Posted in books, writing

In some ways I’m like a zombie

Or at least I have been for the past year.

cross in fog at the cemetarySome of my readers probably think I’ve died, or at least been serious maimed and unable to write. I’m not dead. My hands are a bit messed up, but for the most part, still functional.

Where have I been for the last year?

The short version is that I went back to work full-time. The money was great, the physical and psychological stress was not. I was too exhausted after work to focus on writing. Marketing…yeah right. Cleaning the house…bare minimum, and the kids helped a lot. Dinners…my hubby Ryan was a champ and did a ton! Having a few hours in the evening to spend with the Ryan and the kids was about all I could manage.

Zombies go through the motions, are motivated by basic needs, and aren’t capable of much in the way of creativity.

doomsday

Unless you’re R from “Warm Bodies.” But that’s another story…a really good one. You should go watch it if you haven’t.

I’ve recently left my full-time job behind and am now looking for a new opportunity. I’m not sure what will happen at this point, but while I’m in between life moments, I’m trying to catch up on everything that’s been neglected for the last year. Kids. Hubby. House. Friends. Writing. Marketing. Basically, everything.

I’m hopeful 2019 will be a great year. I’m working on freelancing, tutoring, writing more, maybe  starting graduate school, and possibly starting my own business. Scary, but exciting. I’m really blessed to have a husband who’s supportive and understanding. Making a big change is stressful and downright terrifying at times. He’s carrying a huge portion of the load while I reset and figure things out.

I’m hopeful to have more books out next year for my readers who’ve been hanging in there with me, but if I’m slow getting back into things, I hope you’ll all understand. At the very least, “The Catalyst” reboot (post Kindle Worlds) should be ready soon, and I’m almost done with the next Eliza Carlisle book. Those waiting for The Ghost Host #3, it’s next on the list, I promise. I truly appreciate everyone in my life (family and readers) who support me in so many ways.

Thanks for always being there!

Hands Holding Hearts

Posted in books, writing

Who’s ready for 2017?

2017-fireworks

It seems like everyone is happy to say goodbye to 2016. It was a weird year, to be sure. I know for myself, going back to college made things a little crazy, as did a few too many writing deadlines.

A hectic year has pushed me to reevaluate a few things, get organized, and set more realistic goals and deadlines.

So…you’ll see a few changes this year, and yes I’ll explain why.

1This first big change is that I’ll no longer be offering free ebooks on retailer sites like Amazon and iBooks. I’m already in the process of changing free, first-in-the-series books back to their normal prices. Amazon will be the slowest to change, so if you want free books, go get them now.

Why no more freebies? Basically, because it no longer works as a marketing tactic. There are too many free books to have good discoverability any more. It will be more effective for me to offer short term deals on books than to keep them perma-free, so that’s what I’ll be experimenting with this year.

If you want free books once all the price changes go into effect, the only way to do that will be through my newsletter. The plan is that each monthly newsletter I send out will have a coupon code for a free book. If you’re not already signed up, sign up now. All you need is an email address.

Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/C35Q5

2The next big change is that I will be pulling my books from the Kindle Unlimited program. I’m doing this for 2 reasons.

  1. I’ve struggled to ever find success with KU in the various times I’ve tried it out. I just can’t figure out how to really market for KU well, and I have a strong enough reader base on other platforms that it makes more sense to distribute my books wide.
  2. From the beginning, I’ve had my doubts about the fairness of the KU program in how it rewards and pays authors. Recent changes have only increased my dislike of the ethics of the program. While it’s a great deal for readers, it devalues books, and authors often get paid less than half the listed price for a book that is read 100%. I’m just not doing it anymore.

So, most of my books will be out of KU by early spring. The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook will stay in a bit longer because of contractual obligations with a box set it’s part of, but after that I’m out of KU for good.

3The last major change is that I’m scaling back. What does that mean? I can’t say exactly, except that means I’m going to stop overloading myself by saying yes to too many things and setting unrealistic goals. I need to be able to focus on school this year so I can finish my degree in December and start looking for a new day job, while still having time for family and occasionally cleaning my house.

For sure, I’m done with box sets for the time being. The two I’m currently in and the one I’ve committed to for 2017 will be it. They’re a great way to cross-market, but they take a ton of time and effort. As do comic cons, teaching, author events, school visits, etc. As much as I love doing all that stuff, I just don’t have the time right now.

As far as my writing plans, I really can’t say. I tend to write when I’m stressed out, so I may keep on as usual, lol. What I won’t do is push myself into corners where I’m struggling to meet pre-order dates or publishing deadlines. I’ll be writing on my terms and my deadlines. That may mean fewer books or no pre-orders or longer spans between books. I don’t know. I just ask that readers are patient as I finish my last year of undergrad classes. Encouragement is always appreciated, but if you’re waiting longer than usual for a new book just remember that even authors have day jobs, families, laundry, dishes, homework, and those other day-to-day things going on.

I hope everyone’s 2017 is starting off well, and I hope you all have a great year of reading ahead of you 🙂

 

Posted in books

Have I run away from Facebook yet?

FB changesThe last few months of 2014, there was a lot of discussion about how the new Facebook rules were going to kill small businesses’ ability to market.

Given that I know a bunch of authors, there was plenty of discussion on how this was going to affect authors in particular, and whether or not all those hard won “likes” on our author pages were going to be for naught.

In 2014, I put a lot of effort into growing my Facebook fan page, so I was concerned about the Facebook changes as well.

What were the changes?

Dollar SignJust in case you hadn’t heard about the new rules, basically, Facebook will do it’s best to filter out promotional posts in fans’ newsfeeds UNLESS you’re wiling to boost them, aka pay for them.

So, it’s been about a month since the new rules went into effect, and I’ve been watching how my reach, or how many people see my posts on my fan page, has changed from what it was before. The results have been interesting.

The reason Facebook gave for these new rules is because they’re trying to give users what they want, less ads, more content. In all honesty, they’re dead on with that goal, because people really don’t like ads in their newsfeed. Even before the new rules went into affect, promotional type posts on my page always had the smallest reach and least interaction. That was true before and after the rules. I have noticed a slight decrease in reach on promo posts since the new rules, but not enough to really make a difference.

So…does that mean we should all give up on our fan pages?

Absolutely not.

You just need to use them differently. Correctly.

Fans don’t want you to sell them books on Facebook. What they do want to see is sneak peeks, behind the scenes photos, pictures, questions, input on stories, anything that makes them feel like they are a part of the writing process. They want to get to know their favorite authors, see how their mind works, know what’s going on before anyone else.

Smiling RedheadReach is always bigger for me when I post things that are funny, questions, artwork, or quotes. Basically, things that inspire interaction.

If I really want to post something promotional, and I want it to be seen by lots of people, yes, I will have to pay to boost it, but really, I had to do that before, so things haven’t really changed that much because I haven’t been using Facebook as a promotional machine. I use it more as a way to interact with fans and build a community. Which is why fans use Facebook, too.

Changes to your favorite social media platforms happen all the time. Instead of running away in a huff, change tactics and find a way to work with changes to your benefit.