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Messages - Rodeo Host

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I'm currently in a promo-stacked freebie run kicked off by a BB ad that was this past Sunday (the 30th), and I think you'll be very pleased with your results when you run your next promo campaign. Mine was also for a New Adult romance title that is set to permafree on all platforms specifically for this promo. I didn't do any other promo booking until I had the BB ad booked, set the title permafree on all platforms outside of Amazon a week ahead of time and got the price-match through 3 days ahead of time (a bit of a nail-biter there.) Book 2 in the series is also available.

I've been testing out a lot of different promo sites, and I'm using ENT, eBooksoda, Genrepulse, Romance eBook Deals, Romance Devoured, and Full Hearts Romance on the heels of the BB promo this time around along with free newsletter swaps with other authors in my genre and FB group posting on my own. Total spend for this promo run was $245. I've already made $114 back on the sales of Book 2 and some random sales of Book 1 from the other Amazon sites where it didn't go permafree. I'm not seeing any read-through series sales yet on any of the other platforms outside of Amazon- hopefully that will change soon.

Since Book 1 went permafree on Amazon on the 27th, I've given away just over 18K copies (a hefty chunk being benefit of the BB ad) and sat in the Top 20 free for two days- got as high as #8! (Just slipped out to #27 in the last couple of hours.) Adding in the other platforms, I've given away just over 25K copies total since it went permafree on Oct. 23rd. It's also picked up two new reviews already.

For me, I always ensure that there's somewhere for readers to go and something for them to buy on the heels of any of these promos. For example, I did a $0.99 promo on one of my complete box sets in August, and I wrote a companion novella that I charge $2.99 for to shuttle fans to once they finished it. I didn't have that novella the last two $0.99 promos I did on that same box set, and so this last go-round was more financially successful than those.

I've also found it's easy to spend money on a lot of promo sites that essentially add up to a whole lot of nothing. I'd rather use a couple of really good sites and my own elbow grease than put myself in a situation where I'm never going to come close to recouping the initial investment. And don't get me wrong- the visibility is valuable in and of itself, but I'm playing both a long and short game when I do these promos.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How I Write 100,000 Words A Week
« on: October 17, 2016, 07:39:07 AM »
I think I'll give dictation another try!

What would you say is the optimal gear set-up for dictation?

Dragon Dictation and a decent headset/microphone are really all you need to get started.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How I Write 100,000 Words A Week
« on: October 14, 2016, 07:57:58 AM »
Question: Did you write from an outline? If yes, how long did that take to create?

I do, whether it's provided by the client (I ghostwrite) or developed by me for my own writing. I probably spend 1-2 hours on drafting it, but that's an iterative process. I start with the basic 3-act structure and do 1 sentence chapter summaries using that. Then I flesh those out in longer summaries cover the major plot points to be achieved in the chapter. That's pretty much it, and away I go!

My first drafts usually take 25 hours for a 50k book. I don't do a lot of rewriting so it's pretty much done content wise. I haven't clocked my editing and proofreading time, but that could easily end up being more than 25. So I probably spend 50+ hours to get a finished product.

I'm willing to give dictation another try. The first time I tried it I spoke into a recorder and then input that into the computer. It took me twice as much time to get rid of all the mistakes than it did to dictate the thing. This time I'll try dictating directly into my laptop so that I can watch while it types what I say. Hopefully I can get my accuracy up like that. I'm amazed that you've managed to get your accuracy up to 99%! (BTW, I was using Dragon Dictate for Mac.)

You know, just tracking all your time to get from send to end would probably help boost your productivity in and of itself. What gets measured, gets managed and all as the old saying goes. :) 

For me, I found more errors pop up using a recorder and inputting into Dragon than dictating directly into Word with a headset. I miss the freedom of a recorder (it was awesome for walking around and using in the car), but my accuracy is obviously so much better with my headset that I can't see myself going back to a recorder right now. Once I'm done with a manuscript, I will upload that back into Dragon for training, and I think that's definitely helped as well.

Pulp speed! That's a great thing to call it. Those old pulp guys were ridiculously prolific. I guess you have to be when you're paid 2 cents a word (or whatever it was!)

And dictating instead of typing - that just seems so strange to me! If I were to ever try it I imagine that every third word would be either 'um' or 'ah'!

You'll be so focused on weirdness of saying punctuation out loud that you probably won't say those filler words nearly as much as you think. :)

Wow great word count, I wish I could do that. At  one point I was able to write 10k in a day, but after that I wouldn't be motivated to do it the following day. I want to try and stay the course. I guess build up slowly.

Thanks for the advice.

