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Coming Out of the Writing Closet

August 5, 2016 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , , ,

Hi OCC Family. I am still recuperating from my first RWA Conference last month. The conference reminded me of one of the trade shows I attend. It’s also like going to a place you’ve always wanted to go. You’re exhausted, but want to see and do everything because it’s your first time and you paid for it.

This month, I wanted to introduce you to a new writer, John Bucholtz. If the name sounds familiar, it should be, because it’s Kitty Bucholtz’s husband. John is new to writing, and I think you’ll enjoy hearing from him.

Enjoy the post and I’ll update you next month on my 12 Titles project.

Tracy

Heeerrrreee’s John…

Coming Out of the Writing Closet 


A couple weeks ago, I chose to come out of the writing closet.

No, Mom, I haven’t lost my mind. 
No, my marriage to my wife is okay. 
I have decided to come out and tell everyone – I’m a writer. I have spent years hiding the fact that I write fiction from most of my friends and family. For some odd reason, I associated some sort of stigma to it. I always pictured stoop-shouldered figures bent over their computers writing for hours on end, finally emerging into the sunlight to scuttle off and toil away at their day jobs. People would look after them, shaking their heads and whispering to each other, “Oh, he says he’s a writer, but he still has a day job. He must not be serious.” 
But I discovered I was completely wrong. 
Writing is a passion. Writing is an art like painting or drawing that you want to share with the world. Writing isn’t just about trying to get published and make lots of money. (Well, okay, I would be lying to say I wouldn’t mind something like that.) It’s about sharing an adventure with someone else. It’s taking someone and showing them a world that you find interesting, amusing, and yes, maybe even scary. You write because there are these voices in your head that whisper to you to tell a story. (Please be careful what kind of voices they are – some require therapy.) 
But I guess writing is a type of therapy for many of us. We do it to quiet the voices in our heads. We do it to finally put words to the pictures and images we see that we think the world might find interesting, to situations that we find humorous, or to an adventure we want friends to undertake with us. 
I went to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference in San Diego in July with my wife. It was my first ever writing conference, the first time I thought about trying to be taken seriously as a writer. This conference was good for me on so many levels. Not only did I meet seasoned veterans of the writing world, but I had the opportunity to meet a handful of literary agents and a smattering of book publishers. 
I ran into a surprising number of wide-eyed and slightly frightened first-time attendees like me. It was comforting to see their mutual excitement and nervousness at being at a national conference attended by their peers. The classes not only catered to the romance crowd, but many of the classes could be applied to the writing of any genre. (For instance, I write books for junior high boys.) And the energy and plain helpful attitude of the more experienced attendees and staff quickly made me a little less nervous and more excited in attending the first of what I hope will be many writing conferences and seminars in the future. 
My wife told me something after my first day there that I quickly found true: “I think you’re going to find that these are your people.” I was surrounded by other people who heard the little voices in their heads, who created strange worlds and the many characters who inhabited them and the adventures they went on. My wife was one hundred percent correct. 
So I’m here to say to the world: Hello, my name is John Bucholtz, and I am a writer.

John Bucholtz 

Middle-grade author, husband, artist, funny guy but easily distracte…

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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
Tracy Reed

www.readtracyreed.com

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys


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MY NEW TEAMMATE, VELLUM.PUB

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
Tracy Reed
www.readtracyreed.com
Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

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12 Titles in 12 Months [Pt Three]

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

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

It’s time for an update on my exciting challenge, 12 TITLES IN 12 MONTHS. When I started this challenge I know it seemed like the rantings of a crazed New Indie Self-Pub Writer. Wow, that’s a mouthful.

I’m having a lot of fun on this journey experimenting with new genres and formats. When I started this, I was going to primarily do a mix of full-length and novellas. But I have to admit, in a brief moment, I sort of thought I was taking on too much. Then I read the article in the RWA magazine about story lengths. Honestly, it never occurred to me to do a short story. Funny thing, my first two published pieces were short stories. In my mind, I thought I would be doing my challenge an injustice if I didn’t commit to either a full-length or novella. So, I did a little digging in my files and found several starter pieces. I printed them and did a lot of reading.

I woke up one morning and remembered I had rewritten my next full-length book. Thank God, I kept the old manuscript. I had this really cool scene, that I thought would make a great novelette. I read the chapters and discovered, they weren’t right as a novelette, but will be great for the third installment of THE GOOD GIRL…which is on the schedule for next year. I was a little bummed and then went into a blank mode. This freaked me out. It seemed like the words were gone. I won’t say it was Writer’s Block, but more like Brain Jumble. Words were there but when I started to write, it seemed force. I had almost two thousand words on a piece, but it just didn’t click. But while I was writing, I got an idea, which I turned into THE FLING. As for the other starter pieces, I like them, but I’m not quite sure the time is right to bring those stories to life. The good thing about this challenge is that I can basically write whatever I want. YEAH!

