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Progress Report 2023 Week 21

If you look at my word count for the week, you might conclude that that I had an awful time — but the word count doesn’t tell the whole story! The whole story included a surprise for my newsletter recipients and preparations for the next book in line to be published. Before I get into any of that, let’s look at the numbers.

Progress Report 2023 Week 21 By the Numbers

That word count looks low — but there’s a reason for it!

On May 17, 2023, I finished the first draft of Evolution’s Hand book 5: Split Infinities. The word count is so low this week because I only had two chapters left to write! So, that’s pretty good news.

Did I take it easy for the rest of the week? Nah. I finished production of Evolution’s Hand Fissure Worlds, which is a booklet for my newsletter subscribers. It’s my attempt to show appreciation for the folks that subscribed. It also marks my first attempt at building a cover from an image I downloaded from Pixabay. The original image from Maklay62 looked like this:

I used the same fonts that my novels used, and working with Photoshop, I came up with this:

It’s not perfect, but I really liked Maklay62’s original art, and it at least looks and feels like its older and bigger siblings. I hope the newsletter recipients enjoy it!

If you haven’t joined the newsletter yet, there’s no time like the present! Just click here to join!

Second Draft of Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus Underway

Now I’ve turned my attention to Blind Exodus. I’m reading each chapter out loud as a way of proofreading it. We’ve talked before about how this helps me find more typos and continuity errors than silently reading it. It’s also training my voice for a potential run at audio narration. I’ve decided against that so far because of time. I’ll revisit the decision after I publish Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis.

As of yesterday, I had finished proofreading through chapter fourteen. I hope to finish it in a week or two. After that, I’ll ship it to beta readers. Officially, I’m targeting December 1, 2023 as the target date. I might accelerate that if I can.

Next Marketing Steps

The debate taking place in my mind (which is a fancy way of saying the random, jumbled thoughts flailing about) is when to reprice the series. My current plan is to pick a date in the near future, which is between now and when I publish Unnatural Crypsis. Then, I intend to:

  1. Drop the price of Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action to $0.99 on all platforms
  2. Drop the price of Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath to $1.99 on all platforms
  3. Drop the price of Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target to $2.99 on all platforms
  4. Leave the pricing for the rest at $4.99, unless I decide that $3.99 is more attractive, on the last three books

Thinking about how long it took to write Executive Action is the wrong way to think about pricing. In fact, it has nothing to do with it. It’s all about getting the series into readers’ hands.

That will provide incentives for folks to purchase, which I will will build some momentum for them to read the whole series. I’m still on the fence about box sets. I’m tempted to put two trilogies together, but I haven’t done enough research to know how to make that decision.

Now that I wrote that down, I wonder if I should just pull the trigger and drop the prices now. I’ll give that some thought. It’s one of those steps that feels bigger than it is, I think.

Progress Notes

Here how I did against my goals from last week:

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

As I mentioned above, I also completed the gift for the newsletter subscribers and started proofreading Blind Exodus. It was a busy week even though I lost an entire day to a Real Life Family Event!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2023 Week 21

Here are my goals for this week:

  1. Continue proof reading Blind Exodus
  2. Begin the search for a beta reader
  3. Continue planning the next ad campaign

What Do You Think?

I’ve had good luck using Pixabay for some solid, low-cost/free images. I’ve also used depositphotos and ShutterStock. What other sources have you tried and liked? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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