The 2022 State of the Weech

The 2022 State of the Weech

Greetings all,

Welcome to year five of my eight-year commitment to go all in on becoming a successful author businessman. This is my fourth annual State of the Weech, where I talk about how the previous year went and talk about my plans for 2022.

The most important thing I did during 2021 was improve my marketing. I’ll talk about Hazel more in a moment, but without Hazel, I went from being pleasantly surprised I sold a book to regularly selling nine books a month. I’m convinced that this path is a good one. No, it’s not a fast track, but most good things aren’t “overnight” things. Steady effort in a solid direction usually yields good results, and I’m happy with what one year or so of effort has brought.

I released Betrayed. It didn’t have the response I was hoping for, but without being able to go to conventions, it’s hard to get word out. What I know is that anyone who’s said anything about it loved it, which is encouraging.

Then there’s Hazel. Now that was a success! Currently, Hazel sells about 38 copies a month. I expect that to calm a little. I tend to sell a lot of a book early, and then things die down. However, I’d be happy if Hazel continued to move at this pace. I know Collin and I appreciate every single one of you who’ve tried it.

I managed to finish the discovery draft of Discovered, the final book in the Oneiros Log, and I did a read-through of 1,200 in preparation for a draft I’ll do once I get Discovered to Alpha Readers.

So those are things I have done, but now I need to repeat something I mentioned recently.

I’m still writing as much as I can, but without conventions to bolster sales, money for editors and art is a serious concern. This means I’m going to make whatever progress I can, but I don’t have any real certainty on when things will come out because that just depends on how much I can save, how much I spend in marketing, and how many sales I get. So where the past years I had some pretty solid ideas on when I’d get products out to you, I don’t have that same ability this year.

But I am still working, so allow me to tell you about those projects.

Hopefully in 2023 (but don’t quote me on it): Discovered, the final book in the Oneiros Log. The discovery draft was OK, but it needs some work. I hope to finish the next draft in the next 100 days, which is when hopeful Alpha Readers can count on reading the early version. I do hope to get it out in 2023, but that depends on the things I mentioned above, as do the other projects.

The 1,200: I talked about this recently. I’m actually pretty proud of where that is now, but it does need some work. So each time I get a draft of Discovered done, this is the project I’ll skip to until Discovered is out. This will be the next release you can expect from me baring how long it takes to save up and what smaller projects I might get done.

Visits From A Man Named Nobody: This is my weekly Christian Science Fiction series. It’s larger than I thought (at least this draft). It’s growing in the writing, and I’m discovery writing it, which means it’ll have plenty of kinks to work out. I don’t honestly know when I’ll finish it, but once a draft is done, it’ll take its place in line for release. You can read it now if you want. I’ll do revisions and edits on it before its published through Amazon.

Perception of War: Images of Truth: I’m honestly frustrated I haven’t found a chance to finish the discovery draft. Other projects are more urgent, but as soon as Discovered and The 1,200 are out the door, this puppy is getting some work. This is a very ambitious project, but I can get the writing done, and I plan to. Again, this project is massive! So while I’m going to work very hard on it, it’s going to take time.

New Utopia: This is another older project that’s probably been sitting in a drawer for too long. It needs love, but the the next draft of this story (pitched as Mistborn meets Avatar), won’t be done until Discovered and The 1,200 are as far as I can get them and the Discovery Draft of Perception is done.

Mercer: Now this project could move in a lot of directions because it’s a series of shorter works. I call this Dresden meets Bones, and I love the premise and basic ideas. I haven’t really played with this much in a while, but that’s only because I owe fans of Oneiros a conclusion to their story. I’ll probably start chipping away at this once in between the above projects. So you might see Season One, Episode One before New Utopia.

Leah Saldawn and The Nick of Time: This probably the “older” project that’s farthest from being out. It’s a teen/young reader book that I think is cute, but it’ll have to wait behind those much larger projects.

I’m still working my way toward 60 sales a month. Because of Hazel, I have three averages: My total sales per month, Collin’s and my Hazel sales per month, and my non-Hazel sales per month. The goal for sales per month is still 60, and that’s always been an initial goal aimed at growing after I meet it. I lose less and less each year, and I’m hopeful I get to that first profitable year soon.

If I’m being honest, I’m never going to stop writing. The eight-year goal has always been more about putting in hard-charging, never-back-down energy. It’s spending money on marketing and things like that. I’m hopeful that bears some fruit, but if all I do is write and publish stories I enjoy, that’s OK. I’ll work as hard as I can, and if after eight years, I’m not earning an income, well, I’ll slow down on the costs of publishing and focus more on the writing.

It’s hard to fathom that Bob Drifter came out almost seven years ago! Man it’s been fun!