I finished out the first quarter with some pretty good sales. Here’s a funny sales story. My mother and I were at the doctor’s office waiting to get our annual blood workup. I was teasing her about something while she was proofing one of my books. I kept bothering her and she replied, “How am I supposed to finish your book, if you keep bothering me?” A woman sitting across from us heard my mother’s comment and started laughing. Then my mother went into sales mode and told her that I was a writer. The woman asked where she could find my books. I opened my iPad and showed her my Amazon page. She called it up on her phone, read the summary and bought the book.

Last week, I released my April Title, THE FIX UP. This cute short is my first RomCom. Thank you to everyone that posted the link on their social media.

For this title, I didn’t do any advertising or paid promoting. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m trying different promotion options. For THE FIX UP, I sent an email to my mailing list, posted it on my blog, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest. I wanted to give my followers first dibs. This little tactic paid off on the release day. This was the first time I landed in the top 100 in one of my Amazon categories on release day. Double YEAH!! I was shocked. THE FIX UP, also aided my other books. My perma free book, THE ALEX CHRONICLES: GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS, hit the top 100 in two categories. All this activity without me doing any paid promotions.

So what’s on tap for the next quarter? I have a full-length and what I think will be a couple of novelettes. The reason I say could be, is because I haven’t finished writing them. I already created the covers which I’ll share later in the post. but I’m not quite sure if I’ll keep the titles. Title duplication is something that really can’t be helped. But I was a little shaken when I saw a book on several sites this week with the same title as my proposed August release. Now I’m wondering if I should keep it, or rename it. If you have any thoughts on this, please post them below or send them to me…readtracyreed [at] me [dot] com.

On with the 3rd Quarter update…


Title: WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW
Length: Full-length
Status: Completed
Release Date: July
This is the second installment in The Alex Chronicles Series. It’s also the second book I wrote. But like it’s predecessor, I held it back and I am so glad I did. The characters are more mature and the issues they deal with seem a little more realistic. This story focuses on what happened after Alex said yes to Moses’ proposal. It’s no secret they got engaged. What is a secret is if they get married. Following the rest of the girls in this series is fun as well. There’s the return of someone’s first love, a surprise break up and a so much more.
Sales Outlets: eBook – KDP Select
Print – Amazon, Createspace, B&N and my website
Marketing Campaign: Posting on my blog and social media outlets [Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest], blast to my mailing list, GoodReads Giveaway and possibly a mini blog tour or Cover Release Blast tour. And miscellaneous blogs.

Title: MISS MATCH
Length: Novella or Novelette
Status: Still writing
Release Date: August
The reason you don’t see a cover image, is because there’s a slight possibility I might change the cover. I don’t purchase images until I’m convinced I want the image. With this story having a common title, I’m a little on the fence. Even though I like it a lot. As you may have guessed, this story is about a matchmaker. She’s polished, beautiful, and very good at what she does. But her evenings are spent alone. I see this possibly becoming a cute series.
Sales Outlets: eBook – KDP Select
Print – Amazon, Createspace, B&N and my website
Marketing Campaign: Posting on my blog and social media outlets [Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest], blast to my mailing list, GoodReads Giveaway and possibly a Cover Release Blast tour. And miscellaneous blogs.

Title: MY FIRST HUSBAND
Length: Novella or Novelette
Status: Still Writing
Release Date: September
This will probably finish out as a novelette length. It started out as the beginning of a series, but I have since changed my mind. I don’t think the characters are ready for a series or more than a few thousand words. Only time will tell. Hey, I didn’t think THE GOOD GIRL would go beyond book one. This is a complicated love hate story.
Sales Outlets: eBook – KDP Select
Print – Amazon, Createspace, B&N and my website
Marketing Campaign: Posting on my blog and social media outlets [Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest], blast to my mailing list, GoodReads Giveaway and possibly a Cover Release Blast tour. And miscellaneous blogs.

