Multiple stories at once: third week

Thursday—Wednesday, April 21–27

245 (4 stories) (was not a writing day, just inputting error corrections after a read through)
2,245 (1 story)
2,863 (1 story)
149 (3 stories)
2,831 (2 stories)
4,858 (1 story)
3,736 (2 stories)

Total: 16,927 words.

It was a good week—really good, in all honesty, but I didn’t really come close to my goal of 27,533 for a full week of writing.

Still, I cannot deny that something has changed. I’m giving all credit to the things I mentioned in two posts I’ve written since I started this latest experiment (key to success, multiple stories first week).

I worked on 5 distinct stories this week.

Multiple stories at once: second week

Another week has gone by—already—and I have another week of data to support my growing belief that writing on multiple stories in the particular way I’m doing it now is the best thing I’ve done for my writing in a long while.

Thursday—Wednesday, April 14–20
4,185 (3 stories)
4,798 (3 stories)
1,752 (3 stories)
242 (2 stories)
0
(18)
0

Total: 10,959 words

Despite my five days off writing, I’ve still managed to make this a great week, relatively speaking. Two of those days will end up affecting the next week’s numbers, but I have to say, I’m really pleased with what I accomplished this week. I wrote 10,959 words, and that’s a good number for me based on my historical performance.

As long as I let myself write what I want, I still feel the excitement to get going. I had a moment today where I slipped and was making myself write something, and I finally noticed how it was affecting me. I felt a great deal of resistance. But once I realized what was going on, I opened a different book, read a bit of it, and then ended up writing on the one that had been bothering me at the outset anyway, just because I wanted to.

That’s where the real power of this method has shown itself.

Get rid of the need, and I’m left with want. And want is powerful.

Multiple stories at once: first week

I have 8 days worth of words to count now, so my first week writing on multiple stories is done, and I feel like I have something to say about this method: it really works for me.

Thursday—Wednesday, April 7–13
3,003 (4 stories)
1,009 (2 stories)
1,347 (2 stories)
3,557 (4 stories)
3,983 (2 stories)
5,391 (4 stories)
3,583 (3 stories)

Total: 21,873

What’s different about this attempt and any others where I worked on multiple stories regularly?

I can’t say 100% that this is an accurate list, but I do believe it’s close to the truth.

  1. Now: I’m writing in 1 hour blocks, but am free to switch if another story calls strongly to me. Then: my 50 word challenge.
  2. There is no most important story. See the 50 word challenge post again. I write what I’m most interested in writing. :D

That’s really it, the big differences that I think are leading me to write more and stay at it longer. And what it all boils down to is interest in what I’m writing, excitement, and fun.

When I’ve got those, writing is not hard.

How I’m building my new pen name: Four months in

You might want to read the first post about the pen name book before you read this one because I’m not going to rehash what I’ve already said, just talk about what’s happened since the two week mark.

I haven’t gotten the next book out yet. Fact is, if you read this blog you’ll already know my production is not where I want it. I’m hopeful I’ll get the next book out in December, but it means I need to be successful in getting my word count up!

If I don’t improve my speed to publication for this series, this experiment isn’t going to teach me anything I haven’t already learned from my main pen name books. That’s because I’ve ended up not experimenting with price like I had originally intended.

I did a Kindle Countdown deal with the pen name book in mid-September and that led to a few more sales, but at reduced prices. I had it priced $ .99 for one day only and set to go up in $1 increments until it was full price again.

I’ve had some additional sales at full price too (full price being $6.99). I was getting a few reads here and there but it had really tapered off, and then for some reason on the 15th of this month, the book started to get very regular reads.

What I’m hoping this means is that this series could do well if I got more books out. I don’t know though. My experience to date with my main pen name has been that if a book doesn’t sell well right off, it won’t take off just because I’m releasing more books. They sell more, don’t get me wrong, but none of the series that didn’t start off strong suddenly sell great just because I’ve published more books in those series.

I’d love to have this series with the new pen name behave differently. :D The other view is a bit disheartening when it comes to series I love but feel I shouldn’t spend much time on because it won’t pay off in the long run.

  US UK AU IN  
Earnings
2015 07 68.71 14.79 6.96
2015 08 30.50 3.28  277.61
2015 09 61.71 1.29
Total Earnings 160.92  19.37 6.96  277.61
Sales
2015 07 11 2 1 14
2015 08 1 1 2
2015 09 28 28
Total Sales 40 2 1 1 44
KENP Reads
2015 07 4,681 2,301 6,982
2015 08 4,988 984 5,972
2015 09 6,733 386 7,119
Total Reads 16,402 3,671     20,073

So far in October, I’ve had 2 full price sales and about 7,000 pages read. There’s been absolutely nothing except for that unadvertised Kindle Countdown deal to keep the momentum for this book going, so I guess I’ve been very lucky that it hasn’t dropped to 0 all around. :D

I’ll save the next update for after I get the second book in the series out. Currently the plan is still to go three books at least before I make any judgments about this series.

How I’m building my new pen name: Two weeks in

Here I’m going to lay out my plan for building my second pen name without doing any kind of active promotion. Active promotion generally means most of the kinds of promotional activities you’ve heard of.

