Nothing week – 2020 Writing Week 28

Mike Grist Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

It’s been kind of a nothing week in the writing/marketing department – I got several thousand fresh words, but mostly was moving things around and re-editing old stuff.

This happens throughout writing these books, really – I hit a point where writing forward just doesn’t feel right. I’m not sure why, but I know the answer is to go back and find the point where things start to feel wrong.

Finding that point is trial and error really. I only know I’ve found it when I’m ready to move forward.

Did I find it now?

I think so. Essentially, upon discovery of the crime that starts the book, Wren basically infers everything about the Apex’s plan, and info-dumps it all on the page. It’s too much. He’s smart, but he can’t know all this. I have to spin this out as more clues come in.

I’m still working on the delivery of it, but I’m ready to move on. So let’s say I hit 15,000 words and the rest of the time was spent debugging.


Oh man, I’m sick of ads. One minute I think I’ve got them figured out, then I get some more face punches that assure me otherwise. Money comes in but it’s inconsistent. The competition out there is crazy.

I don’t have the answer for it. I switched off my pixels and went back to regular ads. I’m getting a return on the Wren books generally, but not enough to scale up. Like a 20% return or less. So I’d need to spend $500 daily to make $100 profit – which is crazy. I can live with a 50% return – spend $200 to make a $100 profit. That’s my daily goal right now.

Wren can’t deliver that. So I try lowering prices, raising them again, changing target audiences, moving budgets around. My current idea is to run lots of little cost ads to a range of audiences, and try to scoop up lots of cheap clicks. Cheaper clicks means more profit.

We’ll see.

It’s disheartening, but the only way is forward.

I also picked up Prestozon, an amazon ad managing software tool that costs $50 a month. I’m on a free first month. It manages bids, zeroes out non-performing targets, and isolates search terms. I’ve had it a week, and it’s only losing money so far. Again, we’ll see.

Next week

Time pressure starts to feel a bit more real on Wren 5. If I mean to have this published by end of September, so written by mid-September, I’ve got like 8 weeks. About 10k a week now will be required to hit that. 2k a weekday. Doable, if I don’t get snagged up.

So 25k words by this time next week. As ever, 50% return on ad spend remains the marketing goal. Spend $200, make $100 profit. Wish me luck!

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