If you’re interested in helping, the best way to do that is to purchase one of my books, read it, rate it, and review it. You can take it to the next level (if you like the book) by recommending it (or buying it) for a friend. In addition to God’s will, which I will always cheerfully submit to, this dream of mine isn’t possible without loyal readers.

I want to finish as I always do, by praising God, and thanking Him for all of you who read and enjoy my work. I’m blessed to have anyone enjoy my books, and a lot of you are just so wonderful to me with emails and help with reviewing drafts. Thank you.

God bless you all, and thank you for another year. I hope your hear has been amazing.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

A 5-Star Review for Betrayed

A 5-Star Review for Betrayed

Greetings all,

This review comes at a great time because it’s been a rough few weeks here in the Weech household. We’re battling an illness, so we’re glad to have some content to present you that’s low maintenance.

That said, a nice five-star review really helps keep the motivation up. So we’d like to share this review with you all.

As always, if you’ve read some of my work, we’d be grateful if you’d take a second to offer a rating and review. I’m actually pretty close to 100 ratings on Goodreads, and I’m excited for that milestone.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Benchmarks: The Plateau I’m Aiming For Now

Benchmarks: The Plateau I’m Aiming For Now

Greetings all,

Betrayed is available on Amazon.

I think it was last week that I mentioned disappointment. Well I’m only 18 days into June and I’ve already met what I consider my current quota for the month. That got me to thinking about my current goal. Sure, I want to write more books, and I am. I’m just about six chapters from being done with Discovered. However, I’ve always had a pretty solid idea on where I was going, and I thought I’d share the math.

This all started when I started taking a more critical look at my AMS ads and what they were doing. I realized I can’t spend $200-plus dollars a month on ads that only get me 10 or so sales a month. That led me to the current plan to optimize my campaigns.

The general goals are to reduce campaign costs without losing too many sales. Then, once I become balanced, to increase both to become profitable.

What would that look like? Well, I went back about three months. I currently spend about $109 a month on marketing. In order for me to break even I’d have to sell about 60 books a month. That’s about eight times what I currently sell, so I obviously have to keep bringing down my costs. However, that gives me a definite target to work toward.

Obviously I can only do that one month at a time, working on my marketing, finding profitable keywords and eliminating money wasters.

It’s important to have goals in pretty much everything one does. Goals are what give people direction. They allow people to break those goals into smaller chunks.

For instance, I’ve already cut my cost per month in half. If I can do so again, and double my sales per month, I’d actually only be about $20 away from a break-even ACOS (average cost of sales percentage). Any author using AMS needs to work to get his ACOS to 70% or lower. The closer you are to 0%, the more you’re profiting per sale.

This 60-per-month goal feels every bit as ambitious as it seems challenging to reach, but it’s an important goal to have.

Announcing the 2021 May M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Month and Other Book Cover News

Greetings all,

Today marks the official end of May’s Book Cover competition. June is still ongoing, but the voting for May’s winner-take-all poll ended Friday, and that means I get to announce a new winner! The 2021 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of May is …

Betrayed by me! This is the first time one of my covers has ever actually won Book Cover of the Month! I really think this is one of my stronger covers. Carlos really outdid himself. The stats still aren’t flattering at all, but I won fair and square (100 percent of three votes). I still need your help to get this contest going the way it was before I took that break. The more votes the competition gets, the more legitimized it is. I’ve always been a fan of book covers, and I truly want this award to become meaningful, but I need your help to do that. Please take moment to vote when you see the new poll come up. Please share it with readers you know. Just taking the time to do that will go a long way.

That means Betrayed has found its place in the 2021 Book Cover of the Year poll, which will begin in another 10 months.

That’s not the only other winner to announce! The 2021 June Book Cover of the Week polls have been going on for two weeks now, and I have have the pleasure of announcing the winner for week two.

That winner is …

A Clash of Fates by Philip C. Quaintrell!

The Week 3 poll is available right over here, so please take a second to let your vote be counted.

I’d be grateful if you would be so kind as to watch my channel, where I talk about all seven of the covers and why I think they were so cool.

Remember to vote for your favorite through the link I provided above! This means that A Clash of Fates is the second book to make it in the finals for the 2021 June Book Cover of the Month! You guys can choose who wins the title and then support your favorite in the yearly competition (obviously next year)! I hope you’ll participate.

Thanks for reading and watching,

Matt

Dealing With Disappointment

Dealing With Disappointment

I think it’s important to talk about disappointment. For about a year now, I’ve averaged about eight sales a month. One person may scoff at that, and I can’t really argue. Selling less than ten books a month isn’t impressive, is it? But I worked for that same year to bring that average up. About two years ago, I was pleasantly surprised when I sold a book at all.

