Further thoughts on the narrative structure of Mr. Ruin.

MJG Editing, The Ruin War, Writing Leave a Comment

As I wrote yesterday, I got feedback from my beta-read/developmental edit that the new version of Mr. Ruin got dull in the back half. I’ve been thinking about this since then, and this is where I’m at. I’ve got two threads, call them A and B. A is the ‘real world’, set approx 2364, and it follows Ritry Goligh and his battles with Mr. Ruin, leading to a climactic battle. Thread B follows the chord as they jack deep into a mind, seeking some unknown target at the center. I wrote the book entirely as an A B A B …

Reeling from the editor’s comment on Mr. Ruin…

MJG The Ruin War, Writing Leave a Comment

It’s late, but this is a tough one and I want to get my thoughts down now before I go to bed. So, I got the beta-reader/manuscript assessment editor’s feedback on the reworked version of Mr. Ruin. Broadly, he loved it. Great sci-fi. Well-written. Hardly needs any work at all, except… It’s a big except. Much of the second half of the book was dull. This a huge blow. Of course it’s just one person’s view. It doesn’t mean they’re right. But – this is what I was always worried about with this story – that straightening it out would …

Writing Update 2019 week 6

MJG Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

So much happened this past week! I doubled-down on FB ads, finished first-draft editing the Ruin War series, reworked the book 1 blurb with lots of peer input, calculated readthrough for the Last Mayor series and polled my fans with 120 detailed responses now and counting. All that plus I networked twice – at First Monday Crime and my Indie Marketing group. Phew! Here are links to the key developments: Success with Facebook ads? (new versions yet to debut) Mr. Ruin reworked blurb. (new version also to debut) Calculating readthrough for Last Mayor. Why people aren’t reading through the Last …

The answers! Why people don’t read through The Last Mayor series.

MJG Last Mayor, Writing 2 Comments

Yesterday I wrote a post about calculating my readthrough on the Last Mayor series – ie. how many people who start book 1 then read all the way through to book 9. By a conservative estimate, I came up with 3%, which seems extremely low. There’s got to be a problem there. I thought about how to figure the reason out. There’s a big drop off in sales from book 1 to 2, but maybe this is because book 1 is often 99-cents, and 99-cent readers are less likely to finish a book, and more likely to pick up a …

Calculating readthrough on the Last Mayor series

MJG Marketing, Writing Leave a Comment

Readthrough is a fascinating concept that may seem a little complex and alien at first, but is actually super obvious and essential to know when selling books in a series. You’ve probably heard Mark Dawson banging on about it. Maybe you’ve had a crack at calculating it. It basically means – what percentage of people who read your first book in series go on to read the later books? I’ve had a go at this before, and came up with something like a 50% readthrough for my whole Last Mayor 9-book series. It’s important because it helps you determine the …

Fresh Mr. Ruin blurb!

MJG Marketing, Writing Leave a Comment

Oh boy, the lessons never end! Recently I’ve been talking and thinking a lot about the interest/excitement factors in my writing. In brief – I’m great at evoking interest, through wacky world-building and lots of deep character hints – and not so great at evoking excitement, through conflict and danger and etc… Well – in this post I get punched in the face again, and come back asking for more. I’ve been rewriting Mr. Ruin to punch up the excitement and dial back the interest, and feeling like I’m succeeding. I’m thinking I have a killer blurb to reflect that …

Facebook ads promising…

MJG Marketing, Writing Leave a Comment

The two Facebook ads I posted a couple of days ago have been selling books like gangbusters! And making a profit? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves… It’s the best pay-per-click ad response I’ve ever had. My targeting is nothing different from what I’ve done before, just the ads are different. I’m targeting US and UK, to similar authors mostly. Yesterday I sold 18 books, including one reader who bought the whole Last Mayor series in one go – 9 books. Normally I sell 1 or 2 a day. From Feb 1-5 I’ve spent 65 pounds on ads and …

Writing Update 2019 weeks 4&5

MJG Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

I skipped a week! Let’s consider the post about why I’m not a millionnaire yet the week 4 update (even though it’s not titled as such). Buoyed by the self-revelations that post brought on, I’ve gone ahead and taken another stab at Facebook ads. Almost certainly this will be an ill-fated effort ending with me stuffing more dollar bills down Zuckerburg’s hoodie-front, for paltry returns, but what they hey. It’s a laugh, amirite? Facebook Ads Here are my new ads. The copy for these kind of wrote itself. It’s calm, but clear. It gives potential readers everything they need, and …

Why am I not a millionnaire author yet?

MJG Marketing, Story Craft, Writing 2 Comments

This question popped in my head the other day, and hasn’t been far from my thoughts since – begging to be turned into a full-bore navel-gazing blogalysis (blog analysis) of all my past books in summary and why they didn’t go large. I’ve done this before, in bits. For instance, I’ve blogalyzed in detail all the book covers I’ve ever had – and come up with the unsurprising conclusion that they were always bad. So chalk that one up: Bad book covers The Saint Ignifer covers were illustrated and weird for the epic fantasy genre. The Ruin books were just …

Writing Update 2019 week 3

MJG Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

It seems I have stopped blogging apart from these weekly writing updates! Maybe once a week is enough, really, to say everything. If anything important comes up, I’ll say it. Life mostly ticks over… Self-Editing I finished editing King Ruin, book 2 of the Ruin War series! *trumpet fanfare* Boy, this one was a headache. I recently read a new term that sums it up well – narrative urgency. King Ruin had some really great stuff in it – mostly building out world (skyscrapers buried in the desert and stuffed full of the dead) and character (King Ruin’s debate with …