A self-published author's diary, Books

Guess who has a podcast? And a new book!

Guess who has a podcast? Me! I do. 🙂 And guess who is ready to share more about her next book?

Me! Yep, I have a podcast! And I am about to share more information about my next book.

I am so very excited to share with all of you my very new podcast: A Self-Published Author’s Diary.

You can listen to it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more!

Please subscribe, rate and review, it really helps.

It already has several episodes available…including an interview…with…The Chemical Engineer!

My podcast also a trailer…which you can watch below!

On today’s episode I not only interview The Chemical Engineer, I also share about Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Awareness Week and talk about the Ulman Foundation and their conversation with Tamika Felder. They talked bout her experience with cervical cancer and what led her to inspire others to share their stories as well. They also talked about racial disparities in healthcare and other factors that impact AYA cancer care and will continue to share part of that discussion on their Instagram throughout the month. The Ulman Foundation means a lot to us as Megan, Director, Service & Care Delivery at the Ulman Foundation, was part of our support system during my treatments for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

If you’d like to know more about the behind-the-scenes of launching a podcast, you can read one my recent blog posts on the topic (or listen to it on my podcast). And don’t forget about signing up for my weekly emails about self-publishling if you’re interested in receiving the links and the topics I am discussing in the podcast directly in your emails.

ANNNNNNDDDD BOOOOOOOK NEWS!

I might be *slightly* excited about this.

Are you ready to (a) read more about my upcoming novel #THELEFTOVERBRIDE, (b) pre-order it maybe (you can do so on Amazon , Kobo, iTunes, (c) Add it to Goodreads, (d) Join the first readers group (just subscribe to my newsletter as I’ll send more info in the coming weeks)? 

I have set the pre-order date for August 18th, 2021. Why? Because it’s my birthday. And I’m going to turn 40. And I feel like releasing a book would be a pretty awesome way to celebrate. I’ve started writing this book in December 2019, not long after my autologous stem cell transplant. It has been a book that has been taking me so long to write and revise. It’s going to be the first book (original) that I’m releasing since September 2019. 

And as an indie author, I get to decide my release date. Plus, that will give me time to draft the second one in the series and the prequel short stories and start drafting MISS ME, MISS ME NOT (the story of Nadia and Gabriel will be coming your way soon-ish).

Here’s the summary for #THELEFTOVERBRIDE:

A second chance romance set during the holiday season in a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore: full of laughter and heartwarming moments, checklists, family dynamics, a stubborn cat, and a rescue dog.

All Sorcha O’Connor wants for Christmas is for her life to turn into a Hallmark movie—but sexier.
Ryan Sawyer has a few things on his wishlist. First, he wants to stay away from Swans Cove. Second, he wants his NHL career back. And third, he wants Sorcha. Always has, always will.

When wedding dress designer Sorcha O’Connor got stranded at the altar and went viral as #TheLeftoverBride, she lost everything: her fiancé, her thriving business, her glowing reputation, and her dreams. To forget the upcoming first anniversary of that fateful day, Sorcha is ticking items off her “31 Things to Do Before the 31st” list and creating new dress designs—working day and night to get her life back on track. Not on her list? Falling for her former best friend —at one point more than best friend—hockey star Ryan Sawyer. Especially since he’s now known as the #HockeyHottie; Sorcha’s got enough hashtags for a lifetime.

Ryan Sawyer skated out of Swans Cove right out of high school. And since then, he stuck to the one item on his wishlist he could control. He busted his ass, making sure he always had the perfect excuse for avoiding Swans Cove: hockey. But thanks to his injured shoulder, rumors about his uncertain future at the Washington Angels, and his mother’s birthday, he’s back for a quick visit. His publicist was crystal clear—Ryan’s got to lay low and avoid stirring up trouble or risk losing his spot on the team. But he can’t stop thinking about Sorcha, the redhead who knows him better than even his therapist. Ryan wasn’t there for her when she needed him most, and for that, she might want to shred him with her dressmaker’s shears, though… Maybe he could just pass by and say hello?

When Sorcha’s former #RunawayGroom becomes the Most Coveted Bachelor in America, virtual eyes focus on Sorcha again. This time, Ryan’s not going to bolt—even when Sorcha blurts out on national TV that both she and Ryan are working on their so-called “Happy Lists”…together.

Will the spotlight finally work in Sorcha and Ryan’s favor? Or will their past—and their hashtags—get in the way of their Happily Ever After?

A week after it releases, I will move it to Kindle Unlimited, so make sure you pre-order it on your preferred platform.

Do you want to to read and review an early copy? Just sign up for my readers’ newsletter and I’ll send more information in the coming weeks.

As always thank you for reading!

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A self-published author's diary, podcast

The One With The Behind-The-Scenes of Launching a Podcast…

So, you may have seen a “podcast” link on my website. Yes, I’ve started a podcast. I haven’t launched it yet…officially. But if you’d like to already check it out, you can do so on: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or choose your favorite streaming platform here.

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What’s my podcast about?

My podcast is called “A Self-Published Author’s Diary”. And in it, I discuss the ups and downs and everything-in-between of my self-publishing adventures. I’ll also chat with writers at different stages of their writing (published and not published).

I even have a trailer…

Why did I decide to launch my podcast?

Several reasons. I may have mentioned some before but here’s a recap: (1) I was inspired by L. Penelope and her podcast My Imaginary Friends, which I really enjoy listening to; (2) being behind a mic and yet connecting with people, giving me an outlet in a way, because yes, I’m an introvert but connecting with people is still important; (3) hopefully be helpful to others and interesting and entertaining; (4) talk about writing with other writers and have more people discover them and their books; (5) yes also have more readers discover my books; (6) Keep track of my progress; (7) My husband encouraged me to do it, so while I had been toying with the idea. It’s great to feel the support.

What are my goals?

Some of my goals are mentioned above: provide helpful information, keep track of my writing and all.

When it comes to my podcast stats, I’d like to have 50 “followers” in the two weeks (after my official launch) and at least 5 reviews. And then grow, as I release more episodes.