Image by Schäferle from Pixabay

So you see, that was an improvement. Sure, what author doesn’t want thousands of sales per week? But one has to start somewhere.

May started off slow, but then I had about three sales in two days. Surely I was going to meet my eight-sale quota! I might even do more! After all, Betrayed came out, so that should only increase my sales right?

Wrong! I sold those three books, and that was it.

This is not a post about how to complain. This is a post in how to handle disappointment.

Hopeful authors, take measure of your determination.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Brandon Sanderson, my favorite author, did a video about how hard it is to make it. The dream is easy enough to understand. We want to write stories and sell millions of books and have movie producers beat down our doors. Allow me to summarize what Sanderson said in the video: “Making it has nothing to do with talent.”

Writing a book is hard. It takes dedication and determination.

Getting an agent is hard. I don’t even try these days. It takes a force of will and many, many rejections. Just search authors who got turned down by agents and enjoy the reading.

Photo from Pixabay.

Even assuming you get an agent, only about one percent of the authors out there reach the financial success every author dreams to attain.

Does the above depress you? Does it make you decide not to write? Should you give up?

Well who am I to tell you what to do?

By now you may be wondering how this does anything to help an aspiring author deal with disappointment. Some of you may even think this post is more likely to say I’m fed up, and I quit. I assure you, that’s not the case.

You see, the way to deal with disappointment is to remember why you started writing in the first place. If you started writing to make your millions, you probably made a mistake. Those who did make their millions did so through time, dedication, and effort filed by something far more powerful than the desire to amass wealth.

You have to love writing.

You have to love writing so much that you don’t even care if you ever sell a single book. You have to love writing so much that if an agent tells you (in very unkind words) that you have no business writing, you shrug and say, “Maybe not, but I’m going to keep doing it.”

Every time I even thought (if only for a moment) about giving up, one very simple thought came into my mind: “There’s no way on earth you’re going to stop writing.”

You see, I’m about 80% through my next book, and I’m already frustrated because I can’t wait to finish the one after that, and I. So excited to start Mercer my Urban Fantasy Police Procedural series. I have a mountain of stories in my head dying to get out, and I’m writing them because I want to read them.

Yes, I want to earn money. Yes, I want to be a best seller. Yes, I want tv shows and movies made from my books, but I write them because I love writing.

I love writing g so much that I market for two hours a day just to reach new readers. I love writing so much I sneak in about 1,000 words during my lunch break because that’s the best time for a follower of Christ, husband, father, and teacher to sneak in a bit of writing.

If you started a book to make millions, I wish you luck, but your odds are crap.

But this post is for you, that person whose mind is flooded with ideas and worlds and characters yearning to be unleashed on a page. You write because you love it, and that’s enough.

If you love writing that much, just keep at it. It’ll feed your heart with joy, and maybe, with effort, time, patience, work, a mountain of luck, and the will of God (without whom nothing is possible), you’ll find yourself successful. Indeed I hope one day to write a post where I can say, “Just look at me!” Clearly, today is not that day. But every day is a chance to write, and I love it.

So writers deal with disappointment by realizing that whatever happens, you can always write another book, and that’s enough. I hope it’s enough for you.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Announcing the Week 4 2021 May Book Cover of the Month! Vote for Your Favorite!

Announcing the Week 4 2021 May Book Cover of the Month! Vote for Your Favorite!

Greetings all,

We’re coming up on our second moth of the 2021 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year, and that means I need your help to name one! So, let’s start by naming the winner for the fourth week of May.

The Week 4 2021 May Book Cover of the Week is…

Facing Off by Tanya Ross really is all about nostalgia for me, and that’s enough. I love the ’80s feel to this cover, and apparently a few other people did, too. That means Facing Off joins A Hag Rises from the Abyss by Douglas Lumsden, The Sunfire King by Sylvia Mercedes and Betrayed by, well, me! I’d apprecaite it if you took a moment to vote for your favorite (especially if it’s mine). You can vote for the 2021 May Book Cover of the Month right here.

But that’s not all! The 2021 June Book Cover of the Month contest is already off and running. You can vote for your favorite Week 1 2021 June Book Cover of the Month right here!

I’d be grateful if you would be so kind as to watch my channel, where I talk about all seven of the covers and why I think they were so cool.

Remember to vote for your favorite through the links I provided above! You guys can choose who wins the title and then support your favorite in the yearly competition (obviously next year)! I hope you’ll participate.

Thanks for reading and watching,

Matt

Announcing the 2021 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Month and Other Book Cover News

Announcing the 2021 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Month and Other Book Cover News

Greetings all,

After a few years hiatus and a platform change, it’s my honor to present to you the 2021 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Month!

