#IWSG & The Joyful Brigade

Wednesday, February 4, 2015



On the first Wednesday of each month writers everywhere get the chance to voice doubts and fears as well share and encourage each other. If you're not on the IWSG list, add yourself here. This month, Captain Alex will be ably assisted by Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, Sarah Foster, and M. Pax!

Recently, I've been thinking about what it means to be an indie author. I'm releasing another book in ten days, but unlike the times before, I'm not stressing over the promotional side of things. I've organized a release party on Facebook and a Thunderclap Campaign. The trouble is, as with all of my other books, I haven't really planned a sustained approach to keep this New Adult novel before potential readers' eyes.

After two novellas, two short story collections and eleven novels, it feels weird to say I still haven't found my audience, but I haven't. I know what my target market is, but haven't explored enough avenues to get me there.

The good thing is, I recognized ages ago that I'll be writing even if I have few readers and if I never make a living at it. I believe what is important is producing the best story I can with each release. Up to now, I've been able to say every book is my best book, so I'm happy in that respect. The rest will come with time and organization.

What are your struggles? Weighed down with all the hands you need to be effective as an indie-writer-cum-marketer? Any plans in place to promote your book/s?




 

Those in the know are aware that the Blogging from A-Z signup list is open. Hop over there if you haven't signed up yet. This year, I'll be a co-host and as such, I'll be looking for folks to help out as part of the Joyful Brigade. What you'll be asked to do is visit a set number of blogs each week. 

If you think you're up to the task and can manage that for a month, hit me up in the comments or at jmwordsmith at gmail dot com. I have sweet enticement in the form of the cute fella off to the right.

Wouldn't you love to this cutie pie on your blog too? My minion mascot was created by none other than ultra-creative Jeremy Hawkins.

51 comments:

  1. Sometimes we aren't even sure who that audience is until the book is out there. All we can do is our best to reach who we think is the right audience.

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  2. From what I've seen you've done a great job connecting the new release to Valentine's Day - I hope that will give your sales a boost.

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  3. I love your attitude. In the end I believe we all write for ourselves as much as for anyone else. My newest book came out a week ago and I'm still scrambling to think of a good marketing plan. Somehow I don't think "cross your fingers and hope for the best" works. :)

    Good luck with your new release too!

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    1. Thanks for dropping in, Charity. Most of us writers have the same sickness. We wanna write, but we're not promoters and if we do promote, we get it in at the last moment. Unfortunately, I don't have the cure.

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  4. Congratulations on your new book! That's impressive.

    Are you familiar with romance writer Courtney Milan? She mostly writes historicals, but she just came out with a New Adult book. She has a lot of resources for indie authors on her website. Her workshops on the subject are fantastic. As is Bella Andre. If you're looking for ideas on how to promote your book, I highly suggest them :)

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    1. Thanks for dropping in and also for your recommendations. I'm familiar with Bella Andre. Not so much with, Courtney Milan.

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  5. Stephanie beat me to the punch. I was going to suggest Courtney Milan as well. Good luck with your release!

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    1. Thanks, A.B., I'll definitely check her out.

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  6. You probably have a varied audience. Some people will like certain stories, others will like the other one. That's ok. Just keep writing and publishing!
    Play off the Page

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    1. Thanks, Mary. You're right because I write in different genres. Something I've noticed is that people who buy one book tend to read others as well.

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  7. I think readership is something that grows organically over time. I definitely have more readers now than I did a year ago, and I anticipate that # will grow the more content is out in the market.

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    1. Hi, Crystal,
      I do expect to reach some other readers with this story, since the age group is between what I normally write.

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  8. Thanks for being real. I am about to publish my 5th piece, my first novella, and I still haven't found the core group of fans I'd love to have. This is the year I'm focused on figuring out the marketing side of things. Scratch that. This is the year I'm focused on learning about marketing and do what I can to get my book into the right hands. I don't know that any of us every fully figure out marketing; it's too dynamic. Wishing you all the best!

    Also, I joined your Thunderclap!

    My IWSG Post

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  9. Thanks, Tia. I appreciate your support. You've hit the nail on the head. Sometimes, it work out to finding the right reader on the journey and having things spiral from there.

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  10. I've heard plenty of stories about authors who thought the were writing for one audience when in fact their audience turned out to be something completely different. People writing historical fiction that appeals mainly to romance readers, or chick-lit that actually appeals to a YA audience, for example. Maybe a little out-of-the-box thinking will help you find the kind of audience that will gush over your writing.

