Friday, February 22, 2013

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison and Parajunkee.

I'm looking to promote book bloggers for A-Z this year, so if you would like to be featured on my blog go here and leave a comment. Please include your name or the name of your blog (so I know what letter you want to be on).


Q: We always talk about books that WE want. Let's turn it on its head. What books have you given other people lately?


Geez. I think it's been a while since I gave a book away. In the fall, I sent a box of books. I don't even remember what was in it, ARCs and things autographed to me. All sorts of goodies. What have you given away lately?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Saying More With Few Words

My editor and author of Love AllKelly Hashway is here today to talk about using few words to say so much more.


One of the best compliments I've gotten from an editor is that I can give maximum insight into my characters with the fewest words possible. You may not think that when you have an entire novel this is necessary, but consider how many times you've skimmed paragraphs while reading a book. I do it all the time. I'm not a wordy person. I'm pretty blunt, and that's really helpful when you're writing because readers want you to get to the point.

The biggest issue I notice when I edit books, both for clients and myself, is that when we draft, we tend to just get the words down on paper (or screen). There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Drafting is about getting the story out. Tightening up your wording should be left for revisions. The problem lies in the fact that when we simply write to get the story out, we don't think about the best way to say something. And by best, I mean the most specific and the most clear to the reader. Why does this happen? Think about this. You know your story and your characters. They are clear as day in your mind. But what we often forget is that our readers know nothing until we show them. Notice I said show, not tell. So here are a few tips to help you.

A great way to say more with fewer words is to let your characters speak. Use dialogue. 

Look at this example:

Roger was as nosey as neighbors come. He was always looking over my shoulder while I carried the bills into the house, trying to figure out just how far in debt we'd gotten. He knew our finances better than Mom did, and he made sure we knew it.  (48 words)

The above is all telling. We don't see any evidence of this. And if you're thinking of now showing this scene, you are just telling your reader what they already know. Show and Tell was strictly for elementary school. Don't bring it into your writing.

Now look at that same narration told as dialogue:

"Hmm, more bills, huh?" Roger said, watching me pull the mail from the box.
"Everyone has them." 
"Some more than others, I see. Your mortgage is due this time of month, too." (32 words)

From this dialogue, we know Roger is nosey, and he obviously knows a lot about their finances since he knows when their mortgage is due. Even the MC's three-word line comes across as a little defensive, showing her annoyance and implying that Roger's done this before. When you have the option to tell your reader something in narration or to show them in dialogue, more often than not, it's more effective to show.

Going back to using specific words, I'm talking about falling in love with verbs. Opt for specific verbs that clearly make your reader picture what your character is saying or doing.

Here are some examples:

"Go and see if you can get her to come with us."

It's not a long sentence by any means, but don't let that fool you. There are still too many unnecessary words. 

Here's how I would edit this:

"Try to convince her to come."

"Go and see" really means "try". Try is a specific verb as opposed to the three words previously used. Also, the use of "and" was not needed at all. "Go see" would've worked.
"Can get" isn't strong language. "Convince" is more accurate, and it's a much more powerful verb.

I also see writers using "ing" verbs a lot. This is weak writing, and it adds to your word count. Check out this example:

Noelle was wearing...

Again, it's only three words, but it's actually too many. It should read:

Noelle wore...

"Was" is a "be" verb. (Forms of "to be" are: is, am, was, were, are.) Be verbs are also signs of weak writing. If you can eliminate them, you are cutting down on unnecessary words and making your writing stronger at the same time.

Verbs can be your best friends because they eliminate the need for adverbs—you know, the dreaded adverbs that everyone says not to use in your manuscript. Don't tell your reader that your character said something "loudly". Instead have them scream, yell, or just use an exclamation point. Adverbs are almost never needed if you use specific verbs and appropriate punctuation.

See what I mean in these examples:

"You've got to be kidding me," I said, loudly.
"You've got to be kidding me," I screamed.
"You've got to be kidding me!"

