Tag Archives: Full-Time Author

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Out of Gas

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Last week I put up a report of my 18 months as a full-time author. As I typed it up, I noticed that I’ve done a lot so far this year! I should be happy with that.

And I am.

Unfortunately, my current project is taking a lot of energy.

I mentioned it last week. And while it’s not secret, we’re not ready to do a public reveal on it yet. Which is kind of killing me. I swear forces have been conspiring against us every step of the way, and I have the feeling that it will continue even after these books are out.

It’s a difficult topic. Writing a few scenes made me cringe. But it’s important, and those of us involved really feel drawn to the project, and we’re not going to back down.

Even if I’m ready to throw in the towel and binge watch season three of Stranger Things all in one sitting. Which I am. But I won’t.

You see, I can’t even form complete sentences!

However, I just wanted to say that if you’re feeling, as Bilbo says, “thin..stretched like butter scraped over too much bread” don’t give up! It’s okay to take a break, but keep moving forward, even if it’s just in something little.

For instance. I did the laundry today. All of the loads. It’s even folded. This is my victory, and I will relish in it.

Also, I survived Kempo class. Sensei has decided it is time for hard workouts. Really hard workouts. In the summer heat? Gee, thanks. Pretty sure I lost ten pounds in sweat. I’ll take it.

I only have twenty four pages left to edit for my book in this killer project. Barring disaster it should be ready to go to the editor by the end of the week.

In the immortal words of Galaxy Quest

 


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Eighteen Months as a Full-Time Author

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It’s been a while since I reported on my progress as a full-time author, so I thought I would share.

This year has been a little bit crazy.

I released eight books in my Fairy Tale Academy Series!

I wrote an extra Academy story that was just released in this collection of Sleeping Beauty retellings.

I’ve written a first date of two of my most popular Academy characters that will come out in an anthology in the fall. You’ll have to wonder about that one for a bit.

I’m working on revisions for a special project that you’ll hear about in the coming months. It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before, but it’s…important. Have you ever felt like you’re in the exact right place at the exact right time for something amazing to happen? That’s this project! More in the next few weeks on this!

I released two sweet romances under my Karly Stratford pen name!

As far as money goes, I’ve made leaps and bounds more this year than I have my whole career up to this point, which is amazing!

I’m still struggling with creative energy and motivation. Some weeks I can write a whole novel and other weeks I struggle to get a few words out each day. Balance is the key for me, and I’m still looking for that sweet spot in my creative brain.

The plan for the rest of the year keeps changing! I need to nail it down, but be assured, there will be some YA science fiction from Jo Schneider and more romance from Karly Stratford!


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Year One as a Full-Time Author

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I made what I thought were easily attainable goals for this year. I imagined having more time than I would know what to do with and being able to do all the things.

Yeah, that crashed and burned early on.

Here’s a snapshot of my 2018 goals:

Make 20k-25k

Jagged Scars Series Finished

New Sight Series Finished

Sci-Fi series written and out

Babes in Spyland revamped

Flash Fiction Weekly

Blog Weekly

Master Amazon Ads

Master Facebook Ads

Have 10k subscribers on my newsletter

Get 50 people on my review team

Doesn’t sound hard, right? Let’s go through what got finished, what didn’t and why.

Make 20k-25k

This did not happen. The reason it didn’t happen is because I never took the plunge into advertising. One month I did some paid promotions and my sales skyrocketed for a couple of months, then plunged back down to normal levels, which is selling a book or two a day most days.

Jagged Scars Series Finished

This did happen!

However, writing the last book of the series consumed most of the first half of the year. I let it get under my skin, wrote the whole thing about three times and finally came up with an acceptable book. Writing it is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, including finishing my first book.

New Sight Series Finished

This happened! This happened in time for Salt Lake FanX (a ComiCon-like convention) where I actually sold out of books.

Happy to say that writing the final book of this series only gave me a migraine for two weeks. Nothing like the end of the other series.

Sci-Fi series written and out

This did not happen. I started outlining and planning and working through character arcs, and then my romance writing friend called me, and I ended up writing three sweet romances instead of these books.

The romances are doing well, and I’ll get back to this series early next year.

