with a blank screen, open up Calibre to the project I’m currently writing on and then edit that text file. Nothing else. No picking up the smartphone to check email. Nothing. If I’m awake, get up and write. Make a version of it into epub, review it over breakfast. Go do my farm chores, come back and write.

Start catching up on my publishing in the afternoon, and only then answer emails. Lunch and Dinner for some of this.

Watch TV serials and read fiction at night before bed. (Non-fiction books on writing during meals or immediately after.)

Just try this discipline for now, and see if it doesn’t settle things out. I definitely feel better when I’m writing.

The Malaise of Instafreebie

After five months, I’m not as impressed as before. Mainly because my costs have gone up but sales haven’t hardly. I had to write the book on Instafreebie myself. So there is no work out there (I checked) on how to turn free book seekers into even casual fans.

So I think I would have been better getting material up on Wattpad and Medium on a regular basis in order to build fans. And frankly using the free version of Instafreebie to simply get my books out much as I would on Amazon – counting on the opt-ins from those to build my list.

Jury is still out. And I have giveaways organized until the end of February 2019. By the end of the year I should have more data about all this.

What I have done is to find the sweet spots (Cosy Mysteries, Clean Romance, Women’s Fiction, and Short Stories) while finding my own preferences for writing and what to avoid (conventional romance books and erotica, as well as L**T.) Non-fiction itself is pretty poor on Instafreebie, worse than on Amazon.

And I’m cutting back on my interaction there, as I have my mailings. I check daily, but my concentration needs to be on getting real fans, so that means Medium and Wattpad. (LibraryThing and Goodreads are mostly there for lists. And Goodreads has been turned into a review magnet for Amazon. So they may not be all that useful. LibraryThing’s scanner works better of the two, from tests today.)

Dived into these tonight and see they are pretty thick with social silliness. I don’t know how an avid reader would navigate all this “stuff”on either site.

And that is the trick. On each, you can claim your books, and that is about it. LibraryThing deals with hardcopy books, and they have to be in Ingrams database or similar (takes a while to migrate from Lulu.) So work these once a month to update for LT and also Goodreads. Make sure your paperbacks are not backlogged with approvals.

Which goes back to Wattpad and Medium. (So much for all that Avid Reader research.)

Simple: when you publish everywhere, it means both of those two sites as well. In both cases, being uber-prolific causes problems for these people. Medium can be posted well ahead, and so a chronological posting of books by pen-name is suggested.

On Wattpad, it’s just taking a major work and publishing it by chapters, once per week, or five times per week. Promote the anthologies with every short story. Send people to D2D links or own site if that book is in my library.

The advice to new authors is narrowing down to finding your audience by publishing wide, which includes PubD, SL, Medium, and Wattpad – everything you churn out, linking to the already published book via D2D (B2R) links.

Lost Book Sales Found.

D2D – Draft2Digital, PubD – PublishDrive, SL – StreetLib

Most of these reports come in once a month and on a month lag. So right now, I saw what I accomplished in June on D2D, PubD, and SL. Amazon is the only one who allows you to see sales weekly (and Gumroad.)

So I found I’ve been selling some books, and was cheered by this. Nothing for August so far anywhere, but I won’t see these until much later.

And I have a short stack of print versions to proof and approve so Lulu can migrate these to Ingram’s database.

Lulu is on a 15-day lag on their paperback sales. (I no longer send my ebooks there, and have replace them with the much better Draft2Digital, which goes more places and enables better meta-data.)

Publishing Backlist.

I’ve been getting requests from SL to promote my books through Kobo. And I haven’t been porting my books to PubD or SL as it just takes more time. PubD has decided to adopt Amazon’s public domain policies and so they are now mainly just for my fiction. Sl will get all my othe backlist that used to be in wide distribution on Lulu (and sold decently there.)

I’m able to upload several books at once to both of these, and they digest them fairly well from the meta-data inside. So a day at this should catch me up on fiction. In turn, that should result in more sales.

Accountability

Just got into a new membership group run on some sort of social platform, and the emails have been swamping me with garbage. So I had to go in and find out what to turn off. I mean, it was fun for a couple of days and then it turned into a Facebook mess like all of them. Their app isn’t any better.

One thing that came up was accountability. Some were saying – hey post something on Monday and I’ll tell you if I got it done on Friday. My day runs Monday to Monday. No days off. Because my “job” is my vacation. I love everything I do – and if I don’t, I quit doing it. (Like how I don’t pay attention to social media and only syndicate my posts there if I can.)

So now I’m going to go back over my last week’s list and mark them done or not. Simple.

To Do Last Week:

  1. 2 or 3 short stories written and published. – 2
  2. See if I can’t catch up PubD and SL on my original fiction. – nope
  3. Memberships for the three fiction genres – street team. Opt-in forms, landing pages. – nope
  4. Publish last four fiction books to Medium by pre-scheduling. – nope
  5. Start publishing three long books to Wattpad – Tues. – nope
  6. Review my existing memberships and see how they are set up – consider one for content-business (book publishing). – nope

What I did was write a decent non-fiction piece and publish it to Medium as paid.

Then I chased cows and fixed fences for three days (well, it felt like it.) And worked at writing books this week – one ended up 10K words, and took until today to publish it.

To Do This Week:

  1. Get in my schedule of writing in the am, then business, then watching/reading fiction.
  2. 3 short stories written and published.
  3. See if I can publish my backlist to PubD and SL.
  4. Publish one of my books as paid on Medium (first installment free.)
  5. Get my ARC membership built and running.

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