Cecilia here, with some site news.
AUGUST WILL BE SPECIAL
August is Web Serial Writing Month, aka WeSeWriMo! The fabulous folks over at Epiguide.com sponsor this madness every year. Daron’s Guitar Chronicles took part in 2010, had to skip last year during our hiatus, and so this year, we’re doing it again!
The goals are the same as last time: three story posts a week for the WHOLE MONTH plus two Liner Notes posts (not counting this one!).
Right now I’m on deadline to deliver a novel to a major publisher (a heterosexual BDSM romance entitled Slow Surrender, for Grand Central Publishing/Hachette) so my writing time is very crunched. But I’m committed to three posts a week as Daron’s story reaches some very crucial moments. I hope you all will cheer me on with lots of comments and energy throughout the month to keep me going on this month-long marathon!
August is also when I hope to be shipping out all the Kickstarter goodies, books, shirts, souvenirs, etc! Everything is moving right along on production of the book. The proofreader just got done and sent it back to the designer for final fix-ups. I have one more set of “clippings” to forward to the designer, too, and then we’ll be ready to start uploading to the printer!
I posted this graphic of an interior page and the cover art to the Kickstarter updates, but I don’t think I’ve posted it here yet! Here’s what I wrote in that update: “Gilly (the fabulous book designer) had asked me for iconic album covers and other rock related art from the time period to look at for samples. Album covers didn’t really lend themselves to adaptation, really, though, but while looking around something I saw spurred me to think about rock show posters.
Boston and Cambridge prohibit the kid of flyering that used to be rampant in the 1980s and early 90s, where every phone pole was bristling with old staples from people tacking up posters. Every band had to go around tacking up posters around town, and making the posters, too. Google image search turned up hundreds of great examples of D.I.Y. show posters and that was an image and a look that I felt was perfectly fitting. Gilly even made the background color “goldenrod”–one of the canonical colors you could always get at Kinko’s or Copy Cop.”
And check it out, she even put staples on the corners. Can’t wait to see it full size!
NUMBERS NUMBERS NUMBERS
So, every now and then I look at the Google Analytics from the DGC site to see if I can see anything interesting.
This month I noticed something VERY interesting. Namely that we’ve set new records for unique visitors, total visitors, and pageviews not just last month, but every month since the return from hiatus. In fact, unique monthly visitors has DOUBLED since the return from hiatus in November 2011.
The rest of this is all numbers, so look away now if stats make your eyes glaze over.
The graphs look a very chaotic until you look at it month by month. Then some patterns come clear.
The site launched November 1 2009.
In the site’s first year of operation (Nov 09 thru Oct 10) the average number of unique visitors per month was 264, and the peak number was 399, but that was in the site’s second month when I ran a large Project Wonderful ad campaign which claims to have netter 450 unique visitors. (So how Google Analytics counted only 399,I don’t know.) Back then the site was new, so almost every visitor to the site was new and unique.
In the sites second year of operation, we had six months active (Nov 10 – April 11), then six months inactive (May 11 – October 11). In the active months the average uniques was 350 per month. During the hiatus it hardly went down at all, to 310!
I expected a big dip during the hiatus, but it was offset by two factors: one, the ebook of volume one went “free” on Amazon a few weeks into the hiatus. That drove tons of new readers to the site. Two, I ran a Project Wonderful ad campaign two months later that netted 173 unique new visitors.
All told for the second year, the average uniques per month was around 330.
In the site’s third year, beginning with the return from hiatus in November 2011 and continuing to the present, there HASN’T BEEN A MONTH BELOW 330. And look at these numbers for 2012:
In the span of a little over six months, the number of monthly visitors has climbed steadily, and basically doubled.
I would suspect some of it is the Kickstarter effect, except this trend started long before the Kickstarter. Though perhaps the climb has been steeper as a result. I haven’t been running many PW ads at all, so that effect is negligible. Also, the free ebook on Amazon that was being downloaded thousands of times a month in the early days is now around 400 downloads a month. So this growth appears to be mostly just plain growing readership.
Of course the TOTAL visitors per month is much much higher, since then it counts repeat customers, and total pageviews, where it counts not only multiple visits by the same person, but every page they read in a month, are exponentially higher. Some folks sit down and read 20-30 chapters at a time. Some are re-reading. Some read as many as they can before they pass out. And some regular visitors are so caught up now that they don’t generate a lot of page views by comparison.
I have no idea how that number of readers compares to other web serials: I can only compare it to itself. (I can’t even compare it to my other serial, The Prince’s Boy, whose visitor numbers are all tangled up with the general ones for circlet.com, and whose posting schedule was always just once a week.)
It’ll be interesting to see if the trend continues upward, or if it levels off, or drops again as the Amazon “free” bump continues to dwindle. Or if WeSeWriMo brings in a new bunch!