News Progress Post

Progress Report 2023 Week 32

When I wrote last week’s post, I had hoped I had fulfilled my quote of Emergency Room (ER) trips. I was mistaken. Just a couple days after that post, I had to take someone in my family to Urgent Care, then back to the ER, and finally to the hospital for emergency surgery. My family’s home and comfortable, now, which is a mammoth relief. It’s also the only reason I can joke about it.

I could even admire the build-up — it felt like I was living through someone else’s seven plot points! But it begs the question: did I even get a single word written? Let’s look at the numbers to see, then we’ll have a chat.

Progress Report 2023 Week 32 By the Numbers

My word count was a lot lower this week, but that’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is that I got anything written at all!

Despite losing at least one day completely, and despite my concentration being complete crap when I had time to write, I still managed to crank out four chapters and almost eight thousand words. Like I’ve said before, my writing actually helps me get through these situations. It’s the textbook definition of a coping skill!

Remember the 2003 version of Battlestar Galactica? The Galactica had just taken a nuclear strike. As they picked themselves back up, Adama tried to get a handle on how badly his ship had been damaged. Gaeta’s quote describes perfectly how I feel after the week I had (and I wasn’t the one undergoing surgery!):

“Sir, port stern thrusters are locked open. All bow thrusters nonresponsive. We’re in an uncontrolled lateral counterclockwise spin.” I’d characterize my spin as clockwise, but hey, it’s close enough.

Just a quick reminder: cherish your loved ones and whatever time you have with them. It’s amazing how quickly all that can vanish.

Cover Reveal for Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus

Ready for a new cover? I hope so, because the Jesh Art Studio from Fiverr has come through again! Here’s the cover for Blind Exodus:

Here’s the cover of Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus!

It looks perfect beside the previous three covers. It’s easy to tell at a glance that it’s part of the same series, too! I’d love to hear what you think about it — feel free to leave a comment!

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

Here were my goals from last week:

  1. Evaluate the results of a new potential addition to my marketing efforts: a Kindle speciality niche promotion: Done! I haven’t purchased it yet. I want to fix some marketing bits first. But I have a new addition.
  2. Finish Noman Katz’ Plot Turn 1: Done!
  3. Finish Melchizedek Conrad’s Pinch 1: Half Done! I decided to split it into two for “narrative purposes.” That sounds better than just saying “it felt right.”
  4. Finish Matsushita Sachi’s Pinch 1: Done!
  5. Finish Catalina Ojeda’s Pinch 1: Done!
  6. Start Magali Suarez’ Pinch 1 (stretch objective): Not started.

I’m frankly surprised I got as much done as I did. To be clear, in case you’re wondering: no, I did not take my laptop to the hospital or urgent care! I tried to be there as much as I could for my family.

I also analyzed my latest Facebook ad and determined that is underperforming. I think I know why: the new interests I picked (Frank Herbert and Isaac Asimov) aren’t responding as positively to my ad text and graphic. I’m going to do three things to improve that:

  1. Switch back to my previous interest (Peter F. Hamilton).
  2. Crank up the age. It’s set 18 and up, and I’m going to change it to 30 or 35 and up. Let’s face it: my work ain’t gonna appeal to younger folks who haven’t experienced the joys of a corporation grinding their spirits to dust. I’m of the People of the Dust. Hmmm. Not quite right for marketing, but maybe if I tweak it… I took this action because of a suggestion from The Writing Wives. Speaking of whom…

I Did a Thing

Ever hear of The Writing Wives? The short version: they know how to write and market. The longer version: They know how to write and market and they share what they know. I had a 30 minute consult with Malorie Cooper. I went in with an open mind, and I’m glad I did.

I signed up for that consult for two reasons. First, Malorie Cooper’s YouTube video from 20BookTo50K has done more to educate me about selling my books than any other single source. Second, my wife has contacts in the business who suggested her.

All of the news was good, in that it was helpful. Some of it was difficult to hear, like my series title, Evolution’s Hand, isn’t effective within its genre. My Amazon blurbs are subpar. My books pricing was off — specifically, I underpriced Dying Breath and Primary Target. Some of the feedback was affirming: my covers are solid, and the titles are okay, with Execution Action likely being the most clear in terms of the book’s contents.

The question isn’t whether or not I like the title. It’s whether or not it’s effective at communicating the genre and tone to a potential reader. I may have erred on the “clever” instead of the “clear” side.

Bottom line: I’ve revised my pricing, and I’m going to revisit the blurbs for all three published books. Among other things!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2023 Week 32

Here’re my goals for this week:

  1. Finish Magali Suarez’ Pinch 1
  2. Finish Noam Katz’ Pinch 1
  3. Finish Melchizedek Conrad’s Pinch 1 (part 2)
  4. Finish Mariam Al Khatib’s Pinch 1
  5. Revise the Facebook ad’s demographics
  6. Revise the blurbs for Evolution’s Hand, Dying Breath, and Primary Target
  7. Evaluate the impact of the Robin Reads ad later in the week

What Do You Think?

Did you like the cover for Blind Exodus? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Progress Report 2023 Week 32

  1. New cover looks great and fits perfectly with the others.

    I don’t dislike your series title, but then I often give too little information because I expect everyone to get what I mean. Otherwise, it feels like pandering.

    Did they give you other series to look at that were similar? Might be a good place to start if you are thinking of renaming them.

    1. Thanks!
      I’m afraid the consult didn’t point me at any similar series. That’s okay — the information I did get was very helpful! I might consider retitling, but that’s way down on the list of priorities.
      Yeah, I don’t like to feel like I’m pandering, either. It’s a tough mixture to get right.

Comments are closed.