It's a muscle that does need to built up over time, and you don't have to plan to do it every day. It's a nice thing to have in your back pocket though if you happen to procrastinate with looming deadlines like I've been known to do. ;)  Start slow and build on your success, and you'll get to the level where you want to be. It's all about consistency.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How I Write 100,000 Words A Week
« on: October 13, 2016, 05:08:29 PM »

That's amazing. Are you counting just writing hours or did you write 50k all in one day and send it off to the editor that same day?

Did you actually type that many words in one hour? Did you use dictation? I know when I tried dictating I got close to 4k words an hour but there were too many errors to make it practical. Typing that many words would be beyond me because I definitely can't type that fast.

Dictation has changed my entire process. I tried it twice before it stuck, and it does require some patience and perseverance to train it and get to the accuracy level you want. I use it for first draft writing, and I'd say it's about 99% accurate now. I average 6K words per hour dictating- if only I could talk faster! LOL.

I track every minute I spend dictating, writing, editing, and proofreading. Because I just wanted to see a comparison once I really settled into dictation, I did straight up type a 50K book this summer and compared the stats to one of similar length where I dictated the first draft.

Book A: ~50K words final, all dictation
First draft took 7.82 hours for 44,695 initial words
Second draft took 9.20 hours for 3851 words added
Proofread: 3.17 hours for 359 words added
Total project time: 20.19 hours

Book B: ~50K words final, all typing
First draft took 14 hours for 43,276 words
Second draft took 5.74 hours for 3,853 words added
Proofread: 3.81 hours for 1,363 words added
Total project time: 23.55 hours

So those hours are spanned over a period of time around the day job, family, etc. according to my deadlines.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How I Write 100,000 Words A Week
« on: October 13, 2016, 12:22:50 PM »
Also, going from productivity of 1-2K words per hour to the 5,550 words per hour I had over the weekend? Pretty sure many writers would take that any day of the week. Comparing words per hour productivity to overall wordcount goal for a month productivity isn't really a good comparison point since my goals are different than yours, KWIM?

Writers' Cafe / Re: How I Write 100,000 Words A Week
« on: October 13, 2016, 12:17:56 PM »
I'm groaning right now.  ;D

I tried outlining but I just...can't. Even a basic outline is beyond me. I have written books quickly though (12-20 days quick for novels ranging from 50-70k).

So I guess the question is, how many words are you writing a month? 33k words in a weekend is impressive but if you only do it once a month, it doesn't really change much productivity wise. My goal is to increase my daily as well as monthly output. I would love to do 50k a week at least two or three times a month.

I figured someone would be.  ;)

I don't think in terms of daily/monthly wordcounts anymore. I have projects and deadlines which is much more fluid, and that drives how much I write and when. That creates motivation, and I've become far more efficient doing things as I have them set up now. We're probably looking at an apples to oranges comparison then, but to give you an idea, my last 50K novel from word 1 to sending it off the editor was just over 20 hours. A 60K project was 25 hours. So if I felt like it and had the time, I could easily swing that every week- especially with the process I've got working for me. But truth is, I don't mainly because I'm still working a FT job, and I like having a life.  ;D  That means 1-2 novels a month basically, without feeling like I'm taking time away from other things.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How I Write 100,000 Words A Week
« on: October 13, 2016, 11:07:07 AM »
I know that many will groan when I say this, but I think for most writers who want to make the big productivity boosts on their wordcount, some semblance of a plot outline is necessary. I was a pantser for years, NanoWrimo trained, so I learned how to write fast in general.

A couple of years ago, I started using some very basic outlines. It helped not only with procrastination, but I saw some nice gains in being able to get a higher wordcount in a shorter amount of time because I wasn't constantly stopping/starting to try to think through a scene or getting angsty about what I was going to write next. I was achieving pulp speed no doubt- you can see a snippet of that in a guest post for SPRT where I talk about writing 28K words in 2 days:

What made the biggest difference by far, though, since then was incorporating dictation into the mix- which I transitioned to earlier this year. This past weekend, for example, I put down just over 33K words on my current WIP without really breaking a sweat. That was in 1-hour dictation session increments (6 of them) scheduled over those two days. There's no way I could have done that without a solid outline in hand, though.

Writers' Cafe / Re: 800 emails in 3 days. Thanks Instafreebie!
« on: September 22, 2016, 06:40:04 PM »
Great tip on the performance of different target audiences, Geoff!  Thank you.  :D

Writers' Cafe / Re: 800 emails in 3 days. Thanks Instafreebie!
« on: September 22, 2016, 11:28:47 AM »
Tidbit of info I learned: If you choose multiple authors to target, after a few days, Facebook will give you a five star rating on which audience did the best. So I removed the underperforming author audiences one by one until I had targeted authors with above 4 stars on responding to my ads. Not sure if this is a good idea or not, as I don't know if Facebook deliver ads evenly to each audience.

