The Daily Journal, Saturday, April 20

In today’s Journal

▪ Quote of the day
▪ Topic: On the Value of Pre-Orders
▪ Daily diary
▪ Of Interest
▪ The numbers

Quote of the Day: “We shall soon be in a world in which a man may be howled down for saying that two and two make four, in which people will persecute the heresy of calling a triangle a three-sided figure, and hang a man for maddening a mob with the news that grass is green.” G. K. Chesterton

Topic: On the Value of Pre-Orders

Well, apparently I’m still having trouble with Heinlein’s Rule 4 (Put it on the market). (grin) The problem is, I tend to have a blast writing stories. Too much of a blast. So much that when I’m finished, I ship the story off to my first reader(s) and forget it.

Even when I get input back from my first reader(s), it’s easy to leave the finished story off to one side in its folder while I’m wrapped up in the excitement of writing a new story.

That’s what happened with Blackwell Ops 5: Georgette Tilden.

I finished it way back on April 4. I sent it off to two first readers. I had planned to take their input on board, then put the novel up for pre-orders for official release on May 1.

I’ve been wrapped up in the pre-order thing for awhile now, ever since my first Nick Spalding novel, which I finished on August 31 and released on October 25, 2018.

Since then I’ve written, put up for pre-order, and released about a month later 9 novels and a novella. In fact, since January 15, I’ve released a new novel every two weeks (7 in all) after first having it up for pre-order.

But I haven’t noticed any significant sales increases from having novels available for pre-order, so I find myself wondering about the effectiveness of pre-orders. Is it all much ado about nothing?

Anyway, whether I decide to continue using pre-orders, the streak of releasing one every two weeks (after being on pre-order) is over now.

I realized this morning I still haven’t created a cover for BO5 or even gone through my first readers’ notes yet. Sigh.

I’ll have to do that sometime this weekend. I don’t think the distributors will allow me to set a pre-pub release date as soon as May 1, so I might just go ahead and publish BO5 “live” on May 1.

That will keep the every-two-week release streak alive, though that one would release without having been available for pre-order.

Then maybe I’ll put BO6 up for pre-order as soon as I finish it (should be finished next week) and then release it on May 15.

So are pre-orders all that important? Have any of you used them? If so, did you notice an increase in sales or sales-rankings on the date of release?

I’ve always had a nagging doubt about the value of pre-order availability. Maybe it’s better to just release each book as soon as I can and “get it out there” so readers can read it.

Any thoughts?

Because it’s Saturday, I made a point to hit the sack early last night and roll out early this morning. In the Hovel by 2, whereupon I wasted as much time as is humanly possible and got to the novel at 4:50.

By 6 I’d put a thousand words on the page and took a break up to the house.

Back to the Hovel and the novel at 8. I added another thousand words or so, then an impromptu trip to Sierra Vista. Back in a while.

Back to the Hovel at 1:30. So we’ll see what happens.

Okay, so as it turned out, today was a “keep coming back” kind of day. My favorite kind of day, really. I’m always pleasantly surprised at how much I write when the story’s flowing, and even more so on a keep-coming-back kind of day. (grin)

I’m shutting it down at 2:20. Spend some time with that woman who keeps hanging around my house. (grin)

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “Finally Back At The Writing” at

See “Top Places Accepting Short Story and Poetry Submissions in 2019” at

See “Open Access” at I too wonder whether these creations can be used to create book covers. Probably not. But if I find out, I’ll let you know. (But don’t wait for me. You can ask them yourself, then share what you learn.)

See “Why We’ve Decided That The Machines Want to Kill Us” at Maybe some good story prompts here.

See “First Books on the Moon” at

See “Book Design: EVERYTHING You Need to Know” at Not really. More of an overview and filled with maybe useful links.

Fiction Words: 3212
Nonfiction Words: 800 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 4012

Writing of Blackwell Ops 6: Charlie Task (novel)

Day 1…… 2774 words. Total words to date…… 2774
Day 2…… 1776 words. Total words to date…… 4550
Day 3…… 4190 words. Total words to date…… 8740
Day 4…… 2662 words. Total words to date…… 11402
Day 5…… 2087 words. Total words to date…… 13489
Day 6…… 2220 words. Total words to date…… 15709
Day 7…… 1202 words. Total words to date…… 16911
Day 8…… 2546 words. Total words to date…… 19457
Day 9…… 3233 words. Total words to date…… 22690
Day 10… 3212 words. Total words to date…… 25902

Total fiction words for the month……… 35940
Total fiction words for the year………… 253741
Total nonfiction words for the month… 24700
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 101770
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 355511

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 5
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 42
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 193
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

6 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Saturday, April 20”

  1. Re: Quote of the day– I’m afraid we’re there. The human race could use a large dose of common sense, in my opinion…

    • Obviously, I agree. BUT it isn’t as bad as the so-called “news” organizations would have us believe. Much of America consists of normal, everyday people frpm all walks of life, nationalities, races, etc. going about their lives. For example, most people still give more weight to intent than perception, so they aren’t faux “offended” by comments they know are made innocently. As it has always been, the devious ones in power want to keep their charges confused and frightened. Hence all the division, silliness and violence on the news, followed by the false promises from Washington. Anything to keep those votes coming in.

  2. And re: machines want to kill us and books on the moon– wow squared. My initial thought on machines is that judeo-christian original sin notions have something to do with our fear that AI will feel the need to exterminate us. I don’t know enough about other religions to know whether that is a universally human idea. But what a great article. I’ll have to read that one several times.
    And I just read a post about Christopher Columbus’ son, who tried to collect every book ever written AND developed a cross reference document that summarized all the ones he had. He did have to hire people to read & summarize some of them. Anyway someone recently found the summary somewhere in Scandinavia! I’ll try to go back and find the source & post it here.
    I would add Mark Twain’s Recollections of Joan of Arc to any human collection of writing…
    Thanks Harvey for your time wasting this morning. You got some gems for us.

    • Thanks, Karen. Glad you got so much out of it. 🙂 I saw that article about the summarized library too, or another one on the same topic. The one I saw (if I remember) was listed in The Passive Voice newsletter.

  3. Re: Books on the moon & my previous reply about Christopher Columbus’ son. The site is, April 19 article about rare manuscript & 26th Century books. Worth the read.

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