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.

Self publishing, Self-pub corner

The One Where You Can Ask Me Self-Publishing Questions…

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.

Whatever you thought NaNoWriMo was, it is more than that. (Source: https://nanowrimo.org/about-nano)

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.

Motivation Monday

The One With The Coffee Mug Motivation…

Would you like to receive my blog posts directly into your mailbox? Just enter your email address below. 🙂

Did you know that there is a page on this blog full of extra content, available only to newsletter subscribers? You can subscribe to my newsletter here to receive the password.

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?

Would you like to receive my blog posts directly into your mailbox? Just enter your email address below. 🙂

Did you know that there is a page on this blog full of extra content, available only to newsletter subscribers? You can subscribe to my newsletter here to receive the password.

revising, rom-com, writing

The One With The Love List…

Do you want to receive my blog posts directly in your inbox? You can…by just signing up below.

If you’d like to receive updates about my books and get exclusive access to bonus content, don’t hesitate to susbscribe to my newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website .

What is a love list? Honestly, you could do a love list for a whole lot of different things, but this one is about my manuscript. 🙂

Once upon a time, YA Highway (remember, YA Highway?)’s prompt for Road Trip Wednesday was: “What’s on your Work-in-Progress Love List?”

It was a summer day, forever ago (on August 22nd, 2012), when writers around the globe shared their love lists for their own manuscript. I did, too. Even if I did apparently forget.

Full disclosure: I actually remembered Katy Upperman’s love lists (for KISSING MAX HOLDEN which was then called CROSS MY HEART and another book which is full of hearbreak and emotions), which is how I found my way back to Googling YA Highway RTW Love List, re-read Dahlia Adler’s Love List for her manuscript which popped up in my Google search, and then re-found my own from August 2012.

That YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday prompt was based on a guest post by contemporary young adult author  Stephanie Perkins’ for author Natalie Whipple’s blog.

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. 🙂

Oh, and if you’d like to help me raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and #LightTheNight, please check out this link.

Do you want to receive my blog posts directly in your inbox? You can…by just signing up below.

If you’d like to receive updates about my books and get exclusive access to bonus content, don’t hesitate to susbscribe to my newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website .

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?

Audiobooks

Did you hear? Fear Me, Fear Me Not is coming soon as audiobook…

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.

<iframe

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.
  • Or like/share/comment the video on Facebook.
  • Share the news on Twitter.
  • Basically, share, share, share ❤

FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT is also available as paperback (Amazon – more links coming soon) and ebook for $0.99 (Amazon KindleiBooksGoogle PlayKoboB&N – You can also request it on Overdrive from your library).

And it is available in other languages, including as audiobook in French (Amazon.fr ; Amazon.com)

French – German – Italian – Spanish

Uncategorized

Did you know that I have a newsletter?

Real talk: I’m not the most consistent with my newsletter. This is an area I want to improve especially as I use Facebook less and am enjoying writing blog posts again.

Newsletters are great ways to share exlusive content and updates and random pictures of Bobbie Voltaire The Cat and Plato The Dog.

I mean clearly…Plato The Dog thinks you should subscribe. You can subscribe by clicking here:  eepurl.com/g_Qp4D

I have some audiobook news which I’m very very excited to share with all of you very soon (this week). And my newsletter subscribers willl find out first.

Clearly, that’s a reason to subscribe 🙂

You can subscribe here: eepurl.com/g_Qp4D
Uncategorized

My summer goals

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. ❤

Uncategorized

Motivation Wednesday…

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.