It’s been so hard – as any self-published author knows – to deal with marketing and promoting on multiple platforms, especially when working full time. But it’s finally paid off – my first review and it’s 5 stars! Yay!
Delwyn of the Realms (Storming Archives – Book 1) – is the culmination of my chronicles – realized as a fantasy novel. As explained previously – I decided not to write a memoir and started channeling some of my experiences into a fantasy novel. (Which was a young adult novel at first – but it was so much more fun changing it to an adult fantasy – about a woman who deals with hypnagogic hallucinations and astral projection, and finds a mirror portal to the dream world.)
I’m almost finished with the first draft of the sequel – which has become a wild ride – to say the least. It was exhilarating to discover how easy the sequel flowed, once the first book was done. I started a group board on Pinterest – called “Storming” – where fellow (invited) pinners help to inspire me with images regarding the themes in the sequel.
What is daunting is the marketing and promoting. The platforms I’m using are Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Goodkindles, Shelfari, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Youtube – and others! I’ve used Fiverr for the book cover and advertising. I’ve paid for Twitter blasts and ad campaigns on Goodreads, Facebook etc.
However I knew that reviews would be the number one selling point – and my Beta readers (who say they’re loving the book!) – are taking their time putting reviews on Amazon. I am humbled by the amount of support they are giving me and understand that it takes time to first read a book and then review it. I’m just impatient – and seeing as I am not tech savvy – it’s been a giant learning curve.
Would I prefer to be going through a publisher instead? (Should I be so lucky? Is lucky the right word?!) I’d have to say – No – as much as the idea of someone picking it up and producing it for me is enticing. The problem is – especially these days – it could take an eon to finally get a deal with a publisher (or hook an agent), and after all is said and done – you still have to put a lot of legwork into the marketing and promoting.
So – for me – I find that having control over the book, and stretching myself thin and driving myself crazy with the promoting etc – has been a rewarding experience, after all is said and done. I released the novel as an ebook on Amazon in early Feb this year, and have only sold three units – but I started a freebie campaign today and I already have a 5 star review! (Oh Lordy – wiping sweat off my brow – teeth gnashing momentarily paused!) As at 9:19pm on this first day of the freebie campaign – 23 people have downloaded it.
I used to baulk at the idea of giving away my hard work for nothing – but the cloud has a silver lining. The great review was worth it’s weight in gold. It wasn’t selling that well without a review – so the freebie campaign has become a viable option. (The campaign ends on 3/10/15.)
What was bizarre – was that some of my Beta readers emailed me with glowing reports – but they weren’t putting the reviews on Amazon! (Sometimes it’s like herding cats – you have to be respectful and patient – not a strong point for me!) But it’s paying off and I’m learning as I go. The trick – I think, for any writer – is to persevere and not give up. Keep your eyes on the prize and remind yourself that your hard work is worthy of the struggle. (Pant, pant!)
I have created the paperback version on Createspace and am waiting for the proof to arrive so I can review it before I finally release it. I’m looking into creating bookmarks to take to bookshops, libraries etc. It’s amazing just how much is involved with promoting and marketing. AND IT NEVER ENDS! But I wouldn’t have it any other way! Once the sequel is ready for release, I will continue offering the first book free – occasionally – to keep pushing the units!!!! Where’s the vodka?
My novel is out – available on Amazon – Yay!
At the beginning of 2014, I set myself the goal of completing my first novel, and now I am happy to announce that I achieved that goal last weekend! That’s one of the reasons why I have neglected this blog (for shame!), as my focus was to bash out this book. During each fifteen minute break and lunch time, every day at work, I was hammering at my laptop and scrawling in my notebook, or reading and researching. On the way to and from work, I was listening to audio books, for ideas and to educate myself, on the topics included in my novel as well as on the process of writing.
Halfway through the year, it became clear that a straight out memoir was distasteful to me, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, was the idea of airing out dirty laundry: sharing anguish and personal content, just made me feel uncomfortable. Secondly, and more importantly, I had an idea that I had been throwing around for a long time, in the form of a Young Adult story, that I wanted to put more effort into. I realized, after a time, that the story was semi autobiographical, and I started including bits and pieces from this blog.
Then I discovered all the annoying rules that come with writing for a Young Adult audience, which include things such as issues with swearing, drugs, sex and horror. I thought, “Well, that leaves me out!” So I decided to change the protagonist to an older person – a thirty year old woman, so that it would be reasonable for her to have had the experiences in the story at her age, but not too far away from her teenage years.
Then I wrestled with how complex the story was and tried my best to simplify it. Then I worried that I was dumbing it down too much. I fretted over narrowing my audience down too much, but then making it so appealing for a wider audience that it was too boring! The see-sawing was working my nerves, to say the least! Then I thought, “You know what? I’m going to tell this bloody story, get some feedback from people I know, from different age groups and backgrounds, then I’ll revise it accordingly, and not before!” Which is what I’m doing now. I’m chewing my nails and waiting with bated breath, as they read and review my baby!
So now, as I wait, I’m researching different agents and publishers, confusing myself with decisions such as having my own author’s website or just sticking with my facebook page, and this blog 😉 – also, exploring other options such as doing my own ebook or self publishing. Anyway, shall I tell you what the novel is actually about, rather than blather on about the whole boring process? I suppose I should!
It’s called “Delwyn of the Realms”.
For Delwyn, the only way out is through, and beyond! What if her astral travels and sleep disorders are real, and what she’s been told, about being off with the fairies, was a fantasy itself? After a psychotic break and a marriage breakdown, she escapes to her Aunt’s farm in the country, to recuperate. She agrees to the therapy and medication, and goes through the motions to rejoin society, but she’s always been a dreamer, and finding a mirror that’s a portal to the world of dreams is just the perfect ticket to sanity, isn’t it? As all Delwyn’s afflictions and wonderful adventures in the dreamland plummet her further into the belief that she’s a “Portal Stormer”, and that she can continue existing with “One foot in each world, riding them simultaneously; expecting not to fall!”, her Aunt, friends and doctor scramble to save her from herself. The question is: which realm is the fantasy?
Wish me luck (and any feedback is most welcome!)
Happy New Year everyone!