After only a few days into this endeavor, I’ve already learned that forcing my blog posts into a pre-defined schedule isn’t going to work. By the time I’ve completed the tasks I want to blog about in a given day, and then factor in the critical elements of family along with various other commitments that consume the balance of time, the day is over. Finding even more time before I go to bed to write about what I’ve done and learned that day is not going to be a realistic goal on a consistent basis.
So, in order to lay a workable foundation for my posts, my commitment will be to blog about what’s happened as soon as possible after the fact. Hopefully that will be at the end of the day most of the time. But if there’s a little distance between blog posts, please know that I will be reporting soon.
Now, Back to Business
Regarding the social media elements of my plan, I’m beginning the process of seeking out other blogs on relevant topics, which is helping me get my feet wet with blogging in general. That process also affords me the opportunity to introduce my blog to others. Comments are beginning to come into my blog, and replies are being left for me on the blogs I’m targeting, so a sense of familiarity is starting to develop.
I think there’s probably a rhythm to this whole thing, but plugging into that cadence is going to take some time.
Progress on the Plan–2nd Edition of First Novel
A key element of my publishing plan will be to unveil a re-edited version of The Truth About Cinnamon (www.TheTruthAboutCinnamon.com) several weeks ahead of my second novel’s release (Separation of Faith, targeted for release by April 2010). Toward that end, my publisher (iUniverse) returned the original Word document of Cinnamon to me yesterday. My goal is to cut 100 pages of length from the original book without impacting the story. Cinnamon readers/lovers need not fear. If I’m successful, you won’t even know anything is missing.
The reason for this objective is simple: the first version is too long, which is not unusual for debut novels. But lengthy novels are difficult (and expensive) to sell, even if the author is well known (which I’m not and thus the obscurity thing). I began freelance editing full time after Cinnamon was published, and for years now I’ve been itching to get back in there and cut things down. At last that is now going to happen.
Until the new version enters the production process, however (at least a couple of months away), we’ll still be able to sell the original version through all avenues. So anyone who has a copy of the existing The Truth About Cinnamon will be the owner of an official 1st edition in 2010.
The Truth About Cinnamon on Amazon Kindle
In order to make the ownership of that 1st edition easier, The Truth About Cinnamon is now available on Amazon Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/TRUTH-ABOUT-CINNAMON-Novel/dp/B002R5B0UU/ref=sr_oe_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1257616028&sr=1-1&condition=used) for $9.95, including wireless delivery on Amazon Whispernet.
Those already familiar with Cinnamon will notice that the wrong cover was used, but that issue should be rectified shortly.
The Truth About Cinnamon–Free Serialization
Another thing I’ll be doing now that I have the manuscript back from the publisher will be to release, for free, a substantial portion of the front part of the original book, in serialized form, chapter by chapter. Readers will be able to download the chapters (once I learn how that’s done) from this blog as well as from my website (www.eWritersRUs.com). I’ll make sure there’s a headline announcement everywhere as soon as the chapters become available.
This will give readers another way to secure the 1st edition prior to the release of the 2nd.
Opening the Kimona Further with Stats
Here comes the really painful part as I begin this petri dish process. There are a number of ways to measure how effective my plan is/will be, but the easiest and most visible statistics are my book’s Amazon ranking and the hits/activity on both my website and this blog.
All of those numbers are painfully low (or high, depending on the perspective) at the moment, which is again in keeping with my current obscurity. I’m told that the Amazon ranking is the product of a complicated algorithm, which isn’t exclusively tied to book sales. But that number seems extremely important when an author is on top of his or her game, so I’m going to start publicly tracking mine. My website hits aren’t complicated at all, and they will be openly shared as well. The same is and will be true for this blog.
Okay, here we go–the starting points:
- The Truth About Cinnamon (soft cover)–Amazon Ranking as of 11-07-09: 2,621,585. Yikes, you say! I know. I didn’t think the rankings even went that high (keeping in mind that “high” is not a good thing here). However, I see that the hard cover version of Cinnamon is ranked at 7,159,276 today–so I guess I don’t feel so bad now … 🙂
- My website hits (www.eWritersRUs.com) as of 11-07-09: 34,195. That’s not a terrible number for an unknown obscure person, but movement has been sort of stagnant for the last year. Seeing that ticker rise again will be significant.
- Hits on this blog were 100 the last time I looked about an hour ago. But I’m not going to be too hard on myself with that one yet since I’m just getting started.
These stats won’t be updated daily because I don’t believe in torture. But I’ll post the numbers often enough to track my progress as this experiment unfolds.
Progress on the Plan–Second Novel
Manuscript copies of my second novel, Separation of Faith, are still in the hands of six beta readers. When they finish their reading, they will answer eight questions for me that will help me understand what I need to change/fix in the story prior to submitting the manuscript to iUniverse.
Once in the hands of iUniverse, the manuscript will be put through the rigorous editorial process for which iUniverse is so well known. (You can check out the details about that at www.iUniverse.com.)
But until I receive the manuscripts and answered questions back from my beta readers, I will be focusing on my Cinnamon tasks and this blog.
Target for the Rest of Today
- Begin breaking the first third of the original version of Cinnamon up into separate chapters that can be turned into PDFs for the serialization.
- Explore more relevant/related blog sites, introduce myself, and leave comments.
- Update my mailing/email listing for Cinnamon so I can notify everyone of this blog/plan.
Hope everyone has a great weekend! ‘Bye for now.