This new system pits four weekly winners against each other in a winner-take-all poll. This months’ winner is …

City of Time and Magic by Paula Brackston. So the stats aren’t flattering at all. I honestly only had two votes, so I had to break a tie. This is where I need your help. Two years ago, I was getting thousands of votes per competition. The move votes the competition gets, the more legitimized it is. I’ve always been a fan of book covers, and I truly want this award to become meaningful, but I need your help to do that. Please take moment to vote when you see the new poll come up. Please share it with readers you know. Just taking the time to do that will go a long way.

Regardless, this cover is amazing, and I’m proud to put CIty of Time and Magic in the 2021 Book Cover of the Year poll, which will begin in another 11 months.

That’s not the only other winner to announce! The 2021 May Book Cover of the Week polls have been going on for two weeks now, and I have have the pleasure of announcing the winner for week two.

That winner is …

My book, Betrayed, which is available in both ebook and paperback! Now, you can cry bias, and I couldn’t even argue with you. I had four votes, and all four voted for this cover. I’m positive that all the voters are fans or friends of mine. The solution is the same. Vote. That way, your favorite will have a better chance to win.

The Week 3 poll is available right over here, so please take a second to let your vote be counted.

I’d be grateful if you would be so kind as to watch my channel, where I talk about all seven of the covers and why I think they were so cool.

Remember to vote for your favorite through the link I provided above! This means that Betrayed is the second book to make it in the finals for the 2021 May Book Cover of the Month! You guys can choose who wins the title and then support your favorite in the yearly competition (obviously next year)! I hope you’ll participate.

Thanks for reading and watching,

Matt

Betrayed Is Now Available In Paperback!

Betrayed Is Now Available In Paperback!

Greetings all,

A short but sweet post today! I’m proud to say that Betrayed is now available in paperback!

If you are wondering about the audio version, I honestly have to save up a lot of money for it. You see, I want to be able to pay the narrators up front. I hope to bring both Shawn Compton and Jennifer Wooster back. That depends on a whole lot, but the money is the first part. To help, I’d sure appreciate it if you headed over to Amazon and bought Betrayed or any (or all) of my titles. If you’ve done that, maybe recommend it to your friends?

I still have a goal to sell 189 copies. Why? Well, if I sell that many, I hit #1 in my category. I have more than 1,000 followers here, so that means I only need about 20% of you (less than that actually) to help a friendly neighborhood self-published author out. Would you be so kind?

I’m already hard at work and more than 71% through the discovery draft of Discovered, the final book in the Oneiros Log. So far, I’m very pleased with how it’s coming out. I’m sure there are a few rough patches because of how often I had to stop to get Betrayed out, but that won’t be an issue now that I’m not freaking out over having readers wait years for a book. I’ll always be grateful to you all for your patience.

Thank you all for reading,

Matt

There’s Still Time to Vote For the 2021 April Book Cover of the Month! Presenting May’s Week 2 Cover!

There’s Still Time to Vote For the 2021 April Book Cover of the Month! Presenting May’s Week 2 Cover!

Greetings All,

Before I announce the winner for Week 1 of the 2021 May Book Cover of the Month, I want to take a quick moment to ask you to vote for the overall 2021 April Book Cover of the Month. We have four great covers to choose from, and I’d like all those covers to get the support they deserve.

Now we can move on to May! I still need your help to get this back to the level of support it had a few years ago before I went on hiatus regarding book covers.

So first, let’s announce the winner for week 1.

The cover for The Sunfire King by Sylvia Mercedes is an interesting choice from the viewers. On one hand, it was beautiful color and detail. On the other, it was so busy. I can’t deny that detail though.

But, as one week passes, another begins. So you can vote for your favorite Week 2 2021 May Book Cover of the Month right here!

I’d be grateful if you would be so kind as to watch my channel, where I talk about all seven of the covers and why I think they were so cool. My middle son joined me for this episode, so that was nice of him.

Remember to vote for your favorite through the link I provided above! This means that Sunfire King is the first book to make it in the finals for the 2021 May Book Cover of the Month! You guys can choose who wins the title and then support your favorite in the yearly competition (obviously next year)! I hope you’ll participate.

Thanks for reading and watching,

Matt

Betrayed is out!

Betrayed is out!

Greetings all,

I’m so happy to report that Betrayed is live! You can head over here and pickup the ebook for $3.99. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so thankful for your patience.

The print book isn’t far behind. It’s way easier for me to get an ebook out than a print version, but I’ll work on that over the next few days. I’ll have to format it. Then I’ll need to have a proof sent to make sure it looks good. Once that’s done, the print version will be out.

For now though, I hope you’ll consider giving Betrayed a chance. If you liked Caught, I honestly think you’ll love Betrayed!

Thanks for reading,

Matt