Personally, the third one is the strongest. The exclamation point eliminates the need for the adverb and even the verb.

Another thing to watch for is telling every single move your character makes. We don't need to see your character's every action because many can be inferred. Readers don't like to be talked down to, so let them assume the obvious things on their own.

Here's what I mean:

She walked to the dresser, opened the drawer, and searched for her black sweater.

Now if your character is sitting on her bed, it's fine to have her jump up before she searches for her sweater. In fact, that's a good transition. But do we really need to see her walk to the dresser and open the drawer? If she searches the drawer, can't we assume she opened it?

Here's how I would write it:
She scoured her dresser in search of her black sweater.

First, scour implies that she's a bit frantic so it tells your reader about how your character is feeling as well as what she is doing. Words that can give more insight into your character without adding to your word count are invaluable. And look how this edit cuts down on unnecessary words. It even sounds better.

So those are a few tips to help you say more with fewer words. Hopefully you found them helpful.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Promoting Book Bloggers for A-Z & Maintenance

First of all, thank you everyone who commented on Friday. Taking the time to offer support meant a lot to me, and it was enlightening to learn that so many people suffer from the same kind of problem. I'm sorry I couldn't respond to you each individually like I usually would. This is a hard thing for me to talk about. Now for the maintenance. You may have noticed that I said I usually respond to you each individually. Well, I've been replying via email for like ever. I never realized so many people had no-reply accounts. LOL. I'm assuming several of these emails have gone unread, so I'm trying to get better about replying here.

Now for A-Z. I'd like to promote book bloggers, and I prefer to keep it to review/book blogs, because I promote writers the rest of the year. Book bloggers make a hug difference for writers. It would be impossible to sell an ebook without them. These people spend their own time and often money on our books then spend more time crafting a review, and blogger reviews are usually fair, whether positive or negative. I've also seen neg reviews that prompted me to buy  a book. So I'd like to promote book bloggers, because they promote writers. If you are a book blogger or you know a good book blogger that deserves a shout out, please let me know.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Drowning

Despite the title, I'm currently swimming, though against the current. I'm going to talk about something today that I rarely do, at least in such a public forum. Anxiety. More specifically my anxiety. I know if you've followed this blog since 2010, I've alluded to it more than once, and I've even alluded to the life I had when I was younger--most likely the biggest contributor to the anxiety, but even in life I'm rarely honest about it.

I rarely say that thoughts--BAD thoughts--spin around in my head, circling like sharks waiting for a weak moment to take over my body. Waiting for the time, when the girl inside gives in and lets the thoughts control her next action or inaction. That moment of weakness rarely comes, but strength comes at a cost. Looking normal on the outside means constant tug-of-war on the inside. It means overanalyzing the minutest of details repeatedly until the voice of reason in my head has either talked down the enemy, or given in. The giving in happens a lot. It's not an action or an inaction, merely a state of mind. Something someone else would barely notice, although I think my husband has learned to notice. The giving in is just the notion that whatever (usually minor thing) has me so worked up is now inevitable. There isn't anything I can do about it except sit back and wait. Watch it explode. The anxiety starts with things other people probably wouldn't even think twice about, and once it's rooted, it grows. Small things, things that if you did pay attention to you would laugh off, become huge. The war is waged. The overly rational corner of my brain knows the fear is irrational and if anything does come of it, it will be something really minor. But fear knows no reason. The only thing I really have going for me is that I do know the fear is irrational. I've met other people who aren't able to get that far, who don't know when the fear is irrational. And who aren't able to function because of it. Fortunately, that's not me. Unfortunately, I'm not sure this is any easier.

