Iâ€™m very grateful to John Bucholtz for filling in for me last month. I hope you enjoyed reading his post.
Itâ€™s been a little while since I last updated you on my project. Iâ€™m a little tired, so Iâ€™ll try and make this a short post.
In July, I attended my first RWA National Conference and had an amazingly, insightful learning experience. Not only did I learn quite a bit, that Iâ€™ve started to implement. I also met some really nice people, like the two Tracys. At one of the breakfasts, I walked in and sat at the first table I saw and was greeted by a table of fun ladies. Two of which were named â€œTracy.â€ That was a great ice breaker. We spent the rest of breakfast with some rather racy conversation. No one really prepared me for the conference. It reminded me of one of my trade shows. For the record, when I attend trade shows for my business, Iâ€™m going non-stop for approximately eight to nine hours at the venue. Then I go back to my hotel to review another couple of hours over dinner and then sleep. Thatâ€™s the routine when there isnâ€™t an evening event. When I attend shows, I pack snacks and water and wear comfortable shoes.
Iâ€™ve been to writers conferences before, but not like RWA National. My feet got tired. I got hungryâ€¦thank God for protein bars, fruit, and veggies drinks.
I learned so much that Iâ€™m still processing. Of the endless list of things I learned, I really enjoyed the workshops on marketing and the business of writing. Hereâ€™s a short list of the things I learned at conference and have put into practice:
Soliciting readers for my street team
A formal newsletter
My first newsletter giveaway
Increasing my mailing list. [Iâ€™m extremely proud of this one. At the writing of this post, my mailing list is now at 2300 plus.]
Added the KOBO Promotion button to my dashboard and participating in my first KOBO promo event
Started a writers support and encouragement group with a couple of friends
Iâ€™m doing Facebook Ads for new releases instead of blog tours
Going wideâ€¦as of this post, I have only one book in KDP Select. The others are available everywhere.
So far, the changes have made a difference. Iâ€™m starting to see sales in all the outlets, and Iâ€™m having fun trying new marketing tactics.
Itâ€™s hard to believe itâ€™s September and I just released my eighth title in this challenge last week, MISS MATCH.
First, let me back up to July. I had a different book scheduled for July, however, prepping for the RWA conference and decompressing afterward, made me rethink my July release. I was feeling a little rushed and felt a repeat of my January release rush and pressure on the horizon.
While I was at the conference, I made a decision. I had seen Beth Yarnallâ€™s Romance Sampler and thought it was a great idea. I emailed her and asked if she was fine with me copying her. She said yes, and I went to work on my â€œSamplerâ€ for release in July.
TEASE, my perma-free romance sampler. It was easy to put together. When I returned from the conference, I went to work creating my little sampler. This marketing tool and title seven took a few days to assemble. The majority of that time was spent researching covers. Originally, I selected a woman but learned at conference that covers with shirtless, muscular men were a big attention grabber. I found a new image and went to work creating a little perma-free book.
TEASE, is filled with excerpts from most of my books, plus sneak peeks into future releases. Itâ€™s doing well and has been in the top 100 of one of my categories for a few weeks.
To some people, this may seem like I got lazy or cheated in my challenge, but remember, itâ€™s 12 TITLES.
So my September Release is a novella. It started out as a stand alone, but when I got to the end, I realized the story wasnâ€™t done, so I wrote a cliffhanger. So far, itâ€™s been received well. Iâ€™m excited about the follow up which will be out next year. MISS MATCH Summary: Charlotte “Charlie” Griggs is a skilled matchmaker. Her client list reads like the pages of the most prestigious business publications. However, when it comes to her own love life, she needs help.
Her new client Noah Lancaster has presented her with a unique situation, finding a wife for his younger brother Joshua. Joshua’s been nursing a broken heart since the sudden death of his wife a few years ago and has become a work-a-holic. Now he’s finally ready to give love another try and agrees to Noah’s idea of using a professional matchmaker. However, Joshua may not be the only one to get matched. What happens when the matchmaker inadvertently gets matched while matching someone else?
Now Iâ€™m work prepping Septemberâ€™s Release. Unless something happens, that title is book two in The Alex Chronicles series, WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW.
This continues the story of Alex Miller and her best girlfriends. I think readers will be surprised at some of the things that happen in this story. I signed up for Book In a Year and forgot, I had completely re-written this book. When I finished the re-write, I eliminated thirty thousand words. Thatâ€™s not an exaggeration. This book is completely different from what the first beta readers read. This re-write made me eligible for BIAY.
That brings us to the fourth quarter which is a little up in the air. All three books are near completion. Octoberâ€™s release is about three thousand words away from the end. Novemberâ€™s release is a toss up between two titles. Both are approximately fifty percent completed. And Decemberâ€™s release is missing about forty thousand words from an HEA. Thatâ€™s my brief post. Enjoy Labor day and happy writing.