News Progress Post

Progress Report 2022 Week 24

With launch day for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action receding in the rear view mirror, have I learned anything new about the launch? Anything that I can apply to future books? Did the second beta reader come through for Book 2: Dying Breath? Did I make the progress I had hoped in Book 3: Primary Target? Let’s take a look at the raw numbers first.

Progress Report 2022 Week 24 By the Numbers

The word count is slightly less than last week’s, but I made some decent progress.

I worked on Atticus Porter’s Pinch 1 this week. I thought I’d finish it easily. But some dangling threads from Book 2: Dying Breath demanded closure, and then the maids got involved — particularly Catalina Ojeda — and before I knew it, what I thought would be a quick chapter turned into three.

I had to fully cast the Vaca family, for reasons I can’t go into without spoiling Dying Breath. Then I had to cast four new members of the household staff (maids) for reasons I can’t go into without spoiling Primary Target. When Porter and Ojeda met with Cristina Rojas, the conversation went in a much better direction than I had planned. In fact, I wish I had planned it. Porter and Conrad are foils for each other, at least from one perspective. The conversation with Rojas reinforced that in a way I wish I could take credit for planning!

I’m still wildly curious about how that works. But then I reflect on interviews I’ve seen with both Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, when they said that they don’t really know how their muses work, and they live with the background fear that someday, the muses will go silent.

That’s a cheerful thought, isn’t it?

Post Launch Lessons

I’m not done gathering information about my first launch, but I think I can draw some conclusions. Note that a) I only claim that these conclusions apply to my experience (i.e., your mileage may vary) and b) these conclusions may or may not be accurate. After all, I can’t claim any particular expertise after a single launch.

  1. All of the advice I read that said to build an e-mail list was spot on. A lot of my sales came from my newsletter.
  2. The readers who frequent my anime website are awesome. The post there announcing my novel accounted for the second highest number of sales.
  3. Directing people to my new novels landing page, this time using a Facebook ad, was the third most effect method. I had used my anime site years ago to learn how Facebook ads worked. Despite my one negative experience, Facebook ads have driven a predictable number of clicks for a predictable price.
  4. Amazon Ads are not effective for me. I don’t know why, because I only have one experience. I suspect it’s because my ad copy sucked.
  5. So far, Amazon sales far, far (did I mention far?) exceed what I’ve seen through Draft2Digital. I need to study marketing for those platforms to understand why.

This means I plan to continue list building. I’ll try to keep the biweekly e-mails entertaining and sales-light. I want folks to enjoy reading those e-mails! It’d be cool if they even looked forward to them.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 24

Last week, I only hit the first of my three goals. But by drilling more deeply into Porter’s Pinch 1, I think I not only tied Dying Breath and Primary Target closer together, I’ll give readers a more enjoyable experience.

Here’re my goals for the coming week:

  1. Write Ira Malhotra’s Pinch 1
  2. Write Dek Conrad’s Midpoint
  3. Review the next Midpoint chapters to make sure I have the order right; I suspect a re-order might be in order

What Do You Think?

Have you ever split your novels between Amazon and Draft2Digital? How did you think about marketing between the two platforms? I’d love to hear about your experience! Feel free to share in the comments!