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JANAURY RECAP

January 5, 2023 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed, Writing tagged as , , , ,

Happy New Year…Bonne Année…

Let’s get right into it. It’s that time of year when people make a lot of empty promises to themselves in the form of resolutions. Then they berate themselves when they come up short around the three month mark. The other thing they do in January is recap.

I refuse to allow myself to feel guilty about not completing all of my goals. I take pleasure in the unexpected things that occurred.

So what did I set out to do last year?
Get my letters -Didn’t happen
Triple my income – Didn’t happen. In fact, I finished the year less than 2021
Triple my mailing list – Didn’t happen. I gained about a 600, taking my list to 4000. However, not all of them want to receive email.
Master Facebook Ads – This is one of those ongoing things because Facebook or Meta is always changing. I did learn that I need to upscale for better results.
Update covers – Still working on this one.
Learn how to write a sellable blurb – I’m going to take the easy way out and farm this out. I found a service I like. I’ll still work on getting better, but I’ve learned it’s okay to ask for help
Use Ingram Spark – I loaded one book.
Direct Distribution – Still loading books. Last month I set up my first ebook direct sale from website and Book Funnel.
Increase BookBub US followers to 1000 – I’m 400+ away from my magic number.
Increase my prices -Did this.
Release Three books – Did this. In fact, I also participated in two anthologies and started one of my books for 2023.

I came up short a few times, but I also did some things not on the list I’m proud of.
My first Google sale
My first Eden Books sale
Wrote my first rom con for an anthology for February
Increased the followers on my Facebook passion page.
(I’m shocked about this it’s at 2800+ followers in less than a year)
Wrote my biggest book, so far (107k words)
Started creating large print books
Hired a PA and she’s got me on a regular email schedule
Wrote 300k+ words
Completed NANO
I had one BookBub Featured Deal
(It landed me in the 100 free in the Amazon store. (This was huge.))

So what’s on tap for this year? Everything I didn’t do last year. SMILE. I’m serious. I put those things on my goal list because I had every intention of getting them done. I could easily blame my lack of goal completion on a lot of things, but I’m not. Although, having COVID and searching for a new editor are very legitimate reasons for a schedule interruption. Truth is, I could have put forth a little more effort, but I didn’t.

I’ve already started working on my list and it’s only the fifth day of the month. I really want to get my mailing list to 10k and my BookBub to 1000 US followers. To do so, I joined about five Book Funnel Newsletter promotions. So far, I’ve gained 110 followers. I’ve also joined a BookSweeps BookBub promotion for February. I tried one of these last year and gained a hundred plus new followers.

To sum up, 2022 may not have been the year I planned, but it was a very good year of firsts. There’s a scripture I like that says your latter days will be better. I’m counting on that to come true in 2023.

See you next month.

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From Heart to Page to Print: A Primer Guide to Book Publishing

February 18, 2022 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , , , , ,

From Heart to Page to Print: A Primer Guide to Book Publishing

Presented by: Savannah J. Frierson

Date: March 1 – 31, 2022 (one month)

Pricing: A2P Member fee: $15

Non-A2P Member fee: $30

 About the Workshop:

This publishing primer course will introduce processes of writing, paths to market, and prices (and costs) of publishing. Though this workshop is geared toward beginners, this can also be a great refresher course for seasoned authors, or for authors who are interested in hybrid publishing and what that can entail. The course will guide participants along the paths of publishing—from the beginning with a single idea to the end when the idea has become a book gone to market. We will discuss topics such as: how to get started with writing the book project; pre-market preparations and plans (i.e., editing, researching, publishing); and the investments involved with the publishing path chosen.

About the Presenter:

Savannah J. Frierson is a USA TODAY best-selling author, editor, proofreader, and publishing consultant with nearly 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. As an author, Savannah crafts full, happily-ever-afters for readers who believe transcendent romances are worth the wait. As a book publishing professional, Savannah has worked with Big Five publishers, independent publishers, and individual clients. She aims to make the publishing experience a little less overwhelming for clients regardless of where they are in their publishing journeys.

Click to Sign Up
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Business, Busyness and… Yay!

April 6, 2021 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston tagged as , , , , ,

Okay, writing books is my profession these days. My business. And I figure everyone reading this blog also enjoys books. That’s what A Slice of Orange is about.

I can always keep busy writing–yes, busyness. My mind keeps plotting away, even if it doesn’t need to. Ideas keep flashing into my brain and not letting go. Good thing my computer is usually nearby so I can at least start jotting down those ideas, and potentially flesh them out later.  And I’ll also bet that a lot of the people reading A Slice of Orange can really identify with that, too.

