Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Name your favourite book of 2014

At the last RNA meeting in Holborn last Saturday we were asked to bring our fave book of last year. Here are mine:

1. How to write and sell short stories by Della Galton. I got this as a Xmas present in 2013. I started reading it but then got other non-fiction stuff to read. Then I went to a Women's Weekly Fiction Workshop last October where Della was the main speaker and I was inspired. I read the rest of the book, and it made me decide, that yes, I do want to become a womag fiction writer.

2. Having read the above, I wanted more knowledge about writing for womag's. So I bought and read How to write short stories and How to write ghost stories by Kath McGurl. I now want to write ghost stories too for womag's.

3. As an indie author who wanted to be more business-like this year, I read 'Write Livelihood - How to create a business plan for authors ' by Ryan Petty. This is the book that I have been working the last few posts on about creating your plan.

4. I also read the first ebook in the 3-for-1 set 'Indie Author Power Pack' which is called 'Write. Publish. Repeat' by Johnny B Truant, Dave... and I can't remember the name of the third author. Buy it, cos it includes the second version of 'Let's Get Digital' by David Gaughran, and the second version of 'How to market your book' by Joanna Penn. All a v good.

5. Business books for authors by Joanna Penn. Straight forward talking for authors.

So, what have you read last year and what was your favourite book/ebook? Let me know.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

My pricing experiment

I have hinted about doing this on social media, and I have actually begun it - a pricing experiment. Up until this year, all my ebooks were either free or 0.99c. Then I started to read Dean Wesley Smith's blog 'Think like a publisher' again and the new EU VAT law came in and I decided to increase the prices of most of them. I am going to do this for maybe three months to see what the results are. Here is what I have done:

The Guardian Angels
The Railway Angel, the first in my YA series 'The Guardian Angels' is still perma-free. I am keeping it that way to entice readers to buy the rest of the series and a thank you. I am still getting lots of downloads for that. Whether those are being read or not I don't know.
The rest of the series is now $2.99 each.

Geraldine's Gems
One Good Turn is remaining as 99c it being the first in the series. More Fish and Don't Get Mad are both now $2.99. The others in the series 'Life' and A trouble shared are both $3.99.

These are both $2.99 each. The last one, yet to be written, will also be that price.

All these ebooks are now at $2.99.

I have priced all ebooks between 5K and 10K at $2.99. All ebooks over that word count and under 20K are $3.99.

So, I will let you know how the pricing goes. What results in sales I get.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Step 4 - Your goals for the year

So, here is the final step to your plan and the most important one I feel - writing down your goals for this year. To motivate you, here are mine:

1. To complete my YA fantasy series 'The Guardian Angels'
2. To complete my mermaid trilogy
3. To complete my adult romance series 'Geraldine's Gems'
4. To write 1 or 2 more of my Singleton village series (working on that now)
5. To maybe write another of my Asperkids series
6. To publish my first Asperkids books about Boring Billy
7. To get at least 5 short stories accepted and published by women's magazines
8. To earn at least £500 from no 7
9. To break even with my writing expenses this year. I've been working at a loss the last few years.#
10. The main one I feel is... to graduate from the RNA's New Writer's Scheme, hopefully with a Pocket Novel script. Working on this now. Am rewriting a script that I submitted a few years ago and did nothing with.

So there you have my ten goals for this year. I've been working on numbers 4, 7, 8 and 10 so far. Will give you an update on how I'm going with these in a few months time. So, what goals have you made for this year? Let me know how you are going with them.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Creating a business plan - Step 3

This is a third step, which you don't have to do, but I read it in an ebook I am reading by Ryan Petty about Creating a Writing Livelihood. It is to write down an inventory of all your assets eg stories that you have got to write, written and not done anything with or have ideas for. As I write ebooks for both adults and children, and have started writing short stories for women's magazines, I am only going to put on here the list for adult mss. Here we go:

To Complete: 1 x Geraldine's Gems to include a short story that will conclude the series
4 x Secret of Singleton short stories
Checkmate - old ms which I will be working into a My Weekly Pocket Novel