If you’d like to already help me with that, you can go onto your podcast platform, the one you use to listen to this and click on “follow” or “subscribe”. And then you can also leave a review on the show on Apple Podcast. It really helps.

I did set-up the podcast to be able to have “monthly supporters”, but I don’t have a goal with that in mind. At least, not yet. Here’s the link for it in case you’re interested in becoming my very first monthly supporter. 🙂 : you can give $0.99, $4.99 or $9.99 per month and stop at any time, of course. I am not planning a patreon at this stage, because between podcasting and writing and my part-time audiobook narration jobs (which are not regular but still happen here and there) and my research part-time freelance gig, I don’t think I could give enough of my time to truly give content to a Patreon group right now.

I’d really like to see readers discover new authors and again to have writers feel like they’re having coffee with me by listening to my podcast.

What podcast platform do I use?

Anchor.fm They distribute the podcast for me and I use their podcast creation platform. So far, it has been pretty cool: they have transitions and background music and all…

The questions I’m wrestling with…

How often should I publish episodes? Consistency, I think, is key. I know exactly when the podcasts I listen to release episodes and I look forward to the episodes dropping.

When should I publish the episodes? I’ve been reading a lot about this. There are quite a few articles explaining when you should publish episodes (Podbean Blog, Medium...and more) and they all seem to agree that the best days are between Mondays and Wednesdays. However, I also read one (which I think was on Anchor and I’ll link to it when I find it again) that mentioned that the best days were Mondays and Fridays.

I asked the question on my Instagram on Sunday (see video capture from that particular Instagram story below).



And there is no consensus.

I talked to the Chemical Engineer about it. My husband…not just a random chemical engineer who nicknamed himself The Chemical Engineer. And he mentioned something about how if a listener really enjoys your podcast, they will listen whether you publish on Monday or on Friday. Which, true. And several articles do agree with him. I do listen to the podcasts I love (currently: True Crime Obsessed, My Imaginary Friends with L. Penelope, Noble Blood, The Murder Squard, My Favorite Murder) on the day of their release or whenever I have time that week and I do go to their podcast to get the latest episode. But some people might just listen to the top one of their list, the one that just got uploaded. The good thing is I can readjust those days too…but I need to be consistent at the beginning.

I think that to keep track of the week Mondays might be better. But to give me more time, Tuesdays might work best.

So, my episodes will be published on Tuesdays and Fridays. On Fridays, I will publish the chats I have with authors and on Tuesdays, the diary of my adventures: the things I’m learning, the things I’m trying, the things I’m writing, my weekly goals.

Yes, I’m an author, I use the word “thing” a lot when I’m not writing.

All my episodes will be published early mornings (East Coast time) because that makes sense to me. While my audience might be worldwide (I’m crossing my fingers it will be), I am guessing a lot of my audience will come from North America. If my audience ends up being mainly in Australia, I’ll adjust the timing I think. You know, if people decide to listen to the episodes when they’re having breakfast or drinking their coffee or tea or getting ready…And then on Friday, it is the same thing. And on Fridays, technically, there would be two audiences maybe listening: my own regular audience and the one of the writer I’m talking to. 🙂

And it does give an episode for the Friday itself and for the weekend as well. Maybe it’s because I listen to podcasts on the weekend too, when I’m cleaning or getting ready.

Launch plan. What is my launch plan?

Soft Launch:

I’ve been doing a soft launch in the last week. I’ve let some of my closest friends and my family know. I asked for feedback and incorporated said-feedback. I’ve added one link in my blog and in the blog articles where I do have that blog article as an episode. I’m writing this blog post right now about it.

1. The logo of the podcast. I used Canva to create the artwork. It’s based on the logo I had created for my blog articles for the A Self-Published Author’s Diary.


2. The logo for each episode: easily changeable so that I can edit it for each episode. Based on the logo of the podcast. For example, here’s the graphic for the March recap episode:


3. A trailer for the podcast.


4. A list of writers/authors who are interested in chatting with me. 🙂 I am so grateful that some authors I was going to cold query in a way already mentioned they wanted to learn more about my Five Questions Friday feature.

5. Several episodes are already published. Not only did it help ensure me that everything was going smoothly in terms of production and feedback but…it also helped ensure the podcast is available on all main streaming platforms before launching.

Here’s a list of the episodes already published:

  • Ep. 1 – Do you want to learn more about my adventures in self-publishing?
  • Ep. 2 – Let’s start, shall we?
  • Ep. 3 – The One with The Interview with Audiobook Narrator Megan Carter
  • Ep. 4 – A little March recap: keeping track in an ocean of to-do lists…
  • Ep. 5 – Self-publishing platforms and…cicadas?
  • Ep. 6 – The One With the Behind-The-Scenes of Launching A Podcast

6. I have an official email (in addition to my regular author email): aselfpublishedauthorsdiary@gmail.com

7. I have purchased the domain: aselfpublishedauthordiary.com and it is linked to my website. I still need to add a button to the right of my website with the different subscription possibilities and work on my podcast page. Currently, the “podcast” link you can see in the menu above links to my Anchor.fm podcast page which, to be fair, links to the streaming platforms, has the trailer and so on…

Official Launch:


1. I will launch it with the episode on the chat with my husband. He’s my first official interviewee.

2. Emailing my author list announcing I have a podcast and then emailing them again on the day of the official launch. And email my self-published author’s mailing list. (They already got a little preview).

3. I have been thinking about a giveaway but am holding off on that because not sure yet what to offer for my giveaway. And I feel like

4. Announce it on all social medias (including one $2 per day add on Facebook for 5 days) + sharing the audio wide.

And then adding content. Like with a book release, the official launch date doesn’t mean that’s once it’s launched I never talk about it. 🙂 I will be adding content to all my social media and this blog…And share what I’m learning and of course share all those chats with the writers I will be talking to.

I can’t wait.

As always, thanks for reading and … listening.

