Tag Archive | indie publishing

Switching Gears Without Derailing- New Series Coming Up!

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Ever have to switch gears so rapidly your head was spinning?  That’s where I am now, and it’s nerve wracking, but also a lot of fun.  I’m finding that growing as an author means adding layers, by branching out and trying new things. It’s also learning how to discern which opportunities are the right ones to take advantage of.

Times are tough for indie authors right now, but they are also fantastic. As I mentioned in an earlier post, discoverability is the Holy Grail. There are so many books available, and tons more being added in a constant stream, that the admirable accomplishment of publishing a professional, well-written story is just the first step in a long journey.

It’s Raining Promo

It’s amazing how creative this industry is when it comes to promotion. Ads, Facebook Groups, Blog Tours, conferences, and other co-op type promotions are springing up faster than you can fill out a form to join them. Giveaways are raining all over social media, like confetti and beads at Mardi Gras.

Now that I have three books out (the Higher Elevation Series), I’m signing up for various events and promotions. I’m not sure what will work best, and what works for someone else’s book may not work for yours or mine. The best thing of course, is a recommendation from another author who has tried whatever marketing tactic you are considering, but that doesn’t guarantee results. So you make the most informed decision you can, keeping in mind your audience and your budget, and cross your fingers.

Unfortunately, this is how marketing and promotion work, most of the time.  It’s an educated crap shoot. But I started to wonder if it would help to have more than one product (series) to promote. Here’s how that played out:

A few months ago, after I launched my three-book series, I came up with a new Contemporary Romance series idea. I sketched out several good story lines, but nothing jumped out at me, begging to be written. But I also had the plot for Unraveled, Book Four of the Higher Elevation Series, in my head so I wrote an outline for it, and a few weeks later I am 10K in and it’s going well.

BUT!

As much as I was loving Sophie and Kane’s story (Book 4), I put it down to work on something else. What prompted the sudden switch was I had a new logo and a new author tagline, “Love Grows in Unexpected Places”. To me, the logo of a tree inside a heart represented enduring love that is meant to be. I love writing about mismatched people who beat the odds to be together, and my books represent that.

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So all those Contemporary storylines I jotted down now had a unifying theme, and they began yelling at me to be written. I’m thinking of calling it the “Love Grows” series. The first one, Cougar-ish, is about a couple, a younger man-older woman, who face many obstacles to be together. Once this series is underway, I can go back and finish Sophie’s story in the Higher Elevation Series. (Is it crazy I feel like I have to apologize to my characters for putting them aside?)

I think it’s an excellent idea to have more than one series to promote. I just wish I had four more hands and two more brains, so I could get them all done NOW!

What about you? Have you put down a beloved project in favor of something else? Was it the right thing to do?

 

Author Growing Pains

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Building your Author platform is an essential part of an author’s career these days, and I’m beginning to believe that it will always be a work in progress. It’s not something you “set and forget”, is it?  Social media accounts must be tended, followers cultivated, and your website must be managed. And don’t forget to blog regularly, promote your next book, and then send out a dazzling newsletter! No one tells you when you are starting out how many tasks you’ll have to juggle on a regular basis, and it’s always evolving.

Building Your Platform

There are many websites, blogs, and online courses with helpful instruction on how to perform many of these tasks, but there is no one way or perfect method to handle the various duties that come with being an author in today’s world. We each have to find our own path. I have found networking with other authors to be the best source of information on how to find the right vendors and to learn what the best practices are for building and managing an author platform. If you see something that’s working for someone else, you can ask questions before you try it.

But even with all that advice available, it sometimes comes down to trial and error, and that’s where the growing pains may be. You may find, as I did, there are trade-offs, times when you have to compromise in order to make things work the way you want them to.

Making All It Work…Somehow

I recently set up my author website, and I’m happy with it.  But my trade off was having to move my blog, and in the process I lost a few followers. So if you followed Renee Regent’s Blog on WordPress, you can still see my posts at http://reneeregent.com. Click the Blog tab, then the Archived Blog Posts tab to see my previous posts. Or get to them directly by https://reneeregent.wordpress.com. The Current Blog tab will take you to my most recent post, and there is a place to sign up so you can get my posts by email, if you like. I have some exciting posts coming up, even a guest poster or two, so stay tuned!

The good news is my new website has much better Search Engine Optimization, and I’m gaining new followers as a result.

My point is this─you have to be flexible sometimes. My new website has a newsletter, my blog, and a place to advertise my upcoming books. For me, the price was right and it came with assistance I needed to set up and maintain it. I was reluctant to change from the blogging platform I had, but was unable to find a way to make it work the way I wanted it to.

Juggling Act

As I progress toward my first book launch, I’m learning other things, too. Like how to use Canva for promotional material; how to set up an author page and put my books on Goodreads; and what happens on promotional blog tours. I’ve set up my Author page on Facebook, and even started using Instagram.

So. Many. Things!

And likely it will never end. That’s a lot to juggle, and I hear it gets worse (busier) after you’re published. Yikes! But I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  How about you?

How are you getting it all done?

Becoming an Author-Entrepreneur- The First Steps

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Want to find out if you’ve got what it takes to become an Author Entrepreneur?

I’m honored to be a guest on Jami Gold’s blog today, discussing the first steps to becoming an entrepreneur in the field of Indie publishing. It’s not as hard as you might think, but there’s still a lot to consider before you jump in.  And whether you are going with the traditional route of publishing, or self-publishing, chances are you will be handling many tasks on your own which require entrepreneurial skills.

Here’s the link to Jami’s blog: http://jamigold.com/2016/06/are-you-ready-to-be-an-entrepreneur-guest-renee-regent/

If you’ve never visited her blog before, you should─it’s always informative, but in a friendly, laid back way. Jami has a knack for digging through the layers of a subject, to find out why the topic matters. Her website has been designated as one of the 100 best Websites For Writers, in 2015. So, it is quite an honor to have my debut guest post on her blog!

If you are interested in the business side of writing, I plan to explore this topic more in the future, as I progress through the journey of my writing career.  As a lifelong entrepreneur, I am excited about the ever-expanding field of publishing, and hope you’ll join me. I’d love to hear of your experiences, too, so feel free to comment or drop me a line at reneeregent@yahoo.com.