The reason I'm able to tell you this today is because a few years ago, I went through a year and a half of counseling. The anxiety has gotten better in some senses since then. For example, I've learned triggers (often people) and tend to avoid them. And I know when I'm having a bad day. Not a bad day in the sense that I woke up and everything that could go wrong went wrong, but a day when the anxiety is not only in my head but I can feel it bubbling in my chest. It's the same feeling you get watching a horror movie, or right at the climax of a book. But on a bad day with the anxiety nothing has to happen to trigger that feeling. Today is a bad day. I've struggled with all day long and don't really even know why. But I knew it was a struggle, so I admitted it. I tried to live life anyway, and when it didn't get better I wrote this. My first public admission. Because sometimes talking through it helps. And because I've learned how to deal with it. And because I no longer have to care what people think. I've always been ashamed to admit this, but I realize being able to cope with this every day is hard. It's okay to say so.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison and Parajunkee.

First, if you like sweets could you please sign up for The Sweets Blogfest!


Q: Write a letter to your favorite character. Rant, rave or gush…just pretend like they are real and you just want to let them know a "few things". - Activity courtesy of author, Kelly Walker

Okay, so I'm not writing to my favorite character, but to a character that annoys me, Echo's dad from Pushing The Limits.


Dear Mr. Emerson,
You are scum. I cannot believe you would marry your child's babysitter. And while I get that sometimes "life just happens" and your wife was crazy, while you might not choose who you care about, you choose how you act on it. If I were going to excuse this inappropriate behavior because your wife refused to take her medication, the way you side with your nanny mistress over your daughter is unforgivable. And really what you did--even thought you didn't plan for her to be hurt--was pretty bad. And wow! Letting her give that baby your dead son's name after that comment "now you'll have a brother again" is just way too much! In short, you suck. You should be happy your daughter is a suck up aiming to be a people pleaser. I'd put you on call block. ;)
Love,
Beth

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Indie Kissing Blogfest

The Indie Kissing blogfest is being hosted by the Indelibles.  And speaking of kissing, if you like reading or writing sweet/cute kissing scenes, you should check out the sweets blogfest.

I've decided to post a smooching snippet from The Other Marlowe Girl.





Snippet

“We’ll talk about this more tomorrow. I don’t want my brother to see me out so late.” He placed a hand on my cheek and pressed his lips against mine. My mouth parted and so did his. The taste of Enrique filled me with desire, but I’d learned enough from Emmett that I knew I didn’t want whatever chance I had with Enrique to start out like this. Using more self-control than I knew I had, I pulled away from him.

YA or NA

So I have several fulls out on a YA ms about an Iraq War Refugee and the son of a fallen soldier. I was very selective about who I queried this time, and sent only about 15 queries. However, I knew that I would only query a small number of people, before I started. I'd already decided that if one of those people didn't make an offer I'd self publish. I've given myself a deadline and anything I haven't heard back on by summer, I'll most likely pull. 

Here is the problem. I've planned a three book series. The first one is definitely YA with both MC's in high school. The next one I think could be YA or NA. He's out of high school and she graduates about half way through, but they both still live at home. The third I think is definitely NA. He's probably 20 or 21 and she's a couple of years younger, but she had to quit school early due to life situations. So do I market this as YA or NA?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pushing The Limits Book Recommendation #3

In case you haven't seen it yet, my friend Kelly & I are co-hosting the sweets blogfest. We'd love it if you signed up. It's a good way to learn about sweet romances, and if you happen to write sweet romances of course you can promote your book ;)!

Okay, so I'm breaking my own rules today. As you know, I know longer do reviews just recommendations. My policy is I'll only recommend something I'd rate 4 stars or higher. I probably wouldn't have given this book four stars based on the ending, but I'm still recommending it. Hey, my blog. I can do what I want.


"No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again."

That blurb does not lie! These kids are both in impossible situations. They both have faced things in their short lives that it is going to be hard if not completely impossible to overcome. And with their whole lives ahead of them, the stakes are high. They need to overcome their situations. There were lots of things about this book, that I really loved. I can't say much more about the concept, because I think you should experience it firsthand, but that was one thing I loved. Most of the characters are strong well rounded and believable--(I'm willing to say all, but I'll get there later). I loved Echo & Noah, and several other characters, but I didn't like Echo's dad and stepmom at all.