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    1. Thanks for weighing in. Brainstorming is a good way to come up with some new ideas.

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  11. I never really found my target audience with my series. I'd have better luck now that New Adult is more popular, but I haven't made the effort.

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    1. You should get back on that horse, Diane.

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  12. I'm still working on finding my audience too. Marketing and promotion are a mystery to me. I really need to talk to someone who knows what to do and get some help.

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    1. I think it's because the results vary so much, why the marketing and promotion seems like such a mystery. :)

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  13. I'm in the same boat, though further behind on the achievement level, lol. Congrats on being so prolific! :)

    shahwharton.com

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    1. Thanks, Shah. I learn something new with every book.

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  14. I just take it one step at a time, hoping I'm learning something along the way. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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    1. Good approach, Anna. I pretty much operate like that too, learning on the journey.

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  15. Congrats on your next book. I know for me as a writer, promotional work is the hardest thing for me. Cute little minion guy!

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    1. Thanks, Clarissa. Yep, the promotion gets me every time.

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    1. So true, Lidy. Those who like my writing seem to buy even the young adult books. I guess like anything else, we build as we go on this writing journey and maybe the promotion gets easier. I sure know more now than I did when I signed my first publishing contract.

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  17. You're not alone on finding your audience. Although I know my target market is, it's like walking in a fog when it comes to reaching out and building a readership. It's something we'll continually learn as writers. But one thing I do know is that once readers finds a writer they like, they'll follow you no matter what genre you write in.

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  18. I've read nothing sells your 1st book like your 2nd...3rd...4th, etc. Yes, you have to publicize your book(s) but not at the expense of writing the next one. Do your best.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. I will continue to do my best.

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  19. You have an amazing attitude. Good for you! Sometimes is hard to get to that conclusion that no matter the money involved, we are writing 'till the pen falls off our dead, cold hand. I'm sure in time you'll see your dreams come true. You are doing everything you can, so only success is possible. Best of luck!

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    1. Thanks, Georgina, a positive attitude - with a lot of proactive moves - helps with everything in life.

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  20. Man, I'm right there with you. Kinda tired of beating myself up over the marketing (or lack of). Everything I do tends to keep me away from my writing. I was readily accepted by Bookbub for a promo a year ago (turned out great), but have already been turned down 4 times since last November. From what I've read they're pushing more of the big-house published books and leaving little room for the indie writer...which I thought was the intent of Bookbub in the first place, to help the indies. Okay...finished with my whine...

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    1. Hi, Terry,

      I have had the same trouble with Ereader News Today. I suppose that once the big publishing houses discover what works, they are going to capitalize on it and of course, that will usually be at the expense of the small man. I haven't been able to get another ENT add since my last one, so I do what I must using the venues that are available.

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  21. Nice that you are not stressing over the new release. Have you submitted to Harlequin? I thought I saw a line specifically for Jamaican authors in the women's fiction venue.

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    1. Nope, haven't submitted anything in a while. It would surprise me if they had a line for people from such a small place. That would be cool though.

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  22. It's interesting that you say you still haven't found your audience. I think that is one of the most important steps a writer can take to further their careers.

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    1. That's so true, Micheal. Otherwise what we do feels like the Israelites wandering around in the desert.

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  23. Hi, J.L.! It was wonderful to see you're pixels at my blog on Blitz Day! Happy Writing!

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  24. Yay to The Joyful Brigade... marching along... onward and upward we go!

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  25. Joy you write so well. All you need to do is find your niche. Tricky, for sure. I wish you well. Good luck with the A-Z. I'm not participating, I'm setting my own April challenge--writing my new novel every day---bit like an ApNoWriMo, hahahah. Is there somewhere I can look up a list of themes? I will be doing the rounds once a week ish...

    Denise :-)

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    1. Hi, Denise,
      Smart to get busy with that novel. I think the sign up page will give you the categories, but not the theme. I know there will be a theme reveal bloghop in March.

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  26. Stopping by via the A-Z blog challenge list J.L. and from me too congrats on your next book and lack of stressing over it. Your time will come .. all the best!
    Susan
    http://www.gardenofedenblog.com

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  27. I wish I had some words of wisdom. Maybe you're narrowing your scope too tight. Maybe you can reach a wider audience by targeting romance readers. Which reminds me. I've met a singer here in Bucerias who has recently found her audience: Tropical pop. Maybe your audience is Tropical Romance readers. But really, if one likes to read good fiction, they'd be drawn to your books.

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Don't be shy. I'd love to hear what you think.