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12 Titles in 12 Months [Part Two]

April 5, 2016 by in category Pink Pad tagged as , with 0 and 0
Home > Columns > Pink Pad > 12 Titles in 12 Months [Part Two]

First of all, Happy Birthday to me.

It’s time for an update into my fun challenge, 12 TITLES IN 12 MONTHS. I think now that I am entering the second quarter of this challenge, people don’t think I’m insane or nuts after all.

I have to admit, I’ve had a few moments when I thought I had bitten off more than I could handle. Those thoughts were really looming a couple of weeks ago when I hit a little road block. Seems my mind went blank. I couldn’t come up with a good idea. I pulled out a few first chapters I had for some possible stories and even old drafts from completed books. I figured I had a few thousand words lying around that didn’t make the cut for the book.

[Writer Tip: Never discard good chapters that don’t work. Just because they don’t work with that book, doesn’t mean they are good. (Thanks Kitty Bucholtz for the ides.) Keep them and use them, re-work them and use as a short story, novelette or novella. Make them perma free. This way you’ll always have a freebie you can use to gain readers. That’s what I did with the discarded chapters from “What My Friends Don’t Know.” Those six chapters became a free prequel.]

I went to work on those drafts, but nothing worked. I thought if I re-read them, they would get my juices flowing. Nothing. Then I got a revelation. I had rewritten book two in The Alex series and remembered there was this great part I omitted because it was too long. I went digging through my old drafts and found it, but it didn’t work as a stand alone story, not like the chapters from book one. However, when I read them, they gave birth to an idea. Around the same time, I had this great two lines replaying in my mind, but when I tried to turn them into a story, nothing clicked. Let me take that back. I wrote about eight hundred words and trashed them. It was too difficult and felt forced. But when I took those two lines and mixed them with my other idea, it clicked. YES! I had my story.

When I started this challenge, I had it in my mind to do three full-length novels, one poetry book, about six novellas, a boxset and one short story. I had been asked to contribute a short story to a boxset, but I had to back out. If things had worked out, that would have been my one short story. Now I was short a title.

I revisited my production schedule and without thinking added another novella. I think at that moment my writer conscious went into shock. I did little research on story lengths. Let me clarify something. I like seeing my work in print. I knew from having done a few things with Createspace, there’s a page minimum for a print project. So I discovered that if I got creative with my formatting, I could have a nice little print book. Voila! I went back to my production schedule and changed some of those novellas to short stories. But a really cool thing happened, as I started writing, they words flowed and my cute little short stories turned into novelettes. YEAH! So now, my production schedule doesn’t look as daunting. It’s a nice mix of novelettes, novellas and full-length novels. So far, I haven’t written a short story per se, but I still have three titles that have yet to be born.

A cool thing about this challenge is that I get to experiment with genres. I have always wanted to try writing a RomCom [Romantic Comedy] or something with a little snarky humor. I got a little nervous about my RomCom, when I had my mother read it and a few pages in she said, “I don’t get it.” I was offended, because I thought it was funny. I immediately took it as criticism instead of what it really was, the truth. So I went back to the drawing board and rewrote the beginning. I have to admit I like it better. Is it funny? I think it is, but only time and readers with verify that fact. Hey, worse case scenario, it’s not funny and I learn from my mistake. Best case scenario, it turns out to be funny and possibly the beginning of a new series. I hope it’s well received because I have an idea about what happened next.
Here’s a sneak at the second quarter releases:

Title: INTENTIONAL CURSE
Length: Novella
Status: Completed
Release Date: April or May
I haven’t decided if I’m going to release this one in April or May. This novella is in response to requests from readers wanting know what happened to Kyla’s lover Eric. Instead of telling the story of what happened to him, I thought it would be more interesting to tell you how he met his wife and his mistress.
Sales Outlets: eBook – KDP Select *
Print – Amazon, Createspace, B&N and my website
Marketing Campaign: Posting on my blog and social media outlets [Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest], blast to my mailing list, GoodReads Giveaway and a possibly a Cover Release Blast tour. And miscellaneous blogs.

