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Unexpected Launch by @readtracyreed

October 5, 2017 by in category Pink Pad tagged as , , ,

Unexpected Launch | Tracy Reed | A Slice of OrangeUnexpected….there are a lot of things that happen in life that are “unexpected.”  My latest release, UNEXPECTED LOVE, was completely unexpected.  I’ve talked about this book in a previous post  [UNEXPECTED NOVEL, JULY 2017].

Since then, I did a cover change and set out to try a new launch plan.  First step in my new launch plan, setting up an ARGroup [HOW I SET UP MY FIRST ARGROUP, SEPTEMBER 2017].  I didn’t realize how valuable an ARGroup could be.

On October 3rd, I released my 17th title.  Let me step back and do a happy dance and a HUGE PRAISE GOD!  Okay, now on to my post.  I have been taking the Mark Dawson courses on Self-Publishing and one of the sessions described a new release launch sequence.  I figured I’d try it.  I’ve release a few books and thought I was doing a decent job, however, I didn’t realize I could have done better.

A little more than thirty days ago, I asked my mailing list for ARGroup members.  I got a few volunteers, which I am very grateful for.

According to Mark’s Launch Sequence, 30 days out, I needed to send my book to my ARGroup.  I missed that by a couple of weeks because of a few tweaks.  Once I sent the email out, I made it very clear what I wanted.  Mark said he found it a little difficult to ask for reviews.  Me too.  It almost felt like I was begging, but there’s a scripture that says, “…you have not, because you ask not…James 4:2”  This was very true.  It never really occurred to me to ask for reviews without some sort of compensation [i.e., giveaway, treat, etc.].  As I wrote the email detailing what I needed, I really did feel uneasy, but that was because it was foreign to me.

In the past when I released a book, I never did it with ANY reviews.  Nor did I release at a special price.  My previous launch plan was, a cover reveal about a week before release day.  Then an email to my mailing list, post it on all my social media, book a couple of ads, possibly a guest post and a lot of prayer.

Here’s how I made Mark’s plan work for me.

Day -30

Send manuscript to ARGroup  via Book Funnel.

Cover Reveal Email to Mailing List [see revised cover.]

Day -30 to -7

Make any changes based on comments. [There were a few things changed.  I had two characters with the same name.  One was a first name and the other was a second name.]

Day -7

Final proof read

Book launch promotion [I decided to wait until I had reviews before placing ads.  I did post to my social media. Elena Dillion helped me design some graphics I could use on my social media and eventually as Facebook Ads. See below.]

Email mailing list with an excerpt

Tease about a launch contest  [I opted to do a Goodreads Giveaway which I set up to run during the hard launch phase.  Three signed copies.  In the past, I’ve had pretty good results with the giveaways.]

 

Day -1

Upload to all relevant platforms [I’ve opted to go wide, so my book is on

Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Apple iBooks

Send and email to list announcing new release…build a little drama with one of my graphics.

Day 1

“Soft Launch”

Email Advance Group that book is live and ask for reviews [This has been very exciting.  During my soft launch phase, my ARGroup is responding very well.  As of this posting, my team has posted 6 reviews, 5 Amazon US and 1 Amazon CA.  I have never released a book with reviews.  This was the most difficult part, because I really wanted to by a couple of ads.  But now that I have a few reviews, I’m in a better position for promotional ads.]

Ask for 99c sales – State why the sales would be helpful

Day 2 

[This is where I am as of writing this.  In one of my Amazon categories with my ARGroup’s reviews, I started the day in the 120s in one of my categories. YEAH!]

Keep track on sales and traction. or once you’ve reached your review goal.  If it’s great, switch price to regular price.

“Hard Launch” [My plan is to start my AMS Ads at this point.  I’ve been doing very well with AMS Ads.  I like the results.  AMS Ads are a little tricky.  I’m currently running three.  One is costing me money.  However, it’s getting me sales I don’t think I would have gotten otherwise.  The other two are making money.  I’m curious to see how this new ad will work.]  

