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

Mike GristMarketing, Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

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 who wrote a book on attracting women as well as the return of Jon-Jon.

It was a mostly unscheduled session – we went around the group and heard what folks are doing. I talked about my sexy ads and starting basic FB video ads. I think nobody else was making much money in the group this time. I wonder what to do to keep the pro authors coming.

Maybe we need to make more effort to get expert guests in? I’m kind of lazy to do that though – it’s hard to get proper experts. But without proper experts, it’s true, why would the pros come? Maybe it’s natural that they stop coming when the members stop being their peers…

On with the major topics:

Bookbub for Wren!

I’m always applying for Bookbubs – even when I have no hope of getting them. All my books are currently in Kindle Unlimited – BB rarely pick books that are KU-exclusive. My plan was to wait until Jan (when Wren rolls out of KU and I put it wide for a few weeks again) and submit Saint Justice for the 2nd time @ free.

Then I thought, well, no harm in asking while it’s in KU. It’s a process of seconds only. So I did. And they said yes.


Wren book 1 will go out to some 3 million BB readers on Nov 28, @ free, while in KU. This could be big. I’ve had BBs before that didn’t do much. This’ll be my best exposure yet. Visibility within KU, while on a 5-day free spree, should lead to visibility like I’ve never had before. Hopefully a huge tranche of page reads, followed by readthrough to books 2 and 3.

Really it’s ideal. $628 for the mention. I stack 2 days before it with ENT, Robin Reads, Freebooksy, Book Adrenaline, KND free highlighter and maybe a few others – for a few hundred dollars more. Try and grade the splash into BB a little.

I’m excited. Not too much. In moderation. And – prior to this, I must run a few edits! In particular:

  • After Wren is tortured by the Saints, he whizzes off to fight the Alpha and rescue people from a fire, naked!! I had just forgotten he was being tortured while naked. I need to give him some clothes!
  • People have pointed out the horror tones of this book and the others. I want to tone it down a little. Not completely. A bit though. I already toned down swear words. I am a pushover when readers complain!
  • The beginning may be a bit slow and meandering. I can afford to speed this up probably.
  • The number of perspective flips has me uncomfortable. Wren and Mason is plenty. I also have Acker and Sinclair. I will look at cutting these and sharing the info some other way.

The Lash edits

As expected, this is hard. Key edits thus far include:

  • Taking Lara’s story out of it. A recent review said the books 1-6 were good, and after 7 it got disjointed. It definitely does. There are 5 perspectives in the story – often not related much at all, though they often interweave in chapters. This has to be confusing and annoying.

Lara’s story is the least related of all, and the easiest to replace with narrative summary elsewhere. Maybe she will be the kicker at the end of the book. I can’t cut it completely – as her story is important in book 8.

As for the others, I try and set them in a better order so they feed onto each other. We flip to Anna only when she becomes relevant to Amo’s story. We flip to Lucas only when he’s relevant. It should read smoother.

  • Taking Cerulean dreams out of it. I guess I was in love with the idea of Cerulean and the Yangtze Darkness still playing a role in these books. I kept putting them both in, when there’s enough conufsing stuff already. Cut it all almost entirely.
  • Amo reveling in cruelty. I can cut this but have to be careful – he does need to go mad. I have him sickened by it, and I have Drake taking him over more now. I hope I’ll keep people on side this time.
  • Complexity of the line is getting reduced. It’s still a little foggy. Maybe in re-edits in a few years I will be able to smoothe it all 🙂

I kind of dread re-working book 8. It is massively about backstory. Half the book, really. We will see.

Stellar email

I got a really lovely email – I won’t reproduce it as I don’t have permission – but the writer said they were reading the early zombie novels to their new grand daughter, only 8 days old! And she seemed to like it!

I am honored and flattered that this should happen. Some might argue a zombie book is hardly appropriate fare – but I say NO – you can never be too young to get your training in for the apocalypse! The grand daughter in question will no doubt grow up to be a great zombie fighter.

Also, as Tom Selleck said in 3 Man and a Baby – ‘It doesn’t matter what I say, it’s only the way I say it that matters.’

Exactly. That is one great granddad sharing his zombie books with his new grand daughter!

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