Category: self-publishing

Insanity: Week 6 Progress Report

The Workout (Month Two):

Golly. Just golly.
In 5k news, my dad had the boys for the weekend, so Josh and I skipped the Run through the Jungle and went to town for some grownup coffeehouse hangout time. Best decision we’ve made in recent memory.
The Writing (Month Two):
I still feel like I spent last week lazing off, even though my word count was up. Part of the problem is not being able to decide whether to ditch Bad Coffee and go straight for Bad Dreams (which in my original plans was Bad Decisions #3) or to stick Bad Coffee out. It comes down to whether Bad Coffee adds anything to the overall story arc—something I’m still trying to figure out.
Offering Bad Decisionsfor free over the weekend (Thursday-Monday) was a total success. The story was downloaded 496 times, went to the double digits (#33 at its best) on Amazon’s Action & Adventure Bestseller List, and gained one review (5-star). I promoted the story in two ways: changing one of the Amazon key words to “free,” and tweeting about it being “#free for #kindle.” Here’s a graph illustrating the Number of Downloads on any given day:
Thanks to the good people at Create-a-Graph Kids’ Zone for helping me make the graph. Apparently, it’s not important to label the axes, but whatever.
I can’t say conclusively whether tweeting helped. My results might’ve been skewed by time of day, holiday status, and day of the week. For example, Friday and Saturday tied for fewest downloads. On Friday I purposely avoided putting up any promotional tweets, on Saturday I put up three. Sunday my numbers climbed with zero tweets.
Thursday and Monday my numbers were high, but Thursday might’ve been new-freebie-on-the-block downloads and Monday might’ve been a result of the “last chance to get this free” tweet. Also, most of the downloads on Monday came at night—yes, after I posted the only tweet for the day, but also maybe because everyone was back from the holiday vacation and wanted something to read. There were just too many factors to say for sure whether tweeting made a noticeable difference.

The truly sad news is that my Excel chart usage took a dive sometime in the past week. I didn’t label it with actual calendar dates, only day numbers, so figuring out what the last day I recorded was is going to take some doing. You saw my cool graph, though, right?

Insanity: Week 4 Progress Report

I forgot to write Week 3’s progress report, possibly because I was so busy revising and formatting the ebook for Bad Decisions, but probably because I have no concept of time. I can’t remember anything that happened during Week 3, so let’s just skip ahead to Week 4.
Insanity The Workout:
Totally paid off! Saturday, without ever having run 3 miles at one time, Josh and I participated in Emily’s Runaway 5k. Heck, we did better than participate—we got second place in our age groups—and Josh ran every single k! I had to walk a few (eight or nine) times, but I still ran more than I thought I could.
And that’s not even the best part. The best part was the costume contest. I was the only entrant not dressed as a bride, groom, bridesmaid, or groomsmaid. With a borrowed Bible and wearing my cross shirt, I welcomed the dearly beloved who were gathered there today as Father Etteldorf. I’m used to no one getting my jokes, so I wasn’t surprised when the winners of the women’s costume contest were announced without even a reference to me. Then they announced the winners of the men’s costume contest. Funniest costume—Father Etteldorf! Yessirree, Saturday night, using only my wits and some stuff I borrowed, I brought home the bacon. In the form of a free one-topping Casey’s pizza coupon. (Which we will probably use tonight, as I don’t really feel like cooking.)
We’re still doing Insanity the Workout. Today begins our recovery week. Next week we start the Max Insanity stuff, so I imagine the Week 5 progress report will be the last one I post before I die. Unless I forget to post again.
Just in case:
Insanity the Writing:
I learned that formatting a 50-page story for Kindle is not hard, just incredibly tedious. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like formatting a whole novel. What I’ll probably have to do when I put Halo together is hire a lookalike to play me for a few weeks and seclude myself somewhere far away from friends and family while I go through the formatting with a fine-toothed comb. Also, I’m going to make sure I’ve got all the revisions done that I’m going to do before I format.
Formatting tedium notwithstanding, Bad Decisions by E.M. Smith (my pen name who writes non-paranormal action and adventure exclusively) is now available on Amazon for 99 cents.
So, the story’s published with a month to spare. (Remember how this Insanity project keeps going for two whole months? July 22nd to September 22nd? That’s okay, I didn’t remember, either. It’s something about the core concept that’s so hard to grasp.) What now? Now I write the follow-up to Bad Decisions, working-entitled Bad Coffee. I’m not sure what the arc of this series is going to be, lengthwise, but if I can get about the same amount of work done per day on Coffee as I did on Decisions, I should be able to get the second story up before Insanity ends.

When all of this is over, I’ll write a post on the touchy-feely aspects of self-publishing and getting into better shape via exercise and sobriety. I’m still keeping up that Excel chart—obviously because my physical prowess is outstripped only by my powers of organization—so that will be included in the touchy-feely post as well.

Insanity: Writing

I started doing Insanity (“Dig deep!”) today in lieu of running in 1,000 degree weather.
After I asked my sister if I could borrow her Insanity DVD and explained my motivations, Emily conceded that it was possible that I might not embarrass myself at the Superhero Run this Saturday if I crammed all week long. If I kept it up, she continued, Insanity would help me with the Runaway 5k she’s hosting next month.
This morning, I almost died during the Fit Test. That’s when I got this idea: In honor of how insane it was to think I could do this for 60 whole days, I’m starting my own thing. I’m going to call it “Insanity: Writing.” What you do is write and self-publish a book in sixty days. (That’s insane!)
For those of you at home, I’ll keep as close track as possible and include weekly updates here on the ole blogaroo. (I’ve never even thought the word “blogaroo” before. It makes me feel uncomfortable.) Today—Day One—I outlined the full story for Bad Decisions. (An apt working title, I figured, considering the circumstances.) By August 22, I should have a finished project ready to launch.
Chances are I’ll give up sometime around day 10 (on both Insanities), and then write a post about how I failed miserably, maybe about how I’m not even going to show up at the Runaway 5k, just going to stay home and eat cookie dough and cry.*

*Fun Fact: When I say things like this, I’m forcing you to assume that I will fail so you won’t be surprised or disappointed if I actually do. That’s a pretty common M.O. for me. Also note how I didn’t tell you that Bad Decisions may actually turn out to be a novella. The storyline seemed fairly short to me, but I can’t tell from this side of writing how many pages each chapter is going to require.

There is, however, that outside chance I’ll stick with both Insanities, run 5k in decent time, and publish a [thing of some sort] next month. As the Lats used to say, “If there is no wind, row.” This is me rowing.
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7/24/2013
Update: It’s been brought to my attention that 60 days from July 22nd is not August 22nd, but September 22nd. So September 22, 2013 is the day I should either have a book ready to launch or have failed miserably. I’ll do my best to hold off that long, even though the concept of 2 months (not 1) continues to baffle me for some reason.