This post is the first I’m going to do for the new pen name. It’s part of my plan to build an empire, so that’s where these posts will go. (Yay! I’ve finally figured out something to put in that category.)

The truth is, I feel like a beginner still, but I’ve been publishing my books since July 2012, three years now. I’ve been a writer since I was a young teenager—a very young teenager. Maybe it’s impostor syndrome or just that I know there’s so much I don’t know (that I might never know) about this business, but it’s hard for me to talk to other writers without feeling like the one standing on the outside of success and looking in.

This post is an exercise in getting past all that.

I’ve learned a few things in the last three years and accomplished a lot, and I think I can make a success out of this new pen name even though it’s getting off to a slow start.

So here goes. I’m not planning to give away my new pen name for this experiment. Seriously. If you figure it out, please do not tell me you’ve figured it out. If I didn’t want to be anonymous, I would have chosen to reveal my pen name(s) right from the get go. I would never out you and I would appreciate it if you didn’t out me. ;)

Thank you in advance for being understanding about that! :D

I first published the new book a few days into July. I published at $3.99 because I had heard from a lot of other authors that that was the best price at the moment, and because experimenting with different prices was the entire reason I wanted to do a new pen name. I looked into the market and saw that this was a popular price point in the genre the new book fits into. I’m not used to pricing this low. It felt really weird.

I sold 8 copies at 3.99 in 3 days, then 0 copies for 2 days. I posted the book on my author site, but since there’s never been any activity there because, hey, no books, I don’t consider my pen name to have any kind of a platform. No twitter, no facebook, no G+ profile. I plan to keep it that way for as long as possible. I have a website for the pen name and a mailing list that readers can sign up to. That’s it.

After the 2 days of no sales, I raised the price up to 6.99. I mean, if I’m not going to get lucky with an unexpected hit right off and sales are going to be slow until the second book is done, then I might as well, right? When I use the countdown deal before my 90 days in KDP Select is over, at least the discount will look better.

I sold 3 books at 6.99 in the next 3 days and then back to 0.

At about the one week mark, I put the book into KDP Select and moved on.

It’s a 328 page book as far as KENPC goes, and there’ve been 3006 pages read as of today.

So somebody’s reading it.

Now the wait is on until I get a second book written and published.

I’ll post first month results when they’re available, but the fact is, I don’t expect much. New pen name, no promo, high price, etc. There’s just no real chance that anything of note will happen until the next book comes out.

My goal is to put out the next book in the series for the new pen name within 90 days. I’d go for 60, but a lot of stuff is going to have to fall into place to make that happen, including me cracking through to a higher level of daily word count. I’m working on it, but I’m certainly not ready to count on it. :)

The Thing About Experiments

Sometimes experiments fail. And sometimes, it just doesn’t turn out to be the right time to start an experiment. This is one of those times. Either, or.

I’m calling this experiment done. I had one successful day. That was all I could get out of this one. Day two I completely lost my focus after about a thousand words, and by day three I was already toying with quitting this one. Day four sealed the deal. I knew this was a failure before I even started the day yesterday. So last night, I came up with a different plan.

One I’m not going to talk about. :D

Nope, not joking! I had to clean out 7 draft posts I’d started over the last couple of days and I don’t want to have to do that again for a while. I can’t decide half the time what I even want to say in these posts, even though I obviously want to say something or I wouldn’t find myself typing these things up every time I turn around.

Writing things down is second best to talking them out for me but it works to gather my thoughts in a way I can’t do otherwise. But I don’t like littering up my blog with unposted drafts so to save us all some time, I’ll just wait until I see what’s going to happen. :)

 

Just Another Routine Experiment

I’ve created a new routine for myself to start tomorrow. It’s a schedule—but I’m calling it a routine. For reasons.

I’ve been having a bit of trouble with fatigue, and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not as active as I should be or because of other reasons, but the new routine adds in some time for me to exercise daily. I’m going to do it, because if I don’t, I’m going to keep feeling too old for my age, and who wants that?

I’ve been mulling over the quote I found so inspiring the other day and a few other things besides, and I’ve managed to come up with what looks to be a nice little routine. It addresses my entire day, gives me plenty of time for family, reading, exercise, eating, writing, and publishing. It’s probably not going to get me to one million words, unless I miraculously start writing 1,000 WPH, but it’s a nice, livable routine that will make every day a joy to live and work. I can’t ask for more than that.

It’s an experiment, and failure’s always an option, so none of that neener neener crap if I crash and burn, okay? ;)

The routine

I’m highlighting writing related items, mentioning when I expect to exercise, and leaving the rest out.

8 to 12 : writing
exercise
2 to 4 : publishing (or extra writing time) (or extra reading time)
4 to 6 : reading

When I’m racing a deadline, I can convert both the publishing and reading time to writing time. But my real goal? To become so enmeshed in my daily routine that I never need to do that.

Four hours of writing every day will get me a book a month at the length I’m most fond of and at my current average 552 words per hour. Also, the more into the routine I get, my hope is that my hourly average will increase—more words, same amount of time.