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Banjo Strings
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Larry



Joined: 14 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Banjo Strings Reply with quote

Well, apparently the APP servers had a meltdown and the database crashed, taking all the posts with it. That's a shame, particularly as my podcast novel just reached the "5000 total readers" mark:


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Larry



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, after the database crash, I went over to the other two book forums I have running and saved the posts from them, plus I downloaded copies of all the progress stats pics, so the epic chronicle of the novel still exists, I'm just missing the posts from the 2007 entries from this forum topic (I didn't start the one at Author Nation until 2008)

Hang on...

Ok, I just played a hunch, went over to Wayback Machine at Internet Archive. The APP forum is partially saved there, but only some caches of 2006, many from '07, and only two from early '08, but I did find the launch page for my book's forum topic there. It's only the first page covering the book's debut on Jan. 11th 2007 till early March, but it covers the release of the first 7 chapters. I saved the page and will archive it on my site.

Cool! Razz
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Larry



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: Launch page... Reply with quote

Ok, here's my recovered launch page for the book. I took some of the code out to mark it as a 'not from the current forum' page, though the links still work. It even links to the first demo I made - I forgot I even had this old one in my webfiles.
Nice. Cool

Here's the latest promo, but even its dated; podshow is now mevio...

Such is la vida loca.
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Larry



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:48 am    Post subject: Stats History Reply with quote

Let's see if i can pull this off...

By the beginning of June, I'd webpubbed the first 10 chapters of the book (that's how much book was actually written when it launched) and I was in full 'live novel' mode by then. Ch. 14 had just been pubbed and I got the bright idea to start posting the stats...


































By the end of the year, Ch. 10 had passed Ch. 1 as the overall favorite, and the total reader estimate stood at 1760. The book was beginning to pick up steam. Cool...



2008 was a different matter entirely - chapters were released very slowly as the book neared its climax. To be honest, lot's of outside crap was going on that interfered with the writing, but 3 episodes during the whole year?

Well, there WAS at least one milestone, 20,000 hits, over 3000 total readers...




Ok, that's enough recapping right now. I'll bring the current year stats in the next post.
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Larry



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: 2009 Stats Reply with quote

This pic notes the 2-yr mark of the podcast novel. 4330 total readers.

(FromAuthor Nation:)

Progress Report? 01/30/2009 04:59am

What friggin progress?

I've been sweating over part 2 of the final damn chapter for the past 3 months, writing and deleting, scrapping and starting over... How can it be this damn hard to get to the ending?

Last night, Charlie Rose was chatting with John Grisham about his work and methods, how he goes about crafting a novel, and Grisham mentioned having the same problems sometimes with finishing a novel - knowing the end of the novel, but having to struggle to get there. Of course, he's written so many books now that he's got his system down, but this is my first novel, so I'm still feeling my way, but this is friggin ridiculous!


Anyway, I've been performing off and on emergency surgery on my PC for the past two weeks (more like since New Year's) and having to rely on my fallback gear: the PowerBook G3 Wallstreet running Panther. This model was the last one built before Apple installed USB drives on their laptops, but I got a USB PC card a couple weeks ago, so now I'm able to transfer my work from a memory stick and write on the Mac. Or stare at the latest tattered paragraph.





The latest episode was released at the end of March...



This happened about a week later, and the next week as well. It's as if two dozen people descended on a bookstore and all bought copies of my book. That's a decent sized literature class...







Ok, with the current stats pic placed in context, we go from here, three months into the final episode, though I have been wondering about whether to add an epilogue...

Anyway, I can let the numbers obsession go for now, as the new target is 50,000 hits, which translates as '5000 fans who would buy the book today.' Right now I can only claim 3300 fans at the most, but we'll see what develops after I finish the book...


