Camp NaNo April 2021 – Outcome

Here’s my Camp NaNo writers diary for the second half of Camp NaNo.

Thursday, 15 April

I wrote the scene I have been struggling with – the big fight scene. It was 1,422 words. It’s not The End yet as I’ve realised there is one more scene needed to join this to the end that I wrote. But, The End is in sight.

Friday, 16 April

This morning, I had a one-to-one chat with Pagan it was an Author Breakthrough Session. I had no idea what to expect but afterwards I felt more focussed and empowered. I’ll be writing a full blog post on the experience.

My 2y old was in a creative mood today. We did painting, we did slime, and puzzles. My mum popped over and I showed her what I’d done with her Cricut Maker I borrowed. Later, my son helped me at the vets and food shopping.

Tonight, I wrote 812 words and finished my first draft of Sky Heart. The End

The final word count is 76,763 words. Usually during my first self edit this number increases as I discover where I need to add more detail.

Saturday, 17 April

I managed to escape the kids for a writing sprint on Facebook. As Sky Heart is finished, I worked on a novel I may offer as a readers magnet or sell as a prequel.

I also attempted to make a book trailer for Ocean Heart. As it’s my first attempt at this, I’m still not sure.

Sunday, 18 April

Today we went into town to get sandwiches and cake. We then went for a walk in the woodlands and had a picnic. We were so full we saved the cake for home.

I fiddled a little more with the trailer, especially with tweaking the sound affects. It’s very tricky trying to achieve precision on a mobile phone. I’m happy with the outcome. I guess I ought to make Sky Heart one.

Monday, 19 April

Today was meant to be my marketing Monday but Pagan would not been impressed because I didn’t do it. I was really into my secret project and wanted to work on it. I’ll do Marketing tomorrow…

Tuesday, 20 April

I lied. I didn’t do Marketing today either. I had a little anxiety about tomorrow so had an early night with my husband.

Wednesday, 21 April

Tonight was my Live with World Indie Warriors. We had so much fun chatting we were on for 2hs.

Thursday, 22 April

Today was my long work day. After work I chilled out and had some me time. I ran a bath and read The Rookery.

Friday, 23 April

I published Ocean Heart using Ingram Spark for both the paperback and eBook. It never went live on Google Play, or Apple Books. I was busy with my launch so left it. Once Christmas was out the way I queried what happened with IS.

IS confirmed it should be on Apple and would look into what happened. It turned out my files were too big. But, things got busy at work so I left it.

Today has been a busy day working on how to resolve it. I uploaded it to Google Play – this was pretty straight forward and I now have to wait to be approved. But Apple has been a complete nightmare with their iTunes Connect page displaying an error 401.

Saturday, 24 April

I had a busy morning clearing out the garden. It actually looks worse now but it is because I am preparing rubbish that needs to go to the tip.

I played with my kids and didn’t get to write or read. They were excited by treasures I found in the shed like a remote control car & keyboard. I think they ended up there because they are noisy.

iTunes Connect replied to apologise for the current issues and they are working on resolving this as quickly as possible, but there was no indication of how long it’ll take.

In the evening my hubby & I finished watching a film and started the new Shadow & Bone series on Netflix.

Sunday, 25 April

Today, is the day I work on my social media. I write blog posts and prepare my Instagram posts. As the end of the month draws near, I also worked on my newsletter.

I uploaded a free digital download to Ko-Fi for people to use to track their books.

I’d like to do a MerMay Giveaway to celebrate Ocean Heart being 6 months old but my ideas keep getting ruined.

I wanted to create a personalised National Book Token but that’s temporarily unavailable. I wanted to offer Ocean Heart for Free to celebrate it now being on Google Play but it takes 12 days to get approved, and Apples website isn’t loading the page for new authors to join so I’m waiting for tech support to resolve it.

I also thought it’d be nice to donate to an Ocean type charity but don’t have a ton of money and worry people will judge me for it not being enough.

I’m still figuring out what to do for MerMay and time is running out as I want to announce it in my newsletter going out on 30 April!

