The Integration Project: Day 6 – the end of Act I

Learn how I have built an author platform that DOESN’T include Twitter, and celebrate with me as I smash 3,000 words in two hours and hit the end of Act I. The Integration Project grows and grows…
The Integration Project

Hi Patrons, doesn’t it feel like forever since our last session? Man, it does for me.

Today I set two goals: 3,000 words and the end of Act I. And I smashed the first and hit the second.

So WHEEEEEEEEEE that is AMAZING. We’re currently sitting at about 22,600 words with three acts to go, which is predicating a novel of about 90,000 words or so. On the short side, but also the longest single fiction work I’ve ever written.

But first: What happened to my Twitter account?

I’ve been considering deleting my Twitter account for what feels like the absolute longest time. I’ve had the account for 10 years. And then last month the Twitter Police blocked me and I discovered real freedom.

So when copywriting guru Ben Settle issued a challenge to deactivate for 29 days and focus time instead on things that will grow your business (or projects), I thought fuck it. 

Thus it was that I deleted my Twitter account on Sunday. I am writing a series about that as I go through the process, and you can see the first post and the second post on my website. Links are in the transcript.

The Next Problem: Solving the (missing) Author Platform

But then today I realised that I hadn’t actually started problem-solving The Author Platform. You know, the one in which Twitter is absent. So that’s where today began.

After doing one of Kathryn Morgan’s lovely ballet classes here at home, I dedicated time to problem-solving The Author Platform. I decided to make my website the central part of that.

The intention with any platform is to build an email list, because the email list is where all the action happens. But there are components, just with any sort of sales platform, and they all have to plug into each other.

The existing components that I have are my blog, this Patreon platform, and Telegram. I didn’t have a dedicated list, so I went over to Zingry to set up a list, then plugged it into my website, added a widget, and built a series of onboarding emails with real benefits.

Then, I went to change my email signature to include links to the Telegram Channel, update the pricing, fix the URLs, and so on.

As part of the subscriber benefits offered out in the email sequence, I’ve included a pack of signed books that comprise my entire back-catalogue for just $50 USD, posted anywhere in the world, a bunch of writing tips, an invitation to the Flash Fiction of the Month Club, and more besides.

So far it’s a huge amount of work and a huge amount of value added. It’s still incomplete. I have yet to add a squeeze page to the website and pin it. But once that’s done, then the platform is set up and ready to go.

I did consider spending the day finishing it, but it would have wasted all of my remaining book-writing time, which was only a couple of hours.

Sitting down this morning to nut out what that platform looks like, I planned it as pretty literally a series of cascading buckets. It puts the blog back at the centre of my world, instead of Twitter, which had become the centre. The blog pushes people to subscribe or to the squeeze page. The subscribing results in emails, which then serve also to promote the LeticiaWrites activity and the Patreon. The Patreon can also serve to promote the other channels.

So where does the Telegram Channel fit? The Telegram Channel – which is at http://t.me/LeticiaWrites by the way – is real-time, during-writing updates. Having this means that I can remove the Reddit channel, because I never log into it, and, frankly, an empty public channel is just a risk.

The platform now has components that relate to all the parts, and is therefore capable of capturing readers while delivering value, at each step. But the actual outcome is effectively building an email list on the one hand, and a community in Telegram on the other. While both of them are tools for communication, promotion and engagement, the Telegram Channel is immediate, two-way, and – well – a community. It also gets to people in the place they’re most likely to have all the time, which is on the ubiquitous smartphone. Plus, it’s secure, which we all love, right?

From here, I have to solve the shitty side-bar-doesn’t-bloody-scale-or scroll problem in the theme on my website. I know it’s fixable though and am currently waiting on the result of a support ticket. It’s annoying but not the end of the world.

And then finally, I just today started cross-posting links on Gab, to see whether it drives traffic. Which it probably won’t, because the tech giants freaking hate it. Not sure what the quality is like on Gab, but hey, there are people and someone might dig it. I’m not interested in spending time on Gab, but for pushing links? Fuck it, why not.

I have to admit that I did toy with adding podcasts to the platform, too, whether that’s on Youtube or Vimeo or iTunes, but that takes much more effort to do properly. While I LOVE IT – I swear, I should have gone into radio – I’m not sure if the payoff is sufficient just yet. Maybe once I’ve started running promo for the Essay of the Month Club I’ll leverage podcasts and start podcasting all of my existing essays, partly by way of promotion.

I’ve also considered turning Ultimatum into a podcast, and have one voice actor who is willing to participate. All I need is a few more, and we’ll be right to go. (Side note: I tried to hook my husband into the project, but he’s a little bit unwilling – so I’m not sure if it’s a good idea. He might bail out halfway through. Stay tuned on that one.)

All through today I was thinking about The Integration Project. Specifically, that the protagonist is unnecessarily suspicious of her mate John. Note to self – must fix that in the re-write.

Then, there was more book! 

Phew, this was an epic amount of work.

All this happened by 2 pm.

And then, between 2 pm and 4:07 pm, I smashed out three-and-a-half-thousand words, hit the end of Act I and cheered like a goddamned winning Olympian.

What a fucking amazing day!

Now, details about the Telegram channel

If you followed #LeticiaWrites on Twitter, and you miss it, please do join the Telegram channel. It’s an open, public channel. You’ll find it at http://t.me/LeticiaWrites. And the deal there is pretty well the same as the Twitter updates: Random updates from me throughout the day, plus the ability to chat about them and interact. It’s immediate – or, rather, instant – and frankly much better.

The Flash Fiction of the Month Club stories are going out next week, too, so if you aren’t currently a member, grab yourself one of those spots before they all disappear!

And if you are loving being a Patron, please do share it with others and encourage them to subscribe. It would be super amazing to grow this community over the coming year.

Because, yes, friends and countrymen, I’ve decided to continue taking Wednesdays off in 2019. More about that next week.

WANT THE AUDIO? Head over to the Patreon post here.

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