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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:

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!

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