Monday, 26 April

Today, I read Rookery. Ideally I want to finish it before the end of the month because of the MerMay readathon.

I posted a few pics to Litsy, talking about my writing resource books.

I sold my first signed copy of Ocean Heart from my Ko-Fi shop. 💛

Once the kids were in bed, I still didn’t do any Marketing. Eek – my check in with Pagan will be embarrassing. Instead I had a bath and watched Shadow & Bone.

Tuesday, 27 April

Today was my long day working.

In my lunch break I organised the P&P for my Ko-Fi customer and researched KDP. Apple emailed to encourage me to contact their development team about the issue as the technical team can’t resolve it.

After work, and once the kids were in bed, I signed a copy of Ocean Heart, packaged it up, and set it off to my first Ko-Fi customer.

Wednesday, 28 April

I booked a day off work – yay!

Today, I went into town to get the parcel delivered but I misheard the girl at the desk and paid way more for p&p than I wanted. I was cross, but she’d printed the labels so I just paid it. 🙁

I tried to confirm the amount Google Play paid into my account to verify and prove its my bank account but Google said I’m wrong and to guess again. I’m going to wait and see if they pay another amount in and try again in a few days.

I also looked at creating my Amazon affiliate account for UK/US. And, started developing a webpage disclosing my affiliate accounts.

I also did a lot of work on my newsletter. I add to it throughout the month but it needs pics and tidying up. I only have the related social media posts left to do now.

In the evening, I caught the WIW Live with guest Julia Scott. She’s author of Mirror Souls and a formatter. In fact, she was my formatter.

Thursday, 29 April

Today was my long day at work, and I didn’t sleep well last night. I think I need an early night. That’s if Aria lets me – she’s playing up tonight and refusing to go to bed. Which is odd because she was crying and begging to go to bed before her milk was ready.

I did the finishing touches to my newsletter ready to send tomorrow. Relaxed by reading the Rookery, and then watched some Shadow & Bone.

Friday, 30 April

Today, I sent my newsletter. I hope I’ve made the right choice with my Giveaway.

As you can see I’ve taken a break from writing now Sky Heart is written. But, after this weekend I will start the self editing process.

Discover more about Sky Heart by visiting my Sky Heart page. Sky Heart is book 2 in the Soul Heart series.

Discover more about Ocean Heart by visiting my Ocean Heart page. Ocean Heart is book 1 in the Soul Heart series.

If you enjoyed this you will like:

12 Tips for Self Editing

The Benefits of Having a Formatter

The Process of Publishing: Step 1 – Drafting

My Authorship Breakthrough Session

[kofi]

My Authorship Breakthrough Session with Pagan Malcolm

Pagan is brilliant. One of the things I love is how she isn’t afraid to share things she has tried but didn’t work. She learns from these, and saves others from the sane pit falls.

She has experience in traditional and indie publishing. Over the years she’s developed a ton of tips for success. These have been organised into a range useful resources especially for authors.

By following Pagan, I have picked up so many useful nuggets. She has been a credit to my personal author journey, and I won a place on her Story Seller Academy.

Recently Pagan offered a free Authorship Breakthrough Session. I didn’t know what to expect and was a little scared, but decided this was a good opportunity to find out what it is about?

The Booking

Booking in couldn’t have been easier. Pagan sent me a link. The link to me to a calendar where I could see the times available for each day.

Pagan lives on the other side of the world to me. The slots were either very early or late but I found a time that I could make and booked in.

I had to fill in a form that asked some simple questions about where an now and what I’d like to work on. I found these hard to answer and realised how unfocused I am on my goals. Due to my limited time I’m often very reactive which isn’t what I want to be.

The call

I was late getting back from the school run. Then Zoom kept being “clever” and trying to log me in using a different account. Then it decided my browser wasn’t compatible. I used Zoom earlier that week.

I messaged Pagan on Facebook and she suggested we use FB Messenger (video call) instead, as we were both logged in already.

The chaotic start had me a little flustered, and my negative inner voice was already telling me give up! But, Pagan was her usual lovely self.

