It's been an exciting couple of months. Thanks to all of you for making the launch of Chicago's Best a memorable and successful one. :) You guys rock, as usual.
It was a great way to launch The Lighthearted Collection!
And makes me super excited to release book number two in the collection soon!
(I actually send it off to my editors on Monday... as in a day and a half away... I better get busy) ;p
But just wanted to stop in and chat with you guys. I recently took a trip to Boston, MA. BEAUTIFUL city! Loved every second while there. While there, I took the city by storm and also sneaked in a few copies of Chicago's Best all over the place. Airports, airplanes, hotel lounges, etc. ;)
This was one of my drop offs. ;)
I hope those who found them: read them, loved them, and passed them on. We shall see though. :)
I have also recently started taking my author mentoring up a notch. I help other indie authors pave their way in the publishing world, only now I'm doing it a bit more. Last year, I mentored about 6 different authors, various genres, various stages in the process... it's a blast. This year, I have more authors on board and it's been fun consulting for them. Self publishing should not be hard, and if it is, ask another Indie author HOW they've done it. We are friendly people. We don't mind. :) But there is a new page up at the top of the website that you may have noticed: Publishing Help
Click there and you can check it all out if you are in need of some guidance. :)
Again, thank you all for supporting me on this fun adventure. I am loving doing this writin' gig. ;) And I appreciate you all for making it possible.
'Til next time.
That's right! Chicago's Best is out and about on Amazon!
I'm a bit behind in announcing it... :/ As is life with a 14 month old. ;p
But Chicago's Best released on March 10th! And so far, I'm quite pleased with how it's doing! You guys snatched it up and have been letting me know what you think, AND I love that!!! :)
CB (Chicago's Best) is the first book in The Lighthearted Collection, and I would like to say book number two is in the works as we speak. ETA for that one should be this summer. :)
I want to give you guys a bit of a breakdown on how Chicago's Best came together... and so quickly! ;p
First thing first: I have been writing since 2005. I've been an author since 2009. And when I first started out, well, you guys are familiar... I came out with children's books. (The Adventurous Life of Laura Bell, Susie At Your Service, and Sissy and Kat)
Although I was publishing children's books, I wasn't just writing children's lit. I was writing adult fiction. The Unfading Lands was mapped out in about 2006. I just never sat down and wrote the complete story until 2014. But it was in the works, even back then. On top of that though, I have written several, and I mean several, (73 to be exact), smaller novellas like CB mentioned above. However, my writing back then is NOT what it is now. I decided though, that instead of just sitting on books I've written and not doing anything with them, I should actually DO SOMETHING WITH THEM. So, there goes the birth of The Lighthearted Collection. CB is a hybrid between two of my past work-in-progresses. I sort of molded them together, rewrote, tweaked, changed, made better, etc. in order to come out with CB. Overall, it only took me two months to write it. Not too shabby. It took me about a month to go through my editor, and then the other rounds of edits. Within that month, my beta readers were reading it. Then final edits took a few more weeks. And then I sent off for final proof copy just 4 days before the designated release date. Thankfully, it came back smooth and ready. So March 10th was it. :)
What also took a couple months was designing the cover. Originally, my cover designer and I were looking at something illustrated for the cover... let's just say after coming up with several designs, I just wasn't happy with the feel of it. Neither was my designer. So I told her what I wanted. Well, turns out what I told her I wanted, was the exact thing I had originally told her I did NOT want. HA! But it works! And she did one design, and BAM! The cover of CB was pretty much done! :) She and I were both happy with it. It fits the story SUPER well. And it is pleasing to the eye, if I do say so myself. ;)
I'm happy with it. The story, the cover, the feedback... I am thrilled you guys are enjoying it as well. It makes my inner romantic so happy! ;)
And if you liked CB, make sure to keep checkin' in... because the next in The Lighthearted Collection will be coming SOON!!!!
Thank you all for the support, encouragement, and smiles. :)
Do you like Suspense? Romance? Comedy?
So you head on over to Facebook, click on Create Page, and done. You make an author platform. Now what?
What you want is for people to like your page, obviously, because this links you to their Newsfeed. Anytime you post something, it will show up on their newsfeed. And if someone likes your post, then every now and then that action will show up on their friends' newsfeeds saying, "So&So liked Author Joe's Post."
