Tag: 12 Titles in 12 months

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February 5, 2017 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , ,

Have you ever been too tired to think or create? That’s how I feel right now, but unfortunately, I can’t relax. Or rather, I tried to take a little time off from writing and creating, but my mind refuses to cooperate.

After the full writing year, I had last year, I figured I’d take some time off from writing and become more of a reader. For the past few years, I’ve been doing the GoodReads Reading Challenge. Last year, I read forty-five books, ten were my own. Not a lot for most romance readers, but for me, it was a lot, and I struggled to get those read because of my production schedule. This year I pledged to read forty-eight and decrease the number of titles I created. Unfortunately, the joke is on me. Instead of relaxing my creative muscle, I’ve been writing. What’s even more bizarre is I don’t know how to turn off my writing muscle or even if I want to.

Like most writers I use or follow a Production Schedule. Last year it was easy to follow or stay motivated with my schedule because I set a challenging goal, 12 Titles in 12 Months. This year, I knew I wasn’t going to set such a lofty goal for myself, so I was able to breathe a little.

When I sat down to do my Production Schedule for this year, I looked at the titles that didn’t make the grade last year. Although I published 12 titles last year, I had actually started and brought close to completion four additional titles. Technically, last year I wrote approximately a half million words. For some that may not seem like a lot, but for someone like me that hasn’t been writing that long, that’s a lot.

Those titles that don’t have 2016 as their birth year have become the stars of my 2017 production schedule. Now the question is, when will they be born? I’m not quite sure. So far, I have one of the titles completed, a non-fiction lifestyle book. I’m very excited and passionate about this title because it deals with a subject that is dear to me…being a fabulous Christian single.

Originally, I wanted this book out in January because that’s when most people are searching for help on how to change their lives. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the book until the end of January after rewriting the last chapter three times and adding an additional chapter. Now I’m waiting to proof it before I send it to my editor.

The other book I’m struggling to finish was originally supposed to be my December 2016 release. What started out as a five book series became a short story which has been reborn again as a novel. In its resurrection, it’s also undergone a name change and protagonist change. And one of the biggest changes about this book is voice.

I started writing this book in third person, but as the protagonist developed, I felt the need to tell his side in first person. So now, the story is being told by both the heroine and protagonist in first person. When I made that simple change…who am I kidding, that was by no means a simple task. Changing the voice meant I had to go back and rewrite and add some chapters after being thirty-thousand plus words into the story. I’m very curious to know how this story ends.

So here I am with a production schedule that’s taunting me because I’ve already missed my first release date. I want to move forward with the stories. However, I’m creatively tired. If you’ve ever experienced that, post or email me [tracyreedwriter@icloud.com] how you worked through it.

As for the other two titles, one is approximately thirty thousand words away from completion. The other story so far is charting the opposite path of the one I’m currently working on. It started out as a short story, but after writing the first three thousand words, I fell in love with the character and see he has more depth than a short or even a novella. His story will definitely be a full-length book, and if he talks to me correctly, he’ll become a series.

Let’s see how my unborn stories turn out.

Happy writing and creating….

Tracy Reed


Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

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November 5, 2016 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , ,

She sighed deeply as she wrote the title of her blog post.

I thought it would be fun to start off with a little writer humor. It’s been a long writing year for me, so I’ll try and keep it short.

This is the eleven month of my 12 TITLES IN 12 MONTHS challenge. If you’ve been following me, you know I started the year with this idea that I would write and publish a title a month for a year. Mainly to see if I could do it. Which I could. I say could because technically, I completed the challenge last month.

However, I feel a little dishonest in claiming a booklet I wrote for my other business as part of the challenge. Yes, I wrote it, and true I didn’t say all the titles had to be fiction, but for me, I want to stay true to the genre.

So here’s this months update.