Both Noah & Echo navigate their way through their situations by the end of the book, and the book left me thinking about them and wishing for more. The writer did an awesome job at characterization, world building, and evoking emotion. I said I wouldn't rate this at four stars because *SPOILER ALERT* I didn't like the truce Echo made with her dad and stepmom at the end of the book. For me, she let them off easily. Her dad had an affair with her babysitter and then married the girl. He's already lost my respect. He repeatedly chooses his very young wife over his daughter, and that does little to gain my respect back. The stepmom is oblivious and self-centered. (Then again, she'd have to be to have an affair with a married man). I would have liked to see them make more of an effort at a truce than the other way around. And after the stepmom's comment that the new baby meant "She'd have a brother again," I could not accept her being okay with them naming that baby after her brother. Noah's ending was beautiful, the romantic ending was satisfying though I would have liked an epilogue. I just didn't like the resolution to Echo's family situation.
Still, I highly recommend this book and will definitely read the next one.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Give Away & Clarifications

Okay, so Friday I announced Kelly Hashway and I are co-sponsoring a blogfest and a contest. Because  I've gotten a few questions about this I just want to clarify. While the contest doesn't open until the day of the blogfest, you don't have to participate in one to participate in the other. However, anyone who participates in the blogfest will get one free entry for the contest. And of course, if you write sweet romance, you're welcome to post your books during the hop!

Blogfest rules
1. Link to both Kelly & I.
2. Post our image.
3. We'd love it if you linked to our goodreads pages or posted our covers, but you don't have too.

That's it. That's all you have to do. People who want to do the contest only need to mark our add our books to their TBR on Goodreads.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

On Organizing a Blog Tour & Making The Button

If you haven't signed up for The Sweets Blogfest yet, please consider participating. Kelly & I appreciate it.

My friend Charity Bradford is here today to talk about organizing a blog tour. I can tell you firsthand, this is a lot of work, so maybe these pointers will make it easier. Charity wrote The Magic Wakes which was a quarter finalist in ABNA contest and has been published by WiDo. She's also a sweetheart and loves to help other writers. You can find more about her here.

Organizing a Blog Tour

This was a lot easier than I thought it would be thanks to the wonderfully supportive blogging community. I believe it helped that I’ve been blogging for a while and had already made some amazing friends. Here are some quick pointers:
  • Be willing to help others regardless of whether or not they can help you. Remember how your mom used to tell you to be the kind of friend you wanted to find? Yeah, it’s sort of like that. 
  • Use the resources that are out there.
  • Be professional.
  • Be prepared with ideas for your tour such as guest post topics, games, giveaways, etc.
  • Start early. I started almost 4 month early and managed to grab the last slot on the one blog I REALLY wanted to get on.
  • Take some time to create good headers and buttons that draw the reader’s attention and give a feel for your book
  • Keep good records of Who, What, When, and Where so you can deliver what you promised and answer questions when someone asks about “the plan”.
  • Don’t be afraid of trying something new.
  • Work a little on it every day so you don’t feel overwhelmed. I ended up with 34 tour stops, which is WONDERFUL, but if I had to prepare all of those posts within a month I’d curl up and die. Because I started early, I was able to work on them over two months instead of weeks. Hopefully they are better because of that.

Creating Headers and Badges

I was a bit nervous about this part, but I knew I couldn’t afford to hire someone else to do it. In the end, I learned that keeping it simple is once again the best advice I can give. 1. Look at other banners and badges and take note of what you liked about them. 2. Choose a program to work with. There are lots out there from free to various prices. I’ll name a couple: Windows comes with Paint and then there is Adobe Photoshop. However, I’m the most familiar with Microsoft Publisher. I created a little movie to walk you through my process. Don't worry, it's only a bit over 1 minute long.
video

Other Swag

Now that you know how to make banners and buttons, making swag to give away will be easy! I use the same program for everything. Whatever you decide you like, stick with it. I used the same images and text to create some postcards and bookmarks. 
All I have to do is print them on nice white cardstock or photo paper if I want to get fancy. There are lots of great resources out there and if you watch you can catch the sales to make your printing more affordable. Some sites I keep my eye on:
As of 12/13/12
vistaprint.com--50 "rack" cards starting at $14.99
winkflash.com--4x6 prints are $0.08
shutterfly.com--4x6 prints are $0.15
walmart.com--4x6 prints are $0.09

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ack! Help!!!

