This month has been spent writing my first non-fiction writing guidebook, and it’s been a great experience filled with contemplation and new learning. I’ve also had Saint Justice on Prime Reading and in a Kindle 99c deal. Thirdly, I joined a group of fellow writers and had a great back and forth with some real good ideas. Fourthly, I made a little headway on Wren book 7. Sixthly, I rejoined ALLi to try and take advantage of their agent hookup.
Let’s get into it.
Master Your Genre
Here’s what I wrote a month ago, last time I wrote a post:
It’d be great by this time next week to have all the ideas for the non-fic book written out fully, maybe max out at 30,000 words and lots of illustrations/diagrams. Then I can focus on wrestling it into shape, which is both the fun and the challenging part. Maybe another week after that and we’ll be ready for beta reads, cover and launch.
That’s kind of exactly how it went! I banged out most of the text, 25,000 words with illustrations, in a week or so – then started a series of iterative beta reads. First up was Su, who came back with great feedback swiftly, then 3 rounds of pairs of fellow authors from the London Indie Author group read it and gave feedback.
I changed lots of things, added lots of ideas, thought harder about what Genre really was, what the difference between Art and Commerce was, about who I wanted to target and how I wanted to speak to them (tough love or gentle), and now here we are.
Pretty much ready to launch. I got an awesome cover. I’ll put it out pretty soon. A few things I need to do first:
- Update my author mentoring page so it looks good, links to the book and provides an easier route to hire me.
- Set up the FB page for folks to join seeking free advice
- Finalize the blurb in a LIA meetup
Then launch! I won’t do some big event – I don’t have any non-fic followers, so I’ll start running ads and see if it has legs.
Saint Justice in Prime and 99c
I won’t lie, being in Prime Reading and having my book at 99c all month in the US was no benefit for me. If anything my revenue dropped – I continued sending about the same number of clicks to the sales page, but with every sale worth $2 less, the profit margin really got squeezed.
The hope with something like this is that Amazon is going to push it, sell loads of copies that lead to strong readthrough and higher rank, but I saw none of that. Just the sales I was sending to Amazon. So, I asked them to take me out of Prime reading early. They it prety fast on .co.uk, and have finally done it now on .com.
Ah well, you live and learn. I won’t do that again.
New Author group
This came out of nowhere really – I emailed my bud Dan Parsons, who also writes zombies and non-fic, to ask if he’d beta read Master Your Genre. In response he said yes and also invited me to a group of writers who’ve been meeting for a while.
Pretty cool. I came along to the Zoom meetup, and had a great chat with those guys. One chap, Stephen Taylor, is doing really well in Amazon uk, so we scheduled a secondary meet to follow up and share more deets.
It was a 90-minute discussion, where we shared loads of solid info. He shared his excellent backmatter setup, which includes using images and universal genius links, and success with Amazon ads. I talked about changing titles and some Facebook tricks.
In the aftermath I went to remake my backmatter, which took most of a day. Is it leading to better readthrough? Too early to say, but I’ll keep an eye on it and we’ll see. I increased the price of the first two books in the series, from $2.99 to $3.99. I figure the readers I’m sending from FB are not so price-sensitive, so why not charge a bit more? I’ve seen no difference in sales so far, so it looks to be true.
Further, I’m doing more Amazon ads again, and seeing a little success, though I mostly end up paying for clicks on my own name, from people who were searching for my name anyway. Maybe no benefit to this? Well, I’ll keep going anyway. Possibly those defensive ads saved me from losing a potential reader to another ad.
Wren 7 Backlash!
I’d written a couple of thousand words early on, but left it to one side while I worked on Master Your Genre. As that finished up, I turned back to it. The opening is big, maybe too crazy, but I’ll keep writing and we’ll see where we go. Anyone who’s with me at book 7 must be cool with big and crazy action. I’m a Mission Impossible man, what can I say?
So, we’re currently at 4,000 words. There’s no big rush on this one, but with no other main writing to do, I’ll turn my attention to this more. I may also work on a second thriller series that I’ve had in my back pocket for a year now. We’ll see.
I was in the Alliance of Independent Authors for a while, then let that membership lapse because I saw no benefit to being a member. Then I saw that they offer the service of an agent if you reach a certain membership level – which I now do. So I applied, paid my dues, and sent an email to the agent in question. The goal here is to get Saint Justice into the hands of TV and/or film producers. It may be a long shot, but no one else is going to do it for me 😉
We’ll see. Extra benefit is that the ALLi dues can be written off against tax, so I don’t actually lose anything.
So, by this time next week?
I’ll probably launch Master Your Genre by this time next week, and be having a crack at FB and AMS ads for it. Everyone says non-fic ads are different than fiction, maybe easier, so we’ll see if that holds true for me. If it can’t sell via ads, then I’m not sure how to market it. Try and get on some podcasts? Yeah, maybe. We’ll see how it lands and how I feel about that. It would be cool to do sme regular mentoring/coaching. Talking about Genre is fun and challenging, and also a chance to practically help other authors achieve.
In terms of fresh words, if I focus on Wren 7 more, I could be up to 10,000 words even. I’ve got it plotted that far, for sure.