On top of that, Facebook allows you to create Ad Campaigns to promote your book throughout the Facebook world. Yes, you have to pay for these ads, but they can bring in more traffic to your website or Facebook Page. I use Facebook Ads quite often. The secret to these puppies is to start small and really try to shrink your target to 500,000 or below. So work on those keywords and get that number to go from 13 Billion to 250,000. ;) It sounds complicated, but it really isn't. It will walk you through step by step, and seriously just play with it. There are also some helpful services that you can purchase that go into this further. One being: www.selfpublishingformula.com/
Mark Dawson, well to say he is an expert might be an understatement, though there are services here that require a fee, he does offer some free videos to walk you through some basics in Facebook Advertising. I have done both the free and the packages. Both were worth the time. :)
There are others as well, like Sprout Social: sproutsocial.com/insights/facebook-advertising-guide/
They actually walk you through step by step as well. So either way, you should get a good idea on what to do. :)
Remember that it will take several times to pinpoint your demographic and target audience. Once you do, each ad should boast some solid results for you.
Another thing to remember on Facebook is the opportunity to create events, which comes in handy when you have a book release coming up or a book signing. I actually plan to do this for my next book release to try it out. I have done it for a book signing before, and it was worth the time. So I will have to keep you updated on how it goes for the book release. ;)
If you have any questions in regards to anything I've mentioned above, feel free to message me. There really are so many opportunities for marketing with Facebook. It is hard to touch upon just one or two aspects.
But I hope this at least helped some, or provided you some handy sites to check out.
Until next time...
***Photos courtesy of Facebook
So.... here are some of my tips.
I have also started posting links on my Twitter: @AuthorKatharine to share some cool articles I come across that help in all aspects of the writing venture. Be sure to check them out here: twitter.com/AuthorKatharine
1. Social Media is your friend.
I know we would all like to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to social media, but the fact of the matter is, in today's world, social media is where it's at. Everything. Your future audience. Your future followers. And your word-of-mouth marketers. Now, is it the only place you will find an audience? No. But it is important. Get plugged in. Whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. Whichever or whatever. My advice would be to really focus on which ones work for you. I do not bog myself down with twenty different social media accounts. I operate mostly with Facebook and Twitter, because for me, that is where my followers hang out most.
Once you have established a presence with these platforms, then it is all about connecting with people. In my next post, I will talk about how to do this in regards to targeting your specific audience or demographic. Until then, if you have not set up or established a presence within social media, I would say 'Hurry up and do it.' :)
Get yourself a website or blog set up. There are lots of free hosts out there.
And many more... the point is to get one set up. Post as much as you can/whatever you have time for. This is a way for your readers, or some strangers, to learn more about you. Even if you have not published your book yet, walk them through what you are doing. Get them on board for the journey as well. They will become invested in the journey with you, so that by the time your book does release, they want to see the finished product. :)
3. Book Signings.
Yep... sit at a booth and meet people. Some people tend to think that writing is the perfect career for introverts... not true. Yes, a lot of writers are and they make it work, but you cannot go into this field without interacting with people. If you're like me and not an introvert, only when I want to be, then talking with people never really bothers you. In fact, I love meeting people, so festivals are something I feel I HAVE to do in order to stay sane. I want to meet potential readers or writers. I want to talk with them. This is FUN! So find out what festivals are near you. They can be Fall Festivals or specifically Book Festivals. An easy Google Search will show you some options.
4. Other writers/ Support Groups.
No, I'm not talking about support groups in general, I'm talking a support group consisting of other writers and authors. It can be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or down at your local library, or in the city one town over... whatever works for you. I live in the middle of nowhere, therefore, my writing groups are mostly online based. PLUS, I'm involved with International groups, because I happen to like the diversity it brings. I'm involved with an international group that ranges in experience, a Women's Writers group, and one specifically for my state of Texas. But find groups that you can ACTIVELY participate in and draw help and support from. Don't be shy. Most of these people are either a.) More experienced than you, b.) Less experienced than you, or c.) Just as experienced as you.... so no matter which way you look at it, you benefit from being a part of the group.
DO NOT THINK THIS: "If people borrow my book, they aren't buying."
Though this is true when people borrow your book from the library, the flip side is this...
-If they like your book, they are going to tell their friends about it. (Some of these friends rather buy than borrow)
-They could possibly leave a review for you on Amazon, Goodreads, or B&N. Authors love reviews! Take them when you can get them! :)
-If they like your book, they may purchase it as a gift for their own personal library or for someone else!
