The Process of Publishing a Novel – 1 of 3

Check out the collection for all parts.

The first step to publishing a novel is often to write the first draft. This is the same whether you wish to traditionally or self publish. There are some exceptions to this rule.

If you’ve have an interesting story to tell from your real life or an expert in your field, a publisher or agent might reach out and request you write a book if there is a market in demand.

Some people prefer to hire a ghost writer to write for them. In this case you’re not the one physically writing your book and this post is not for you because today I’m covering writing the draft version.

Step 1 – Draft a Novel

Here is a handy info graphic of what I’m going to cover in this post.

You can save this to your Pinterest board.


If you’re writing a full length novel it’s useful to start with a plan. I don’t consider myself a plotter but I still write an outline. It helps me get from A to B, and a few check points along the way.

Some writers want a more detailed plan. They might want to design their characters, do some Worldbuilding and draw maps, or even need to research information.


This is obviously the most important part. If you don’t write the book there won’t be a book. However, don’t get hung up on making it perfect. You will not publish your first draft – in fact nobody has to see that monstrosity if you don’t want them to.

Writing a novel is a big task. It can help to break it down into smaller more manageable tasks. Many writers find it useful to set word count goals. Writing sprints can be useful to focus time on writing in quick bursts.

Here’s a handy post on beating writers block.

Self Edit

Some writers edit as they write – this does slow the process down but afterwards your manuscript is in a better shape. Other writers spew the words onto the page and tidy up the mess afterwards.

It doesn’t matter how you do it but you’ll want to give it an edit before letting anyone else read it. It’s easy to make mistakes whilst you are in the moment.

You don’t need to limit the number of self edits. Edit it as many times as you need to. Some people break the task into different focusses. For example, you might do a read through and look for inconsistencies, or focus on SPAG, or receptiveness, or pacing.

Here is a post with some tips on how to self edit.

Alpha Reader

Not everybody uses an Alpha. They are often someone you are close to and you show them an early draft to get feedback. Sometimes Alphas are used before a book is finished to assess whether the story has any merit before investing a load of time in it.

Self Edit

Whenever you get feedback on your book you should reflect on it. Did your Alpha share some ideas to help you improve your book?

Don’t worry if they didn’t. Many Alphas are already your personal cheerleaders (like your spouse, mum, best friend, etc). They might not have the skills to critique but when you’re battling self doubt, they are the ones picking you up and cheering you on.

They may also have raised issues or ideas you hadn’t thought about. Often when trying to get someone to understand your idea, you discover the plot holes or where things aren’t clear enough.

Beta Readers

These people read a draft you’ve worked on improving. You can even find paid Betas who have skills to highlight where you can improve your novel further.

Here is a post that compares Beta and ARC readers (and touches on Alpha readers).

Self Edit

Yes! You will get feedback from your Betas on how to improve your book. It’s best to have a few Betas and they may even have conflicting views. Allow yourself time to reflect on their advice.

Remember it is your novel at the end of the day and if their ideas are changing the vision you had, you don’t have to apply them. However, if several readers pointed out the same thing, they most likely have a point you should pay attention to.

You may even want to ask your Betas questions. For example, is this sex scene too much for teen readers? Um… yes, I’m working on a story where my Betas will be asked this. 😂

Get a Professional Edit…

The next post in my series is about getting your manuscript professionally edited…

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Shop Link.


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Behind the Book: 2020 Collection

Thank you so much to all the authors that took the time to answer questions on making of their books. I learnt so much through your different journeys, the struggles you overcame, your best tips, and discovering more about you and your book.

The book that started this all off was Number Eight Crispy Chicken by Sarah Neofield. I was part of her Street Team for the books launch and interviewed her as my stop on the book’s blog tour.

I learnt so much from Sarah Neofield and it helped me in my decision to self publishing. The “Behind the Book” blog post turned into a series.

By the end of 2020, I had conducted a total of 18 interviews! I have put them all here in this post for your enjoyment. So, make yourself comfortable and get reading!

