Wren likeability & covers – 2020 Writing Week 16/17

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This past 2 weeks (I totally lost track of time – the days just meld into one long smoosh now – but a smoosh that included my 40th birthday – hurray!) I somehow got sidetracked onto reworking Saint Justice. It was probably started by some bad reviews, or maybe a sense that my readthrough from book 1 to book 2 wasn’t as high as I’d liked. I started asking people if Wren was likeable or not. I got lots of answers. Here’s what people said: He’s not relatable. He’s a cult survivor, cult leader, fentanyl/booze addict commando. There is no …

Wren book 4 & ROI ad analysis – 2020 Writing Week 15

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Coronavirus lockdown drags on, and I don’t know about anyone else, but my stress levels directly related to the virus have dropped right off. It’s largely a known quantity now, it seems we’re doing the right things to manage it, and the daily death count horror has receded. No doubt it is horrific if you’re in thick of it. There are still terrible stories in the news, but then there are always are terrible stories in the news. So, my coronavirus reaction is more one of just being cooped up for a long time. It’s not even that bad, as …

Christopher Wren boxset books 1-3 – 2020 Writing Week 14

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I’ve had the first 3 books in the Chris Wren series out for about 9 months now, but I’ve been holding back on launching it as a boxset because I wanted book 4 to be available before I did that. But, um, why? It’s an odd one, to be so worried about losing the follow on sales that I don’t get potential sales right now. To cut this Gordian knot, I looked at what Mark Dawson does and found an answer I kind of already knew. Book 4 not written yet? Make it a pre-order. Not sure you can fit …

Major Christopher Wren overhaul – 2020 Writing Week 13

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I’ve been doing a lot of things this week that are not writing! It’s been hard to focus, maybe because of coronavirus, but also because my head’s ben heavily into marketing. The mystery of AMS and FB ads!! How hard it is to make them pay!! The primary experiment this week was to raise ALL my prices. Saint Justice is now $2.99. The zombie boxset is $9.99. The only book in my catalog that is 99c is The Last, zombie book 1. At first sales went well. It’s very exciting to see 10 copies of the boxset sell – that’s …

FB & AMS ad mysteries – 2020 Writing Week 12

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First off, the grand news – Wren book, Reparation, is finished in audiobook format. More on this when it releases. 3 months ago I had just 1 book in audio – The Last – pretty soon I’ll have 4, with 3 in a series. All the backlist is tight, produced, and polished. Unless… Can I get the zombie box set back into profit? This is the mystery. If I can, then it will seem worthwhile to buy back the Last Mayor rights and make the whole series in audio. That’ll be about $10k – real money. It’s also a whole …

Coronavirus ad fail? – 2020 Writing Week 11.3

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I have a painful confession to make. So far this month I’ve made some nasty losses on my ad spend. Ack! Ouch! Thwack! For several weeks I’ve been aware I was deficit spending – putting more into ads than I was getting back on a daily basis. I was doing this because the last 3 months of data – which I wrote about here and here – showed the zombie box set was moving in a crazy way. Through Dec, Jan and Feb it was selling at the rate of 1 book for every 3 clicks. Every click I paid …

Coronavirus & ad spend – 2020 Writing Week 11

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It has been a really weird week – I’m sure for everyone. Tuesday we started self-isolating, and that morning I had to prep a powerpoint lesson with audio over the top to be delivered by colleagues who were still on campus. Wednesday everyone was off, and I had another lesson to prep and record, same on Thursday, then Friday I had the first online drop-in 1-1 with a student. I thought working from home would mean more time for writing, but it hasn’t worked out that way yet. Most likely that’s about getting used to the new working environment, learning …

Saint Justice audio is out! & SPS Live – 2020 Writing Week 10

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The most major event this week was the approval and release for sale of the Saint Justice audiobook via Audible and Amazon. It hardly feels real yet that this is out in the world – nevertheless – it is! Saint Justice audiobook release Here’s a sample: Get it here for $23.97 or £18.29 (weird prices, I know): Audible US Audible UK I’ve sent a few free codes out to trusted reviewers – if you think you’d be able to write a review on Audible – please do get in touch and I’ll send you a free code too 🙂 In …

Post Data Revelations Ads – 2020 Writing Week 9

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So mid-week I had all those revelations fuelled by some new data analysis – full post here – but in essence these were the findings: The Last Mayor 1-9 box set has sold 1 copy for every 3 ad clicks consistently for the last 3 months, earning a tidy profit. The Wren thrillers sell 1 for every 10 ad clicks and have decent readthrough, but lose money because the funnel is not deep enough (not enough books at high enough price). My response was to increase the price of Saint Justice to $2.99 and cut loss-making Facebook ads, while substantially …

Data Analysis Mega Revelations – 2020 Writing Week 8.5

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Recently I was looking at Brian Meeks’ book on Amazon Ads again – perusing his data analysis chapters, when I noticed a way of approaching the data I hadn’t tried before, or had at best only guesstimated. Actually tracking conversions. For weeks I’ve had the sense that the Wren thrillers weren’t converting. I was losing money, so they couldn’t be. Readthrough had to be bad. I was throwing clicks and ad money and nothing was going on. Data is your friend, Brian Meeks said, so I decided to dig in. First up, I needed a consistent idea of sales. Basic …