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Progress Report 2023 Week 20

I have spent more time in Emergency Rooms in the last two weeks than I have in the ten years prior. Fortunately, everyone is alive and well, but I could have done without the extra load on my heart and mind. Does that mean I got no work done? Or did I find a way to sneak some writing in? And how did my marketing effort turn out? We’ll talk about all that after I present the numbers.

Progress Report 2023 Week 20 By the Numbers

Despite Real Life Family Events (RLFEs), I still managed to put words on paper. Electronically speaking, anyway.

I lost a fully day to medical stuff, which I do not begrudge at all because all’s well. I do have a renewed sense of urgency about universal health care, though. I’ve intellectually understood that using emergency rooms as primary physicians was economically burdensome. But after what I saw Saturday morning in a large city hospital’s ER, it drove home the point in a visceral way: the cost to humans is staggering. We here in the USA have got to do better.

So, why is my word count so high if I lost a day? Two reasons. First, the chapters I’m writing now are closing out arcs. Most of the hard stuff’s already done. So, I can write more words per session. Second, I took a day off so my son and I could travel to one of the nearby state parks. He decided to reschedule, so I had a perfectly fine day off that I didn’t want to go to waste. So, I wrote!

Post Mortem on Two Marketing Efforts in Progress Report 2023 Week 20

Remember the ad art I showed you last week? The one for my Facebook ad? Well, the good news is that it attracted attention. I got a solid number of clicks. But the click to purchase ratio was lower than I expected. Now, the Facebook ad manager gives me some good high-level information, but not the level of detail to explain why.

Fortunately, for the URLs in the ad, I used my Amazon affiliates link. That means I could see when people clicked and what they bought — if anything. Two things jumped out at me after reviewing that data.

  1. Facebook’s reported number of clicks roughly matched what Amazon saw. That’s good news. It means Facebook was being honest about performance.
  2. The people who clicked were often ready to buy something. But more often than not, they bought someone else’s books. In my case, mostly urban fantasy or supernatural romance.

Here’s the graphic I had used:

The ad attracted attention. Just not the right kind.

I had intended that pictures to more or less represent the idea of the Ghast in Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action. However, I think it set a different expectation in the minds of potential readers. The lesson? I’ll choose an image that more reflects the general tone of my work. Maybe I’ll pick some planets, or a spaceship. Something that communicates hard science fiction. I’m trying to decide exactly what art to use and when to kick off that campaign.

As far as the Fussy Librarian’s ad, I didn’t get the kind of response I had hoped for there, either. Now that I have subscribed to their newsletter, I think I understand why. Right now, Executive Action is still full price. Almost all of the ads in Fussy Librarian are either free of $0.99. I didn’t understand the venue, and my book’s overpriced for it.

I think something like this might be more appropriate than a pretty AI face. It’s from the artist Peter Schmidt on Pixabay.

I’m thinking about re-pricing Executive Action after I release Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus. Though I have to ask myself why I’m waiting. Probably because I hate marketing so much that I don’t want to think about it. Which is a terrible reason!

Progress Notes

Here’s how I did this week when compared to my goals:

  1. Finish Leon Weber’s Resolution: Done!
  2. Finish Jadwiga Janczak’s Plot Turn 2: Done!
  3. Finish Matsushita Sachin’s Resolution: Done!
  4. Finish Atticus Porter’s Resolution: Done!
  5. Finish Jadwiga Janczak’s Resolution (stretch objective): Swapped!

I swapped Mariam Al Khatib’s Resolution for Jadwiga Janczak’s, and I managed to finish it! That means I’m very close to finishing the first draft. Very, very close. Close enough to make me wonder what the universe is going to hurl at me this week to block me.

Pessimism or realism? Only time will tell!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2023 Week 20

Here are my goals for this week:

  1. Finish Jadwiga Janczak’s Resolution
  2. Finish Melchizedek Conrad’s Resolution
  3. Plan the next ad campaign

If I can hit the first two objectives, I’ll have finished the first draft for Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities.

What Do You Think?

If you run ad campaigns, how do you get yourself into a mindset where you have a hope of determining what kind of graphics would appeal to your target audience? I’d love to know your thoughts — feel free to share in the comments!

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