The Great Writing Business Challenge — Week 12 Results

The Great Writing Business Challenge – Week 12 Results
The Great Writing Business Challenge – Week 12 Results

Now, when you set out your burning desire — you start to work on goals. And this is a positive feedback loop. The more you work at what you want to achieve, the more inspiration you get to work on them. And what inspiration…

The Great Writing Business Challenge — Week 12 Results



Instafreebie/PW: 134
StoryOrigins: 0
Overall Total: 3838

Published Words Fiction:

– free — Own Site: 0, Medium: 0, Wattpad: 0
— paid — Book Outlets: 0, Medium: 0

Published Words Non-Fiction:

– free — Own Site: 1506, Else: 0 (Medum)
— paid — Book Outlets: 0, Medium: 0


Books (pre-)published:

  • None

Books In Progress:

  • Origin Tales: Mysti
  • Dark Lazurai

Book sales this week:

Draft2Digital — 1, Gumroad — 1, PublishDrive — 1, Amazon — 39, StreetLib –0 = Total Week’s Sales — 42

Lulu sales for March: 1 ebooks, 200 paper/hardback (avg per week — 50 | avg. royalty — $3.17). Next report 15 Apr…

Note: Fiction held its own in Amazon, while overall down on all book outlets.

New Podcast Episodes:

  • none


Goal Achievement

When you take those “four pieces of paper” and follow their instructions, then funny things happen. I’ve told you about the calmness that starts ruling your attitude, and then it takes off from there.

Started working on my batch-approach and that works. Take 6 targets per week, assign a day to each. Audio went well in batches. I worked out that if I post 5 audios a week, it would take care of the majority of the podcasts. And posting that many is simple by batch method.

Next target was fiction reader magnets. Only a hundred plus fiction books. Batch with a boilerplate reader magnet was the first idea.

Start with the top-selling books. Amazon was the biggest ebook sales point, so would be the indicator for all the rest. And I could get 90 day of data from both Lulu (for paperbacks) and Amazon. (Thanks, Amazon for only 90 days.) But 90 days would give me a representative number for both.

Boiling these down and combining them showed a lot of data.

Remember the 80/20 rule? I’d earlier worked out that out of the 1,000 plus books I’ve published (with no advertising at all) that 50% never sold, and the 80/20 rule of what was left pretty much said where my income came from. Here, I assembled the books and looked for the obvious non-linear progression — meaning that it took an exponential leap. And that left me with 11 books out of 200 in this sample. About 5.5% that gave me 60% of total sales.

Interestingly, only one of my fiction books made the cut. Barely. But these have only been out for a year, and several aren’t out of pre-order yet. They already make up a third of my sales on Amazon. Which points out two strategies for this.

Buying ads for the top sellers, once the backmatter is revised.

Continuing to work with my own list — while growing it — to increase the sales of the fiction works. Now, I have yet to pull up my 2018’s year boil-down. That will give me a somewhat different view of the fiction sales, and probably still won’t be conclusive.

By the end of May, I’ll be out of pre-orders, and will be promoting my backlist to my subscribers. One thing positive, with that huge backlist, I have no shortage of things to promote weekly. And also am able to combine better-selling books into collections — just as I laid out in the earliest of 2018.

So if I happened to choose a nice result like 100K book income by then end of 2019, and with an average of $2 royalty per book unit, then that is “only” 50K sales.

Backmatter for all the selling books first (and all the fiction) and then book sales ads should do the trick. A lot of homework needed on ads, obviously. And some ads to get non-organic subscribers. So a three-prong attack. Backmatter first.

It’s Wednesday as I write this section, and tomorrow is auction day. So it will be Friday until I can get onto the backmatter. Compiling this spreadsheet today took the afternoon. Might not make it to writing a book this week. But having the top 11 books with new backmatter will also help sales.

And then Illness hit

Sure this is something that is horrible for any writer — meaning they can’t write. And in theory, meaning they are falling behind on Amazon beast-feeding and so won’t have their next huge novel done.

Nope. My sales continue regardless. The email I prescheduled for Thurs promoting to my fiction list went out, and all my illness meant was that I was slow in getting back to them. Fiction was 25% of total Amazon sales — in range, if lower.

Still, between the vital farm chores, I was laid up for days. Drifting in and out of sleep, and low energy. Still not eating much. Better each day.

And I’ve already written this week’s fiction mailing.

One thing I discovered is that I miss fiction writing.

