What is #Preptober ?

Preptober

A popular event in November is NaNoWriMo. During the month if November participants of the event take on the challenge to write 50k words.

So, what’s this go today with what preptober is?

Writing 50k words is a big task. As a result, people started preparing during October for NaNoWriMo in November. And, this activity got the name #Preptober.

NaNoWriMo Project

Sky Heart is book 2 in The Soul Heart series. It was almost finished but I struggle with endings. In April, I tried to write the ending (for Camp NaNo) but when I revisited the manuscript… it was awful.

For NaNo, I’m going to start over. I’m going to re-plot, develop my characters more deeply, focus on my world building, and organise my research.

What I’ve done so far…

Got Dabble

Dabble is online writing software. I love Dabble and I went to buy it, but found out there was a trial for NaNo. What’s more, my dabble manuscript will auto update my NaNo word count. How awesome is that?

And, Dabble now is mobile friendly. I’ve saved the site as an icon on my mobile so I can write on my phone. Yay!

Character Development

To work on improving my skills, I treated myself to two new books.

10 STEPS TO HERO by Sacha Black

CREATING COMPELLING CHARACTERS FROM THE INSIDE OUT by L.M. Lilly

View this post on Instagram

How’s your #preptober going? I’m doing the #wiwpreptober challenge but most evenings been so tired I’ve gone straight to bed and done no prepping. But it’s important to listen to your body and relax when you need to. 💛 Day 4: Plotter/Pantser: I’m somewhere in the middle #plantser . I have a vague plan but mostly make it up as I go. I’m more of of pantser but #savethecat has helped me improve my plotting and it’s something I want to improve as I think it’ll speed up finishing my novels. Yesterday, my new books arrived (top of the pile). I’m focussing on improving my character development. The one with no text on the spine is Rayne Hall’s The Word Loss Diet. Have you read any of these? 💛 Day 5: #worldteachersday My favourite teacher was Mr Macy, my English teacher. He gave me extra notebooks for my story writing – the way to a writers heart. Another top teacher was my primary school teacher who taught me what an author is and set my dream in motion. She was either called Miss Fancy of Miss Twinkle – I’ll have to ask my mum. 💛 Day 6: Setting? Book 2, Sky Heart, will start off in my home town Felixstowe but mostly set in the Isle of Skye (Scotland), and a short stopover in Birmingham. The images are from Unsplash by artist Massimiliano Morosinotto (@therawhunter ). 💛 #writingbooks #writingresources #writingtools #theemotionthesaurus #pocketguidetopublishing #thewordlossdiet #takeoffyourpants #theelementsofstyle #creatingcompellingcharacters #10stepstohero #raynehall #sashablack #inspirational #inspirationalteachers #authordreams #setting #writinggoals #isleofsky #isleofskyescotland #skyheart #writingyafiction #yafantasyseries #thesoulheartseries #plotter #pantser

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Book Bible Workshop

To help get all my story development organised, I attended a free workshop provided by World Indie Warriors and delivered by author J D Groom (who I’m a big fan of). If you’re a WIW member you can catch the replay via their website.

Doing #WIWPreptober

On Instagram World Indie Warriors are doing a photo challenge to keep writers motivated preparing for NaNo, and it’s an opportunity to get to know others better. I don’t take part everyday but here are my posts so far:

View this post on Instagram

How’s your #preptober going? I’m doing the #wiwpreptober challenge but most evenings been so tired I’ve gone straight to bed and done no prepping. But it’s important to listen to your body and relax when you need to. 💛 Day 4: Plotter/Pantser: I’m somewhere in the middle #plantser . I have a vague plan but mostly make it up as I go. I’m more of of pantser but #savethecat has helped me improve my plotting and it’s something I want to improve as I think it’ll speed up finishing my novels. Yesterday, my new books arrived (top of the pile). I’m focussing on improving my character development. The one with no text on the spine is Rayne Hall’s The Word Loss Diet. Have you read any of these? 💛 Day 5: #worldteachersday My favourite teacher was Mr Macy, my English teacher. He gave me extra notebooks for my story writing – the way to a writers heart. Another top teacher was my primary school teacher who taught me what an author is and set my dream in motion. She was either called Miss Fancy of Miss Twinkle – I’ll have to ask my mum. 💛 Day 6: Setting? Book 2, Sky Heart, will start off in my home town Felixstowe but mostly set in the Isle of Skye (Scotland), and a short stopover in Birmingham. The images are from Unsplash by artist Massimiliano Morosinotto (@therawhunter ). 💛 #writingbooks #writingresources #writingtools #theemotionthesaurus #pocketguidetopublishing #thewordlossdiet #takeoffyourpants #theelementsofstyle #creatingcompellingcharacters #10stepstohero #raynehall #sashablack #inspirational #inspirationalteachers #authordreams #setting #writinggoals #isleofsky #isleofskyescotland #skyheart #writingyafiction #yafantasyseries #thesoulheartseries #plotter #pantser

