Jennifer Lyon

Archive for February, 2016

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Friday, February 12th, 2016
Happy Friday!

Yay it’s Friday! And you know what this weekend is, right?

Teddy bear with the big red heart.Valentines greeting card. Love design.Love.I love You card. Love poster. Valentines day poster. Cute teddy bear holding big red heart. Marry me. Be my wife.Love heart

Saturday I’m going to my Romance Writer’s of America local chapter meeting where NYT Bestselling Author Cherry Adair is speaking. I’m meeting one friend before the meeting to talk about some business and having lunch there with another friend. Then once I get home, Wizard is taking me to dinner. It’s going to be a full day and I’m happy! Sunday, Wizard has plans, and I’ll be back to writing! 

In other news, I have booked our own Silver James for Business Monday! She’ll be here on leap day, February 29th to talk about how she juggles multiple projects. I’m really excited to hear how she does it.

So what are your plans this weekend?

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
Wednesday Worthy; The Villain Edition

It’s Wednesday!! And you know what that means, it’s time to trot out our Worthy candidate. But when I saw this picture, it screamed villain to me, not hero.

Man in red towel

So what do you think? Is he worthy? And if so is he Villain Worthy or Hero Worthy?

Monday, February 8th, 2016


I’m taking a break from Business Monday today. We had three weeks of Creating a Business Plan, so I figure you all could use a break :-)  Plus I’m worn out from the Epic Book Battle I’m waging with Savaged Vows. And I’m reading a slew of books for a contest.

One fun note, we went to CPA Boys and Special K’s Saturday night with all the family and had so much fun! We all brought wines from our trip to Paso Robles to taste, Special K made a delicious dinner, and we played with the dogs (they have three!). At one point, I was sitting at the table discussing the movie Fifty Shades of Grey with my adult sons, and I thought…Wait, is this weird to be talking about with my sons? But you know, it really wasn’t. Although I still think Wizard had the best review of that movie ever. It’s here if you want to see it.

Then I came home and refused to even look to my book. Savaged Vows is going a lot like Caged Magic and The Plus One Chronicles. The story is developing in ways that make me uncomfortable and I keep trying to pull back. These books are hitting my emotional triggers and I start writing scenes trying to get around it and avoid it. Then I feel the book dragging, delete those scenes and it’s an ugly cycle. But of course, I didn’t realize what I was doing until last night. I was doing dishes and thinking about why I was going round and round, when it hit me:  My heroine has two issues I dealt with. It’s too close to home, I’ve known the fear of abandonment she feels, the need to be good/perfect so people will love you, and that compulsive need to be in control. In short, this story is hitting my Emotional Triggers.

We all have emotional triggers. But for writers, if they write books that dig into those emotional triggers, and let themselves feel it enough to bleed emotionally and honestly on the page, that creates a stronger book that readers really connect with. At least, that’s my hope. Knowing this doesn’t make writing it any easier but that’s okay. I makes me understand why I love the characters so much that I keep trying :-)

So enough of all that. I have two things for you guys: Is there anything you’d like to hear about for Business Mondays and how was your weekend?


Friday, February 5th, 2016
Happy Friday!

Well…it’s Friday and that’s good news. Otherwise, I have a sinus headache that won’t let up (not serious, I get these once in a while) and we’re trying to tackle buying health insurance. But let’s talk about something much more fun.

Do you all know what this weekend is? Do you?

It’s the PUPPY BOWL!!!

Okay yeah, there’s that other little football game happening too this weekend:-)

But today I thought we’d do our own version of the Puppy Bowl. So here are your three candidates for Cutest Puppy In A Bowl:

puppies chihuahua in bowl in front of white background

So who is your pick? The blue bowl puppy, green bowl puppy or pink bowl puppy?

Hope you have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
Wednesday Worthy

I registered for the RWA Conference in San Diego and I’m excited about that. I am NOT excited about the hotel bill, though. Sheesh. Everytime I book a conference, I’m stunned at the cost of the hotel. But this year, Wizard swears he’ll go with me…we shall see :-)

And speaking of Wizard, we were in the grocery store yesterday morning. They all know us there. Well they’ve known me for years, and are now getting very accustomed to Wizard. The produce guy has figured out that Wizard is…shall we say…selective (and by selective, I mean PICKY!). So the produce guy tells me the asparagus is really good.

