I’ve decided to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a slightly modified version to fit my November goals. You can find me here if you’re on the NaNoWriMo website. For those of you who may not know:
National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel during the thirty days of November.
Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand-new novel. You may know this mass creative explosion by the name National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo—but that’s not all that NaNoWriMo is!
(…) It’s a start-up incubator for novels (books like Water for Elephants, Fangirl, and WOOL began as rough drafts in November!). It’s a teaching tool, it’s a curriculum, and its programs run year-round.
Right now I am still finalizing my adult rom-com and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. However, I am planning on also writing a few short non-fiction books about self-publishing.
This won’t be about how to become a millionaire thanks to writing or how to become a bestselling author (because I’m neither of those).
It will be more related to questions you may ask yourself before self-publishing (why, how, is that right for me, what are my expectations and what are my goals and what are my dreams), during self-publishing (the process, the options…), looking at foreign markets, what has worked for me, what hasn’t and what I have learned.
Because I’ve learned a lot in the past six years. About a lot of things, but I’m still talking about self-publishing here. 🙂 I’ve become a hybrid author (self-published and tradionally published). I’m getting a lot of my rights back from my translated works in the coming months.
I’ll share some of my stats (paperback vs ebook, countries where I am currently selling the most…), definitely a lot of behind-the-scenes and reality-checks and hopefully usefully answers some of your burning questions (again…about self-publishing).
So…do *you* have any questions about self-publishing? Or about my years as self-publisher?
Don’t hesitate to add them as a comment to this blog post or fill out the message form below to send me an email.
I love mugs. If you ask The Chemical Engineer, he might tell you we have too many mugs. I would disagree. We have mugs that are full of memories that make me smile. We have mugs that have sayings on them that make me smile.
I actually got the mug below for him. 😉 I do use it as well.
It’s official. You’re awesome.
I took the following picture sometime last week, and I thought I’d share it in case anyone else needs that reminder or needs a smile or loves mugs as much as I do. 😉
I shared it on Instagram this morning.
Oh, in case you’re wondering where I got it. It was at Target. They don’t seem to ship it anymore, but some stores may still have it. They do curbside contactless pick-up. 🙂
I have a lot of things on my to-do list for today and for this week, including:
Finish revising/drafting my first adult rom-com.
Getting the German/Italian version of ONE DREAM ONLY ready for publication. That means: work on the ebook cover, the paperback cover, upload it on different platforms.
Getting the Italian version of ONE DREAM ONLY ready for re-publication, as I’m getting the rights back this week. That includes: work on an updated ebook cover, an updated paperback cover, upload it on different platforms.
Do you have mugs that bring a smile to your face as soon as you see them? What do you have on your to-do list for today? Or for this week?
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Whenever I begin a new project, I also begin a list called “What I Love About This Story.” I start by writing down those first ideas that sparked the fires of my mind, and then I add more ideas as I discover them during my push through early drafts. I use this list as a touchstone to remind myself during the hard times why my story is worthwhile. It’s easy to forget the GOOD STUFF when I’m wading through the muck, and the end is still months away, and it feels pointless and hopeless to continue. This list becomes a crucial reminder: Yes! This is a story worth telling!
And as I’m about to go back into finishing drafting/revising my current work-in-progress, I feel like writing down this manuscript’s love list (in addition to my Pinterest board) will be helpful.
This is my first adult rom-com and I’ve only been sharing snippets of it with my critique partners.
So, here we go.
💕Love List 💕
Second chance romance. Bucket Lists. Lace. And tule. And wedding dresses. Vintage clothing. Old Bay. Swans’ Cove. Maryland Eastern Shore Little Town. Holiday season. Laughter. Animal shelter. Hockey. Therapy. Ice rink. Self-confidence. Therapy. Friendships. Giggles. The sweet smell of cinammon apple pie baking in the oven. The flavor of Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon. The sound of the waves. Family dinners. Support. Chemistry. Scenes full of sexy moments…including sizzling sexy moments and laughing sexy moments and full-of-emotions sexy moments. and so much more ;-)…
Do you have a love list for your manuscript? Or maybe for your job? Or your day? Don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments. 🙂
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:
The exclusive bonus epilogue.
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.
Reader A receives about one to two hours later a Welcome Email with a password to access more bonus content.
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.
So reader A receives a total of 3 emails within a week.
Here you can read much more about tags, journey, landing pages:
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:
Website subscribers receive a password to a bonus content page which has all the bonus content as their first welcome email.
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.
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.
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).
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?
Great news for fans of Criminal Minds, the movie Scream, and Lifetime movies…
FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT which has been called “Chilling, in the best way” is going to be available soon as audiobook!
It is going to be narrated by the very talented Megan Carter. I mean just listen to the first 38 seconds below…
And here are a few extra fun things coming your way:
Audiobook Promo Codes (Audible): I will have some audiobook promo codes available (Audible – UK & US listeners), and newsletters’ subscribers will receive them first. So…if you’re interested don’t hesitate to sign up for my newsletter here.
Exclusive “Audiobook Only” scene narratated by Megan: An access code will be sent to both Newsletters’ subscribers and Google Form Sign-ups (see below).
If you don’t want to subscribe to my newsletter, you can just sign up below and you will receive only one email from me: to let you know when the audiobook is up for sale and that email will include a code to access one extra exclusive scene narrated by Megan.
And if you want to help me spread the word:
Just share this page/post with your friends and family.
go over on my Instagram and like/share/comment on the video.
First, Thank you to #ASummerInWriting over on Instagram and Dante Medema as well as Liz Lawson for all those prompts :-).
I got to meet and reconnect with some wonderful authors, and I’m feeling even more motivated to finish drafting my rom-com 🙂 I’m very excited about the progress I’ve made and for my upcoming Summer goals 🙂
1. Finish drafting my rom-com. This will be my main focus in the next two weeks so that I can send it to my CPs mid-August. I need about 15000 words. Totally do-able, right?
2. Announce and promote something very exciting (related to an audiobook). My newsletter subscribers will find out first (you can subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/g_Qp4D – hint, hint).
3. Prepare for the publication of the Italian translation of ALWAYS SECOND BEST.
4. Continue adding words to 2 small projects.
5. Continue brainstorming MISS ME, MISS ME NOT. I’m not “officially” writing it yet, but this project is never too far from my mind.
6. Publish the German/English version of ASLNO via Ingram.
7. Enjoy the process and all those little happy moments. ❤
Yes, those are my feet and my Bombas‘ socks 🙂 A little motivation Wednesday mainly as a reminder to myself. But also as a way to ask you: what made you smile today? And full disclaimer: a lot of those thought-processes are easier for me because of years of therapy and a lot of work 😉 And it doesn’t mean I don’t have moments where I focus on the fact that this used to be much easier. Just putting that out there. A few days ago, I did a few relevés and elevés from first position. They were far from perfect. And I can’t stand on the balls of my feet for very long or all the way because I still experience neuropathy and cramping in my feet (and hands) in addition to needing to re-build (or build – ha) muscles. But as I did those exercises, I smiled. Because it felt like progress. Kind of like when you’re writing a sentence that stays with you or when you finally understand your character’s motivation or simply when you write a few words in-between busy times or hard times. I enjoyed this moment when it happened. I smiled like I said. I think I even laughed I was so happy. And I smile as I post it even if my feet and hands are currently cramping. I know I’ll do this exercise again today. And I am revising my first chapters feeling grateful. A reminder to keep going, to keep swimming, to keep writing.
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.