Tag Archives: marketing

13 Things I Learnt From Completing Draft Two of My Novel

draft twoWhen I wrote THE END on my second draft of Keepers, I cried. Just two tears mind, I am dead inside after all.

I cried because it was the end of more than just a marathon of RSI, obscenely late nights and incessant tapping that drove my wife to distraction. It felt like I had achieved my first real step towards freedom and the life I really want because a) I’d completed something real and tangible, all 72108 words were staring back at me like tiny dancing stick men.

And b) because I knew, this time, unlike my first draft, it wasn’t a total pile of turd.

After my two lonely tears rapidly dried up, I glanced at the clock on my laptop. The time blinked back at me, it read 1:04am. I’d sat and written 4025 words in the last 3.5 hours without moving. I was gobsmacked, that was four days worth of writing. In. One. Go.

Something told me to check the date. So I did. August 20th. I frowned. That rang a bell. I checked the post I wrote after completing my first draft. To my utter bewilderment, I completed my first draft the previous year on August 20th at 1:04am. If you don’t believe me, check the post.

It’s a beautiful thing, synchronicity. Perhaps I should publish it at 1:04am on the 20th August next year!

Here’s 13 things I learnt writing this draft. Continue reading

9 Ways to Help You Find Your Readers Part II

find your audienceLast week I talked through the first five of nine ways you as authors can use to find your readers.

These were all lessons I’d learnt from a pile of marketing books I’d read over the last month. The post was too long to have it all in one blog, so here are the second half of the ‘ways’.

The first five ways included:

  • Defining your audience
  • Connecting in a meaningful way
  • Strategising your social media usage
  • Being your own fan
  • Advertising

You can see the details of those ways here.

Continue reading

9 Ways to Help You Find Your Readers Part I

find your audienceAs writers we play the infinitely difficult Where’s Wally of reader spotting. But locating those pesky readers is more tortuous than tweezing your granddads nasal hair, and yet, it is THE most important thing we do.

As I draw nearer to handing my book to beta readers, the prospect of completing it, having to press publish and my labour of love subsequently disappearing into the utterly saturated Amazon rainforest of books, never to be seen again, is becoming frighteningly real.

In an attempt to prevent the only people buying my book being mumsy and wifeypoos, I read 3 marketing books last month:

Joanna Penn’s How to Market a Book

Nick Stephenson’s Supercharge Your Kindle Sales

And Tim Grahl’s Your First 1000 Copies 

The whole point of my blog is to share what I learn on this sanity testing journey to authordom and what did I learn? Well, I’m resolute on the fact finding your readers will always be the holy grail of authorlyness and because it’s the holy grail, not all of us will find it. BUT, I also learnt a whole heap of other neat tricks to help us along the way, as well as finding an answer to the 64 bergillion dollar question, should an author blog…?

I learnt a shit ton of stuff, so I’ve split this post into two.

So here are 9 ways to help you find your audience, this week I bring you way one to five. Continue reading

7 Things You Need To Know to Master Your Genre's Book Cover

Book coverI’m not shallow…But I definitely judge a book by its cover.

Shit. That makes me shallow doesn’t it?

Ah well, fuck it. At least I can admit it.

I’ve been thinking about marketing a LOT recently. Minus a total meltdown last week and a decision to bin (and subsequently re-write the last 30K of my book), I am still on track to send my book-baby to beta readers on 30th September.

Being the incessant 5 steps-a-head planner that I am, it means my mind is on marketing, book covers and that big ol’ scare-the-shitsicles-out-of-you decision: Do I run the poison, trap-infested gauntlet to a publishers door? Or drown in the overly saturated ‘Amazon’ rainforest of books as an indie? As it happens, I’ve finally made my mind up, but I’ll leave that for another post.

Book covers are without doubt, THE most important marketing decision you’ll make. Fuck it up, and you can watch your readers Foxtrot Oscar into the sunset, never to return to your bookshelf! So, I’m sharing my research and the lessons I’ve learnt in preparing to have my book cover designed. Continue reading

2 Super Easy Methods to Drastically Increase Your Subscriber List

subscriber listIf I had balls I’d be telling you I’m balls deep in marketing research. But I don’t, and frankly I’m a feminist anyway. So instead, I’ll tell you I’m vagina deep in marketing research.

And god it feels good! It’s like I’m on some kind of frenzied writing drug that’s given me wild zombie hair and a crazed look in my eye. I’m rampaging my way through non-fiction books faster than I can sift through Bloggers Bash nominations. I’m devouring articles, publications, magazines and anything else I can lay my chubby mitts on. (book recommendations welcome  – leave them in the comments)

Before the year is out I will have to make the choice as to which path I’m to follow. At the moment I’m 60/40 indie/attempting trad. *shrugs* maybe I’ll try the hybrid thing. Either way, I still need to know everything I can about marketing. Without those skills I can kiss goodbye to anyone other than Mumsy and the Wife buying my book.

I’ve been trying different methods to boost my subscriber list and these two methods, over a two week test period, have produced a 114% increase in NEW subscribers. Yeah really. 114% increase in NEW subscribers compared to the previous two weeks. Continue reading

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Using Mailchimp

Mailchimp mistakesIf you try something new for the first time and you don’t fuck it up, you’re probably not doing it right. Mistakes are natural, normal and help us learn to get better. I’m doing a monthly newsletter full of even more writing tips, competitions, handy writer hacks and news on my progress towards publishing. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can tick that off your list by clicking here. HINT!