Wizard made a gagging sound. And there may have been begging, as in “No asparagus, Witch, please!” He’s begging because I will get him to eat it and he knows it :-)  I happily bought the asparagus :-) :-)

The produce guy laughed, but he must have felt sorry for Wizard and wanted to help him, so he asked Wizard, “What vegetables do you like?”

Wizard didn’t miss a beat. “Popcorn.” Then he went on to describe all the way he liked popcorn.

Produce guy cracked up.

Later, I realized Wizard was missing and found him with Produce Guy who had opened a banana and was teaching Wizard how to add chocolate and bake the banana to make a dessert.  Wizard bought the chocolate to try it.

All this is happening right there among the lonely vegetables. Produce guy was supposed to steer Wizard to vegetables, NOT desserts!


And speaking of men, it’s time for our Worthy candidate. So I had this picture in color already, and I was *meh* about it. Then I found it in black and white, and I like it better. It reminds me a little bit of Linc from Caged Magic. But what I think isn’t important, it’s all about what YOU think!


Sexy fashion portrait of a hot male model with muscular body posing in studio looking at camera.

So is he worthy?


Monday, February 1st, 2016
Creating A Business Plan: Part Three of Three

Welcome to Part 3 of Creating A Business Plan! Here are the 3 sections, including the link to Part 1 & 2:

Part 1 Intro and Reviewing 2015 (Post Date 1/18/16)

Part 2 Goals for 2016 (Post Date 1/25/16)

Part 3 How I developed my project maps (Post Date 2/1/16)

Okay we’ve reviewed last year and set out goals for this year. Now it’s time to create a project map for each of your big goals. A project map is exactly what it sounds like, creating a map of how to achieve our goals. And achieving our goals makes us successful. In short:

A Project Map Is A Roadmap To Success.

One key point: The best project maps are adaptable to the changing circumstances of your business. I will happily admit right up front that I’m stretching my limits by trying to write four books in one year. Two books and one novella is probably more realistic. But I’m pushing myself and having Project Maps gives me a clear idea of exactly what I need to do to hit my four-book goal. Let’s get started:

1) Choose what medium you want to us to create your map. The book I read, Your Best Year (2016 edition) by Lisa Jacobs, recommended a giant 16×20 sheet of drawing paper for each project. The advantage is you can hang it in your workspace so it’s always in view as you work on the project.

That didn’t work for me. First I hate mistakes, so all the crossing off, and writing over would create a mess that would give me a headache. Second, I don’t want it hanging in view as my office is in the open.

I chose to create project maps in word documents. This does two things for me: 1) I have it attached to my business plan so it’s all one document. This gives me a good overview of what I’m doing for the year, and if I need to re-evaluate and adapt my plan or goals, it’s all right there. 2) I print the individual project map and put it in my working folder with my outline, timeline, character sketches etc.

2) Label one map for each project. Here are mine:

a) Savaged Vow, Book 1 in Savaged Illusions Series (Project #1)

b) Novella, Ethan and Ana’s Story (Project #2)

c) Savaged 2, Book 2 in Savaged Illusions Series (Project #3)

d)) Primal Magic, Book 6 in Wing Slayer Hunter Series (Project #4)

3) Calendar your projects. This is where I figure out the order in which I will tackle the projects, and assign them a time frame to work on. So for Savaged Vows, the first book I’m writing, I assigned January through March, and so on as you can see here:


Jan – March

Savaged Vows: Book 1 of Savaged Illusions Series


April – May

Novella (Ethan and Ana’s Story)


June – August

Savaged #2: Book 2 of Savaged Illusions Series


Sept – Dec

Primal Magic, Book #6 of Wing Slayer Hunter Series


4) Then create your headings and break the projects down into tasks. Here is one of my project maps to give you an idea. My notes for the purposes of this blog are in red.



Jan – March

Savaged Vows: Book 1 of Savaged Illusions Series



2/5    1st Draft Finished

1/21  Cover Designed

2/29 Deliver to Editor, first round

Write Blurb


2nd round to editor

Send to Proofreader

Send to Formatter

Sent up preorders?