Sarah Neofield – Number Eight Crispy Chicken


 Elexis Bell – Gem of Meruna

NB: This title now has a new cover

btb the gem of meruna

Kara S. Weaver – Crown of Conspiracy

copy of btb the gem of meruna

 J.D. Groom – Sorceress of Truth


Annabelle by Elexis Bell

NB: This title now has a new cover


Soul Bearer by Elexis Bell

NB: This title now has a new cover


Stuck on Vacation with Ryan Rupert by P S Malcolm

World for the Broken by Elexis Bell

Lanterns in the Sky by P S Malcolm

Mystical Greenwood by Andrew McDowell

Wiccan Romances: Amelia’s Story by Nicola Hebron

What are friends for? By Sarah Sutton

Wiccan Romances Sam’s Story by Nicola Hebron

Out of my league by Sarah Sutton

Petrified by Ben Meeks

Agent Undone by Cassidy Reyne

A heart of salt & silver by Elexis Bell

Out Foxed by RJ Blaine

The last Behind the Book interview for 2020 was part of R. J. Blaine’s Blog Tour for her book’s release. It was organised by Xpresso Tours and they created the blog banner.

If you enjoyed this, look out for more Behind the Book interviews in 2021, and my review for some of these books.

Book Review: Agent Undone by Cassidy Reyne

Book Review: Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom

Book Review: Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S Weaver

2020 Book Reviews

Book Review: Garden in the Sands by Ellie Mitten

The first review of 2021, and I’m changing my format a little. I’m not going to write about the Beginning, Middle & End as it was hard to do without spoiling the books.

I’ve been following Ellie’s writing journey on Instagram so when her book released I bought it. And, it didn’t disappoint!

The setting

Set in a world with gods & goddesses, Miran’s lands have been cursed by the gods to only have rain once a year. Water is now so precious and many struggle to make the year through the drought.

The characters

The book has two main characters, Quil who is human, and Lira who is a demi-goddess.

It starts off with Quil, a human girl from an affluent family. She’s not very good at being a classy lady, so her parents send her off to different noble families to improve. They are out of options… except the castle, home to the king & sickly prince. They decide to send Quil there and task her to spy on the prince and report back in her letters.

Lira takes pity on the humans plight, and worries the punishment will turn the humans against them. If she is to betray their farmer, by breaking the curse, she will be banished to hell. Lira is in competition with Arch as next in line, and can’t trust anyone.

My review

This book is a must read! I had no idea what to expect when I started reading. Quil starts off very stuck up due to her upbringing but evolves with the story. Lira is very untrusting of everyone, but her empathy for humans brings down her walls. Quil’s story was like a fantasy retelling of The Secret Garden, whereas Lira’s story was full of mythical beasts and sexy gods. Both stories had conspiracies and power plays going on. I didn’t see the ending coming, but it was amazing!

I loved this book! If you enjoy greek gods, mythical beasts, and The Secret Garden, then check out this amazing fresh take. This book will surprise you and keep you turning the page.


Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Shop Link.


If you enjoyed this, you will like:

2020 Book Reviews

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Behind the Book: A Heart of Salt & Silver by Elexis Bell

Book Review: Rebel of the Sanda by Alwyn Hamilton

15 Top Bookstagramers

There are so many amazing bookstagramers. It was hard to choose only 15, but I wanted my list to reflect the wide variety of accounts.

Each of these accounts bring something different but are united by a shared passion for books and reading. I’m hoping this list will be an inspirational starting point for anyone interested in starting a bookstagram account.

I hope you enjoy this list and I’d love to hear your recommendations too.

RainbowRogueReads by Sophie Critchley

Sophie takes stunning photos of her books like any bookstagrammer but what makes her account stand out is her incredible talent with makeup. Sophie creates makeup looks with a similar style/theme of her read. I think the account was previously called GoBookYourself.

Spoopyhol by Spoops

If you love books and makeup, check out Spoops, She also includes the ”making of” in her posts which I love – it’s like magic seeing an artist at work.