Email your list the book is live

Day 7

“Mop Up” email to people who haven’t opened the first email.  Thank them for the great launch.

Day 14

“Second Mop Up” Email

If you’re moving the price  up, let them know in this email [I’m moving my price up earlier in the process.]

Close Launch contest [this signifies the end of a launch]

I’ll let you know how this worked for me.  See you next month.  Happy Fall.

Tracy


Author: Tracy Reed

A California native, novelist Tracy Reed pushes the boundaries of her Christian foundation with her sometimes racy and often fiery tales.

After years of living in the Big Apple, this self proclaimed New Yorker draws from the city’s imagination, intrigue, and inspiration to cultivate characters and plot lines who breathe life to the words on every page.

Tracy’s passion for beautiful fashion and beautiful men direct her vivid creative power towards not only novels, but short stories, poetry, and podcasts. With something for every attention span.

Tracy Reed’s ability to capture an audience is unmatched. Her body of work has been described as a host of stimulating adventures and invigorating expression.

http://www.readtracyreed.com/ 

https://www.facebook.com/readtracyreed 

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tracy-reed

https://www.instagram.com/readtracyreed/ 

https://twitter.com/readtracyreed

https://www.pinterest.com/readtracyreed/ 

UNEXPECTED LOVE

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED LOVE
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How I Set Up My First ARGroup

September 5, 2017 by in category Pink Pad tagged as , ,

Tracy Reed | A Slice of Orange

I am finally doing something I should have done a while ago…set up an Advance Reader Group.

I made a poor first attempt at this about a year ago.  I say poor, because only one person responded.  I’m not sure why the response was so poor, but it was.

This time, I’m attacking ARGroup recruitment a lot differently. Instead of a small mention in my newsletter, I did a mass mailing to my entire mailing list.  I reviewed ARGroup requests from other authors and came up with one that worked for my brand. [See below]

______________________________

Wanna Join My AR Group?

Advance Reader Group Request

Do you love my books and want more?

You can join my advance team and read them FREE. ARC reviewers play a huge role in the success of an author’s books and I hope you’ll be part of that success by joining the team.

What is an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) and why is it so important to authors?

Prior to publication, select readers will receive an early copy of my work — Advance Reading Copy (ARC) — before it is available for mass distribution. These ARCs are sent out for free in exchange for an honest review of the book.

Publishers and authors know that reviews are the best way to spread the word about a book. After all, you tend to trust the opinions of fellow book lovers.

When reviews are posted to Amazon in the first week of a book’s release, it’s an amazing thing for an author. It’ s like finding that perfect pair of black pumps.

What does it mean to join my Advance Review Group?

It means you get to read my books for FREE before I release them to the world.

Group Rules:

  • •Honesty before ratings.
  • •Read the books by the deadline. You are not signing up for free books that you’ll eventually read.
  • •Members who fail to post in a timely fashion will forfeit their access to the group.
  • •Members must email links to their reviews to maintain their access to the group.
  • •Members…please follow me on social media.
  • •You must know how to open .mobi, .epub, or .pdf files.
  • •You must join my mailing list.

Sounds good.  How do I join?

There’s just two steps to join my Advance Reader Team.

1. To qualify, if you haven’t already done so, you must read one of my books and post the review on Amazon.com and Goodreads. (I can’t give out unlimited ARCs, so I need to know I can count on you to give thoughtful, honest reviews).

2. Send me a message [tracyreedwriter@icloud.com] to let me know you want to join my Advance Review Team and include the links to your reviews on Amazon.com (Do this by clicking on your name under the star rating of your review. This will take you to all your Amazon reviews. Click on the review of my book and send me that specific link). I’ll follow up with you from there.

Here’s a little incentive. If you respond by August 31st, you can read my upcoming release “Unexpected Love” before everyone else.

