Sunday, 27 January 2013

A new part to my business empire

This past week I have been having fun with a new venture and a new part of my business empire. Near the end of last year I found an ebook by a woman called Christine Britten about how to market goods on an online store website called Zazzle. I read this ebook and thought, that sounds a cool idea. I didn't do anything about it then as I was busy editing and publishing my third romance and third YA ebooks. Then a week ago I thought I'd have a look on the site and see how I could create my own store on Zazzle. It is so easy. And it is super fun. You can design merchandise such as mugs, buttons/badges, tea towels and alsorts of other stuff with your own designs. So far I have made mugs, tea towels, badges and other things with the designs of my romance and YA covers, and sayings that appear in my romance ebooks, eg the full saying of my One Good Turn is One Good Turn Deserves Another. I want to create as many items as I can, and there will be more as I write and publish more ebooks to do with angels. If you want to find my store here is the link.  Next I want to create postcards for A Trouble Shared and the Railracing Angels ebooks, and much more. So watch this space, as I plan to blog about how I am going and if I get any sales.

See you soon.

Friday, 25 January 2013

New health plan - update

Here is my update on how I am doing with my Slimming World Food plan. It is now the third week and I have lost...four pounds. Actually, according to the scales this morning it is now four and a half pounds. This surprises me because this really cold weather and snow has not done much good for my healthy eating  plan. When I get really cold I want to eat more, and that is what I've been doing. Yesterday I had three Murray mints, chocolate crackle with my banana and three oatcakes for supper. I did go shopping in the morning, so maybe that helped me lose the half a pound, I don't know. I am not complaining. Am happy that I have got down to that weight. I am now lighter than I was before Xmas and started eating all the fesitve foods we had, which was a lot.

I had planned to do this for a month to see how I got on. So far, I have reached my target weight and more. I might try to keep it up, but starting from next week again as it is planned to get warmer then and I won't want to eat more. Can't wait for it to get warmer and the snow to go for good.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Short, middle and long term goals

I have recently read Simon Whaley's ebook 'The Positive Productive Writer' and one of the things he mentions is good to have is short, middle and long term goals. So I have decided to let you know what mine are for this year. Here goes.

Long term goal is: to reach as many readers as I can.
How am I going to do this: There are 3 ways I have in mind, and I am already doing two of those. First, I want to find ways to get more readers on line. So, I have in mind to register with WattPad, as that is where I can find more YA and teen readers for my Guardian Angels series. I have already started working on the first of a new series of short stories about a magical matchmaking village. I had a short story I'd written years ago called The Shoes about a nasty woman who is taught how to be nice by magical shoes. I am rewriting this so she is wearing boots that make her nice and get her the attention of a man at work whom she fancies. The other way is to create a store selling products promoting my YA and romance series' with Zazzle, and I have already begun that, too. Writing more genres so that I am reaching a wide range of readers.

Middle goal is: to complete the first short story by February 14 and epublish it myself on all platforms. And by end of the month to have a few products out there promoting the ebooks, and promote them online. I also want to order some badges on Zazzle to sell personally. I also want to finish Billy by at least mid-Feb and send it to my professional editor. I want to epublish it by the end of Feb.

Short term goal: Today is to type up changes to first village story (done), and to write more on Billy, my young children's book I plan to epublish too.

So what are your short, middle and long term goals? And how are you planning to do them? Let me know.

Friday, 18 January 2013

An Aspergirl at Secondary School - Friends

Hello there. To my new followers, welcome to my Aspergirl series. For those newbies, I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is the lowest form of Autism on the spectrum. I have been blogging over the last months about living with Asperger's and how I coped with working in a small and large office and communicated with staff. Today I am talking about how I coped with friendships at secondary school.

I remember the day I first went to secondary school. I thought, oh my, this is a big building. I always thought that my being shy was down the school being bigger than I could cope with, and maybe it was in a way. Anyway, the only girl I knew in my class was a girl that I hated because she had picked on me at primary school (I hated the fact I had been put in the same class as her). I shall tell more about her later on when I talk about bullying. Most of my class either paired up or went into groups. A few of the girls I thought believed themselves to be better than us others and didn't really speak to them. I said hello to others in the class. In time, at school times, I did go with this girl I hated and another girl, whom I now think had a form of dwarfism.

Over the years, I made friends with another girl in another class, and she was part of a group of other girls. I ended up being friends with a couple of them, but always felt like the outsider of the group. I never really made any true friends in all the years I was there. Always on the outside. That was until the fifth year. There was one girl in my history lesson who sat behind me, she was friends with one of the girls in the other group of girls. This girl seemed to want to ping things at me. She has since apologised to me for doing that, as she is now my only closest friend I have. We became great friends and visited each other and went to each other's houses like friends do. Then came the sixth form, and my new friend went to a college whilst I stayed at school to do a business studies diploma. We stayed friends and have been ever since.

So that was how I coped with friendships at secondary school. Not very well. That is part of Asperger's as we do tend to find it hard to communicate with others and esp make friends.