Quick reminder: if you want to support me, my career and these oosts, the best way to do so is to either (1) purchase one of my books and/or audiobooks or recommend them on Overdrive to your library, (2) Subscribe and rate my podcast ( Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or choose your favorite streaming platform here), (3) sign up for the monthly support on my podcast, (4) forward the post to a friend, (5) talk about my books to your friends/family and/or (6) talk about my podcast to your friends and family.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with my top 3 self-publishing mistakes, if you’d like to get a FREE pdf of my top 5 self-publishing mistakes and receive weekly emails from me: just click here or on this cover, add your email and you’ll get access to the full pdf…

Thank you for reading…and listening!

If you have any questions about my adventures in self-publishing or anything I shared with you today, don’t hesitate to reach out and leave a comment and I’ll make sure to reply in my email next week.

You can click here to start receiving those weekly emails or add your email below.

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A self-published author's diary, Self publishing, Self-pub corner

A Self-Published Author’s Diary: Let’s take a look at the publishing platforms I use for ebooks (and what it means for royalties)

If you’re signed up to receive my weekly emails and you are using Gmail, make sure to check your promotion tab. As always I share exclusive content in the emails (including the full notes of the podcast). If you’d like to support my podcast, don’t hesitate to rate and review and subscribe.

Ideally, I would have posted this blog article on Friday morning.  My goal is to post my self-published Author’s Diary posts on Friday mornings. By mornings I mean by 9 am my time. And my time I mean in Maryland, where we’re waiting for the cicadas.

You know those millions of cicadas that are expected to rise from the ground mid to late May…where they’ll breed the next generation which will come to the surface en masse in 2038. Every 17 years. I wonder: has anyone read a story where this brood of cicadas comes out of the ground?

Talking about books. I just finished reading Wilde Child by Eloisa James…which I loved. If you enjoyed Bridgerton (the Netflix series or the books by Julia Quinn the series was based on): do read Eloisa James and Vanessa Riley and Tessa Dare and Sarah McLean and Courtney Milan and so many more. I’m currently reading CINDERELLA IS DEAD by Kaylynn Bayron . I’m only at the beginning but the first few pages are so so good. The first line? “Cinderella has been dead for 200 years.”

And here I don’t have a great transition to the next topic but…here we go.

So you’ve decided to self-publish for x or y reason. Maybe you’ve always been intrigued by the idea…or perhaps you have a publisher but would like to branch out or you just want to give it a go. Or you’ve been wondering what the heck I’ve been doing the past seven years. Or you started reading my self-published author’s diary posts, and you’re asking yourself: What on Earth is Draft2Digital? Or KDP? What is she talking about?

This post is a glimpse into the different self-publishing platforms (at least the ones I use) and what using those platforms means for royalties. Keep in mind that those are the self-publishing platforms I use. There are many, many more out there. And thanks to my friend Tonya for letting me she’d really like to know more about what I mean when I refer to “publishing on Draft2Digital”.

Yes, self-publishing is technically easy. You could just go on Kindle Direct Publishing, register for an account, fill out the details of the book you want to publish and then upload a word document and use their “cover design” tool and off you go. It’s published. It’s out there in the world.

And who knows? You might hit the lottery (the odds are not in your favor). Or if your purpose is to have a book available for sale and that’s your one goal and one goal only, then you may not need to go through all the different options and spend hours, weeks, months trying different strategies and readjusting your goals. This is why it’s essential to know ahead of time what your goal is with self-publishing.

Self-publishing platforms: which ones do I use for my ebooks?

If you start Googling “self-publishing platforms”, you will get more than 30000 results. I guess I’m adding one more with this post and episode. 😊 There’s a post on Redsy Blog, which is pretty good at going through the different ones currently available and their pros and cons.

When it comes to publishing platforms, some focus on publishing ebooks. Others on publishing paperback/hardback. Some are aggregators (meaning they distribute your book for you to e-retailers). Some distribute solely to the platform they’re linked with. For example, if you upload your ebook on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (their self-publishing platform), it will only be available on Amazon. I’m linking to a Q&A with Draft2Digital on aggregators (keep in mind the source for that one. Of course, they list the positive parts of using an aggregator such as themselves). There are platforms for audiobooks (again, either as an aggregator or linked to the e-retailer). And then there are the ones that do a mix of everything. Some platforms have fees that you do need to pay up-front (like IngramSpark), but there are usually coupons.

I use the following platforms for my ebooks:

Royalties: How much per book?

On Kindle Direct Publishing, if you price your book above 2.99, you receive 70% of the price minus the delivery fee. The delivery for example for my 295 pages book is about $0.08. However, on KDP, you will only receive 35% of the ebook’s set price in certain countries (such as Brazil or Mexico)—unless you enroll your book in KDP Select which makes your book available in Kindle Unlimited.

The royalties format in Kindle Unlimited is different as you can make money in 3 different ways. In a nutshell:

In the past, there has been a lot of talk about scams on Kindle Unlimited. For example: authors stuffing their books,  people being hired to “read” or rather click through the book’s pages, people using pen names and publishing plagiarized content to publish, and publish, and publish more. Here I am linking a The Guardian article entitled: “Plagiarism, book-stuffing, clickfarms…the rotten farm of self-publishing”. This article dates from 2019 and I don’t recall my books in the recent past being automatically in KU so that has changed since.

But some authors (who definitely are not scammers and do not plagiarize) do make quite a bit of money by enrolling their books into KU, even if it’s just for one 90 days.

By enrolling your book in Kindle Unlimited, that ebook should be exclusive to Amazon. One KU period is 90 days. And yes, Amazon does check. I have received emails about this in the past when one of my books was still available at the French retailer Fnac even though I had take it down from D2D. That process is smoother now in my experience. Kindle Unlimited is a bit like the Netflix of books for readers. Readers pay a monthly price and they can borrow up to 10 books at once.

So, how much money would you get for a $2.99 book?

Let’s take my Gavert City series.