Elizabeth Sagan and James Trevino

I’m guessing this pair are a couple as they have a similar style and often appear in each others posts. The things they do with books is just wow!

View this post on Instagram

Where do you usually search for book recs? 📚 When it comes to the books I decide to read, I'm doing my best to go through everything that is sent to me, because for the most part, even though I have certain preferences and I'm a mood reader, I can easily pick up anything that falls into my hands and vibe with it. Once in a while there comes a book that I'm super excited for and I want to start as soon as it comes out, like in the case of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Midnight Sun, and now The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (Oct 6), but between those, I like to feel "morally obligated" to read what's sent to me because that motivates me to read more on one hand and I like to support the authors of said books on the other and this way I got to discover some truly amazing gems that now rank among my favourite books ever. So in the next 8 weeks, I am to read (at least) 6 books, and those are: – The Wig, The B*tch and The Meltdown by Jay Manuel – ALONE TOGETHER: Love, Grief, and Comfort Duriny the Time of COVID-19 – David Tung Can't Have A Girlfriend Until He Gets Into An Ivy League College by David Tung – The Cyborg Tinkerer by Meg LaTorre – Ashen Shadows by Ewe Linka – The Cull by Rachel Glickler 📚 #bookstagram #bookish #angel #shadowhunters #supernatural #bookangel #cassandraclare #redhead #redheadpower #redheads #bookgirl #angels #bookstagrammer #booksofinstagram #booksbooksbooks #goodreads #epicreads #read #reader #reads #reading #yalovin #bookrecommendations #bookstagramer

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View this post on Instagram

✨INTERNATIONAL BOOK GIVEAWAY✨ 🍂 One lucky winner will get hardcover editions these amazing books: 📖 THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V.E. Schwab 📖 TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by Christopher Paolini 📖 HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy (special omnibus edition including Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman 📖 SERPENTINE (illustrated edition) by Philip Pullman 📖 ENOLA HOLMES books 1-3 (including The Case of the Missing Marquess, The Case of the Left-Handed Lady and The Case of the Bizzare Bouquets) by Nancy Springer – paperback* 📖 GOOSEBUMPS (set including Monster Blood, Why I'm Afraid of Bees, A Night in Terror Tower, The Best from the East and Legend of the Lost Legend – all books in a special retro collector's tin) by R.L. Stine – paperback* 📖 THE BROKEN EARTH trilogy (including The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky) by N.K. Jemisin – paperback* 🍂 TO ENTER: 1️⃣ LIKE this post 2️⃣ FOLLOW @james_trevino, @elizabeth_sagan, @mybookfeatures, @lulumoonowlbooks 3️⃣ TAG 3 friends below (all in one comment) 4️⃣ DOUBLE YOUR ENTRIES by sharing this post on your Story and mentioning us 🍂 The giveaway ends Sunday, October 25, at 12pm EET (the winner, chosen randomly, will be announced in the following days on our Instagram Story – please do not send us DMs asking for the exact time; we will try to move as fast as we can so just regularly check our Stories). 🍂 We will contact the winner only AFTER the winner is announced on our Stories. Anyone contacting you otherwise or from another account other than our official ones is a fake! 🍂 This contest is in no way affiliated with Instagram or any of the authors or publishers. You have to be over 18 years old to enter or have parental permission. Good luck, guys! . . . #bookgram #bookcommunity #bookgiveaway #wizardingworldofharrypotter #humansofbookstagram #bookstagrammer #lovetoread #bookstagram #harrypotter #currentlyreading #hogwarts #youngadult #potterhead #writerslife #livrosemaislivros #libros #lectura #leitura #shadowhunters #sarahjmaas #calmversation

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Enchanted_Bookshelf with Colin the cat

This bookstagram features stunning hardback editions and a rainbow theme. Not only that, but fluffy Colin the cat features in many pics adding that extra enchanting factor.

Magicbookcorner by Laura D Child

If you want to discover new books to read, check out Laura. She is relentless in her pursuit of discovering hidden gems and actively supports new authors in getting discovered. She’s often one of the first to review the books she reads.

