Dawn of Humanity / Man vs Nature / Natural Selection

How I’m Doing on Natural Selection–1

Natural Selection is Book 3 of my trilogy, Dawn of Humanity. The tagline (I don’t have one for Natural Selection yet):

A historic thriller in the spirit of Jean Auel, Dawn of Humanity follows a band of early humans as they struggle to survive in a world where Nature is King, where they are prey not predators. 

In this final book of the trilogy, Lucy and her tribe leave their good home to rescue captured tribemembers who are in grave danger. Their group has become an eclectic collection of species, all valuable for their importance in the tribe’s success. More will join and some will die but that is the nature of prehistoric life, when survival depended on a mix of man’s developing intellect and collective wisdom.

Here’s what I did the past month:

  • I had already plotted out Natural Selection in an Excel spreadsheet–I did both Book 2 (Laws of Nature) and this one at the same time to be sure I didn’t lose track of people, events, developments. I had also transferred it from the spreadsheet to MS Word, a much easier way to edit. It came out over 270 pages but with scenes out of place and some critical pieces missing.
  • In the Word format, I read through one time for continuity and then a second time for characters, pacing, and storytelling, to make sure I built drama where necessary and nothing slowed down.
  • Now I’m wordsmithing, basically tearing it apart paragraph by paragraph. It’s like looking at the story through a straw–narrowly, to ensure each piece makes sense, is relevant and necessary, leads to the next. I’ll be at this for a few months.
  • To keep my brain fresh, I spent some time marketing. Here are some of my diversions:
    • I read with interest Diana Peach‘s review of her BookBub experience (as I did Deborah Jay‘s review of her experiences). I am tempted…
    • Amazon is adding both the first books of my two trilogies–Survival of the Fittest and Born in a Treacherous Time–to their Prime Reading list. That means Prime members (as well as Kindle Unlimited members) can read them for free. The hope is that they’ll then buy the rest of the trilogy. I’ll let you know if that works out.
    • I had been keeping a separate list of subscribers I updated about progress in my prehistoric fiction but decided to blend them into my WordDreams list (which I rarely contact).
    • I don’t have a cover yet. What I display on this post is merely a placesaver but it does give you a feel for the atmosphere of the trilogy.

I did have a few thoughts on the book blast just ended for Laws of Nature, Book 2 of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy:

    • To kick it off, I put Book 1 of the trilogy, Born in a Treacherous Time, on sale. To my shock, I gave away over 1200 copies—888 one day! That is by far a personal best. I have no idea why so many grabbed it but hope all of them read Book 2!
    • Sharing fresh articles worked better than sharing questions about the series. Did you like them better than the general book information? Did they make you want to go visit the host’s blog? Tell me in the comments.

This next has nothing to do with my writing but I found totally cool this past month. In an ongoing effort to protect my privacy (I know–isn’t that impossible anymore?), I switched my browser from Google to Duck Duck Go. It promises not to keep or sell your private data. I love every time it block a website that does:

I see this one a lot. Cool, innit?


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.

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61 thoughts on “How I’m Doing on Natural Selection–1

  1. I tried DuckDcukGo after reading your post. For any website such as my blog, I had to tell it not to block.
    I like your process of writing and editing. I’ve heard of the advice not to edit as you go.

    I like the article and requested for your last blog blast. Your writing day got so many responses. That’s what I’ll ask you again for your next blog blast.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Suerte con el libro me alegra que vaya bien. Amo escribir pero publicar siempre debes esta pendiente del libro y el marketing y eso es duro. Te mando un beso y te deseo que todo vaya genial tu trilogía.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing your process, Jacqui. One of the things I find most fascinating about writing is that there are many different ways to get to the finish line. I love the main title, and I know the tagline will come when it’s ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow!! You’ve had an extremely productive month! Kudos on the giveaway!! That’s a very successful promotion for the series. I hope it pays off for you.

    My mother turned me onto to Duck Duck Go several years ago. I’ve been using it ever since, in addition to an ad blocker.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Duck Duck Go, plotting usingan excel spreadsheet–both new ideas to me. And what a sale! Holy cow! Thrilled for you and your association with amazon. I probably forgot more eye-opening developments, but these are the real knock-your-sox-off ones that stuck with me on the first reading. So proud of you!! Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s great to read all about what you’ve been working on, Jacqui. I am subscribed to BookBub but don’t give it much attention SIGH! I am delighted that you are getting on so well with your latest novel and congratulations on the downloads of book 1. I would be interested to know how many of these translate into reviews. I did a free download giveaway and had lots of takers but not many reviews at the end of the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great progress, Jacqui! Yes, think about bookbub, but great news about Prime Deals. Amazon put one of my books on Kindle Deals and it definitely has increased sales, not only for the book but the rest of the series. I can’t wait to read the end of Lucy’s story. What a wonderful niche you’ve found. Happy Writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. In the WordPress statistics, I find it interesting how many referrals come from Duck Duck Go vs. Google. I’m seeing a steady increase in the Duck Duck Go referrals, suggesting Yoast SEO for Google works for Duck Duck Go, too! Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi Jacqui – you always seem to be ahead of the curve … I’ve heard of Duck Duck Go – so will look at it (at least! – my life is simple) … it’s just fascinating being able to see what others are doing. Excellent you’re progressing on and know what works for you … vis a vis ‘writing’ – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

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