Aug 302013
 

newsletterThis is already my final post for the Indie Block Party. Can’t believe it has gone this fast.

One of the most important things an Indie writer must do is building a name for themselves. Creating a brand for yourself is hard, but a must, as readers need to start recognising your name (whether your own name or a penname) and know what books they can expect.

Yesterday I mentioned that sometimes I write articles voluntarily. I am not paid for this, but it helps building my brand, as my name is mentioned on websites and in local newspapers.

One thing I whish I had known before I started self-publishing was the importance of having a brand and thereby the opportunity to start marketing a new book even before one word is written.
Building a new-release-mailing-list is the first thing a new author should start doing. Get a website (they can be set up for free in five minutes via site like WordPress.com) and give visitors the opportunity to register for the mailing list. Mailchimp.com offers free mailing lists.
Also, set up an author page on Facebook and start building ‘likes’. It is best for a mailing list and likes on Facebook to grow organically, which takes a lot of time.

Indie writers are a helpful bunch, who congregate on forums and Facebook groups to help each other out. Instead of seeing other writers as competition, Indie writers have found that sticking together they sell more books.
Some groups and forums that writers should join or visit regularly are Indie Writers Unite on Facebook, the KDP forums and Kboards, which have a special section for writers.

Keep in mind that most people don’t like seeing loads of ‘Buy My Books’ post in their newsfeed on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, it is important to let people know your books are for sale, but it is more important to socialise and connect. If people see that you are interested in them, it will reflect favourably on the brand that you are so carefully building up.

Above all keep writing! There is no better way to get more sales than publishing a new book.

I have had loads of fun these past two weeks meeting new writers! Good luck to everyone!

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Interested in reading about the other writers in the Indie Block Party? Then follow this link! (Scroll down the post a bit until you see the picts of the participants.)

Aug 282013
 

typingWriting definitely become easier the more you do it. My number one tip would therefore be to keep writing and practising as much as you can.

This doesn’t need to be full-length novels. I personally write a lot of short articles, many of them for a local historical society. I am not paid for that, but it helps me improve my writing. It also gets my name out there, which is important for marketing, but more about that tomorrow.

Fiction writing and non-fiction writing are two very different things.
I have the most experience in non-fiction writing. You choose a subject and do lots of research. Then you write it all out. Sounds easy and it is, as long as you know enough about your subject.
Fiction writing is different in that you have to set the scene, built a world and populate it with characters. In addition, you need a story, a plot. I have found that centring my stories around something that happened to me and then elaborate on it, works for me. I do have an imagination, but I am not at that level yet, that I can come up with just anything. My work in progress is in fact an experiment to see if I can pull it off to write fiction as well. So far, it seems to be working.

Sometimes I get a bit of a writer’s block. I usually break it by leaving that particular part behind for a while and start a new chapter. This seems to work for me as well as for many other writers.

Another very important thing in the writing process, specially when you want to publish your work, is getting beta readers and an editor! If you have decided that you want to make some money with your writing, you need to be professional about it from the start! Of course, you feel that your story is the best that was ever written, but it also means you are far too close to see its flaws. Don’t be stubborn and listen to your beta readers and editor. They are there to help you, not to throw you under the bus.

My WIP is a good example. My beta readers liked it, but felt there was something missing. I have been thinking about their remarks for the last three weeks and have concluded that all of the 20,000 words need to be rewritten. Difficult, but necessary and the book will be much better for it.

Keep writing everyone!

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Interested in reading about the other writers in the Indie Block Party? Then follow this link! (Scroll down the post a bit until you see the picts of the participants.)

Aug 272013
 

dog rockMy Top 5 most favourite books are:

1. Dog Rock by David Foster
2. Big Doin’s at the Chinese Baptist Church by Perry Bradford-Wilson
3. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. Champagne for One by Rex Stout
5. One pair of hands by Monica Dickens

If you’re wondering if there are any Indie books on that list, the answer is yes! Number 2.

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Interested in reading about the other writers in the Indie Block Party? Then follow this link! (Scroll down the post a bit until you see the picts of the participants.)

Aug 262013
 

Georgian houseThose of you who have read the other Indie Block Party posts last week, will not be surprised to hear that I am currently reading a murder mystery. From the moment I started reading in earnest, mysteries have been my favourite genre, although I do read the odd sci-fi novel.

