Archives

Home > Archives

March Check-In

March 5, 2022 by in category Writing

Happy March. I’ll keep this brief because I know everyone is focused on the turmoil that’s going on in the world right now. As a writer you are probably feeling a little guilty about writing romance. But we must remember, it’s our job to make people smile. I challenge you to write something that will make people smile and forget the crazy in the world and give readers an escape.

I’m coming off release month for The Good Girl Part Four. It didn’t pan out like I planned, but I’m pleased with the results. I didn’t meet my sales goal, but I exceeded my monthly sales goal by 3.7%. I missed out on money because this book and the next book in the series weren’t part of the price increase. I set these preorders up a while back and I didn’t feel good about raising the price when there were people who purchased at the lower price. This decision cost me money, but I know I’ll get the lost money back.

The Good Girl Part One and Girlfriends & Secrets were gifted some free advertising which pushed sales and preorders. I also did an author newsletter promo which generated sales and preorders. These ads put eyes on both series. I also ran a BookBub New Release For Less Ad. I hoped high for the day the ad ran, but fell a little short that day. But the ad had tails. Honestly, I think the tails are still growing. I love this BookBub new release tool and hope to use it with every release.

However, I over-estimated my writing schedule for my next release, the Good Girl Part Five. I thought I’d be finished with it by now, but I’m not. I’m pushing to complete the rough draft by March 19th. I’m hoping to end the series with book five, but it feels like there might be one more book. It also feels like the series might spin off.

As of this post, I’ve made some progress, but not as much as I would have liked for the month. I also added a couple of goals: release 3 books and increase BookBub US followers.

Here’s my updated goals list:
Get my letters
Triple my income
Triple my mailing list
Master Facebook ads – I made a change last month to how much I spend and it’s paying off. Last month, I scaled back to one ad and it’s paid off. This one ad for a first in series free has led to sales of the books in two of my other series. I’m going to ride this strategy for a little while before scaling up.
Update covers – 13 covers in total to update. 8 completed.
Learn how to write a sellable blurb
Use Ingram Spark
Direct distribution
Increase BookBub US Followers to 1000 – 1000 US are needed to qualify for a new release promotion alert
Increase my prices
Release 3 Books – One down, two to go.

How are you doing with your goals so far?

See you next month.

Tracy

Some Books by Tracy Reed

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/ 

A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

Buy now!
A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

DESPERATE DESIRE

Buy now!
DESPERATE DESIRE

FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

Buy now!
FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

GENERATIONAL CURSE

Buy now!
GENERATIONAL CURSE

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

Buy now!
GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS
GOD’S BOMBSHELL: LIVING A BEAUTIFUL SINGLE LIFE

INTENTIONAL CURSE

Buy now!
INTENTIONAL CURSE

LOVE NOTES

Buy now!
LOVE NOTES

MISS MATCH

Buy now!
MISS MATCH

THE FIX UP

Buy now!
THE FIX UP

THE FLING

Buy now!
THE FLING

THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR

THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

Buy now!
THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

UNEXPECTED LOVE

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED LOVE

WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

Buy now!
WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

Buy now!
WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

0 0 Read more

Goals Check-In

February 5, 2022 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed, Writing tagged as , , ,

Happy February. Happy Love Month. Happy Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day.

Let’s get to it. Last month I made a bold post and shared some of my goals with you. I did this because I felt the accountability would help me achieve them.

Here are my goals:
Get my letters
Triple my income
Triple my mailing list
Master Facebook ads
Update covers
Learn how to write a sellable blurb
Use Ingram Spark
Direct distribution
Increase my prices

As of this post, I’ve completed one goal…Increase my prices. I was a little nervous about raising my prices because I didn’t think readers would be receptive to the increase on the smaller books. So far, there hasn’t been any negative feedback. Raising my prices also helps with tripling my income.

My strategy for tripling my income, is Facebook ads. Last year, I took Skye Warren’s Facebook Ads Intensive and did well. I still haven’t reached the sales goal I desire, but that will come in time. 2020 wasn’t a good sales year for me. I can’t blame the poor sales on the pandemic because I didn’t release anything new. Nor did I push my back list.

