Justification Progress Post

Progress Report 2023 Week 22

I did something this week I didn’t think I’d do. And its effect was completely not what I expected. As in, I’m kind of blown away. I’m still working through the implications. Also, I have some news about Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis. Before we talk about these things, let’s look at the numbers:

Progress Report 2023 Week 22 By the Numbers

Reading out loud to proof read helps me catch a lot of errors I’d otherwise miss.

This week, I focused my writing time on preparing the second draft of Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus. I’ve read through forty-nine chapters now. Reading the chapters aloud helps me catch errors I would have missed reading it silently. That also helps me delivery prose that flows more smoothly.

I’m reading through the whole thing once, then I’ll go back through it with ProWriting Aid. After that, I’ll ship it off the beta reader, who I selected this week (it was one of my goals for the week). Another goal was continuing to proofread Blind Exodus, and you know I’m still working on that. That leaves just one goal to discuss.

The Right Graphic + The Right Price

In my previous post, I presented my tentative plan for pricing my books. I thought about it some more, and I decided that I hadn’t emphasized the right priorities when I made my pricing decisions. I was thinking in terms of my time. It’s hard to think of pricing a novel at $0.99 after spending about a year writing it. But that’s not the right thing to consider. What I should have asked was what do my readers want to pay?

That’s the critical question, because it make me realize I have, compared to someone like Peter F. Hamilton, very few readers. I thought back to a recent experience of mine. I’ll pay $9.99 for a Peter F. Hamilton book without batting an eye. But when I came across Lindsay Buroker’s work, I hesitated to pay $4.99 (which is where I’ve priced my books) because I didn’t know her. It took her specially-priced three book collection to get me to start her Star Kingdom series. And I loved it!

So I bit the bullet. I dropped the price of Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action to $0.99. I dropped the price of Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath to $1.99. And I kept Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target at $4.99. Then, I adjusted the Facebook ad as I described back in week 20. I used a modest budget and set some sales targets.

Thanks, little Facebook ad! You done good.

When setting those sales targets, I decided to be aggressive. I wanted to be five times more successful than my last ad. So, I setup the ad and starting watching its performance.

I sold 14x more than my first ad. The only two changes? The graphic and the price.

The majority of readers bought the first book. Some bought the second. And you know what? Some even bought the third. I had no expectations that Dying Breath or Primary Target would attract interest. But they did.

I’m still thinking through what this means for my marketing plan. But it’s a significant step forward. Now I understand why so many writers take this course. It works.

Some Progress on Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis

Surprisingly, I made some progress on the plot for Unnatural Crypsis. I say “surprisingly” because I didn’t plan on even working on that! I have the climax laid out, including the POV characters. I have part of the secondary plot sketched, and I think I know which characters will star in this book. Mostly, anyway. I have some fine-tuning to do, but I’m close.

I’ll give you one hint: one of the stars of the main plot has been in each of the previous five books. If you’ve read any of them, you won’t be surprised. But you might not expect some of the other characters. Do you know what would be cool? It’d be awesome if some of the new characters I selected is one a reader really want to know more about. I hope that happens. I’d really like to delight my readers!

I’ll share as I get closer to beginning to write it.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2023 Week 22

Here are the goals I intend to complete this week:

  • Setup my first long-duration Facebook ad to capitalize on the momentum from the test I just ran
  • Evaluate other possible advertising opportunities
  • Continue working on the second draft of Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus

What Do You Think?

Would the difference between $0.99 and $4.99 be enough to deter you from buying a relatively new writer’s book? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Progress Report 2023 Week 22

  1. Dropping the price to $0.99 or free is a hard pill to swallow, but it works. When you think how much people will pay for a coffee without thinking twice about it, it can sting. But the thing is people know what they are getting with the coffee. Like all good dealers you’ve got to get the customer hooked before you can sell your product at full price… lol!

    I’m glad it’s working. Now, you just need more books for them to continue. Plus another couple of series doing the same thing.

    1. I hadn’t thought of it that way! Well, I guess learn the lessons where I can!

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