She had come prepared and identified questions she wanted to ask me based on the form I’d completed during booking. It was quiet evident I was in good hands and she knew what she was doing.

I relaxed and opened up to her. We talked about a recent opportunity to talk at a school that fell through because of work, a secret project I’m nervous about launching, and how I struggle to find time for my goals. She even challenged me to identify where I want to be in 5 years.

Pagan asked questions to explore my ideas and gave feedback and made suggestions. She clarified at the end what I planned to do, so I left with an action plan.

The outcome

After the call, I had to hurry back to my 2y old for a fun filled day of paint and slime. And after school my son helped with some errands, like the vets and food shopping. It was a crazy busy day, and messy, very messy.

But, Pagan motivated me. Talking about my fears with someone that encourages me to overcome them, and can provide strategies, was empowering. I feel like I can make being an author my business.

Giving Talks: Pagan got me to think about what I could offer to do talks on. She encouraged me to set a date to reach out to local schools (my target audience), and offered tips on how to approach this and how to price this.

Secret Project: Talking about what I’ve been up to was liberating as I’ve been keeping it to myself scared the idea is naff. Pagan was excited for me, had words of encouragement, and got me to focus on the first steps instead of being overwhelmed by the end product.

Marketing: Pagan was impressed by my book launch and marketing so far and I had to admit that a lot of that was thanks to her FB micro sessions and Storyseller Academy course. She still had more wisdom to share with me & she highlighted how I could tie in talks with a launch to raise awareness, and how to do this. She also recommended I have a Marketing Day to strategise. I do most my Social Media scheduling on Sunday but the actions Pagan set me was different and I realised I’m not marketing… not sufficiently.

Final Thoughts

Pagan is enthusiastic about publishing and helping authors. Chatting to her felt like talking to a good friend that knows the industry. Her confidence and knowledge was reassuring, and I left the session feeling empowered.

As an Indie Author I often have to figure things out for myself. It was really good to be able to solve problems with someone, that knows what I’m doing, or trying to do.

Pagan also recommended we meet again in a month to check I’m still on track with the goals identified. One month felt too soon for me. The accountability pressure was causing my walls to come up, so we decided to go for 2 months instead. I felt I could breathe more easily with that.

Here is the link to book your own session with Pagan Malcom and have your Authorship Breakthrough session.

I also realised I never got around to writing my blog post about the Storyseller Academy course. I will blog that soon.

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The Process of Publishing a Novel – Step 3

[kofi]

What is a UBL and why your book needs one?

A UBL is a unique book link. You use it to direct potential readers to where they can buy your book.

Books 2 Read

Book2Read is a universal link for eBooks (it finds all stores selling your book). It’s by Draft 2 Digital but you don’t need to be published via their platform to use it.

Your potential reader then chooses the shop they prefer and are taken to your ebook to buy there.

See how it works by trying out my Books 2 Read link for Ocean Heart: https://books2read.com/u/mlWvaW

Book Linker

BookLinker is a universal link for Amazon. It links people to your ebook at their ‘Zon. Amazon often links the various formats together so they can chose if they’d prefer paperback or hardback, etc.

You could lose a potential reader if your link took them to a ‘Zon of another country because they might not have time to search for it again on their ‘Zon.

See how it works by trying out my Book Linker link for Ocean Heart: http://getbook.at/OceanHeart

Bookshop.org

BookShop.org (US/UK only) links to your book at the readers local indie book shop.

This is great for two reasons. Reason one, you are keeping beautiful local bookstores alive by sending customers their way. And reason two, if you create an affiliate store, you earn 10% on referrals’ purchases.

See how it works by trying out my link for Ocean Heart at Redfae bookshop: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/Redfae

[kofi]

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Book Review: A Heart of Salt & Silver by Elexis Bell

I was so excited for this books release, I preordered it last year! I’m a slow reader but life has really got in my way of enjoying this book. But every time I found a moment to escape, this book was so, so, so, very good!