Next time when I do this series, I will talk about bullying at secondary school.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

How a true romance inspired a story for me

I was going to write this for the RG2E blog but decided a few seconds ago to do it here in conjuction with the current Beach Book Blast blog event going on that features the said romance. The romance is 'A Trouble Shared' and is the third in my Geraldine's Gems series.

Way back in the 90s, when I was working still, it was Christmas. One of the sub-managers (not the real title as I don't want to give them away), had a deadline to get a book finished before the new year. Everyone was away for the break and he couldn't get it done. It stressed  him out. That evening we all went for a meal, but whilst there he broke down into tears. One of the other staff, the manager's secretary, went to comfort him. They hit it off. For during the run up to Christmas break, we saw them get closer to each other, and one time saw them kiss. I based 'A Trouble Shared' on this romance. I don't know how the sub-manager coped with the deadline after that in real life, but the way I imagined he did was what I put in the ebook with the lady helping him.

It was a few years later that they announced the were getting married. Then sometime after that they had a boy, and years later they had a girl. Sad to say, and I know this will spoil the happiness of the tale, but a few years ago they went their separate ways.

So that is the true story around 'A Trouble Shared'. I have offered to give away three copies of the ebook on the blog.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

A new year and same health plan

I am back on the Slimming World Food Optimising Plan. I put on a few pounds over the holidays and now I want to get back to being slimmer. I thought if I began blogging about it here, then I would be accountable to others and it would be the incentive to keep at it and not let it go down the pan. I began it on Monday. Had a few dates but no walnuts. I think that might be the day I had a stomach upset too, so the next day my weight went right down. But then on Tuesday I fell off the wagon, and I had a half packet of crisps, a seed bar, some nuts and dates, and the weight came back on. Yesterday I was serious about it. I had an extra mint but no nuts and dates. Today my weight had gone down half a pound. I aim to lose a couple more pounds and be really serious again about this plan. I collected the free booklets in the paper over the last five days and have kept them on the coffee table so I can see them and know I have to do this.

It is about exercising as well as eating the right foods, and the right portions of foods. So far this week I have done at least an hour of walking (inc walking round Sainsbury's). Today I did 7 mins to and from the newsagents to get the paper. And I have been wandering round here at home doing things such as emptying bins and putting out our recycling.

So, next week I will come back here and let you know how I got on with the food and exercise. See you then.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Publishing Strategy 2013 - Final Part

So I have reached the last questions I need to ask myself before writing my business plan (which I intend starting on today after lunch). Here we go:

Which social media platforms are really working for me? And which ones would I like to add? Well, I think that Facebook is working for me, but not Twitter so much. I now have a Street Team on Facebook which I really need to work more on. I want to add Wattpad to this as I have read that young adults use this a lot, and my Angel ebooks are targeted for them.

What are my readers and fans saying about my 2012 releases? I don't know, as I haven't had any feedback from readers, only other authors saying they sound like nice stories.

What can I do to continue to create my multi-media empire centred on my brand? I plan to order some badges/buttons with pictures of angels on from Zazzle and hopefully sell them at events. I plan to write and publish a new series of short stories about a magical village. And I plan to raise awareness of Asperger's Syndrome in adult, esp women, with publishing articles about my life with it.

Which Indie epub platforms am I seeing growth on and not? Well, both Amazon and Smashwords I am seeing sales go up, earning more on Smashwords. Kobo not so much as I've only sold one ebook on that. I am thinking of selling my ebooks through my website via Ganxy, but yet to work that one out.

What will my prices be this year? I am sticking to the 99cents for ebooks under 10K. Ebooks that are between 10 and 20K will be $1.99. Ones that are between 20 and 30K will be $2.99 etc. My goal is to reach more readers, and I feel that these prices are working for me now, so why fix it.

What will I do to continue to stand out as the purple cow to publishing Oz? I think my main aim is to raise awareness of Asperger's/Autism in adults by releasing my blog posts as articles, as those blogs have got lots of comments, and positive ones too.

Is my target audience the same? No. I feel that I want to reach out more to adults with my romances. Reach out more to teens with my Angels. I also want to reach out to the younger child with my series of magical school books I have started. And I want to reach out to adults with autism and adults who have children with Asperger's to let them know what life can be like as an adult with it. So watch this space...

That is my strategy. Now to get working on my business plan.

Friday, 4 January 2013

My Green Motto for this year

I have decided to give myself a motto for being green this year - If it's recycleable, compostable or flushable then I will do that with whatever it is. I want to recycle as much as I can this year, try to reduce the amount that goes in our black bin and put more in our green bin. So far I have flushed away all the wipes I have used. And I have been sorting out my folders full of info about writing and being honest with myself if I need them or not. I have put a lot of papers for recycling so far. Still have some more decluttering to do as I am working my way up to my bedroom, where I know there are more papers and magazines that need chucking out. I want to keep what I really need for my writing business and nothing else.

So, what motto have you given yourself this year? And have you pledged to be greener than before? I can' t be as green as one man in Birmingham that was in the paper the other day. He only had one black bag to put in his black bin for the whole of 2012. How far have you gone to be green?