Monday, January 22, 2018

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge: Week 03 Results

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge: Week 03 Results

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge: Week 03 Results

Some more progress. You generally get what you focus on, and this week, I focused on writing.


  • Written words – Fiction:12667, Non-Fiction: 12014 (Almost 25K this week…)
  • Published words (free) – sames as above
  • Published words (paid) – 0 (see notes below)
  • Subscribers – Aweber: 0, Mailerlite:–17, MailChimp: 0, Rainmail (own site): 8
  • Book sales – 0 (again, nothing new published, so nothing to sell.)
Subscribers – didn’t take a hit like it looks. I transferred all my various lists over to Mailerlite and then emailed from there. So having people opt-out is a good thing. No complaints. And the open rate is consistent. I am liking Mailerlite better as they are simpler than AWeber (and much less costly.)
Their analytics and operation are straight forward. See section on Promotion below as to how I’ll be implementing more actions to directly affect new subscribers this week.
Reading – I have to start keeping track of stories I’ve read. It’s a half-dozen, plus 8 movies I’ve watched (and that beats the hell out of TV.)  Currently, I got sucked into a Romance where I’m reading on to find how these two internally-conflicted (star-crossed) lovers work it out. Despite the author’s prose. She’s got me on some level, and I’m enjoying the ride. Of course, that’s the point. But I’ll go back to short stories after this, anthologies and single-authors. That’s what I want to learn.
Training – Digging through some books. Several got rejected almost off-hand. The common denominator was that they were teaching on the side. So the books were filled with summaries of how-to’s or had weird invented terms for things. Yes, the authors had published several dozen books each, but how they wrote non-fiction just made it rough. Also, these were 3-400 page (or more) books, so they were stuck into conventional page-stuffing advice on how to get books up to a publisher-decreed word count. This is where I convert epubs and PDF to text, which enables me to simply search through the content. Much faster study. And the main reason I hate proprietary formats (DRM) – I can’t study these as fast as changing them back into a common text format. Look for more posts along this line.

Hidden and Obvious Promotion I’ve Been Doing

Last week I thought I wasn’t promoting. But I forgot simple stuff I’d been doing all along.

Article Curation

I’ve been doing this since 2015 on Flipboard ( And this week, it brought me more traffic to my site than direct and search-bots. I don’t like search traffic much as it’s mostly useless. At least 50% is bots, but I suspect it’s much higher than that. Bots don’t convert. My articles are usually about 3-5 minute reads, so staying for only for 10 seconds is probably a bot. That said, looking deeper into my analytics shows me that Flipboard is also sending me bot traffic by that measure. Still, I get a much higher percentage actually looking around than I do from Google or others.
I got onto Flipboard as a way to find and save articles I wanted to read later. The sheer amount of article I’ve been saving, as a lack of a decent search there, lead me over to curation. I send all my stuff to Flipboard and am still under the  1:10 rule of “social sharing.” I have four “magazines” there and some routinely get 200-300 views daily. Flipboard doesn’t have very good analytics, but it’s a much better way to get news, since you can block sources and individuals who “don’t align” to what you want. (The trolls and SJW’s get blocked.)


I signed up for their paid version, which integrates with MailerLite. $20 per month. I’m dropping AWeber (about $50 a quarter) so that will cover it. Instafreebie is cheaper than Facebook ads to get subscribers by quite a lot. But you have to put stuff up there. I’m going to set up a package this week of my key books and refresh what I need to do to get this promoted via their emails and app. And then copy my basic course into an ecourse to groove them into looking for my emails and downloading stuff. That simple sequence of lessons will also then force unsubscribes and show the chronic no-openers.
As I keep building up my fiction (and more to publish, as noted below) then I’ll set up some collections to attract subscribers for those fiction pen-names. A bit in the future, but it’s more just collation once they are all published.


I’ve been pushing my material there as draft for some time. Mainly because I am working on what I want to put behind their paywall. There are publications you can send your material to, which should get them bigger views. I have a post to build this week about how to use Medium as a fiction author, so watch for it.
The one main drawback is that Medium doesn’t want you using articles to get opt-ins or sell them stuff. Because it’s their platform. The trick is always to publish to them after you publish on your own site. Of course, links inside the article can go back to your site (such as authors by pen-name) and all in addition to getting paid when you write some great fiction. The metrics here are the other reason to persist. Eventually, you’ll start seeing patterns in what is popular, so you can fine tune what you are writing.
Basically, like your ebooks, you want to use the retailers as lead generators. And get paid for putting content up there. That is all Amazon really is good for. These ebook retailers should be paying you, yes, but also sending you subscribers. You just have to follow their guidelines.

Today, I finally bit the bullet to start finding places I can get podcast and radio interviews. RadioGuestList has a paid service (about$6/mo.) where podcasters and radio hosts work to find guests for their shows. Practically, they are the only one. This goes along with catching up on my audio (see below) and podcasts.
I’ve got the mic, and the recording/editing programs. It’s just setting aside the time.
This then adds to my monthly promotion budget – and is just another thing to track and work to give me a positive ROI.


Got their huge mailings down to just three per day and weekdays only. Didn’t really find anything this week, but at least I was opening them daily. Some possibilities.

A Podcasting Blitz

I’ve been putting this off. I have seven podcasts that run on a repeating basis through the year. They simply have to be rescheduled once a year. Several books are run with this, as 12 or 13 chapters can run 4 times a year, 14 – 16 chapters run three times a year. Take the audiobook and create podcasts out of it. Run ads to get people to the site, as well as on those podcast pages.
I’ve yet to do this with Dorothea Brande’s “Becoming a Writer”. It’s a logical extension. And an audience you won’t get otherwise. Since I have unlimited hosting with my provider, this is a no-brainer.
But… I haven’t done this re-scheduling for this year, and so need to get these done. Take an afternoon and set them up. Fouls up my analytics for all those pages, so I need to record these now.
And the podcast interviews I do can then come back to be posted as podcasts on my own site.

For This Week

Top six items to get done:
  • Another fiction work written, edited and published.
  • Bundle for Instafreebie
  • Podcasts re-scheduled, set up RadioGuestList
  • Other fiction published (free) and work out recording these.
  • Research on Medium completed and posted
  • Continue studies of my stack of books, posting reviews to site.
In addition to these, the emphasis also has to be on publishing to paid sites, meaning Medium and retailers.
Luck to us all!

And if you like what you just read:

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