Following Through with a Plan

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Good morning! Yes, I’m back. It’s been a crazy couple of months. Between writing and tax season, I’ve been so busy. But I’m getting back on track and ready to get this blog back up and running. So, here’s to the rest of the year!

How many times have you made a plan and then didn’t go through with it? Maybe you set a book release and you couldn’t finish the book in time. It’s always good to make sure you write down your plan and try to keep to it. This keeps you from procrastinating. But what happens when everything is against you such as time, life, and all the things in between? Here’s a couple of tips for making things happen when you need them to…

I’ve been trying to finish my latest WIP and somehow I let my busy schedule take over. This is the first time in a long time that I didn’t meet my deadline. And yes, I procrastinated to the point that the book went to the back burner. As a writer, that hurts. 

Let’s talk planning. When you have a book idea, excitement bubbles up and you’re pumped. But there’s more to it than just the idea. You’ve got to focus on the idea and make sure that it can be fleshed out into a book. This step needs a plan. 

Look at it like framing a house. Without the frame, you wouldn’t have the house. A book plan is the same thing. Here are the steps to getting that book into the hands of your readers…

  1. The Idea – Yes, this is the exciting stage where you get the spark. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the moment you’re sitting there and all of a sudden you have the best idea for a new book or series. But not every book idea comes to life. I’ve got so many ideas written down that didn’t meet the muster. 
  2. The Outline – Ok, I know some of you are more of a seat of the pants writer, but let me tell you, an outline can be the make or break for some ideas. When I have an idea, I sit down and figure out how it can go. Even if it’s just a simple, beat by beat outline, it helps you to know if you can make it work. 
  3. Flesh it out – Now that you have the idea and the simple outline, you can go back and give it some flesh. Fill it out and see if you have enough to make it a book. This is the point of no return or return to the pile of idea. Here is where you make sure that the idea can go the full gauntlet or get chopped off before it’s even finished.
  4. Scheduling – Here’s where you need to be honest with yourself. If you think your idea can go 25,000 words, don’t schedule a release in 25 days. Maybe you can get it written in 15 days, but there’s so much more that goes into it than writing it. Make sure that you schedule every step of the writing process. I had to learn this the hard way. Here’s a couple of items to think about when scheduling: A. Cover design B. First Draft C. Revisions D. Read Through E. Editing F. Prerelease Marketing G. Final Draft, and this is just a few steps.
  5. Writing – Now, here is the fun part. You finally get to put words on the page. The first draft isn’t perfect, so don’t expect it to be. Get the bones on paper, then go back and fill it in. 
  6. First Draft Read Through – This stage is fun. The bones of your book are there. You’ve finished the first part of the process which to me, can be the hardest part. This is the stage where you’ll know it the idea will actually make it. If the outline didn’t catch it, the first draft will.
  7. Edit, Edit, Edit – Now, read it out loud as you edit. This is important before it goes to your editor. My editor has asked me before if I even read it before I sent it to her. LOL! 
  8. Cover Design – This process for me comes first, but a lot of writers don’t design theirs until this stage. Sometimes the cover comes to me with the idea. Make sure the cover represents your work. Don’t do something to deceive your readers. And simple still works… 
  9. Marketing – Plan your marketing early in the process. Set a budget and schedule some prerelease ads. You don’t have to spend a bundle to get results. Just make sure to stagger your ads. Don’t overwhelm yourself. 
  10. Release Day – Make this a party. Setup a blog post. Send out Tweets, Facebook posts, Pinterest, TikTok blurbs, and any other social media you use. Make it fun and relaxed. 

I know this was a little crazy, but putting a book out to readers needs a plan. And my way may not work for everyone, but it does for me. Hope it helps in some way.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 

Are you ready for the weekend?

Good Wednesday morning! We are halfway to the weekend… Are you ready?

As I sit here working on the last couple chapters of Broken, I’m looking forward to the weekend. It’s not that I have some exciting plans, but I do enjoy sitting longer with my coffee and sleeping in on the weekend.

So, what’s your plans for the weekend ahead?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Monday Coffee Thoughts…

Good Monday morning! I hope your coffee is flowing freely. Now, as for my coffee enhanced thoughts, let’s talk about characters…

There are many different aspects of a character that you write. So, let’s get right into the conversation. Now, when you start a new story, you have to introduce your characters. But you can’t properly introduce them without knowing them. That’s where a good character write-up comes in.

With a character write-up, you need to get into as much detail as possible. Here are the different elements I put into mine.

  1. Description – Eye color, hair color, flaws such as scars. Age of character is important.
  2. Attitude – Is the character a gentle soul, or a sharp tongued character.
  3. Occupation – Cowboy, secretary, businessman, or whatever they do.

This is only a couple of items, but you get the idea. I always leave plenty of room to add new things that come about as I write. It’s important to keep things the same. Readers notice if your main character has blond hair at the start, then dark hair in the middle.

Make sure that you keep a notebook for each work so that you can keep up with everything.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Don’t forget, Broken is coming this month!!!

Writer’s Block… It happens!

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Good morning! Yes, I said it. If you plan on being a writer, at some time or the other you will have writer’s block. And the worst part is, it normally comes when you are on a deadline or a wordcount needs to be met. It’s never during a convenient time.

But, what can you do when it threatens to sideline your work? Well, I tend to sit back, take a breath and focus on something else. If I’m stuck at a particular place in my manuscript, then I skip ahead. Sometimes that works to get the creative juices flowing.

Other times I go back and read over what I’ve written. It can make the story come alive again. Or even I will go to the next story I’ll be working on and at least work on the outline.