Writing update. Technically, I have every month completed or partially finished. I have something special for my December release. I was going to do a novelette, but I saw something that really intrigued me. A Sampler. I saw Beth Yarnell’s romance sampler and asked her if she minded me copying her idea. She was cool with it, because she’d gotten it from someone else. I thought about releasing the sampler this summer, but decided against it. Part of this challenge has been to experiment with writing and marketing/promotion styles. Seeing I have nothing lined up for the holiday, I thought that would be the best to release my sampler in the fourth quarter. I’m going to make it a free download, just in time for all those new to the world of eReaders. I’ll share more on this title later in the year.

God has answered my prayer and those three titles I was concerned about, are coming to life. In addition to my 12 Titles challenge, I’m almost done with my first non-fiction book. Let me just say this, I commend anyone writing non-fiction. I had no idea how difficult it would be. I thought since I write fiction, it would be easy. No. Non-fiction requires a lot of person reflection and sharing. At least for the book I’m working on. Because this book is part of a larger project, I’ve elected not to release it until January.

Why the rush to finish everything a head of schedule? I would like to take a little time off and relax. But we’re writers. Do we ever really stop writing?

Have a good month and I’ll check in with you next month.

Tracy
Tracy Reed
www.readtracyreed.com

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys=

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12 Titles in 12 Months [Part Two]

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

First of all, Happy Birthday to me.

It’s time for an update into my fun challenge, 12 TITLES IN 12 MONTHS. I think now that I am entering the second quarter of this challenge, people don’t think I’m insane or nuts after all.

I have to admit, I’ve had a few moments when I thought I had bitten off more than I could handle. Those thoughts were really looming a couple of weeks ago when I hit a little road block. Seems my mind went blank. I couldn’t come up with a good idea. I pulled out a few first chapters I had for some possible stories and even old drafts from completed books. I figured I had a few thousand words lying around that didn’t make the cut for the book.

[Writer Tip: Never discard good chapters that don’t work. Just because they don’t work with that book, doesn’t mean they are good. (Thanks Kitty Bucholtz for the ides.) Keep them and use them, re-work them and use as a short story, novelette or novella. Make them perma free. This way you’ll always have a freebie you can use to gain readers. That’s what I did with the discarded chapters from “What My Friends Don’t Know.” Those six chapters became a free prequel.]

I went to work on those drafts, but nothing worked. I thought if I re-read them, they would get my juices flowing. Nothing. Then I got a revelation. I had rewritten book two in The Alex series and remembered there was this great part I omitted because it was too long. I went digging through my old drafts and found it, but it didn’t work as a stand alone story, not like the chapters from book one. However, when I read them, they gave birth to an idea. Around the same time, I had this great two lines replaying in my mind, but when I tried to turn them into a story, nothing clicked. Let me take that back. I wrote about eight hundred words and trashed them. It was too difficult and felt forced. But when I took those two lines and mixed them with my other idea, it clicked. YES! I had my story.

When I started this challenge, I had it in my mind to do three full-length novels, one poetry book, about six novellas, a boxset and one short story. I had been asked to contribute a short story to a boxset, but I had to back out. If things had worked out, that would have been my one short story. Now I was short a title.

I revisited my production schedule and without thinking added another novella. I think at that moment my writer conscious went into shock. I did little research on story lengths. Let me clarify something. I like seeing my work in print. I knew from having done a few things with Createspace, there’s a page minimum for a print project. So I discovered that if I got creative with my formatting, I could have a nice little print book. Voila! I went back to my production schedule and changed some of those novellas to short stories. But a really cool thing happened, as I started writing, they words flowed and my cute little short stories turned into novelettes. YEAH! So now, my production schedule doesn’t look as daunting. It’s a nice mix of novelettes, novellas and full-length novels. So far, I haven’t written a short story per se, but I still have three titles that have yet to be born.

A cool thing about this challenge is that I get to experiment with genres. I have always wanted to try writing a RomCom [Romantic Comedy] or something with a little snarky humor. I got a little nervous about my RomCom, when I had my mother read it and a few pages in she said, “I don’t get it.” I was offended, because I thought it was funny. I immediately took it as criticism instead of what it really was, the truth. So I went back to the drawing board and rewrote the beginning. I have to admit I like it better. Is it funny? I think it is, but only time and readers with verify that fact. Hey, worse case scenario, it’s not funny and I learn from my mistake. Best case scenario, it turns out to be funny and possibly the beginning of a new series. I hope it’s well received because I have an idea about what happened next.
Here’s a sneak at the second quarter releases:

Title: INTENTIONAL CURSE
Length: Novella
Status: Completed
Release Date: April or May
I haven’t decided if I’m going to release this one in April or May. This novella is in response to requests from readers wanting know what happened to Kyla’s lover Eric. Instead of telling the story of what happened to him, I thought it would be more interesting to tell you how he met his wife and his mistress.
Sales Outlets: eBook – KDP Select *
Print – Amazon, Createspace, B&N and my website
Marketing Campaign: Posting on my blog and social media outlets [Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest], blast to my mailing list, GoodReads Giveaway and a possibly a Cover Release Blast tour. And miscellaneous blogs.