So don't think of libraries as your enemies. They are extremely HELPFUL.
PLUS, an opportunity for a book signing set up is also there. I've done several at libraries, and they are a great way to interact with readers and the community.
There are multiple other marketing tips, and as I think of them I will try to pound out some helpful tips and links. For now, I will try to expand upon these and give you helpful links as well as my personal experience with each of these in upcoming posts.
Till next time,
What are you working on?
When's the next book coming out?
These were all questions I encountered over the last week as I traveled around. And though most of you are dissatisfied with my answer of:
"Three manuscripts in the works. Not sure when they will exactly be coming out."
The reality is, I do have a timeline in mind and it will be in 2017. I just do not have a pinpointed date as of yet, because none of the above manuscripts are completely finished.
And as we all know, once they are finally written on my end, they then go through the editing process which takes even more time, more rewrites, more editing, and repeat.
Then Beta-Readers receive them. Then the process happens again.
THEN... THEN I will have a clear idea on when to nail down a release date.
I am also contemplating which to release first... what time of year, etc.
Time of year is important. Book releases tend to launch better during certain seasons, months, and even weeks. So trying to wrap everything up close to one of those time frames is also important.
But I haven't forgotten about you guys.
In fact, one of your fellow readers cornered me and said, "How could you do this to me? I have finished The Unfading Lands Series and need something else to read!"
I was flattered that she wanted more of my work to read, but if she took a look at what I had to offer right now, she'd be horrified. Unpolished work is not good for anyone. Haha! So with a little patience, I assure you guys I will have something for you to read in the near future. :)
And hopefully, I will pad the arsenal so you will not have to wait long between book releases.
Until then, I'm going to get back to writing now. :) I've got a killer on the loose. ;p
You get the picture.
And while I'm sitting trying to think of what to write, my mind wanders to my other works in progress or WIPs and I cannot seem to think of anything for the current open document, but I have excellent ideas for the others. So I close out one window, open another... and then blank. Where did my ideas go? Let me check my notes...
I've been struggling with balancing my current projects. You would think that being a new mom had mostly to do with it, but that is not true. My son is great. He naps like most kiddos, so I am able to factor in a bit of work time while he sleeps for a few hours out of the day. The only excuse for me is that once I sit down, I cannot seem to focus on one work at a time.
And I think I have finally realized that I've had a brain shift. I used to be able to jump from one work to the next without thought. Hopping from manuscript to manuscript was easy. Brain adjustment was easy, but lately, for some reason, I am finding that task a bit more difficult. I have absolutely no idea why. So as I am trying to get crackin' on my next novel, two novellas, a writer's competition, and a new marketing format, and planning for the Texas Book Festival, I seem to be zapping all my creative energy. (This is where I blow an exasperated breath and pull my hair over my face.)
So today, I threw away the lists. All but my future goals list, because I like to remind myself of what I'm working towards... but my chores and my writing lists are gone.
After tossing out the balls and chains, I sat down at my computer and typed out 3,000 words for my novel. I finished my next chapter in the writer's competition. And I settled for another 2,000 words in one of my novellas.
How liberating it is not to have the burden of a list. Sitting down and feeling relaxed seemed to do the trick. I think I overwhelm myself with structure that I do not leave room for creative flow. Why? I should know better, right?
But by trying to factor in so many different projects, being a mom and wife, and other aspects of my life, I began to overwhelm myself to the point of stalling my craft. I've felt the itch to write, and the uncomfortable squirm of unwritten words, but had the hardest time actually getting them out.
The lists are gone. The freedom to write is here. And may I say, great things are happening on these pages. Fingers crossed I am able to keep this up. And yes, I did have to make a grocery list earlier... but does that one really count???
Here's to an uninterrupted nap time of writing! :)
No, I have not disappeared. No, I have not forgotten about you guys! I have just been learning how to balance being a new mom and my writer life! I think I've semi gotten the hang of it now, so you will be seeing more of me from now on. :)
Let me fill you on what's been happenin'!
- Redemption Rising released and you guys turned out in volume to snatch it up! Thank you!
- The entire series was nominated for the Summer Indie Book Awards by Metamorph Publishing! Though we did not snag an award, the fact we were nominated is SUPER COOL!
