This has been a challenging last couple of weeks. I don’t know where the time went. I’m going to keep this short. First, I want to thank Jann Ryan for the nice interview a couple of days ago. The timing is perfect. Her post summed up what I wanted to write about.
When Jann approached me about the interview, I was working on The Good Girl Part Trois. I was a little behind and didn’t finish it until a little later. Once I finished, a major problem occurred… an unexpected additional book in the series.
News of another book should be a good thing, and it is. But when you don’t have a cover, it becomes a problem.
When I wrote The Good Girl Part One, I quickly found a cover image I liked. While looking for a cover for The Good Girl Part Deux, I came up with this idea to use the other half of her face for book two. When placed side by side, you saw her entire face. Then another book happened. But I had a problem. I was writing another book and didn’t have a cover.
I tried not to panic at the thought of not having a cover. I figured it would all work itself out, because book four wasn’t coming out until summer. I forgot Jann was going to need the cover for her post. Oh crap! I was on borrowed time. My immediate response was to wait until I released book four and change the covers for the first three books in the series. I figured I’d do a special promotion centered around the new covers. I had a plan. I didn’t say it was a good one, but it was a plan. I knew what I needed to do… redesign the series.
I found a new set of images and created a new set of covers. The new covers were nice, but I could never get the skin tone right. I submitted the new covers to one of my Facebook groups for feedback. I implemented the changes, but I couldn’t get the skin coloring right. These new covers were quickly becoming too much work. I reached out to a couple of my author friends, and they gave me some very good feedback. One even sent me a photo suggestion. I used it to troll depositphotos.com searching for similar images. Within a few hours, I had images I liked, which could easily be tweaked.
This may not sound like a big deal for most authors, but it is for me. I haven’t committed to custom images yet, so I try to find images I can tweak to look like African Americans or AA images that haven’t been overused.
The new covers for The Good Girl Series are very contemporary, which I love. They change the entire feel of the series. As much as I didn’t want to change the covers, I knew it was for the better.
What do you think?
Old Covers – These were the first updates from 2018
See you next month.
This is where the rubber meets the road. The Production Schedule can be a scary thing. It’s where you set your money plan for the up coming year. It’s one thing to say you’re going to do something insane like write a title a month. It’s another thing to actually do it. Oh man, I just had a flash back to 2016.
There’s a scripture that says to write the vision and make it plain, for in due time it will come to pass. It might feel like it’s slow, but it will happen. I did a little paraphrasing [Habbkkuk 2:2-3], but it’s true.
When we write things down, we give them life. When you put those words on an 11” x 17” piece of paper and post it on your office wall where you see it every day, it becomes your silent assistant, constantly reminding you of the tasks at hand.
I have been using a production schedule for a few years. The last two years, I sort of ignored it, which meant, I had subconsciously decided not to make that much money. Insert gasp and call me a bad writer. I know why I ignored the schedule on 2017, I was exhausted from 2016. But last year, I haven’t got a clue what happened nor a justifiable reason. I started the year with these grand plans of writing four books, possibly doing a couple of short stories and creating another boxset.
Last year saw me publish one fiction book and one non-fiction book. I did however, write another book which I held until after I attended RAM. I figured I’d use what I learned to release it. That was before I realized I needed to clean up a few things before I could release anything.
So here I am sixty-four days into a new year and I’ve yet to release a book. According to my production schedule, I should have released all of my new covers. There’s been a little hitch in my plan. This rebrand has taken a little longer than I thought. Rebranding is sort of like redecorating. You start out thinking a fresh coat of paint is all you need and then you realize the sofa looks horrible, even though you matched the paint against before you attacked the walls. So now it needs to be recovered. Now the carpet and drapes don’t work. Before you know it, you’re knocking down walls, ditching the carpet for hardwood floors, changing the light fixtures and buying a new sofa.
So when I changed the covers, I had to update the blurbs. When I started loading the covers to the website, they didn’t fit. The wall had to come down . . . a new website . . . a new logo . . . new color scheme. This December I will celebrate five years as a published author and so far, instead of doing special celebrations, I’m in the middle of a major remodel. Oh yeah, and I have a few books I need to write so I can make some money.
In January, Skye Warren published an explosive mini course on RWA which was a game changer for me. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. It was scary, but it was also very enlightening. It forced me to look at my writing career differently as if RAM hadn’t already got my juices flowing. I did the assignments and started a new production schedule. I saw things a little differently. I didn’t realize, I had as many titles sitting around waiting to be shared.
I had decided I was going to put four titles out this year, but it was looking a little bleak while rebranding. But I when I looked at my catalog, I discovered four boxsets. I could easily call it a done deal, but I look at these titles as four unexpected new revenue streams. I attacked my Production Schedule and now it wasn’t as scary. Instead I saw the potential to make money. I haven’t released anything yet, because I’ve been busy redecorating, but the new titles are on my website as coming soon. If I stay focused, before the end of the month, I’ll start releasing titles and sharing the new covers to all the selling platforms. The new website and newsletter design will be live as well.
So here’s a peak at my production schedule.
Release New Covers
New Newsletter Design
I’m going on vacation . . . this isn’t a title.
I know it looks a little insane and almost as nutty as my book a month project. Keep in mind, most of these things are written or down. This is more less a proposed release schedule. Once I complete the website, all I have to do is load the files to Vellum for the box sets. I’m cleaning up A Southern Gentleman Vol 2. The other three books on my schedule are in my head and waiting to be written. There’s something I want to try with those . . . I’ll let you know if my plan works.
I almost forgot, here’s another set of covers. If you’re counting, you’re correct, I have only shared six. I’m holding the seventh, A Southern Gentleman because it’s part of the launch for A Southern Gentleman Vol 2.
Have a great month and write a lot.
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