I want to thank everyone for the Birthday wishes yesterday! It will leave an everlasting impression. I hope by the time the next one roles around, I will have more books out there for you to read!
The last time I posted, I was waiting for my manuscript to get back from the editor ... still waiting. In the meantime, I had been warring with which story I should continue with. I haven't decided one hundred percent. So ... I've been working on two. I really need to get Broken Again, the second book in my Fate Intertwined series, done. I want it in your hands before the end of the year. I left everyone hanging and the story of Treva Stone and Ronin Hollister does continue, I promise. But Warning ... It is not for the faint hearted. Treva has been taken, and Eric Manchester does not plan on letting her get away ... this time. The clock is counting down. Time is running out. Ronin needs to find her. Will it be too late?
I get goose bumps thinking about the story. I can't wait to get it done. I'm excited about my new Novella, What Brings Tomorrow, as well, but I'm super stoked for another book I am working on. I'm going to keep it secret for a bit more, but I'll let you in on the fact that it's leaning towards otherworldly.
It drives me batty having to push back my release date. It will be worth the wait. Plus, I have to admit ,all of this waiting is pushing me to write more. I'm trying to keep myself nice and distracted with projects. This year is going to rock!
My fingernails have been chewed down to the quick. Today, I should be receiving my book, What Brings Tomorrow, back from the editor. Don't get me wrong, this is an exciting time of the process. But ... I always get so nervous what other people will think of my writing. This is a new editor I am using, and she works for a traditional publishing company. (If that gives you any clue into my jumbled up feelings). This could mean a huge opportunity for me. If she likes my writing she will pass it along to the publisher.
Here I go biting at my fingers again. Pretty soon they will be nothing, but bloody nubs. I need a diversion. I'll get back to writing about my journey.
I have had multiple people ask me how I come up with a story line. In my case, I have a crazy imagination, and wild dreams-vivid, wild dreams. Yes, I dream in color. Right now, I only have one book published for the world to read, but I have 6 other books in the works. Once I am able to get them done, I am sure that everyone will be able to see what I mean. I keep a notebook close by and when I wake from an unsettling dream, I write it down. A lot of my scenes in my books are different dreams that I twisted and made custom to fit perfectly into the story.
Characters. When I am creating a character, depending on their role, I begin by simply penciling them in. As my story progresses, I will go back and add more distinct characteristics, developing their personalities.That is one beauty of writing, you can always add, or take away. Other ways to develop a character is just by watching. I am guilty of using real life people with similar traits to help me with my development. And come on people ... just because I write erotica, does not mean that every scene has been a personal experience. (Not that I would admit anyway). I work daily at trying to make my characters come to life. I want you to walk right into my books when you open them. I want you to feel their emotions; love, hate, agony, elation,connection and so much more. That is why we read after all, isn't it?
If you are an aspiring writer, like myself ... keep on writing. Never give up if it's what you love.
I have been staring at the walls trying to figure out my next direction. My mind literally spins and whirls with story ideas, but I'm trying to find that one. That one story that blows the others away. I have been leading you on a journey through my writing and publishing process, and this is part of it. Finding "the story".
My new book, What Brings Tomorrow is at the editors and the cover is in the process of being designed. Now I'm in limbo; Do I finish my YA fantasy? (Which I should add is so close to completion) Or do I work on a new story that has been building in my head ... pounding to get out? Or do I get my focus on and finish what I have started with my two series, that only have books one done? I really wish I could type faster. Maybe, none of this would be an issue.
Okay, I'm sure you don't want to hear the war I have going on in my head, so we'll get back to the journey.
March to me was an amazing month. I was elated. I had over 1,300 books downloaded. I was sitting on high, and then April came and sells dropped. I had a total of two sold. These numbers were a disappointment. It was clear to me, people want stuff for free. It's just a simple fact, but when so much heart goes into building something ... you hate to just give it away. Let's not forget to mention, creating a book is NOT free. How do you as a no name Author get out there and start to be seen? Or better yet, on high demand? No seriously that is the question.
I keep going back and looking at sales over the months and correlating the different places I used for advertising, but in truth I don't feel like some of them worked in leading to more sales. It could possibly be that my ads aren't catching the eyes, but it has to be something. Hopefully, me writing about this I will be able to have a journal to look back on for future ideas. I would like to add, just because I have had no luck with advertising doesn't mean that you will have the same experiences. I will make up a list of some of the places that you can advertise your book.
Until next time, I will be working out my next story.
Continuing my journey through my personal writing experience, I had Ieft off in February. February left me feeling pretty elated. I had an entire box of books out in the public.I knew ... they were going home and digging right in, and then the reviews would be tumbling in.
A little side note; when you are an Indie Author, most advertising companies find you unaccredited. You are an unknown name in a vast sea of thousands of very well knowns. Some of the advertising companies want you to have a certain amount of reviews to advertise for you (even if you're throwing money at them). This is a lot harder task than it sounds. Out of that box of books I sold, to my close friends and clients, a total of one of them ... seriously only one of them wrote a review. I had heard some great verbal feedback from some of them, but no one would take the time to write a review on Amazon for me. Don't get hung up on the fact your friends and family will help. I hate to say it, but sometimes family might not take what you're doing serious. You have to reach out in other places as well.
Back to March. When I published, I had no clue on the different platforms and where and how to get my book other places. I used Createspace, and Kindle. That was it. Kindle Direct publishing, however, does have a "perk" that you can sign up for called Kindle select. When you self-publish you can create your own prices, but using Createspace you do have a minimum price you can sell your books for, but when you sign up for Kindle select, you have the opportunity to do two different deals in a ninety day period. The first deal ... you have five days in that ninety day period you can offer your kindle book for free, zero dollars. Who wants to give their hard work away for free? When you are a new Author it's a great way for readers to see what you're all about. Free promotions can be very advantageous. The second deal you can do is a Kindle countdown. This starts out on the day of your choosing at a lower amount than what your book is selling for and then each day the price raises. For example, if your book is 6.99 and you decide to run your deal for three days you could start it at 2.99, then 4.99 then it will go back up to the normal price. People like deals.
My personal experience for March exceeded my expectations. I decided to do a Kindle free promotion and ran it for five days consecutively. I am new to all of this, so everything I do is trial and error. It was amazing to see my books being downloaded. I had almost made it into the top 100 on Amazon in one day.
This is a little chart to break it down what I did for March:
In the US:
I sold 2 books, had 2 Kindle Unlimited downloads, and 1,239 free downloads
I had 1 Kindle Unlimited download, and 49 free downloads
5 free downloads
1 free download
2 free downloads
36 free downloads
2 Kindle Unlimited downloads, and 4 free downloads
6 free downloads
10 free downloads
1 free download
Yes, that is a lot of mumbo jumbo, but for March I had a total of 1,360 books downloaded. I might add that it was literally all over the world. My book has been seen all over the world. I was absolutely ecstatic.
Some of this information is very private to me, but I really do want to help others the best I can. Please don't judge me on the numbers I put out for you to see. They may be of little value to some, but this is my journey... my life.
Thanks again everyone
I wanted to just let my readers know that I have been doing some seriously heavy duty writing, and I sent out a few Beta's today to get some feedback on my new Novella, What Brings Tomorrow. It should be out very soon.
Until, then I will try to keep you entertained with my adventures in writing.
Author RJ Heaton
Writing leads to so many endless possibilities. Let's see what worlds we can build today.