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Accountability Post 2021 Week 45

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 45

I had hoped to finish the first draft of Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Epsilon Eridani this week. Did I manage to do that? That would have meant writing four plot points, which were all resolutions! Plus, Lynn Sheridan, who runs the site The Otaku Author, left a great comment on my 2021 week 44 accountability post. I want to talk a little about its implications. But first, let’s take a look at the week’s productivity.

Accountability Post 2021 Week 45 By the Numbers

Raw productivity slipped a little last week, but there’s a reason for that.

I had hoped to write 4 plot points, which would have finished the first draft. Unfortunately, a Family Real Life Event (FRLE) struck, and I lost Thursday evening. But, that’s how life works. I’m doing this in part so I can make my family’s life more comfortable. So, not only will I not complain when a FRLE strikes, I’ll try to celebrate it.

Goals for This Week

Since I only finished two plot points last week, that leaves 2 for me to finish this week:

  • Finish Helmine Stein’s Resolution
  • Finish Melchizedek Conrad’s Resolution

I’m actually looking forward to writing Conrad’s resolution. I’ve talked before about how writing Conrad’s material proved more difficult than I had expected. Even up to just a couple of weeks ago, I was not satisfied with his arc. However, his Plot Turn 2 came together better than I had hoped, and Atticus Porter’s Resolution set up Conrad’s Resolution. So, I think I might buck a trend and actually like the ending. I’ll need to go back and add a couple of foreshadowing/preparation scenes, but I should be able to take care of that this week.

Fingers crossed that I can wrap up the first draft of Book 2 this week!

A Helpful Comment and Mailing Lists

If you’ve read Lynn Sheridan’s comment on my previous post, you know that he shared the benefit of his publishing experience in the context of what steps I need to take next. His fifth point is probably the one I need to tackle first, since a) it’s chronologically next and b) it’s the one I’ve done the least work on already.

That point read:

Do you have a mailing list and a lead magnet to encourage readers to sign up? I’d recommend some sort of tie in to your trilogy. It should be something that they can only get by signing up to your newsletter.

I understand the basic mechanics of setting up a mailing list. I went through an exercise once with my Application Developer Security Training site. You may infer from the lack of updates in almost two years how successful that effort turned out to be. But that was then. This is now. Here’s how I’ll approach the mailing list for my book series:

  1. Lead Magnet: I had planned to use Evolution’s Hand Book 0: Earth as the lead magnet. But two things made me change my mind. First, I think it might take too long to write a novel-length manuscript as a lead magnet. It’ll take about six months to write, if Book 1 and Book 2 are indicators. Second, I think something that builds on a minor character in Book 2 might be more interesting. At least, it will shed some light into how non-Executives see the world. It’s a glimpse I don’t have in any of the current books in production. So, I think I’ve decided to write a short story as the lead magnet.
  2. Mailing List: A mailing list is a good idea because it will reduce my reliance on social media or a particular book vendor. I’ll be able to talk directly to people on my mailing list, and since the list members have to opt-in, as long as I respect their time and stay relevant to the reason I gave for asking them to sign up, they’re likely to be at least somewhat receptive. That doesn’t mean I won’t leverage social media or Amazon advertising. But it means I should focus effort on building my own communications channel. Once I release the book, I’ll announce it to the mailing list and include links where they can buy it.

I’ll get to work on the short story to use as a lead magnet. I’ll also brush up on Nick Stephenson’s course “Your First 10,000 Readers.” Module 2 was called Generate Endless Traffic. I’m going to go back through that, then maybe check out some other sources. I’m thinking about chronicling that activity here, both to generate discussion and to keep myself honest. Let’s face it: I hate marketing, so I’m afraid I’ll try to get out of it!

What Do You Think?

Have you had to build a mailing list before? Does the phrase “marketing funnel” excite you or evoke serious dread (disclosure: it’s the latter for me!). I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Accountability Post 2021 Week 45

  1. I need to get my mailing list going again. I had a couple of hundred subscribers and several that were active with reviews and replies to messages. Then I had a FRLE that took me out of the game for over a year and I’ve been slowly working out how to get back in.

    A short story is a good idea, especially if it expands on an interesting character or event. A novel is better, but who has time for that at this stage of the game.

    Do you have a tool in mind? I use Mailerlite which is fairly similar to WordPress with how you put the message together. Good luck building that list.

    1. I have some small experience with Mail Chimp. That’s what Nick Stephenson demonstrated in his class, too. My wife swears by Exact Target, but her list is enormous — it’s over 15,000 if memory serves.

      I swear that I am not jealous.

      Now I’m trying to think through how to advertise. When I asked my mailing list savvy wife (and remember, I’m not jealous), I asked if I should use social media, paid Facebook advertise, Twitter paid advertising, or Pinterest paid advertising. She just said yes.

      Sigh.

      I really am not looking forward to this part of the journey! But who knows? Maybe it won’t be as draining as I think.

      Good luck rebuilding your list!

      1. Thanks. I’m considering going a step further and using a pen name going forwards. So, I’ll possibly be starting completely fresh.

        The main ones for selling books appear to be Facebook, Amazon Ads, and BookBub. There are a number of smaller ones like Book Barbarian and FreeBooksy, but those are the place most people focus. Doesn’t mean the others won’t work though. There’s always someone doing it differently and being successful.

        You never know, you might enjoy it!!!

        1. A pen name? Interesting. I’m thinking (longer term) of writing in multiple genres, with multiple levels of adult content. I’m thinking of using a pen name for Max Adult Content books. But that’s a ways in the future!
          My wife had me watch this YouTube video. The Creative Penn interviewed Tammi Labrecque, and for a 38 minute video, it had a ton of content.
          https://youtu.be/TJK3gmDDRSs
          Give how Labrecque viewed newsletters, you might be right. It might be enjoyable to write!
          And now I have to figure out how to make it enjoyable to read!

          1. If I ever write erotica I’ll use a different pen name for sure, but otherwise I’ll probably just use the same one. There’s endless advice about it and everything says something different.

            I’ve listened to a number of podcasts where they’ve interviewed Tammi. It certainly makes sense that your newsletter should be entertaining, especially for you. I think you can tell when someone isn’t invested in what they’re doing.

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