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writerpatrick



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Larry,

How are you working out the total readership? Is that the peak number of downloads for a single chapter? I've been trying to figure out what the total listenership is of my podcast.
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Larry



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:52 pm    Post subject: Oh, you want the new math? Reply with quote

Hey Patrick,

Well, my rough understanding is that you estimate 10% of your total customer or audience base as an average, but that only works if you're selling a single product, in my case, a book in a store. For a while I used that, but after I knew how many chapters the book would be, the average looked too low.

Here's what I came up with in April 2008 when I put the question to a math forum, but didn't get a response:

============================


I haven't gotten a reply at the math forum (Ask NRICH), so I posted this today:

---------------

I realized that the last line looks like I'm done with the query, but no, I need a formula or percentage...

Let me flip the situation.

I'm a toymaker. I open a shop that only sells my particular line of figures. Once each month for a year, I bring out one of a series of 12 figures. The end of the year sees thousands of total sales. Some people buy only one, many more (I suspect) buy between two and five total, a somewhat smaller number buy the entire set.

Assuming I have total sales numbers for each figure, as well as monthly sub-totals, is there a calculation that would give me the same results as checking my receipts and counting up my repeat customers?



(Ok, if that doesn't pique anyone's interest, would it be out of bounds for me to simply take the average of the total book hits divided by the number of chapters, then add that figure to 10% of the total hits? Say:

17,000 hits divided by 19 chapters equals 895, plus 1700 equals 2594, rounded up to 2600.

If there isn't any better math, and if this isn't an inflated estimate of total reader base, I'd just as soon use this formula.
Help me out here, somebody.)

---------------

After I posted, I decided I probably wouldn't hear back from the math heads, and I didn't like the klunky math of the second option, so I considered the numbers from a different angle.

If I had 17,000 downloads of a completed ebook, that would be my fanbase, but this book is in pieces, so I considered the chapters themselves. You can normally tell after a couple chapters whether a novel strikes your fancy, but let's say if a person has downloaded and listened to at least a third of the episodes, he or she in essence 'bought' the book. In this case, a third of 19 is 6. Calculating a third of the total hits would be unreasonable, so lets cut that in half, to 15%.

So, 15% of 17,522 (current total up to Thursday 4/10/2008) is 2628, an entirely reasonable audience number for my experiment, so I'm going to use it from here on.

Hmm... all this rigamarole, just to go from 10% to 15%.
Too geeky?

============================

You know, I just realized that both geeky calculations produced the same rounded-off result, 2600.


Uh, anyway, if you're talking about a regular podcast, my stats are all over the place, since hits for Sundown Lounge go up and down, and the old shows are still getting 1 or 2 hits a week. I don't have a total number for my entire cast either, so I just go by hits per week.

For a while the total cast was getting almost 1000 hits/week, now it's down to 300 - 600/week. That's also why my show isn't monetized; last I heard, you needed at least 2000 hits/week per episode for any decent chance at ad money. Oh well...
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Larry



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:58 am    Post subject: June EOM Reply with quote

Ok, I waited long enough to pull the end of month stats...




The numbers:

Estimated total reader base - 5050
Estimated fans - 3366

In hype news, the book has been over at the review and critique site Authonomy for a month (well, eight chapters so far), and the critiques have been very positive, with helpful technical comments. One interesting item is that while the book itself is ranked in the 1100's, my personal ranking has gone from the 1700's to above 700. I don't know why that is, aside from the books I've given short reviews to or placed on my 'bookshelf' of current favorites.

Anyway, working on the book's climax isn't getting any easier, even though it's clear in my head. I never had this much trouble writing a poem...
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Larry



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:31 am    Post subject: Bastille Day! Reply with quote

Ok, in honor of the holiday I checked the stats...



5078 total audience

3386 estimated readers


Uh, here's a book update: the ending of the book will mostly likely be more than an hour long, but no matter what, the next posting will complete the story. If "Vicksburg" has to have chapters 3, 4, or 5, they'll be released in rapid succession, like a week apart.
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Larry



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:34 am    Post subject: July 09 Stats Reply with quote

Ok, I pulled EOM stats around 10:30pm and checked them a few minutes ago, not really expecting any surge in hits before midnight.