Title: THE FIX UP
Length: Novelette
Status: Completed
Release Date: April or May
I haven’t decided if I’m going to release this one in April or May. This little story happened during my writing block. It’s also my first attempt at a RomCom [Romantic Comedy]. I like the characters and hope this does well, because I see a second and possibly third tome with this group…especially the Nana character.
Sales Outlets: eBook – KDP Select *
Print – Amazon, Createspace, B&N and my website
Marketing Campaign: Posting on my blog and social media outlets [Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest], blast to my mailing list, GoodReads Giveaway and a possibly a Cover Release Blast tour. And miscellaneous blogs.

Title: THE FLING
Length: Novelette
Status: Almost Complete
Release Date: June or July I haven’t decided if I’m going to release this one in June or July. Because the second book in The Alex Series has a wedding and June is a big wedding season. It might be best to market based around that season. This story is the result of two ideas. The deleted pages from The Alex Chronicles Book Two and those two lines I mentioned earlier. I really should have titled it “The Rollercoaster.” This story is started out one way and then made a dip and then did a wrap around. Because I’m a Pantser, I not quite sure where it’s going to end. I hope it ends where I want it to. If it doesn’t, then I’ll take that ending and use it for another story. However, I’m not sure about the title.
Sales Outlets: eBook – KDP Select *
Print – Amazon, Createspace, B&N and my website
Marketing Campaign: Posting on my blog and social media outlets [Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest], blast to my mailing list, GoodReads Giveaway and a possibly a Cover Release Blast tour. And miscellaneous blogs.

On a side note, I love my covers. I’ve been taking a marketing course for my other business and keeping the word “Branding” at the forefront of my creative mind. Which can be both a blessing and a challenge. Because I want to be known as a writer of Steamy Christian Fiction, it means I have to always be cognizant of my brand or style. I want to push the envelope while not crossing the line. For me, that means every project I do has to fall in line with the look I’ve established.

I’m sure you noticed the asterisk [*] next to Sales Outlets. Let me explain. This is a huge undertaking. With that said, I didn’t plan the marketing, in detail. I planned the concept, but forgot to plan the marketing. Originally, I was going to make all of the titles available in every outlet. Problem with that is also what led me to do this, no one knew me and I have a small readership. When I started this, I had about 114 people on my reader list. So there really wasn’t a need to do a pre-order. Although I did offer pre-order with my January release. I got less than 10. Hey, it’s better than nothing. From that I learned, it was best to wait until I had a better readership before offering another pre-order.

But I did test out something I had been hearing. It’s sort of like that line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they’ll come.” [Writer Tip: If you write it, they’ll buy it…hopefully.] I had been reading on a lot blogs and podcasts that even if you do minimal marketing, and have a nice sized inventory, not only is it possible for you to make some sales, it could also produce sales with your other books. [The other reason or main reason I’m doing this challenge, I wanted to build up my inventory. More inventory equals more sales.]

Last week, I released The Good Girl Part Deux. I was in a hurry to get the book up by the end of the month and forgot to book an ad. However, I had just participated in the Romance Readers SPRING FLING Massive Ebook Giveaway. This event generated a lot of free downloads of my perma free book, The Alex Chronicles: Girlfriends & Secrets sending me to the #2 spot in one of my categories. It also produced a huge boost to my mailing list. So once The Good Girl Part Deux, was live, I sent an email to everyone on my mailing list thanking them for taking this writing journey with me. [Thanks for the email idea DeAnna Cameron]. Then I sent another email to my email list as well as a post to my blog list, offering them first dibs at The Good Girl Part Deux. Not only did those two things produced decent first day sales for GGPart Deux, it also produced sales for my other ebooks.

So for the duration of this project, I’ve elected to put all the titles in KDP Select. Towards the end of the year, I’ll figure out a more detailed marketing strategy for the following year. Unless of course, this one proves to be the best route for me.

As for how the writing is going? I am three titles away from having every month covered. Praise God!!! Every morning in my prayer time, I thank God for the words, because I really haven’t got a clue what those last three stories are going to be.

I’ll check in with you next month with my progress.

Tracy
Tracy Reed

www.readtracyreed.com

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

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