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October Blog Posts

All my blog posts for October are written, with pics and scheduled.

What I still need to do…

Plot Outline

I want to re-outline my story using Save The Cat. I’ve learnt a lot working on book 1 and want to use this to improve book 2.

BuJu

I’d love to get into bullet journalling. I’ll try and create a reward page to track my progress during the event.

October Newsletter

I need to write this. It’ll go out end of the month and I’m hoping it will contain details of my Preorder Giveaway.

November Blog Posts & Instagram

I’d like to have most of these written before I start NaNo so they don’t interrupt my progress. But, I’ll likely post on how I’m getting on and that can’t be written ahead of time.

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Camp NaNo July 2020

NaNoWriMo 2017 — Ally Aldridge

Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

Books

The Making Of The Blurb for Ocean Heart

I enjoyed creating my blurb. It’s the little short enticing summary that goes on the back cover of a printed book.

Over the years I’ve tweaked it but now I’m self publishing it was important to get feedback from others.

This post is going to share with you my original blurb through to the final version. I hope you find the feedback useful for writing any blurb.

ORIGINAL

Tag line:  

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to “It’s complicated!”

Blurb:

One kiss is all it took to wake Mariah’s weather manipulation powers.

Mariah is crushing on her best friend, rivalling with the swim team star and her guardian Gwyn is meddling in her life using magic.  Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid with dangerous powers. 

When your love life’s a mess and your deadly powers are connected to your emotions, it gives a new meaning to “It’s complicated.”

ELEXIS VERSION 

The first offer help was author Elexis Bell. She has published several novels, and various genres.

Okiedoke. If it’s at the end, I might leave mermaid out of the blurb. But that’s just me. Also, I love the play on words with being a mermaid bringing new depth to it’s complicated. I only dropped it from the blurb because it’s already going to be on the front of the book.

Here’s what I came up with. If you don’t like it (or only like parts of it), no worries. 😊

Blurb:

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

When a single kiss reveals Mariah’s true form, she learns that mixing a messy love life with deadly powers fuelled by emotion might be more than she bargained for.

AMENDED VERSION 1

Blurb:  

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers might be more than she bargained for.

OR

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is an imminent disaster waiting to happen.  

OR

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is just the start of a brewing storm of trouble.  

Then I received feedback from Marketing Genius Michelle Raab, and Romantic Suspense author Cassidy Reyne, and Editor and Epic Fantasy author Kara S Weaver.

MICHELLE’S SUGGESTIONS

More than she could have imagined … ?

CASSIDY SUGGESTIONS 

…can cause/create/whip up a storm of trouble?

KARA’S SUGGESTIONS 

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team’s star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple. Throw her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets in the mix, ordinary comes close, but all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later and it is then Mariah discovers she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is just the start of a brewing storm. Will Mariah be able to contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Will Mariah be able to contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

KARA FEEDBACK 

There’s a lot of will going on in the last sentence….

Can Mariah contain it, or will she be… that might help some

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

Then Contemporary Fantasy author J D Groom offered some suggestions…

JODIE’S COMMENT

I like it! I’m not sure about the middle paragraph though 🤔

Something about starting with ‘especially’ doesn’t sit right.

Maybe something like, ‘Added to that her guardian, Gwyn, is using magic to keep secrets…’ etc

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Added to that, her guardian, Gwyn is using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

Then, I noticed during the edits I’d lost a speech mark. I was also running every edit past my hubby and his best mate Dale to get their feedback too. It was done & I sent it to my cover designer…

Except, my Cover Designer (Original Book Cover Designs) had feedback for me too. I was not done.

