Self publishing, Self-pub corner, writing

The One With The Little Book That Could…or The One with 115 reviews for A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER on Amazon!

I’m currently writing a book on self-publishing: my experience, some tips, some of my behind-the-scenes, expectations vs reality, the happy moments…It will not be a book on how to become a millionnaire, but hopefully a book that will give you insights, ideas, resources…If you have any questions you’d like me to tackle in this book, don’t hesitate to send me an email or leave a comment. This blog post will be featured in that book.

Did you know I wasn’t planning on writing A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER? Did you know that this is the book that got the attention of a French publisher, got picked up by said-publisher and enabled me to be in French bookstores? Did you know this book now has 115 reviews on Amazon?

I published A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER in July 2015. More than 5 years ago. And since then?

A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER has been translated in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. It is currently perma-free in English on all e-retailers (AmazoniTunesKobo Google PlayScribdHoopla). It is available in paperback on Amazon and very soon will be available on Bookshop.org. It is also available as audiobook. (AudibleAmazoniTunes).

I sold more more than 1200 paperback copies of the English edition of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER since 2015. And it has been downloaded for free more than 16000 times. I haven’t advertised this book in English for years and just last July, 400 people downloaded it and I sold 56 paperback copies.

The French version has even much better numbers: both for the paid e-book and for the paperback version. Especially since the French paperback version was picked up by a French publisher and was also sold in bookstores and supermarkets and Cultura and la Fnac and in libraries…:-)

It is truly the little book that could. 🙂

115 reviews on Amazon and counting…

Did you know the English version of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER has now more than 100 reviews on Amazon?

I mean, granted, not all reviews are raving…the one on top of the Amazon page is a one-star review, telling readers not to read A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER because it will make you angry. And another one on the German Amazon site talks about the fact that this book isn’t Oscar Wild-esque and lacks moral…

I wanted to share those reviews, but apparently, Amazon reviews belong to Amazon due to copyright? Something else to check out in more details later.

Why am I sharing that this book has some negative reviews? To show you that all books get negative reviews. And that’s perfectly fine. Not everyone will like what you’re writing. Not everyone likes what I’m writing.

And some of those negative reviews might actually help your sales, believe or not. The sales of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER didn’t dwindle since that 1-star review took center stage on the product page.

And while, I still get these little moments where my stomach clenches as I release a new book…wondering about those first reviews trickling in, checking my book page to see if anyone reviewed it or what readers thought about the story I spent months on…I don’t dwell on them as much.

And fine it’s also easier not to dwell on them when most reviews are four and higher, and some readers call A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER the greatest book they’ve read or that they fell in love with the characters.

And did you know A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER got reviewed in The Guardian? I mean that’s pretty cool.

The story behind A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER…

I wasn’t planning on writing A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER.

My goal was to write ALWAYS SECOND BEST as a standalone companion novel to ONE, TWO, THREE. But as I drafted ALWAYS SECOND BEST, I kept on thinking about that summer between Nick & Em. I kept on thinking I needed to really get to know them better. I kept on thinking maybe I should write it out.

So, I did. I did it as a way to really get to know Nick & Em and to make ALWAYS SECOND BEST stronger.

It was only supposed to help me understand the characters better, but I fell in love with that summer story.

And I drafted it very very quickly. It took me a few months only between the moment I started drafting it and the moment I sent it to my copy editor.

My critique partners loved the story and this was one I didn’t need to revise a lot. I had been thinking about it so much while I had started drafting ALWAYS SECOND BEST that I couldn’t wait to dig deeper into their summer.

And it ended up being A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER (Nick & Em #1). And the rest is history…

Languages and more languages…

A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER is available in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.

I even signed with a French publisher!

Throwback to December 2016: Signing the contract with my French publisher for the French versions of ASLNO & ASB.

The French version really took off when I published it. It shot up the charts…I released ALWAYS SECOND BEST in French not long after and it also did very very well…and that’s how A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER caught the attention of a French publisher. And made me a so-called hybrid author (self-published and traditionally published).

On November 21st, 2016 I received an email from a French publisher, who contacted me by email to see if I would be interested in signing with them for the French versions of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER & ALWAYS SECOND BEST. Plus a possible option book.

At first, I thought it was a scam.