Book 1: Fear Me, Fear Me Not (Dimitri and Erin’s story. Think the movie Scream meets Friday Night Lights mixed with Criminal Minds) I am selling this book right now for $2.99

If you’re buying a copy of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT on Apple or Kobo for example: my projected royalties through Draft2Digital are: $1.78

If you’re buying a copy of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT on Amazon.com, my projected royalties through KDP are: $2.04

But let’s say you’re buying it on Amazon.com.br because you’re in Brazil, then my projected royalties at the time of this post with the current exchange rate are: $1.05

But if had it in Kindle Unlimited, then my projected royalties in all countries would be about $2.04 for each sale and if a KU member borrowed my book and read the entire book, I would get paid per page, I would earn $2.14. Here’s a link to a calculator to know how much your book or any book would earn based on their pages (KU calculates the pages slightly differently I think).

If you’re buying a copy of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT on Google Play, my projected royalties are: $2.09

How much money would I get if I sold one copy of a $0.99 book?

Book 2: SEE ME, SEE ME NOT (Tessa & Luke’s story. Her sister was kidnapped years ago. He just escaped a doomsday cult. Their terrifying pasts won’t let them go. Will they be able to save the people they love before it’s too late?) is currently available for only $0.99.

If you’re buying a copy on Apple, my projected royalties through Draft2Digital are: $0.59

If you’re buying a copy on Amazon.com, my projected royalties through KDP are: $0.35

If you’re buying a copy on Google Play, my projected royalties are: $0.69

Am I happy with the platforms I use?

The answer to that question is on the podcast (choose your favorite streaming platform here or click here for Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts) and in my emails to subscribers. 🙂 You can sign up for my weekly email here.

What about other platforms to sell ebooks?

There are of course many other platforms you could use for your e-book (Smashwords, Lulu come to mind but there are more, again check that Redsy article I had linked up). And you can also decide to sell your ebooks directly on your website or using BookFunnel for example. Those set-ups would require a fee (either a one-time fee or a monthly fee).

Circling back to the beginning, choosing a platform really depends on your goals and strategies.

Several websites look into the ebooks market…which platform sells the most ebooks? Trying to find the actual market share of Amazon’s ebooks sale in the overall ebooks market is pretty difficult. The numbers I found ranged from 67% to 83% – and it wasn’t evident: how does KU factor in those numbers?

I’ll discuss the different strategies and my own experience with those at some point soon. Because both have pros and cons. Having your books enrolled in KU does offer you promotional tools but so does having your book selected for promos on other e-retailers. KU does let you discount your book for limited periods of times…Did I mention I will talk about this in more detail soon?

Quick reminder: if you want to support me, my career and these weekly posts, the best way to do so is to either (1) purchase one of my books and/or audiobooks or recommend them on Overdrive to your library, (2) Subscribe and rate my podcast, (3) sign up for the monthly support on my podcast, (4) forward the post to a friend, (5) talk about my books to your friends/family….

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with my top 3 self-publishing mistakes, if you’d like to get a FREE pdf of my top 5 self-publishing mistakes and receive weekly emails from me: just click here or on this cover, add your email and you’ll get access to the full pdf…

Thank you for reading!

If you have any questions about my adventures in self-publishing or anything I shared with you today, don’t hesitate to reach out and leave a comment and I’ll make sure to reply in my email next week.

You can click here to start receiving those weekly emails or add your email below.

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A self-published author's diary, Self publishing, Self-pub corner

A Self-Published Author’s Diary: a little March recap…

If you’re signed up to receive my weekly emails and you are using Gmail, make sure to check your promotion tab…As always I share exclusive content in the emails. 🙂

Today is all about keeping track. Sometimes, I get so deep into all the tasks involved with each project that it can get difficult to remember all those projects that I did bring to fruition within a month, especially since I’m trying to be more strategic…

Talking about business, if you want to support me, my career and these weekly posts, the best way to do so is to either (1) purchase one of my books or audiobooks or recommend them on Overdrive to your library, (2) forward the post to a friend, (3) sign up to my readers’ newsletter if you’re interested about my books and my writing, (3) subscribe to my weekly emails about self-publishing, (4) talk about my books to your friends/family.

What books and audiobooks did I publish?

  1. Published the A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER audiobook narrated by the wonderful Megan Carter. In terms of marketing, I’m trying a Buy One, Get One Free promo. Will keep you updated. I still need to announce it to my newsletter. But I did announce it on my blog and on Goodreads and I took advantage of a very good wordpress deal to make this website.
  2. Published a new German/English bilingual book: announced it to the German subscribers of my newsletter, announced it to my blog, and am currently boosting one of my Facebook posts to an audience of English-learning and English instructors in Germany also interested in reading and romance novels on Facebook.
  3. Published another new bilingual book (French/Italian). I still need to announce it on my French website.
  4. Put up Eine Zweite Chance (Always Second Best in German) for pre-order.
  5. Published a new English/Spanish bilingual book: announced it on my blog.

What courses did I take in March?

  1. Marketing-related: I’m still listening to Mark Dawson’s Ads for Authors course.
  2. Marketing-related: Took a FREE Goodreads online webinar by Alessandra Torre. I am sharing a link in my email. Will be sharing more about that course soon and some strategies that I am trying. I know. Goodreads. But trying a different approach.
  3. Writing-related: Started reading through the Margie Lawson course packet about visceral rules (beyond hammering hearts).

What movie/post/documentary about writing did I watch/read?

  1. One of my very good friends who also happen to be a writer friend recommended the Naughty Books documentary on Hulu. It was very interesting! Lots of thoughts.
  2. This post by Erin Bowman on publishing on Instagram: Author Friends, are you okay?

What marketing/advertising did I do in March?

  1. Boosted a few posts on Facebook – it created more traffic towards some of my books.
  2. I changed some of my books to Kindle Unlimited and ran a free promo on them (more info in my weekly email. :-))

Sales data such as info on which format/countries are currently my best-selling countries are available to my weekly emails’ subscribers.

