News Progress Post

Accountability Post 2022 Week 03

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2022 Week 03

The lead magnet dominated my week. Did I manage to finish the first draft? What about covers? Did I make any progress there? Finally, did I learn anything about making audio books? You could apply affirmative and negative answers to those questions, but before I share which answer applies to which initiative, let’s look at the numbers.

Accountability Post 2022 Week 03 By the Numbers

These progress indicators apply to the short story lead magnet. Yeah, I gave away the surprise. But some readers might just glance at the infographic, so I wanted it to be clear and complete!

I had a few days of good writing since the last time I reported to you. I ranged from a low of 1,758 to a high of 3,074. The latter would have been a good day even for novel writing! The short story came together, though it’s not as exciting as I would have liked. I guess that’s okay, because though it’s a lead magnet and needs to be interesting, its main goal was to explore some themes that underpin the first two books. It also looked at whether some ideas I had for events beyond book three would work. The good news is I think the answer is yes in both cases!

As you can see, I also selected a cover for the short story. Why did I invest in a cover for a simple short story? Because that short story will likely be a lot of people’s first exposure to the universe I’ve created. I wanted that exposure to make a good impression! Also, I wanted to try one of the pre-made cover sites. More on that below.

Cover Reveal for the Short Story Code Blue

I used both Google and the Facebook group 20BooksTo50K to search for sources for pre-made covers. For the short story, I selected one of Book Cover Zone’s pre-made science fiction covers. There were two reasons I chose them:

  1. The covers they had available looked consistent with the novel covers that attract my attention on Amazon
  2. Their customization tools were solid

When I say “solid,” I mean they got the job done. One thing I wish they had made more clear is that you need to create an ID and log in before it’ll save your changes. I spent about 30 minutes getting the cover to where I wanted it, added it to the cart, realized I needed and ID, and created one. Then I lost my changes.

So, I made the changes again and added it to my cart after logging in. But when I checked out and it asked me if I wanted to restore my changes, I said sure! But the water-mark remained. In other words, it remembered the changes I had made before I had purchased it.

Now, to be fair, the water mark might have disappeared when I re-rendered it. I might have let my impatience get the best of me.

On the plus side, though, I can even tweak the fonts after I download. So if I noticed something looks off, I can fix it without repurchasing it. Overall, I really liked the site, its selection, and its tools.

Here’s what the cover looks like:

This is the first cover I’ve ever purchased! I like the artwork!

I have made little progress on selecting a cover for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action. I’ll keep that on the to do list. It might sound silly, but I feel a lot better about covers now that I’ve gone through the process once.

I don’t know. Does “Beware salesmen bearing gifts” on the cover seem off-center? Let me know in the comments!

Goals for the Week in Accountability Post 2022 Week 03

You can guess from the lack of mention that I did nothing on the audio book recording front. I won’t get the proof-reading edit back until the end of February, so it won’t hurt to keep this task open until then. I don’t want to record anything until I get that edit back. That said, here are my goals for the coming week:

  1. Continue researching covers for the first three books
  2. Research standards for audio recording to better inform my decision about narrating my own audio book
  3. Begin plotting Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target

I’m really excited for number 3. I actually created the Scrivener project earlier today. I used Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath as the model. Then I opened book three, removed all of the chapters (after quadruple-checking that I had the right version!), and removed a couple of characters. I removed those characters because they did not survive Dying Breath.

Man, am I excited for all of you to read it!

What Do You Think?

What do you think of the cover for Code Blue? Do you have any experience recording your own narration? I’d love to hear about either in the comments!

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