Finished Wren 5! – 2020 Writing Week 44 & 45

Mike Grist Weekly Writing Update, Writing 2 Comments

After a hectic 2 weeks of writing, matched by the crazy American election going on in the background, Wren book 5 is done!

This one is political, no doubt. Presidential politics, inauguration, mass rallies in Washington – as I was putting the finishing words to the final chapter, Joe Biden was finaly eking out his lead in Pennsylvania.

The two felt absolutely entwined. I thought I might, coincidentally, finish the book on election day. I almost got there. Each day after I got a few thousands words a day, until Friday when it capped off, I logged back into CNN, Biden had the lead.

Kind of inspiring.


This is a crazy book. Deep on psychology. Pulling together threads I left open since book 1. Wren’s past. His father. His psychological make-up, and the make-up of the American people, and people in general – linked together with some wild cults and cult-like behavior, the usual vehicular madness, bone-crunching fight scenes, chases, flights, destruction, character development, trust, faith, loss and more…

It took a long time. My brain is wrung out. Every day in writing the endgame, though, I felt supercharged with purpose. If to no one else, this mattered immensely to me. For making sense of the world and what we see around us. For combating the negatives while raising up the positives. Trying to draw a middle line.

I have loved writing Wren for these reasons. That sounds like a swansong, but it most definitely is not. More are coming, and should be coming soon. As soon as edits are done with Firestorm and I get it out there (should be in a few weeks, def by end of Nov), I’ll move right along to book 6.

I’ve got to find out where this is going!


The new book cover, along with new advertising techniques (link to series page being the primary difference), have about doubled read through so far.

My average read through across the past year from book 1 to book 2 was 16%. By August that was up to 20%. In September it was 28%, and in October it was 33%.

Excellent. Double what it has been. That read through mostly carries to book 3 and 4 also. With 5 coming out, that should be a boost to the whole catalog.

I’m psyched. The last week has been solid for sales, consistent approx 50% profit returns – even with Facebook cost per click prices held unusualy high due to election ad spending, and presumably people preoccupied with watching the news.

I’m doing good. It could evaporate at any minute, but let’s celebrate the now.

In specifics I have book 1 currently perma-low at 99c, and that is driving more sales of book 1. I have a free promo on book 1 coming up in late Nov, and coincidentally at the same time I have the box set books 1-3 one aCountdown deal that’ll be boosted by an International Bookbub!


Add to that even further, book 1 has been added by Amazon to Prime Reading in the uk! I hope this’ll go up for December and carry through Christmas. I’ve never been in Prime Reading before, and hope it’ll lead to lots of new exposure, lots of new take-up on the series.

Another great reason to get book 5 out the door right now, and follow up hard with 6.

Last Mayor

In zombie news, I recently turned off my zombie box set ads, dropped the box to 99c for 9 books, and have not really seen a drop-off in page reads or buys. I’d expect this to tail off over time, but maybe it won’t. It could be the ads weren’t doing much but costing me money.

Either way, right now they’re making money without any ad cost, which means it’s all profit. Not huge amounts, but a great boost to whatever Wren is making.

Plans for this week

I need to dig into book 5 hard. A lot of it is solid – the ending probably needs grading, I’m sure it’s overwritten and too emotional right now, and there may need to be a couple chapters added to fully explore one issue, but basically it is all there.

So, get through half the book with edits by this time next week? Close it out to launch in time for the box set Bookbub push? That’d be best.

Comments 2

  1. Nice! I love reading that you have to find out where it is going. That reminds me of the creative process at its finest. Also, wow, Biden won?

    1. Post

      It’s definitely a creative muddle. I’m currently editing a beginning section where the theory/engine of the story is getting outlined, and like with all the books, this bit gets bogged down in me restating the engine in lots of different ways, because I was still figuring it out. Now I can edit and make it clean and simple, like I knew what I was doing all along 🙂


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