a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: P is for…Platform

PP is for…Platform.

P could really also be for Peter The Cat and Plato The Dog. Those two are the cutest, even though Peter the Cat whom we rescued 3 years ago from a shelter is not taking kindly to Plato The Dog whom we adopted from a rescue three months ago. They’re fine when they’re sleeping ūüôā

Plato The Model 2015-03-09_1425923284

But again, I’m here to talk about Platform. I think if you’re self-publishing, you do need to have an author platform. At least a website with your books and your bio. ¬†It helps to give some credibility and to spread the word easier. And you do need to interact with potential readers somehow, but the key is to do what you like, to be genuine. I love all the interactions I have through this blog, my Twitter, Instagram and my FB page. But I haven’t gotten onto Tumblr because I’m afraid I’d spend too much time on it ūüėõ I don’t only talk about my books but about my life: my hubby, my writing, my reading, my dog and my cat, sometimes about the European Union. And I’m having fun interacting with people there. And I made some great friends thanks to those social media.

Once more as is needed in the self-publishing world, It’s also important to keep informed about the new

¬†Join me on Monday for Q…

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a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: O is for…ONE TWO THREE

OO is for…ONE TWO THREE

ONE TWO THREE is the first book I self-published and the inspiration for all those posts.

I queried this book, received amazing feedback and close calls from agents but never a “yes”. My beta and critique partners loved the book. Other readers also loved it, even remembering it a year after reading it. That’s when I decided to choose my own magic. I also wrote a post on how I understand why agents didn’t sign me at the time. I have no regrets, I am learning and I can’t wait to publish the companion novels of ONE TWO THREE, my new NA series and the translation of ONE TWO THREE in French and German.

Here’s more about¬†ONE TWO THREE¬†(it’s currently on sale at $0.99 on amazon)

Official coverPERFECT CHEMISTRY meets SAVE THE LAST DANCE in this story of tragedy and hope, anger and forgiveness.

Last year, seventeen-year-old Natalya Pushkaya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.

But a car crash changed all that‚ÄĒand Natalya can‚Äôt stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.

At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present. Keeping him an arabesque away proves to be a challenge for Natalya and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell. When upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.

Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him‚ÄĒand destroys herself?

¬†Join me tomorrow¬†for P…Platform

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a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: N is for…Nook Press and other distribution channels

NN is for…Nook Press and other distribution channels .

When you decide to self-publish, and you go through your business plan, you need to decide what approach you’re going to take when it comes to paperback and e-books. Are you publishing both? Are you releasing both at ones? Are you going to enroll your books in Kindle Select (which means exclusively to Kindle) or are you going to branch out?

Are you going to upload each book to each site manually (create an account on B&N, Kobo, iTunes for example) or are you going to use Draft2Digital, or Smashwords or…or…?

Again this is a lot of questions.

I personally have used Draft2Digital in the past. I love that they also distribute to foreign retailers (especially as I’m looking into translating my books into French & German) on top of B&N, ¬†iTunes, Kobo and so on. I also have a separate account for Amazon. I had issues with KDP Select in the past but having the book in unlimited is sometimes appealing. Google Play is not as user-friendly I find but I did have a few sales there too.

When it comes to future books, I think I will keep on using CreateSpace, Draft2Digital, GooglePlay and Amazon.

Here are a few interesting articles

¬†Join me tomorrow¬†for O…

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a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: M is for…Moments (happy moments)

MM is for…Moments (happy moments)

Self-publishing (publishing in general I think) is not an easy process. It’s time demanding, it requires an investment (time, self, money), and a lot of writing…(which in itself is not easy either). So, I think it’s important to keep in mind the happy moments in the journey.

For me it was:

1. My announcement (the feedback my “Choosing your own magic” post received was so overwhelmingly positive).

2. The feedback ONE TWO THREE received prior to my decision to self-publish…

3. The way writers support one another…and the friendships I made along the way.

4. The time someone made a fan art for ONE TWO THREE

5. The readers sending me emails and letting me know they fell in love with Natalya and Antonio.

6. The teacher who recommended my book to a student who loved it (<3)

7. The first time it made it on a “Waiting on Wednesday” list

8. The bloggers who reached out to me asking me how they could help promote my book after they’ve read it and loved it.

9. Being able to publish on my parents’ 40th year anniversary.

10. Holding my book for the first time in my hands.

11. Receiving congrats letters from dear friends.

This amazing book birthday package from my lovely CP & friend, Jaime Morrow, almost made me tear up and definitely made me smile! Thank you sooooo much, Jaime!

12. Having someone review my book on YouTube

13. Celebrating release day with my husband (in a Waffle House in Galveston, Texas)

14. All the behind the scenes emails and Facebook chats/posts with a group of amazing ladies (who are oh so talented too!)

15. All the people taking the time to review my little book!

¬†And so so so sooooo much more! Thank to everyone who’s making this journey truly incredible.

I’m lucky ‚̧

¬†Join me tomorrow¬†for N…

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a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: L…is for Lessons Learned

LL…is for Lessons Learned.

I’ve learned a lot throughout this past year about self-publishing but also about myself.