Hope to hear from you,

Tracy

______________________________

I sent this email out twice.  I’d like to say everyone signed up, but they didn’t.  Instead, 33 people unsubscribed from my list.  I got twenty recruits to my ARGroup.  YEAH!  I’m so excited.  Another great thing that happened, reviews.  I picked up a few reviews.  Another reason to cheer.

Once I received the initial sign ups, I sent out a Thank you email.  I wanted my readers to know  how much I appreciate them and their participation. [See below]  As you can see,  I gave them an option to bow out.

______________________________

Welcome To My ARGroup

I’m so excited to have you on this ride with me. Thank you for posting your reviews. I really appreciate your honesty. Which leads me to a little review about the group rules.

Group Rules:

  • •Honesty before ratings.
  • •Read the books by the deadline. You are not signing up for free books that you’ll eventually read.
  • •Members who fail to post in a timely fashion will forfeit their access to the group.
  • •Members must email links to their reviews to maintain their access to the group.
  • •Members…please follow me on social media.
  • •You must know how to open .mobi, .epub, or .pdf files.
  • •You must join my mailing list.
  • •Do not share Advance Copies.

Please confirm your acceptance to the group with an email to: tracyreedwriter@icloud.com. This step is just in case you’ve changed your mind about joining the group and don’t want to participate. If I don’t get a confirmation email, I’ll assume you’ve changed your mind about joining the group.

Tracy

______________________________

See you next month.

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Replay…MY CHARACTERS NEED TO BREAKUP…BUT HOW?

August 5, 2017 by in category Pink Pad tagged as , , , , , ,

Tracy Reed | A Slice of Orange   I apologize for the repost.  I recently returned from vacation and I’m still playing catch up.  However this repost, fits in with my vacation.  I was in Paris for 12 days…3 days for  business and the balance was vacation.

I love Paris…I thought I would say that.

Anyway, Paris has been a secondary character in some of my books.  The series this blog post is about, THE GOOD GIRL Part Deux, spent some time in Paris.  On my most recent trip, I tried walking around the city and seeing it in the eyes of my heroine Gabriella.  I took some time to make mental notes for the third book in the series.  I had hoped to have the book written so when I went I could verify things or make changes.  That didn’t happen because I was busy finishing a different book.

My family and I had the pleasure of having French High Tea at the Paris Ritz.  French High Tea is completely different from English High Tea.  Gotta say, I like the French way better.  Back to my story.  We arrived early and were given a mini tour then left to explore the hotel on our own.  We stopped in a jewelry store and of course I tried on some things.  But the staff reminded me of some things I’d forgotten.  One, Coco Chanel died at the Paris Ritz.  I’m a fashion girl so that resonated with me, big time.  Plus we were just a few streets away from the original Chanel Store and Coco’s home.  I was in fashion girl heaven.  Second, the Ritz is where Princess Diana and Dodi Fayeed were right before they…

I told the staff I was a writer and I was doing a little research for an upcoming book.  They was very helpful and offered to give me advice on jewelry and share some of the amazing love stories that had taken place at the hotel.  That got me thinking about a new direction for the next installment of THE GOOD GIRL.

All that to say, this is why I chose to replay this post.  I’m mentally getting prepared to start THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois.

Have a great summer and see you next month.

 

MY CHARACTERS NEED TO BREAKUP…BUT HOW?

I have come to a crossroads with a set of characters and I can’t believe the angst I’m feeling or maybe it’s heart-break?

me explain.This past summer, I had the privilege of being in my first box set. YEAH! My contribution to the Fling box set was The Good Girl novella. I wrote this book knowing there would be more to the story. However, I didn’t expect to become as attached to the characters as I am. That fondness is supposed to be reserved for my characters in The Alex Chronicles. After all, we’ve been together for years—that’s not an exaggeration. [Read my previous posts for details on that series. And for the record, The Alex Chronicles is still my baby.]