Setting

This book is set in a fantasy world where humans exist alongside demons, werewolves, and vampires. The fantasy world felt more medieval as there isn’t any electricity or tech, and people travelled by foot and live in villages, and there were knights.

Characters

Ness is the main character, although it is told from other view points along the way, it’s ultimately her story.

Ness is a demi-demon. This causes her a lot of internal conflict as she fights her demon instincts to destroy all lives, with her human side of empathy, and love. Ness blames herself for events in her past and tries to do the right thing. There are a lot of prejudices and hate towards her because of her demon side.

Elias is the human she rescues from a vampire attack. She takes pity on him and offers to heal him and help him travel through the woods. Ness soon discovers her past actions affected his life in a big negative way and feels she owes him. As they travel together, Elias falls in love with her.

Nolan is Ness’s ex that she never got over. She reminisces about him, longing to fix things but he doesn’t appear in the story until about the mid point. He’s very hot, and it’s easy to see why Ness is still longing for him.

My Review

It can be difficult to write a super powerful character but Elexis did it with Ness. Ness’ demi-demon nether magic is quick and deadly.

Ness is a fabulously complex character. I wish this was a series so I could have more Ness! But, Elexis does bring the book to a satisfying close – if you read the epilogue, you’ll be super happy.

Both the love interests, Elias and Nolan, were great characters and helped Ness discover what she needs. It was clear why one was “the one”.

The World building was immersive with just enough detail to bring the world to life. I loved all the drama and romance of a world where demons, werewolves, and vampires, exist.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Behind the Book: A Heart of Salt & Silver

Behind the Book: A World for the Broken

Behind the Book: Soul Bearer by Elexis Bell

Behind the Book: Gem of Meruna by Elexis Bell

Camp NaNo April 2021 – Midway Check In

Here’s my Camp NaNo writers diary for the first half of Camp NaNo.

This post contains a few bookshop.org affiliate links.

Weds, 31 March

Camp NaNo Eve I attended the first of World Indie Warriors IG Lives. J D Groom & Cassidy Reyne are the hosts and introduced their own Camp NaNo projects.

WIW are also doing snippet challenge on IG to give people an excuse to share her the projects they are writing.

Each week there is a prompt, and you post a snippet from your WIP on that theme. I’m a rebel and posting on different days. But, I’m determined to do them all within April.

Thurs, 1 April

I caught a Writing Sprint on Facebook hosted by @unstoppableauthors . It helped me make a good start on my goals, achieving 1k words. I’m going to look out for this sprint next week.

The sprint was hosted by Urban Fantasy author H B Lyne and dystopian author Angeline Trevena. Both also have published writing resource books.

Friday, 2 April

Busy day today. I took my son to play in the garden of a friends house. It was really cold and we couldn’t go inside due to the pandemic rules.

My husband found my long lost Kindle. It needs charging but I’m so happy to have it back.

I managed to write 500 words today. I am so close to the end now but took a break as I’m struggling to picture the big fight scene.

I finished reading A Heart of Salt & Silver. Look out for my full review next week. A short version is already on Goodreads, Litsy, and Amazon.

Saturday, 3 April

Spent the evening going through the list of people I follow but don’t follow me back to decide if I want to unfollow them.

#WIWSaturdaySnippet

Sunday, 4 April

I went to Homebase to get paint for some redecorating we’ve been talking about for ages.

Didn’t feel well so I went to bed early. Good news was my Kindle is charged, so I watched The Wilds on Prime.

Monday, 5 April

I cleared out my son’s bedroom and did masking tape. His room was the first we decorated when we moved in. At age 5, he peeled off the animal stickers as he said they were to babyish, and we promoted to redecorate… 2y later, we are doing it.

My son is a bit nervous about not sleeping in his room. He doesn’t like change. But, he’s excited to see his new grown up room tomorrow.

Still not feeling great, so had another early night. I didn’t write but I did a lot of research and practicing a new skill, that I’m hoping to sell one day. I was creative, but not with Sky Heart.

