News Progress Post

Progress Report 2024 Week 12

I think I see signs that my efforts to rewrite my blurbs had an effect. The question is: was the effect positive or negative? My goals for last week included the possibility of finishing The Sword of Sirius Book 2: Collapse Zone. Did I hit those goals? And what about new new short story lead magnet Fallback Position? Let’s take a look at the infographic, then talk about those questions!

Progress Report 2024 Week 12 By the Numbers

I have a very good reason for not hitting 10,000 words this week.

Well, I dropped below 10,000 words for the week. But that’s because I finished Collapse Zone! The first draft is now complete. I realized I needed a couple of earlier chapters to provide the emotional context for Ira Malhotra’s resolution, and I don’t hate the results. At this point, the book’s sitting fallow until I finish the next stage for its predecessor, The Sword of Sirius Book 1: Red Flag Warning.

I’ll get back to Red Flag Warning as soon as I get the proofread completed for Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis. That should happen by the end of this month. If all goes well, I should be able to publish it in mid-April.

I’m working on the criteria to decide how to publish The Sword of Sirius. Right now, I’m leaning toward enrolling it in Kindle Unlimited and not publishing any of the books until The Sword of Sirius Book 3: Firebreak is complete. That way, I’ll enable maximum read-through. At least, that’s the hope!

Book Barbarian Delivered — Again

Book Barbarian’s ads have done well for me. I can only run them every three months, but even averaging their performance over two empty months, they out perform most of the other venues. This time, they performed almost as well as their best last year.

I also saw more sell-through to Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Break and Evolution’s Hand Book 3: Primary Target in the same timeframe. I’m not sure if they’re related, but sell-through is sell-through. I’m excited that readers liked the first book enough to take a chance on the second and third.

To be honest, I’m a little surprised at how many copies of Evolution’s Hand Book 4: Blind Exodus and Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities that I’ve sold. I’ve begun to suspect that not having the entire series ready blunts performance for the later books. I know that there are several series I wanted to continue, found they weren’t published yet, and never got back to them. I don’t think I’m unique in that regard. That’s why I’m considering publishing all three books in The Sword of Sirius at the same time.

I think the new blurbs are helping sell all five books. At the very least, in the month since I upgraded those blurbs, sales are up. It’s hard to know for sure it they’re the main factor, but I suspect they are. There’re the only major change I made!

The Short Story Fallback Position Is Underway

For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to work on the short story Fallback Position. I intend to use it as a lead magnet to encourage signups for my newsletter ahead of The Sword of Sirius’s release. I’ll also give it to my current newsletter subscribers.

Jackson Scott is the main character. Born in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, Scott is the executive officer (XO) onboard the guided missile submarine CAS Florida (CAS = Colonial American Ship). At least, that’s who he is in the short story. You’ll briefly meet him in Collapse Zone as the Supervisor of the TransStell Exploratory Fleet vessel Endurance. He’ll play a bigger role in The Sword of Sirius Book 3: Firebreak.

If you want to get an idea of what he looks like, search for the actor named Chadwick Boseman. The character was from South Carolina, so I tried to find an actor from that same region. Mr. Boseman fit the bill! He looks like like I envisioned Jackson Scott to look.

Casting for Fallback Position is complete. Mostly, anyway! Picking an actor helps me visualize the character. Source for the photograph is here.

Last week, I finished casting the major roles. I also finished researching the Ohio class missile submarines and completed the first draft of the first chapter. It didn’t go exactly as I thought it would, which is a good sign. The Florida’s captain, Noah Adkins, brought more to the table than I had hoped.

I intend to use that short story to fan interest in the new series. The Sword of Sirius is going to represent the genre science fiction/military/space fleet. The short story is not an exact match to the genre, but I hope to capture people’s interest in the world with the short story, then transition them into the new series. Which will, I hope, inflame their interest in the wider world, which should introduce them to Evolution’s Hand.

I hope. I love building such a wide world, and I hope that readers enjoy exploring it.

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

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

  1. Finish Luisa Brunner’s Resolution: Done!
  2. Finish Ira Malhotra’s Resolution: Done!
  3. Touch up any of the arcs/plot points that need reinforcement: Done!
  4. (Stretch Objective): Continue plotting the short story/lead magnet staring Jackson Scott: Done!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2024 Week 12

Here’s what I hope to accomplish this week:

  1. In Fallback Position, Complete Jackson Scott’s Plot Turn 1
  2. Complete Scott’s Pinch 1
  3. Complete Scott’s Midpoint; this might take a few chapters
  4. Run a BookBub ad on Thursday

What Do You Think?

What book promotion services do you use? Which are your favorites? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments section!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.