This week’s thoughts from the Writing House

I finally found some time to work on my writing goals this weekend. Some time was spent on updates to the manuscript for The Bully’s Way and some on adding resources to my author’s marketing platform.

My editing of book two became a change of direction with the story. Can’t say any more without giving it away, but I am happy with the new direction it has taken. What I do know is there is going to be a lot of rewriting going on in the Writing House this week.

I signed myself up for an Instagram account yesterday. Be sure to come and visit or even follow me. I am @SelmaPVerde.

It is a lot of work to be a self published author. I worked really hard to get the book published and now I am working even harder on marketing it. Trying to get the book into the hands of the right readers is not as simple as just putting it on the internet and expecting it to take off. It is about building followers of your brand and networking to get an opportunity to hand a copy of your book to the right people.

We all want the way we market to fit what works best for us. I like to do a note with a personal touch to my followers. Or talk to someone who is eager to take a chance on my book. I may not be able to do it my way if it doesn’t work in the world of book promotion. It may mean stepping out of my comfort zone a bit to make it happen.

Even my blog, for example, really needs to be catered to what you, the followers, are interested in. I think my updates about where things are in my writing world are interesting to you. I try and share my experiences to inspire you to take action or to see others are struggling to do what they want to do too. I also do book reviews of middle grade novels which seem to do well with your views. But my material really needs to motivate you to stop back and check the blog every week. At the end of the day, it needs to be catered to you. Please let me know if there is something you would like to see.

This road was never going to be easy. I knew it going in. I am learning a lot about the process. I didn’t know how much other things in my life were going to get in the way of me doing this though. Maybe it has been about those other things or maybe it has been about the choices I am making.

All of this is making me realize changes need to be made. Not only when it comes to my writing, but also when it comes to priorities between my home life and my work life. Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Need to make a small change to make the result come out a little different so I can make my writing time more successful and productive.

Of course, I will need to do a plug for The Hard Way. If you haven’t had a chance to take a look, check out the link below.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

Here is the link! The Hard Way

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Father’s Day and random thoughts

Happy Monday! Hope you got to spend some time with your dads yesterday, either in person or in thought. It is interesting to me that both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day happen on Sundays, which was traditionally a day of rest. When I was growing up, a lot of places were closed on Sundays so people could spend time with their families. I’m sure that is why Sundays were picked for those holidays.

For some people close to me, Father’s Day isn’t a happy day. Their dads aren’t the best people. I know we say, ‘he is still your dad,’ but sometimes it doesn’t make it any better for them. But I am proud of my second cousin. She is making it a positive day for herself by focusing on the father of her three month old baby instead of her own dad.

As I look through my Facebook posts, I see all the different ways my friends and contacts celebrate their dads. Each celebration is as unique as the dad is. Some families have their traditional activities. Some will have picnics today, some will visit their favorite bakery for breakfast, or some will just stop by for a few moments just to say hi.

For us, it is a day about pie. Jim is making his dad an apple pie, his favorite, for us to bring over. Then we will meet up with my dad for an after dinner slice of pie and chat for a bit. When I ask the boys what they want to do for Jim, they aren’t sure. I know he would like to hang out with them and have dinner together, or maybe even go fishing. Since the boys have busy teenage lives and work schedules, I think we will be working towards a weekend at the cabin in July to spend time together and celebrate him.

From the writing house, I was offered an opportunity to have my book announced at a work related luncheon last week. It was neat to have the shout out done with my colleagues. Many didn’t know I was a writer much less published a book. I handed out a few of my book business cards there.

Part of my marketing plan is to donate a couple of my books to libraries next month. I’m learning marketing the book is going to cost something whether it be in time or a book. The focus of this cannot be about making money.  Most authors don’t make a lot of money at first, if at all. It is the reason why a lot of us have day jobs to support the habit.

I have heard the same advice over and over from authors who have walked the path before me. You have to love it to do it. It is a lot of hard work to get the book out there for the world to see.  I was thinking about doing a 30 day writing and marketing challenge next month to help promote my book. I did a lot of soul searching yesterday and decided that the timing isn’t good for me right now. My day job is going through major transition and will demand a lot of my time for the next couple of weeks. And wanting to spend time with my family too doesn’t leave enough time to take that on right now. I really want to do it, but I also don’t want to stress myself out. Will just have to take it on when timing allows. Just one of the many hard decisions to make to balance the day job with writing. One day, I hope to just be able to write, but I’m not quite there yet.

