Writing Journal 32: Promoting with Ebooks

Writing Journal 32: Promoting with Ebooks

My writing journal for Saturday, September 13, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Happy days. I made a huge push, and got the final words done on both the nonfiction book with 2,500 words, and the novella, with 1,300 words. Basically, it was just a dash to the finish line. Lots of holes in both books, but that’s OK. At least I have a first draft. No matter how many books you write, each and every one is different, and the challenges are different.

Until you get your first draft done, there’s always a niggling doubt that something will go horrendously wrong, and the book will drive itself off a cliff.

I’m pleased I got that out of the way. It’s Saturday, so it’s a short writing day.

At the moment, my current projects include: blogging, the company history ghostwriting project, and the freebie ebook I’m writing for a client.

Ebooks to promote your business: create your marketing plan first

Here’s a tip for marketing with ebooks.

Although freebie ebooks aren’t the marketing goldmine they used to be, they’re still highly useful. If you’re using them, create your marketing plan first. Start by setting goals: what do you hope to achieve? Who’s your target market? How will you promote your freebie? How will you schedule promotions? Creating a plan first saves time. It also ensure that you’ll get the results you want.

Honey’s ready for her breakfast, so I make my own at the same time. I eat my toast while skimming through email. I’ve got to respond to important messages now, because I have a couple of student coaching calls tonight.

Time for my walk. This week, I’ve had a couple of days when I didn’t walk, and I feel guilty about that. When Honey was younger, she forced me to walk. She’d sit staring up at me reproachfully when “walk” time arrived. If I spent longer than ten minutes finishing up some work, she’d get progressively more reproachful.

I spend a couple of timer sessions on each project. I’m tempted to spend more time blogging (blogging’s always my favorite project), but I resist, so I can do a little more on the company history. Then I create a couple of cluster diagrams for the ebook, and spend ten minutes on research.

Enough. Time for lunch, and my Saturday errands.

Back again: coaching calls

I got back way too late, but it was fun. Now it’s time to prepare for the coaching calls.

My daily review is done, as is my weekly review. My word counts are good. Now for the calls, and then the writing day is done.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 15: Phone Coaching, Mailbox

Writing Journal 15: Phone Coaching, Mailbox

My writing journal for Wednesday, August 27, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Yes! The words are flowing again

A great writing morning. Up early again, and 1,100 of novella #4 flowed easily. I would have managed more words, but needed to research a couple of character names. I do most research after the first draft, but character names are vital, so I needed to get a couple of 18th century French surnames right.

Next, I focused on the novella’s first two scenes. I gave one of the main characters more to do (rather than just talk), and made him stronger. He’s now got more potential for change, which magically made the later scene, which I wrote today, stronger too. When in doubt, always go back to the beginning. Kick it up a notch.

Tip: when you’re writing fiction, have people do stuff. Don’t just say “he was a mean old man” — show him kicking the cat when no one’s looking.

If you follow the strategies in Authentic Writing, you’ll discover some of these simple tricks for yourself.

I managed 2,000 words of nonfiction. If I keep this up, I’ll finish the ebook before the deadline. That’s always a good thing.

Julia’s sent off novella #3 to the editor. Julia likes the book, so that’s good too.

It rained overnight, and it’s still raining. No time for a walk this morning. I’ve got errands to run, so I need to get some client copywriting projects under way, because I’ll be gone for most of the morning.

This afternoon, I have some client and student coaching. In between all that, I need to work on another couple of blog posts for clients. And complete the client presentation. Another hour on that should do it.

Honey’s arthritis is making her stiff this morning. She still gobbles her breakfast. She’s always been a good eater.

Phone coaching sessions

I had lunch with a friend who runs a local bookkeeping service for small businesses. We talked about Google+, which I enjoy, and which she’s just starting to use.

In the office again, to more email — and a surprise. I received an invitation to the beta of Mailbox for Mac.

Mailbox is owned by Dropbox. If you link Mailbox and Dropbox, you get a free gig of storage. Here’s a review of Mailbox. I like the threading; it’s easier to follow conversations.

First impressions: it feels like Sparrow — an email app I paid for. Then stopped using because of the bugs. Once the bugs were ironed out, Google acquired it. Mailbox is much faster than Sparrow; Sparrow took forever to download emails.

Next, preparation for the coaching sessions, and the sessions themselves.

Then onward to a couple of quick blog posts for clients blogs. They’re already drafted. I added a few paragraphs to each, and they were done and scheduled. They would have been faster, but I had to hunt for images. I meant to find more images last weekend, but didn’t get around to it.

And the day’s done. Daily review; word counts respectable.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 14: Editing with Scrivener

Writing Journal 14: Editing with Scrivener

My writing journal for Tuesday, August 26, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Novella: write and EDIT, again

Up at 5AM, to a very sluggish start. I did a cluster diagram — but the words wouldn’t flow.

