News Progress Post

Progress Report 2024 Week 03

Real Life Family Events (RLFEs) and Real Life Work Events (RLWEs) were back on the agenda last week. I wonder if I should start abbreviating them RLxEs? Whatever I call them, they had an impact this week. So did a new marketing campaign. Is that good or bad? Or is that a false dilemma? Let’s look at the numbers, then dive into what happened last week.

Progress Report 2024 Week 03 By the Numbers

What? Only 59 words? Fortunately, the story’s more complicated than it appears — in a good way.

Each day, I had tried to run five chapters through ProWritingAid, then read those five chapters aloud. I was making good progress, but I found myself more exhausted than I had expected. Then on Thursday, I had some rocky RLxEs, and I decided I couldn’t sustain that pace or direction.

This turned out to be one of those “disguised blessings” things we hear so much about. I was able to finish the ProWritingAid pass on all Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis by the Saturday. Later Saturday, I started the read aloud phase where I’d left off (chapter thirty-nine). I’ve read about nine more aloud, and I’m much less tired. I think the mental toll of context switching was harder on me than I’d thought.

So the next time I work on a second draft, I’ll keep the ProWritingAid and read aloud steps separate.

Fussy Librarian Ad And More

I ran my first ad of 2024 last week. It performed at the same level as my last Fussy Librarian ad of 2023. Among all of the ads I’ve run, Fussy Librarian consistently gives me the best performance in terms of cost per sale. I’ve been reading a lot of writers saying ads are becoming more difficult, and I have to say, that’s what it seems to me, too.

Does that mean the ads are actually less effective? Am I just not adapting? Could be a little of both. But I know that if I don’t advertise, my sales drop significantly.

I’m seeing another trend in my sales — I’m selling more copies of Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath, Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target, and even Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus. It’s taking a while, but I’m starting to see signs of life in my read throughs. That’s encouraging, to say the least!

I have to remember: the books of Evolution’s Hand are the same length of The Fellowship of the Ring. At least, according to the numbers I’m seeing on Amazon (Dying Breath is 719 pages and Fellowship is 432; but the page sizes are different). My point is that it takes a long time to read the darned things! So I need to give people time to finish Evolution’s Hand Book 1: Executive Action and get to Dying Breath. And it’s even longer!

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

Here’s how I did against my goals from last week:

  1. Finish the second draft of 30 more chapters in Unnatural Crypsis: Done! I finished the ProWritingAid pass for all chapters and the read aloud pass for 32 more chapters.
  2. Flesh out the character starting points for Collapse Zone: Started! I kept the focus on Unnatural Crypsis, but I worked on the characters.
  3. Flesh out the character ending points for Collapse Zone: Started! See #2.
  4. Select likely tropes to play with in a nod to writing to market for Collapse Zone (stretch objective): Not started! Too many RLxEs hassled me.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2024 Week 03

Here’s what I hope to accomplish this week:

  1. Finish the read aloud pass for Unnatural Crypsis.
  2. Take delivery of the cover for Split Infinities.
  3. Format the ebook version of Split Infinities.
  4. Evaluate the results of two more ad campaigns.

What Do You Think?

Do you write series? If so, how long did it take for you to see read-through from your first to subsequent books? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!