Publish on all Vendors

I will add things to the schedule as I know them, including dates. Checkmarks in red (√) mean the task has been completed.


I break the tasks down into months as you see below. Note the crossed off “Final decision required” under Feb. I’ve decided to hold off on that decision, and just crossed it off. I didn’t delete it as I will need a decision at some point. 

Tasks for January:

  1. Outline Book
  2. Write 1st draft (begun in Dec. 2015)
  3. Schedule Editing for SV
  4. Cover Concept to Brand Series
  5. Schedule Cover Design/Approve
  6. Send first third to half of book to Beta Reader (MD)
  7. Revise again and draft out second half.
  8. Contact Publicist

Tasks for February:

  1. REVIEW: Will SV will be one book or two. Final decision required.
  2. Firm up delivery date for SV with editor (Sasha)
  3. 1st draft done by February 15th
  4. Review if Pre-order should be set up for SV.
  5. Revise draft into finished for Editor.
  6. Send to Sash by Feb. 29th. (Likely will change to March)
  7. Write SV Blurb
  8. Pull out clips for marketing
  9. Gather stock photos for marketing.
  • Give to assistant to create promo material
  • Begin outline for Project #2 (Ethan’s novella)
  • Begin Marketing Plan for SV Release April 4th.
  • Consider Book Trailer
  • Schedule proofreading (best guest estimate)
  • Touch base with formatter (best guess estimate)

Tasks for March

  1. Revise SV
  2. Deliver revision.
  3. Any down time work on outline for Project #2
  4. More down time, begin writing on Project #2
  5. Send book to proofreader
  6. Revise to final version
  7. Send book to formatter
  8. Set up on Netgalley.

Project Obstacles & Setbacks:

  • Still not sure if I can get all this in one book, or will need to break it into two books. Will decide after book is written, and consulting with editor.
  • Slow writing.

This section is for all the problems, the things that slow you down, or get in your way. I’ve been struggling with two things:

  1. Is this too much story for one book? If so, then I know I need to make sure I write this so it’s back-to-back releases, which will then mean shuffling the order of my goals and project maps.  My big struggle is I want it to be one book, but the most important thing is telling the story as it needs to be told. 
  2. And I’m a slow writer — which isn’t exactly accurate. I write fast enough, but I follow a lot of plot threads that just don’t work and I end up deleting them. For example, I deleted about 40 pages this weekend that I don’t think are the best scenes for this story. I labeled that as Slow Writing because *I* know what it means.  That’s my obstacle, but I absolutely refuse to sacrifice any story quality to achieve my goal. 

Remember, a Project Map is to help you achieve your goal NOT to stifle creativity. 

Pricing Strategy

  1. Release one full book at $3.99 or $4.99 **or**
  2. Release book one and book two of SV at $2.99 each.
  3. Drop first book in series to .99cents for special promo when second book is release.
  4. In 2017 when book three is released, then do a free 1st in series.

I wanted this in here because things are always changing in the market, and if I notice a stronger pricing strategy before I publish, I’ll put it here to review for when I’m ready to publish. 

Marketing Strategies:

  1. Consult with Publicist
  2. Devise strategy, consult with assistant and assign tasks
  3. Street Team/Reader Group
  4. Netgalley for reviews
  5. FB Ads
  6. FB Share/Giveaways
  7. Marie Force’s New Release FB page
  8. Bargain Booksy, Fussy Librarian, Robin Reads, Ereader News Today(ENT)
  9. Contact Reps for iBooks, Kobo, and blind contact for Amazon

I’ll have a much stronger strategy soon. But for right now, this give me a space to put ideas that I come across. 


This is not complete and that’s okay. I’ll fill it in as I go along throughout the year, making any changes or adjustments that come up. I’ve done this for each of my book-goals. What I love about this method is it’s flexible. I can move the final book to 2017, or write an additional book. If any big issues come up during the year—I have what I need in one place to evaluate, adapt and stay on the road to building my writing career.

And that’s my business plan in three sections. If you have questions, please ask and I’ll do my best to answer.

Wishing you all a successful 2016!

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