I’m writing this blog from my hotel room in Florida, and hoping that we get home Sunday night. It will all depend on whether or not Hurricane Nate delays flights. Of course, that would just be an inconvenience for us. Hurricane Nate apparently caused multiple deaths in Central America, and could possibly cause more destruction in the U.S., so I’m not complaining. I really hope everyone is safe!
So lots of things to talk about.
On Saturday my middle son (G-Man) proposed to his long time girlfriend!! We are ecstatic! We love his fiance! So for anyone keeping track, I have three grown sons: Oldest is married to Special K, and they are expecting their first baby (my grandbaby!!!) in March. Middle Son is newly engaged. And Youngest is already engaged (another girl we love!), but they have put their wedding off to late 2018 due to her mom’s serious health issue (she is recovering, thankfully). So to sum up, our three sons have brought us three amazing daughter-in-laws! And yes, I’m a tad excited!!
The NINC Conference: It was awesome! I could only last until 2 p.m. as far as workshops go, but I got a lot out of this trip. I’m just going to give you random thoughts off the top of my head.
- I love this specific conference because it’s very, and I’m mean very business and success focused. If someone is a hobby writer who is just happy to publish a book or two and talk about it, this conference would not be right for them. But if you consider your self a business, with you as the CEO and Content Provider (the books), and you are looking to grow your company, then you’d love it here.
- The big thing this year seems to be collaborations (two or more authors writing together).
- Everyone is looking for a great Assistant. Okay, seriously people, if being an author isn’t your thing, but you enjoy being around authors and books, you may want to consider becoming a Virtual Assistant. You will likely need a strong skill set in things like newsletters, formatting, uploading, creating spreadsheets, doing promo campaigns, running street and review teams. It can be a demanding job that requires constantly growing your skill set, but it’s also fun and challenging. And sometimes there are great perks, there were quite a few assistants here at NINC.
- Writing faster is always a goal. It’s pretty much the same advice: Write a dirty first draft without editing, then revise. Use tricks like a setting a timer and sticking to it with no interruptions. Turn off the internet and don’t answer the phone or doorbell. (Um..what about retired husbands? LOLOL. Getting a writing buddy to keep you on track. In my case, I’m talking to an author friend about working together to keep each other accountable, talking over plotting and business issues weekly or so via Skype or something like that. Figure out what works for you and do it.
- Set office hours and try to stick to them. THEY WERE TALKING TO ME!! That’s one of my goals. We will be more efficient if we know we only have certain hours to work, then we can play later.
- Create a Strategic Production Plan: 1) Figure out your plan like I’m going to write three books in a sexy paranormal serious about dragon-shifters trapped in their dragon form until they find a witch to release them. 2) Determine how long it takes to write each book. 3) Develop a launch strategy, like write all the books first, then release them all at once, back-to-back releases or release them as written.
- Set up a yearly calendar with deadline and your production schedule. I have a simple calendar, but I’m going to get a huge calendar and put it in my upstairs office where I can see it at a glance. In a nutshell, my calendar will be color coded and able to see at a glance: 1) 1st draft finished and due to editor. 2) Revision from revision letter and date due back to editor. 3) Line Edits done and due to editor. 4) Copy Edits sent, received and finished. 4) Proofreading. 5) Arcs/Reviews sent. 6) Formatting digital and print. 7) Release Dates. Marketing Plan (pre-release, release day, blogs, advertising, etc.) And that’s for each book.
- Onto audio books. ACX has been the only game in town for a while, but now there are two new players: Findaway Voices and ListenUp Audiobooks. That’s exciting news and I’m really pleased to see these two companies creating more audible book opportunities. They allow writers to keep more rights and distribution options, and seem really excited to work with authors on their projects. However, it’s still very expensive. If it costs $350.00 (conservative cost) Per Finished Hour then it would cost me roughly $10K to put the three books in my Savaged Series in Audio. I didn’t even want to do the math on my Wing Slayer Hunters Series. Audio is a growing market but expensive to do ourselves.
- There was a two hour, very intensive workshop on newsletters. The take away from that is pretty simple–we all need a newsletter mailing list. It’s out most valuable tool in reaching readers who really want to buy our books. For anyone just starting out with a newsletter, look at Mailchimp–they are free for less than 2k subscribers. I started my mine there and do pretty well with it.
Okay that’s enough for now I think How was your weekend?