Is there anyone who has read A Missing Peace who would be willing to read the first few pages of the second book and tell me if it sucks? 

OMG! Why does starting a new book have to be so hard?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison and Parajunkee.


Q: Happy Mardi Gras! If they were throwing the HOTTEST books off of a Mardi Gras float -- what would you do to have them throw to you…?


I've never been a wild Mardi Gras kinda girl. Swing my hips and blow a kiss?

Kelly Hashway & I are hosting the "Sweets" blogfest to celebrate the release of our "sweet"romancecs. Please consider signing up here.

Also, I have a guest post at Sarah Nego's blog today.

Announcing Sweets Blogfest

To celebrate the release of our sweet love stories, my friend Kelly Hashway and I are hosting The Sweets Blogfest on March 6! And we'd love it if you'd participate. You can sign up in the linky below. And of course, if you write sweet romance, you're welcome to post your books during the hop!






Here are the rules:  

  1. Link to both Beth & Kelly.
  2. Post the image.
  3. Tell us about your favorite sweet, your favorite memory involving a sweet, or your favorite sweet love story.
  4. You don't have to, but we'd love it if you could post covers for Advantage Heartbreak & The Other Marlowe Girl, in your post & link to our Goodreads pages.
Optional give away!!! One Free Entry for Blogfest Pariticpants!
To win e-books of Love All & The Other Marlowe Girl:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blurb Writing Classes

Those of you who have been around a while know that a couple of years ago, I was hit with 105 rejections. You also know that after that things changes and I have a high request rate for the limited number of queries I send now. This is in part because I learned to write a blurb and in part because I became better at plotting. But I use the same technique for both plotting and blurb writing.

If you're interested in learning how to let your plot write your blurb, I'm teaching a class on just that in April for OIRWA. It's a two week course available online, and you'll finish the class with a completed query. AND you can do this even if you haven't written the book yet. You'll still finish the class with a completed query, and it should be pretty close to what you will use when you query.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

IWSG: In Need of a Co-host

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is hosted by Alex. Cauvanaugh.

So it's been a strange month. This month I'm insecure, because I'm releasing a novella in April, the sequel to The Fate of a Marlowe Girl (formerly known as Kismet), The Other Marlowe Girl. Instead of doing a cover reveal, I'd like to do do a blog fest in early March. But I'd really like to have a co-host. I'm not going to require people to post the cover as part of the blogfest, but I'd love it if they chose to. So if you write sweet love stories, and you'd like to co-host a blogfest with me, I'm totally willing to promote whatever you'd like during the blogfest too. Or if you're  a reader not a writer, I'd really appreciate the help. I've put the cover and blurb at the end of this post in case anyone's interested in co-hosting.

Now for what I'm secure about, I got into my first choice MFA program. I was interested in the MFA at WCSU, because I can learn marketing at the same time. So when I found the program, I emailed the director to make sure I'd be allowed to write genre fiction. Not only do they allow genre fiction (something many MFA programs do not) students have been successful with it. I knew this was the program for me, so I'm happy they liked my writing sample. It was 50 pages of multiple genres and had to include a professional writing sample.

Blurb



When twenty-four-year-old dance school drop out Kammy Marlowe is evicted by her mother, she goes to her favorite hangout. She finds an unlikely friend in the blunt eye candy, Enrique. But Kammy knows there is no way she and Enrique have a shot because he's her brother-in-law’s brother and has been privy to her wild past. 

