Writing Over 17,000+ Words in 3 Days @Gumroad’s #SPLDay3 Diary

smalllabParticipating in the latest round of Gumroad’s Small Product Lab challenge has been a really exciting and empower experience so far! I’m no stranger to experimentation and creating neat things, but having a tight deadline and daily accountability has REALLY pushed me to keep charging forward. It’s awesome!

I’m about to start working on Day 4 of 10, and I feel like I’ve been able to smash a lot of personal goals and accomplish a lot in a very short time!

By the way, if you want a limited time $10 off pre-launch coupon for my course, read on down to the bottom of this post for the link!

My previous SPL diary progress posts on Day 1 and Day 2 explain more about the challenge and how I’ve been doing so far. My big accomplishment this week? In three days, I’ve been able to write over 17,000 words! Let’s unpack that a bit.

Continue reading

Gaining Momentum with a 5,600+ Word Writing Day @Gumroad’s #SPLDay2 Diary

version2 copy

On Monday, I started Gumroad’s Small Product Lab challenge, and had a prolific 4,000+ word writing day that I blogged about here. That was exciting, exhausting, and a lot of work. Or so I thought at the time. Yesterday was Day 2, and I somehow managed to hit an additional 5,600+ words for what will become the ebook and script portion of a short online course I’m building and launching (in a 10 day timeframe). Whew.

The crazy thing is I’m a little behind schedule, even after bashing out a hair over 10,000 words in just two days.

Today is Day 3 of the challenge, and my goal is to finish the book and script by later today (or early tomorrow), and give it an edit before I start recording each section as a PowerPoint-style video lesson.

The product I’m creating is called “Expertise to Income: How To Sell Your Skills With A Short Online Course,” and I’m actually using the entire system I’ve outlined inside the book/course to create the course itself. Pretty awesome! You’ll be able to use this course to create and sell your own mini courses to sell your expertise, skills, and killer content. Or to turn your portions of your existing books into an online course, if you’re an author.

Before I packed it in last night, I managed to rough together a quick bit of logo art (above) for my product page. It’s not final, but I like where it’s headed. What do you think?

Anyhow, I’m off to dive into Day 3’s writing binge! Wish me luck. And if you’d like to get a sweet discount coupon for the course when it launches next week (plus discounts on all my future courses), go ahead and sign up here!

Turbo Writing 4,000 Words in One Day – Gumroad’s #SPLDay1 Diary

day1splI wrote 4,000+ words yesterday in about 7 hours. It was crazy, but it felt good to make a lot of progress on this thing I’m creating in just over a week. No, I’m not crazy. Maybe. (Probably). Let me explain:

Yesterday was Day 1 of Gumroad’s awesome Small Product Lab challenge, which is a very cool creative mix of “course” and “competition” where participants design, create, and launch a small product in only 10 DAYS! The idea is to get over the stumbling blocks that trip a lot of folks up and just finish a small product that you can sell. It’s an awesome concept, and I’m one of many creative folks rocking out wild and creative projects this week.

Though I’ve already created a lot of Kindle books, sold almost $1,000 worth of assorted projects on Gumroad, designed a few games, and am hard at work on several Udemy courses, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for this exciting challenge. I’m about to dive into my work for Day 2, and I’ll plan to blog my progress as I go every few days.

What am I creating? A mini-course (PDF and video) on how to create mini-courses! It’s called: Expertise to Income: Sell Your Skills With A Short Online Course

Would you like to receive a MEGA discount coupon for this cool course when it launches? Sign-up for my Online Courses for Creatives list, and I’ll fire off a promo code when it goes live. I’ll also very occasionally let you know when I have new courses coming out and offer discounts and freebies, so that’s a thing! Moving on:

Here are a few notes on what made my first day of the challenge so successful:

Writing 4,000 words on #SPLDay1

Going into day one, I already had a loose sense of what I wanted to tackle for the project. I’d been toying with the idea of doing a short info product or mini-course explaining how to create short videos and…build a short mini-course. Very meta!