A_Bookish_Lass by Michaela Dieter

Michaelea shows how simple your gram can be. Her feed is mostly the book covers and her star rating. Her gram isn’t about arty book pics but helping her followers discover their next steamy romance. Michaela often reads Betas are ARCs enabling her to be up on the latest releases. She was in fact the first reviewer of Ocean Heart.

Booksshack by Noor

This feed is beautiful, it’s got an artistic aesthetic where every picture is unique but has the same colour tones. Then certain pics have been animated to give a hint of magic.

Bookstagram_Dreamer by Chloe

Chloe’s feed is very clever. It’s not instantly obvious, but she somehow finds objects/props to add to her pics to compliment the book. There are a few instances of her painting her hand, which is different.

BookBookOwl by Jen

This feed uses rainbows and flowers to present pretty bookish pics and start conversations about reads. Look out for the little finishing touches that makes this account stand out.

BewareOfTheReader by Sophie

Sophie is a collector when it comes to books, not just the books but the collectables that go with them. I saw a live unboxing of her getting a limited edition and the excitement was very real.

Nic_Reeves_Writes by Nic

This writer loves books and shoes, and this recent pic really sums up both. She’s a regular #footstackfriday contributor.

The_Book_Worms_Bookshelf by Abby

Abby is a book reviewer and writer. What I love about her feed are the pets that feature in her pics. I especially love her hedgehog. I once wanted a hedgehog but then found out they eat worms – yuck.

Mer.Reads by Mer

This booktuber is new to Instagram (appears to be). I really like her pop-culture vibe to her pics with the outline of her hand holding the books.


This account is so new it started on 1st January 2021. But it already has an impressive feed. It has a rustic, country cottage vibe (like the fairy god mother’s cottage in Cinderella is Dead). I hope this bookstagram sticks around as I love the warmth and magic radiating off these pics.

Redfae by Ally Aldridge

If you’re on Instagram, please give me a follow too. Like most authors, I also post about the books I am reading as well as those I am writing. Here’s my first bookstagram of 2021.


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Behind the Book: Swimming Sideways by C. L. Waters

Your book has been on my radar for a while but it wasn’t until recently that I realised what a journey you have been on and how similar our journeys are to each other.

What can readers look forward to in the series?

Swimming Sideways, the first book in The Cantos Chronicles, is the catalyst for the other two books, The Ugly Truth and The Bones of Who We Are. A YA Contemporary, it follows Abby Kaiāulu as she begins at a new school where she gets caught unwittingly between two young men—former best friends Seth and Gabe—who need to face their own struggles to find healing. Abby’s story is about her personal journey to understand herself as a young Hawaiian woman, but it also  inspires change for all of the characters. While each story is in and of itself its own narrative around  each of the characters, the series explores the series of events through their different perspectives. It’s a love triangle in some ways, but the love triangle isn’t the focus.

Are there similar series to yours?

Swimming Sideways has a Hawaiian cultural element that is very unique which I’m not sure comps very well, but I think Randy Ribay’s Patron Saints of Nothing has a gorgeous cultural element and Call it What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer is a lovely title that looks at how love can inspire individual growth. I had a reviewer compare my writing style to John Green and Brigid Kemmerer, so that’s awesome.

Tell me about the main character Abby?

Abby has moved with her family from Hawaii to Oregon; it’s a last ditch effort to save the family from what looks to be a divorce. Abby, though, is leaving behind a secret in Hawaii and is glad to be starting over and leaving that part of her life behind her. Oregon provides an awesome opportunity. She’s trying hard to redefine herself in this new place trying to be a good big sister to her twin brothers and a good daughter to her parents. She thinks that if she can just do things “right” then she will be able to control the outcome of this move. But secrets never stay hidden and Abby is going to choose whether the mistake controls her or if she’s ready to forgive herself?

The books in the Cantos Chronicles came to you out of order and you published book 2, The Ugly Truth, first. What was it like when you realised your first book in the series wasn’t book 1?