Really.

I don’t have an agent and I wasn’t sure how to go about it. I don’t recommend selling your foreign rights without an agent. An agent may have been able to negotiate different aspects of the contract for me. I got lucky, I think. One, because I speak French 😉 and thus, I was able to do my research, see the story of their imprint, look at the other authors they had signed with, and negotiate with them directly. I only sold the rights to the paperback version and not other format or languages. Two, they have been very good with all follow-ups. They, unfortunately, no longer carry the YA line but they were part of a bigger imprint and thus, I still am receiving royalty information and everything.

They also ended up buying the option book! And they acquired the French version of ONE, TWO, THREE as well.

September 2018 – Signing my contract for the option book: The French version of ONE, TWO, THREE…

I got an advance. I got author copies. I got promotion. I even saw my books in French bookstores and grocery stores! Kind of like one of my books making it into Target-level of excitement!

Writing this still feels surreal, even though it happened about four years ago for the first contract and about two years ago

Bilingual copies…

A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER is available in several bilingual editions (I really need to add a tab on my blog for those 🙂 – coming soon!):

German/English, German/Italian, Italian/English, French/English

And it will be soon available in even more bilingual editions, as I’m regaining the rights of several languages in the coming weeks/months.

The first sentence in different languages…

The pop music blasts from the speakers so loudly that it resonates within me.

Des haut-parleurs s’échappe une musique pop assourdissante ; le son est si fort que chaque note résonne dans mon corps.

Die Popmusik dröhnt so aus den Lautsprechern, dass sie in mir widerhallt.

La musica pop esplode così forte dalle casse che mi risuona dentro.

La música pop suena tan fuerte en los parlantes que retumba en mi interior.

Uma música pop explode nos autofalantes, tão alta que ressoa dentro de mim.

Bonus scenes, anyone?

If you’ve read A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER and would like to receive some exclusive bonus scenes, don’t hesitate to sign up for my newsletter. 🙂

Thank you to everyone who has given this little book of mine a chance, from my critique partners to my French publisher to all the people who have read it in whatever language and format. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to review it. Thank you to all the readers who have sent me an email to let me know how much they loved this book…

Let me know if you have any questions…any behind-the-scenes you’d like to read more about…and don’t hesitate to send me questions about my experience with self-publishing that you’d like me to answer in the book I’m currently writing.

marketing, newsletter

The one where I share what I learned about tags and journeys for newsletter subscribers on Mailchimp…

…Yes, I know it’s a long title. 🙂

Long story short

This is what I learned:

  • In Mailchimp, you can assign tags to new subscribers who subscribe from a landing page. The advantage? You know exactly where subscribers signed up from and you can tailor some of the emails based on that tag. In addition, you can then keep only one list with different automations.
  • You can then create a “journey” for them based on that tag.
  • At the end of the journey (since I have an essentials plan and not a standard plan), I add an additional tag to those subscribers.
  • They then start on the “regular” journey I have created for people who sign up through my website.
  • Let’s say, reader A finished reading FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT and would like to read a bonus scene, he/she/they click on the link at the end of the ebook, subscribe(s) through the landing page (example here of said landing page) and then get(s) assigned the tag “FMFMN Bonus scene”.
  • Reader A then receives:
  1. The exclusive bonus epilogue.
  2. Then, an hour later, an other tag is added to Reader A through the “journey” called “Welcome emails”. Reader A then starts the “Welcome Emails” journey.
  3. Reader A receives about one to two hours later a Welcome Email with a password to access more bonus content.
  4. A week later, reader A receives another email with more info on the newsletter, info about free books, audiobook promo codes and pictures of Plato The Dog and Bobbie Voltaire The Cat.
  5. So reader A receives a total of 3 emails within a week.

Here you can read much more about tags, journey, landing pages:

Long story long:

Authors are usually told that newsletters are very important because, unlike social media, one keeps the contact info of people who subscribe and is not subjected to the whim of the ever-changing algorithm of social media.

What does this mean? It means that you can reach people without relying on them using social media. You also can reach people without boosting your posts, because you land directly in their mailbox. When algorithms change on Facebook or Instagram, it can affect how often your audience sees your posts…and then your audience may leave social media, but might keep their email address.

It doesn’t mean that it’s free. Hosting a newsletter can get costly, depending on which provider you decide to use.