Can you provide a bit more detail around where you found this? This is incredibly valuable info as you're refining target audiences!

Congrats on the weight-loss, Jim! That's progress for the day, even if it's not as much as you want on the writing front. I haven't written a new word in two days. Have to plug back into it tomorrow. I feel ornery about it as well, so I totally feel you.

Good luck with the editing on Book 1. I'll be interested to hear your progress through the month as you start balancing both sides of the equation.

Thanks for having me! I had a great time and I think you did a great job pairing me up with Ivy. She's like a craft sister I didn't know I had. :D

I have been called many things, but this will definitely go down as one of my favorites.  ;D
Keep rockin' it, Jim!

Thanks, Jim for giving the kind shout-out to my post and to the authors over at Self Publishing Roundtable who asked to share it.

One thing that I didn't emphasize in the post was I am a diehard NanoWrimo writer. I started back in 2004 writing first drafts as quickly as possible. So I have that figured out, and I've increased this beyond even what I posted since I added dictation to my process. (I do still have a day job. Yes, I'm a bit crazy.)

Getting words down is hard. It doesn't matter if your goal is 100 words or 10,000 words. If this helps anyone feel motivated to write 100 more words every day, then I'm thrilled because that's really what this is about. It isn't necessarily the amount of words- it's about pushing yourself to write more than you do today. and it's all about first draft writing. Second draft revision- now that's a completely different story.  ;D

Re BB I'm about to try for the first time. By BB rules (90 days at full price prior to the promotion with minor exceptions) I'll eligible on October 25th, which means I can apply September 25th or after.

So the relevant question to the KU/Wide question is how much additional value there is in being wide for a BB if I happen to get it.

[Now I'm going to reply to the long and thoughtful post from Sinapse]

So are you saying my shorter response wasn't thoughtful?

The answer to the "relevant" question, which I thought I was clear about in my response, was that it is EXTREMELY difficult to get traction on the other platforms in general. They require different strategies than Amazon. That requires time and energy. If that doesn't align with your goals, then KU is your answer. BB is the one strategy I know of that can get you there a lot more quickly if gaining traction on other platforms is part of your long-term goals. And, it can be extremely profitable for at least 30-60 days later in my experience of being an author who does both.

I've got a BB on one of my titles on Tuesday, and I'm disappointed that I couldn't go wide with it because I'm in KU with that title. No doubt I'll get some great visibility, but I do think I'm losing the potential of getting new readers elsewhere.

I've published over 50 titles since 2011 and make a comfortable 5 figures a year from my royalties. That's in addition to a full-time job as well. But hey- what do I know? YMMV.

(Sorry if this comes across as prickly, but your additional comment didn't sit right with me.)

You've got a full-length book with great reviews. Have you tried to get a Bookbub ad recently? I'd try applying there, and if you get one, I'd go wide for it. That's the only way I've managed to get any traction on the other vendors (sadly.) It would also give you a leg up in building your mailing list for when you are ready to launch your sequel.

If you can't score a BB, I'd go in for the 90 days with KU and do some smaller promos and take advantage of KU2 in the meantime.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What Type Of Music Do You Listen To While Writing?
« on: September 18, 2015, 04:37:40 PM »
Baroque music during first drafting.
Smooth/easy jazz for editing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: August reports in -.0051 page payout ...
« on: September 16, 2015, 06:43:48 PM »
I am well acquainted with the chart but I take it there is nowhere that there is a total? Frankly, a daily graph doesn't tell a lot.

ETA: I'm going to take that as joking and not as condescending as it sounded. :)

I've used this little booklet to add up the totals on the KDP report for awhile. It's nifty. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: How big is your mailing list??
« on: August 24, 2015, 10:15:44 AM »
Pen name #1: 1079.  Slow build on that one that has accelerated after I started offering the 2nd book free in two of my series for an email sign-up back in February. (Bookbub promos helped here a lot.)
Pen name #2: 340. This list had about 80 people on it three months ago. That's what having a reasonably successful launch of a new serial (with cliffhangers) did for me.

Writers' Cafe / Re: BACK UP YOUR BOOK
« on: August 22, 2015, 03:14:43 PM »
In his defense I think onedrive is better  8)

I tried it out for a few days after I got home because of that scolding (and the issues with Dropbox). Queue the ironic music- OneDrive hasn't been syncing for me either.

My husband set-up a Cloudstation external hard drive on our network- that's what I'm using now in addition to Google Docs.