Enrique swears he’s only interested in the person she is today, but their relationship is tested when her ex-husband's drug dealer attacks her, looking for money. With no options and a money hungry drug dealer on her back, Kammy accepts a position as a dancer at a strip club. But when Enrique shows up at the club, their relationship is over. With no reason to stay in Texas anymore, Kammy auditions for the Bolshevik Ballet and gets the opportunity to go to Russia. Only Enrique is determined to stop her. 

Will she give up the chance of a lifetime to stay with the man she still loves?
What are you insecure about? Any good news? 


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Business of Being Indie

Today, my friend bestselling indie author Lizzy Ford is here to talk about the business side of self publishing, but first of all can I draw your attention to the side of my blog? Kismet got a name change & a cover change!

Every once in awhile, someone asks me for advice on how to be a successful indie author. By successful, they usually mean profitable, if not profitable enough to write full time. My top tips for how to convert a hobby into a job are below. Warning: they are not for the meek at heart!

1. Make a plan.

This is the most crucial part of the business side, and the most overlooked. A lot of authors who consult with me want to know how to make money. Now. When I ask them what their strategic plan is for the business side of self-publishing, I receive silence in response. The truth of the matter is this: you are an artist and a businessperson. Those who are successful acknowledge this truth and spend time creating goals and a plan.

How do you do this? It starts with sitting down and asking yourself a few questions:

Where do you want to be in one year? Five years? Ten years?
How many books do you want to have self-published?
How large do you feel your fan base needs to be in order to sell enough books to make a stable income?
What books/series do you want to grow over the long term?
What else do you want to have accomplished (eg, awards, contests, other benchmarks)?
Etc.

Define your goals and expectations. Next, figure out how you’ll reach them by creating a task list and smaller objectives that you want to meet.

For example:

Your first goal: In five years, you want to have a series of five books completed.
Your first objective: Release the first book within 6-12 months with a fan base waiting for it.
Your immediate-term task list:

Set a daily writing goal that will support your objective. (Either word count or designated length of time.)
Be honest about the expenses: determine as far in advance as possible how much your cover, editing, formatting, and marketing will cost. Plan how to minimize expenses and pay for them.
Create a marketing plan to promote the first book. You can include things like this:
o Pre-release: Schedule excerpts, cover reveal, buttons for bloggers, other teasers. Approach bloggers about reading/reviewing ARCs.
o Release: Blog tours, release parties, giveaways, ads. If you’re a new author, considering approaching a more established author in your genre to co-release with.
o Post release (30+ days): plan out quarterly ads and identify additional bloggers to review the book.
Set up your online platform (social media and Good reads accounts, website/blog, etc.) to support the initial creation of a fan base. If you already have this, then read on.
Make a goal of gaining fans/followers, such as 10 a day/week. A few tips:
o Twitter: identify the leading sellers in your genre, and look at who is following/talking to them. Reach out to those fans. Don’t ask them to read your book – just engage them.
o Facebook: A targeted FB ad is invaluable, if set up correctly.
o Website: participate in blog hops to pull readers to your website. Have something for them there: a free short story/flash fiction piece, etc.
Engage your fans for 30 minutes a day and reach out to new fans. Cultivate a community. DON’T SPAM!
Etc.

2. The two things you need to be successful.

To guarantee long-term economic stability in the form of royalties income, you need the following:

Things for people to buy
People to buy them

Translation: a backlist and a fan base. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? This point costs you nothing but time and effort. How aggressively you work towards them is based on your goals. For those who view self-publishing as a hobby, there’s a lot more flexibility with this one. You have the benefit of time to create both.

For those who view writing as source of stable income, you’re probably looking for a lot more depth here! I’ve listed a few ideas you can take to help catalyze the creation of both.

Backlist
Most importantly, set your physical writing goal, and meet it. Every. Single. Day.
Write short stories associated to your books, perhaps on secondary characters; prequels; new adventures. Self-publish them between novel releases.
Got a drawer full of stories you couldn’t get published? Pull them out, rewrite/revise, and self-publish them. There’s a market for every kind of book. The days of being forced to write formulaic stories to appease agents/big publishers is over.