To me, Writer’s block is like when your mind freezes up. So, you have to jolt it back to reality. That’s why I keep doing something with my writing. Whether it’s a step ahead, a step back or a step in a different direction, I make it count.

That’s why I love having a detailed outline to go by. When I get stuck, I have it as a reminder of where the story is headed. And if I need to go ahead to another chapter or place in the book, I can without getting lost in the details. Then once the block has passed, I can get back to where I left off.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Promotions that work…

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We’re halfway to the weekend and I feel as though I’ve been back pedaling. So much to do… So little time…

My latest book release went better than I expected it would. And I owe the success to the stacked ads and promotions that I ran surrounding the week of release. I’d read about doing this and was a little skeptical, but now I know it’s the thing to do. But for today, I want to talk about the biggest boost promotion that helped me.

I did run about 5 different ads for the release of SAFE. The sales began to rise, but they weren’t spiking enough to hit a bestseller list. That is until my double ad that I ran on https://faithfulreads.com/. Within an hour of the promotion hitting the Faithful Reads website and social media accounts, my sales began to go up at a rapid rate. All through the day they continued to rise.

Now, you may be saying, how do I know it was the ad through Faithful Reads that helped so much. Well, I kept up with all of my sales on the days that the other ads ran. And then when the Faithful Reads ad began, it was evident what worked. By the end of the day of the promotion, I was sandwiched between four top authors. It was exciting as I watched the rank rise. Then as the promotion was about to end, I hit #3 on the Amazon charts. The first and second place books were top ranking authors, so I was thrilled to be #3 behind them.

Over the last couple of years I’ve used Faithful Reads many, many times. They’ve always proven successful. And the fact that to run even a double ad with them is reasonable only adds to the awesomeness of using them. But remember, this promotional site is for clean books, no erotica books and no short stories, only books over 50 pages.

Their prices range from $30 to $65 per ad. They join with eReader Cafe for double features which cost the $60 or $65. And I can tell you this, it’s money well spent. They never disappoint. As an author, I’ll always use them for my promotions, and I hope you will as well.

www.faithfulreads.com

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Monday… One cup more…

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Good morning! Wow, after a busy weekend, it seems like it flew by. I may need two pots of coffee this morning. And it’s rainy outside, so the yawns are long this morning, but I have at least 1500 words before I go to the office.

So, how do you reboot after a busy weekend? Coffee? Tea? Soda? This morning I gave myself a treat. Normally I just drink black coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon, but this morning I added just a little French vanilla creamer for a boost. Well at least for the first cup…

Now, as I settle in to write and get in my word count, I’m refocusing on Broken, book 2 of the In Harm’s Way series. Book 1 has far exceeded my expectations in sales. I’m so psyched about book 2. I’ll be sharing the cover this week, or at least a peek at it. And if you think Safe was suspenseful, just wait until you start Broken. I’ve had to take a moment several times as emotions overwhelmed me.

So, hope you have a great Monday and enjoy at least one more cup of whatever it takes to get your eyes open… For me it’s always coffee.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Feeding the beast…

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Good morning! I’m not sure about you, but it feels like a Monday today. Maybe it was the long weekend…

Now, on to the post. Feeding the beast… The beast for an author is our overactive mind. And sometimes just writing doesn’t feed our overwhelmed minds. We have to keep feeding it or the crazies set in. Most writers have stories, characters, and words whirling around all of the time. Some days it’s hard to concentrate until I’ve written some of it out of my mind.

But, writing isn’t the only way to feed the beast. One of the great ways is to read. And try to read something out of your normal realm. It helps to give yourself a challenge. Read a new author… Read a new genre… Read…

One of the ways I feed the beast is to outline, or rework an old manuscript. I even revisit a discarded story that didn’t get anywhere. Anything to challenge my writers brain.

So, try it out. Exercise your writers brain. Feed it with reading, working, writing, and even learning more about your work. It helps.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Sunday Morning Coffee & Blessings…

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Good Sunday morning! As I sip my coffee this morning, I’m thinking of the blessings that abound in my life. I have an amazing family for which I’m so grateful. I have a career as an accountant and it’s blessed me beyond words. And my writing career has taken me to new heights as each book builds on the last. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways that sometimes I don’t feel like I deserve all that He’s given me.

Some days I just sit in awe of everything that’s good in my life. Now don’t get me wrong, there is bad in my life too. But I strive to keep it from taking away from the good. Sometimes I let my writing take the bad away. I lose it in the words.

So, my advice to you on this holiday weekend is to take a long look at your life. Even in the darkest places we need to count the blessings that we do have. And you don’t have to be a writer to write out your bad days. Grab a journal and write in it every day. If you’re having a bad day, then write it down and forget it. Leave it in between the pages.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Notebooks, Journals, & Pretty Note Pads…

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Good morning all! Most writers have a love of notebooks, journals and pretty note pads. There’s something about a colorful notebook that just inspires you. Then there are those that are so pretty that you hate to write in them, but you just have to. It’s like some sort of code.

My husband and son just roll their eyes when I buy another one. I have them everywhere so that when the mood strikes, I can make a note for a story. Is it a problem? For me, no it’s not. But others think that it is. Good thing I don’t set my ways on what others think.

There are so many different kinds. Spiral, leather bound, lined, plain, colored, floral, designer, sticky, big, small, thick, thin, the kinds are endless. But it doesn’t matter, they are work the way you want them too. Each of my series have their own notebook, not to mention numerous notepads with notes on characters, places, and scenes.

So, are you itching to buy a pretty notebook or a nice journal? I do think I might need to run out and get another one, just in case I use all the many I have now.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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