Gabriella and Phillippe, my heroine and protagonist from The Good Girl, are infants compared to Alexandra [Alex] and Moses, the stars of The Alex Chronicles series. Alex and Moses and I have been through a lot. That’s not an exaggeration. I wrote three books, well four if you count the prequel that can testify to the longevity of our relationship.When it came time to cause havoc between Alex and Moses, I had no problem doing it—yes, I cried inside when he—okay, I can’t tell you anymore because it might spoil it for you. But it was a difficult breakup. However, the possibility of Gabriella and Phillippe breaking up, is causing me great consternation and I don’t know why.

The difference in this proposed breakup might have something to do with the fact that I don’t know what will happen next. I guess that’s what happens when you’re a pantser. Maybe if I was a plotter, I’d feel different. In that respect, I’m like my readers, excited about the surprise outcome, sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. Wondering if a HEA will exist for these two. If or when you read part two, a HEA seems inevitable. I think a breakup would be a shock to some readers and a given to others. Either way. I need a major shake up, otherwise the series will become a two hit wonder.

To prepare myself for the inevitable, I’ve started a new playlist complete with sad love songs. I’ve got some wine and popcorn, even reading books with devastating, heartbroken heroines, to get me in the right frame of mind. So far, I just can’t bring myself to break Gabriella and Phillippe up. I could write the breakup, but what if they don’t find their way back to each other. Yes, it would open the door to another book or would it? Another strike against being a pantser—know it all characters. It’s all Gabriella and Phillippe’s fault. Why can’t they be like Alex and Moses. Those two made it perfectly clear how their relationship was going to play out from the moment they met.

I’ve trusted Gabriella and Phillippe through two books. I have to admit, I was surprised at the story they told in Part Two. Trust is the key word here. I have to trust my ability to tell a story that will engage my readers, yet not be boring or predictable. Talk about a challenge. Like Carrie Underwood said, “Jesus take the wheel.”

In my quest to over think, I came up with a few reasons why they would breakup.
Have Phillippe realize he really can’t deal with a non sexual relationship. Which makes him look like the typical self-absorbed Alpha Billionaire in training with a slight French accent.

Then there’s the shocker that she doesn’t want to get married and she just considers this a great first love. Sounds good, but makes her look like a gold-digging whore, I mean tramp.

Or, I could go with the classic, she loses her virginity to him, gets pregnant and he doesn’t want to have anything to do with her or the baby. This would paint her as a naive single mother, with an uncertain future and a whole lot of anger.

Last but not least, a dreaded family secret preventing him from continuing the relationship. Problem with that one is it makes him look a little weak and that goes against the image I’ve created of him.

I would love to see a HEA, but these characters may not. Unlike Alex and Moses, I broke them up a couple of times. Oh crap! I wasn’t supposed to tell you that, but I didn’t tell you how their story plays out. I’ll just say this, I have a playlist loaded with sad love songs.

I also don’t think this angst would be such a big deal if the book hadn’t been as successful as it has. I’ll rephrase that. I hoped it would do well, but this is a surprise blessing. Yes, I called my book that’s packed with a few steamy innuendos and a blessing.

About a month before the free promotion, while it was still at regular price, it got to #167 without any promotion. When I did my first KDP Five Free Days, it made it all the way to #2 in one of my categories on Amazon. I stopped trying to figure out why it’s being received so well. And to be honest, I don’t care. I’m just grateful and thankful to God that it is doing well. This little book, is a great gateway to my other books.

Back to my problem, how to deal with my broken heart. Sunday or maybe it was late Saturday night. Anyway, I really started feeling a sense of loss towards this book. Sunday I picked up The Good Girl Part Two and started on the revisions and the more I read, the clearer it became that I needed to do something drastic. I kicked around ideas, all of which caused me more grief than relief. It was well around one in the morning when I gave up fighting, prayed and went to sleep.

Later, when I woke up, during my prayer time, I got a revelation for a possible plot idea. I’m not going to share it, in case those two bossy characters decide they want to go in another direction. I will say this, it will be emotionally painful to write, however, I think it’s going to lead to the perfect next step.