Last year, I released one book prior to doing the Ads Intensive. I really wish I’d known about the Intensive sooner, because I think the first half of the year would have turned out differently. I ended last year by multiplying my income by 4.8 times.

Fast forward to 2022 and a price increase across the board…I made all of my ebooks $4.99. This bold move helped to boost my income by 39% as of this post. Meaning I already made February 2021s income. Grant it, I had a release on February 2nd with the majority of the preorders paid out on that day.

In addition to Facebook Ads, I’m also doing BookBub ads. I turned off my AMS ad because they weren’t working. I heard Amazon doesn’t like racy covers, which could explain why the ads performed so poorly. However, the FB ads, have been consistently making the daily spend back…plus or minus two dollars. So far, I’m ahead and considering increasing my ad spend. I have a BookBub New Release For Less ad scheduled for February 8th. The tails will determine when I increase my FB ad spend.

To summarize, increasing my prices and running facebook ads are pushing me towards my goal of tripling my income.

Update my covers. I don’t have as many to update as I thought. I have seven covers I need to update and two are almost complete. I also have four I’m on the fence about. This project is time consuming because it’s not just the cover, but the chapter headers as well. Thank God for Vellum because it makes creating print copies easy.

I need to add one additional goal. Offer all books in large print. I have one live already, The Good Girl Part One. If you haven’t done large print, I recommend doing so.

The other goal I forgot to list was my new release goals. I went super bold and set up preorders for three books this year. Setting up Amazon preorders was a way to make sure I fulfilled this goal. I don’t want to end up in preorder jail, so I have to keep this goal. I am so grateful Amazon offers an extension without penalty which I am taking advantage of.

One goal down, ten to go. How are you doing with your goals?

0 0 Read more

New Year…New Goals

January 5, 2022 by in category Writing

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  

I have a very important question for you.  Are you ready to make this year your best writing year?  I hope you answered, yes.  If so, then I challenge you to take this year long journey with me.

I spent a good portion of last year getting schooled in self-publishing.  I have been a self-published author since December 2014, but there are some things I didn’t know.  Like some authors, I have yet to reach all of my writing goals.  Today, I’m going out on a limb announcing this is the year I work on making some those goals a reality.  I know it sounds like a resolution, but it isn’t.  It’s a statement of faith and a declaration that I’m ready to take my writing to the next level.

So what are the self-publishing goals I’m going to attack this year? 

Get my letters (make a list)I know it really doesn’t matter to readers if their favorite author is a bestseller, but it means a lot to the author.  At least it does to me.  In the past, I didn’t care if I ever made a list or had the title of Best Selling Author.  Over the course of time I realized, I did.  It’s not an ego thing, it’s a validation thing.  I know I’m not Nora Roberts, Terry McMillian, E L James or Sylvia Day, but it sure would be nice to be known as a best seller like them.

Triple my income…This is a big one.  I’m not sharing numbers yet.  We’ll see how this year long challenge ends before discussing numbers.  All I’ll say on the matter is if I fulfill this goal, it will be the first time I’ve earned that much money.  Last year I did two major conferences, gained a lot of knowledge and some tools on how to push my sales and exposure up a few levels.  This is the year I put all of those tools to work.  

Triple my mailing listThis is almost as daunting as tripling my income.  I have a decent mailing list of 3200+.  However, I want to push that number up.  A larger list will allow me or make me more attractive for swaps with other writers.  I was surprised how many authors are open to swaps, but size matters and I can understand.  You don’t want your swaps to be one sided.  Swaps will allow me to increase my list.  It will also allow give me some clout when seeking out anthologies to join.  Bringing more readers to the table makes me an asset and not a liability. 