I barely got last month’s title out, which had me a lot nervous. When I received my comments from my beta readers, I noticed some things I wanted to tweak and did another round of edits and sent the file to my editor. However, my computer decided it was full or a little tired. For whatever reason, every time I went in to accept or reject on of the edits, it would take approximately 6 seconds. I know this because I timed it. I contacted Apple, and the prognosis was, “You need more ram.” What the crap! I was about a week from my deadline. But before my call to Apple, I tried a little self-medicating and did a software update, which took up a lot of time that I didn’t have.

I was very nervous, and as a result, I failed to launch the title as I wanted. I did get the file loaded before the end of the month, put up a Facebook ad, sent out an email to my mailing list and a couple of blog posts. I’m disappointed I didn’t get to do any other ads, but I heard Joanna Penn say, “It’s s marathon, not a sprint and don’t worry about a huge launch.” I like that because that will give me more time to acquire some reviews and hopefully book some ads in time for the holiday buying season.

Book Number 11 in its original form, was the second book I’d written. However, the finished book barely resembles the original book. I kept the original copy and have to admit, that book was in no way ready to be share with anyone. I’m surprised the beta readers didn’t laugh at me. After a lot of revisions, a new cover, and a second round of beta reading, I had a book I liked. More importantly, I had a book I felt comfortable sharing.

Funny thing, when I changed book one, the characters and story lines became a little more sophisticated. Therefore, the original cover didn’t work, neither did the second book. Nor the third which I’m not going to look at until sometime next year. Chalk all of this up as a costly lesson learned as a new indie author.

Thank God for the email loop. Elena Dillion put up a post about a subscription special at DepositPhotos.com. I jumped on it, and I found the image for WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW. I found the image for WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW at Masterfile. Ironically, it was also available at DepositPhotos.com, but I’d purchased that image several months prior to getting my Deposit Photos subscription.

Note the cover changes. What a difference a few revisions and growth can make.

Original Covers

Final Covers

And what about that booklet for my lingerie business? Here’s the cover. I find interesting that the two smallest books I wrote this year were also two of the most challenging. I completed my lingerie book at the beginning of the year but had to do a major re-write at the urging of some business associates. I value their input because it made me write a better book.

And the book that technically claims the 12th Title Prize is my November release is A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN. This book started as a novella featuring characters that were mentioned in WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW. While I was at RWA National, I learned about “guest stars,” characters from a book you spin off into their own story. When I heard that, it stuck with me. I went back to my room buzzing about who I could “spin off.” I decided to spin Avery and Jeremiah into their own novella…I thought.

I was going for a short novella, approximately 20,000 words, but the story kept going and ended up being 45,000+ words. The story also gave me an idea for a series. I really like where this series is going. But like The Alex Chronicles covers, I did a slight cover modification. I like the sepia tone, but the other morning, the cover started to not feel right. I spent the day, literally, looking for and making up a new cover. Only to come back to the original cover with a little tweaking. I like it a lot better.

Original Cover                     Final Cover

That only leaves one title, the official #12. I’ll let you in on a secret. I don’t know what it is, but I will before the end of December.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Tracy Reed

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

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September 5, 2016 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , ,

I’m very grateful to John Bucholtz for filling in for me last month. I hope you enjoyed reading his post.

It’s been a little while since I last updated you on my project. I’m a little tired, so I’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 I’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 “Tracy.” 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, I’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. That’s the routine when there isn’t an evening event. When I attend shows, I pack snacks and water and wear comfortable shoes. 
I’ve been to writers conferences before, but not like RWA National. My feet got tired. I got hungry…thank God for protein bars, fruit, and veggies drinks. 
I learned so much that I’m still processing. Of the endless list of things I learned, I really enjoyed the workshops on marketing and the business of writing. Here’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. [I’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
  • I’m doing Facebook Ads for new releases instead of blog tours
  • Going wide…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. I’m starting to see sales in all the outlets, and I’m having fun trying new marketing tactics.


It’s hard to believe it’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 Yarnall’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 “Sampler” 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. It’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, it’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 wasn’t done, so I wrote a cliffhanger. So far, it’s been received well. I’m excited about the follow up which will be out next year.