5111 total estimated audience

3400 estimated readers


As I work on the big wrap up scenes for the novel, I find myself re-reading the previous chapters more and more to keep track of the continuity elements, the details I plan on changing in the manuscript rewrite as well as the regular details to keep straight. One 'cheat sheet' method that helps a great deal is my mapping out all of the action in the scenes first; it makes the different characters' motivations and dialogue a lot easier to work out.

One more thing, something I mentioned in my podcast a week or so ago: I had a chat with the new Accounting teacher at the school I work at, concerning my using 15% of total hits to count raw audience numbers for the book. After I explained the 'figurine shop' analogy and applied it to my project, she said the percentage seemed reasonable. Cool...
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writerpatrick



Joined: 22 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Numbers are fun to play with but they really don't translate well. There's just no way to tell how many people will buy a print copy of a book. I've read about a number of podiobook authors being pleasantly suprised by actual sales.

The fact is that a print book is a different product than an podiobook, often with a different market. There's just no way to know how it would sell. It's possible it could do poorly, or it could do very well. Although your book does sound like one the mainstream publishers would be interested in. (My books are just too weird to fit anywhere--except maybe the Twilight Zone.)
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Larry



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:10 am    Post subject: Very True... Reply with quote

...About the numbers, which is why I refer to them as a marketing tool, not hard 'sales' statistics. And at this point in my literary experiment, I'll take whatever arrows will fit in my quiver as I move the book into its next phase of attracting an agent and some publicity to help me do battle. And I ain't talking about competing with other podiobookers and first-time authors, I mean the big kahunas - the Patricia Cornwells, the Dan Browns, the Stephen Kings, the J K Rowlings. When these folks make a splash with a latest blockbuster novel, the industry waves can wipe out hundreds of other books trying to get some attention or exposure. Hell, I just read today that Dan Brown's latest novel, "The Lost Symbol," is causing some publishers to reschedule their own big novel releases to avoid the Sept. 15th launch date.

You'll also notice I didn't mention any black writers. Even well established African American authors like Toni Morrison or the late E Lynn Harris have to still struggle to avoid being relegated to the Black Writers Ghetto, where it's still assumed that their novels are 'by blacks, about blacks and only for black readers,' as if we don't live on the same damn planet. In this instance, I can only hope that my fiction has enough 'mainstream appeal' to help me as I swim with the sharks.
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Larry



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:37 pm    Post subject: With a little from Google Maps... Reply with quote

Hey, one of my most useful reference tools updated one of my settings.

One of the locations in the last chapter is a Waffle House restaurant on the southern end of Vicksburg, near the Mississippi River. For the last few months, the Google Map view of the ersatz truck stop was restricted to birds eye, and a sun-blinded view at that; details of the actual building were washed out, and there wasn't a 'Street View' of the area available. Until this weekend, apparently.

With the ground view now up, I have an accurate look at the actual eatery and the motel it shares space with. It's interesting that I got my improved view at exactly the time I really needed it - now that I'm writing that scene.

Spooky... Cool
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Larry



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:29 pm    Post subject: Dog Days... Reply with quote

Ok, it's the dog days of summer, I'm out on school break, with nothing on my agenda but grinding away on the big finish of the book, and I mean big - Ch. 21 WILL have a parts 3, 4 and 5, and a short epilogue to close out the tale.

I'm reasonably certain that you'll get the final set sometime between Labor Day and the Autumnal Equinox, after all the editing and rewriting is done. Stay tuned, and thanks for hanging in.
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Larry



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:04 am    Post subject: August EOM Reply with quote

Fire season has come early with the heat, but I'm wearing the writing down...

Ok, I took this screen pic a few hours ago...



Closing in on 5200 total audience and 3500 fans...

I found another interesting writer's group, the Black Science Fiction Society. Hey, another cool hangout to add to my online community... Cool
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