Master Facebook ads…I did Skye Warren’s Facebook ads class last year and saw significant growth in my sales.  I’m doing it again this year and expect the results to be even better.  Here’s what I learned about Facebook ads…the system is constantly changing so you always need a refresher.  I did Mark Dawson’s class, which was good.  However, Skye’s class was a lot easier to understand.  Within the first month I saw results.  I was surprised how much could  be achieved with five dollars a day.  This year, I’m going to kick it up a few dollars and see what happens.  FYI, this will also help with me tripling my income goal.

Update Covers…This is one of those areas I think is constantly changing.  I am about to embark on the third iteration of covers for my series A Southern Gentleman.  Why you ask?  Because I didn’t know manchest equaled or implied sex.  I thought you used a shirtless guy to sell a book.  I didn’t realize it implied a certain heat level.  Book one in the series is sex free.  Book two is a completely different story.  

I learned a little about covers which has caused me to review all of my books and see if the covers match the heat content.  Unfortunately there are a few that need to be changed.  The other reason for the cover change is, Facebook.  They don’t like manchest…it’s too hot.  I hear you saying, “how is that possible when manchest covers are constantly popping up in my Facebook feed.”  Simple answer…the bot.  The Facebook bot randomly picks and chooses covers it likes.  Unfortunately for me, the bot doesn’t like my manchest cover making it impossible to use in ads.  I found a work around, but I don’t want to have to use it constantly.  The real solution is new covers.  To prove their dislike for my cover, they shut my account down for a moment.  Lesson learned.  So now I’m working on new covers with a clothed man.  The other thing I learned about covers in my genres (African American Contemporary and Billionaire Romance) is a woman only cover doesn’t sell as well as a man only or a couple cover.

Learn how to write a sellable blurb…What is it about authors and blurbs?  We can write a hundred thousand word book, but can’t sum it up in three short lines.  I’m not going to stress about this. I was introduced to a service that could help me.  But first I really need to figure this out.  

Use Ingram Spark…I did a little experiment last year.  I ordered a set of proofs from Ingram Spark and a set from KDP.  I loved the proofs from Ingram.  Everything I heard about Ingram was true, the quality was far superior.  I loved the books.  As much as I want to use Ingram exclusively, I can’t.  KDP doesn’t really like to share, so here’s my work around.  Set up ebook, print, large print and hardcover at KDP and likewise at Ingram.  This move with will allow   expanded distribution.  More outlets…more money.  Another step towards that increased income goal.  Another added pro to use Ingram, the proofs don’t have that ugly proof strip on the cover like KDP. 

Direct Distribution…I’m a wide author, but I use a third party for Nook and some international outlets.  I just found out doing this, has kept me from participating in Nook promotions.  Going direct will allow me to participate in some NOOK promos.  More promotions equals more exposure…more sales…increased income.

Increase my prices…I was at a conference a few months ago and this came up.  I was a little hesitant about doing this, because some of my books are less than ten thousand words.  So in a bold move…except for a couple of preorders, I made all of my books the same price $4.99.  Amazon still hasn’t updated all of the prices, but I’ve seen sales at the other outlets with the new prices.  This move taught me to get out of my way.

I have a few more goals, but these are the ones I’m going to focus on this year.  What about you?  What are your author goals for the year?

1 0 Read more

Why Self-Publishing by Tracy Reed

December 5, 2021 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , ,

Why Self-Publishing | Tracy Reed | A Slice of Orange

 

 

Tracy is busy today. While she’s away, she thought you might like to read a post from our archives. Why Self-Publishing was originally published on Jan 16, 2015. 

 

Why Did You Chose To Self-Publish?

 

This is the first question most Self-Published Authors are asked. However, what’s really going through the mind of the person asking is, “So you couldn’t get an agent or your work wasn’t up to snuff.” That’s so not true.

I’ve learned a lot on the road to becoming a self-published writer. First, I had an agent. A well-respected agent in the world of Christian Fiction. Let me preface this by saying, she knew my writing style. She’d read the first five chapters of my book. Actually, it was a different book. [That’s a story for another time.] She got my book to ‘Board.’ Two years later and I’m still waiting to hear if that publisher wants to move forward with my book. I think it’s safe to say, they passed on it.