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 I’m work prepping September’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. That’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. October’s release is about three thousand words away from the end. November’s release is a toss up between two titles. Both are approximately fifty percent completed. And December’s release is missing about forty thousand words from an HEA.
That’s my brief post. Enjoy Labor day and happy writing.

Tracy Reed

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

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Building A Mailing List

July 5, 2016 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , , , ,

Happy Summer to everyone. I hope you had an amazing Fourth of July.

Before I get into my post, I want to give a brief update on my 12 TITLE IN 12 MONTHS Project. Last week I soft launched my June title, THE FLING.
Here’s the summary:
Selena Crawford and Reuben Porche [por-shay] are lonely work-a-holics in need of a vacation. When both are forced into taking a vacation, they get a little more than the luxury Anguilla resort offered on the website.

This is a story that came about while I was trying to figure out what to write. When I started my project, I had a few of the titles written…the two Alex books, Love Notes, and The Good Girl Part Deux. There are two books I am probably going to use for the fourth quarter that were previously written. Otherwise, the rest of the titles are new. I’m excited. Praise God, because I am on track to completing my project. Once the project is complete, I’ll do a project summary post

Onto my post. There’s another project I’ve been working on this year…increasing my mailing list.

Like quite a few new authors, I didn’t have a mailing list when I started. Let me backtrack. I have another business with a mailing list. However, I didn’t want to use that for my writing career. It was important to me to keep both entities separate. That decision meant I had to build my mailing list from scratch.

When it comes to building a mailing list, I’m sure I’m not alone in how I got my first subscribers…my family and friends. I’m very grateful for those early subscribers, however, I needed and wanted more subscribers. I set a goal of getting my list to 1000 subscribers by the end of this year. [As of this post, I’m at 780…YAY!]

One very important fact I keep in mind is that I have only been writing a few years and only published 18 months. It’s very easy to get caught up in the numbers. I’ve heard writers spouting out the size of their mailing lists and finding myself a little embarrassed at my small list. But I can’t let those numbers intimidate me because I’m still growing my base. Another reason for my 12 Titles project.

I came up with that project because I wanted to add to my inventory. I also thought the additional inventory would insight people to subscribe to my mailing list. If I had known earlier that I wanted to self-publish and how important a mailing list is, I would have concentrated on building my mailing list in conjunction with writing my first book. No use in crying over non-subscribers.

Now that I realize I need subscribers, I’m on a mission to hit my goal by the end of the year, if not sooner. So what’s my plan? Or what have I done so far to get subscribers?

FREE BOOKS. That’s not a typo. We’ve all heard this before. You need to give something away to lure readers in and turn them into subscribers. I have to admit; I didn’t think this would work until I tried it. I’ve heard several writers say they have a title that’s Perma Free. The thought of giving away something I worked hard to create, didn’t appeal to me. Especially when I only had one published book. I looked at it as cutting off a possible revenue stream. But that couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

I may have mentioned this before. When I began editing THE ALEX CHRONICLES: WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW, I deleted the first six chapters. I felt it was too much tell, not enough show. However, I thought there was some good stuff there. I was talking to Kitty Bucholtz about wanting to get something else out there before my next book, and she asked me if I had any discarded chapters I could turn into a novella. I instantly remembered those deleted chapters.

I tweaked them, got a cover and voila! I had a Perma-free book. I was ready to try this Freebie thing. I fondly refer to my freebie as “The Prequel”. I have to be honest, I wasn’t too sure how this was going to work, but I was willing to give it a shot. I sent the freebie to my mailing list as well as posted it on my blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter. I also made it available wide…on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Draft2Digital.

As of writing this post, I have given away over 5000 copies of my prequel since it came out in October 2015. When I made peace with the idea of giving this title away, I never thought I’d give that many copies away. To be honest, I really haven’t given the book much thought. The reason for the laissez-faire attitude is because it’s a loss leader so to speak. I did discover that in some countries, it’s not possible to get the book for free on Amazon, so I’ve had a couple of paid downloads.

I’d like to say that all five thousand downloads became subscribers, but that’s not so.