So frustrating and one of those forehead slap moments. But I also think that had I not written Seth’s story, The Ugly Truth, first, I wouldn’t have come to understand the other two stories. So while I made the rookie mistake, that mistake brought understanding and growth and helped me eventually finish the series.

Originally you published exclusively to Amazon but then moved to publish wide with Ingram Sparks. What motivated this change of direction?

After I finished The Bones of Who We Are (the third book in The Cantos Chronicles), I wanted to get them into local bookstores. After lots of phone tag, I finally got to talk to someone who in a very direct (but helpful) way said, “Why do we want to carry our competition?” (meaning Amazon). The question was eye-opening for me and made me reexamine my goals as a writer. What did I want? What was important to me and my author journey? Who did I want to be as a creative for the long haul? The answers to those questions helped me refine my ideas about my career as a writer and “authorpreneur.” That was the impetus behind the shift.

Tell me about a typical day in the life of author Cami (C. L. Waters)?

Up early (usually around 5am give or take thirty minutes in either direction). I spend time journalling and reflecting on my faith walk. Then it’s getting the family moving for the day. When they are gone, I’m working on the business side of writing: blogs, newsletter, beta-reads, editing, catching up on email, planning and implementing marketing strategies, whatever needs attention. In the afternoon I’m working on creative writing and wherever I am in my process. Currently, I’m rewriting my 6th novel. I wrote a blog describing this. Here’s a link:

Can you share a snippet of the book?

Sure! How much do you want?

Here’s a moment when Abby “meets” Gabe for the first time:

I slink out of the room, head down, and run right into somebody walking through the hallway. Ass on the floor and Good Abby can’t contain the bad one any longer: “What the hell!” I snap. “Watch where you’re going!” I look up at the culprit. The anger catches in my throat. I’ve bumped into a boy the size of a wall.

“I could say the same thing about you,” he replies. His voice has the lure of the ocean surf in the distance, a gentle and relaxing rumble. His bright blue eyes are the Hawaiʻi Pacific Ocean, intensely bright set in the golden glow of his bronze skin. His black hair is longish, curly, hanging over his sharp features though his lips are soft and full. He holds out a hand, the sinew of his muscles hinted in the exposure of the brown skin at his wrist.

He helps me up.

Someone in the hall passes and jostles him with a shoulder. The Wall loses his balance and knocks against me as I stand, but I don’t fall a second time. His arm wraps around me and keeps me from falling to the floor again. We’re so close that I smell the clean scent of him like soap and a hint of something spicy. My hand still in his, an arm around his solid and unforgiving shoulders, electricity winds up my arm straight to my heart and flutters with the current.

“Freak,” a passing voice in the hallway says.

I pull away regretting the loss of the connection but unwilling to go back to the social dump. Been there. Done that. This is me starting over.

Good Abby rule: Selectively choose your friends.

The Wall looks at me. His eyes have narrowed, the color now flinty, and the energy I thought I felt retreats somewhere safe. I notice the knowing look on his face, and it’s a knife in my gut. His jaw tightens. He recognizes this current version of me all too well. I identify his awareness because I was him, after all, the one they called names. It may have not been freak, but slut or whore did the same kind of damage. I knew a version of this new me too, and it makes me feel ashamed.

“Sorry,” he mutters and pulls his black hood over his head as he walks away.

Good Abby coaxes the bad one not to look back, not to watch him walk away. Bad Abby wants more than anything to turn around, say she’s sorry and let him know she’s been there. But she listens to Good Abby and goes to her next class. I walk away wondering which one is good Abby and which one is bad?

Excerpt from Swimming Sideways (2020) by CL Walters

Where can we go to discover more about you and your books?

My website is probably the best place to find out everything you need to know.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Shop Link.