I am also dipping my toes back on Instagram by joining Dahlia Adler‘s #AuthorLifeMonth2021…

And then I wrote. Maybe I didn’t write as much as I wanted to, but I did write. And I think I wrote one of my favorite sentences…I think I am going to be sharing that sentence very soon. But trying to be more strategic about it. (Ha, full circle with the first paragraph). 🙂

Quick reminder: if you want to support me, my career and this weekly posts, the best way to do so is to either (1) purchase one of my books or audiobooks or recommend them on Overdrive to your library, (2) forward the post to a friend, (3) talk about my books to your friends/family.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with my top 3 self-publishing mistakes, if you’d like to get a FREE pdf of my top 5 self-publishing mistakes and receive weekly emails from me: just click here or on this cover, add your email and you’ll get access to the full pdf…

Thank you for reading!

Did you enjoy this post? Do you want to help support me and my writing? You can forward this blog post to someone who might be interested, buy my books and/or audiobooks and as always, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment.

If you have any questions about my adventures in self-publishing or anything I shared with you today, don’t hesitate to reach out and I’ll make sure to reply in my email next week.

You can click here to start receiving those weekly emails or add your email below.

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A self-published author's diary, Self publishing, Self-pub corner

A Self-Published Author’s Diary: The Groundhog Day of Formatting and lip synching…

If you’re signed up to receive my weekly emails and you are using Gmail, make sure to check your promotion tab…As always I share exclusive content in the emails. 🙂

Sometimes, formatting bilingual books feels like a Groundhog day. It starts over and over again and even if I feel like I have perfected the process, there are still issues. I have files that are called UPDATE 1, UPDATE 2, UPDATE 3….and so on and so on. Formatting bilingual books is slightly more complicated, in my view, than formatting my regular manuscripts, just because I have to ensure those pesky page breaks actually happen when they’re supposed to.

And some of you might ask, “But Elodie, why don’t you use all of this time to write and publish original content?” And this is a great question. Because I have plenty of ideas. I have ideas about a series, I’m finishing writing my first rom-com and I’m planning this as a series of standalone novels. So, I have ideas. And I am writing, albeit maybe not as much as I’d like to.

But I know that my bilingual books generate income.

And while I am developing a strategy (which I will share with you on this blog and more in detail in my weekly email) for my upcoming novels and series, I know that working on those bilingual manuscripts is helpful to my business. And as a language learner (currently learning Russian on Duolingo for 250 days straight :-)) and former language teacher, I love that those bilingual books might help people who are learning a language.

Talking about languages, I saw this post on Instagram the other day that really resonated and thought I’d share it with you all. It says, “If someone is speaking to you in a foreign accent, they are smart enough to know two languages and brave enough to do their job in their second.” 


Anyways…I spent a lot of hours this week finalizing another English/German book and this was only a tiny portion of the work that I needed to do for this particular book. And I’m happy to report that I did manage to publish EINE ZWEITE CHANCE (TEIL 1) / A SECOND CHANCE (PART 1) – Zweisprachiges Buch Deutsch / Englisch – Bilingual book: German / Englisch. (Amazon.de, Amazon.com, Google Play, iTunes, Kobo…)

To publish this book, I needed to:

(1) Using the manuscript in English and the manuscript in German, format the bilingual edition (manually) with one page in German and the corresponding text in English on the other side.

(2) Have a freelancer language specialist proofread the German translation one more time.

(3) Go through all the changes, review and implement the chances in the translation.

(4) Ensure that the pdf interior has the correct formatting. (that took FOREVER as every single time I would upload the word document, there was something wrong with it…one tab too many and that can really mess with the formatting. I use Draft2Digital to make the interior of the book.

(4) Design the cover.

(5) Add a series page on Kindle Direct Publishing, Draft2Digital and Google Play for “Zweisprachiges Buch Englisch Deutsch Nick & Em”.

(6) Add all the metadata on all platforms (summary, keywords, categories and so on…)

(7) Upload the files for the ebooks.

(8) Create the paperback in Kindle Direct Publishing…

As mentioned…the formatting can be slightly frustrating at times. If my husband would read this, he would chuckle at the “slightly”. 🙂

Some videos of the actual process are included in my weekly email...

But the process can also be fun. 🙂 While I cannot listen to music when I am actually in the process of copying and pasting the German text to fit the English text and vice versa, I do sing very badly or lip synch in this case, when I’m making sure the format is correct (headings where there’s supposed to be headings, page break at the right spot, no extra paragraph…).

I am sharing a video of my lip synching one of the Bridgerton’s musical demo song in my weekly email too..:-)

And this was a bit of behind-the-scenes of a tiny portion of the work behind my latest bilingual book.

Last week, I shared with my top 3 self-publishing mistakes, if you’d like to get a FREE pdf of my top 5 self-publishing mistakes and receive weekly emails from me: just click here or on this cover, add your email and you’ll get access to the full pdf…

Thank you for reading!

Did you enjoy this post? Do you want to help support me and my writing? You can forward this blog post to someone who might be interested, buy my books and/or audiobooks and as always, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment.

If you have any questions about my adventures in self-publishing or anything I shared with you today, don’t hesitate to reach out and I’ll make sure to reply in my email next week.

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A self-published author's diary, Self publishing, Self-pub corner

A Self-Published Author’s Diary: my Top 3 self-publishing mistakes…

My top 3 Self-Publishing Mistakes…

Thanks for reading this post… If you just stumbled on this blog, I started self-publishing in 2014, so I got quite a few years of experience and made many mistakes along the way. And while I’m sharing my top 3 self-publishing mistakes on this blog, I am sharing my top 5 self-publishing mistakes in my weekly email. If you’d like to receive those as pdf and join my weekly email, just click here.


Before getting into my top 3 self-publishing mistakes, I’d like to share information on how to help stop hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The rise in hate crimes against AAPI in the US has been staggering, but it’s not a new phenomenon. This post by USA bestselling author Tif Marcelo on Instagram is a must-read: “Don’t Avert Your Gaze” (please read it, and please don’t avert your gaze). As I was looking for more resources to share, Susan Dennard’s newsletter landed in my inbox with those words and the links below: “Please, educate yourself on AAPI racism. Please, speak up when you see it in action. And if you can, please donate to causes that can help.” I know I’m planning on doing all of those things. And I will keep on looking for resources as well. If you have any, don’t hesitate to let me know.