Written and not done anything with (ie their old mss in my wardrobe)
1. Forgotten Memories
2. Stay With Me (thinking of turning into a pocket novel)
3. A Matter of Time

Ideas for:
A series of 5 ebooks about superwomen heroes who fall in love with men who don't, to stop villains from creating monsters out of children with powers.
Lots of notes with ideas on for both contemporary and romantic suspense books.
Eden's World - might turn this into a serial outline for Woman's Weekly

Saturday, 20 December 2014

How to create a business plan - Step 2

I have posted about writing what you have achieved this year, so how about writing down what you haven't achieved. I am going to put down what I haven't, why I think this is and what I am going to do about it next year. Here we go:

1. Ebooks - I didn't achieve to write and publish as many ebooks as I wanted. I believe this was because I didn't make use of all the time I had because I was distracted by other ventures I was trying, which wasted time for me. What I plan to do - I have already started to make more of the time I have in the day to write.

2. Sales - I didn't achieve as many sales of my ebooks that I wanted to do. Why? I think this is because of the low price. All my ebooks are at 99c, which is a discount price. I now think that this is only suitable for discount buyers and not serious readers. So, next year, or even after Christmas, I am going to up the prices of all of my ebooks. I am going to think like a publisher. Lots of trad publishers have joined the ebook world and indies have to compete with them now, so I am trying to match their prices.

3. I didn't get my Asperkids series of books out there. Why? The publisher I had emailed the partial to hadn't got back to me about it. Next year I want to get my characters out there myself. Get the ms professionally edited, get an illustrator to do the cover and drawings in the book I want. Will be researching that next year.

4. I didn't get a short story in a magazine. I hadn't done the proper research and find out what sort of stories they publish. I have been to workshops by Woman's Weekly and know what they like now. I have been reading the magazines to get a feel for the type of stories they publish. I now have a better idea of what stories I will be sending to which magazines.

So, are there things that you haven't achieved this year? If so, what are you going to do about them? Let me know.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

How to create a business plan - Step 1

I got this idea from the current issue of Writer's News magazine, and thought it was a good idea so am using it to create my plan for next year's writing. The first step is to write down what you have achieved this year. So here I am doing this here.

1. Ebooks - I published three ebooks (2 short books and one story). They were 'Life in the Old Dog', 'The Vanity Quest' and 'The Leaping Angels'.

2. I wrote a children's book, the second in the series about Asperkids finding confidence via a magical world at school.

3. I had published several letters in magazines this year, and got more rewards than I've done before doing this.

4. I started to give more talks at a local library, helping new authors get on the path to indie writing.

5. I created a new marketing website, to help other authors get discovered. This goes with a blog.

6. Finally, I wrote and sent off a story to Woman's Weekly magazine, after attending their workshops and realising what sort of stories they publish.

Despite all that I have achieved this year, there are things I haven't, and I will be mentioning those in the next post, and why I think this is.

So, what have you achieved this year that you are proud to have done? Let me know.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

My NaNoWriMo - how I did.

I would have posted this last week but things happened. My mum fell ill with the norovirus bug and I had to look after her (not that nice to do). Then the following day I went down with it too. I have only just got back my full energy to write again today. Yesterday I was feeling better, but did too much in one go first thing and felt faint. Today I am fine.  Anyway, how did I do?

I rewrote one story, which I worked out as 1600 words. This story is nearly finished, and when it is, I will read it again in the new year and send it also to Woman's Weekly.
I wrote another story at 2074 words. I cut that down in the end to just under 2000, and have sent that to Woman's Weekly.
I wrote the start of another story, which I am still writing the first draft. I reckon that made it to another 2000 words. I plan to finish this story this month, so I can send that too in the new year to Woman's Weekly.

I didn't achieve all that I wanted to do, but I think I did OK. I did work on my latest ebook in the mornings, and the stories in the afternoon. With writing late afternoon, which I don't normally do, but will keep on doing when I can.

So, how much writing did you do during November? Did you reach the word count you aimed for? Let me know.