She had a whole formula to share with me and examples of where it had been done well to illustrate what she meant. She really had gone above and beyond what I’d commissioned her for. But, it’s too long for this post & I didn’t seek her permission to share her secrets. But, it meant more editing…


AMENDED VERSION 

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.’

Blurb: 

Mariah is a regular highschool teen, or that’s what she thinks.  With a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Added to that, her guardian is using magic to keep Mariah safe from a probable future of reapers coming for a soul, or merblood being spilt by a vengeful werewolf. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

A gripping story about a mermaid, first love, and self acceptance. Join Mariah as she awakens!

As it had been edited I sought more feedback. Cassidy, Kara and Richenda were able to give me pointers.

AMENDED VERSION 2 

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.’

Blurb: 

Highschool teen Mariah’s life is anything but simple.  With a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, her powers awaken early.  

Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic attempting to keep her safe from the soul reapers, and a werewolf hunting merblood.  But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later. Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid! 

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

An exciting coming of age story about a mermaid and romance that literally sparks.  

FEEDBACK FROM KARA

Blurb: 

Highschool teen Mariah’s life is anything but simple.  Between a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, her powers awaken early.  

Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic attempting to keep her safe from the soul reapers, and a werewolf hunting merblood. (This is an odd sentence. You kinda want a ‘When a…. , she …’ structure to build up tension. Like: When Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic to keep her safe from the soul reapers and a merblood hunting werewolf, she learns there’s more to this world he is not willing to share). But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later (, and she’s about to discovers hers!). Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid! 

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

A gripping story about a mermaid, self acceptance, and romance that literally sparks.

Hi Allison,

Sorry, I had a look at your blurb and I thought it could use a bit of tightening to amp up the tension in the text. Sorry if I’m too forward, I just want to help.

Kara also spotted during the edits that an apostrophe had been lost.

FINAL VERSION:  

I thought I was finally done and sent it off to my cover designer again. Then, I spotted that ‘high school’ didn’t have a space. 😂

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Behind the Character: Mariah

Swoon Reads

Why you need a developmental editor!

http://allyaldridge.com/books/ocean-heart/

Now you can PreOrder Ocean Heart!

I can’t believe I’m finally at this point where I can share this excellent news!

Ocean Heart is available everywhere!

eBook

If you enjoy reading on an electronic device you’ll be pleased to know you can read Ocean Heart. PreOrder it for Kindle, iBooks, Kobo or Google Play. Many of these have free apps so you can also read on a Smart Phone.

Preorder it here!

Online

You can order the paperback version online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Shop

Traditional brick & mortar shops can stock Ocean Heart. They choose what to order for their shelves. This is a great way to support your local bookstores.

If you can’t see it on the shelf, you can request they order it in. They’ll be able to find it in the Ingram Sparks catalogue, but to make it easier for them share the ISBN below.

My local bookstore Stillwater Books has agreed to a non-contact book signing. You can preorder Ocean Heart through them, I’ll pop in and sign it. They will then deliver it to your doorstep in Felixstowe (or surrounding areas).

Library

The next challenge will be to get it into libraries so it can be accessible to everyone.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you will like:

Behind the Character: Mariah

Author Q and A – Ally Aldridge

Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

Books

The Author & Me Show

I got an invitation from Instagrammer @inspire.withkhadija to be a guest on her show Author & Me.

About Khadija Masreef

Khadija Maaref is author of the book Muslim Women in Western Society. Her book is full of motivational and inspirational speeches, from a well travelled woman that has experienced many cultures.

Discover more about her and her book at https://www.khadijamaaref.com/

Author & Me

Khadija continues her inspirational messages through her show Author & Me. During this show she hosts a live interview with a guest author.

She asked me various questions about when I started writing and why, and encouraged me to share tips that would help others.

I’m going to check out the other episodes. This a free resource for everyone & bound to be full of gems of wisdom from a variety of experiences and backgrounds. You can watch it here.

My Live

Do you want to see the whole interview… then, click here.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Technical Difficulties

YouTube: A Bookish Surprise

YouTube: I’m Her Biggest Fan

Writer’s Hashtag Collection

Technical Difficulties

I was all prepared for it all to go wrong during my first attempt but it went surprisingly well. My first vids have areas for improvement but everyone has to start somewhere.