If you enjoyed this post, you will enjoy other behind the book posts. Check out:

Behind the Book: 2020 Collection

Behind the Book: Agent: Undone by Cassidy Reyne

Behind the Book: A Heart of Salt & Silver by Elexis Bell

Book Review: And the Stars Were Burning Brightly

Goodreads 2020 Reads

Something I love about Goodreads is how easy it is to track my progress towards my reading goals. At the end of the year, Goodreads gives stats on my reads.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate shop link. NB: This post contains these affiliate links.

2020 Reading Goals

My goal was set at 12 books, thinking I could easily read one a month but I hadn’t taken into account how busy I’d be certain months launching my own book, Ocean Heart. It turned out just 12 books was harder than I thought.

The year has include some books I absolutely loved, and one I hated. I’m pretty good at choosing books I know I will love that I wasn’t surprised that my average rating was high. I just don’t have time to read books I won’t like. 😂

Wiccan Romances: Amelia’s Story by Nicola Hebron

This was my first read of 2020. It was a book I’d been eager to buy, but was lucky enough to win a copy from the author on Twitter! Whoop! Whoop! I love fantasy set in the real world so it was a good start to my year.

My last two reads of 2020 were Garden in the Sands by Ellie Mitten and… I rather unusual choice for me… The Substantial Meal by Florence Green. I’ve rated them both on Goodreads but still need to write the review.

Garden in the Sands by Ellie Mitten

I think I preordered this book, but I’m such a slow reader, by the time I got to it, it’d been out a little while. I’m going to write a review very soon but as you can see from my 5 star rating, I LOVED THIS BOOK!

The Substantial Sandwich by Florence Green

I can’t remember how Florence & I got talking, but I was a bit glum I wasn’t going to make my pathetic reading goal of just 12 books. I was beating myself up. Then Florence cheered my up by sending me his recent release, an erotic satire using innuendos and puns about the Covid restrictions. It was a quick short read and succeeded at cheering me up. Review coming soon.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas is the most popular book I read. I’m not surprised as I saw it all over Instagram. I actually bought my copy in summer 2019 at YALC.

Another YALC buy was Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. It’s a historical fantasy/fairytale retelling of The Little Mermaid. I really loved the book, and hope to read book 2 in the series this year.

A book that should be more popular is Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom. It’s contemporary fantasy and has everything I love in a book. The MC was relatable, but all the side characters were well developed. With a modern day sorceress, fairies and vampires, what’s not to love?

2021 Reading Goal

To alleviate pressure, I’ve lowered my reading goal to 10 fiction books. I know, some people can read that amount in a month. But, I read for pleasure. And, I have to be in the right mood. If I’m too tired or engrossed in my own writing, I just can’t get into the book.

I also have a few resource books I need to read and review. I didn’t review any last year despite reading some. So, you can look forward to that. These are separate from my reading goal.


If you enjoyed this, you will like:

2020 Book Reviews

Book Review: If The Broom Fits

Book Review: Agent Undone

8 Reasons Why You Should Write Reviews For You

2021 Goals!

This year, I’ve really struggled with creating my goals. The problem is there’s so much I want to do but where to start?

I know if I have too many plates spinning, they’ll all crash. As I’m writing this it’s January 1st and I’m finally choosing my goals after agonizing over them for two weeks. And… I may still tweak them before this post goes live.


Skincare routine: Over the years, I’ve tried loads countless products and I’m constantly changing my routine. During 2021, I plan to finalise my skincare products which I think will benefit my skin.

I hate waste so I need to use up products I already have, and it also depends on money too. I’ve already decided on the products and look forward to sharing these with you as I buy them.

Visit Hollowtree Farm: Fear of the virus and lockdowns reduced the number of places we visited. We even had a gift voucher for a fun day at the farm and never got to go. They’ve said it doesn’t expire so this is a priority for 2021!

Self care: I never have time to indulge in things like doing my nails or a face mask. So, I’m planning to reward myself with products to support this when I hit my other goals.


Sky Heart: This is the BIG one. I want to finish book 2 in the Soul Heart series. But… there are many steps to a published book so this will likely take me all year.

Publishing a Novel To Do List

For accountability, I’m going to tweet my progress every Sunday.