What are my top 3 self-publishing mistakes?

How many times can I say self-publishing mistakes in this post? I mean the first one I mention I feel is a publishing mistake many authors can make. And let me preface this by saying that I love daydreaming. I still daydream.

  1. Thinking my book would become an instant best-selling success – just because it was good. Let me tell you, that’s not enough 😊. Rationally speaking, I knew it might not be the case, but I thought that most of the early reviews were so positive, even from people I had never met! That was mind-blowing, and I did daydream quite a bit. I still do daydream very often. I sometimes fall asleep dreaming about my books being picked up by Netflix or the Lifetime Movies Channel. Or I daydream about my Gavert City audiobook series being downloaded thousands of times with people raving about Megan’s narration (which they already do, but now we’d have thousands of downloads daily 😊). Anyways…back in 2014, a little part of me thought maybe I’d be that overnight success. The one people talk about, not realizing that overnight usually means years of writing and sometimes years of publishing. I read at the time about authors succeeding in self-publishing, but (a) I didn’t really define what succeeding would mean, (b) I didn’t have benchmarks.

    Don’t get me wrong…I hadn’t left it all to sheer luck. Oh, no, no, no. I thought I had it all under control and was set for success. After all, I had a great cover, early reviews, and a release plan (with cover reveal, blog tours, Netgalley…). This meant I would release it and everyone would want to download it and I’d be set for success.

    Spoiler alert: In June 2014, when I published ONE, TWO, THREE, I sold 45 copies…So. Not an overnight success. 😊 Granted, that book has now sold many more copies. It has also been picked up by a French publisher, and I even received a message from a French teenager who mentioned that this book, this little book of mine, has gotten her to love reading!

    Sometimes, it feels that self-publishing is a sprint. And maybe sometimes it is. But not always…And marketing doesn’t stop with release month…
  1. Advertising to the wrong audience. When I first started self-publishing back in 2014, I thought it was essential to have a Facebook page with lots and lots and lots of followers – which may have been true if I had first analyzed the audience that would be most likely to buy my book. I went for a worldwide audience at a time where my books were (a) only in English, (b) on platforms that weren’t necessarily accessible to readers all around the world. And at that time, I was not really targeting my ads…

    So yes, I had many followers, but not an enormous audience of readers interested in my books. This is a mistake I’ve made again but more structured, as I’m still trying to see what ads work the best for different audiences. I’ve succeeded in France (and I’ll get into it in my weekly newsletter in the coming weeks), but my conversion rate (how many people actually buy a book after clicking on a link) is still too low for the US market. But nothing…nothing compared to 7 years ago.

  2. Not focusing on my newsletter. I remember reading years ago…and I mean yeaaaaaaars ago how important it was to have a newsletter because social media algorithms change (and man, do they change). That way, you may build more of a connection with the reader. Some newsletters I subscribe to are only letting me know when the author has a new sale. Others are expanding on the books they’re reading, how they’re writing, maybe movies or podcasts they’re enjoying, or other things going on in their lives.

    Have I ever bought or reviewed a book based on a newsletter? Yes. Yes, I have. I have a Facebook readers’ group (if you’re on there, thank you 😊), but I haven’t been spending a lot of time on Facebook. And I don’t have Facebook on my phone. And every single time I post something on my Facebook group, the reach (people who may see it in their feed) is about 35 to 50 out of more than 400 Facebook group members). More people open my emails. And it feels like people unsubscribe more when they’re no longer interested any long…. Still, I’m in Facebook groups I haven’t checked in probably years…so…yep, I’ve been refocusing on building my readers’ newsletter.

    I do wonder about that new platform Facebook announced on March 16th. They’re getting into the newsletter subscription area and do mention also the use of groups in there. So, will that change the algorithm? Apparently, it might give writers more tools and could help in audience growth…but again, one might be dependent on changes…

    Not like we’re also not dependent on changes with emails. When Google introduced the tabs in Gmail, some newsletters ended up in the Promotions tab, which is not necessarily read as often…Anyhow…😊

    Not focusing on my newsletter was one of my self-publishing mistakes, mainly since I don’t publish a book every two months or so. Newsletters help me stay in touch with my readers in-between (which I love doing) and grow my audience.

And those are my top 3 self-publishing mistakes.

Again, if you’d like to see my top 5, you can just click here or on this cover, add your email and you’ll get access to the full pdf…

I’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks as well as what has worked for and my current publishing updates…including some stats about my bestselling format and platforms.

Thank you for reading!

Did you enjoy this post? Do you want to help support me and my writing? You can forward this email to someone who might be interested, buy my books and as always, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment.

If you have any questions about my adventures in self-publishing or anything I shared with you today, don’t hesitate to reach out and I’ll make sure to reply in my email next week.

You can click here to start receiving those weekly emails or add your email below.

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A self-published author's diary, Self publishing, Self-pub corner

A Self-Published Author’s Diary: What is that “back matter” you speak of?

Updating the back matter of my book…what do I even mean when I say that? Let’s talk a closer look, shall we?

Important: If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you’ve already gotten the full version in your email. Make sure you check your promotion tabs in gmail as this is where I received mine. 🙂 This blog post is a truncated version of what my newsletter subscribers have received, meaning I share more information with my “A self-published author’s diary weekly email” subscribers. You can subscribe here…When you subscribe you will receive access to past issues as well. 🙂

A. Update the “Little message to my readers”

In almost all my books, I have “A little message to my readers” at the end (I’m sharing that letter with my newsletter subscribers – don’t hesitate to subscribe here and I’ll make sure you receive it :-)) This email is not only thanking readers for their time (which I do truly appreciate)…I mean did you know there are more than 48 million books on Amazon. And while it seems very hard to get yearly data on how many books are being published each year, an article on PublisherWeekly based on Bowker’s data indicated that the number of self-published titles jumped 40% in 2018...So, yep, I am super grateful readers did pick mine up in an ocean of almost endless possibilities…

My “Little message to readers” aims to encourage readers to:

  • leave a review. Why oh why do I ask for reviews? Because reviews really help other readers discover new authors. Annnnnnd….it also helps get more visibility. Reviews don’t have to be raving for this to be true. One of my first review one of my best-selling book basically says, “this book sucks.” But the overall rating for that book is a 4.3 out of 5, so that means that even though someone clearly didn’t like it very much, it doesn’t deter other readers to pick it up. Sometimes, those bad reviews actually help other readers pick a book up. One of my low rating review for ALWAYS SECOND BEST mentioned it wasn’t the equivalent of an Oscar-nominated book but rather a Danielle Steel novel. And let’s face it, this was actually a pretty big compliment to me, because I’d love to have Danielle’s Steel career and her books are beloved by millions…Another one noted that my Gavert City series reminded them of Lifetime movies…which, again…yes, please! Those reviews actually helped me gain more readers and even narrow my marketing.
  • susbscribe to my newsletter: Subscribing to my author’s newsletter is very very important to me. Why? Years ago, I remember hearing how important it was to have your readers’ emails because you can contact directly with them. And I’ve seen in the past few months how true this is. Algorithms change and people may like your page that are also no longer interested in your books…So the audience might be slightly skewed…In a newsletter, if someone doesn’t open your emails for months or years, then you can remove them from your audience but even more importantly, they receive the news directly into your inbox. You don’t rely on boosting a post or crossing your fingers you’ve understood how to use social media, especially when changes are implemented about who sees what and what posts are given priority.
  • Follow me on social media. You might think, wait, you just mentioned how important it is for you to grow you subscribers’ list. True. But for people who might not feel like they want to receive an email from me, then they can check out my social media. It is true that social media definitely isn’t one of my forte (and I’ll go into details about that at another time) but if someone likes my page, I can at least have one more opportunity to interact with them and build a link with them and maybe, they’ll love another one of my books.
  • Create a connection. By adding a little message to my readers, I may create a first connection with a reader. And maybe they will follow my BookBub page or maybe they’re going to be more enclined to recommend one of my books. I do believe they’ll pick another one up if they loved the one they read but maybe they might remember that little message and talk to someone about the story they’ve just read…

B. Update the “Other books by” and maybe the sample at the end.

C. Make sure all the social media info + newsletter info is correct, as well as the short bio info had been updated, if needed: I mean for a while there, I had the wrong link to my Facebook Author Page. I had updated the handle for my Facebook Author Page to match my other social media but hadn’t updated that info into my books…DOH! By the way, if you’d like to like my Facebook Author Page it is: www.facebook.com/enowodazkij

So what am I doing.did I do this week? (I’m starting to write this on Monday and will update it throughout the week…)

  1. Upload the bilingual version of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER (English/Spanish) onto Google Play and contact Kindle Direct Publishing about the metadata of that kindle book. I have chosen to list the language as “English” (I cannot list two languages for those books right now), but they got back to me saying the metadata indicated the language was Spanish. I just double checked using Calibre and it still says “English”…so trying to figure out what is happening and if I could indeed list this book as both English and Spanish. Once that it is resolved, announce the book on my blog and on social media. –> I did the first part. Still need to announce the book…
  2. Do some promo for the audiobook of SEE ME, SEE ME NOT. Share the full bloopers to my readers’ newsletter (if you’d like to subscribe to that one, you can do so here…) –> Did that and also shared one deleted scene of Megan singing.
  3. Finish formatting the ALWAYS SECOND BEST bilingual books (German/English) and review it. I have made some changes to the ASB manuscript and I have to make sure it is updated in the German version as well.–> I have formatted the first part of the bilingual book and am currently interviewing some proofreaders to ensure everything is correct before uploading it on all platforms.
  4. Enroll my French Gavert City series into Kindle Unlimited. –> Well, I did update the back matter for some of my books and enrolled LA PEUR EN PLEIN COEUR in KU, buuuuuuttt I need to wait for
  5. Finish this round of revision fo UNNAMED PROJECT (Actually it has a name. A name I kind of love) –> Still working on this. I really need to focus on this next week. It will be my main focus so that I can finally send it off to my wonderful wonderful critique partners. I started writing this book
  6. Announce ONE, TWO, THREE in Italian and boost one of my Facebook posts. I did! Yay. I’ve announced it on my blog and I’ve also announced it on my Facebook and boosted one my posts. I’ve shared a video on Instagram which you can also see below.

My newsletter subscribers will get more information about some of the results of that particular post boosting and what I’m learning about the particular audience I’m boosting it to.

This creative was done with BookBrush…

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A self-published author's diary, Self publishing, Self-pub corner

A Self-Published Author’s Diary: Let’s start, shall we?

Good morning…I don’t know why I start with “Good morning”. Especially because I’m writing this post (and email) during a stretch of several days. Like, right now, when I’m adding this sentence, it’s evening here.

Plus, you may be reading this in a lot of different places and time zones…But anyways, here is it is “Good morning”: the sun is shining through the window, Plato the Dog is snoring on the couch and I have a lot of things on my to-do list. Including starting this weekly email…which will also be available in French.

If you’re interested: you can sign up here. for the English version and here for the French version…I’ll be sharing parts of this newsletter on my blog but I might not share it on my blog every week, while when you sign up for my weekly email, you’ll receive that weekly email directly to your inbox…

Why start a weekly email about self-publishing?

After all, I am not one of the big names nor am I making thousands dollars a month and the main reason I am able to still focus on my business is thanks to my husband and his job. I mean, granted, there’s also a pandemic and due to my stem cell transplant, I’m still considered to be in the segment of the population that needs to be extra careful. But I am able to take all necessary precautions thanks to my husband and his job. Others might not.

Anyhow.

