Tag Archives: Wins

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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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Month Ten as a Full-Time Author

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October turned out to be a wild and crazy month.

Last month I mentioned a new project I was working on. For that project, I wrote two novels in October. Two 50k word novels. One is back from my editor and the other is just back from my beta readers.

I’ll tell you a little secret. They’re sweet, uplifting romance novels that I’m going to release under a pen name. If you get my newsletter you already know this, so I guess it’s not that big of a secret. I’ll be announcing the release of both books here before the end of the year.

If you’re wondering what they’re about, let’s just say that they could pretty much be Hallmark Christmas movies, but I couldn’t bring myself to cram quite that many cheesy lines into one novel. And believe me, I really tried with the second one.

I was considering writing another romance novel, but instead decided to start on my Academy series. I’ve now got outlines for stories about The Beast and a Frog Princess. You’ll love the take on the Beast, and I was seriously laughing when I was working on the Frog Princess. I also have the other five characters picked and their stories loosely laid out. Watch for these starting at the end of January.

I try to focus on the positives, but I feel like I should share some of my less than stellar experiences from this past quarter.

Marketing gives me anxiety. Well, after an hour of thinking about it and/or learning about it I want to punch people in the face. I guess that’s a form of anxiety, yes? Or maybe just stress. Or maybe I just need to take a chill pill.

Anyway, I haven’t met my monetary goal this year because I haven’t been marketing. I do have a newsletter with about 2500 subscribers, and that’s been fun. And I’ve put out a two novels and three novellas along with a boxed set for Jagged Scars.

However, I’ve failed miserably in my half-hearted attempts to learn Amazon and Facebooks ads. Everything I’ve read points to the fact that you must advertise so your books get in front of the right readers so then the readers can buy them, love them and then buy all of your books. This is the plan. My execution has been lacking.

So things aren’t all roses and rainbows, but things are going forward. Forward in a surprising direction, mind you, but forward all the same.

Check back next month for my first sweet romance novel, along with an update about my Academy stories!

 

 

 

 


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Month Seven as a Full-Time Author

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Ah, July, my old nemesis. You did not get the best of me! Well, mostly not. I mean, I got a few things accomplished. Despite all your efforts to thwart me.

 

 

Wins:

  • Released Spoiled Gambit, the very last novella in my Jagged Scars series
  • I blogged every week
  • I finished New Vision (New Sight book 3) and sent it to my editor.
  • I put quite a bit of time into my next series. YA Space Opera. You’re going to love it!
  • I helped three friends out by reading their books/novellas as a beta reader
  • It was my birthday, and for my birthday I asked for 43 reviews on Fractured Memories by the end of the month. That worked out! (Unless Amazon takes some of them down, which it does sometimes.)
  • I hit triple digits in sales for the second month in a row!

Not so much wins:

  • I will be at FanX (the event formally known as Salt Lake City ComiCon) in September. In order to receive hard copies of the last book of my New Sight series, I had to have it out to the editor this past weekend. This whole process—coupled with several other things going on—left me with a two week long migraine that still hasn’t quit.
  • Marketing flew out the window. Like a bird.
  • I broke my Flash Fiction Friday streak last week, because I was spending 10 hours a day working on New Vision.

I knew July was going to be tough going in. Between family stuff, holidays, vacations and some community service that I do every July, I only had something like fourteen writing days to work with. Considering twenty or so is the usual amount, I started out in a bad spot.

Still, I got some things done. I didn’t get other things done. Thus it is in the life of Author Jo.

 

Stay tuned this month (or early next month) for a few things:

  • New covers for New Sight and New Powers
  • The release of New Vision—the third and final book in my New Sight series
  • The release of Fractured Sea, a collection of five Little Mermaid retellings in which I have a super fun one-part high school anime and one-part Harry Potter story called The Academy. Several people that have read it have already have asked when the next one will be out. My lips are sealed…

Don’t forget, Fractured Sea is on pre-order for $0.99 until the release date of August 31st.


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Spoiled Gambit is Here!

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The very last novella of my Jagged Scars Series, Spoiled Gambit is out today and will be $0.99 for one week only!

Pick up your copy now!

 

Cal screwed up. He trusted the wrong guy. Wendy almost died and Shelter fell. In an attempt to assuage his own guilt, Cal joins a dangerous mission to lead the Primate’s people away from the survivors.

While laying a false trail for the Primate’s Skinnies, Cal discovers some old friends, but he also finds an enemy even more dangerous than the Primate. Now the group must decide if their objective has changed. Cal will do anything to prove to the others, and maybe himself, that he’s not a traitor. But will it be enough to keep his friends safe?

 

Three-and-a-half years ago, after I finally finished a good draft of Fractured Memories, I did as I always do, and sent it to my beta readers.

Beta readers get a version of the book that is good, but not great. No matter how long I work on a draft, it still has problems, and that’s why I bribe my beta readers to help me out.

Well, they came back with a few comments about the characters in the book.

Now I thought my characters were fine. And they were, in my head. But on the page a couple of them fell flat. One beta reader even asked, “Why is this character here? She doesn’t do anything.”

Okay that hurt. I loved the characters, but I had somehow missed making them shine on the page. After a few minutes of pouting, I pulled out the book I often turn to when I’m struggling with characters, and I flipped through it until I found what I had been missing.

The side characters didn’t have wants and needs. Most of them weren’t really struggling with anything, they were just there to accent my main character.

Well, I decided I could fix that.

You know that scene in Fractured Memories when the teenagers talk about their dreams and ambitions? How Arie wants a piece of the council and Cal is in love with movies? Yeah, that wasn’t in the original draft. Neither was the fact that Kev is dyslexic (which I never say, by the way, but it’s shown throughout the series) and Arie loves art. None of that depth was there, and I’m so glad that my beta readers forced me to put it in. Each of these factors play through the entire series.

While it makes me sad to leave these characters behind, I’m excited to be moving on to a new project.

 

 


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