Writers' Cafe / Re: BACK UP YOUR BOOK
« on: August 22, 2015, 10:26:01 AM »
Just a note for everyone who uses Dropbox. It doesn't hurt to check it to make sure it's actually syncing to the cloud. I had a hardware issue with my SurfacePro3 last month and took it in to the Microsoft store and found out they had to give me a new one. I confidently told the fellow behind the counter I had everything backed up to Dropbox. (He then gave me a lecture on why I should OneDrive instead.  ::)) I got home, turned on my new machine, opened Dropbox- and discovered it hadn't backed anything up to the cloud since FEBRUARY. And the extremely efficient Microsoft store personnel had already shipped my old computer off to the mothership by the time I managed to get a hold of them.

Of the six titles I'd published between Feb-July, I managed to cobble together near final versions for all but one of them from files I'd emailed to betas, PDF conversions back to Word from D2D, etc. Still- ouch, in the worst way. Lots of admin work to get me back to whole.

Double backups. Triple backups. Don't discount it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How to Subtitle Companion Titles
« on: August 20, 2015, 06:26:15 AM »
Thank you for the suggestions! Very helpful.  :)

Writers' Cafe / How to Subtitle Companion Titles
« on: August 19, 2015, 07:27:56 PM »
I have three different series that I completed a couple years ago. I know that I find some new readers all the time for them (especially after a glorious BB run) but I thought it would be fun to write a companion book for each one of the series to juice the algorithms and maybe find some more eyes. I'll occasionally hear from fans too that they wish there were more books for them to read- so this would be a nice add for all of them.

I'm a bit stuck on the best way to subtitle them. I'd like to designate that it's a related title, but make it clear that these aren't prequels or sequels. (Same worlds but different characters altogether. The series all follow the same set of characters.)

Advice appreciated. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Did you do better or worse with KU2? (POLL)
« on: August 16, 2015, 10:32:55 AM »
Honestly, I don't think my increased success in July had anything to do with KU1 vs. KU2.  I had the fortune of being part of a wildly successful box set that released in June and carried the first title in my newest PNR serial. I released #2 at the end of June, #3 in July, and #4 will drop next week. I get more pre-orders, more page reads, and more mailing list sign-ups with each title being released.

I have another long-running serial in KU and just released Part 10 in July. That serial isn't nearly as popular as the one that started in the box set, but once the story sucks them in I have a lot more for them to read once they get invested in the characters. I'm also getting crossover between the two serials.

So really I don't think KU had any change in impact to me, but everything else I'm doing in terms of gaining visibility was what pushed my July earnings up 30% over June. (Serial-length definitely still works in my world.)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand words a day club 2015
« on: August 06, 2015, 06:31:15 PM »
8114 words added today, and I found the end of my first draft.  Today is a good day.  :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: 1 Week Training My Dragon
« on: August 06, 2015, 05:50:37 PM »
I've been kicking the tires on the whole idea of dictation for months (well, ever since Elizabeth first posted this thread in any case.  :D)
I've tracked words per hour typing and using the Pomodoro technique for my last 4 books, and I top out at about 3,000 words per hour. With a barebones outline and time on my hands, I can produce a lot of words- but it has consistently been 3,000 words per hour no matter what.

To take my game to the next level, I knew I had to get on this dictation train. I'm still in the early stages because I'm just recording raw words right now (just as I would if I was typing the first draft), but I'm consistently clocking about 100 words per minute. At that pace, that puts me at 6,000 raw words per hour.  :o

I know already that my editing time is going to increase, but even then it's not going to increase so much that it offsets the massive increase I'm seeing in output. Like Magda- I'm now taking my recorder everywhere. I picked up 1600 words on my short run to Target yesterday.  :)

This technique is a gamechanger for me- no doubt about it.

Get in. Get the job done. Get out. Get paid.

It's a simple motto that I've lived by for the last five years. It's kept me alive and made me rich.

There's no love lost between me and the supernatural beings who walk the world beside us. But when it comes to being able to retrieve valuable information from the dead, Necromancer Riley Stone is the only game in town. They know it. I know it too, and that's why my services aren't cheap.

The archangel Benjamin hired me to find out why he has a new demon problem. Three demon interrogations in, and the only thing I know is that the demons are in hot pursuit of a nameless young woman. She's here on Calamata Island, and the demon officials are willing to risk Benjamin's wrath to grab her.

But I found her first, and she's nothing like what I expected. In my line of work, you can't afford to let anyone get too close. But there's something about Paige Matthews that I can't shake, and she needs my help. I won't turn her over to Benjamin until I help her find out why the demons are after her.

So now I've got a demon problem, and I'm in way over my head.

This paranormal romance suspense story unfolds over multiple volumes of approximately 25,000 words each. Due to strong language, this story might not be suitable for younger readers.

Protect Her: Parts 1 through 10 are available now.

<merged with existing thread.  Please, one thread per book.  Bookmark this thread so that you can find it again, thanks!  --Ann>

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