Last week was launch week for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action. How did that go? I had also set goals for Book 3: Primary Target. Did I meet them? Are you getting tired of me trying to generate artificial drama at the beginnings of these posts? I hope not, because I’m about to do it again! Let’s look at answers to the first two questions after we talk numbers.
Progress Report 2022 Week 23 By the Numbers
I had to double-check the word count for the week. It’s been so long since I wrote this many words that I thought the count was wrong!
Despite having my attention divided between launch activities for Executive Action and writing Primary Target, I managed to crank out a respectable number of words this week. At least, respectable compared to my previous numbers. I’ll talk a little more about both the launch and what I ran into when working on Primary Target in a moment.
I’ve gotten one Fiverr beta reader’s feedback so far on Dying Breath. If you’re in the market for a professional beta reader, I can recommend nadened. The summary gave me clear insights into a few sections that needed changed, and the detailed comments proved that no, even ProWritingAid plus my own proof-read pass are not enough to catch everything. Jocularity aside, nadened’s detailed comments pointed out valid concerns. Fixing those will make the manuscript stronger.
The second beta reader had to file for an extension. I’m hoping to hear this week.
Retrospective on Executive Action’s Launch Week
I think I’ve said it before, but at the risk of repeating myself, I can now see why there’s a whole industry built around launching a self-published work. I had done a ton of research (like in the Facebook group 20BooksTo50K), so I had understood the basics. But there where dozens of details I completely missed.
I planned for an Amazon ad, but I didn’t know they were limited to 150 characters. Not words. Characters. I can’t say anything in 150 characters! Because of that, I think my ad is under performing. Maybe. I’m not sure, because I don’t understand a lot about Amazon ads or what constitutes success.
I used the short story Code Blue as my lead magnet to build my e-mail/newsletter list. But I haven’t updated its after-matter let to point readers to where they can order Executive Action. Nor have I updated my lead-magnet e-mails to reflect same!
I could go on, but I’ll just summarize by saying: if you can write ad copy, you have my respect. That kind of writing is way harder than writing novels. Measured on the amount of time it takes to produce a single word, it’s a lot more time-expensive, too!
One more quick note: I am proud to announce that Executive Action is actually selling, and not only to my friends and family! I have a long way to go to learn more about marketing. But what I’m seeing so far gives me hope.
Progress on Primary Target
After a couple of weeks of re-reading what I’d written and of reviewing the plot points, I think I’m back on track. I’d been away to polish Executive Action and to get Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath ready for beta readers. At first I was disappointed at how long it took to get back into Primary Target. Looking back, though, I think taking a short break to let the main arcs percolate will give my readers a better experience.
The arc for TCP’s VP of Mergers and Acquisitions, Jadwiga Janczak, is really coming together. It felt tentative before; not so now. Same with the arcs for Jack Book, who is an EU parliament MEP from the British Commonwealth, and for Atticus Porter, TransStell’s VP of Special Projects. I’m feeling more positive about this book than I did for the other two!
Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 23
I actually hit all of the goals I laid out for this week. I even worked ahead a little! With that in mind, here are my goals for this week:
- Write Atticus Porter’s Pinch 1
- Write Ira Malhotra’s Pinch 1
- Write Dek Conrad’s Midpoint
It’s hard to believe I’m already writing a midpoint for one of the arcs! But if I’m going to write two books a year, I’m actually a little late with Primary Target — I started writing it on January 18, 2022. Guess I better get a move on!
What Do You Think?
Have you ever created either Amazon Ads or used BookFunnel campaign? If so, would you like to share any tips or thoughts? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!
4 thoughts on “Progress Report 2022 Week 23”
OMG so true. I DETEST writing ad material or blurbs for me or my books and I’m not very good at writing ads for others matters either. It’s so hard to not just sound like 1 million other ads, or pushy, or trite, or boring, or… but if it’s selling YAY YOU you did something right 😀 I have just barely begun the first book, so I can’t make any coherent sort of comments on it at this point. Other than you have put a ton of work into very detailed world building. Respect. Oh, and one more little thing – I think there are people on Fivver who will do ad writing, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been there so I could be wrong. Best of success to you! Oh, and you define your own success. Maybe take a minute and actually do that, write it down even. You do clearly have success at meeting your goals, so give yourself credit for that.
Thanks for the feedback! I really hope you enjoy reading it!
I didn’t even think about Fiverr. I’ll look into that, though I’m still in a bit of shock over how much I ending up spending for the first book — and even more shock over what I _could_ have spent! I’ve gotten more spam calls of “agents” and “ad agencies” wanting to represent my book, starting when I bought the ISBNs from Bowker and intensifying when I actually published it.
I like your suggestion to actually write down the objectives. I do that while writing; it makes sense to do so for the publishing phase. Thanks for the suggestion!
Awesome work. How do you fit in the writing and the blogging? Asking for a friend…
Also, with Amazon Ads, I really wouldn’t worry about them just yet. Get the next books out as a priority and build the newsletter. It’s easier to market a book when it’s the first of however many.
If you want keep at it, think of the characters as a movie tagline – In space no one can hear you sceam. It just needs to be something catchy that will make them click on it. Then, the cover and blurb have to take over and get the sale. It’s a team effort.
Honestly, I write the blog in the spaces between RLFEs, more or less to keep my writing skills from atrophying (in addition to the public reason of just wanting to celebrate anime, which I do). I can write blog posts in 5 to 10 minute segments.
I think you’ll likely right about Amazon Ads. I’m glad I experimented with it just get get a sense of what it’s like, but my ad copy skills aren’t up to the task.
I like the way you described the interaction between tagline, cover, and blurb. That gives me a useful mental model to try out.
Writing the novel was easy compared to the post publishing stuff!
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