As I’ve been working on building out my upcoming Podcasting for Authors and Writers Udemy course over the past year, I’ve come up with a simple, effective, and affordable system for creating great video content, audio content, and written scripts all as part of the same process.

I wanted to show others just how easy it is to hone in on a sellable skill they have, and teach others how to do it (while making money) by creating great videos and building out a simple online course.

Gumroad’s SPL is a step-by-step process that unfolds a little each day, but a lot of people seem to be getting a jump start on it, at least in terms of planning. Over the weekend before the Small Product Lab began, I sat down and create a very rough outline for what my course could entail, with an eye towards adding value while keeping it as streamlined as possible.

Section One focuses on identifying your sellable skills, brainstorming course ideas, researching and testing the potential market for those ideas, and then crafting your outline and course script.

Section Two focuses on the step-by-step process of recording and editing your audio lectures, creating powerpoint-style slides, and editing them all together into short top-notch  quality videos (that don’t require you to be on camera, thankfully).

Section Three focuses on the final steps and considerations for creating promo art for your course, pricing, launching it, and marketing it.

Because my (probably a little ambitious) vision for the product includes both video and a PDF ebook for the course, I decided to hit the ground running. Having an rough outline, a loose title, and a focused battleplan on Day One really helped me focus and rock out the word count.

On Day 1, I followed the steps in the first SPL email and spent some time evaluating my idea and considering other options. But after a bit of google keyword research on my subject and title, I solidified my resolve and dove in.

I wrote just over 4,000 words and really pushed hard to create a large chunk of my script and ebook for the course. That was exhausting, but I’m happy with the content I created. I’ll likely have to go back and edit it a bit, but it’s pretty polished for a draft. My goal is to get the script and ebook roughed out entirely within three days, so I can have time to market and do other tasks along the way. Later this week I’ll be starting to record and edit the videos for the course.

It’s going to be a wild ride! Wish me luck and don’t forget to stop back here to see how it’s coming along!



My FREE BOOK (Limited Time) + Why Pivoting and Experimentation is KEY in Self-Publishing

simpleselfpublishingsuccessstrategiesWho doesn’t love a FREE BOOK? Especially one that’s packed with simple, turbo-effective strategies that are easy to implement and can make a big difference in your author journey!

I’m on day two of a three-day freebie promo for my slightly rebranded Kindle book, Simple Self-Publishing Success Strategies: How To Sell More Books and Build Your Audience, which you can still grab on Kindle for FREE (for a limited time).

If you already have the book, or pick it up and enjoy it, I’d really appreciate it if you’d take a quick sec to leave a short review and rating on Amazon. That’s super helpful and part of the reason why I run freebie promos to put my books in the hands of new readers.

Sooo…yeah. Why free? Why the new cover and tweaked title? If you’re curious, then please read on for some self-publishing shop talk on why and how I’ve done so much experimentation with the title and cover for this book!

Continue reading

[Updated] HELP! One Day – $1 Dollar – 1 Game : Crowdsourcing My Workday

Update: The game Alpha is coming along! I’ll be working on it all day today (Friday), too, and I’ve decided to keep the pre-order/buy/support page up until the end of the day just in case anyone wants to still help out and get access to the game (I’ll be closing it to any new supporters later today. Thanks so much for your support so far, everyone! I really, really appreciate it! Let’s see if we can hit 100 supporters by the end of Today! I’ll be updating this page throughout the day with supporter numbers and WIP game art/progress.

Original post 8/27/2015 – So things have been a bit tight lately, and I just had a pretty significant freelance project fall through at the last minute yesterday. It would have sustained me through the next week’s worth of work and generated a big chunk of much-needed income.

Instead of freaking out, I’m turning a potentially bad situation into an opportunity to do something neat. And I need your support to make it successful!