Tuesday, 6 April

Noah loves his new room. #Win

I had work all day today but managed to write 500 words for Sky Heart. I have roughly three major scenes to go but these are big ones and pretty tough. I’ll admit I feel intimidated.

I’ve done some brain storming for the big battle but still can’t see it clear in my head. I can however see the ending, so I may jump ahead to that.

Wednesday, 7 April

I worked more on my secret project. I also worked on prepping images for my IG feed.

This evening I watched the WIW Live with guest author Kara S Weaver. They chatted about editing, the different types, and why it’s important.

Thursday, 8 April

Today has been pretty chilled out other than my phone screen cracking.

I won a free call with Pagan Malcolm, who coaches authors to take their careers to the next level. I’m booked in next week, early Friday morning (although for her, I think it’s late). I’m not sure what to expect – should I get her to help with my battle, public speaking, or my secret project. Whatever we get up to, I’ll probably blog my experience.

I watched the replay of a masterclass I recently attended on how to write a 5 star ending. Then I watched a live author chat from the fantasy writers festival, QuaranCon2021.

Once the kids were in bed, I used an app to animate my characters created in Art Breeder, to sing. Author procrastination at its finest.

Mariah from Ocean Heart on Wombai.ai

Then, I attended a writing chat and Sprint by Unstoppable Authors hosted by H B Lyne and Angelina Trevena, and wrote 478 words.

Friday, 9 April

This was a bad day. First, my 2 year old threw my mobile phone and the screen cracked. I use my mobile for everything but can’t afford to fix it, so I’ll have to carry on and hope it doesn’t get worse.

Then, I received news that my daughter isn’t getting a place at our chosen nursery. She was on a waiting list for morning sessions which fit around my work & childcare availability but they only have afternoon sessions. To accommodate that, I’d have to cut my working hours in half and not only is my employer unlikely to agree to that as it’d make travelling to my appointments within the time very challenging, but I also can’t afford to reduce my hours. I now need to find another nursery or quit my job. There aren’t many nursery’s nearby as most closed permanently during the pandemic for various reasons.

When I’m stressing about a problem I can’t write. I opened my manuscript and stared at the blank page before closing it and trying something creative. I worked on my secret project.

Saturday, 10 April

We decided that I’m no stressed enough, so we painted part if the front room. Every chance my 2y old got, she was “help painting”. It was exhausting keeping her away all day, and the house was freezing as we kept the windows open.

I did not write. My head is not in the right place.

#WIWSnippetSaturday

Sunday, 11 April

So, my 2y old didn’t sleep. She was up at 3am. By 5am I gave up and she attempted to “Help painting.” I’m pretty sure I’m running on empty.

I did make progress on some blog posts and have drafted two Behind the Book posts that I now just need to proofread and schedule. I probably won’t get to this until next weekend.

I also helped my 7y old son to create a cute Woodland scene for school. We borrowed my mum’s Cricut Maker and he created his die cuts in Canva, and I helped him add them to Cricut. I then helped with sticking them down where he told me, while he painted. We spent over two hours on it.

I’m so frustrated. I want to write the fight scene for Sky Heart but it’s not coming to me. I didn’t want to waste my time, so I worked on my secret project.

Monday, 12 April

I’ve found two nurseries that might be able to take Aria. Fingers crossed I can sort this out so I can feel more settled.

I spent most my day playing with Aria, and tidying up. I also completed most of the application form for one of the nurseries.

I accidentally forgot to charge my laptop so it was taking ages to come on even with the charger in. I decided to watch some TV with my hubby.

Tuesday, 13 April

I worked all day today.

Then, in the evening I wrote 192 words. It doesn’t sound like much but I finally had a breakthrough with the difficult scene and can see it now!

Wednesday, 14 April

I worked today, and by the time the kids were in bed, it was already 9pm. I attended the World Indie Warriors IG Live. Today the guest speaker was Michelle Raab, chatting marketing, writing dystopia, and psychology.

Keily from Sky Heart on Wombo.ai

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

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Book Review: Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S Weaver

Why I love World Indie Warriors

Where to find the best indie books…

My Process – How to Publish a Book (collection)

I’m constantly learning and revising everything I do. Sometimes it’s to strengthen existing knowledge and skills, and other times it’s because new things come out.