Babes in Spyland revamped

So I want to revise what I’ve written in this universe and then expand it! I have so many ideas, and it will be amazing, but it keeps getting pushed back. This might happen near the end of next year. We’ll see.

Flash Fiction Weekly

I only missed two weeks of this! And both of those are because of finishing book deadlines. This has been a fun activity. I’m thinking I’ll mix it up next year, but we’ll see. There will still be Flash Fiction!

Blog Weekly

Did this. I know blogs aren’t really a big thing anymore, but I kind of like blogging each week. I plan to continue.

Master Amazon Ads

Ugh. This caused me way too much stress, and I hardly did anything. I’ve enlisted the help of my mathy hubby, and we’re hitting this hard at the beginning of the year.

Master Facebook Ads

Same as Amazon Ads

Have 10k subscribers on my newsletter

Maybe this was too ambitious. I’ve more than doubled my subscribers and now have 2,500. But nowhere near 10k. Everything about this changed with the EU’s privacy thing in the middle of the year, and I haven’t been particularly diligent about it since then.

Get 50 people on my review team

I started a review team, so that’s good. I think I have 30 or so, and of them only about 10 are super active, but still, going forward.

What else came up?

Karly Stratford:

Well, I created my pen name of Karly Stratford and released two sweet romance books. The third will be finished before the end of the year and released in February. I don’t want to put my whole focus there, but it is fun getting out of my usual genres and doing something different. I really want to lean these toward clean romantic comedies. Should be good times.

Fairy Tale Academy:

A friend asked me if I wanted to contribute to a Little Mermaid retelling collection in May. I was struggling with my Jagged Scars final book, and took the opportunity to write something different. It’s only 24k and I had a great time with it.

I wrote it with the intention of it being a stand-alone, but a few of my beta readers asked if there is more in the world. Well, now there will be. I have two more written and a total of eight planned. Those will be out between January and May of next year.

Overall impressions of the year:

If I’m being brutally honest, being my own boss was much more difficult than I imagined. I can’t tell you how many days my schedule broke down and I didn’t get much, if any, writing done. Family and friends pulled me away more often than not. I got bored being at home by myself. Sometimes I played on Facebook more than I wrote.

I have a plan to fix these issues. I’ve been using it for a week, and I’m really liking it.

I know I can do more than I did this year. I know I can be a better author, a better business owner and a better marketer. More on my plans for that next week!


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Month Eleven as a Full-Time Author

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This month was a combination of “What just happened?” and “I should have known better.”

 

 

Strike 1:

Going to conferences is one of my favorite parts of being an author. I skipped a couple that I usually go to this year and decided to branch out and head to Vegas for a conference I’d never been to but had heard amazing things about. If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I came back from this conference quite disappointed. My expectations were, apparently, way off, and even though I tried really hard to make it worth it in my mind, I’m still not sure it was worth the time or the expense for me.

Strike 2:

I’ve been full-time as an author since the beginning of the year. My old job has called me back to help them out a couple of times. They called at the end of October and asked for any help I could give them in November. I agreed to come in for three days the week after the conference I mentioned above.

Bad idea. While the extra money is always nice, it threw off my groove. I was supposed to write the second story in my Academy series that week. I thought I could do both, but it didn’t work out.

Strike 3:

The super-awful stomach flu of November 2018 struck 8 hours after I finished up working for my old day-job. Was it a simple 24 hours and done flu? Oh no, I had to get that Norovirus thing that was going around. I was completely down for 36 hours, and felt icky for 10 days total. Including Thanksgiving.

So that week I was supposed to write the second story in my Academy? The week I worked and then got sick? Yeah, I got nothing done. The next week was Thanksgiving, so three days of that got blown out of the water, and the other three days I was still too sick to really get into writing.

Those three strikes blew up my schedule so bad that I had to re-layout my Academy stories. I briefly thought about trying to catch up, but dismissed the idea. Why kill myself over it?

Also, a third romance book is in the works, so I had to rearrange my schedule for that anyway. The new and improved layout includes a few days of wiggle room between each story. Hopefully I can stay on track!

 

 

 

 

 


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