And sometimes I like to say that my failures are the reasons why I still believe in success. Here are a few of the things I learned:

  • Continue to dream big.
  • Publish books closer to one another in date.
  • Be realistic…
  • Working on a business plan – not only for one book but each stage of my career.
  • Define what success means for me.
  • Connect and learn from other writers (really, they’re awesome and the amount of things I’ve learned from them is priceless).
  • Don’t be afraid to say: “I didn’t do as well as expected.” Don’t be afraid to say: “I learned.” Don’t be afraid to see failure as a step towards success.
  • Make sure you have enough coffee
  • Make sure¬†I¬†take some time away from my¬†writing.
  • Continue to learn about the business.
  • Read. Read. Read.
  • Find ways to connect with readers.
  • Write short stories or excerpts for my newsletter.
  • Sometimes, I’ve got to step away from reviews.
  • Other times, I have to make sure I seek them.
  • Make sure I don’t forget to stay in the moment: publishing is a business but it’s also bringing your words to readers. People are going to read (are reading) my¬†words, they’re having a reaction to my¬†characters. This is truly magical.
  • WRITE!

Join me tomorrow for M

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a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: K is for…Klitschko

KK…is for Klitschko.

Technically today was supposed to be about Kindle. But…I’m feeling kind of sluggish, so I’ll reserve this part when I talk about vendors.

Instead I’ll just leave you with a photo of Wladimir Klitschko.

Why? Well…why not? ūüôā

And he’s boxing on April 25th. The hubby and I saw him several times but we won’t make it to New York.

And another reason? He kind of makes me want to write a NA romantic suspense novel taking place in the boxing world. Maybe one day.

¬†Join me tomorrow¬†for¬†L…

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a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: J is for…Juggling roles

JJ is for…Juggling roles.

When you’re self-publishing, you’re not only a writer, you’re also a business. You need to think like a business without losing the joy of writing (see what I did there, another J)

It’s a Juggling act. That’s why I’m going to create a business plan and make sure I schedule my time appropriately, to make sure that (i) I dedicate enough time to writing, (ii) I follow up on my own deadlines, (iii) promote as needed, (iv) learn and continue learning not only about my craft but about how the business of publishing is evolving.

¬†Join me tomorrow¬†for¬†K…Kindle

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a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: I is for…Inspiration

II…is for Inspiration.

Because it’s Friday.

Because writing is hard.

Because no matter what publishing path one chooses, there will be difficult moments and moments you want to ask yourself if maybe you’ve just gone crazy thinking this was ever a good idea.

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¬†Join me tomorrow¬†for J…

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a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: H is for…Hybrid

HH…is for Hybrid.

Not the cars. But the authors. Some authors who are self-publishing have an agent and are also pursuing (or are already) published “traditionally.” Some may have found an agent through self-publishing, others may have already had an agent and a traditional deal but then self-published another book or were agented but decided to self-published first and another manuscript found their way to an editor.

One does not exclude the other. And I think it really comes from the thought process one puts behind its own publishing path. It’s not “one size fits all” type of experience.

Personally, I am not looking for an agent and I’m not looking to be traditionally published at the moment. Why? I like to have control over the aspects of publishing that I do. For ONE TWO THREE, I chose my pub date to coincide with my parents’ 40th year anniversary. I like that the process can be as fast as you want to be (or as fast as you can make it happen). Maybe one day, I’ll change my mind and will pursue querying again but not now. Now I’m still learning how to do this right and that’s where my energy is going.

However, if you want to read some amazing self-pub by hybrid authors: CHASING THE DREAMS series by Elizabeth Briggs. She published the NA contemporary romance series herself but her science-fiction YA FUTURE SHOCK will be published by Albert Whitman & Company. Or Dahlia Adler who published LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT but has several books with Spencer Hill, including UNDER THE LIGHTS coming out in June.

Talking about Dahlia, she has this amazing series on her blog about publishing and one part of it was about self-published authors, including the topic of “Hybridizing”. It has great insight (and you can see it here)

¬†Join me tomorrow¬†for I…Inspiration

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a to z challenge

Self-Publishing: G is for…Goodreads

GGoodreads…ah, Goodreads.

Seeing those first reviews coming up on Goodreads are quite nerve-wracking. And actually checking up Goodreads can be quite nerve-wracking.

Honestly, I read the reviews a lot at the beginning, and then only sporadically. For my own sanity. But I do try to learn from them now: what’s the one thing readers seem to enjoy about my writing? I’ve read somewhere you should try to inject more of your strength in your books and try to improve your weaknesses.

And yes, sometimes I can’t be pretending I’m all fine and dandy.

That’s usually when I¬†write desperate emails to my lovely writer friends. Bad reviews happen, they really do. When it does? As I said, I reach out to my friends who are awesome in cheering me up, I re-read emails from readers who loved my book too and sometimes I check out what other books those readers didn’t like…in the mix, there is always one book I absolutely loved that they also hated. That makes me feel better somehow…or I look up reviews of books I loved and realize some of them have worse average than mine. ¬†However, I NEVER ENGAGE with reviewers.

I also use Goodreads for giveaways and for raising awareness about my book that way. I found it to work quite well. But from now on, I will only put up one book.

¬†Join me tomorrow¬†for H…Hybrid

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