When I decided to self publish, I didn’t know where to start. I wrote this blog series reflecting on what I did. I hope my process provides others with an outline to get started.

With self publishing you do it your way, so if you want to do it different to me then you can. That’s the beauty of self publishing, you are in control of it all. Equally as empowering as that is, it can also be very daunting when you’re starting out.

Step 1 – Write Your Novel

My process starts right at the beginning with a blank page! I’ve included links to useful guides to help you writing the first draft.

Click here for step 1.

Step 2 – Edit Your Novel

Your novel should go through several edits before publishing. I include links to previous posts about the editing services I used to help you figure out which you need.

Click here for step 2.

Step 3 – Publish Your Book

This step covers what to do to get your interior and exterior right, and some of the different publishing options. I’ve linked to posts about my cover designer and formatter.

Click here for step 3.

Live This April!

During Camp NaNo, authors Cassidy Reyne and J D Groom have organised some Live sessions this April. They take place every Wednesday at 9pm (UK), on Instagram via @worldindiewarriors.

These sessions will support those doing Camp Nano, but each week they’ll have a different guest to discuss a topic of the week.

I’m their guest on 21 April at 9pm to discuss self publishing and answer any questions. Please do come join us.

[kofi]

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My virtual Book Launch

Behind the Book: The Stories Stars Tell by C L Walters

This book is C. L. Waters most recent YA release and the final post in my Behind the Book series with her. I’ll put links to the previous ones at the end.

Who will love to read this book?

I think readers who like Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Niven will like The Stories Stars Tell because it explores a romance between Emma and Tanner, but more importantly, each of them as characters on their own.

Tell me about the main characters Emma and Tanner?

Emma Matthews is a smarty-pants perfectionist who’s locked in the box of her religion and afraid to step outside the bounds of that to explore her sexuality. She feels ill-prepared to face college. Tanner represents the freedom and bravery she wishes she had. Maybe taking a risk with him will give her the bravery she needs to move forward.

Tanner James is a party-boy who’s partied his way through high school into a corner without options instead of dealing with the trauma of his brother’s death and his parents divorce. He wants to create a new story outside the Bro Code he and his friends created. Emma is a new story, but one he doesn’t feel like he deserves.

The blurb says that the traditional end of year send off is to jump off the cliff – have you ever dived off a cliff?

I haven’t ever dove, but I have jumped! It was a blast (and terrifying too). 

Hawaii looks like a beautiful place to live, does such a setting inspire your writing?

Definitely. So many possibilities for stories, though I confess I’ve only written two that explore this place. I don’t want to appropriate it; there are amazing Hawaiian and local authors who do such a beautiful job exploring culture and place.

You share what you’ve learnt on your blog to help other writers. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring author?

My initial advice is always read, read and read more. Read inside your favorite genre and the one you write, but also read beyond it. There’s so much to learn from other writers (both good and bad).

What can we look forward to from you next?

I am in the process of writing a companion novel to The Stories Stars Tell about Tanner’s best friend Griffin. It’s titled In the Echo of this Ghost Town. I think I have a thing for the villain, or those broody misguided boys. It’s planned for release in the fall of 2021.

Can you share a snippet of the book?

Sure!

This was one of the first scenes I wrote and I talk about it a lot as the starting point for Emma’s and Tanner’s story:

I nod, pasting a fake smile on my face. “You might be right, Bella,” I say, self-satisfied that Tanner has actually touched me. “I guess I’ll find out how boring I am at Berkeley next year. Where are you going to school?”

Her smile fades, because if rumors are true, she didn’t make the grade. Too much focus on non-academic activities, I surmise. There is a tangle of self-satisfaction in saying it, at first, but I recognize the pettiness of it and feel guilty. It isn’t kind or Christ-like.

“Well–” I push my arms into my own backpack and settle it on my shoulders– “have fun at Senior Send Off.” I leave the bathroom with their snarky comments caught on the door behind me.

