News Progress Post

Progress Report 2022 Week 20

Did I finish pushing Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action through ProWritingAid? Did it inch closer to release? How about Book 3: Primary Target? Did I finish the next set of revisions to its plot braiding? Or did Real Life Family Events (RLFEs) overwhelm me? I’ll tell you all about it after we go through the number!

Progress Report 2022 Week 20 By the Numbers

Well, now you know that writing is again underway for Book 3: Primary Target!

Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath is now in the hands of two two beta readers. In addition, I finished pushing Book 1: Executive Action through ProWritingAid, and I have to say, it helped me write tighter prose. I’ll talk about what’s happening with Executive Action in a moment.

Not only that, I finished incorporating my notes from Dying Breath into the plot braiding worksheet for Primary Target. Finally, I hit the stretch goal I set last week, which was to get back to writing Primary Target again! So, overall, I am happy with my progress.

Executive Action and Publishing Options

I had a few days off my primary job last week, so I invested some of that time in finishing the ProWritingAid pass for Executive Action. That closed my next-to-last excuse for not publishing it. My last excuse? I wanted to expand my e-mail list. But I’ll always want to do that, so I will not let that stop me now.

I researched actually publishing Executive Action. And, wow, now I understand why there are so many books on the topic. Without contributing to the enormous word count, here’s my plan:

Deep or Wide?

I had to decide to go deep with just Amazon, or wide with multiple publishers. If I sign up exclusively with Amazon, I can tap into Kindle Unlimited and earn money on the Kindle page reads. Or, I can go wide and gamble that I’ll earn more by selling through other distributors like Apple or Barnes and Noble, while still selling the eBook on Amazon.

I am going to gamble on the wider market. I used to be a Disaster Recovery Architect, so the idea of putting all of my eggs in one basket felt repellent. That decided, I signed up for a Draft2Digital account, and I’ve already uploaded the manuscript. I’m just a couple of clicks away from making turning it loose.

Electronic Only?

Will I be content with offering Executive Action only in electronic form? Or do I want to add print-on-demand? I’d like both. I even paid extra for to include the paperback cover. However, Draft2Digital’s print-on-demand service seems to be in beta. I don’t want to mess with that!

Amazon offers print-on-demand. I’ve read horror stories about it, and I’ve read people rave about it. To my inexperienced eyes, that seems like a normal product to me! So, I will publish both an eBook and a printed book on Amazon. That had an implication on what tools I will use.

What Tool Produces the Best eBook?

I poked around in the Facebook group called 20BooksTo50K. It’s a gold mine of useful information. If you’re a writer, I highly recommend it. In fact, it’s one reason I’m still on Facebook.

I tried to figure out the best tool to create the eBook. Some people said just use Scrivener, and that makes sense. It has a powerful compile function, and it supports multiple eBook formats. But it’s pretty hard to get just right. On the other hand, some people swear by Vellum (on MacOS). They said it gave them the fine-grained control they craved. One thing became clear: there’s no shortage of tools!

I’m a software developer at heart. I want to dive into Scrivener’s compile function. Vellum is something I want to master. I want super fine-grained control! But you know what? Every minute I spend learning new tools is a minute I’m not writing. My fiction manuscripts require no fancy formatting.

With that in mind, I chose two tools:

  • Kindle Create: It is simple. It lets me test how the output will look on a tablet, phone, and Kindle reader, and it integrates very well with Amazon. I’ll use it to produce the Amazon eBook and print-on-demand edition. It takes DOCX output from Scrivener, and the result looks professional.
  • Draft2Digital: It has an even mores features than Kindle Create. I won’t use most of them, but I like how it lets me experience with minor format variations. It took the same DOCX output from Scrivener, so they have a common ancestor.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is this: On Monday, May 23, in my third e-mail list newsletter, I’ll announce the date that Executive Action goes live. Since you’ve visited my blog here and have read this far, you deserve some kind of reward. I’m afraid the best I can offer is the first official notice of that date.

I intend to publish Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action on June 1, 2022.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 20

  1. Revise Jack Booth’s Plot Turn 1: I expanded his arc based on the notes I took while working on Dying Breath’s second draft. I need to add a few more scenes with Arabella Davies.
  2. Finish Jack Conrad’s Pinch 1: I think I still need to refine Conrad’s arc. I had the same problem with the first two books, so this is pretty much par for the course!
  3. Stretch objective: Start Matsushita’s Pinch 1.

What Do You Think?

How did you decide between deep or wide? How did you decide on the tools you used to create your eBooks? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Progress Report 2022 Week 20

  1. I feel like I’ve been having an internal debate about deep or wide for years now. Amazon has such a big market share that it’s so tempting to just do that. There’s less to do as well. However, I’ve heard of numerous authors having their books pulled because Amazon found them online elsewhere (usually a pirate site). Amazon instantly pulled their books and blocked their payments. That alone makes the idea of going wide that much more appealing. Yet, I still dither between the two ideas…

    1. I’ve done the same thing! It took until now for me to make my decision. Even now, I have to admit that I’ll start wide, then see how it goes.
      Years ago, I was a Disaster Recovery Architect. The stories of people losing their income, just as you described, are what tipped the scales. For now!

      1. It really is a hard decision. If only they didn’t make it exclusive to enter Kindle Unlimited. My decision to a web-novel has played into my thoughts. At this stage, building up a fanbase is so much more important that page reads from KU. Maybe, I’d change my mind if I was getting millions of page reads.

        I do sometime wonder whether it would be worth having two series running at the same time and putting one in KU and the other wide. Damn it, there are too many variables to make a confident decision…

        1. That’s a good point! It’s hard to do A/B testing with only one universe as the lab!

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