The ones I hear most about are Mailerlite and Mailchimp. I personally still use Mailchimp. But it’s mainly for convenience, and I still have a plan from years ago with them, and I haven’t reached the number of subscribers that would make Mailchimp very expensive.

Because it can get expensive. Did I mention that?

If you’re interested in the different platform and their pros/cons, here are a few articles.

I used to have different mailing lists, depending on where I was getting my susbcribers. This made sending newsletters a bit cumbersome, and then I had some duplicate subscribers. So, I’ve been consolidating my newsletters into one. And that’s when I started looking more closely at tags, and journey, and automation, and …. and …. and…

I chatted with Mailchimp employees several times to understand fully what the best solution for my needs was and decided on creating different landing pages, depending on where subscribers signed up. That way, I can attach a tag to said subscribers and they can have personalized “welcome” emails.

I’m still working on some landing pages but here are two of them if you’re interested in taking a look:

FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT exclusive epilogue (link is at the end of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT encouraging readers to leave a review, but they don’t have to leave a review to receive the epilogue…): https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/fearmefearmenot

Website subscribers landing page: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website

  1. Website subscribers receive a password to a bonus content page which has all the bonus content as their first welcome email.
  2. FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT subscribers first receive the exclusive FMFMN epilogue and then another tag is added to their profile and they go on the same “journey” as website subscribers. Their second email is the password to the bonus content page.
  3. The last email both sets of subscribers receive as part of their “welcome journey” is more info about the newsletter, as well as pictures of Plato The Dog and Bobbie Voltaire The Cat, and info about free books and audiobook promo codes.
  4. FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT subscribers receive three emails within a week. Website subscribers receive two emails within a week.

And this is it, today, for “The one where I share what I learned about tags and journeys for newsletter subscribers on Mailchimp…”

Don’t forget that if you’d like to receive my blog posts directly into your mailbox, you can sign up here (I blog more often than I send newsletters).

revising, writing

One word at a time…

I posted this on Instagram this morning. A little Motivation Wednesday if you will. And it’s stayed with me all day. I am looking forward to adding words to my manuscript. I am gathering them in my mind right now.

I am writing this post from our desktop under the sleeping eye of Bobbie Voltaire The Cat. My laptop’s keyboard is still writing its own story and I can’t really write on it. I did order a new one and it should arrive tomorrow, after some delay. I managed to download Scrivener to the desktop despite the wireless card being a bit problematic so I am gearing up to write. And I am very much looking forward to writing the chapters I’ve unlocked in my last writing session.

Today, I also wrote other words…not manuscript words, but newsletter words. As you probably know I have a newsletter and Mailchimp gives me data on the percentage of people opening said-newsletters. Sometimes newsletters end in spam or maybe my subject lines are not appealing enough or maybe people get busy. And it is important to make sure subscribers are still interested in the news I send. From a business perspective, deleting subscribers who are no longer interested mean I may pay less monthly for Mailchimp 🙂 and from a personal perspective, it’s nice to see higher open-rated on my newsletters….

I’m also working on the back-end of previously published books to keep them updated.

And I just wrote those words.

One word a time.

What are you currently writing or thinking about writing?

writing

My writing process…

Today’s prompt for #ASummerInWriting is Plotter or Pantser.

A plotter is someone who plans their story before writing it. They outline. They usually know what happens in each chapter.  I wish I could underline “usually” because they are many varying degrees and ways of being a plotter or pantser.

When you’re a pantser, the idea is you sit at your computer and write without a detailed outline or a roadmap. A pantser is someone who “flies by the seat of their pants.”

There are a lot of articles detailing both processes as well as the way some authors can be pantsing scenes while plotting chapters or vice-versa 🙂 Jami Gold has a comprehensive article entitled “Pantser vs. Plotter vs. Something In Between” if you’re interested in learning more.

I am a little bit of both. 

I don’t have a very detailed outline. I do have a bit of a roadmap. I usually know how the story ends. I mean it’s a romance so there’s a happy ending, but I usually have the epilogue scene playing in my mind like a movie. I know some of the plot points. Buuuuut…I learn about the story and more about my characters as I start typing. Which means that things change. A lot.

Since I started using Scrivener, I write scenes out of order.