Her accusation — you’re so boring . . .what can you offer someone like him — has my mind swirling, overthinking as I walk to my locker.

I’m not boring!

But I know it’s true.

I glance at Tanner’s locker. He’s there, so I open mine and shove my head inside, and then roll my eyes at myself for looking at all. Except I can’t keep my eyes on the perfectly arranged interior of my locker. I sneak another peek. He’s across the hallway leaning into his own locker. Balled up papers slip out, and he bends to pick them up. His red t-shirt moves with his body, the hem adjusting to allow a glimpse of tan skin at his waist. I’m thinking about him without his shirt and those blue jeans hanging from his hips, hugging his behind just right.

My stomach dissolves into a sparkly mess.

Tanner stands, and with a little shake of his head gets his dark hair, a little long with soft curls around his face, out of his warm brown eyes. He turns his head, and I look away before I’m caught staring.

I could say I don’t know why my insides melt when I see him. THAT would be a lie. Of course, I know WHY I’m attracted to him. Attraction isn’t the issue. It’s the stupidity of allowing it. It must be a truth universally acknowledged that my book smarts have detonated my common sense, or something like that. My brain knows I’m being ridiculous and counts the ways to remind me.

First, I’m freaking out of his league. Um, Truth: perhaps, it’s the other way around. Compromise: a bit of both.

Second, he only dates party girls. I’m not.

Three, he’s an f-boy.

Four, my future plans don’t involve a guy like Tanner James, even if for some ridiculous reason I want them to involve Tanner James. I’m just so freaking curious.

I sigh, recalling Bella’s awful accusation and hate that she’s right. Aside from my drunken junior year risk, I’ve played my entire high school experience scared and safe. I smack the locker door shut and scold myself for looking at Tanner at all.

Excerpt from The Stories Stars Tell by CL Walters

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

Let’s see, if you’ve visited the website (www.clwalters.net) and you’re following my instagram, you can follow me on Goodreads (CL Walters) and Facebook (CL Walters) and there’s always my newsletter – which you can sign up for on my website. This year I’m releasing a serialized novella, a new chapter each month. Should be fun.

Thank you, Ally! This was fun.

If you enjoyed this, check out my other Behind The Book Q&As with C. L. Waters here:

Behind the Book: Swimming Sideways (book 1)

Behind the Book: The Ugly Truth (book 2)

Behind the Book: The Bones of Who We Are (book 3)

How to fund your creativity? Patreon, Ko-Fi, Kickstarter, etc…

I see fellow authors being savvy with their income, diversifying revenues to support their dream as an author and I thought, “Could I do that?”

I dismissed the idea because, “Why would anyone support me?

Now, I know, that’s my self doubt speaking. The same self doubt that told me I couldn’t self publish. I’m getting better at believing in myself and recognize that everyone has to start somewhere.

Not to spoil the ending but I now have a Ko-Fi account (more on that later…).

As usual, I plan to share what I found out and how I made my choice. Here are the main options I considered:

One method is to create an exclusive group for your fans. They pay a fee to join like a club membership and you reward them with things like training, exclusive content (short story, character art, etc), early access to your product, or shoutouts.

Mighty Creators

You create a community for your fans to join. You can include paid content and subscription plans to generate revenue.

Pro: Helps to build a community of loyal fans, and has different revenue methods.

Con: Creating the site can take learning and time.

Patreon

It’s like a private club for your fans. They pay a monthly subscription and you reward them. You can set different tiers with more expensive tiers getting better perks.

Pro: You can establish a regular income from your Patrons and a strong connection with your fans.

Con: You need to provide regular content to make it worthwhile for your Patrons to stay subscribed.

Another option is to get funding for your project upfront. You need to sell your product/idea to get support. Often it involves rewards like early access to the product, or maybe for high contributors you’d name a character after them.

Kickstarter

This is a crowdfunding platform where an individual (or group) can seek funding for a project. I recently saw an author on FB that did this successfully for his Sci-Fi novel.

