November Madness

November triggers the start of a lot of writers trying to get 50K words on paper.

I looked back at what I achieved in September, and realised I would have to write a lot more each day (after learning to sit at the computer for longer) if I was going to get anywhere near that number.

I also read DWS’s Writing In Public daily blog because I am interested in how he gets the fiction writing done along with every other project he has going, such as the online workshops, the lecture videos he develops, and the week long workshops in his home town, along with editing and publishing a magazine and other novels.

If you need inspiration to write more or to survive NaNoWriMo, check out his output on his blog for the past 3 month. Take notice of both his fiction word count and his non-fiction word count. Impressive.

I decided he does not need to participate in NaNoWriMo because he writes more than 50K words every month. However, I need to get in the same mindset as Dean, before I can raise my word count, even if I don’t participate in the November madness.

So, in October I finished the first draft of my second Sensing Danger novella to clear my desk for November. While I wait for the novella to cool, ready for revision next week, I plotted 6 Fantasy flash fiction stories based on Holly Lisle’s process  They were fun to plan, and are now ready to write.

I only planned on 5 but wrote the sixth idea down to keep my muse happy.

Of course, I write SciFi, so questioned why I would want Fantasy flash fiction stories, but the outlines are done. I can leave them on the back burner until I get the two fantasy novellas I plotted during another online course written.

If marketing giveaways are required to entice readers to sign up,  I need marketing material for my current novels, not new novels waiting to write, so it follows that I really need to plot 5 SciFi stories, hopefully related to the Sensing Danger world and the Broken series world.

My next novel idea, developed from an exercise during the Genre Course I took with DWS, is ready to write (and I love it enough I want to write it now) but I do have other responsibilities I have to complete first, such as tax returns, maintenance on my car, maintenance on my house, publishing tasks including formatting my non fiction eBook for Amazon, creating covers for three or four already published novels, and rewriting the blurbs now I have a better idea of what I need to show to entice readers to buy my books. I think I may be biting off more than I can chew with my plans for this month, but I will try.

I also set up my publishing business, Tift Publishing, in October and started the web site layout and pages. Still have lots to do such as work on a better way to store signup lists for newsletters and send out gifts for signing up, such as a collection of flash fiction.

I did set up MailChimp (free) to store the lists but found I can’t look at the list without paying $3.00 every time I want to check where the signed up readers are located. If I am going to pay I might as well use AWeber because everyone I know who set up a list believe AWeber is the better alternative for storing the list, sending newsletters and using the auto responder.

Do comment below if you have a list set up and tell me the pros and cons you found from the list software/company you are using.

So, I pulled the list link off the publishing site before anyone does actually signs up while I see if I can write the JavaScript to forward the list details to me and manually or automatically add the data into a database here. Yes, I do like control over all areas of the business of writing.

I did have fun writing code for when the Submit button was clicked on the web page to place the field data into an email. I finally got it working, but still not sure if that is the way to go. All I do know is that it took up time I should have used writing.

Now, I have come to the conclusion that marketing is not the end all to selling novels; it is better to have a large backlist. I reasoned that the more books available mean more readers will see and hopefully buy and hopefully recommend to other readers.

I think writing more seems to still be the best marketing tool, until the whole Indie publishing system settles down. Have you found this to be true or do you believe your marketing activities drives more sales?  

I plan on starting the new novel on Monday and, hopefully, as each flash fiction idea pops into my mind, I will get it down on paper.

I will continue to replace all my eBooks with better covers and better written blurbs and leave the books alone to find readers while I practice writing better stories.

And, once Tift Publishing gets my Broken series into print, I can try marketing with a collection of flash fiction as an inducement.

That should see me through both November and December. Then I will see if I really do need a list of readers wanting a newsletter, or if they are happy to read the blog if I ever get around to writing fresh blog articles on my author sites.

How are your marketing tasks going?

Are you actually seeing an uptake on sales from following what Holly is teaching us?

Are your signup lists growing?

Are you participating on NaNoWriMo?

I look forward to November madness writing my next novel. Good luck to all you NaNoWriMo participants.


2 comments so far

  1. Angela/curiocat on

    I’m excited to see you did the flash fiction course. I thought it was pretty cool. I came up with ideas that made me stretch creatively.

    My daughter bought a download from shutterstock for the cover of her flash fiction story she did through Holly’s site, too. I get to do some playing. I just recently learned how to make font that is on fire. Took me forever but I’m pleased to say it looks pretty decent.

    Now I’m working on how to make a puddle of blood. I’m struggling a bit on it as I did with the flaming font because it seems my version of adobe photo elements does not match with the directions I find on line. It also seems as though a lot is left out so it takes a while to figure out what the hey?!

    No marketing stuff yet but still moving a long on learning stuff.

    • D J Mills on

      Yes, the flash course allowed me to come up with ideas I would not normally think of. 🙂

      Glad to hear you are playing around with fonts and cover images.

      Look forward to a peek at the cover when it is done. 🙂

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