It must have been beginners luck…

I was all set to make my September videos. I got Aria down for her nap, set up a tidy space and hit record. I nattered the whole way through and then hit playback…

Silence…

My lips were moving, my face was animated but there was no sound.

I tried other recording apps on the iPad, I checked various settings but nothing would bring my audio to life. Yet, previous videos played fine.

I attempted a test recording.

No sound!

I switched to my mobile. Hit record. Hit Playback. I could hear my voice… And, I could hear Aria was up from her nap.

I’d wasted my full hour of free time on accomplishing nothing. To make matters worse, that was Aria’s last nap. We even had a few nights where she decided she didn’t even need sleep at all!

Evening Recordings

This leaves me no choice but to record in the evenings. I know this means the lighting won’t be good but it’s the only time I have, and I won’t be beat by a baby that won’t sleep.

I figured out how to set my mobile up to record – without a proper stand. I recorded my video. I hit playback and…. Yes, I had sound. Things are looking good.

I wanted to edit on the iPad as it has a bigger screen. I uploaded the video to my G-Drive but it wouldn’t let me download it. Apparently, my 5 minute recording is too big.

So, I emailed myself from my mobile, and opened the email & attachment on the iPad. It saved.

Oh, you’d think that was it but no, I got a brand new problem…

My video was pitch black! No sound & no picture! It was getting worse!

Aghhh!

I had no choice but to edit on my mobile. It took me longer and was more fiddly, but I was pleased with the end result.

The next nightmare was uploading it to YouTube. The upload button had gone in the app! I opened YT Studio in my browser which wasn’t mobile friendly. If I zoomed in, I couldn’t zoom out. I used the site in teeny-tiny-writing mode

I wrote my description and scheduled it for 7pm Tuesday evening and went to bed.

Video Cancelled

I checked it over in the morning & was proud of myself. I showed my hubby my creation.

He found it cringeworthy.

He wasn’t criticising me but… He hates being recorded; photo, video, sound, anything. And, in the background you can hear him chatting.

He begged me not to post the video and assured me I can make a better one. So, I cancelled it. The things you’ll do for love – right?

I was going to record in my lunch break, but my appointment over ran. Then, I was going to record after work, but my hubby needed a break. Then, I was going to record once the kids were in bed, but guess who doesn’t want to sleep tonight?

Oh, and did I mention, I still can’t figure out how to change my channel cover art…?

Oh well, there’s always tomorrow…

I will succeed! I will make my videos! And, it’s suppose to get easier… I mean – It WILL get easier.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the IT Crowd clips in this post. It has to be done when talking about IT issues. It was that or “Computer Says No”, from Little Britain…

If you’ve enjoyed this, you will like:

YouTube: A Bookish Surprise

YouTube: I’m Her Biggest Fan

Making his YouTube dream come true…

How I did my book foot stack photo

Behind the Book: Out of my League by Sarah Sutton

Thank you for agreeing to a Behind the Book interview about your novel Out Of My League. I was so lucky to be one of you ARC readers and became a fan.

Blurb: Out Of My League

Out Of My League is the second book you published. Was it easier launching book two?

Yes and no. I wasn’t as nervous for this book (though I was still pretty anxious about it!) mostly because the process wasn’t so unknown anymore. However, there were a few glitches with this book in the publication process that were difficult to figure out. It was a give and take, for sure!

This romance is a ‘pretend boyfriend’ romance. Have you ever fake dated?

I haven’t, which is probably a good thing! I most likely would’ve ruined the fake relationship on day one.

Out Of My League is centred around a highschool baseball team. Were you into sports at highschool?

Ooh, not at all. I’m the stereotypical character who always manages to get hit in the face by a basketball or something. Sports and I did not click, but that did open so much more time to work on my writing!

I love your YouTube channel. For my readers can you share a little what it’s about?

Thank you! I started a YouTube channel back in April, and I’m sharing all of the things I learned about the self-publishing process and my experiences with it, as well as talking about writing. With Camp NaNoWriMo coming up, my writing vlogs are coming back, and I’m so excited!

Have you got any tips for budding Author Tubers or Book Tubers?

Make the content that you love. Numbers may not grow fast at first, but if you’re loving the content you’re making, that’s all that matters.

