Jeff Seymour - Author of Fantasy, Literary Fiction, & c.: September 2012

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Monday, September 24, 2012

For the Locker: Making Money in the Digital World

Today I read an article about making money in the digital world, where everything is available for free via BitTorrent. The article didn't say that out loud, but I think that's what it meant. You can read it for yourself below:

As a body who intends to make money selling ebooks at some point, a body who is frequently angry at movie companies (Disney!) who refuse to make their movies available via Netflix, and a body who has always found it interesting at what point he was willing to pay for things, I found it a very, very interesting read.

So into the locker it goes!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Grand Experiment: Week 14(!)

Holy cow, I can't believe it's been 14 weeks since I started up The Grand Experiment. Results so far:

Book Country: Never got off the ground. Their terms of service smelled rotten to me.

Authonomy: Rank 5,584. Five chapters up. Tabled while I concentrate on Wattpad.

Wattpad: 5,546 reads. 144 votes. 49 comments. 34 chapters up. Ranked #42 in Fantasy and #643 in Teen Fiction. Has been ranked as high as #25 in Fantasy and #15 in Adventure (before I switched its genres). Also, I got an invitation to participate in the site's Writer Partner Program.

So as you can see by the statistics, I've been focusing on Wattpad, in large part because of the promotional opportunity they've extended to me and in large part because it's got the most readers in the audience I want to reach (teenagers and young adults), and also because I just like the community feeling the best.

Also important is that I've accelerated my revision timetable by about 6x in order to get the full manuscript in shape and get it up on Wattpad before it gets promoted. That has severely limited the time I have to do anything that is not either writing or related to paying bills (like keeping up with this blog. Sorry!).

I've been tracking several statistics on Wattpad with the help of a handy spreadsheet, which I will share with you below:

Click on it to make the words and numbers readable sized.

I share it with you because it's an example of a benefit to posting on Wattpad that I absolutely did not expect. I can collect a ton of remarkably granular data on how my book is doing day by day (really, I could track it more often than that, too, and perhaps I should...but that would mean a lot more work and less time for...drumroll...writing). And because I'm collecting all this information, I can track some interesting things. Like, for instance, I can see that my reads are showing exponential growth.

Or I can investigate the relationships between my genre rankings and how many new reads I get every day.

(There's a bad data point on 9/4 that screws that graph up a bit, but I still think it's interesting).

Or I can look at any number of other things. When I change covers or cover copy, I can see if it has a statistically significant effect on my reads. I can see the same for my ranks or my posting patterns. And once I've finished writing the book itself (which is still the most important thing, no matter how many bells and whistles and numbers I put into orbit around it), I'll be able to take a look at all these numbers and see if I can't figure out how to goose them.

And at the very least, that's a new, fun kind of problem to play with.

Speaking of cover changes, I'm playing around with an idea for a new cover for Soulwoven, and I'd love to get some opinions on it. It adds the subtitle of volume one (I am, after all, writing one story in four parts) and a tagline, which I rather like. I've almost made it live on Wattpad several times, but after the horrible, fall-on-its-face failure of cover variant #2 during my last vote-a-thon, I think it wise to consult my readers before doing so.

Said cover to follow. Let me know what you think. I hope to have Soulwoven up on Wattpad in its entirety by the end of the month, at which point I will become a more active blogger once more and begin playing around with all kinds of markety type ideas which should make for interesting blog posts. Thanks for bearing with me, and if you're jonesing to hear from me, I'd suggest you follow me on Facebook, or Twitter, or Wattpad, because it's easier to post tiny things on those sites than sit down and compose blog posts for me right now.

And in the meantime, go read the book! It's more than halfway up, and it won't be online for free forever :-).

New cover here:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Look! A domain name!

So if I've done this switch over properly, none of you will notice that the domain name of the blog has changed until I tell you, which I'm doing now. This is part of the run-up to the launch of my debut short story collection, Three Dances, which is looking like it will probably be ready in October(!).

Anyway, I make mention of this in case the blog suddenly begins to exhibit strange behavior. If it does, let me know, and I will do my best to fix it.

Update on The Grand Experiment coming soon! There has been much experimentation and data collection, and there continues to be more.