Today (and probably a bit of tomorrow), I’m doing a mini game-jam experiment to fundraise a bit of income and create an interactive fiction space exploration game in Game Maker Studio. I’m loosely calling it DOOMEDSPACE.

My goal: 300 supporters 100 supporters!

[Current supporter total 20/100!]

The idea, here is to jump-start the project while offering a chance for folks to kick me a bit of money in exchange for very early access to the alpha of the game. It’ll be a short thing, but my plan for it [detailed below] will have a bit of randomness and branching paths. It’ll be cool.

In order to make this work, I’ve set a target goal to shoot for: 300 supporters however many I can get or 100! That’s a lot of people, but it’s also the minimum number of folks I’d need to raise enough to cover a day’s work on this. I’ll be starting the project today anyway, but it’s a nice way to try to gain back a bit of lost income this week and do something cool for folks.

The details!

  • You can support the project (and me) for a $1+ minimum suggested donation right here on Itch.io (if you want to pledge more, awesome, since Paypal takes a 33% cut).
  • For your donation and support, you’ll get access to the short early Alpha build of the game (PC only at the moment but planned for iOS too) along with future updates and the full game when it’s done. I’ll also add you to a big thank you that gets sent out later this week.
  • This crowdfunding experiment will ONLY last today (and maybe tomorrow). I’ll be taking the purchase page down by the weekend, so act fast! Any supporters will get a download of the Alpha version this weekend + the full game later when it’s done.
  • Please share this on social media and elsewhere!


The Game

Systems failing…your ship is disintegrating around you…where will the wormhole send you next?

DOOMEDSPACE will be a short interactive fiction game about a doomed space explorer rocketing away through a wormhole in a ship that’s ratting apart. Each run will randomly send you to a different alien world, where you’ll crash land and be faced with exploring and surviving whatever you encounter there.

The game won’t be ONLY text. I plan to incorporate some light gameplay elements and will make each short world you explore have a different gameplay experience.

What I’m proposing to create this week, over the next day or so, is the first short planet adventure you crash land into. It won’t be super long, but I plan to make each of these adventure vignettes strange and interesting. And I’ll be adding more and randomizing them in the finished game (you’ll be able to unlock each one for future play as you find it).

Thanks for your support! Please spread the word!

So that’s it! Please considering kicking a minimum of $1 donation to support this project and get an early alpha copy of the game (sent out by the weekend). You’ll help me out and get something neat in return. Cheers!

I’ll post updates on my progress (both the game and number of supports) throughout the day below!

wip2 copy


Art Dump Updates (as they come together):

Video above (yes, I know there’s a typo in there. It’s WIP.


My New Kindle Book + Horror Game Hybrid Is OUT NOW!

pressimage2One afternoon in May, I was steamrolled by one of my more hair-brained ideas that just seemed so weird, crazy, and exciting that I couldn’t NOT drop what I was doing and figure out how to make it happen.

I decided to make an interactive fiction dungeon crawler game on PC using Twine. Then I decided that I’d only release the game INSIDE a Kindle book on Amazon. Then I decided that the book would also be a massive diary documenting the ins and outs of the entire project. The whole thing? One big wacky experiment that mashes-up self-publishing with indie game development and DIY creativity.

Boom. And I gave myself a little over a month or so to complete this ridiculous task.

Continue reading

The Personal Benefits of Specializing in A Freelance Niche

nichecoversmallHere’s a short excerpt from my new book, The Niche Freelancer: How To Craft The Lucrative Writing Career of Your Dreamsonly $2.99 on Kindle! Enjoy!

A quick glance at the freelance writing industry as a whole reveals there’s no lack of competition. Pick an industry, any industry, and you’ll find lots of skilled freelance writers doing quality work for a very diverse range of clients and publications. Competition is fierce, even in smaller markets, and it’s getting harder to stand out from the crowd simply for just being a good writer.

Niche freelancing is your secret weapon.

Continue reading