I’m guessing you are a romance fan. What’s you favourite romance novel?

Ooh, this is a hard one! I really, really loved Kasie West’s The Fill-In Boyfriend, which, funnily enough, is another fake relationship romance! P.S. I Like You, also by Kasie, was also very sweet!

Please share a snippet of your story, Out Of My League?

Walsh stood on the other side of the door with his blond eyebrows high up on his forehead. “Nice to see you, too?”
“What are you doing here?” I was ten kinds of disoriented, staring at his figure standing against the fading sky. Did I conjure him from my thoughts? “Why aren’t you at the bay? Aren’t the fireworks starting soon?”
“I didn’t go,” he told me, slipping his hands into the pockets of his shorts.
“What? What do you mean you didn’t go? Where have you been for the past few hours, then?”
Walsh reached a hand out to me, palm up. “I can show you.”
As enticing as his words were, I hesitated, glancing at the picture on the wall as if somehow my parents could see me through it. “I can’t leave the house.”
“Your house,” he said, eyes vivid with energy, “or your yard?”
Uh. “What?”
Walsh grabbed my hand and led me out onto my front porch, then down the two steps. “Close your eyes,” he commanded, his other hand coming around to my other shoulder to guide me. “I promise I won’t let you trip over anything.”
“Walsh—”
“Shh. Just say ‘yes, Walsh’ and close your eyes.”
I gritted my teeth but relented, swaying as my vision filled with black. “I hate surprises.”
Walsh pressed firmer against my side, his chest touching my shoulder, a smile in his voice. “I think you’ll like this one.”
Grass crunched beneath my bare toes as he moved me along, but I remained a good sport and kept my eyes sealed. Though it was silly, my heart started to beat faster, the anticipation making me nervous. His hands that curved over my shoulders were gentle, the pressure steady, his body close enough behind me that I could practically feel his proximity.
“Relax,” Walsh said, guiding me to a halt. “Your shoulders are so tense. I’m not about to kill you and stuff you in my trunk.”
“Your trunk’s huge. You seriously think you’d have to stuff me into it?”
Walsh was close enough that I could feel him chuckle.
“Can I open my eyes now?”
Walsh hesitated for a moment before he let go entirely. “Yes.”

Where can we go to discover more and buy Out Of My League?

Out of My League is available on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo books! I’ll leave a universal link for easy access to any platform! https://books2read.com/u/b55yOw

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you’ll enjoy:

Book Review: Out of my League by Sarah Sutton

Behind the Book: What Are Friends For? By Sarah Sutton

Behind the Book: Wiccan Romance – Amelia’s Story by Nicola Hebron

Book Review: Practice Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin

If you’re an indie, you need to know about this!

When I joined WIW I didn’t think self-publishing was for me. I only joined to connect with other writers.

Hearing their inspiring stories changed my mind. Self-publishing was no longer scary and they happily shared their experiences which I was able to learn from.

And, I achieved my initial goal of making incredible writer friends.

You can learn more by following them on:

Facebook: World Indie Warriors Members

Instagram: @WorldIndieWarriors

WordPress: World Indie Warriors

WIW eZine

This is a project that I manage for World Indie Warriors. I have been learning as I go and think each edition is better than the last!

It contains:

  • ENTERTAIN/LEARN: Articles for readers, writers and other creatives
  • BUY: Listings for indie books, products and services
  • CONNECT: A directory of featured members and how to find them on Social Media

This month there have been three blog posts on the WIW Blog about the upcoming brochure and how to get involved. This have been:

Submissions Open

This blog posts details all the content you need to submit to get featured in the brochure.

You can get featured if you are:

  • An indie author
  • Creator of indie products
  • Provider of an indie service

And you don’t need to be an indie. You can be a supporter of indies. We also feature members that are book bloggers too!

  • A book blogger or reviewer of any product or service in the brochure

New Releases

We have rebranded the brochure as an eZine. Another new feature will be to promote books coming soon.

If you are an indie author publishing in Oct, Nov, or Dec, you can get your new release featured.

All Indie Books

This is for bookstagrammers! Check out the post for full details but all you have to do is take a photo of an indie book or collection of indie books, use the hashtag #AllIndieBooks and we’ll feature our favourite with credit to your instagram account.

