Writing Retreat wk 1 – 2020 Writing Week 32

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This week has been week 1 of mine and my wife’s writing retreat. We have a 2 week summer holiday that was going to be a couple of different trips, which all got squashed by corona, so now it’s a staycation. A Writing Retreat staycation! Intense writing. I did the following to prepare for this: Make a sun screen hood thing for my laptop so I can write in the garden without screen glare. Wear a black shirt helps. this involved ordering black card from Amazon and necessitated waiting a day. Right after I made my screen, family came for …

Back to writing Wren 5 – 2020 Writing Week 31

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It’s been a quiet week in terms of editing/writing – I tinkered a little with books 1 and 2, whenever Su gave me some feedback. I got a couple of really great reviews from new readers on book 1. This one is on the US store: The story is a pulse-pounding tale where the protagonist’s external struggles are only slightly more harrowing than his internal ones. When I finally reached the epilogue I took the first breath I’d enjoyed in about 30 pages. Loss and triumph are carefully interwoven so that each heightens the other and the tension between them …

Chris Wren series fixes pt. 4 – 2020 Writing Week 30.5

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More fixes to Chris Wren book 1, Saint Justice, have been coming to me and getting implemented over the weekend. Here’s the story so far: Part 1 – The questionnaire answers on Chris Wren readthrough, and my responses – Mostly people mentioned lack of engagement, the sickness of book 2, Wren was unlikeable, and cost. I vowed to do better. Part 2 – I got feedback from Su and boughtt he K-lytics report. Here I thought hard about my book titles and blurbs, and changed them all. I also started thinking about streamlining book 1. Part 3 – More feedback …

Chris Wren series fixes pt. 3 – 2020 Writing Week 30

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I have written no new words this week ahahahaha! Rather I have been reworking past Wren books in line with feedback I got from the questionnaire and from Su, and proof-listening to book 4. Let’s take those one by one. Reworking the Chris Wren series Part 1 – The questionnaire answers on Chris Wren readthrough, and my responses – Mostly people mentioned lack of engagement, the sickness of book 2, Wren was unlikeable, and cost. I vowed to do better. Part 2 – I got feedback from Su and boughtt he K-lytics report. Here I thought hard about my book …

More ways to fix the Chris Wren series – 2020 Writing Week 29.5

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Last Thursday I wrote up the results of my fan questionnaire on the Chris Wren series – read that here. In summary, I had 62 responses, the majority were about reducing the price, with a handful of others saying the topic of Monsters book 2 was a big problem, some comments about Wren being unlikeable, and several comments about the book not being engaging. Well. I’ve thought about it all. Su’s been reading book 1. I’ve reflected. Then on Saturday I bit the bullet and bought the k-lytics report on the vigilante justice genre. It was only $40, but I …

Why people don’t read through the Chris Wren series – 2020 Writing Week 29

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Over a year ago I ran a revelatory questionnaire to my newsletter list, trying to figure out why people weren’t reading through the whole 9-book Last Mayor zombie series. I had something like 3% readthrough from book 1 to book 9. Abysmal. The results were fascinating (see them here) so I decided to replicate the experience for Christopher Wren. Why? My goal with my writing is to make money. Of course I want enormously to tell stories, improve my craft, reach other people, and have an influence on hearts and minds, if possible. But ultimately, my ability to do all …

Nothing week – 2020 Writing Week 28

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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 …

Ads revamp, Wren 5 & Pixel success – 2020 Writing Week 27

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It’s been an ad-focused week, after last week’s trials and tribulations to get Facebook Pixel conversion Optimization ads (hella mouthful!) to work. Now they’re working. But are they working? And let’s check in with word count on Wren 5 – Firestorm. I’d hoped to hit 15,000, and looks like I hit 12,000. That’s not too shabby. I almost certainly could have hit more, but I’ve been slacking. We’re through the initial intro action, and into the turn to the main rush. Wren 5 progress My target release date for Firestorm will be end of September. That’s 3 months. then book …

Crushing genre discoveries & Pixel frustration – 2020 Writing Week 26

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Last week was a painful climb-down of sales dropping away, after the previous week of getting great sales rates on the Christopher Wren books. The outcome was that my conversion dropped from 1 in 10 to 1 in 20 or lower – which is a clear difference betwen profit and loss. Painful. A rollercoaster. What the hell happened? Crushing genre/marketing discoveries Maybe it was last Wednesday that sales of the Wren books started to peter off. As far as I could tell, I hadn’t changed anything. I’d added a stronger female component to all blurbs over a week ago, and …

Starting Wren 5, sales page conversion & mentoring – 2020 Writing Week 25

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Starting Wren 5 Last week I planned to write 10,000 words in Wren book 5 by today – so much have I done? 2,000 words. Ha! But then, I wrote 5,000 on one track, did a lot of research, then had a long night of dreaming about it to realize it didn’t work. There are two reasons it didn’t work:† It was totally crazy, and highly unrealistic. Mission Impossible-level cool, but a bit too mad, and I’m tired of getting comments about the realism of these books. I don’t want to jump the shark! More importantly, it glossed over so …