News Progress Post

Accountability Post 2022 Week 02

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2022 Week 02

I’m focused on releasing Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action. In my previous post, I laid our the three things that have to happen first. There are probably more steps, but I know of three. They are choosing a proof reader, choosing a cover, and cultivating an e-mail list, starting with a short story as the lead magnet. Before talking about how I did this week, let’s look at the numbers.

Accountability Post 2022 Week 02 By the Numbers

The story’s coming together. It’s a good sign that I didn’t add anyone to the cast!

Last week, I had 311 words. This week, I’m up to 5,651, for a weekly total of 5,340. It’s below my average weekly output when I wrote both books one and two, but I’m finding it’s much harder to writer a short story. The broad thought process is similar, maybe even identical. Especially when it comes to building the 7 plot points. But when it comes to the scene by scene writing, I find it very different. It’s been so long since I wrote a short story that I forgot that I need to be much more concise.

If all goes well, in a couple of weeks, I should have the lead magnet ready. Let’s talk about what that means.

Building an E-Mail List

The short story Code Blue is the lead magnet for the mailing list. The mailing list will give me a direct connection to my readers, without having to go through social media or the sales platforms like Amazon. Not in terms of actually selling the books, but in terms of marketing them. It will also give my readers a way reach out to me.

I’ve purchased one of Nike Stephenson’s courses. I found it very useful. I’ve prototyped e-mail campaigns with MailChimp and WordPress, complete with a functional landing page. I’ve done all of that background work. But there are two things I’ve never done.

First, I’ve never composed an actual lead e-mail. I’ve read samples, but I’ve never written one. There’s no rational reason for it, but the very thought of writing one stops me in my tracks.

Second, which logically follows the first, I’ve never sent such an e-mail. I know I need to do it. But it feels like I’m attracting unwanted attention! I’d rather people just read the book and leave good reviews. And yes, I know that not having an e-mail list will greatly diminish the changes of that happening.

There. I’ve said it. I don’t want to build an e-mail list because it puts my name and work in front of lots of people who might not want to see it. Please consider this fear confronted. Maybe I’ll feel less reluctant to write the short story now. After all, I really like the lead character!

I hope I can look past my reluctance to start an e-mail list and finish the short story. I kind of like the sets I’ve designed, like this section of the Sparkle Bright medical clinic.

Proof Reading

I had such good luck with Reedsy and found such an attractive offer there that I selected a proofreading editor from that site. That edit should be complete by the end of February. That means I have until then to decide what other editing I think the manuscript needs.

I might be able to hit two goals with one action. Reading a manuscript aloud can catch a lot of phrasing and grammatical issues. I’ve also been thinking about narrating the manuscript so I can offer an audio book at launch without spending a lot of money. Maybe during my record sessions I can make tiny adjustments to the text while I record. I’d have to spend a little more time editing the recording, but I would end up with tighter prose and an audio book.

I’m not delusional (I hope). I’ve done narration before, and though I’m not stellar, I think I’m at least competent. I’m still thinking about that. I’ll share my decision after I make it.

Covers: The Ongoing Saga

I continue to search for a cover or covers. I’d like to find visually consistent covers for the first three books. I found pre-made covers for science fiction series. They’re not exactly what I’m looking for, but right now, it’s probably the leading contender as the best mix of quality cover and price. They look good, and they look like they’re part of the same series.

The second contender is the recommendation of Lynn The Otaku Author, and that’s Ryan Swartz The Cover Designer. I like a lot of the work in his portfolio. It’s a step up in price, but this route would give me more flexibility. Equally as important, it would likely give me a design that would better express my series.

Finally, there’s Jeff B. from Reedsy. A lot of the covers in his portfolio look familiar, and that’s because I’ve purchased a lot of the books that used his covers. So, I know they’re effective because they captured my attention on Amazon! His cost is by far the highest of these options, but the track record is impressive.

The proof reading edit wraps up by the end of February. That means I have until then to decide. My wallet will likely have a lot to say about this!

Goals for the Week in Accountability Post 2022 Week 02

  • Continue writing the lead magnet
  • Continue researching covers
  • Research standards for audio recording to better inform my decision about narrating my own audio book

What Do You Think?

Have you ever done your own narration? What was the experience like? Do you think I’d be better off paying someone to do it? I’d love to hear your thoughts int he comments!