I revise them and re-write them as needed and so when I type “The End” on my first draft, it’s in a much different place than for my first novels.

Because I learned that if I just go to the end without going through that process, if I just push through and continue writing the story without going back to change some things, to polish other scenes, to get more into the head of my characters, I end up needing way more time to re-work said first draft. I’ve been known to completely re-write books because that first draft wasn’t working. And I found that it’s more motivating to me and less time-consuming if I write the scenes out of order, re-write them or delete them if they don’t work and if they do work, make them shine as much as I can before typing “The End.

That first draft is not my final manuscript. Far from it. Revisions still happen of course. But once I type “The End” on my first draft, it’s much much closer to being ready to be sent to my critique partners.

So now, my first drafts may take me a bit longer (depending on the novel but I should do another post on that :-)), but they require less work after typing “The End.

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FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT has a cover and a giveaway :)

Facebook Cover

My new book, a YA romantic suspense novel FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT has been in the making for several years. I could say I wrote it in 3 months, but it’s actually taken me 3 years to get the story where I wanted it to be. It will be published on September 27th, 2016 and you can already pre-order it here. 

While browsing the pre-made covers of Najla Qambers , I came across one I fell in love with for a book about another character. The photographer was Lindee Robinson, so I reached out to her to see if I could see more pictures of different couples and I found Erin and Dimitri 🙂

Thank you so much Najla and Lindee!

Fear Me, Fear Me Not Cover

SCREAM meets FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS in this new young adult romantic suspense novel by Elodie Nowodazkij.

Fear is power. They fear me. They don’t fear me enough. Every year a girl disappears in Gavert County, Texas. Their bodies are found days, sometimes months, later with an angel wing carved on their face. They call me “the Angel Killer” and I’m on the hunt again. But this time, it’s personal.

Seventeen-year-old cheerleader Erin Hortz has been warned about the Angel Killer all her life. She never walks alone in the dark. She doesn’t talk to strangers. She doesn’t accept drinks at parties. All she wants is to finish her senior year with a win at the Miss Junior Queen of Hearts pageant, capture the perfect light over the lake with her new camera, and finally catch the attention of her best friend Nadia’s brother—former football star Dimitri Kuklev. Since his injury, they’ve been spending a lot of time together. And getting to know the real Dimitri—not the one she put on a pedestal in her diary is better than she could ever have imagined. And she’s falling hard.

Nineteen-year-old Dimitri’s injury brought him from football superstar with universities from all around the country knocking at his door to not knowing what he wants to do with his life. Taking classes at the local community college is supposed to get him back on track, but all he wants is to be on the field again. The only person who seems to understand him is the one he swore to keep in the friend zone: Erin. His sister Nadia’s best friend and the reason why he can’t keep a girlfriend. Between their early morning jogs, their time spent at the lake laughing, and their late night conversations, he’s having a hard time remembering why it’s such a bad idea.
But when Nadia doesn’t come home after a party, Dimitri and Erin know they must find her before it’s too late—even if that means risking their own lives and everything Erin’s ever known.

Because the main suspect is Erin’s father.

Amazon preorder

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Annnnnd you could win a $50 Amazon Gift Card by participating in The Cover Reveal Giveaway…

download

THANK YOU 🙂

Currently

Currently…

In an effort to blog a bit more regularly, I’ve decided to  Katy Upperman‘s “Currently” posts 🙂 Don’t hesitate to join us. (Find the origins of the idea HERE.)

Loving

Planning again!

Reading

I am finishing up HATE LIST by Jennifer Brown and man this book is breaking my heart.

Watching

The hubby and I started watching 30 Rock…Otherwise, I may or may not have Gilmore Girls (again) in the background when doing housework.

Listening To

My very eclectic playlist on my iPod while jogging and writing. I wrote at B&N yesterday after working and having my music on helps me to blur out everything that’s not my main characters.

Thinking About

Ways to make my characters even more real.

Anticipating

Family visit! At the end of April, the hubby’s mom and aunt are arriving and then my parents are joining the fun beginning of May.

Wishing

Hmmm 🙂 You know if you’re on Goodreads, you can add FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT to your TBR 🙂

Fear Me, Fear Me Not

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annnnd if you’ve read any of my books, don’t hesitate to leave a review on the e-retailer of you choice 🙂 (Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo)

Making Me Happy

Walking the dog with the hubby almost every night and definitely every weekend. Quality time in the midst of our busy schedule is definitely making me happy.