Practically, I don’t need to go back to non-fiction writing. Sure, that’s where I get most of my sales from, but Fiction is more expandable — apparently. I might republish some classic fiction PD (through Streetlib and skipping Amazon) but its so much easier to simply create new fiction.

Still throwing out supposed guru’s

With Geoff Shaw revealing his KU roots, and shutting down that “course”, I’m starting to throw out a lot of what he recommended — since it hasn’t worked. Other than writing short works. Going exclusive throws out some 70% of the planet — the markets that are just now opening up to ebooks. Also, all your eggs in what has proven to be a very fickle basket (Amazon) is betting on disaster. But Shaw started out as an affiliate marketer and his approach was writing to market, not writing great fiction.

Nick Stephenson is proving to be that type of author as well. He recommends some smarmy types in his emails and co-webinars. And his course is built on fast, fast, fast. Not a balance of quantity and quality of service delivered. That proved out with my email coaching, where he built fast numbers based on Rafflecopter and similar list building — where they didn’t even need to download your book to become part of your list. Worst possible way to start out a list — with the lowest quality of subscribers. And his organization is disjointed. I used to buy into the point that is was “advanced” — but then found out it’s just not organized for simple understanding and application. And then he quit writing at all — just to push his courses and affiliate products.

Dawson is doing better, even if his stuff is getting top-heavy. I’m surprised he gets any writing done at all. Other than his Facebook ads (and probably AMS) courses, I don’t see a lot more value there.

Someone else’s course is shutting down this summer — says it’s costing him too much. Nice product overall. Never used it — but will be downloading all I can soonest.

Factually, I’m done with courses on writing and publishing. Too much of the same hype which isn’t going anywhere. If I were to invest my time and money in anything, it will be in creating courses based on what has worked for me. A future track — probably next year’s…

Last Week is simply re-logged

Same work needs to get done, and little of anything done this week.

One fascinating email came in:

“Now THAT was an engaging email! I get so tired of the same old flashy covers, huge graphics but nothing to hold an interest, you today have made me smile!”

My email coach asked to use it as a testimonial — although it was an off-hand suggestion of hers and 95% of the rest was my talent. She also finally got me to write short and to a single link. Still, those actionable takeaways were probably worth the investment on their own.

I still have to get my backmatter worked up. The analysis that revealed my top sellers as all non-fiction simply resulted in the fact that I have to rebuild all my fiction books, regardless. Because there has been so much growth in sales there by just investing in that many books.

As said, I don’t need to write more non-fiction of any type. Other than this year’s summary of material.

Then expand my bestselling non-fiction into courses and promote them. This year is sorting out to simply promoting a few key non-fiction books, and also the best fiction (once I find them.)

All baby steps at this point. But it’s good to get things worked out in priorities — and a view of next year’s challenge.

General priorities (subscribers) -

  1. Continue weekly emails to subscribers
  2. Organic subscriber lines built up (book backmatter, Wattpad, Medium)
  3. IF maintained until Story Origin can replace
  4. Once organic routes are in place, the segue to FB and other ads

Content priorities -

  • Continue to add more goal-achievement podcast episodes and articles. -> opt-in’s
  • Distill these into articles for Medium -> opt-in’s
  • Continue creating new fiction with improved backmatter.

Sequence of these one-day blitzes

  • Any needed organizing. (Once major templates are set, these speed up.)
  • One book taken all the way to done — published everywhere.
  • Another book taken all the way done.
  • Another book — until no more time left.

Last Week’s To-Do’s

  • Emails out (one day blitz) YUP
  • New podcasts posted (one day blitz) NOPE (Not necessary — last week’s email never went. But I have a half-dozen ready now.)
  • Landing page built/reviewed for fiction opt-in’s, One day blitz on fiction book republishing NOPE
  • Ad and landing page built/reviewed for non-fiction (SSL) , One day blitz on non-fiction (SSL) books republishing NOPE
  • Rest of week on simply writing-publishing new fiction. NOPE

This Week’s To-Do’s

  1. Emails out (one day blitz)
  2. New podcasts posted (one day blitz)
  3. Landing page built/reviewed for fiction opt-in’s, One day blitz on fiction book republishing
  4. Ad and landing page built/reviewed for non-fiction (SSL) , One day blitz on non-fiction (SSL) books republishing
  5. Rest of week on simply writing-publishing new fiction.

Originally published at Living Sensical.