Over the time of the pandemic I haven’t had many books published–just one so far, in February 2020.  I’m used to more, but that’s okay. Things have changed a lot in many ways lately.

It’s especially okay since I will have two new books published later in 2021 and at least another two published in 2022! I always say I love to include dogs in my books, and I do that as much as I can, although sometimes I may think about dogs, and obey my own dogs while I’m writing, but not all of the books I’ve been writing lately can actually include dogs.

My upcoming books? Well, first will come Her Undercover Refuge, the first Harlequin Romantic Suspense book in my new Shelter of Secrets series–in August. And yes, it includes dogs.

Next will be Uncovering Colton’s Family Secret, the tenth in the Coltons of Grave Gulch series also for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, in October.

And then in February 2022, my next mystery, Bear Witness, an Alaska Untamed Mystery will be published by Crooked Lane… under a pseudonym. It does include a dog as well as Alaskan wildlife including–what else?–bears!

I’m working on another Colton book for HRS which will be published in 2022, and there may be more books as well… info to come.

So… Yay! Yes, I’ve used this blog post to talk a lot about myself and my work, and my business and busyness. It’s all about me–but not entirely. I hope it gives other writers inspiration to leap on ideas, and encourages them to stay busy as well. Assuming they’re not already, which they probably are.

And I certainly wouldn’t mind if any of you pick up one or more of my upcoming books when available, and read them.

By the way, I’m really thrilled that I’m A Slice of Orange’s featured author this month!


Some of Linda’s Many Books

BEAR WITNESS

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BEAR WITNESS

UNLUCKY CHARMS

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UNLUCKY CHARMS

TO CATCH A TREAT

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TO CATCH A TREAT

COVERT ALLIANCE

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COVERT ALLIANCE

BAD TO THE BONE

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BAD TO THE BONE

PROTECTOR WOLF

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PROTECTOR WOLF

SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

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SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER

PICK AND CHEWS

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PICK AND CHEWS

TRAINED TO PROTECT

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TRAINED TO PROTECT

VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)

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VISIONARY WOLF (Alpha Force)

FOR A GOOD PAWS

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FOR A GOOD PAWS
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
COLTON FIRST RESPONDER (The Coltons of Mustang Valley)

HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE

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HER UNDERCOVER REFUGE
UNDERCOVERING COLTON’S FAMILY SECRETS

GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

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GUARDIAN K-9 ON CALL

BEAGLEMANIA

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BEAGLEMANIA

THE MORE THE TERRIER

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THE MORE THE TERRIER

HOUNDS ABOUND

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HOUNDS ABOUND

SHIELDING COLTON’S WITNESS

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SHIELDING COLTON’S WITNESS

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Change of Plans

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

Happy March.

I have a confession. I am a writer who hasn’t released a new book in over a year. There, I said it. I can’t believe my last new release was late 2019.

I will not lament about the ups and downs of 2020, nor will I use the pandemic as an excuse for not publishing a book. Instead of publishing a new book, I concentrated on completing a book, which I did. Truthfully, my plan was to release The Good Girl Part Trois last year, but that didn’t happen.

Instead, I reread it and realized it needed a little work. A little work quickly turned into a lot of work. I’m not complaining because I’m very pleased with the story. However, I’m a lot disappointed I let so much time lapse between releases. The extra time gave me some perspective and an opportunity to figure out a launch plan.

I listened to several podcasts and You Tube videos searching for a new release launch plan. In the end, I decided to try something completely different slow and escalating. I would love to land in a bestseller spot at the end of release day or week. To accomplish such a feat would take a lot more planning than I have. My plan takes patience. I look at it as setting my book up for long term sales.

First step in my plan, push the release date back. This was a difficult decision to make. After all, in Jann’s post as well as mine, I said my release date was February 23rd. Why the change? A couple of things…lack of time and a couple of amazing promotion opportunities. As it got closer to the middle of February, I felt rushed. Although I was going with a slow crawl release plan, I still felt rushed. The other reason was promotion slots.

I forgot it was difficult to book premium newsletter slots without reviews. Since I hadn’t finished tweaking the edits, I didn’t have time to secure additional beta readers. I was in trouble. Thank God, I had the opportunity to participate in a couple of free giveaways.

I was already considering making book one free as a lead in for the series. When these opportunities came up, jumped on them and made the first two books free. This got me to thinking, instead of trying to buy a lot of newsletter ads for the new release, I’m buying ads for the first two books. I’ll stagger them for maximum the exposure. Bottom line, I’m going to promote these free books like crazy for a month. Hopefully, this will lead to a lot of pre-orders for book three. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Second, reformat books one and two. I knew I had to upload the new covers which would only literally take a few minutes with Vellum. All I needed was the original file. Sounds easy, except for one minor detail, I couldn’t find the file. It wasn’t until I had spent a couple of hours searching my computer, that I remembered I didn’t format them.