If the photo is of a book in the brochure we may also include you on the page it is featured.

What are you waiting for?

If you haven’t checked out WIW yet, go do it now! Check out the brochure and get involved.

The new brochure will launch at the end of September.

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Writing Progress: July

Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

Why I love World Indie Warriors

Where To Find The Best Indie Books

Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

Launching my book feels so bizarre. On one hand it’s moving too quickly. On the other hand it feels like it’s not happening fast enough.

Release Date?

I don’t have a release date yet. I’m not setting one until I’m certain; no pressure to rush. I’ve waited a long time for this and I’m going to get it right.

As a member of my street team you’ll be the first to know everything!

Hang on… What’s a Street Team?

You’ll be my first fans and get to help out with supporting my book launch. Here are a few of the activities you’ll be invited to take part in, no pressure…

Announcements

I’d love you to be involved in sharing my book announcements like:

  • cover reveal
  • the release date
  • when pre-orders open & where to buy
  • giveaway posts (you can enter too).
  • online book tour
  • details about my launch party

Online Book Tour

I’d like you to be part of my book tour. This will take place leading up to the release & launch party.

You’ll have access to me to interview for your blog (or whatever platform you use). Feel free to share your ideas too and what works for your platform.

Members of the Street Team will be encouraged to share the Online Book Tour announcement. The announcement will list everyone hosting in the tour and how to find them.

I will promote the Online Book Tour and I will share your ‘event’ once published online.

Book Launch Party

You’ll be invited to my launch party.

I’ll be giving a shout out to those that hosted in the book tour and any Street Team members I see in attendance.

The launch party will celebrate the release of Ocean Heart. In addition, I’ve invited some authors I think you’ll love so you can discover them and their books too!

Plus, we’re planning a launch party giveaway! If you love books you’ll want to be there.

Exclusive media

I know how sometimes it’s hard to share an image as it doesn’t fit your social media style. That’s why I’m looking into a way to share with you images and text to enable you to create your own social media content to promote Ocean Heart too.

The sort of media this may include is:

  • Cover image
  • Blurb text
  • Tag line text
  • Social media details & links text
  • Author profile image
  • Author bio text
  • Where to buy text
  • Book tour details text
  • Book party details text
  • Book quotes text
  • Book quote image
  • Plus social media images I created for this

That’s just for starters…

Being in the street team you’ll hear about new ideas as they develop. For example, I’m thinking of doing an exclusive giveaway only open to my street team.

You can be as involved as you like. You won’t be penalised if you forget to share a pic or life gets in your way.

NB: If you are in the blog tour you will need to schedule your post for the date & time you promised otherwise when I send people to check it out, they’ll be disappointed.

Most of all, I want to develop a connection with you. I’m hoping that connection will last long after this adventure.

I hope you have so much fun, I’ll be able to interest you in my next book launch. Then we can do this all over again. 😍

How to join?

I almost forgot this bit. 😂

Please head over to my Facebook Group: Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

This is a private group. When you join you’ll need to answer some simple questions and wait to be approved.

If you’re keen but not on Facebook- please private message me on the platform you follow me. I don’t want you to miss out, we’ll see if we can work around it.

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

My Books

Why you need a developmental editor!

Writing Progress: July

Author Q and A – Ally Aldridge

Camp NaNo Progress (mid July 2020)

So, I set three targets and it’s not gone to plan…

Writing Goal: Finish Sky Heart

Originally finishing Sky Heart was my main goal for Camp NaNo. I always struggle with writing endings so I knew this wouldn’t be easy.

Kiely was a 2nd viewpoint in an early draft of book 2. In that draft Mariah was the MC but Kiely’s story took over. Then I cut all Kiely’s parts and made a new book in 2018 called Glide. In 2019, it was renamed Diamond in the Sky and I added to it but never finished it.

I opened the manuscript and had no idea what was going on. It has been too long. I’m lost.

Instead of working on the ending, I’ve had to start at the beginning, reading the whole manuscript and making notes. The good thing is I’ve already identified parts to improve which will help when I come to edit. I’m now up to chapter 10.

This book has always taken a back seat to book 1. As book 1 is with my editor I thought I could finally work on finishing this but I was wrong. As you’ll see below, Book 1 has demanded my attention.

