Progress Report 2024 Week 17

It wasn’t the smoothest of weeks. I worked through a major Real Life Family Event (RLFE). I stupidly tried to make a cover from stock art. Despite that, I continued to hurl words in the vicinity of The Sword of Sirius Book 3: Firebreak. Did I hit any of my goals for the week? Let’s take a look at the infographic before we check!

Progress Report 2024 Week 17 By the Numbers

Firebreak is starting to hit stride. I only had a cast one new character this week, which means I’m almost past the character introductions! Probably.

Not a bad week from the perspective of word count. The characters continue to be chatty in my brain. I’ve clearly enough articulated the situation to myself that I had to correct myself as I wrote. I had planned for Owen Payne and Amaterasu to travel from the crash site to their first camp during thet night. Traveling at night, I realized, makes no sense when your combat armor generates heat. Better to travel in the day when the rocks and vegetation absorb the sunlight around you and make it harder for your thermal signature to stand out.

Did I mention the combat armor has active camouflage? I should mention that, shouldn’t I? In fact, I’m glad I didn’t publish The Sword of Sirius Book 2: Collapse Zone yet, because I’m going to edit a couple chapters there to make the combat armor’s capabilities clear. Otherwise, it’ll look like an overly convenient plot point.

Another Cover Reveal!

I tried to use stock images to create a cover for the new short story lead magnet called The Sword of Sirius Prequel: Fallback Position. Let’s just say I now have an even greater appreciation for what artists like those at miblart accomplish.

Admitting I can’t frame a cover to save my life, I headed over to Book Cover Zone. They had a cover I liked a lot. miblart had delivered the cover for The Sword of Sirius Book 1: Red Flag Warning (a cover I’m dying to show you!), and their package included the Photoshop original file. I used it to identify the fonts they used. Then I had to go buy the fonts with the appropriate licenses (which is a unique type of pain). Using those fonts, I tried my typographic skills (which aren’t great, but are light years beyond my visual art skills). Finally, I showed it to my wife and daughter who promptly helped me understand even my typographic skills have limits.

With their help, here’s what I came up with:

I’m pretty happy with the result! You should see my previous efforts… On second thought…

If you’re so inclined, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!

I sent this story to two beta readers from Fiverr: Jonah H. (who also beta read Red Flag Warning) and J. Flowers (who beta read all of Evolution’s Hand). Jonah H. has already responded with some solid feedback that I’m going to incorporate. As soon as I receive and process J. Flowers’s feedback, I’m going to start a Facebook ad campaign to expand my newsletter, and I’ll use this story and cover as a lead magnet.

I’ll also offer it to my existing newsletter readers. They deserve some kind of reward for sticking with me this long!

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

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

  1. Finish Luisa Brunner’s Hook: Done!
  2. Finish Owen Payne’s Hook: Done!
  3. Finish Ira Malhotra’s Plot Turn 1: Done! I also finished Luisa Brunner’s Plot Turn 1 and the first half of Owen Payne’s Plot Turn 1. It’s going to be two chapters.
  4. Evaluate methods to create a cover for The Sword of Sirius Short Story: Fallback Position: Done!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2024 Week 17

Here’s what I hope to accomplish this week:

  1. Finish the second half of Owen Payne’s Plot Turn 1
  2. Finish Ira Malhotra’s Pinch 1
  3. Finish Luisa Brunner’s Pinch 1
  4. Finish Owen Payne’s Pinch 1

What Do You Think?

Do you create your own covers for your books? Lead magnets? Do you enjoy working with graphics tools? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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