Introduction to Progress Report 2022 Week 07
Some good news, some more good news, some sad news, and some scary news. How’s that for a week’s work? I guess I should look on the bright side and say that any week where I have work to report is a good week! But man, that scary news… But before I get into that, let’s look at some numbers.
Progress Report 2022 Week 07 By the Numbers
The word count was down about 10%, week to week, but still, progress is progress!
The word count was down just a little, but there was one night I spent extending the design of the solar systems that are accessible through the Fissures from Sol. Turned out I needed that for one of the chapters I wrote this week. I produced my largest word count, 2,326, yesterday (Sunday, February 13, 2022), which was surprising. It’s surprising because I was writing a Melchizedek “Dek” Conrad, and those are the hardest for me.
I’m calling that a good week, because writing wasn’t all I got done.
All Kinds of News!
The Good News and the Good News
One of the good bits of news is that I made progress on all three of the goals I set last week. Specifically:
- Continue writing Primary Target: I shuffled the order of the plot points a bit. I wrote Helmine Stein’s Plot Turn 1 and started Conrad’s Plot Turn 1 last week. Since Conrad’s and Stein’s arcs are closest to the heart of the story, I think it made sense to switch the order from what I had planned.
- Research standards for audio recording to better inform my decision about narrating my own audio book. In fact, I’ve made the decision! More on that in a moment.
- Subscribe to ActiveCampaign: Goal achieved! I’ve subscribed, and I’m working on e-mail automation. Once that’s done, I’ll be ready to start advertising the e-mail list.
The other bit of good news is that I’m learning more about what my creativity needs to thrive, at least at this stage of my life. In the previous book, Jack Booth’s arcs came alive after I had designed the organization structure for what EUFOR becomes in two hundred years. Last week, I had a hard time visualizing the scene with Conrad. I knew what I wanted to achieve in Plot Turn 1, but in my mind, everything was just white.
So, I fired up Google Maps and searched for Redding, California, where I had placed TransStell’s hot site. I only had building designs, though. They existed in an intellectual vacuum, because I had not placed the site at any particular place. Looking around the map, I saw that it would fit perfectly on the site where a Sheraton Hotel now stands. I looked around for a nearby interesting landmark and found several. I settled on the Sundial Bridge and its surrounding park.
It surprised me how much being able to visualize the location helped me write Conrad’s chapter. Image from the Wikipedia page for the Sundial Bridge.
Seeing the shot above, in particular the support structures under the bridge’s deck, made everything click. The next 2,326 words just flowed. There are few feelings that can compare to writing that many words and only realizing in retrospect that two hours had gone by.
The Sad News
There’s sad news this week, too. I researched what it would take to narrate my own version of the audio book for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action. This post from Reedsy told me everything I needed to know. And it convinced me I’d be an idiot to sabotage myself this way.
Yes, I’ve narrated material before. But here’s the thing: It was all non-fiction. I can’t voice act. I can’t mimic any accents beyond one or two local dialects. And seriously, I can’t present a book with a global perspective if I just rely on central Ohio professional and upper Appalachian! They’re fine accents, and I enjoy them in my personal life. But hearing Matsushita use that accent? Or Jack Booth? That just won’t work. So, despite my hopes to save the money and leverage the investment I already have in microphones and other equipment, it’s not happening.
The Scary News
Which leads me to scary news. Good voice actors are expensive! The going rate is $250 per finished hour. How many manuscript words are in an hour, you might ask? I know, but only because I asked! The voice actor whose work I really liked on Fiverr suggested the conversion rate is about 9,400 words per hour. Executive Action is just short of 160,000 words.
160,000 / 9400 = 17 hours
17 x $250 = $4,250
I’ve already paid around $480 to proof read Executive Action, $90 for the cover for Code Blue, and $50 for Code Blue’s proofread. That’s not including the nearly $3,000 for the developmental edit. That’s about $3,620.00.
My piggy bank is already in pieces. Do I dare to into debt to publish the first book? I have some thoughts, and I think I know the answer. I’ll share my decision in next week’s progress report.
Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 07
Here’re my goal for the coming week:
- Continue writing Primary Target: Finish Melchizedek “Dek” Conrad’s Plot Turn 1; start Matsushita Sachi’s Plot Turn 1. I’ll need to do some more detailed work on the sets for her ancestral home, though I already have the exteriors down.
- Decide whether or not to launch Executive Action with an audio version.
- Setup the mechanics for opting into the e-mail list on this site.
I think the third part will either be glass smooth or a complete cluster. Fingers crossed for the former! At some point, I’ll need to edit the first draft of Executive Action Book 2: Dying Breath. I’m trying to decide the best time to start that.
What Do You Think?
If you’ve launched a book before, did you include an audio book at the initial launch? Do you have experience setting up e-mail campaigns? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!