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Progress Report 2024 Week 07

Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis ran into some scheduling problems this week. This sort of thing doesn’t happen very often, so that was fun! I decided to wrestle with Amazon book blurbs again. Did I emerge in one piece? And despite losing a day to a Real Life Family Event (RLFE), did I write many words in the first draft of The Sword of Sirius Book 2: Collapse Zone? Let’s take a look at the infographic first.

Progress Report 2024 Week 07 By the Numbers

I barely topped 10,000 words, but a win is a win!

I lost Saturday to a RLFE. It was a pleasant RLFE, though, so no complaints. I managed to write four new chapters despite missing a day. What’s more, the new chapters came together more smoothly than I’d feared. A couple of the chapters set up Owen Payne’s dilemma, and I hope I both captured the nuances of his Payne interacted with the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Amaterasu and the human Special Operations Anywhere Response (SOAR) team. I need to make sure the read’s invested in these relationships — they become pivotal in the near future.

One the miscellaneous front, I injured my left elbow. I actually did that late last year, but I thought it had healed. Nah. I think it’s a tendon thing, and I made it worse last week. It’s affecting how fast I can type. I need to decide if it’s serious enough to go to the doctor. Which means I should go.

But I’m a guy, and I’ve injured tendons before, and I’m convinced that if I rest it and take mild anti-inflammatory medication, it should heal. We’ll go with that. If it flares up again, I’ll get it checked. Not being able to type would suck.

Scheduling Challenges for Unnatural Crypsis

My proofreader had a previous engagement in February. I had planned to get the proofreading done this month and buy the cover next. Fortunately, miblart had bandwidth, so I moved the cover effort to February and the proofreading to next month. Not a big deal by any stretch. But it made me even more sympathetic to the stories I read from some authors in 20BooksTo50K (and other places) about scheduling challenges derailing launches.

It’s conventional wisdom in the indie writing community to orchestrate book publication dates with newsletter and ad coverage. Many writers report huge success with this method. For whatever reason, it hasn’t worked well for me. I blame poor my Amazon blurbs. Be that as it may, I tried it for the first three books, and it was nothing but pain. Scheduling was only one of the hassles.

So I gave up — at least for now. At this stage of my writing career, focusing on new books is more important. The situation with Unnatural Crypsis feels like it justifies that decision. Changing a schedule if I had a carefully planned a release date would cause massive stress. As it is, I can roll with it. More important, it’s easier to keep focused on writing.

Owen Payne’s asserting control over his arc, and that’s boosting my confidence. Malhotra’s doing well, too!

Attack on Amazon Blurbs

My Amazon ads, entirely through my own fault, flat out blow. They don’t generate excitement. There’s no mystery. The strongest reaction I can muster for them is “Bleh.” Well, that’s going to change. I hope to elevate them to “Eh.”

See the improvement? Shorter is better!

Joking aside, I’ve studied many difference references for writing better blurbs. They’ve all been helpful. They’ve all contributed to my journey, which has led me to this article on Kindlepreneur. It’s like a lens that helped me focus everything else I’ve tried to absorb.

I’ve created a new Scrivener project to pull all the marketing materials together for Evolution’s Hand. I’m going to orchestrate the Amazon book blurbs for all six books to have a single, cohesive voice and sense of story. Then I’ll run more ad campaigns and see if I can improve my conversion rate.

I have faith in the covers. The books are are good as I can make them, and I’m not burning cycles on rewrites. They are what they are. The Amazon blurbs are my last area of activity for Evolution’s Hand. Except, of course, the publication of Unnatural Crypsis. Fingers crossed I can write compelling blurb copy!

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

Here’s how I performed against last week’s goals:

  1. Write Ira Malhotra’s Plot Turn 1: Done!
  2. Write Owen Payne’s Plot Turn 1: Done!
  3. Write Malhotra’s Pinch 1: Deferred; I shuffled the order to put one of Payne’s chapters ahead of hers
  4. Write Payne’s Pinch 1: Done! It split into two chapters.
  5. Write Luisa Brunner’s Midpoint: Missed! This chapter fell victim to a RLFE, which was cool because it was a good RLFE.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2024 Week 07

Here’s what I hope to accomplish this week:

  1. Write Malhotra’s Pinch 1
  2. Write Luisa Brunner’s Midpoint
  3. Write Owen Payne’s Midpoint
  4. Write Malhotra’s Midpoint
  5. Revise the Amazon ad blurbs for the first five books and write the ad blurb for the sixth

What Do You Think?

Do you write your own Amazon blurbs? Do you outsource it? If the former, how long did it take before you were comfortable with the results? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Progress Report 2024 Week 07

  1. With my posts on my site, I decided to start everyone with a teaser paragraph designed to go on Twitter. The idea was that it would make people want to read the post, and I might get considerably more practice at trying to hook readers. I’m not sure if it works because of the implosion of Twitter over the last year, but I think it works.

    I think blurbs should follow the same advice I’ve seen about covers. The cover shouldn’t try to depict a scene in the book the same way a blurb shouldn’t tell people what happens. You want them to feel like a they’re watching a movie trailer. Throw some cool things at them, hint at even cooler things, and leave them with a line that they can’t ignore.

    1. I like that idea about Twitter. Even if Twitter is not what it once way, the mindset’s still very useful!

      I think that’s a great summary of what a blurb should do! I’ve been reading so much about blurbs in the last week, but several experts in the field agree with you! It’s just a different mindset, and I’m finding that the more I practice it, the easier it feels. Though I still don’t know if I’ve got it right yet.

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