Edits on The Lash & lessons for Wren – Writing Update 2019 Week 46

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This week has been consumed by editing The Lash, my Last Mayor zombie book 9. There have been some real ups and downs, crises of confidence, which I didn’t get when editing the earlier books in the series. This one took one major unusual step – flipping Amo from the good guy to the bad guy – and addressing that was a challenge. Here’s what I did with them all: Cerulean dreams Naturally there were some interwoven, consistent Cerulean dreams throughout the novel, all in Amo’s POV. It happened in the Yangtze Darkness – some complex stuff about Amo getting …

Bookbub for Wren, The Lash edits & stellar email – Writing Update 2019 Week 45

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Lots of writerly action this week – with income contuining to hold at around $160 a day, 50% ACOS at around $80 a day on FB, AMS and BB ads. I have since squashed the BB ads (ineffective), trimmed the sails of the AMS ads (too expensive), and cut the Anna-image FB ads (they got very many cheap clicks due to the slight sexiness but very few sales). Indie Authors London I also had the Indie Authors London group Meetup which I run – we had some 14 people attend – including a big guy who looked like Idris Elba …

Brutality in my books, Massive Edits & Confirmatory Reviews – Writing Update 2019 Week 44

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It looks like I had a lot to say last week, as I wrote two extra blogs about the following topics: Massive edits to Last Mayor book 6 Confirmatory reviews approving my Last Mayor box set progress to date The upshot of both is that I finished editing book 6, The Laws, and moved on to Book 7, The Lash, where I faced the old challenges – simplifying complex technobabble, reducing repetition, speeding up action scenes – as well as a new one – losing sympathy for the main character when he goes too dark. I was aware when I …

Confirmatory reviews – Last Mayor is on the right track!

MJG Last Mayor, Writing 2 Comments

A month ago I received this review of the Last Mayor box set books 1-9 on Amazon US: Started off like a snowball down a mountain. By book 4 it slowed to a pebble rolling down a rocky slope. Well defined characters, interesting premise but some points go against all common sense. But still a good read. But cant bring my self to give a five. Oddly, I found this to be incredibly reassuring. This person had read an earlier version, where I’d edited books 1-3 but hadn’t yet touched books 4-6. So – what I’d done was working! The …

Massive edits to the Last Mayor 6: The Laws

MJG Last Mayor, Writing, Zombie Ocean 2 Comments

In the last couple of weeks I have been editing The Laws, Last Mayor book 6, and am almost at the final word count. It started off at 107,000 words. That’s a decent length book, bigger than an ‘average’ novel length of 80,000. It has great reviews on all vendors, basically a solid five stars. It may even be crazy to edit it at all – since something about it is working. And yet… I have now cut it down to 55,000 words. That’s basically chopping it in half. Here’s what I cut, and why: 13,000 words of Drake’s backstory. …

Adding Bookbub ads – Writing Update 2019 Week 43

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The stellar performance of my Last Mayor box set books 1-9 continues unabated. This remains something I am surprised by, don’t fully understand, and have no idea how long it will go on for – therefore I am enjoying it very much while it lasts! It is selling some 70 copies a day, with around 20,000 page reads. That’s around $100 gross a day. Of course I am paying around 40% for the privilege. On days when AMS spends my ad budget it does better. Likewise with FB ads – though somehow the FB ads have been cutting themselves out …

Sell the sizzle not the steak in book blurbs – Writing Update 2019 Week 42

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When I launched the Soul Jacker box set last week, I also took a hard look at the blurb I was using for Soul Jacker book 1. This blurb was only a few months old. It’s a book I’ve re-blurbed multiple times. But somehow, this time around I could see how little of the ‘sizzle’ was coming through. It was all steak. Descriptive. Interesting. Not exciting. David Gluckman Case Study Maybe it was doing a mentoring session with David Gluckman, inventor of Bailey’s Irish Cream, a few weeks back that helped me see this. In advance of our session I …

The astounding binge power of book box sets – Writing Update 2019 Week 41

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Some hard talk to start – and one possible reason I stopped the Weekly Writing Updates 24 weeks (half a year!) ago: My big Soul Jacker relaunch failed. No point beating around the bush. It hurt at the time – like any setback. I’d spent a lot of time rewriting this trilogy which I first wrote in 2014/15 – paid for developmental editing, got new covers, labored for the 5th year on the blurb. I got amazing testimonials from top authors in the game (Michael Marshall Smith!, Pat Mills!) built a hell of a promo stack around a Bookbub New …

Chris Wren 3, Last Mayor Rewrites & Mentoring – Writing Update 2019 week 39 & 40

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Hoo boy. It has been 24 weeks since I last updated this writing blog! What have I been doing? Wrote book 3 of the Chris Wren thrillers, Reparation. Substantially rewrote and released book 4 of the Last Mayor series, The Loss. Just now (an hour ago) got done rewriting book 5 of the Last Mayor series, The List. Mentored another writer on marketing 1-1. Spoke to a writer’s group on marketing. Released books 1-3 of the Chris Wren thrillers. Ramped up Facebook and Amazon ad spend such that I’m now making around $40 profit a day. Put all the Last …

Writing Update 2019 week 15 & 16

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Hardly anything has happened with my writing in the last 2 weeks – it’s all been focused on getting Soul Breaker (Soul Jacker book 2) ready to go out the door, then Soul Killer to follow it. Now Soul Breaker is out, Soul Jacker is up to full price at $2.99, and I am still tallying up sales… Otherwise, as I finish up the third pass on Soul Killer, I’m also looking ahead to my new incarnation as a thriller writer. I’m reading thrillers and studying their covers and blurbs to get a better idea how to market what I …