- The Unfading Lands has been nominated for the Best Indie Book Award!! WooHoo! We should find out in November if we bring home the bacon on that one. :)
- I have booked a booth for the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas, November 5-6th! I will be in a different pavilion this year in a BIGGER booth! WooHoo! So be sure to come check me out and snag an awesome goodie bag! :)
- I am currently competing in an Author vs. Author competition! So I've been testing my storytelling skills by a write off of sorts. I'm currently still in round one. I will let you know if I advance! :)
- I am also working on two NEW manuscripts! Yay! I am working on a new collection of stories that will contain several books along the way. And I am also working on my next novel! I would love to give you guys an ETA for those, but all I can say is 2017 at this point. Hopefully, in early Spring you will see one of those pop up for release. :)
Again, thank ya'll for such an exciting year, and for allowing me to do what I love... WRITE! It's been a blast and I hope you guys continue to follow along with me as I travel through this publishing world. :)
And it will be launched THIS FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2016!!!!!
And now that this is happening, can we all take a collective deep breath and say, "Phew!"
What a rush it has been trying to wrap things up for this series. I have had so much fun writing this book. I loved writing the entire series, but this book was actually REALLY fun to write. I had no idea how some of the characters would evolve, and I have to say I am quite pleased with how they all turned out. :) I hope you like them too!
Also, on that note... I am already starting work on my next Work in Progress... Well, it's been underway for a while, but I had to place it on the back burner in order to finish up this series first. However, it is happening next and I aim to release that one in January 2017... so you guys have plenty of time to enjoy The Unfading Lands ENTIRE series. :)
I appreciate the support and encouragement more than you know.
Now, once Redemption Rising hits the market, I am going to give you guys a while to read it, and then I am going to post some of my inside information on the series.
Who my favorite characters were.
Where did I come up with some of the characters.
What made me think of certain scenes.
How did some of the events mirror my "real" life.
Those sorts of tidbits that people ask me all the time and I NEVER answer. haha.
So until then... Happy Reading, my Friends!
I will admit I am rather torn. Part of me is ready to wrap it all up in a tidy bow and move on... but the other half of me wants to dive into it more and more. There has to be a line though, and how am I to focus upon other projects when I am constantly wanting to write for The Unfading Lands? It's a dilemma. One I face daily as I try to wrap up the work on Redemption Rising. I love, love, LOVE writing this series. It makes my heart happy. :)
That being said, I am also beating my head against the desk as I try to wrap up everything in the series to where it all makes sense. You never realize how complicated that is until you sit down to do it.
One thing that has been interesting writing this series is the feedback from the readers. You guys have no idea how much I take your input into consideration. Throughout Darkness Divided, I purposely wrote a certain character the way I did thinking I would kill/dispose of him in Book 3... however, majority of the readers LOVE his character! What?!?! So now I am left to decide whether or not I want to dispose of him or keep him. For the sake of not ticking off ALL my readers, I will probably keep him and work an angle to rid ourselves of a different character. I mean, someone has to go, right? ;p
All I can say is that I was super surprised at the feedback you guys gave on Darkness Divided and it made mapping out Redemption Rising SUPER difficult! haha. But fun. So I thank you for that.
On that note, I STILL want to hear from you. Redemption Rising is not completely finished yet. A lot can happen in this phase. Rewrites, edits, additions... you name it, this book is not set in stone yet. So let me know your thoughts on what you would like to see.
Who are your favorite characters and why?
What are you most excited about finding out?
And what do you think will actually happen?
I love hearing your theories. They make me smile and sometimes laugh because you guys are deep thinkers... and I like that. I like that you read into the text and interpret multiple/different meanings. :) That's the point for me. I want to leave you guys thinkin'. :)
Now that we are already in March of this year, I intend to be posting updates regularly for you guys to check the status of Redemption Rising. There will be giveaways, much like the last two book releases. There will be a cover reveal that will knock your socks off. And there will be character quotes as we count down the days until release day!
Thank you all so much for following the series and for the support you have all shown me.
If you haven't already, and you have read the first two books, please, go to Amazon and leave a book review. Reviews help authors out SO MUCH, and it will also set the stage for an incredible release week for Redemption Rising when the time comes. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.
Howdy Everyone! And welcome to my website! My name is Katharine Hamilton and I am a writer and multi-genre author! Thank you for stopping by!