Rewards are offered as incentives like getting the proposed product before anyone else. However, if you don’t make your target, you get nothing.

Pro: You will develop fans early on and can sell your book before it’s finished.

Con: You need to be committed to delivering your promises and confident it asking others to back you.

Indie Go Go

This is another crowdfunding platform. It is aimed at creatives and has tools to support campaigners with their project and getting support. It appears to be more geared towards tech.

Pro: Promises tools to help you start your project and beyond.

Con: Backers are looking for solutions to a problem and your novel is unlikely to appeal to this audience.

Go Fund Me

This crowdfunding site is aimed more at community projects and charities. You post a reason why you need help and people donate to support you. For example, needing help to pay funeral costs for a loved one.

Pro: Get financial help with your current project without pressure to provide rewards to sponsors.

Con: Most projects on the site appear to be charities so probably not the right audience.

Libera Pay

I think this would be called crowdfunding too. The site accepts donations from donors in support of your creative project. Donors can set the amount and frequency.

For this platform you’d need people to be invested in your projects completion. You would need to sell the idea to investors.

Pro: You can establish a regular income from your donors and focus on your project.

Con: You need to persuade people to donate on a regular basis and there isn’t a way to reward donors.

This is more casual, like a tip jar. People give money as and when they feel like it. The idea is the tip is like buying the creator a cup of coffee or whatever their favourite drink is.

Buy Me A Coffee

You supporters can buy you a coffee to be paid to you instantly. They can even subscribe to pay you a fee frequently. You can offer perks as a reward or perks to buy like a shop.

Pros: You can focus on your project and not spend time each month making exclusive content.

Cons: Less incentive for regular donations.

Ko- Fi

This is another tip jar type site with no obligation on your tippers to give. Again, the idea is they buy you a virtual drink that the creator uses towards their projects. You can create a shop for fans to buy merchandise, and you can create rewards for your tippers but it’s all optional.

Pro: Simple page creation, and low maintenance or obligations.

Con: You cannot depend on tips as a regular income.

Summary

I hope this has helped you think about all the options out there. I’ve only provided a brief overview of each and recommend you find out full details for any you are interested in by visiting their website for their full terms.

There are other ways to earn a passive income such as ad revenue or becoming an affiliate for another brand.

I have decided to go with Ko-Fi. I like the no pressure approach to me and my tippers. I want to continue being able to help others no matter their means, and keeping my content free enables all.

When I said yes to self publishing, I had every intention of doing it all myself. But, should you wish to treat me to a cuppa tea to say thanks or to keep me going, now you can.

[kofi]

If you like this you will like:

Don’t put off writing your novel

How I did my cover reveal

The process of publishing a novel – part 1

Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

Camp NaNo April 2021 Project

Sky Heart Coming Soon
Sky Heart by Ally Aldridge

Camp NaNo April 2021 Goal

My goal for Camp Nano will be to finish Sky Heart. I think there’s only 15k words left. It should be doable, but I have really been struggling with the ending.

If I do manage to get it done quickly, I will work on the prequel. It will be a novella in length and about told from Denny’s POV, about how she came to be friends with Gwyn.

Camp NaNo Story Snippets

@worldindiewarriors on Instagram have come up with some prompts to encourage people to share a snippet of their WIPs during April. They are a relaxed friendly bunch, so don’t worry if you can’t post for every prompt, or if you don’t post on Saturdays. The idea is to support each other and connect with others taking part. I’m going to try to do these challenges but I don’t post on Saturdays so… I’ll be posting when I can.

Follow #WIWSnippetSaturday

Wednesday Instagram Lives

Every Wednesday at 9pm UK, @worldindiewarriors will be hosting IG Lives to keep everyone motivated towards their goal. In addition, they will have a guest join them to discuss a topic of the week.

On 21 April, I will be their guest chatting about self publishing. If you have any questions or just want to join us, we’ll be happy to see you there.

[kofi]

If you have enjoyed this content, you’ll like:

Why I love World Indie Warriors

The World Indie Warriors Brochure

Why I have chosen to Self Publish