SUBSCRIBER CAMPAIGNS. Since I put the Prequel out in October 2015, I’ve added 739 subscribers. Of course, you have to take the good with the bad. Since I began cultivating this list, I’ve had 52 unsubscribe. I tell myself not to freak out when someone unsubscribes, and then I ask God to replace those with people who really want to read my stories.

So far this year, I’ve participated in a few Subscriber Campaigns that have paid off very well. The Romance Readers Spring Fling and a couple of Instafreebie giveaways. These events are responsible for almost 700 subscribers. Again, I wasn’t a huge fan of the freebie, but it’s paid off. I should have kept better records as to how these free downloads affected my other books, but I didn’t. I do know there was sales activity around the same time as the free downloads. I recommend the freebie as a great way to add subscribers. So much so, that I am working on another freebie for later in the year. I have to admit; I got the idea from Beth Yarnell. It’s a sampler. I’m excited to see how this will affect my subscriber list.

FACEBOOK ADS. This is an area I am really excited about. Kitty told me about Mark Dawson’s Facebook Ads course. If you haven’t downloaded his free videos, do so immediately. And if you can take his course, jump on it. I used the three videos to set up my first Facebook Ad. I’ll preface this by saying, it ran it the same time I participated in an Instafreebie campaign.

I ran the ad for five days, at $5.00 per day. It was clicked on by 709 people and 46 subscribed to my mailing list. YAY! Not bad for a first timer. This got me to thinking. I’ve done blog tours in the past, and I have nothing but love for the blog tour companies. However, I never got any subscribers and saw very little sales action. I resolved myself that the blog tour was just to get my name out there. But after I watched Mark Dawson’s videos and did a five-day test run, I think I’ll channel the blog tour money into Facebook ads.

I spent approximately $150 on each blog tour, and that included two raffle gifts. One to a blogger host and the other to a reader following the tour. The tours lasted about four weeks each, not including weekends, and it doesn’t reach nearly as many people as the Facebook ad. When I set up my Facebook ad, it had a pool of over 300,000. I hope I read the report correctly. Either way, that’s a better response than I got from the blog tour. And that was just over a five day period. Imagine what it would have been had I did it for a month. [I’ve only done blog tours with my full-size novels.]

This month I’ll be trying the Facebook Ad again, but a little differently. I’ll let you know what I did and what the results are.

So what have I learned about building a mailing list? It’s not as difficult as I thought. I’m so excited about the things I’ve learned and the results so far in building my writer mailing list, that I’m going to try it with my lingerie business. I’ve created a little how-to guide as a freebie. I hear you now saying, “What do I need to know about lingerie that would fill a book?” You’d be surprised at what you don’t know. I know I was. Anyway, I’m very curious to see the results of my experiment.

Have a great Summer.

Tracy Reed


Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

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June 5, 2016 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , ,

I was searching for a subject to post about this month and sort of drew a blank. In my last post, I gave you an update of my 12 Titles in 12 Months project. I no longer refer to it a challenge, because it’s a fun project.

In the past five months of this project, I’ve learned I can make deadlines and stick to them a lot better than in the past. I’ll be honest, there were a couple of times I didn’t think I was going to make my deadline.

Here’s my process and why using Vellum is good for me. When I complete a book, I do a read through and then pass it on to my number one Critic, my mom. Once she’s done, I make the corrections and then forward the book to my Beta Readers. When they’re done, I review their comments and make the necessary corrections. Then forward the book to my Editor. Depending on how long the book is, it could take her a couple of weeks to edit it. Then I review her edits, do another review and prep the file for the formatter. Depending on how long my book it, this step can take me a while.

Once I’ve done my reviews, it’s on to the formatter. Again, depending on the length and her schedule, this can take as much as five days. Then I review the file and if there are typos or glitches, I carefully log them and send the file back to her. There have been times I’ve over thought things, or missed something as simple as a line I forgot to move up. That simple error means I have to send the file back to the formatter. She’s really good about turning around the file for something so small quickly. All of these steps eats away at my time.