Once I found the original files, I loaded them and in a matter of minutes the books were formatted. However, before calling it a day, I reread the books and made a few tweaks. That’s a joke. I re-wrote a few chapters. In the end, I added a few hundred words and modified some of the character behavior to match up with books three and four. This little task took about a week to complete. I didn’t stop there. I also decided to update the style of the book which led to another week of work.

I thought I was done with the first two books, until I realized I needed to update the print versions as well. If this was a new release, this step could have waited, but these were books that were already out. I took them down on Amazon, but I think they might still be up. This may sound bad, but I hope no one buys a print version until I get the new version uploaded.

Amazing how something which seemed simple turned into a major project. I wasn’t looking forward to reformatting the print books. Again, I was feeling pressured. I use Vellum and this turned out to the the perfect time to try their print version. In a matter of seconds, I had a print version of my book. It was nice, but I tweaked it with some special chapter headers. I like the file, now all I need to do is order the proof. I’m going to try to release the print version for book three on release day, but it might have to wait a couple of weeks. I need a break.

What does the rest of my release plan look like? A lot of ads. I already have a Facebook ad running, but I’m going to increase the spend and add another one. Funny thing, I mentioned two of the promotion events I’m doing are for free books. I set the books as free on all the platforms except Amazon. I was waiting a few days. However, someone must have requested a price match for The Good Girl Part One, because Amazon set it as free. As of this posting, it was #11 in Black & African American Romance and #14 Two-Hour Romance Short Reads. Seems like my plan is working.

Now all I need to do is finish the edits, format and continue with my launch plan. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

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THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

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THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

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THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR

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THE GOOD GIRL PART FOUR

THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

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THE GOOD GIRL PART FIVE

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HIDDEN GEMS

August 5, 2020 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , ,

Happy August. How has your summer been?

I am at the end of an experiment per se. I booked a review slot with Hidden Gems.

Like some authors it hasn’t been easy for me to get my readers to post reviews. I really wish I understood why this simple request is so difficult to fulfill. Then I think about myself. I have read quite a few books and am guilty of the very thing my readers haven’t done…post a review.

As a writer, I have become more aware of the importance of leaving reviews.

Last month, I enlisted the review service Hidden Gems. I heard great things about the service, but was a little apprehensive because of a past experience with a different review service. After asking around, I settled on them and I’m glad I did.

I choose their entry level plan, 50 reviews with my book A Southern Gentleman Vol One. I was very nervous. The nine reviews weren’t representative of the sales. This is my best selling title. When I do signings or book club events, the book is well received. Many have said how much they like the hero Jeremiah. However, the majority of them have yet to write a review.

Working with Hidden Gems was me walking into the lion’s den to face fifty readers unfamiliar with me or my books.

When the first reviews came in, I was good. Then a bad one appeared and I was fit to be tied. I know I’m not Jane Austen, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele or Debbie Macomber, but I can tell a story. However, I get a little pissed when people say they couldn’t get passed the first chapter. A thing like that can shake a writer’s confidence.

I think what stopped me from replying to that first bad review was the fact the review misquoted several things. Here’s a review tip…if you’re going to leave a bad review, know of what you speak. As I re-read the bad review for the fifth time, I came to the conclusion this person was looking for a reason not to like my book. Oh well, their loss.

As the reviews came in, I was surprised to see how my book was viewed. Let me clarify. I thought of it as sweet & sexy. However, the reviews came back as just sweet. There was the occasional rushed storyline. Some were upset I didn’t mention the faith element. Overall Jeremiah has been well received.

A bonus during the review period was an increase in sales across my library.

I’m glad I tried the service. It was well worth the money. Will I do it again? Yes. I have to be honest, I wouldn’t have done this if it hadn’t been for the fact that I want to apply for a BookBub Featured Deal. I’ve heard of authors getting a BookBub Featured Deal without a lot of reviews. However, the two times I’ve gotten featured deals was with my book that has 30+ reviews. Using that as a measuring stick, I wanted to make sure I set myself up in a positive light. We’ll see what happens when I apply.

As of this post, my Amazon average is 4 out of 5 stars for A Southern Gentleman Vol One. I’m hoping to keep it there or higher.

I also think I’ll be adding Hidden Gems to my release plan. I know it’s costly, but if it will help make my book launches more successful, then it’s well worth the money.

If you’ve tried Hidden Gems or another service, what was your experience?

See you next month.

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