I’ve been sharing some behind-the-scenes in my Instagram stories but (a) the reach very much depends on the algorithm and I don’t post regularly enough on social media I think to make the algorithm work in my favor, (b) After not being on social media very consistently over the past several years, it sometimes feel I need to start from scratch, (c) this might be helpful and/or entertaining and/or interesting to my readers, (d) I am currently changing the way I am working on my publishing career, (e) And yes, since I will also be talking about my books, maybe I might gain a few more readers. :-), (f) sometimes it feels like I’m talking in a void…

And did I mention there is a pandemic and that I haven’t interacted face-to-face for more than 15 minutes with more than 4 people (counting my husband) in almost a year?

And at least, when I write a blog post or a newsletter, it feels like my words may reach someone,

I feel the same way about writing my books, but there’s no instant gratification when it comes to writing novels or even short stories. I don’t publish them right away. There’s an entire process behind them.

I do receive emails from readers and I need to print out them and make an album out of them, because reading them always makes me smile.

And I know that for some authors, where I am at my career is a place they long to be. And for some other authors, they wish for something different. It’s all about expectations and I guess where you are in your writing journey.

Some self-published authors who started publishing around the same time I did have quit (for many different reasons – have I mentioned how lucky I am for my husband and his support?). Other self-published authors have risen to the top of the charts, mostly due to their hard work and business savy and marketing strategies and yes, a bit of luck. But honestly, that bit of luck wouldn’t be anything without the hard work they’ve put behind the scenes and the amount of novels they have written that are so good readers can’t get enough. And some are like me, continuing to write and publish, trying out different avenues and strategies, readjusting their goals…

See? I am musing right now. Thinking out loud. Typing…out loud? I thought about starting a patreon or a podcast, but writing seems to be my favorite mean of expressing myself and sharing information. Don’t get me wrong, I can talk, talk, talk about a lot of different subjects. And since I used to work as a press officer and an adjunct, I am used to and enjoy presenting on a variety of topics. And I am good at it. But…musings in writing? That seems more like something I can do on a regular basis. And I might read this out loud and actually add it as an audio file at some point.

What do you think? Would you like this as an audio file too? Let me know 🙂

What I am currently working on:

  1. Switching some of my French-speaking, German-speaking and maybe Portuguese-speaking books to Kindle Unlimited. Why? I haven’t published a new original book in more than a year and so the sales have been dwindling on all platforms and I am getting the rights back on some of my German and Portuguese translations. Plus, by looking at the overall sales and revenues in the last three years for my books in French, I did have a jump in revenue a few months after the hype of release week when I put those books in KU. By the way did you know that Kindle Unlimited has a different name in France and there’s a whole legal story behind it about the right of publishers to set e-book prices and there were quite a few articles about it back in 2015. I found this fascinating and will definitely read more about it. The TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT French version has also never been in the French equivalent of Kindle Unlimited soooooo…waiting for the other platforms to delist LA PEUR DANS LE SANG, LA PEUR DANS LES YEUX and LA PEUR EN PLEIN COEUR and off they go into the French equivalent of KU.
  2. Working on two new bilingual books…I had a lot of foreign-languages editions of my books up on Babelcube. And I got a lot of the rights back on those books. And my revenue currently comes mostly from my bilingual books. So this means, I need to format, format, format and publish, publish, publish. I’m currently working on the English/Spanish version of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER and the German/English version of ALWAYS SECOND BEST.
  3. Started Mark Dawson’s class on Ads for Authors: I have been wanting to take this class for years. Literally, years. It is definitely an investment. But it has already helped me, when it comes to my newsletter and making efforts to expand my newsletter subscription in other countries, such as France, where my books have been selling the best – especially as I’m currently drafting several stories. Some of which I am planning to release this year.
  4. Trying to find ways to reach more audiobook listeners. Megan Carter narrated FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT and SEE ME, SEE ME NOT and those audiobooks are good. Really, they are really good. She’s an amazing narrator and I am so so looking forward to have more listeners discover those books. You can just listen to the samples (FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT sample and SEE ME, SEE ME NOT sample). From a self-publishing/business perspective, I also want to make that Megan gets her fair share of downloads. We did a Royalty-Share Plus contract on ACX, meaning that I paid her a lower rate PFH (per finished hour) but we share the royalties on the books. So for me: I want to (a) recoup my investment, (b) make a profit, (c) make sure Megan also makes on this book at least what she would have earned if I had paid her her regular PFH rate.
  5. Going wide with the audiobook of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER: what does going wide mean for an audiobook? That means that instead of listing my audiobook via ACX (which is the Amazon platform and only makes it available on Amazon, iTunes and Audible), I am using Findaway Voices and it will be available in libraries, Google Play and so many more places.
  6. Back to training my dragon…I bought a copy of the Dragon Naturally Speaking back in 2016 and didn’t use it a whole lot. As I am currently writing short stories (ghosts! witches! vampires!) with Susan Dennard’s story-a-month challenge and want to write a prequel novella to the rom-com I’m finishing revising, I need to draft faster. Drafting faster means getting the story out faster because I have noticed that I do much better in revising if I figure out the novel as I draft it. Yes, I am now more of a plotter than I used to be but there are still areas that I discover only once I have the story drafted.

So, this is what you might expect in my weekly email. More info about what I’m reading about the self-publishing market, results in some of my marketing methods and trying out different platforms…Some random thoughts about going wide / Kindle Unlimited, writing methods.

I’ll be sharing more about training my dragon (the transcription …), the ups and downs of self-publishing, more of a glimpse behind-the-scenes…and I’ll be crossing my fingers that, that way, I can connect more with readers and writers and people around the world, wondering about self-publishing or my experience with self-publishing…after all some people still find this blog by looking up ideas on self-publishing from years ago. A lot of things have changed in the self-publishing landscape. A lot of them haven’t. I’ll share with you how I think I became somewhat of a success in France with my self-publishing books (it has to do with a lot of luck and timing).

Okay, that’s it for now.

Did you enjoy this post? Do you want to help support me and my writing? You can forward this blog post to someone who might be interested, sign up for my newsletter ( sign up here. for the English version and here for the French version), buy my books…

Or simply leave me a comment…

Don’t hesitate to ask a question in the comment and sign up for my weekly newsletter. I’ll answer questions weekly as well. 🙂

Talk to you next week. 🙂

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