Funny thing, long before the dread of the breakup popped up, another scene began to bounce around my head, and it’s good. At least I think it is. Only problem, once I write it, I think that’s when the real heart-break will come, because it will be the end of Gabriella and Phillippe’s story as I see it. As writers you know a series never really ends, it just gives birth to a another baby.

So I have a few questions for you. How do you handle the breakup of your characters? Do you find it difficult to breakup your characters perfect relationship? Is the road to HEA easy or painful for you?

Tracy Reed
http://readtracyreed.com/

THE GOOD GIRL

THE GOOD GIRL

$5.99eBook: 99¢
Author:
Series: The Good Girl Series, Book 1
Genre: Romance
Tag: Edgy Christian Fiction
Gabriella Townsend is by all definition a "Good Girl." Her life is about to change. More info →
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Apple iTunes
Buy from Indie Bound
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UNEXPECTED NOVEL

July 5, 2017 by in category Pink Pad tagged as , , , ,

Tracy Reed | A Slice of OrangeHappy Summer and post Independence Day.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

Let’s talk about unexpected stories.

I apologize if I’ve already told the story about my upcoming release, “UNEXPECTED LOVE.”  My relationship with this story goes back several years.  When I first decided to become an Indie Writer, I had quite a few stories dancing around in my mind.  I had this idea for a series about a woman and the many men in her life.  More like all the men she’d married.

When I set out to start writing the series, the task seemed a little daunting.  I don’t know about anyone else, I easily get attached to my characters.  But if I don’t feel a connection, it’s difficult for me to tell their story.

When I got the idea for this story, I imagined it as a five book series.  I had all the husbands mapped out.  However, when I started writing, it felt very forced.  I was so overwhelmed trying to tell this woman’s story.  I abandoned the series and thought I would tell it as a stand alone.  Summarizing each of the husbands and focusing on the one she really loved.

I picked up the pages I’d started, made a few changes and set out to write.  I liked where this story was going, but as I got more involved with the characters, the story started to change.  It was no longer a story about a bitter divorcee, but a liberated divorcee who finds love in an unexpected source, her ex-husband’s ex-best friend, who just happens to be her divorce attorney.  That’s either a mouthful or a blurb.

The more involved I got with Fiona’s story, the more I liked her.  But I also felt sorry for her.  She’s a sweetheart, searching for her voice.  In a nutshell, she married her college crush who later deceived her. Once she made up her mind to divorce him, she found her voice.  I love her transition, although it’s not without it’s ups and downs.  One of which is the change in her relationship with her attorney and her self-esteem.

Last year when I set out to write twelve titles in a year, I had this title on the schedule as a short story.  However, I didn’t think there was enough story for a book.  So I resolved myself to make it a short story. I cleaned up the first chapter and started writing.  But when I started writing, the story took a turn.  It was no longer about Fiona and her husband, but Fiona and her attorney.

I continued writing thinking I could tell the story in novella length.  As I got closer to what would be considered maximum novella length, the characters kept talking.  No matter how hard I fought to end the story, they kept talking, so I kept writing.  I really enjoyed the direction the story was going.  Then I wrote myself into a hole.  Crap!  I didn’t see a way out, so I introduced another character thinking she would help me.  Instead, she led me to a wall and the only way around the wall was another character.  Hold on, it gets better.  When I introduced this character, he brought his own storyline in addition to tearing down the wall.

So here I was with a full-length novel.  But here’s the kicker.  When I introduced Fiona’s brother [aka “the wall”], into the mix, the story took another turn and led me to a place I never would have imagined being, “Cliffhanger Boulevard.”

Yep, my five book series originally titled, “My Five Husbands” was changed to a stand alone novel.  Then it got a title switch to “UNEXPECTED LOVE.”   Then it became a short story, that grew into a novella that reverted back to a full-length stand alone, which is now book one in a new series.  Talk about unexpected.

So what’s the lesson learned?  Never throw out an idea.  Instead, put it aside and when the time is right, revisit it.  You might be surprised what story you can tell.

See you next month.

Here’s a cover peek.

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