A lot has happened this week — and more than half of it wasn’t even among this week’s goals! I’ll bet you’re dying to know if I received the proof read edit for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action, or if I’ve setup the mailing list yet! I’ll be happy to share that news with you! But let’s take a look at the raw numbers first.
Progress Report 2022 Week 11 By the Numbers
I consider this a slow week, from the perspective of words-written for Book 3. But a lot else happened!
The week before, I had written 6,569 words. This week, I wrote just a little less. In my defense, I worked on some of the other tasks that I’ll talk about in a moment. I also had to flesh out the California Republic’s federal capital in San Francisco (specifically, in Montclair). That took a bit of time away from one of the days I could write. I also experienced a Real Life Family Event.
In addition, I rewrote a few more chapters in Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath. This will become the second draft. Once it’s done, assuming I don’t find anything major to fix, I’ll send it to a couple of beta readers. I don’t intend to pay for a developmental edit this time around. We’ll see if that bites me in the behind!
Progress Towards the Goals
I completed my first goal, which was finish plot turn 1 for Jack Booth and Ira Malhotra. Their arcs are flowing nicely. I also started Dek Conrad’s Pinch 1. That was a stretch goal! I’m a little less confident in his arc right now. I’m trying to figure out where the uneasiness is coming from. It’s similar to how I felt about the first two books when it comes to Conrad.
I almost completed some new automations to the e-mail sales funnel. I added them, but my first test didn’t work, and I haven’t had a chance to look into why. I’ll try to figure it out this week.
The third goal was continuing working on Dying Light’s second draft, and that’s going well.
Covers and ISBN Numbers
Finding an Artist Is Not Easy!
I’ve been agonizing over what to do about a cover. The artists that I liked the best had two things in common: They had a plethora of Amazon best-selling covers, and their pricing started about over $2,000US. Well, I already blew the budget on Executive Action’s developmental edit. So that amount of money is not an option.
On the other hand, I remember reading a post from the founder of the Facebook group, 20 books to 50K. He shared some of his personal experience. He had a book that had sold around $85.00 worth of copies. As an experiment, he changed the cover, and only the cover. No new material, no editing old material. After the change, the book sold over $50,000.00 worth of copies. Yeah, that’s probably an extreme case. But I don’t want to provide an example on the low end. So I want a good cover.
After months of trying — I’ve been looking a long time! — I have settled on Jesh Art Studio on Fiverr. The first version is due this week. I’ll let you know how it looks. I really like his approach so far. He asked me what the ships looked like and he even asked me if I had actors or models in mind for the main cast. I sent him my background material, which included all that and more. I’ll let you know how it looks!
All of these are potentially great options. Finding the one that clicked with me was anything but easy.
ISBNs: The Untold Story!
Do I need a ISBN for my first novel? Well, that depends on my requirements. I spoke to my wife, who in addition to being a social media guru, is also a trained and credentialed librarian. She explained that if I wanted books stores or libraries to stock the paperback version, I need an ISBN.
“Why,” I said, “I want book stores and libraries to stock my book!”
So that was decided! Now, where do I go? I did what I usually do: I began scouring the internet for data. Which is to say, I Googled “buy ISBN.” And I got this site. A single “Basic” ISBN costs under twenty bucks US. That seemed reasonable, until I read the fine print: That company would be listed as the published. The “Custom” ISBN lets me specify the real publisher: Me. It cost around $110.00US. I can afford that. I’m only publishing one book, right?
My wife saved me from a major blunder. I need an ISBN for each format. So, if I want an eBook, an audio book, and a paper back for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action, I need 3 ISBNs. That’ll be $330.00.
Maybe. My wife, drawing upon her librarian expertise, pointed me to another site: Bowker Identity Services. They’ll sell me a single ISBN for $125. Higher price, right? But they’ll sell me 10 ISBNs for $295.00. Kick in another $25.00, and I can get a barcode. Which my wife tells me I’ll probably need for the paperback, too.
Guess what I did?
I feel so official now.
I did not expect to go ISBN shopping this week, but then the cover artist asked for the ISBN number. Only when he asked did it dawn on me that of course the cover artists would need to know that. And honestly? That was a point in his favor.
Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 11
Here’s what I hope to accomplish this week:
- Finish Pinch 1 for Dek Conrad and Matsushita Sachi; as a stretch objective, start Pinch 1 for Jack Booth
- Debug the e-mail list’s automation and launch the e-mail list
- Incorporate the proof reading edit from Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action into Scrivener
- Continue working on the second draft of Dying Breath
What Do You Think?
Have you ever worked with a cover artist? How many revisions did it take to get it where you liked it? Any tips? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!