Monday, July 9, 2018

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 27 Results

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge - Week 27 Results

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 27 Results

Now we are over the Instafreebie maintenance hump, time to get started on conversions…


Published Words Fiction:
– free – 0
– paid – 14063

Published Words Non-Fiction:
– free – 988
– paid – 0

Mailerlite: 14 (non-IF), MailChimp: 0, Instafreebie – 751
New Total: 2970

Book sales this week:
Amazon – 1, Draft2Digital – 1, Gumroad – 0 = Total Week’s sales – 2
Pre-order sales – 0

Books (pre-)published this week:

The Case of the Walkaway Blues

Our Second Civil War


The overall is that now I’ve got IF to a point where I don’t have to work it over every single day. Most of the guts of it are worked out. With Verified Status, I can get IF to crank through promotions for me. Means I can really make these happen.

I analyzed my own books this week and found out that they are coming in from Mystery and Romance, which backs up what I found have been most successful for me. Right now, I have too many personal giveaways running in general, although I at least don’t have two that are conflicting with each other.

I was worried this week that I was going to have a problem winding up in the top 10% of the authors, but then I simply extended it another two weeks and my ranking improved. Again, I mail on a Monday to my list and so my giveaways should proabably start on Saturdays and end on Sundays. Three weeks (22 days) is probably a good average length. Set it for two weeks, and then add on an extra week at the end to milk the promotion.

Always have a giveaway of my own that I’m promoting. Join as many as I can. New giveaways are added to the top, and expired ones are deleted. My own giveaways are “sponsored” above the rest.

Most authors only promote a single giveaway at a time – or they are scamming and not promoting any. What I’ve seen is that the authors give one or maybe two pushes and that’s it. We’ll see how adding a week to short giveaways works.

The main point is now being able to force IF into some time slots and leave it alone to do its job. Leaving me more time to do my own.

Email hygiene starts on Friday, as all my emails went out earlier in the week. On Monday, if they are now no-openers, that’s fine. I simply delete the lot, trusting Mailerlite to keep that list updated. Over a hundred this week, which is fine. I don’t need to spend on these emails if they are never going to produce anything. If they come back, fine, but will inherit their old records and will probably leave the next week again. They got their free book(s), anyway.

Overall, my concentration is on getting subscribers and getting published works out there. Second to this is the promotion that will result in conversions. With IF now settled down, I can work up the four horsemen. This will be Tues. Once this gets under control, I’ll move into podcasting.

But if I can routinely crank out three books a week over the summer, then I’ll have my 100 short stories and preschedule everything right out to the end of the year, giving me time to set up next year’s projects in the fall/winter. Crank up the promotion and still keep at least one new book coming out each week. Next year will start off with three books a week, but one will be non-fiction, and another will be a properly promoted PD work, after needful editing.

Books Published This Week

Fun with satire. Getting the angst out of my system from so-called “news.” I did manage to sort out that book hung from last week and crank it through. Then another which also got off on a wrong foot with a weird cover. That last one wrote like a one-act play, four parts, but all in one setting. Elements of mystery and romance in it. All clean/cozy.

I did publish one of them directly through D2D as it is timely to the news. This will be a test on Medium this week, with four installments over a week – just to see how it does.

The other went on pre-order. At this writing, I also have to get the paperback version up.

My proofing system seems to work pretty well now. I write on a straight text editor, with the cover set up on my screen and everything else minimized. The Saturday/Sunday scene seems to work well, getting a book done each day. But I think I’d rather simply work Wed – Sun to see how many books I can crank out. Some are longer and won’t finish in a week.

I proof by smartphone (phablet) as the reformatting allows me to read word-by-word and not scan ahead. About three times through, and then a final fourth after a few days of letting it sit. I can highlight by word and make the changes I see there.

There is no revising, other than minor points.

And I start with the cover, as it keeps me focused on the result.

This then gives me a schedule of sending out my email with an updated giveaway page on Monday, then Tues should be posting to Wattpad and Medium, plus any I want to send to my non-fiction list-groups. Wed – Sun is all writing, with upkeep on IF and other email 3 times a day around meal times.

Because I like writing. Sat and Sun have worked the best as there is very little curation to wade though, and emails are also light and can be ignored.

Meanwhile, proofs came in from Lulu for some paperbacks. A short stack. Need to get these approved or fixed.

Conversion Theory

First point is that your list is as good as you train it. I’ve been emphasizing free books and so getting a lot of people to visit the giveaways. But I’ve also started putting books up as featured on that page. A few days ago, I essentially re-named it to New Releases. (It’s still “…\free-books” as a link and I’m even considering making a new page to change that link (since Google mostly sends me bots, anyway.)

The point there is to start telling people I have new releases. I’m going to do the low-route on pricing. Get a lot of dollar books out there. Rough plan right now is to lower all prices on anything that is a short read to .99 and then 2.99 up to about 150 pages – or any collection. When I get over 200 pages, then that is 3.99 and I can consider advertising.

Before I get into running ads, I need to complete the research and testing on both Medium and Wattpad. Because those two should be sending buyers to online outlets. Similarly, taking up LibraryThink and Goodreads to get my lists of books updated.

Next after that as part of audience-building is to get into radio/podcast interviews. I might even start recording my own books, or the introductory chapters of them (ending on a cliff-hanger, of course.) Or simply record the descriptions of them, only 5K characters (about 500 words) each. Simplest. That will get me into podcast land with new material. When I revive my PD publishing next year, it will give me the practice on publishing these reviews – or prove them useless. “New Voices – sponsored by Midwest Journal Press.”

We’re going to try this “dollar-special” approach for now. Sure, I get next to nothing (only 29 cents on D2D) but I should get readers. The whole point is to work these as buyers. Free books are great to get a list, but have to be converted into buyers. Getting people to come in as buyers and join my list will give me a better quality of subscribers.

Wattpad and Medium (and the other two horsemen) should start that. As covered, after that will be the podcasting interviews, and then I can look over advertising on FB (yuck) and Amazon (double-yuck.) As long as they earn me enough sales to be worth it.

Improving My Writing

I’ve pretty much given up on IF as a source of books I should read. Because of the 90% crud rule. Something like two or three of them were worth anything, out of close to a hundred books I started and put down immediately.

My time is better spent with perennial-selling books – L’Amour, Max Brand, Robert Erwin Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur Conan Doyle, etc. Stuff that never goes out of print. Especially romances, especially mysteries.

Right now I have to work up getting these read, with some time for them. I’ve been working right through with other jobs and watching TV series at night. I’ll probably cut those down to two per night and then read a short story or two after that. All fuel for my inspiration. I’m way ahead on series of books I’ve ripped to my hard drives, so I don’t really need to get more. (And I’m currently ripping “Murder She Wrote” to start digesting those as a study of mysteries – over 10 years worth – should be great.)

Again, my books and my giveaways say that mysteries and clean romances are selling best for me – at least in terms of giveaways. Once sales pick up, I’ll have it set.

To Do This Week:

1. 3-4 short stories written and pre-published.
2. Content to Medium and Wattpad, regardless.
3. Emails out to my other list groups.
4. Some time re-pricing my books to .99 specials – if not updating all of them.
5. Maintain my IF work – do a short article (with research) on hook-descriptions for my author list-group.
6. Get the proofs either approved or fixed and re-ordered.


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