I need to back up. I write what is classed as Edgy Christian Fiction. What is that you ask? ECF [Edgy Christian Fiction], is fiction with Christian themes. What makes it ‘Edgy’ is that it includes elements not common in traditional Inspirational or Christian fiction. In my books, that means the kisses are a little more passionate, there’s sex between the married couples, language with a little bite, lots of physical descriptions voiced by the characters, wine, talk about abortion, divorce, fornication, lust, not liking your in-laws and anything else that goes on in everyday life. The men are hot, the women are loaded with curves and both are quick to render their appreciation of the opposite sex.

As a Christian, I wanted to read stories about women who weren’t ashamed or embarrassed to express their feelings, with strong personalities and business owners. Let’s be real, when you’re sitting down with your girlfriends talking, you’re not talking in prose. No, you’re very descriptive in your comments on how amazing Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Johnny Depp or Daniel Craig looked in their last movie. So why not write stories from that POV.

Generational Curse | Tracy Reed | A Slice of OrangeI feel it’s a little difficult to convey to the reader the heroine’s attraction is to the hero by not being descriptive in this manner. Traditional Inspiration Fiction, the heroine’s feelings might be described with something like, ‘His thick black hair was beautiful blowing in the wind, brought a smile to her face.’ That’s nice, but in my world, it would have a little more umph, like, ‘She wondered how his thick black hair would feel brushing against her chin as he placed hot kisses along her neck.’ Or maybe, ‘When he kissed the back of her neck, she lost the ability to stand.” Statements like this aren’t necessarily acceptable CBA approved.

In my GENERATIONAL CURSE, I wanted to tell a story about a man who never turned down a drink or a woman. But when he hit rock bottom, he went cold turkey and fell in love with God. His priorities changed and he refused to let anyone or anything destroy that relationship. The heroine, is the complete opposite. She hasn’t had a relationship with God since she was a child. And even then it was more forced. Now as an adult, the only part of marriage she wants, is a married lover. She has no desire to be with a single available man. In her mind, a married man is less complicated. But she is intrigued by the hero and he her.

In order to tell the story, I had to take the reader on a journey with the heroine. I had to show how complicated and empty her life was by detailing her relationship with her married lover. I’m sure the story could have been told without the sex, but I don’t think it would have had the same impact. I don’t want to give too much away, but in the end it all makes sense.

So Why Did I Choose To Self-Publish? I wanted to tell the stories I wanted to read. I met an agent at a conference and she gave me two options: tell the story with the sex and no God or tell the story with God and no sex.

I wrestled with that statement for quite a while. But, I felt God had given me a great platform and I refused to back down. Also, I wanted covers and titles that were a little racy, another thing not really permitted in Inspirational or Christian Fiction.

So here I am, a newbie writer taking a chance writing stories with a little heat and taboo subjects. I know my style of book isn’t for everyone and that’s fine. For those willing to read something a little different, I think they’ll enjoy it.

Funny thing, a few weeks after I published my book, I got a LinkedIn request from my former agent. I’m still deciding if I should accept it.

That’s why I chose to self-pub.

Tracy Reed


Books by Tracy Reed

A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

Buy now!
A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

DESPERATE DESIRE

Buy now!
DESPERATE DESIRE

FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

Buy now!
FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

GENERATIONAL CURSE

Buy now!
GENERATIONAL CURSE

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

Buy now!
GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS
GOD’S BOMBSHELL: LIVING A BEAUTIFUL SINGLE LIFE

INTENTIONAL CURSE

Buy now!
INTENTIONAL CURSE

LOVE NOTES

Buy now!
LOVE NOTES

MISS MATCH

Buy now!
MISS MATCH

THE FIX UP

Buy now!
THE FIX UP

THE FLING

Buy now!
THE FLING

THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR

THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

Buy now!
THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

UNEXPECTED LOVE

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED LOVE

WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

Buy now!
WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

Buy now!
WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW
1 0 Read more

THE HARDEST THING I’VE HAD TO DO THIS YEAR

November 5, 2021 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed

Happy November…Happy Thanksgiving.