I am currently reading Fellowship with Demons by Lexy Conyngham. It is the fifth and most recent book in the Murray of Letho series.

The blurb reads as follows:
Edinburgh 1810: Charles Murray of Letho, a young gentleman of means, is in much demand: a rich widow, an old friend, and new military acquaintances all need his help. But when Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville, sends him an invitation, vanity and curiosity force him to accept – and straightaway he has to deal with murder. Why did a cowardly surgeon kill a drunken engraver? And what would the consequences be, in the rainy mists of autumn? In the end Murray’s answers to his problems will lead to a decision that will change his life.

The series plays in early 19th century Scotland, mostly in the city’s St Andrews and Edinburgh. Murray is the eldest son of a well to-do man and inherits his father’s estate after his death. Where the first two books concentrate on Murray’s university years and work as a teacher for an earl’s sons, in the last two books he is a bit older and master of the house at Letho and the townhouse in Edinburgh.
Needless to say that in each books people get murdered and crimes are solved, but it is not the typical ‘I’m bored, so let solve a murder’ type of story. If at all, Murray is a rather more reluctant crime solver.

I discovered the Murray of Letho series on Amazon when looking for something new to read and it had good reviews. I like to read series and don’t really care whether they have a historical setting or modern. Once I get invested in the characters I simply want to read more.

I sincerely hope that the Lexy Conyngham is busy writing more Murray of Letho books, as I enjoy them very much. In the meantime, I will go looking for new mystery series to read.

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Interested in reading about the other writers in the Indie Block Party? Then follow this link! (Scroll down the post a bit until you see the picts of the participants.)

Aug 232013
 

interviewIn this fourth post to celebrate the Indie Block Party, I have interviewed Sydney, one of the other writers participating in the blog hop.

Sydney Aaliyah Michelle is an author from Texas, who has spent June writing a new book.

Can you tell us something about this book?
The book is a NA Romance called Another New Life. At the age of 10, Miranda Preston’s parents moved her to another city to start a new life in hopes of her forgetting the trauma she suffered as a child, but Miranda couldn’t forget. When she turns 18, she goes away to college to start another new life in hopes of finally dealing with her past, but her best friend who she hadn’t spoken to since they were kids, ends up at her college. Their friendship starts where it left off 8 years ago and quickly turns into a romance, but his minor connection to her tragic past if revealed will certainly prevent them from being together.

Why did you decide to write it?
I recently returned to my hometown after living in China for the last 5 ½ years. I became obsessed with this idea. What if you had another chance with an old boyfriend, how would things be different?

Why did you become an author?
I became an author because writing makes me happy. I’ve done so many other things in my life, but nothing holds my attention, calms my mind and brings me as much joy as writing. I figured it’s about time I do something I loved.

What sort of books do you write?
I write New Adult Romance and Women’s fiction.

What inspires you in your writing and generally in life?
Reading inspires me in my writing. I read a lot and learn lessons from everything I read. I know a book is good if it inspires me to want to sit down and write something. In life, anything creative inspires me. I am in awe of anyone who creates something from nothing to something, whether it’s a book, a painting, photograph, or a tattoo.

Who is your favourite author?
Stephen King is my all time favorite author, but I read so many different genres. If I read a book, then I have to read the authors entire body of work. I’m currently obsessed with Molly McAdams and Rachel Morgan.

Do you have any hobbies?
It’s funny, I used to list writing as my hobby. Now that I’m a writer, I need to find another hobby. Reading, watching and quoting movies and finding and trying new restaurants are my hobbies.

Are you having fun at the Indie Block Party?
I am having a blast at the Indie Block Party. I have to take a moment to extol the greatness that is Fel Wetzig, the creator of the Indie Block Party. I’ve known Fel for over a year in the blog world and she is one of the most generous and supportive bloggers out there.

Thank you, Sydney! And good luck with your projects.
Followe the link to check out Sydney’s website.

As part of the blog party, I was interviewed by Skye Callahan. It can be read on her Website.

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Interested in reading about the other writers in the Indie Block Party? Then follow this link! (Scroll down the post a bit until you see the picts of the participants.)