Book 2 has been renamed Sky Heart and promptly put back in the back seat… maybe next month Kiely.

Publishing: Ocean Heart

I thought sending my novel off to my editor meant my job was done…

No!

Very quickly I realised how much work I have to do to launch my book. As this is a priority, I adjusted my goals to continue working on Ocean Heart.

So far I have:

  • Written a dedication.
  • Researched & written my copyright statement.
  • Researched covers in my genre to identify what I like or don’t and gather the details my cover designer needs.
  • Planning for a Giveaway.
  • Researching how to provide ARC copies.
  • Attend my first ever meeting with my editor (this Thursday).
  • Got feedback on my Blurb

Still to do:

  • Finish the instructions for my cover designer so she can start work on my covers (eBook & Paperback). For this, I still need to finalise my blurb and decide on book sizing like trim, etc.
  • Use the feedback to improve my blurb.
  • Create a space for my Street Team to access exclusive content and be the first to know my news.
  • Researching meta data
  • So much more…

Reading Goal: Agent Undone (eBook)

I’ve now reached chapter 9. My little girl is demanding more attention from me now so I get less time to read on my phone during the day, which is when I read eBooks.

Reading Goal: Sea Witch (paperback)

After work I’ve felt too frazzled to do anything but watch rubbish on YouTube – I’m not proud of the time wasted on this.

When I have had energy, I’ve worked on my writing and got so into it that I had to go to bed after, with no time to read.

But, I have made some progress. I’m now up to chapter 19 (I was at chapter 4 at the start of July).

Learning Goal: Storyseller Academy

I’ve not even logged in. I’m desperate to make progress on this course but struggling to fit everything in.

I have done some learning as I’ve been researching things like Trim Size and Copyright statements.

But, this course is about successfully publishing your novel and I know it’s full of info that would be useful to me.

So, the next half of the month I’m going to make this a priority (after anything Ocean Heart related) and let go of Sky Heart for now.

If you enjoyed this, you will enjoy:

Camp NaNo July 2020

Why you need a developmental editor!

Find your Summer Reads in the latest WIW Brochure

Author Q and A – Ally Aldridge

Writing Progress: May

This a summary of the highs and lows of my writing this month.

Editing Ocean Heart

Maybe I’m too ambitious but I’ve not achieved the word count I wanted to. I had a few days feeling rundown and a few days where the heat gave me a killer headache.

And, editing isn’t something you can rush. I’ve worked on 4 chapters that needed a lot of work. They are important chapters in the novel so it was vital they made the right impact.

I’ve edited 25k words and my total is now 52k words edited. I’ve reached chapter 18 (or 21 in the original draft). I’m just over halfway through.

World Indie Warriors Brochure

This month I started work on the new look for the summer brochure. It’s the third edition and due to be released by end of June.

I’m please to report the brochure is mostly done. I’m just waiting for certain Indies to confirm their section is correct and waiting on a special feature. The deadline is end of May, so if they don’t reply I’ll just do the final touches and ensure it’s released at the end of June.

Lockdown, Furlough & Home Schooling

At the end of April I went on Furlough. It hasn’t freed up my time to write more but it has alleviated pressure where my kids are concerned.

The extra time does make me miss those I can’t visit more and wish I could take the kids somewhere fun or go our for a nice meal with my husband. But, being more available helps make homeschooling more enjoyable for my son and easier for me. Plus, I’m getting more time with my little girl.

The Government are trying to get kids back into school. One year group chosen to go back is my son’s. He’s just settled into homeschooling and I don’t want to unsettle him again when in a few weeks it’ll be the school holidays. So, for now, I’ve chosen to keep him home.

But, we are all safe and healthy and that is most important.

Learning New Skills

There are lots of opportunities to learn at the moment. OU & Google have collaborated together to create a FREE Digital Marketing course.

I have not had time to look anymore at the course or content. Once the brochure is done, I’m hoping I will have some free time to appreciate my access to this fabulous course.

Summary

For someone who felt like they didn’t achieve anything, I can see that I actually did make progress. I just wish I’d managed to fit in more editing as I want to reach the next step on my publishing journey.

If you enjoyed this, check out: 

Why I chose to self publish

Progress February

Progress January

My big plans for 2020

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