Title: THE FIX UP
Length: Novelette
Status: Completed
Release Date: April or May
I haven’t decided if I’m going to release this one in April or May. This little story happened during my writing block. It’s also my first attempt at a RomCom [Romantic Comedy]. I like the characters and hope this does well, because I see a second and possibly third tome with this group…especially the Nana character.
Sales Outlets: eBook – KDP Select *
Print – Amazon, Createspace, B&N and my website
Marketing Campaign: Posting on my blog and social media outlets [Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest], blast to my mailing list, GoodReads Giveaway and a possibly a Cover Release Blast tour. And miscellaneous blogs.

Title: THE FLING
Length: Novelette
Status: Almost Complete
Release Date: June or July I haven’t decided if I’m going to release this one in June or July. Because the second book in The Alex Series has a wedding and June is a big wedding season. It might be best to market based around that season. This story is the result of two ideas. The deleted pages from The Alex Chronicles Book Two and those two lines I mentioned earlier. I really should have titled it “The Rollercoaster.” This story is started out one way and then made a dip and then did a wrap around. Because I’m a Pantser, I not quite sure where it’s going to end. I hope it ends where I want it to. If it doesn’t, then I’ll take that ending and use it for another story. However, I’m not sure about the title.
Sales Outlets: eBook – KDP Select *
Print – Amazon, Createspace, B&N and my website
Marketing Campaign: Posting on my blog and social media outlets [Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest], blast to my mailing list, GoodReads Giveaway and a possibly a Cover Release Blast tour. And miscellaneous blogs.

On a side note, I love my covers. I’ve been taking a marketing course for my other business and keeping the word “Branding” at the forefront of my creative mind. Which can be both a blessing and a challenge. Because I want to be known as a writer of Steamy Christian Fiction, it means I have to always be cognizant of my brand or style. I want to push the envelope while not crossing the line. For me, that means every project I do has to fall in line with the look I’ve established.

I’m sure you noticed the asterisk [*] next to Sales Outlets. Let me explain. This is a huge undertaking. With that said, I didn’t plan the marketing, in detail. I planned the concept, but forgot to plan the marketing. Originally, I was going to make all of the titles available in every outlet. Problem with that is also what led me to do this, no one knew me and I have a small readership. When I started this, I had about 114 people on my reader list. So there really wasn’t a need to do a pre-order. Although I did offer pre-order with my January release. I got less than 10. Hey, it’s better than nothing. From that I learned, it was best to wait until I had a better readership before offering another pre-order.

But I did test out something I had been hearing. It’s sort of like that line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they’ll come.” [Writer Tip: If you write it, they’ll buy it…hopefully.] I had been reading on a lot blogs and podcasts that even if you do minimal marketing, and have a nice sized inventory, not only is it possible for you to make some sales, it could also produce sales with your other books. [The other reason or main reason I’m doing this challenge, I wanted to build up my inventory. More inventory equals more sales.]

Last week, I released The Good Girl Part Deux. I was in a hurry to get the book up by the end of the month and forgot to book an ad. However, I had just participated in the Romance Readers SPRING FLING Massive Ebook Giveaway. This event generated a lot of free downloads of my perma free book, The Alex Chronicles: Girlfriends & Secrets sending me to the #2 spot in one of my categories. It also produced a huge boost to my mailing list. So once The Good Girl Part Deux, was live, I sent an email to everyone on my mailing list thanking them for taking this writing journey with me. [Thanks for the email idea DeAnna Cameron]. Then I sent another email to my email list as well as a post to my blog list, offering them first dibs at The Good Girl Part Deux. Not only did those two things produced decent first day sales for GGPart Deux, it also produced sales for my other ebooks.

So for the duration of this project, I’ve elected to put all the titles in KDP Select. Towards the end of the year, I’ll figure out a more detailed marketing strategy for the following year. Unless of course, this one proves to be the best route for me.

As for how the writing is going? I am three titles away from having every month covered. Praise God!!! Every morning in my prayer time, I thank God for the words, because I really haven’t got a clue what those last three stories are going to be.

I’ll check in with you next month with my progress.

Tracy
Tracy Reed

www.readtracyreed.com

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

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