I shouldn’t complain. I had a good run, of very good days. :-) It happens like this sometimes. I know what the problem is, I need to get the two main characters from point A, to point D, and the emotional connection isn’t there.

It will come. I know I need to make the beginning stronger. I’ll reread what I have later today. Maybe I’ll be able to write a few more words.

Despite the dribble of words I managed to write 1,000 of them. However, it took me twice as long as usual. At one point, I would have settled for 500 words.

I’m still editing novella #3. I need to get that off to the contracted editor today, so I don’t have time for nonfiction. I’m pleased now that I was ahead of schedule on that book, otherwise I would have been behind.

I’m hoping that a dry spell hasn’t set in. Dry spells happen with your writing occasionally; all you can do is press on.

Time for Honey’s breakfast. It’s raining. How annoying. I need to walk off my bad mood; I shouldn’t get frustrated, but I do. A walk would help.

Email. Then breakfast.

Next, I prepare for a phone coaching session with a writer.

The coaching session goes well. We’ve scheduled a follow-up for the weekend.

I’ve got to complete a presentation for a client this week. I’ve come up with some ideas, so I pitch them to him on the phone.

He chooses the idea he likes. So, I need to draft it, and choose the number of slides, before I worry about design. I’ll be passing this off to a designer. However, it’s easier to give the designer an idea of the feeling I want for each slide by choosing fonts and images which give the right mood, and help convey the message.

I check email, and make some notes, so that Julia can work up the quotes.

Lunch time already. Time for a break to run some errands.

Then back to novella #3. I need to get it done. No excuses. Scrivener makes editing easy. I use the split screen function a lot, and I also have lots of Quick Ref documents open.

How to edit with Scrivener

These edits are taking much longer than I thought they would. I know why — the novella is much longer than I’d imagined it would be.

I wrote a blog post on how to edit fiction with Scrivener.

FINALLY,  it’s done. I send Julia the Scrivener file, so she can do quick read and check, before sending it to the editor.

This editor is fast, so it should be back by the weekend. At that stage, I’ll read through it again, change what needs changing, maybe add a little more material. Then it goes to the proofreader.

What a LONG day. A final check of email, then my daily review, and word counts. Fingers crossed that tomorrow flows more smoothly. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 14: Short Stories Sell

Writing Journal 14: Short Stories Sell

My writing journal for Monday, August 25, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Novellas

Up at 5AM, eager to write. Did more outlining on the current novella, which is #4, and wrote 1,100 words. I could have written more, but spent one timer session to researching so that I can create the meta data for novella #3.

I spent an hour reading #3, in preparation for the edit. I need to get my edit finished, so that I can send off it off to the contracted editor. I promised her the material today, thinking that I could get it done over the weekend, but that didn’t happen.

Also wrote 1,000 words of nonfiction on the client’s book. I’m a little ahead of where I should be, so I stole time from this project for the novella.

Breakfast for Honey, and for me, while reading email. We get a lot of email over the weekend, because students complete their exercises, and are impatient for feedback. So, email takes a little longer today.

Time for a walk, and then time to sort out the week’s schedule with Julia.

Next, I work on a couple of copywriting projects from last week. I always like to leave a couple of days between writing, and editing, to clear my mind. They’re fine, so Julia can send them to the clients.

Blog posts. One for a client blog, and Short Stories Sell, for the freelance writing blog.

I also wrote a blog post for the Just Write a Book Blog, Write a Novel, or a Short Story?

Lunch, at my computer, reading students’ projects.

Short stories SELL (for the first time in decades)

Readers buy short stories. I know that from my experiences with publishing my own fiction to Amazon, and ghostwriting fiction for clients.

Writers think that there’s a catch… Why do short stories sell on Amazon?

I’m sure that it’s because we’re all pressed for time. I download a short story to read because I have a few minutes to relax, and I’m in the mood for a story of that genre.

In the days when I bought hardcover and paperback books, and visited the library every week, I felt obliged to read everything I hauled home. I went to all that trouble, so I should read the books, right? :-) Today, I’ve got 2,000 ebooks on my Kindle. I may read a chapter or three, or I may read the entire ebook.

Consider too, Kindle Unlimited. Readers can download ten ebooks at a time. Why not download a short story? They can finish a story quickly.

So that’s my theory on why short stories sell now: readers like them because they’re a quick read.

You don’t have to write a novel to justify your price

Writers tend to think that if they write a short story, they have to give it away for free, or sell it for 99 cents. Nonsense. Sell your story for $2.99.

Client deadline

Next, I’m on deadline for a long article I’m ghostwriting for a client. I had a chat with him last week to get material. Now I need to add the additional material, and write another draft.

I can chop the article into separate documents in Scrivener, and then drag the snippets around. Then, if I like the structure of the article in Scrivenings mode, I can redo the transitions, and it’s done. God bless Scrivener. Saves so much time.

That’s it for today. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.