Enjoy your week.

Now, I will take this opportunity to plug my book, The Hard Way.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

Update from the Writing House

Good Morning and Happy Monday!

This week brought me back into working on the manuscript for The Bully’s Way, the second book in The Way Series. I figured if I have time to read another book for a review, then I should reading and working on my own.

I participated in my first National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) in November of 2015. It is a world wide online writing project where you commit to write 50,000 in 30 days. The goal is to have completed a manuscript for a novel by the end of the month. If you make the 50,000 word goal, you do what they call “win”. My “win” was I created The Bully’s Way.

So, last week I started my first read through of the manuscript since I originally wrote it. I learned a lot since then about editing and how my own writing quirks. I saw many of those quirks in this rough draft, and made the appropriate changes. With all that I have learned so far, I’ll be able to make this manuscript a cleaner read for my editor than the first one was. My increased knowledge about the editing process will not replace my editor though, just make things easier for her and make my writing better for me.

The other part of my work this week is the promotion of The Hard Way. I have been doing some reading about good places to market my book. Even with the number of people on social media, there is a lot of additional networking that needs to happen inside and outside social media. The other part of marketing success is a luck. any random answer or question can lead to making connections. You may be in a thread of one of your social media profiles about publishing and see someone who works with the audience you are writing for. Do you take a chance to ask that person a question? I’m the type of person who will ask, in a nice way of course, and let that person make the choice to help or not. You just never know where it will go if they say yes.

Networking is about putting yourself and your book out there.  I’m learning not to be afraid to ask. It is ok of the answer is no. Just need to keep trying and see what happens.

Enjoy your week. I will take this opportunity to plug my first book, The Hard Way.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

Promoting my newly published book

 

Good Morning! It is Monday. Did you have a good weekend? Ready for this week’s blog?

Things have been crazy with me lately. My day job has been going through a lot of change and transition.  It has been taking a lot of my time and energy away from getting other things done at home. I know the hard work I’m putting in there now, will lead to things being better in the future and will eventually lead to more time for writing and book promotion.

I normally don’t mention much about my day job on my blog because try to keep it separate from my writing side of life. But, there are times when the full time job does impact how much time I have to work on my craft. I am only one person trying to make both of these important things and others happen in my life. Why do I bring this up? Trying to balance the demands of the job and working on my passion, writing and promoting my newly published book, is challenging. My job has made pursuing my writing possible, so I will do what is needed to do things well there. With all of the energy it is taking right now, though, it is kind of bumming me out. I’m so excited to work on my writing and promoting, but I’m not having as much time and energy to put towards it.

I’m not the only one who struggles with this issue. Many writers work full time jobs to follow their passion to write. Writing and book promotion take time. You don’t become a best selling author overnight. I have faith it will all happen, I just need to do what I can to keep things moving forward so I can feel that I’m making progress on the writing side of my life too.

So, if you are trying to do this writing thing with a full time job, my advice is to be patient and keep working at it. Having your plate full of other activities will make the writing journey a little more challenging, but worth it when you are actually holding a copy of the published book in your hands. And it does feel good to see copies of your book being sold on Amazon. Even if the numbers are small, right now.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book. Hey, it is an opportunity for me to plug my book! I had to take it!

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

Monday and May Day!

Happy Monday! It also happens to be May 1st so it is officially May Day today.

After a busy week with my day job, I was able to do a pre-publishing look over of my paperback version of The Hard Way on Saturday. Glad I took my time to take one more look at all components. I was hoping to announce it was ready for purchase this weekend, but I need to make one more check with my cover designer to make sure the cover is ready to go. I’m anxious to get it out there, but I want it to be right. Will make the announcement once it is officially online.

The other thing on my mind about writing is how hard it is to balance with a full time or more than full time day job. Many of my friends and co-workers are having a hard time believing that I could get a book published with all of the activities I currently have on my plate. Family life, major changes at work, and trying to get my book out there. I say when it is important, you find the time to do it. It has been hard trying to make it all happen, but I can’t be too hard on myself. I believe it will happen when the time is right. And it will.

Here is the link to the ebook again. Go ahead and take a look if you haven’t done so already. I get excited every time I think about the fact it is actually online.

