Wren 5 final edits – 2020 Writing Week 48

Mike GristWeekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

Well well well, last week I said I’d be done with latter edits on Wren 5 Firestorm by Friday, and that is almost exactly what happened.

On Friday I finished first draft editing up to the ante-penultimate chapter, leaving only 2 to go which I polished off on Saturday.

Today I am beginning the final polish. Thus far I covered 7 chapters out of 50, but the beginning is always the slowest to polish – the most wrinkles need to be ironed out, dead trails removed, a few hints added in.

Through the middle should be fast, the end pretty fast, then it’s just a grammar/spell check and put it into the hands of the ARC team to beta-read. Maybe launch in 10 days?


My Facebook click prices have gone through the roof in recent weeks. at first I didn’t know why this was – the election was over, s surely ad spends should return to normal?

Of course not. there was the buildup to Black Friday – which now more than ever has seen companies pouring their ad budget into online. I’m priced out. This’ll probably continue until Christmas is over – so I’m throttling Facebook ads and looking again at Amazon ads.

I never have had success with Amazon. It’s far more about direct competition with fellow authors than Facebook. Facebook you pop up in someone’s feed, and maybe there are no other books to click on there. You’re considered on your own merit until they get to Amazon.

Once you’re on Amazon, it’s all about pilfering the readers from another author. Your book ad appears on their page! You have to look better than anyone else. Your cover. Your price. Your title. Your star reviews.

It’s damn hard.

I’ve taken many approaches to Amazon ads. Massive 1000 keyword ads. Super focused Prestozon style systems, where you’re constantly shifting the best keywords up a tiered pyramid of spend.

Today I’m going uber-simple. 1 ad, 1 author. I try to target only indie authors of dark thrillers. No Jack Reacher. No major published works. Just indies doing well.

I rather think I’ll just get no impressions. There’s no special reason this should be the case, but it’s the kind of thing that has happened before. It’d be great if I see some movement. My bids look competitive. My book has fair rank and decent star ratings. It looks good against rival books, I think.

It is extremely competitive out there, though. Big success authors are talking in Facebook groups about how Amazon ads don’t work for them anymore. I doubt I can succeed where someone with thousands of 5-star reviews is failing.

Give it another go, though.

By next week

I should be fully done with Firestorm by Friday – with the book in the hands of ARC readers. Maybe I’ll even have some early feedback, which would be fun.

These books take so long to write! There’s essentially one engine in the book, all about how cults work, but it’s explored in several ways on several different scales. I guess breaking all that out took a heck of a lot of thinking.

I have the plan for book 6! Roughly anyway. I know the engine. I’ll get that started before year’s end.

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