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 …

Ghost War launches & Saint Justice conversion up – 2020 Writing Week 24

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Ghost War, book 4 of the Chris Wren thrillers, is out today! I’ve had a number of beta readers on the ARC team get back to me with comments and great fixes for minor issues. So far there are just reviews in, but I’m loving them. Here’s Julian’s review off Goodreads: I don’t like using ‘roller-coaster/page-turner’ in reviews as they are too pat descriptors, useful shorthand, maybe – but lacking some oomph. And Ghost War certainly has the OOMPH! If I wanted a brief description then ‘express train ride, barely short of a complete runaway train’ comes close. The action …

Unkilling more people in Saint Justice – 2020 Writing Week 23

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This week I got a fascinating review for Saint Justice: “Captivating, enthralling. I finished the book. Quite an amazing study of human attitudes and behaviors. However, for this reader there was just too much violence. Not at all certain I will read the next. For sure I need a bit of time before considering it.” It was a 3-star review. You wouldn’t think so from those first two lines, right? Captivating, enthralling. That’s good, no? Then, the violence let it down. God damn the damn violence!! I wrote a post on the Self-Publishing Formula Facebook page on this topic: Age …

Wren 4 edits & Last Mayor Bookbub! – 2020 Writing Week 21, 22

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I thought edits on Christopher Wren book 4 would only take me a week, so I would’ve been done at the end of week 21, but it has taken until today, 2 weeks later, to get this book done. Almost completely done – still one little chapter to slot in, but that shouldn’t take more than Saturday morning. I feel pretty weird. I suppose overwhelmed – for Wren, for his team, for his people. This may be one of the hardest books I ever had to write. It’s been my slowest book to write in recent years. It may be …

Wren 4 Finished! & FB experiments – 2020 Writing Week 20

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This week I set out to finish Wren book 4, now titled Ghosts, and I succeeded! It has left me feeling pretty shattered. There were quite a few surprises through the end. It does all kinds of unexpected things, and I have a lot of sympathy for poor old Christopher Wren. He’s more broken now than ever. Next up is book 5! Goal is to at least write that, maybe even book 6 by the end of 2020, if I can get really going. Hmm – I thought I’d have more to say, but it would all be spoilers. So, …