The past two years have been challenging for everyone.  I talked about this before, but I missed my writing goal for this year. But last month I was faced with the reality that I wasn’t going to meet my deadline and release date.  Let me clarify.  I could have put the book out,  The Good Girl Part Four, but I would have been shooting myself in the foot because it would have been rushed.

Part of my release process is do a simple read through when my editor returns the manuscript to me.  Then I wrestle with some of her edits.  I step away a couple of days, then return to the story and review the edits.  It’s usually during this process that more words are written and I do another mini edit.  This process can take a couple of weeks.  Then, if I can I’ll send out ARCs.  To do this step right, I need to factor in another month at the least.  Confession…I haven’t done ARCs on my last two books.  Reason, I was rushed and didn’t want to disappoint my readers by missing the release date I promised.  As it is, I’d already broken my promise not to end it with a cliffhanger.  I forgot, I’m an Indie Author and I control my production schedule.

Now I was faced with breaking a few promises.  Missing the release date.  I have pushed the release date back several times and finally settling for a more realistic date of January 18, 2022.  The other promise I broke which my readers don’t know yet is Part Four in The Good Girl Series ends on a cliffhanger.  

It was never my intention to do that, but the book was getting way too big.  When I split the book in half, the first half was at 62,000+.  The book I sent to my editor was 74,000+ words.  After tweaking and pre-editing, I had added an additional 12,000+ words.  This lets me know that if I had kept the story as one book, it would have been HUGE.  I felt that would have been too large for a romance.

The other reasons I pushed my release date back was personal.  My mother had double eye surgery and she needed my help.  Then I had an allergy attack which had me on a lot of meds.  (If you’re on my mailing list then you read the email and know what happened.)  My family and health come first.  For these reasons, I had to do the hardest thing I have had to do this year, announce the pushed back release date of a book I promised would be out this year and that wouldn’t have a cliffhanger.

What made me feel better about sending that email was that I had received one from a best selling romance author explaining why she pushed her release date back.  As writers we have to remember our health and family are the priorities.  Self-care is one of the new buzz words, but it’s also a necessity if we want to continue doing what we love.

I really wrestled with sending out such a personal email, but I felt it was necessary to explain why I had pushed the release date back.  When I sent the email I was prepared to refund any pre-orders for the book.  Thank God, only one person cancelled their pre-order and I’m fine with that.  I believe God will restore that one sale with many more.  I was surprised to receive emails from readers sending their prayers and blessings to  me and my family and fully understanding why I pushed the release date back. 

So where does that leave my book now?  My editor has it and the cancelled pre-order was restored.  It was only on pre-order at Apple Books and D2D, but now it’s also at Amazon and Kobo.  And as soon as I figure out Google Play I’ll load it there as well as Eden books.  FYI, I just received my first Eden Books pay out.  Adding more books to the site is on my To Do List.  

I’m also going to be bold and put Part Five in the series up for pre-order as well.  I’m doing a little experiment.  I’ve never had a pre-order for more than a month at Amazon.  I’ve read posts where writers said they really benefited financially and rank wise with a longer pre-order.  We’ll see what happens. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and stay safe.  See you next month.


A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

Buy now!
A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

DESPERATE DESIRE

Buy now!
DESPERATE DESIRE

FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

Buy now!
FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

GENERATIONAL CURSE

Buy now!
GENERATIONAL CURSE

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

Buy now!
GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS
GOD’S BOMBSHELL: LIVING A BEAUTIFUL SINGLE LIFE

INTENTIONAL CURSE

Buy now!
INTENTIONAL CURSE

LOVE NOTES

Buy now!
LOVE NOTES

MISS MATCH

Buy now!
MISS MATCH

THE FIX UP

Buy now!
THE FIX UP

THE FLING

Buy now!
THE FLING

THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR

THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

Buy now!
THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

Buy now!
THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

UNEXPECTED LOVE

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED LOVE

WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

Buy now!
WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

Buy now!
WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

>