Novella 1: I’m working on two novella’s but I want to finish “Denny’s story” first. I’m thinking of using it as a readers magnet.

Novella 2: This project will be on standby and only worked on if I’m waiting on stuff for the other writing projects. This is ”Luna’s story”. I’m still working on the titles of my novellas.

Ocean Heart: I have ideas to do something special in Mer-May. But, I can’t say more until I’ve figured out the details.


10 Books: Yes, it sounds low but when I’m busy on a writing project I only read a chapter or two a night making my progress very slow. 2020 I only just hit my goal of 12 books. 😂

I do only record fiction books but I also read a few non-fiction books on writing. I’m hoping to review these on my YouTube channel this year, as well as other bookish content.

I will keep posting my reviews to my blog, Goodreads, Amazon, Book Bub, Litsy, if able to. I will track my reading goal on Goodreads.

Goodreads/Litsy/Book Bub/Book Sniffer: I’ve used Goodreads for a few years but never been very active. I hope to improve that and get better at using the other reading social apps. Which brings me on nicely to my next goal…

Social Media

Website update: I’m going to quarterly review my website content to check it is up to date. And, update during that month.

Shop: Okay, it’s not social media but it is connected to my website. I’m trying to create a shop on my website but struggling. I will master it! I mastered moving my website during my book launch.

Trial Canva Pro: I love Canva and been tempted to pay for the pro version. But now there’s a scheduled too. It would be incredible to have everything in one place.

I bought Planoly during my book launch so I could schedule videos and carousels on IG. There’s been a few occasions it hasn’t posted, so I’m tempted to try other schedulers.

Consistently Post: This went really well this year for my blog and Instagram. I want to continue it and add YouTube and Twitter to my goals.

  • Blog: Mon, & Thurs
  • IG: Mon, Weds, & Fri
  • YT: Tue (fortnightly)
  • Twitter: Sun
  • Newsletter: end of month (was every other month)

Followers/Reviews: I’ve seen people track their followers growth. I’ve never done this but it’s a good idea. I will aim for a 20% increase over all platforms.

2021 Followers Count

I’d love to reach 10k on Instagram as it opens up certain features but it feels still too far out of reach. Until I worked out what 20% was, I was thinking of aiming for 5k by June. I think 4687 is more realistic and although social media helps with marketing my passion is writing.

My Facebook page has been around longer than my group. The Soul Heart Readers group was created in October to help with Ocean Heart’s release. I’m hoping members will stick around for Sky Heart – I’ll need BETA and ARC readers later this year.

I use Parler the same way I use Twitter, and really like the platform. My numbers grew fast when I first joined but has now slowed down. It’ll be interesting to see which of the two platforms has more growth in 2021.

My YouTube channel is very new, I’m not sure how fast it will grow. I’ll also be posting to Odysee to try out the new platform – I’ve not used it yet. Over the Christmas break, I created a new Intro & Outro which I’m looking forward to using.

Reviews: I have a page on my website where I’ve collected my favourite reviews of Ocean Heart, and directed readers to where the original can be found.

Reviews are really important for a books visibility, so I will be tracking how many I have and – eek – remind my readers to leave reviews.

January Goals

Listing my goals for only this month looks like a lot. Eek 😬


  • Record unboxing of Naturismo box (then start using products)


  • Sky Heart: Write 5k per week – track progress on Google sheet. Share progress on Twitter/Parler for accountability


  • Set annual reading goal on Goodreads
  • Finish reading Cinderella is Dead (paperback) – track progress on Goodreads
  • Finish reading Winter Trials (eBook) – track progress on Goodreads

Social Media

  • Update website content
  • Add shop to website
  • Blog & IG: Create January content & make a start on February content (aim to always be two weeks ahead)
  • Record, edit, schedule two YouTube/Odysee videos
  • Try out Canva pro – if scheduler is good, cancel Planoly
  • Weekly Twitter/Parler accountability post


If you enjoyed this you will like:

About Ocean Heart

My 2020 Book Reviews

Looking back at 2020

My Links Page