I didn't have a single topic clamoring in my head to be discussed for this post. Instead, I felt more like Ginger watching squirrels running willy-nilly across the yard--they're fun to bark at but nearly impossible to capture. Except for that one time, but we won't go there... So here's what I pulled together.
Does anyone out there like those #SUDOKU puzzles? I used to think they were pure torture. I tried working on the one in our local paper a few times, guessing numbers to see if they worked, and then getting halfway finished only to discover my initial supposition was wrong. At that point, I simply gave up. More recently, I sat down with the paper and attacked the puzzle from a more logical standpoint. No guessing involved. I penciled in each possibility and went at it from a process of elimination. The strategy actually works! Now, I look forward to the puzzle in the Friday paper. Sure it distracts me from writing for an hour, but I feel like it's keeping my mind sharp. I also decided to extrapolate my strategy for SUDOKU to writing and marketing. I'm beginning to believe throwing out words without a plan and writing myself into an impasse might not be so smart. I also feel like floundering with marketing without a clear plan isn't productive. So, the following is what I've come up with.
My work in progress is moving rather slowly. I've had a lot of distractions lately. A good distraction has been my youngest home from college for a week and a half on spring break, which happened to include her birthday. It's been nice to have her around. But I can't seem to write productively when someone else is in the house. So, my word count has been hit and miss (mostly miss) and limited to when she's out with her friends. That got me to thinking about WHY I'm so easily distracted. I can edit like a champion with people around, but creating new content has been a challenge ever since I started this book. Basically, I've been moving forward like a turtle from one scene to the next, and when I finish the one I'm working on, I hope like heck it will suggest something new. I haven't written with an outline in quite a few books, but it may be time to rethink this strategy. Not a full-blown outline, mind you, but I need to sit my butt down and try to put together a coherent list of bullet points to see where this book is going. Then maybe I wouldn't have so much downtime between scenes while I ruminate over that ever important question, What happens next?
Then there's the whole promo thing to distract me. My latest plan is the Amazon Sponsored Products ad campaign I put together for one of my older self-published books. It actually was working pretty well. I was seeing a few sales and more borrows for WE'LL NEVER TELL. But the .99 cent sales price meant every click was seriously digging into my profits. Two things happened. I started getting sales on the other two books in the series. YAY! I wasn't sure exactly what the ad benefited until a reader reviewed all three SECRETS OF RAVENSWOOD books (the targeted series) on Goodreads, and then left a review for WILDE ONE, book one in a completely different series. So, yes, I'm getting crossover sales from the ad to all my suspense books. In the meantime, I'd done something incredibly stupid. I dropped my bid price from .25 cents to .20 cents, hoping to save a little money. I definitely saved because the clicks stopped completely, and impressions dropped tenfold. So, I just went back in to return my bid to .25 cents. We'll see if my momentum picks up again. Patience is a virtue with marketing. It takes a while for someone who buys the book to read it and then buy more books. Expecting too much too soon got me into trouble. You have to put in the time on a marketing strategy to see results. But, if your efforts continue to produce nothing, maybe it's time to make a change. Knowing when to draw the line and quit vs. changing tactics and sticking with it is a steep learning curve. I hope I'm making progress.
One final plug. Starting soon, WILDE ONE will be on sale for a limited time for .99 cents. If you haven't read it yet, now's a great time to start that series. Buy it on Kindle, Nook or Apple. Happy reading!