Bytown Episode 2 Postmortem

MCMThursday, April 30, 2020

Bytown episode 2 is in the can and episode 3 starts tomorrow, which means it's time for another postmortem! Yaaaaaaay!

Numbers Numbers Numbers

I made some progress on marketing the series now, both on Facebook and Twitter. At the moment, those efforts appear to be something of a money pit, and I may have to revise them soon. It only costs a few dollars a week at the level I'm going, but I appear to be getting a ton of non-readers visiting the site from FB lately, pushing my bounce rate up to 70% (compared to 20% before).

Stats-wise, I've settled on a pretty reliable 1,300 readers on a regular basis, though the dynamic by which they visit is definitely changing. It used to be we'd see spikes in Tuesday, Thursday and over the weekend (strangely offset from the actual MWF release days) but now it's starting to consolidate on Fridays... people aren't reading the releases as they come out, they're waiting until they can binge. I suppose I should have guessed that would be a thing, but my brain didn't quite connect the dots ahead of time.

What does that mean for release schedules? I'll be announcing something soon, but let's just say I'm going to accommodate the readers on this front, because it will help accommodate my sanity as well.

Chapter Sizes

I got some feedback about chapter sizes after last month, and although it's too late to do much about the next few episodes (see next section) I am definitely looking at pushing my chapter lengths up a bit. People seem to react to longer stretches, especially given the format, where we tend to switch plots per chapter, and are moving very deliberately toward episodic wrap-ups.

Episode 2 came out to 29,089 words, which is just barely longer than Episode 1 — but I can say that Episode 5 is looking to be 6,000 words longer than that, which is treading ever so slightly toward my dreaded 50k mark, where these episodes start being short novels in their own right. I've got to find a careful balance here, but I do intend to make the episodes longer overall.

Writing Pace

We are approaching mayday territory now. I am strongly considering cancelling the B-Sides (and maybe even Topic Tag) because I am currently ghostwriting 3 separate novels with tight deadlines at the same time that I'm cranking out Bytown, and my former ahead-ness is trending towards not finishing this series until 2021. Not a fun place to be.

I would scale back my ghostwriting, but I depend on that to pay the bills etc, and given the schedules I've already committed to, it wouldn't make much of a difference unless I backed out of something already in progress, which: ew, no.

Another complicating factor is that my gallbladder is starting to bother me on a distracting basis, which is also eating into my productivity. It remains to be seen what can do about that, aside from self-surgery. Again.


Things are, as always, on a dangerous trend, but still tons of fun. I apologize for the taunting posts along the way, but really, you had to know I was gonna do that. If you knew half of what I know is coming, you'd taunt too :)

Stay tuned for my business model post in the next few weeks, and another special announcement regarding schedules.

In the meantime, stay safe out there, and try not to kill any Adams.

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