I made mistakes. But I’m a writer. So standing up, dusting myself down and picking up the proverbial pen again is in my blood.

When I wrote the post on creating your perfect Author Newsletter I’d already found Mailchimp hard to set up and master. But SO many people said the same thing I knew I had to regroup and share some of the lessons I’d learnt doing my own newsletter. Continue reading

7 Laws of Writing Reader Grabbing Headlines

I hate this post. I do. My eyes were achy from rolling so hard by the time I even sat down to write it. But I HAD to because, as much as I feel like I just Peter Panned my shadow,  (ok my soul), and handed it to Captain Devil-Hook, there is no question that these tactics work.

Here’s the thing: My mum, loves me to the ends of the Earth, which means she reads these posts. All of them.

*waves, shouts ‘love you mum’* 

As much as I adore the fact mumsy reads them and tells me they’re wonderful. I’d rather like some unbiased feedback. I mean, mum thinks most things I do are good… amazing even.

Although now I think about it, she doesn’t know about the time I… 100% not finishing that sentence.

We all write for a variety of reasons: some blogs are therapeutic, some are started to meet the amazing community and others to build platforms. Whatever the reason, even if you start not caring whether anyone reads your stuff, something happens the moment you get, likes, comments that aren’t your mum, or your first spike in stats.

Realisation.

That’s what happens. The realisation that someone you don’t know, just read the words you wrote. For writers, that ignites the flame of desire. AND WE WANT MORE. More readers, more followers, more stats. Continue reading

7 Tips to Create Your Perfect Author Newsletter

Author NewsletterI hear parrots squawking the same mantra constantly: “Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The best way to drive book sales is through a subscriber list.”

Its that thing where you: create a newsletter, do book updates, bonus content and give your hard work away for free.

If you got books to sell, you need that list.

This made me do one of those gut busting groans. Seriously? I spend enough time writing posts instead of my novel, do I actually have to add something else to my seven hundred and forty-eight page to do list?

Apparently I do, and that means you do too.

I heard that message loud and clear, especially as I’ll be releasing books this year. So I made a subscriber list one of my goals and I’ve been busy rolling up my ‘bonus content’ sleeves. Finally I’ve created one and it’s ready and chock full of just that: bonus content, round ups, writers tools, recommendations, writing inspiration and book updates. If you want to sign up for it, you can here. And actually, once I did create it, I got kind of excited. The customising tools and fancy schmancy things you can do are quite exciting.

Here’s what I learnt in the process: Continue reading

How Big is your Bump?

How big is your bump?

31 weeks and 4 days.

Today I nearly lost my rag. So this I fear, will be a Rant of epic proportions.

I like to think that I am a women of patience, a women who rarely explodes and maintains a calm aurar. But after 31 and a half weeks of pregnancy I about lost the plot today. Biting my tongue is an understatement.

In this society we have an obsession with weight and beauty – shop stands are littered with magazines of size zero women, women who are ‘too curvy’ ‘not curvy enough’ ‘hips too wide, not wide enough’ ‘boobs too small, too big’ blah blah and everything in between. This is the pressure society puts on women who aren’t pregnant… Comments like this push teenagers to fast, binge and become anorexic or bulimic. The marketing and imagery pushed into mainstream media causes teenagers and young adults to have seriously damaged mindsets and views of their self image and body.

But when it comes to pregnancy, there seems to be this whole other level of opinion and views that general ‘people’ in society want to give and have over you.

‘People’ seem to think that its ok to pass open judgement and comments on your figure and size whilst your pregnant.

‘Oh your massive’

‘what do you mean you STILL have 8 weeks to go? Oh my god your going to be huge’

‘oh your tiny’

‘what a neat little bump you have’

‘god your going to have an enormous baby aren’t you’

After 31 weeks of this bullshit, I am really genuinely sick and fucking tired of people making comments about my size. What the fuck makes people think they have the right to pass such openly RUDE judgement on my size and shape. Why is it ok for them to tell me I’m ‘huge’ or ‘tiny’ or anything in between JUST because I’m pregnant. You wouldn’t turn around to a young women and tell her she was massive or tiny, or anything – you don’t say it, so seriously now what is it about being pregnant that makes people think they have the right to say whatever the fuck comes into their head?

The detrimental effect it is having on my mindset is horrendous – I had a poor self image before I was pregnant and was most concerned about how I was going to look and the awful stretch marks that would appear and whether or not I would feel fat and could I get rid of the weight after and blah blah blah. But I get a daily onslaught of judgements and comments from the general public or people in lifts in corridors and it is exhausting. I am tired of having to listen to what other people think about my size and weight and shape. I am struggling to maintain my sanity and sane perspective on the fact that I AM pregnant, which means I will have a bump and a few stretch marks and it will take time to lose the weight but lots of other women do it, so I can too, but I cannot place ‘societies’ expectations on myself – I will lose the weight as and when I lose it, and its fine, its ok.

I know that every women who has ever been pregnant will have experienced this – so I am wondering what witty quips you all came up with to counter those rude and ignorant arseholes out there….??