Fan base:
Nothing brings in people like something free. Set one of the short stories you wrote to permanent free. Free works best when you have at least two items for readers to buy out.
Include links to your other books/short stories and your social media in the back of EVERYTHING you self-publish. Include an “Also by Author Name” with links to your books in the respective stores.
Keep engaging your readers between releases. We do this by having giveaways on my Facebook fan page. Use social media and Goodreads to your advantage. They are free platforms to engage readers. Create quizzes, scavenger hunts, etc., to keep your readers interested.

3. Maintain perspective.

A lot of people (including me) freak out when sales go down and assume that this means the end of writing as we know it. We start throwing money after ads, like gamblers in Vegas throw more money into machines, just to feel that sensation of being on top again. This is a knee-jerk reaction – don’t do it! If you decide to buy ads or change your marketing strategy, make thoughtful decisions, not desperate ones.

When sales go down, don’t panic. Remember:

Sales are cyclic. There will be spikes and dips. I repeat, SALES WILL GO DOWN, and it’s okay!
By remaining focused on your plan, your dips will get shallower over time.

What do to when sales go down:

Increase reader engagement
Release something new, even if it’s a short story
Stay focused on your two tenets: backlist and fan base
Stay the course with your plan
Adjust your marketing strategy, if needed

4. Build a financial foundation.

By this, I mean a diversified income stream. Book royalties alone will grow as your backlist does, but I personally am terrified of placing all my eggs in one bucket. Having watched the economy tank, I think there are a few different ways to build up different income streams, while you’re also growing your backlist, fan base and royalties income. There are many ways to do this. Some simple ideas:

Affiliate programs: Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords all offer affiliate programs. Tag your books and the books of other authors you’re feature on your website with your affiliate links every time you post, tweet, and otherwise share them
Advertising on your website. Sign up for BlogAds.com as a host or offer up ads manually.
Google Ads. Google posts random ads based on the content of our website. Whenever people click on them, you get a percentage.
If you have a self-publishing related skill (designing covers, copyediting, formatting), build up a side business as a secondary source of income.

I hope these tips help. I’m a huge fan of putting in the grueling hours needed to create a solid foundation. It’s easy to grow your business, once the foundation is there.


About Lizzy

Lizzy Ford is the author of over seventeen novels written for young adult and adult paranormal romance readers, to include the internationally bestselling Rhyn Trilogy, Witchling Trilogy and the War of Gods series. Considered a freak of nature by her peers for the ability to write and release a commercial quality novel in under a month, Lizzy has focused on keeping her readers happy by producing brilliant, gritty romances that remind people why true love is a trial worth enduring.

Friday, February 1, 2013

If you are here for Goals, go here. If you are here for FF, go here. If you are here for Imaginary Friend, go here.

If you are here just because you love me, tell me how awesome I am in the comments. (J/JK)

2013 Goals #2



Goals for Feb

  1. Write lesson plans for blurb writing class
  2. Edit & format The Other Marlowe Girl
  3. Get half way through A Missing Peace sequel (hopefully w/ good words)
  4. start GMC or "Showing" series




Goals for 2013

  1. Read a craft book
  2. Do a 6 week series on GMC or the Hero's Journey (these will be analysis)
  3. Do a 6 week series on showing versus telling (these will be analysis)
  4. Write 2 novels
  5. Read 30 books
  6. Promote 52 bookish things (books and/or authors)
  7. Learn ballroom dancing w/ the hubs
  8. Learn to eat healthy and without sugar
  9. Lose 48 lbs.
  10. Work out more
  11. Start new blog
  12. Create a blog roll for this blog
Goals for Jan.
  1. Lose 4 lbs. Okay, so this happened at one point, but I gained it back.
  2. Finish Nadir Though the title changed.
  3. Start dead sister book
  4. write every day even if it's only 500 words This did not happen, but most weeks my word count was the same as if it had happened.
  5. work out twice/week
  6. learn half a ballroom routine