Now that I’ve added VELLUM.PUB to my team, I’ve also bought myself some time and breathing room. I don’t feel as pressured. I think some of the typos or glitches were a result of trying to make those deadlines and scared to have to go back and make changes. I am in love with this software.

As an indie or self-pub author, I’m always looking for ways to save time and money. I was introduced to Vellum.pub, by my friend Kitty Bucholtz. When I took it for a test drive, I couldn’t believe how easy it was. In less than an hour, I had a fully formatted book. That hour includes set up and launching to the various outlets. It happened so quickly, that I thought I had missed or forgotten something.

After playing with it a week, I finally released my first Vellum.pub formatted book. My new release, INTENTIONAL CURSE. Once I reviewed the Kindle file, I was very impressed. It looked just like what my formatter was doing for me. Now, this doesn’t mean I won’t every use a formatter again, it just means I have another option.

My formatter is amazing and very patient with me. However, because I use a MAC and she uses a PC, there would be slight challenges when it came to fixing typos or glitches on my part. I always felt bad having to go back and tie up her time for small typos [a letter or period in the wrong place.] For ease, I would give her a detailed list of typos and their location so she could find them quickly.

My formatter is cool about making the corrections and turning the file around quickly. I don’t know about anyone else, but even now when I go back and read some of my earlier releases, I’ve stumbled across an errant typo. I have a couple of books I found typos in that I have to send back to her for changes.

However, with Vellum.pub, there’s no charge to go back and make a change or correct a typo.

Another added advantage to using Vellum.pub, I’m able to add fancy chapter headings, first paragraph design, section breaks and one of my favorites, images. In INTENTIONAL CURSE, I included the covers of the books I excerpted. Vellum.pub, also allows you to add purchase links for each format or outlet you use.

So far, there’s nothing about this software I don’t like. It’s easy and painless to use. With my formatter, I get one free set of corrections and I’m charged for any additional corrections. The cost is also amazing and is based on title, not word count or outlets. One title, is $29.99, Ten titles, $99.99 and unlimited is $199.99. To be on the safe side, I bought the ten titles to start.

I also, found their response to customer service emails to be fairy quick. One of my concerns or questions, was if I liked it could I upgrade. I was told that I could. Another plus. [I will be going back and upgrading to the unlimited plan.]

This tool is perfect for me, because I like knowing I can go back at anytime and make changes without an additional cost. It also gives me an extra week in prep time. In the past, I would book my editor at least a month before sending the file to the formatter. And book the formatter, about two to three weeks before release day. Once the formatter completed my files, I took a week to ten days, to review the file and make any corrections. Then if it was clean, I set it up for release. Now, I’m able to breathe a little before formatting. I don’t feel as stressed as in the past.

I formatted my recent release, the night before and then I reviewed it the following morning. This delay was because I was sleepy, otherwise, I may have released it immediately. For the record, instant release is an option now, because if needed, I can go back, make the necessary changes and get the revised file up immediately.

If you haven’t tried VELLUM.pub, I recommend you give it a try.

12 TITLES IN 12 MONTHS…update

Okay, so I didn’t think I was going to do an update on my project. Last month I didn’t include a cover tease for the August release, because I wasn’t sure about the cover. Up until a couple of days ago, I was going to change the cover. But something amazing happened, I finished the title. YEAH!!! And when I played around with the cover, the proposed new cover one, became the cover for part two in the series.

I was a little nervous about this title because it seemed like I had gotten stuck. When I started writing this, I new it was going to be either a novelette, less than 20,000 words. But around 14,000 words, while I was praying one morning, I got a revelation that I should switch from first person to third person POV. I wrestled with this for a couple of days. Finally, last Thursday, while sitting in the salon, I started re-writing my book. By late Friday night, I had re-written the 14,000 words. In fact, by the time, I finished re-working the original pages, I ended up with an additional 1,000 words and renewed excitement about the story.

I’m so excited because, a week later, I finished the novella. And when I did, it left the door open for a novella series and a new set of characters for me to love. YEAH!!!

I’ll check in with you next month.

Tracy Reed
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