What’s currently making YOU happy?

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News about my next book!

I am so so excited to announce that my next book, FEAR ME FEAR ME NOT, will be out in the world this summer. It’s a YA romantic suspense novel. I’ve been working on it for several years. And I may be scaring myself revising it. You can add it to Goodreads now 🙂

Fear Me, Fear Me NotEvery year a girl disappears in Gavert County, Texas. Their bodies are found days, sometimes months, later with an angel wing carved on each girl’s face. And the Angel Killer is on the hunt again, looking for his next victim.

Seventeen-year-old cheerleader Erin Hortz has been warned about the Angel Killer all her life. She never walks alone in the dark. She doesn’t talk to strangers. She doesn’t accept drinks at parties. All she wants is to finish her senior year with a win at the Miss Junior Queen of Hearts pageant, capture the perfect light over the lake with her new camera, and finally catch the attention of her best friend Nadia’s brother—former football star Dimitri Kuklev. Since his injury, they’ve been spending a lot of time together. And getting to know the real Dimitri—not the one she put on a pedestal in her diary is better than she could ever have imagined. And she’s falling hard.

Nineteen-year-old Dimitri’s injury brought him from football superstar with universities from all around the country knocking at his door to not knowing what he wants to do with his life. Taking classes at the local community college is supposed to get him back on track, but all he wants is to be on the field again. The only person who seems to understand him is the one he swore to keep in the friend zone: Erin. His sister Nadia’s best friend and the reason why he can’t keep a girlfriend. Between their early morning jogs, their time spent at the lake laughing, and their late night conversations, he’s having a hard time remembering why it’s such a bad idea.

But when Nadia doesn’t come home after a party, Dimitri and Erin know they must find her before it’s too late—even if that means risking their own lives and everything Erin’s ever known.

Because the main suspect is Erin’s father.

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Uncategorized

On Wednesdays we talk about writing…

On Wednesdays we talk about how writing and today it’s all about how amazing it can be.

So, if you’re a writer, you know being a writer isn’t as easy as it sometimes seems. And it’s sometimes not as poetic or romantic as what seems. Dirty laundry piling up, those petrifying moments when you think you suck, the sentence that doesn’t want to cooperate…you know the drill.

If you’re not a writer, you may wonder what the heck I just talked about 🙂

But no matter what: being a writer can be pretty awesome. And here’s one reason:

Reading manuscripts early on. Before anyone else.

Being a critique partner, a beta reader isn’t only awesome to gain skills as a writer, it also means you get to read manuscripts early on. And some of the manuscripts I’ve read are getting published later this year and next year.

And I’m so excited for those authors 🙂

28239308KISSING MAX HOLDEN by Katy Upperman (expected publication: 2017)

When Max Holden’s father suffers a life-altering stroke, seventeen-year-old aspiring pastry chef Jillian Eldridge has no idea how to help her longtime friend. Max, once bright and bold as lemon meringue pie, is sinking into a spiral of self-destruction. Then he knocks on Jill’s window late one night, and she can’t turn him away. Her dad catches them in the midst of a sizzling kiss and gives her a choice: Stay away from Max or fund culinary school on her own.

Still, Jill is drawn to Max like sugar to butter. When her parents’ fights escalate after the birth of her sister, Jill sneaks to Max’s for escape. Then she discovers that her dad’s keeping a secret of his own, one that could shatter their fragile family. Only Max—who’s more involved in the Eldridges’ drama than he realizes—might be able to help Jill put the pieces back together.

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Wanderlost.jpgWANDERLOST by Jen Malone (publication date: May 31st)

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan begins unraveling, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

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Amazon preorder


 

TheLastThingYouSaidTHE LAST THING YOU SAID by Sara Biren (expected publication: 2017)

Everything changed for Ben Porter and Lucy Meadows after Ben’s sister – Lucy’s best friend – died. Now, as summer returns and the first anniversary of Trixie’s death approaches, Ben and Lucy can no longer avoid their grief or their feelings for each other.

Publication is planned for 2017.

 

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If you’re a writer, what book have you read recently that is/got published recently? 

If you’re a reader, what book are you looking forward to read?