Last week, I hoped to finish the third (and final?) draft of Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target. I also hoped to research Amazon categories to improve sales for Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action and Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath. Did Real Life Family Events (RLFEs) relent enough that I could make progress? How about Real Life Work Events (RLWEs)? Let’s take a look at the raw numbers first.
Progress Report 2023 Week 06 By the Numbers
Yes, under 2,000 words is anemic for a week — but that only represented one day’s worth of writing!
I managed to finish the third draft of the third book, Primary Target, on Saturday. I read all of it aloud, which confused my cat and annoyed my wife (though she’s too polite to admit it). But it resulted in a much stronger draft. Reading aloud helped me focus on the punctuation and word flow. At least, that’s how it seemed to me. The readers will be the final judge!
Finishing it freed me to start writing Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Split Infinities. I really didn’t expect to get started last week. In fact, I thought I’d need another week working on the plot. However, using Plottr clarified a lot of issues up front, and by yesterday morning, I only had a couple of tweaks before I was ready.
It felt good writing the opening scene on Haven Two in Second City. I took it as a great sign that the characters already came up with the second scene. I hadn’t planned it, but it contained exactly the material to take me to chapter two.
Amazon, Categories, and Marketing in General
I hate marketing. And it’s killing me.
More precisely, it’s not helping my sales. I suspect the success I’ve seen so far is in spite of my inept attempts at marketing. I’ve had some great advisors, like Tammi Labrecque’s book Newsletter Ninja or David Gaughran’s video BookBub Ads Tutorial: how to reach up to TEN MILLION readers. But my social media presence is anemic. My work with Amazon ads is lackluster. And it’s my fault.
Yes, I hate marketing. But if I want to reach more readers, I have to get over it. Yesterday, I watched Jami Albright’s 20BooksTo50K video called 20Books Vegas 2019 Day 1 Making Money With One Book A Year. I highly recommend it, not only for the specific advice, but for the attitude. Jami Albright let nothing stop her from her marketing goals. That’s how I have to be.
I love everything about writing. I even love experimenting with new tools like Plottr! But Marketing? That’s tough.
I came to this realization as I was working on the goal to review my Amazon categories. I had both books under Fiction -> Science Fiction -> General and one of the thriller selections. After more research, I changed the second to Fiction -> Science Fiction -> Action & Adventure.
I also started two Amazon ad campaigns, both with the same graphic and keywords. One has a blurb, and the other doesn’t. It’s a typical A/B test, and I want to see which one performs better. They represent the first step to reinvigorate my marketing campaign. I’ve even asked my wife, who is wise in the ways of social media, to help. I expect lots of discomfort. Perhaps some wailing and gnashing of teeth. But if I’m going to get my books in front of more readers, it must be done.
Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2023 Week 06
You probably figured out I hit both of my goals from last week. Here’re the goals for this week:
- Finish Conrad’s hook chapter
- Start Matsushita Sachi’s hook chapter
- Start Atticus Porter’s hook chapter
- Continue researching marketing techniques (and put more structure around that effort!)
What Do You Think?
Did Marketing come easily to you? Or was it a struggle? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!
3 thoughts on “Progress Report 2023 Week 06”
Haha! I built an entire website around anime to have a place to passively advertise my books… Not the standard approach and I can’t say whether it works yet, but I do get a lot of traffic.
It’s hard because sales and marketing is definitely a more extroverted component of the business opposed to the writing which is far more introverted in nature. Being able to do both is not usually an easy transition, which is why the website.
If you are so inclined, I would say keep releasing books. It’s easier to catch fish with twenty lines than with one. I think you need a lot of stubbornness to succeed in this industry. Just don’t give up.
I’ve always been amazed, and grateful, that my anime site seems to bring in more traffic to my newsletter than this site. Which isn’t a surprise, I suppose!
I think at least until I get the first 6 books of Evolution’s Hand published, I need to focus on writing. I’ll experiment here and there with marketing, but like you said, the more lines in the water, the better the odds of interesting a reader.