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The Hard Way E-Book

My next step is creating an active marketing program and exploring places to get my book out to. The audience for my book are readers that have parents and teachers making their reading decisions for them. I need to explore ways to find those groups and get them to look at The Hard Way. And once I find them, figure out some advertising methods that will be the most productive. If they are gained from networking, that would be the best. But, If I must pay for them, then I want to be able to get the biggest bang for my buck.

It is a good thing I am self publishing my book on my own deadline. I will make time in my already tight schedule to get it done, because I want to. With all of the demands on my time and energy, I will need to be patient and know it will get done. If not right away, in its due time.

Another day, another thought

Happy Monday!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! I took four days off from my day job last week. Our sons’ half-sister got married on Saturday and I wanted to have time available to take care of last minute things. We spent some great family time together throughout the weekend and at the wedding.

It is 9:11 PM on Sunday night at the end of such a great weekend. I am having a tough time putting my thoughts together for the Monday blog tomorrow. I know I could write about all of the things my family and I did together, with our friends, and family this weekend, but that is something I am cherishing in my heart. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

In a writing class a few years back, I learned a way to battle writer’s block and get those writing juices going, is to just describe what is currently going on around you, and write it down. Well, I’m going to try it tonight and see where it takes me. Here is goes.

I’m currently sitting out on our deck feeling a nice light breeze and listening to the sounds of the night. We have an evergreen tree whose branches slightly overhang one edge of our deck. I just heard the sound of a pine cone falling and bouncing twice. I wonder, how often does that happen? Probably quite a few, but how often am I present for it? Not very often.

Our dog, Maddie, is out here with me. She usually just loves to lay out here and watch people during the day, and just listen to the noises with me at night. She seems a little anxious to get back inside, though I’m not sure why. Our sliding glass door is open and I start listening to what is going on inside our house. I can hear the boys opening boxes and wrappers for their before bed snacks. She probably believes she should be a part of that activity. Or, it could be, she needs some attention from me.

An update on my paperback publishing. I fully intended on getting it done this weekend. I’m not the type to make excuses, I tend to work until all things are done, even if it means staying up late and getting the minimum sleep. Sometimes life gets in the way of getting my writing goals accomplished. We have a big deadline for our new software implementation at work, so I put some of my time away from the office aside to get data ready for import. It was also a big family quality time weekend with the wedding. I’m struggling with the fact this isn’t done yet, but I need to be ok with it. Life will get in the way sometimes for good reasons. I’m so glad the deadlines are mine with this project since I’m self publishing. It gave me the power to put family first.

Have you been on Amazon.com to take a look at the book? It is really cool for me to see the ebook up and for sale. I know quite a few people are waiting for the paperback version to be ready. I am sure they will be willing to wait a few extra days for it.

Here is the link!

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The Hard Way E-Book

The process of publishing my first book has been an adventure. It is also a lesson in things will happen when they are supposed to happen. In their due time.

The Hard Way is a Published Book

I have done it! I am a published author. It is a childhood dream realized.

The e-book is on Amazon.com. Here is the link

The Hard Way E-Book

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I now have an author page on Amazon.com and I’m in the process of creating an author profile on Goodreads. With access to create these new profiles, I have arrived in a whole new place than I was in last week. In the world of books, I’m seen as a new member of the club.

The paperback version of The Hard Way will be released this week. I was planning to publish both versions at the same time, but there is only so much time in a day. So, while trying to work the day job, be on call for that job and accomplish a lifelong dream all at the same time, I was feeling stretched thin and something in my plan had to give. So, I decided to focus on getting the e-Book published and launched by April 15th. 

The e-Book actually published on April 12th. I got it ready and hit the publish button in Amazon’s self publishing program, Kindle Direct Publishing. They said it can take up to 72 hours to have it published and go live on Amazon. It would up only taking a few hours. Not saying it will work that way for everyone, but it did for me.

After the paperback is officially published this week, I’ll be exploring marketing avenues for it. Being a self published author, the leg work for the process falls on me. Like many other parts of the journey, it will be new to me for this book, but, the next two should be easier with the leg work done for this one.

A friend of mine reminded me that the things we work the hardest for mean the most. I look back at the time and challenges involved in publishing this book and I would have to agree. I will publish more books, but this one will be the most memorable.

This summer will bring with it another editing project, book two of The Way Series, The Bully’s Way. It will follow in a similar path as The Hard Way did, but it will be a journey on a path already travelled learning from the experience of publishing my first one. I’m excited to see where the story will take my characters going forward.

Thanks for following me on this journey. Your support has helped me to achieve this goal.